At, Samuel Chambers ask the question, What Is Ailing The Black Community? He uses medical analogies to show black leaders are leading our people astray and should be held responsible for the results of blacks adopting their ineffective strategies and recommendations. Chambers suggestion is a simple one, but seems so impossible for many in the black community; Think For Yourself.

Finally someone is putting their head above the clouds and asking Is Corporate America to Blame for Hip-Hop Violence? At ABC News, Jake Tapper and Marie Nelson analyze how the industry is profiting off of the damaging violence that has become par for course marketing material. We all attack the rappers, and they should be held responsible for the garbage and venom they write and spew, but they are mostly just thugs trying to make a buck and move on. The heads of the industries, the owners of the corporations are the ones that need to be taken to task over promoting and profiting from the criminal activity that pervades every aspect of this industry.

Way to go! Picked up from , on its weekly black college fix (cause everyone has to have one) AOL Black Voices announces that Howard Beats Harvard at National Moot Court Competition. So, I read it and I'm thinking I bet the media will ignore this. Looked everywhere and couldn't find it.
The Wilmington Journal: Howard Law Students Defeat Harvard

So BET isn't doing the news anymore? Not such a big surprise. Thugs, ballers, players, pimps, hustlers and hoes aren't too interested in what went on on The Hill. BET Cancels Its Nightly News Program. Of course they say they aren't lessening an emphasis on the news and will show news briefs throughout the day. That actually might be a better plan for their audience. The young hip-hop crowd isn't going to sit through an entire hour without at least one half-naked girl shaking her booty at a strip club.
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One man's scandal is another man's...not so pleasant, but not really that serious information release.

I'm sure there is a better way to say that, but the point is that Congressman Tom DeLay's recent troubles have become a can of worms of sorts because now everyone is looking at all the privately-funded trips members of Congress have recently taken.

I read at my favorite blog, Booker Rising, that Congressman Harold Ford Jr. - 9th District of Tennessee wins the door prize for taking the most privately paid trips among the current Congress. What is the door prize, a little negative publicity restricted to his own state just when he was probably ready to formerly announce for Senate considering the press seems to have lost some interest in his Uncle's shenanigans.

If you look at the numbers in terms of costs, his trips don't really mean anything because they were all domestic. There are other members of Congress who have spent ten times as much on fewer trips, dragging wives and kids along with them. It makes me think these were more like vacations than anything else.

So what's with all the travel anyway? What is going on in all of those states that the voters of Tennessee's 9th district can benefit from? I assume it's more about Ford's political aspirations than playing to the hand of lobbyists, but still. I'm just curious about how effectively any of these men and women can be for their own piece of the earth when they are on the road all the time? Ford's privately paid trips most among current lawmakers
NewsChannel 5 Network: Report Details Lawmakers’ Travel Expenditures
WBIR-TV: Ford ranked second for most trips paid by private sources
CBS News: It Didn't Start With Tom DeLay
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A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about Gregory Kane's first article on his New Nominee for Grand Prize in the Stupidity Sweepstakes? Fantasia's 'Baby Mama' and agreed with him on the problem with deifying un-wed/never-wed single mothers. Just because you got knocked up by someone who wouldn't marry you or because you didn't know how to use birth control effectively doesn't mean you deserve an honor. Just because you take care of your kid doesn't make you special; it's what you're supposed to do. It does make the parent who doesn't take care of the kid a complete loser, but that's it.

What's is respectable is taking the basic efforts to use protection or denying yourself for just that one time if that is not immediately an option for you. What's courageous is planning for your future in a way that will allow your child to have the best chance at life. It's honorable to get married and create a strong foundation of spiritual, emotional and economic support for a child.

Yes, there are times when people make the right choices and a baby makes its way into their lives anyway. Yes, there are single women out there who are facing the clock and make a decision to have a baby on their own, but we all know that's not how 70% of our kids are being born out of wedlock.

