Saturday, March 27, 2010

Resegregation of North Carolina Schools Leads to Massive Protests

The school board in Wake County, which holds the capital city of North Carolina, agreed on Tuesday to turn back a busing policy designed to achieve diversity. The decision was approved by the board in a 5 to 4 vote and led to a tremendous amount of controversy. The rule allows students to attend schools closer to home and leads to what some critics consider to be the resegregation of the school system.

The gathering led to students chanting and protesting outside the meeting. Three men were arrested and charged with trespassing and resisting officers. One of the men were released, while two others remained in jail on Tuesday night.

"Hey, hey. Ho, ho. Resegregation has got to go," an arrested man chanted as officers placed him in the back of a squad car.

State NAACP Chief William Barber accused the new school board of having "racist attitudes," after hearing the chairman of the board referring to his critics as "animals out of the cages."

"It's morally wrong. It's legally wrong. It's economically wrong," Barber said. "Your press to go backward will only serve to intensify our moral, political and legal fight to go forward. We will never go back."

Suburban parents have always felt busing to be a tremendous inconvenience. These parents, many of whom are white and middle class, argue that their children should be able to attend schools in their own neighborhoods. Suburban parents worked to get the new school board in place, leading to the change in the law.

Bill Randall, a black conservative running for Congress, stated that the diversity program was not a serious problem.

"Let this school board do what they were elected to do," Randall said.

The situation in North Carolina is disturbing for a number of reasons. First, the idea that the chairman would refer to his critics, many of whom are black, brown and poor as "animals" is reflective of the kind of racism that exists in the South. This is similar to the recent incident in South Carolina (down the road), where many conservatives are appalled that black lawmakers are asking for just one seat on the 16-seat board of trustees at The University of South Carolina. Some in the South, particularly conservatives, maintain a perception of black people as being less than human, less than capable and less than deserving of true equality when it comes to power and opportunity.

On the issue of school desegregation, we must realize that desegregation was necessary mainly because the schools that were attended by black children were so inadequately funded. If there were equality of funding for all schools across America, I would be the first in line to advocate for children to be allowed to attend schools that are closer to home. The problem is, though, that dramatic differentials in opportunity, between inner-city and suburban schools, continue to make quality public education, for the most part, something that is only available or affordable to white America.

So, rather than being angry at the parents who want their kids to have a chance to attend better schools, suburban parents should look at the school boards and government officials who continue to keep educational resources away from children in urban America. Until we learn how to achieve true equality, we are always going to be faced with a fight.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and the author of the new book, "Black American Money." To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email.

California Board of Regents Apologizes for Racially-Motivated Incidents

The University of California Board of Regents got together for two hours on Wednesday to discuss racial and homophobic incidents that have occurred on their campuses recently. Two of the incidents involved the use of a racial epithet on a student television show at UC San Diego and swastikas painted and carved on multiple locations at UC Davis. An anti-gay slogan was spray painted on the UC Davis gay and lesbian center, and some UC San Diego students held a "Compton Cookout," featuring insulting images of African Americans.

The group decided to issue an apology to the incidents.

"It is the absence of inclusion that frees hatred, that frees bigotry, that allows it to go unchallenged. That's our biggest problem," regent Eddie Island said.

Mark Yudof, president of the University of California system, acknowledged the "Compton Cookout" incident and even mentioned the low African American enrollment on campus. He then argued that he wants all UC campuses to adopt an admissions process that he considers to be "holistic" in the way students are reviewed. The process would include evaluating test scores and high school grades in the context of life experience.

"I want a system that is less mechanical and takes a serious look at a range of talents and skills and history, and takes into account poverty," Yudof said.

UC San Diego, where the Compton Cookout took place allows for holistic review. But Yudof stated that he would like to use the same system at all nine of the UC undergraduate campuses. What is most interesting, however, is that Yudof should remember that talk is cheap and apologies only matter when you put your money where your mouth is. The truth is that if you do an analysis of the number of African American professors on most of the campuses in the UC system, you are probably going to be extremely disappointed. But I imagine that while the universities swear up and down that they can't find qualified black professors (although there are thousands out there), they have no problem going to South Central Los Angeles to find the next great black basketball phenom.

Most of us around the country are aware of the race problem at University of California colleges and universities. Since Ward Connerly was able to get Proposition 209 passed in the state, many of the state's universities are suffering an embarrassing litany of diversity issues that have turned the state into a prototype of racial exclusion. An environment that lacks diversity in the student and faculty body ultimately serves as an incubator for racial ignorance. When students make bad decisions, it is up to us as faculty to question what it is that we are teaching them.

