Friday, December 31, 2010

Black Social Commentary from – 12/31/10

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

President Obama’s Statements about Michael Vick: What Do They Really Mean?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Anyone following the worlds of sports and politics heard about President Barack Obama's decision to congratulate the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles for giving the embattled Michael Vick another chance to shine. The president called Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie to tell him that he condemns the crimes for which Vick has been convicted, but believes that those who've paid debts for their crimes deserve a second chance to contribute to society.

The symbolism of this moment can't be missed. Here we have an African American male going out of his way to express support for another black male coming out of the criminal justice system. While none of us knows Obama's true intentions, his public support for Michael Vick reminds us of the intricate connections that exist between many black males from all walks of life (Al Sharpton and I discussed thisvery same issue yesterday with regard to the arrest of the father of NBA star OJ Mayo): educated black politicians/doctors/lawyers who love sports have a great deal in common with athletes, who in turn have something in common with men in the criminal justice system, hip hop, etc. It's all connected at the end of the day (notice the close friendships between men like LeBron James and the rapper Jay-Z and the fact that many artists have friends who deal drugs).


Click to read.


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Monday, December 27, 2010

CNNSI Writer Says Terrelle Pryor Should Go Pro

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

In an interesting article for CNN/Sports Illustrated, writer Andy Staples lays out some compelling arguments regarding why Ohio State University quarterback Terrelle Pryor should leave behind the chains of the NCAA and find his way to the NFL. He says the same for four other Ohio State players,Boom Herron, DeVier Posey, Mike Adams and Solomon Thomas, who are expected to serve a five game suspension next season for selling some of their gear exchange for a little cash and free tattoos. Staples argues that the NCAA is exploiting these young men by punishing them for making money off their own names and images, even though the NCAA earns money from the very same images.

"Go pro. Do it immediately after the Sugar Bowl. Play the game, take a shower, and sign with the agent of your choice. Then go drink a Hand Grenade at Tropical Isle to celebrate," Staples said. "You can go to the NFL or the CFL or the UFL, where you'll be paid when someone profits from your name or likeness. You'll be fairly compensated for your contribution to your team's gross revenue. Should you benefit from your notoriety, you won't be punished."


Click to read.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Dr. Boyce Video: Black Economic Empowerment

Dr. Boyce Watkins on AOL Black Voices: Economic Prosperity

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Zachary Rinkins is serious about money. He's been running a very popular financial blog for the past several years, and has positioned himself as one of the most respected financial bloggers in the black community. I love what Zachary is doing because he reflects a generation of young people who are interested in seeing themselves empowered through economic success.


Click to read.




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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ivy League Student Busted with $150K Worth of Heroin

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Keri Blakinger, a senior at Cornell University, was arrested this week with $150,000 worth of heroin in her possession. The arrest represents the second largest drug bust in the history of the Ithaca, NY police department. Blakinger was carrying the drugs in a tupperware bowl and immediately admitted that the drugs belonged to her.

According to her Facebook page, Blakinger was an English major. There is no word on what sentence could be, but given the magnitude of New York drug laws, she may be in prison for a very long time.
The Blakinger case at Cornell is a telling reminder that drug abuse occurs on quite a few campuses across the country and not just in urban communities. This is not the first Ivy League drug ring to be brought to light. Others have been found at Harvard, Columbia and other well-regarded campuses. But while bad behavior knows few boundaries, there is a stark disparity in the way that drug possession and use is prosecuted, and much of that variation runs along racial lines.

Click to read.


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Ohio State Players Suspended for Improper Benefits

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Terrelle Pryor, the star quarterback for the Ohio State Buckeyes, is set to be suspended for four games next season as a result of receiving improper benefits. He wasn't the only Buckeye kicked out for 1/3 of next season: Four other players were also suspended: Daniel Herron, DeVier Posey, Mike Adams and Solomon Thomas are among the guilty and condemned.
Adams is being asked to repay $1,000 for selling his 2008 Big Ten Championship ring and Heron was busted for selling his jersey, pants and shoes for $1,000. Also among the list of offenses being investigated was that the players received free tattoos in exchange for autographs.
When I read this story, I thought, "Here we go again, the NCAA participating in their typical sanctimonious and hypocritical behavior."