Now that I'm off my rant, Kane received a lot of responses to his commentary and it encouraged him to write more.
What Exactly is a Baby Mama? It Depends on How You Define Yourself

Charlene Muhammad writes about the black marriage movement growing nationwide at It's a shame the simple, fundamental foundation of strength of support has to be a movement for us, but our current situation says it does. Over 100 organizations across the U.S. celebrated Black Marriage Day March 27.

It always amazes me when people try to explain the lack of black marriage on racism and the pressure on the black man. It's as if they ignore the fact that this decline began 40 years; unless they are suggesting that racism is worse now than it was in post-slavery days. I doubt anyone would believe that, so how would you explain the height of black marriage being in 1890 when racism was 100 times worse than it is now and the black man had more pressures and obstacles than he does now?

It's a decline in values and morals that have affected every race in America, but seems to have had decimating affects on ours. Throughout all of our hardships in this country, it was that immediate family unit that kept us strong. Seeing our wonderful black father and our beautiful black mother fight the fight together got us through. If we have to make a holiday to turn the tide on this bad trend, then that's just what we'll do. Black men and women deserve better than what we're offering each other right now.

WAPO: Black Marriage Day
Monica Carter: Black Marriage Day is an interesting concept
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The Baltimore Airport is changing it's name to BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport. The proposal was passed on the last day of the Annapolis session. Pretty awesome.
Black Press USA: Baltimore Airport to be Renamed in Honor of Thurgood Marshall

Also in Baltimore, Andrew Green of The Sun writes about the Maryland race for Senate in 06 and the polls suggest an Mfume - Steele race; two African-Americans. This one promises to be better than Illinois race, because it will actually be a race. Steele attracts strong support in Senate race

TIME magazine came out with its list of the Best and Worst Big City Mayors and a few African-Americans made the lists.

Shirley Franklin, Dirty South - ONE OF THE BEST
Kwame Kilpatrick, Detroit - ONE OF THE WORST
John Street, Philly - ONE OF THE WORST

Unfortunately, no Hispanics made the BEST list, but I'm happy to see Mayor Daley of my hometown Chicago and I think Mayor Newsome of San Fran is interesting, which is code for kind of hot. The 5 Best Big-City Mayors -- Apr. 25, 2005
Black America Web: Time Magazine Names Atlanta's Shirley Franklin Among Best Mayors
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So I'm not a big fan of hip hop. I like the occasional song, but all in all most of it is trash in my opinion. I guess I'm odd, but I just don't find pimps, hustlers, gang bangers, drug dealers and hoes entertaining. I'm not alone in saying that the videos are nothing more than soft porn. A line was crossed when NWA came out with the gangster rap and rap has never been the same since.

That whole argument that not all rap is bad is pretty empty because we all know that. The only problem is that the positive stuff doesn't get play and what little there is of it couldn't counteract the bad if it did.

That being said, I'll never agree with those who think it should be censored. Freedom of speech is freedom of all speech, even that which makes you feel like you have to bathe or go to confession just for listening to it. That's why I'm a little concerned with the recent federal interest in hip hop and its talent, which I think is the most irrelevant part of the industry.

The "art form" has always been under attack, but mostly by those more eager to get airtime and pub for being pro family values than actually do anything about it. Recently, the FBI has taken a great deal of interest which was made public first by the shootings between the posses belonging to 50 cent and The Game. Hip-Hop Probe - Newsweek Business -

Investigations into the world of hip hop are nothing new. Let's face it, the industry is full of people with criminal backgrounds who are proud of that lifestyle, so there is no reason to believe they've left it behind. What is at question here are motives? Is this an attempt to really get to the bottom of the crime that pervades the industry or just an attempt to silence the industry as a whole? Beanie Sigel: Hip-Hop's Next Federal Case? Part 1 Fed’s Looking Again At Hip-Hop Rap Mogul
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I'm back. Yes, San Francisco was great as usual. I never get sick of that city, but the time zone difference had me a little detached from that beltway swing. So, I'll need some time to catch up.