Dr. Yudof and his colleagues would be well-advised to understand that we live in a world in which black and brown people are a significant and relevant piece of the global experience. By denying their students the opportunity to learn from faculty who come from under-represented minority groups, they are stealing their chance to understand America. By refusing to admit black and brown students, they are allowing UC students to learn about us by watching BET and NBA games. Therefore, the white students choosing to hold a "Compton Cookout" is a reflection of their most accurate and appropriate representation of people of color.

I spoke last month at Stanford University, only to find myself disturbed by the deflated spirits of many of the African American students. While Stanford is not part of the UC system, there was a general perception that diversity was no longer valued in California, and that the black and brown academic holocaust is being ignored. During this holocaust, student futures are being destroyed by those determined to raise the height of gates one is required to jump in order to obtain admission to their institutions. Had I grown up in that state, I never would have gone to college, and that would have ruined my life.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and the author of the new book, "Black American Money." To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email.

Kwame Kilpatrick's Family to be Deposed About Stripper's Murder

There's never a dull moment for former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. A judge ordered Kilpatrick's wife and father to answer questions in a civil lawsuit related to the shooting death of a stripper.

The family of the woman, whose name is Tamara Greene, claim that Kilpatrick stifled a probe into the woman's death in 2003. Her nickname was Strawberry, and she was believed to have performed at a party at the mayoral mansion in 2002.

U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen said that lawyers for the Greene family can speak with Carlita Kilpatrick (Kwame Kilpatrick's wife), Bernard Kilpatrick (his father) and a former Detroit police chief. The reasons for their depositions are not yet known.

A former police records clerk claims that she saw a report stating that Carlita Kilpatrick beat Greene. The Kilpatricks are denying the allegation. Kwame Kilpatrick resigned as mayor after pleading guilty to obstruction of justice.

The legendary death of Strawberry the stripper, which appeared to be a calculated hit, is a tale that has intrigued Detroit residents for years. A rapper made a song about her, and people have whispered for years about how she was "coincidentally" found dead shortly after being wrapped in the drama of an embattled and powerful politician.

The story was made even more shocking when the attorney for Greene's family was allegedly told by the city attorney that "(He'll) end up face down in an alley with a knife in his back" if he chooses to depose individuals who draw too much media attention to the case. Yes, Detroit politics is apparently off the chain. I won't be running for office there anytime soon.

I feel sorry for Kwame Kilpatrick, who was no doubt being congratulated incessantly for having so much success at an early age. Now his life of luxury and power has been replaced with the humiliation of his family, stressful court dates, massive fines, jail time and perpetual disgrace. It is a reminder that all which glitters isn't gold and that access to power requires an increased dose of caution and responsibility.

To read more on the scandal, check out 'Attorney's Life Allegedly Threatened in Case Involving Kwame Kilpatrick.'

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and author of the new book, 'Black American Money

Teen charged in 2nd racial incident at NJ Walmart

teenager who allegedly made an announcement earlier this month ordering all black people to leave a southern New Jersey Walmart has been charged in a similar incident at the same store just after Christmas.
The 16-year-old Atlantic County boy, whose name was not released because he is a juvenile, was charged last week with harassment and bias intimidation in the March 14 incident.

Washington Township police said Thursday that the teen did the same thing Dec. 28 at the Gloucester County store. Police were not initially notified of that incident, but store officials turned over surveillance video this week.

Walmart has apologized and made changes to the store's intercom system to prevent future incidents. source

Health Care Bill Hits Companies In Wallet

Well, it has started. Major companies are already adding up the mounting costs of the health care takeover law recently signed by Obama:

AT&T Inc. will book $1 billion in first-quarter costs related to the health-care law signed this week by President Barack Obama, the most of any U.S. company so far.

AT&T, the biggest U.S. phone company, joins Caterpillar Inc., AK Steel Holding Corp. and 3M Co. in recording non-cash expenses against earnings as a result of the law. Health-care costs may shave as much as $14 billion from U.S. corporate profits, according to an estimate by benefits consulting firm Towers Watson. AT&T employed about 281,000 people as of the end of January.

AT&T previously received a tax-free benefit from the government to subsidize health-care costs for retirees, who would otherwise be on a Medicare Part D plan. Under the new bill, AT&T will no longer be able to deduct that subsidy.