Click to read.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Still Seeking Out the Women in Hip Hop – an Interview with Madam Prezident

Dr. Boyce Watkins on AOL Black Voices: Hip Hop Women

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why there are no women in hip hop. I've asked this question of some of my friends in the game, but none of them seem to have a good answer. So, I figured that I would do the same thing I did with my mother when I was a child: Keep asking the question until the answer starts to make sense.
There is a plethora of talented artists in hip hop, but most of them are men. We know that women possess the talent to be successful, and we simply have to give them the opportunity. Well, this is the topic that I am going to discuss today with Madam Prezident, aka Shanelle Walker. She is an amazing spoken word and hip hop artist and represents one of the most talented artists in the world today.


Click to read


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Duchess Harris: The State of Black Women Under President Obama

by Duchess Harris 

History was made in November 2008. Record breaking numbers of voters lined up to vote the first African-American President into office, with Barack Obama handily beating Arizona Republican Senator John McCain, winning 52% of the electoral vote, a clear mandate for change.[1] African-Americans made up 13% of the electorate, a two percent increase from the 2006 elections,[2] and approximately 95% of black voters cast their ballots in favor of Obama.[3] Within that 13%, black women had the highest voter turnout rate among all racial, gender, and ethnic groups.[4]

As the election results were posted, the media and the President-elect himself made grand proclamations about the significance of the election, as well as what it portended for the country's future. New York Times writer Adam Nagourney described voters' election of Obama as "sweeping away the last racial barrier in American politics," continuing with a quote from Obama's victory speech in Grant Park, Chicago:

If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.... It's been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this date in this election at this defining moment, change has come to America.[5]


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Sunday, December 19, 2010

How the Prison Industrial Complex Works: America’s Practice of Slavery

The United States has less than 5% of the world’s population, but we incarcerate 25% of all the prisoners in the world. We leave China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, and all the other nations we like to look down our noses at far in the dust. We not only lockup more of our citizens than all totalitarian nations, we even lockup more people than China which has more than 4 times the number of Americans, and India which has almost 4 times the number of Americans, and Iran COMBINED. The US not only leads in the numbers of prisoners but far outpace China when measured per capita. We rank 1st among all nations with 715 prisoners per 100,000 people. China, ranks 71st with 119 prisoners per 100,000 people.

According to a report released by the Bureau of Prison Statistics, one out of every 32 adults in the United States was in prison, in jail, on probation, or on parole at the end of 2005.

US leaders love to point out China as a violator of human rights and their penchant for slave and prison labor. While it’s principled to point out abuses by the Chinese, Americans should also recognize that slavery is not only legal in the US, it’s also practiced. The 13th Amendment authorizes it, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” The key word here is “except” and being convicted of a crime in the United States is that exception.

In today’s America, drug laws have become the new Jim Crow laws, the prison/industrial complex has become the new plantation, and the warden has become the new overseer. America’s newest slaves aren’t picking cotton. They’re assembling computers, making women’s lingerie, booking airline flights over the phone, telemarketing for major corporations, and doing all kinds of tasks that free Americans used to be employed at doing. What appeared to be a normal plant closing by U.S. Technologies when it sold its electronics plant in Austin, was actually the company relocating its operations to a nearby Austin prison. One hundred and fifty “free” employees lost their jobs to the new slaves.

If you book a flight on TWA over the phone, a prisoner may be taking your order. If you buy yourself or your loved one something from Victoria Secret, it may have come from a prison in South Carolina. Corporations like Chevron, Boeing, IBM, Motorola, Honda, Toys R Us, Compaq, Dell, Texas Instruments, Honeywell, Hewett-Packard, Microsoft, Nordstrom’s, Revlon, Macy's, Pierre Cardin, Target Stores, and AT&T are a few of the ever-growing list of companies that are, or have at one time, used this kind of slave labor. Federal prisons operate under the trade name Unicor and use their prisoners to make everything from lawn furniture to congressional desks. Federal safety and health standards do not protect prison labor, nor do the National Labor Relations Board policies nor does the minimum wage apply. Corporations that use slave labor don’t pay overtime, sick days, pensions, and don’t have to deal with unions for this work. Prison/slaves are paid about 25 cents an hour.

Who are these new slaves?