When I saw a blog titled, The Mulatto Advocate, I had to take a look. I've been a fan ever since. A recent post, Apparently, another Black man has had his ghetto pass revoked by the Civil Rights Industry caught my eye as well. It mentions Dave Bing, a brother who has done a great deal for his community, such as building homes and business in parts of Detroit that no one else wants anything to do with, getting ripped on by other blacks for trying to start a charter school so he can hire better educated black kids for his inner-city business.

The nerve of him.

Rochelle Riley: Not Black Enough
Detroit Business Leader Dave Bing Makes Good on Promise to Build New Homes In Old Detroit Neighborhood
Black From Basketball to Billions
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If you've read my posts in the past, you understand that this title is a bit of sarcasm. I've consistently disagreed with just about every article I've ever read on, but I post their articles often. It is a very consistent, far left website which doesn't pretend to be anything other than what it is. I think that "what it is" is almost always wrong, but I'm not afraid to post different viewpoints like other political sites; especially when they put forth the argument in an intelligent way.

That being said, I'm going to link to a few of the more recent and interesting BC articles as my last post for a week. Yes, I am leaving again. This time to beautiful San Francisco. A consultant's work is never done. At least it's not Hershey, PA again. That was brutal.

The U.S. is Becoming a Failed State, or so says the BC. Under Bush, we are falling apart and social security is only the beginning. This sentence in the first paragraph,

"The very fact that the question of Black alignment with Republicans is entertained under any circumstances at this historical juncture, is proof that much of the Black leadership class has lost its moorings."

sets the stage as well. The BC believes that privatization of social security will not only be nearly impossible to recover from, but (based on its very colorful cartoon) will lead to the end of community development, child nutrition programs, worker's rights, mass transit, medicaid, housing and food stamps. I'm not sure if it's necessarily in that order.

Not to be redundant, but here's Death by Design - The Plot to Destroy Social Insurance by Dr. Maya Rockeymoore. Dr. Rockeymoore has a background in social security. She was a staff member on the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee Social Security Subcommittee and wrote The Political Action Handbook: A How To Guide for the Hip Hop Generation.

"They are setting medicare up for failure and building the case for privatizing all social insurance programs within the next 10-15 years."

This one certainly caught my eye. Why Jesse, Why?. Margaret Kimberly has a problem with liberal icon Jesse Jackson standing on the side of life in the Terry Schiavo case. I'm sure more than a few people were upset to see him take up the cause of Terry's parents because despite what they all say, it was about politics for most people involved on both sides. Her parents belonged to the Republicans and the Democrats were to stay out.

But you know what happens when a group of mics and camera comes out. Jesse is on his way. There is no stopping him when publicity is in the air. Showing up in his limo to the scene as she hangs on for her last breath tells the story; it's all about him.

More piggybacking off the Terry Schiavo case in Rev. Reynard Blake, Jr.'s A Riddle For Black Conservatives. He ask the question,

"What if Terry was Toya?" Would Bush and the Republicans react the same way. I don't even think the question needs to be asked. We all know the answer is no. It's the same reason why white women in L.A. hold candlelit vigils on the anniversary of Nicole Brown Simpson's death over a decade later. Do you think those women would be out there if Nicole had been Nikesha? Let's be serious. Still, I'm not gonna hate because black women wouldn't be out there ten years later either if it had been Nikesha and we can't ask them to place more value on black life than we do.

Some might say it's the media's fault. The media always goes for the white Laci Peterson's, Nicole Brown Simpsons (okay, that was more about her famous star husband, but you get my meaning) and Terry Schiavo's because they know the deal. So do we.

Behave while I'm gone and try to fall in love with somebody.
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Chicago Sun Times: Obama's online pitch gives Byrd's campaign a big boost
Can someone please tell me why Senator Barack Obama (IL) is making pitches on behalf of Senator Robert Byrd (WV)? I mean, I get that he's the pretty face of the party, the future, the one the indepedents love and Republicans fear, blah, blah, blah, but really....Robert Byrd?