“As a result of this legislation, including the additional tax burden, AT&T will be evaluating prospective changes to the active and retiree health-care benefits offered by the company,” the carrier said in the filing. Business Week

The health care takeover is costing businesses and their stockholders a lot of money. Businesses will have to make adjustments that will include removing retirees from subsidized plans and putting them on Medicare plans as well as downsizing the number of employees.

This will not be good for the economy.

The takeover is not about health and not about care. It is about control and about Socialism as pointed out by the NYT and other liberal sources.

We are watching the destruction of America.

Yep, this was a historic piece of legislation. Obama and his progressives will go down in history as the group that destroyed our way of life.

Never surrender, never submit.

Video: Sarah Palin stumps for John McCain in Arizona

Here is the full video of Sarah Palin stumping for John McCain in Arizona.

It is funny watching this video and thinking back to McCain’s concession speech. Sarah was not allowed to give her short speech. Today, McCain would probably give his eyetooth to have Sarah so much as wink to his audience. While McCain is still the same man he was then, Palin has grown by leaps and bounds.

Throughout Palin’s speech notice how she tried to cloak McCain in her brand of conservatism rather than sing praises for his. Also did you notice the immediate drop in enthusiasm once McCain took to the stage?

I cannot help but wonder how different things might have gone. Had the McCain campaign simply allowed Sarah to be Sarah, rather than trying to shoe horn her into McCain flawed RINO philosophies.

While some conservatives have a major problem with this endorsement, I don’t. After reading Going Rogue, I know she is doing it out of personal loyalty. I like Palin and her brand of conservatism, but just because she endorses someone, it doesn’t mean I have to vote for that candidate. If I were in Arizona, I would have gone to the rally, cheered Sarah, listen to McCain and then gone out and support JD Hayworth.

Rep. Artur Davis seeks to become Alabama's first African American governor

Rep. Artur Davis, long regarded as one of the most promising of a younger generation of black politicians that has emerged over the past decade, took a bold stance this week as he seeks to become the first African American governor of Alabama: distancing himself from the biggest legislative achievement of the first black president.

The four-term lawmaker joined 33 other Democrats, most of whom hail from the South, in opposing the health-care legislation that President Obama signed into law Tuesday. Davis originally voted against the House version of the legislation in November, and Democratic leaders did not spend much time trying to get him to change his vote, perhaps in a nod to the political dynamics of his state, where Obama won only 38 percent of the vote in 2008.

Read More..

Showdown in Searchlight: Tea party targets Reid

Sarah Palin and thousands of tea party activists plan to descend on Sen. Harry Reid's hometown in the Nevada desert Saturday to call for the ouster of Democrats who supported the health care overhaul.

Organizers predict as many as 10,000 people could come to tiny Searchlight, the hardscrabble former mining town where the Senate Democratic leader grew up and owns a home. But a light turnout or disruptions could lead to questions about the emerging movements' credibility and direction.

Since the health care vote, "Everyone is waiting to see if the tea party movement is reinvigorated or if we've resigned ourselves to defeat," Joe Wierzbicki, a spokesman for event sponsor Tea Party Express, said in an e-mail.

The rally that's been called a conservative Woodstock takes place just days after the historic health care vote that ushered in near-universal medical coverage and divided Congress and the nation.

The vote was followed by reports of threats and vandalism aimed at some Washington lawmakers, mostly Democrats who supported the new law.

Police don't expect problems but the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is sending dozens of uniformed and plainclothes officers to patrol the crowd.

Palin, the former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, is scheduled to appear after spending Friday campaigning for Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican who led the 2008 ticket.

Now a Fox News analyst and potential 2012 presidential candidate, Palin faced criticism after posting a map on her Facebook page that had circles and cross hairs over 20 Democratic districts. She also sent a tweet saying, "Don't Retreat, Instead - RELOAD!"

She said Friday she was alluding to votes, not guns.

A string of polls has shown Reid is vulnerable in politically moderate Nevada after pushing President Barack Obama's agenda in Congress. His standing has also been hurt by Nevada's double-digit unemployment and record foreclosure and bankruptcy rates.

The tea party movement is a far-flung coalition of conservative groups angered by Washington spending, rising taxes and the growth and reach of government. It takes its name from the Boston Tea Party in 1773, when colonists dumped tea off English ships to protest what they considered unfair taxation by the British crown.

The rally kicks off a 42-city bus tour that ends in Washington on April 15, tax day.

(Photo's) Marissa Miller in Bikini and Video

Secular challenger hails Iraq election victory

BAGHDAD - Former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi said Saturday his secular political alliance is open to bringing any of his rivals into a governing coalition that can restore Iraq's place in the Arab and Muslim world.