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Tiger's Brother Says He Cut off the Family

Tiger's Brother says that Tiger thinks his family "doesn't measure up." ;

Bishop Eddie Long Break-in: Video Says It Was About Evidence, not Money

Bishop Eddie Long's accusers explain why they broke into his house. ;

Hip Hop Artists Speak Up on Georgia Prison Strike

The rapper Vigalantee speaks up out on the Georgia prison strike and human rights for inmates around the country. ;

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Kwame Kilpatrick Gets Hit with a New Indictment

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was indicted this week on even more corruption charges. These charges also implicated his father, Bernard Kilpatrick. Federal prosecutors argue that Kwame and his father engaged in a "pattern of extortion, bribery and fraud," leading to the 38-count indictment.
U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade is at the forefront of the investigation. "This indictment alleges an audacious and far-reaching abuse of the public trust by a group of high-level city officials and their close associates," McQuade said during a press conference.
McQuade even refers to the conspiracy as the "Kilpatrick Enterprise," claiming that the goal of the enterprise was to enrich Kwame Kilpatrick and his family members. They argue that Kilpatrick and his family used their positions of influence to coerce others into helping them achieve their objectives. Kilpatrick served as Mayor of Detroit from 2005 until 2008. He was removed from office upon pleading guilty to obstruction of justice. He is currently serving a prison term that relates to violating the conditions of his probation.


Click to read. 


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Friday, December 17, 2010

Why We Should All Support the Georgia Prison Strike

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

You may have heard about the prison strike occurring in Georgia right now.  Inmates in four facilities have come together in an amazing show of solidarity to demand that they be treated like (gasp) human beings, not slaves or animals.  Rather than continuing to fall for the game of divide and conquer that has kept them apart for so long, the whites, blacks, Muslims, Mexicans, and other groups have mobilized forces to fight for something worthwhile.

The guards and wardens of these prisons are nervous.  For the longest time, they were able to convince the inmates to take their aggression out on each other.  Now that the intellectual and spiritual guns are pointed at their overseers, the inmates are gaining access to the liberation that has been denied to them for so very long.  The Georgia prison strike is not just a one-time event; it is a model for success in organizing that can be replicated around the country.

I stand with these men as they fight for what they deserve, while fully understanding that they must pay a debt to society.  They are not asking for anything dramatic, just the basics of what any human being might expect:  an escape from involuntary servitude, adequate healthcare, educational opportunities, the ability to see their families without exorbitant expense and just parole decisions.  They are not asking to be treated like royalty or to even be released without good cause.  They are simply demanding that they be allowed to repay their debt to America and simultaneously create sustainable paths toward contributing to the society in which they live.  These men and women are not garbage to be thrown out and destroyed, but are actually individuals with tremendous productive capacity that remains untapped in a system structured to ruin both good people and bad.

Click to read.



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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

73 Year Old Black Woman in Amazing Physical Shape

Check out this 73-year old woman - it will amaze you. ;

Doctors Believe that Stem Cells May Have Cured Man’s HIV

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

A shocking medical breakthrough has gotten the attention of the world. Scientists strongly believe that a patient being treated for HIV infection may have been cured through the use of adult stem cells. Timothy Ray Brown, a man known as "the Berlin Patient," received an adult stem cell transplant for a case of leukemia he'd developed. But after extensive testing, doctors claim that his HIV has been cured. The results of the study were reported in the journal "Blood." The transplant took place in 2007.
After seeing the success of Brown's case, doctors are confident that they can possibly construct a cure for HIV by using genetically-engineered stem cells. In addition to the Brown case, doctors also found that healthy patients who take antiretrovirals, which are typically prescribed to HIV patients, can reduce their chances of infection by 73 percent.


Click to read.

Elaine Brown discusses GA Prison Strike

Prisoners are on strike in GA - Elaine Brown speaks on it. ;

Gunman Opens Fire at a School Board Meeting

After finding out that his wife had been fired, this man decided to take the law into his own hands. ;

HS Basketball Player Attacks Ref for Calling Foul

Watch this high school basketball player fight the referee after he called a foul on him. ;

Monday, December 13, 2010

10 HBCUs Renew Accreditation: Fisk and Tenn State Have Problems

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Ten Historically Black Colleges in the south had their accreditation renewed last week by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Two HBCUs, Fisk University and Tennessee State, were placed on "warning" status, with their accreditation pending their commitment to resolving some issues brought up by the evaluation committee. The warning status is one step away from probation, which can lead to the loss of accreditation.