I know that Byrd is only one of the 06 candidates Obama is helping out, but he seems to be the one that is getting the most help. Why would anyone impressed with Obama be impressed with Byrd? They are two completely different types of politicians. In the political climate we live in, Democrats are fighting for every seat in Senate so I guess they're asking him to take one for the team. Personally, I would select the best candidate to run against Byrd in the primary and wait until then to have Obama and the entire party put their ducks in a row behind that person. I think the Senate has seen enough of Robert Byrd.

Newhouse News Service: Some Predict Bush Plan Will Lead to Dismantling of Head Start
This article caught my eye. Head Start has been around for more than 40 years and has been one of the more successful programs the government has ever created. There are so few programs that work, when it does, any threats to its future catches a lot of attention. The administration denies any claims the National Head Start Association makes about nitpicking audits with the ultimate objective of cutting some of the $7 billion the government spends on the program every year.

The government is claiming that money is being spent frivolously and salaries are out of control. There is probably some truth to that. Any program getting that much money is going to have some abuse. So let the govenrnment audit the program and let the people see what's going on. All this stuff about audits nitpicking about crumbs left in toasters and lawns not being raked won't pass snuff if true. The situation needs more publicity because once a lot of people, especially in minority communities where the vast majority of the programs exist, are aware the program might be threatened, they will definately pay attention and wrongdoing on either side will become much, much harder., Head Start disagree on gravity of audit findings
AP Wire: Senators call for more oversight of Head Start program
Kansas City Star: Head Start abuses anger U.S. lawmakers
Washington Times: Cities seek Head Start oversight
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Not really a political issue, but here's a possible resource for those black families looking to adopt.
African American Adoptions Online :: Information and Help for Black or Bi-racial Pregnant Women and Adoptive Families

There are a lot of issues around black adoption and interracial adoption that bother me. First of all, people out there who don't want whites to be able to adopt black children tick me off. They are basically suggesting that a black kid is better off in an orphanage than with a white family because they simply will not all be adopted by black families. Nothing is more important than having a family; having a home where you belong, where you are loved unconditionally. Certainly not skin color.

ABC News: Foreigners Vie to Adopt Black U.S. Babies

It is possible that a black kid can grow up with a warped sense of who they are if they are raised by white parents who don't teach them anything beyond Martin Luther King and Oprah Winfrey, but that isn't the case with most adoptions. These critics of white parents want us to believe that if these kids were with black parents, that would mean they'd have a better knowledge of who they are. We all know that isn't necessarily so. But regardless of any argument, a family, even one far from perfect, is better than being a ward of the state.

Pact, An Adoption Alliance - Adoption and Race: Articles

Then there are those adoption agencies that make it difficult for black families to adopt because they don't fit the "ideal profile" of adoptive parents. There is discrimination in the adoption industry against black parents; but it has gotten better. I think a lot of it has to do with a lack of documented history of adoption. In black families, since slavery, we would just take a kid in. After slavery it continued, but without any legal documentation.

Even today, you can go into any black neighborhood and you'll find kids living in homes in an adopted situation. My brother-in-law's "brother" was just a friend from junior high who didn't have a father and his drug-addict mother didn't feed him, parent him or want him. He just came over one day after school and never left. He's seen no differently than anyone else in the family.

Here are some more resources:
Black Adoption and Placement Research Center
Three Rivers Adoption Services
Fairfax County Black Adoption
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by Angela Winters

Another article by Media Matters criticizing the GOP's attempts to woo the black vote. This one is by Andrew Seifter who says Republicans are being their usually deceptive selves. I'm not going to be naive and suggest that there aren't self-centered motives here. Look, it's politics and they're after votes. That's all 99.9% of politicians on both sides care about. The Right saw an opportunity to make headway in the black community, but the election is over and that's usually when both Democrats and Republicans go back to pretending like we don't exist.

