Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Black Commentators Speak – 12/23/09

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Terry Bowden’s Great Quote about Racism in College Football

Terry Bowden, former head football coach at Auburn University, had this to say about the NCAA’s lack of black coaches in college football:

“Many presidents won't hire black coaches because they are worried about how alumni and donors will react.”

He also makes this clear and interesting point when it comes to the NCAA’s lack of regard for hiring minority coaches:

“There are 117 colleges participating in Division I-A football and there are only three black head coaches. You don't have to be too smart to know how stupid this looks.

Let me lay it out for you:

 Fifty percent black athletes leads to 25 percent black assistant coaches leads to 3 percent black head coaches.

 Fifty percent white athletes leads to 75 percent white assistant coaches leads to 97 percent white head coaches.”

Friday, December 18, 2009

News: Beyonce’s Parents are Divorcing

Word on the street is that they are splitting up.  It’s about damn time – the marriage was alleged to have been for the kids anyway.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Presidential Candidate Writes SU on Behalf of Dr. Boyce Watkins


Chancellor Cantor:

I write this letter with fond memories of interactions with the wonderful students at Syracuse University.  While on your campus, I found the students to be both thoughtful and welcoming:  perfect for a university campus.

I write to lend my full support for Dr. Boyce Watkins and his tenure application at Syracuse University.  Dr. Watkins has raised the profile of Syracuse University as he informs our national community on money matters as well as matters of the conscience.  And at this particular time in our country's history, financial literacy must be viewed as an important life skill.  Dr. Boyce is doing for America what he does in Syracuse University classrooms every class meeting period.  So why would Syracuse University not want such a prolific and publicly appealing face as its representative?

Ultimately, Dr. Boyce must be judged by what he does in the classroom and in publications.  Does Dr. Boyce elevate Syracuse University and does he elevate his field?  Dr. Boyce demonstrates "academics in action" and makes scholarship relevant.  Why should Dr. Boyce's scholarship and activism (which elevates Syracuse University) not be rewarded by a grant of tenure from Syracuse University?

As a former Member of Congress and Green Party candidate for President of the United States, I realize that political complexities can play a role in the decision to grant tenure to faculty on most American campuses. As I have just concluded successful organizing against war that brought together four 2008 Presidential candidates, I am reminded of the clean break that Dr. King had to make with his friends of the civil rights movement when he decided to speak out against the Vietnam War.  But Dr. King intoned that he had been fighting segregation too long to segregate his moral concerns.  Your decision with respect to Dr. Boyce is both political and moral.  And so, I will end with one very famous Dr. King quote and hope that the leadership of Syracuse University will do in this decision what is right:

"Cowardice asks the question - is it safe?
Expediency asks the question - is it politic?
Vanity asks the question - is it popular?
But conscience asks the question - is it right?
And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it because it is right."

Cynthia McKinney


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dr Boyce Watkins: Where Eric Holder Got it Wrong

by Dr. Boyce Watkins 

Elliot Millner brought it to my attention that Attorney General Eric Holder has been apparently spending a lot of time with Bill Cosby these days. In a recent speech at a black church in Queens, NY, Holder took a page out of the Barack Obama Campaign Catalog and chose to win favors with the black middle class by recklessly bashing away at absentee fathers and returning to the whole "ya'll just need to grow up and be more responsible" argument that allows any politician to explain away a blatant disregard for meaningful public policy. Rather than talking about things that we can do as a society to take our collective foot off the necks of black men, he chose to say that black men are choosing to put the foot on their own necks.
Elliot Millner, who is also in the legal profession, intelligently said the things that I am sure Eric Holder wanted to say. But unlike Holder, Millner is not constrained by the political shackles that come with being an appointed leader in a society that makes a habit of oppressing, destroying and marginalizing black men.
In his speech, Holder said that, "It should simply be unacceptable for a man to have a child and then not play an integral part in the raising and nurturing of the child."
That quote is a nice way of reflecting on the obvious. It's sort of like saying, "It should be unacceptable for a black man to become the Attorney General of the United States and not play an integral part in helping other black men overcome the blatantly racist and destructive justice system over which you preside."

Click to read.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Tiger Woods and Race: Are there any racial complexities here?

Dr. Boyce Watkins is on CNN with Don Lemon wondering if Tiger Woods will be "OJ Simpsonized" by the recent events in his personal life.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

News: Syracuse Students Discuss Dr. Boyce’s SU Legacy

Watkins, a finance professor at SU, is ignored by the administration.

By Naresh Vissa

In January 2007, college student Heather Ellis and her cousin stood in two lines at Wal-Mart. They agreed that the first to reach a register would combine the items for purchase. When the African-American Ellis gave her cousin the groceries, bystanders behind complained that she had cut. After some verbal exchanges, Ellis walked to her car and found the police waiting to arrest her. She tried her best to resist and suffered numerous cuts and bruises in the process.

Today, Ellis should be in medical school. Instead, she has pled guilty to charges of disturbing the peace and resisting arrest, both misdemeanors.

The case was covered by CNN, MSNBC, ABC News, Good Morning America, The Today Show and every major black media outlet in America. Even more importantly, Syracuse University is connected to it, but hasn’t issued any statements. As a producer of two radio shows, I myself find it embarrassing that I discovered Ellis through a press release pitch e-mail I received.

At the forefront of all the outrage is Whitman School of Management Finance Professor Dr. Boyce Watkins, but it’s not getting any attention from SU administrators.

“I’ve come to accept the fact that the University is not appreciative of my work,” Watkins said. “It’s part of their tradition when it comes to progressive black scholars. If I’d learned to sit down and shut up, I might be treated better. Quiet Negroes do quite well in academia.”

Click to read.