The universities approved for accreditation included Alabama State, Bethune Cookman, Grambling, North Carolina A&T, Prairie View, South Carolina State, Southern University-Baton Rouge, Xavier of New Orleans, Virginia Union and Winston Salem State University in North Carolina.

Universities must seek out accreditation once every 10 years. There are over 80 different standards that campuses must meet to be reaffirmed. Accreditation is important for every university, with some HBCUs struggling to make the mark. The struggle can be linked directly to a lack of resources, leading to many HBCUs hiring professors from other countries to fulfill research requirements. In fact, in business and the sciences, many HBCUs don't have more than one or two African American professors, which seems to defeat the purpose of attending an HBCU in the first place.


Click to read.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Major Protests in Six Georgia Prisons: Inmates Demand Human Rights

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Six major prisons in the state of Georgia have begun a strong peaceful protest against inhumane conditions in the facilities in which they live. The protest is unique because it represents a coalition of black, brown and white inmates, jumping the line of racial segregation so prominent in prisons across America.
While the wardens at the prisons are not speaking to the public, the public is certainly speaking to the system. Across the nation, supporters of the movement are making calls to various officials to request that they help with the problem (you can see who to call by clicking here).
Thousands of inmates stayed in their cells Thursday, leading to strong and swift retaliation by the prison guards. According to those familiar with recent events, inmates have been beaten and had their personal items destroyed. Inmates also say that the authorities have cut off their hot water and shut off the heat when outside temperatures were in their 30s.


Click to read.



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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cam Newton Wins Heisman In the Middle of Controversy

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Auburn quarterback Cam Newton became the 76th winner of the Heisman Trophy, considered to be the most prestigious award in all of college football. Newton won the award this week, making him the third player in Auburn University history to win the trophy. His stellar play on the field led to Auburn having a 13-0 record and playing for the BCS Championship.

Quite simply, Newton is an absolute beast. He led the SEC in rushing with 1,409 yards. He was simultaneously the nation's top-rated passer with 2,589 yards passing and 28 touchdown tosses. He also scored another 21 touchdowns rushing.

Click to read.

Study: Obama Perceived as Being More Black Than White

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action

A recent study out of Harvard University has concluded that the typical adult American sees mixed-race Americans like Barack Obama and Halle Berry as being more black than white. The study, conducted by Arnold K. Ho, a doctoral student of Psychology at Harvard, says that even when bi-racial people are equally mixed with both the white and black races, they are seen as being more black than white.
Ho conducted the study with James Sidanius, a Professor of Psychology and African American studies, also at Harvard.
The authors interpret their findings to relate to the "one-drop rule," based on a 1662 law in Virginia that connected mixed-race individuals to their lower social class. Even as recently as 1985, a Louisiana court ruled that a woman with a black great-great-great-great grandmother could not claim that she was white on her passport.
"One of the remarkable things about our research on hypodescent is what it tells us about the hierarchical nature of race relations in the United States," Sidanius said. "Hypodescent against blacks remains a relatively powerful force within American society."


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Friday, December 10, 2010

Father of Gynecology Experimented on Slaves with No Anesthesia

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

University of Illinois Professor Deborah McGregor has helped to shed an important piece of history to the American public. Dr. McGregor has noted that Dr. James Marion Sims, considered the father of modern gynecology, developed many of his techniques by operating on slaves, many of whom were not given anesthesia.
Professor McGregor, the author of 'From Midwives to Medicine: The Birth of American Gynecology," said "There is no doubt that he carried out experiments on women, and that he was only able to do so because they were slaves."

Part of the controversy regarding Sims centers around a statue placed near Fifth Avenue and 103rd Street in New York City. The statue is located next to the New York Academy of Medicine, in a neighborhood that is majority Black and Puerto-Rican. put a poll on it's website that asks: "Should the NYC Parks Department remove the statue of Dr. Marion Sims from its East Harlem location considering his experiments on female and infant slaves?"


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Geoffrey Canada Was Reportedly First Pick for NYC School Chancellor

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

It has been reported that Geoffrey Canada, head of the Harlem Children's Zone, was the first choice to become Chancellor of the New York City Public Schools. Canada is well-respected for championing the cause of educating children from urban communities who've had their futures continuously sabotaged by public school systems across America.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg reportedly reached out to Canada before choosing Cathleen Black, a woman with 40-years of experience in fields that don't involve education. Bloomberg has been under fire for his decision, given that many were hoping that a minority with meaningful educational experience would be the one to lead a school district dominated by a black and brown presence.