So, I'm willing to give them credit for continuing to build this relationship while all most Democrats are doing is criticizing them for it. Still, I'm not under any impression that if the opportunity to push the party's agenda wasn't there, they would be mounting this extensive effort.

Gregory Kane at Black America Web has written his commentary on the New Nominee for Grand Prize in the Stupidity Sweepstakes?. He criticizes ignorance in R&B songs as they compete in the stupidity contest in Black America. I totally agree. When I first heard Destiny Child's song, Souljah, I thought they were talking about the men who defend our country. Aren't I the idiot? Apparently, a street hood is their hero.

Then I heard Fantasia's Baby Mama song and I really had nothing to say. I just turn the station every time it's on. When did having illegitimate children become a badge of honor? When did irresponsible sexual behavior become not just accepted, but expected and something to be proud of?

Kane writes, "Let's face it: that's what many "baby mamas" have done. They got knocked up by some loser who couldn't or wouldn't marry them. That's a mistake. You don't go around singing songs praising your mistakes. You correct them."

'Nuff said.

Okay, so that isn't fair. Joseph C. Phillips has actually made quite a name for himself among the conservative bunch, but let's face it. That's what we'll all remember him as. He writes about the Felony Voting Ban issue which for some reason liberals want to bring back to the table. It's such a losing issue, but hey if it's what they feel passionate about it's what they have to fight for.

Like Phillips, I am not interested in giving voting rights to those who rob, mug, rape, molest, beat and murder the rest of us while they're still in prison, but that's me. I think all privileges should be denied. I wrote about it for Pop and Politics. There are enough issues affecting law abiding citizens, such as CRIME, that we should be fighting to end.
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by Angela Winters

The National Urban League has come out with its annual State of Black America report focusing on the socioeconomic conditions of African Americans. The report has gotten a fair amount of press. Personally, I can't count past ten without a calculator, so I tend not to pass judgment on economic reports. The report also looks at education, homeownership, entrepreneurship, health and other areas.

This morning, I heard two separate radio reports, both on black stations, and the play was that things have gotten worse. The wealth gap between blacks and whites is getting larger and the progress blacks made during the 90s has begun to reverse itself. The newspapers and website reports are saying the same thing.

I would be interested to hear how much the NUL blames on racism as opposed to our values and family situations. Other reports have shown that black working class and middle class families, where the parents are married, are very similar in economic status to whites. Or maybe that was just in the 90s.

I doubt the report is as negative as the press made it out to be, but that is the stuff that people are more interested in. Healthcare in particular is very worrysome. Not just the HIV/AIDS epidemic, which is reason enough to be alarmed, but the quality of healthcare in general for blacks, as opposed to whites, shows something within the healthcare industry as well as our culture, is working against us.

Unfortunately, as with most reports, everyone will use it to forward their own opinions, point their fingers at whomever they had already considered to blame and put it on someone else to fix. That's negative, I know, but living in the beltway can do that to a girl.

Although it isn't much, I am doing my part. I'm saving, investing, giving, staying out of debt, staying out of trouble :-), going to law school, getting yearly physicals and waiting until I'm married to have children. I work in Diversity for a living, so I'm spending my days trying to improve economic and workplace conditions for my people, was well as other minorities. With this blog, I'm trying to get my voice out there, hoping that someone will read and decide to get their voice out there as well.

I guess that's how it happens. Each of us does our part, hope it touches someone else and encourages them to do theirs.

VOA News: Report Confirms Widening Inequalities Between Blacks and Whites in U.S
Amsterdam News
BAW: Urban League Report Says Black Progress Stagnant or Worsening
Atlanta Daily World Worry over racial economic gap 'Great backslide' in rights feared for U.S. blacks
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by Angela Winters

Okay, so they didn't win. I've cried my tears. I'm still a little sore about it, but it was such a great season that I can't be angry or bitter. We can do it again next year.
Sun Times: Dee's return is best for Brown, Illinois Hoops Hysteria- Illini gave hoops lesson in teamwork
The News-Gazette Online: Team still No. 1 in hearts of Illini Illini fans honor basketball team

For now, I'll focus on my Cubs.

It seems the hub-bub between Susan Estrich and Michael Kinsley has created some discussion on women political columnists/editorialists in print and any type of non-white male political punditry. Terry Neal's Talking Points at the WAPO go into more detail about the very noticeable lack of any diversity on the Sunday morning talk shows.
WAPO: In Punditland, a Little Imagination Could Yield Needed Diversity.

Here is what others have to say: Women's Opinions Also Missing on Television.

I think the display of diversity in all forms of media is pretty pitiful, considering it is supposed to be such an open-minded industry. It's not like any old business where it's mostly white men at the top because I think it's worse. So speaking of black women, what place would we have in this punditland? It's a sticky situation because we're always faced with that angry black woman thing every time we express our opinions assertively. So either we're too pushy or we become invisible to try and avoid being perceived as pushy. It's more complicated than just throwing a sister in front of the television; that's just the beginning. But at least let's get there. We'll deal with the rest after that.

The Free Liberal: The Gender of IdeasThe Southern Illinoisan: Listening to women's punditry Gender and the news: still an area of concern
Arizona Daily Wildcat: Hard-lines and hemlines - Wednesday, March 30, 2005

So a lot has been made about Gannon/Guckert attending the National Press Club's April 8th panel on bloggers and online journalism. Should he be there? Should he not be there? Is NPC having a hard time putting butts in seats? I've always said that Guckert was a fake and a bad writer, so why is he invited? Is it the gay escort thing? Of course that was a little interesting for a five seconds, but it isn't really newsworthy. There are many more relevant figures in online journalism and blogging that would answer an NPC call. Now, all NPC will get is tabloid coverage. Bad choice.
E&P: The National Press Club Welcomes ... Jeff Gannon?
AMERICAblog: Because a great nation deserves the truth
PunditGuy: The National Press Club Welcomes Jeff Gannon
Yahoo! News: Press Club Keeps Gannon--But Adds Others to Panel
Media Info: Press Club Keeps Gannon -- But Adds Others to Panel
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GREAT GAME GUYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LET'S DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GO ILLINI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fighting Illini : The Official Athletic Site
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by Angela Winters

Okay, so I've gotten over feeling bad when I can't blog, because as my friend so clearly put it, nobody cares. Well I'm off to, of all places, Hershey, PA for a while. Don't ask, and no, it doesn't have anything to do with chocolate.

Here are a few short tid-bits to hold you:

In Portland, OR, co-creator Tom Magee is looking for a little assistance with his Black Americans of Achievement board game. The game contains over 2,000 questions, but Magee is looking for more. It's used as a learning tool in over 25,000 schools in the U.S.

The new Voter-ID bill in states like Indiana and Georgia is causing a stir among blacks because of its historical connotations. They believe it's meant to keep blacks from voting. I think there is just a knee-jerk reaction by black people that any attempt to make people verify themselves is another way of saying we have no right to be here. That used to be true when Democrats in the South created poll taxes and other schemes to keep blacks from voting, but we can't assume it's all about race. That doesn't mean it isn't about unfairness; it just might not be based on skin color.

Look, either you have an I.D. or you don't. If you aren't engaged in criminal behavior, what could anyone do to you that they couldn't do to a white person who shares their I.D.? The Republican advocates of the bill say it is to avoid voter fraud, but some Democrats say it's because Republicans are afraid of too many blacks coming to the pools. Most blacks surveyed said having to show an I.D. won't prevent them from coming to the polls. I mean, come on. You gotta bring more than that to scare us off; if that was your intention.
Indy Star: Some blacks are wary of effect of voter ID bill
AJC: Foes rip passage of voter ID bill
Jackson Free Press: Voter Fraud ... Wink, Wink
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