Click to read.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dr. Boyce Money Profile on AOL: Clothing for Plus Size Women

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

I was on the phone the other day with a friend of mine who is far more well-known than I'll ever be. We talk about nearly everything under the sun and I find that our friendship bears a great deal of intellectual fruit. One of the interesting things about my friend is that she has a famous body, known specifically for having the kinds of curves that only a black woman can possess. I asked her if all the attention ever bothered her, and she said "No. What bothers me is that I can't find any clothes that fit!"

This conversation re-opened my eyes to the struggles that women of color have when it comes to finding clothes that work with the beautiful look God gave them. I then decided to do a Dr. Boyce AOL Black Voices Profile on Monif C. Clarke, one of the brilliant minds behind Monif C. Plus Sizes, a company that specializes in selling contemporary plus size clothing. Here is what she had to say:


Click to read.

Nicki Minaj and Lil Kim Should be Allies, Not Enemies

nicki minaj lil kim

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

There was a time when my daughter and I could never see eye-to-eye.  We fought regularly, and even had times where we didn’t speak.  Through the struggle, it was the most prominent part of our joint DNA that made us the most contentious. Everyone could see how much we were alike: we think the same, look the same, have the same mannerisms, and even have the same taste buds.  Most significantly, we are both strong-willed, principled and don’t take B.S. from anybody.  The things that made us most similar were part of what drove us to bump heads.

When I think about the time I lost fighting with the little girl I love so much, I realized how we would have been great allies if we hadn’t fooled ourselves into becoming enemies.  This also makes me think about the on-going hip hop beef between Lil Kim and Nicki Minaj, two women who are so much alike that they want to kick each other’s asses.


click to read.

Derrell Johnson-Koulianos: U. Iowa Star Receiver Accused of Running a Drug House

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Derrell Johnson-Koulianos is the star wide receiver for the Iowa Hawkeyes. Well, he was the star receiver until this weekend. Iowa City police just arrested Johnson-Koulianos on a long list of drug charges, including: possession of a controlled substance, keeping a drug house and unlawful possession of prescription drugs. Police allegedly found cocaine, marijuana and prescription drugs in his home, along with $3,000 in cash.
Johnson-Koulianos is currently in the Johnson County Jail in Iowa City, being held on $8,000 bail. His first court appearance was set to occur Wednesday morning. Clearly, the city and coaching staff are in shock over recent events.

Click to read.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

LeBron Gets Taunted by Cleveland Browns Fans Who Call Him a “Traitor”

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

LeBron James was in Miami, eating at a restaurant with his best friend, Maverick Carter. Inside the restaurant there were roughly 30 Cleveland Browns fans who decided to taunt James during dinner. The group started chanting the word "traitor" over and over again at James until they were asked to leave. After they left the restaurant, the group even waited outside for James to leave with his friend. Using wise judgment, James left out a side entrance to avoid a confrontation.
I'm not sure why LeBron's case has stood out so readily for Cleveland sports fans. He's not the first player to leave a team to take another deal. He's also the guy who gave seven years of his heart to the city of Cleveland. To some extent, Cavs fans are reminding LeBron of his greatness when they cling onto him like a long lost parent. If he were a mediocre player, they wouldn't be nearly this emotional.

The NCAA is Racial Segregation at It’s Finest

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 


If you were to go to most college campuses around the country and ask them to make an investment in students or faculty, their excuses would start with the economy. They would drone on and on about how little wiggle room they have to make financial investments, primarily because the economic downturn has strained their finances beyond measure.

If you are one of the thousands of black families sending your son or daughter to the NCAA to build their multi-billion dollar coffers, they would tell you that paying the athletes or their families is simply impossible. They would convince you that in spite of the fact that the athletes and their families are the most important part of their revenue-generating process, universities simply cannot afford to share their money. Even if you are homeless and your child can’t buy groceries, you must stand to the side as others earn millions from your child’s athletic labor.


Click to read.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Black Athletes Not Graduating at Same Rate as Whites

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in sport issued a report this week claiming that the gap in graduation rates between white and black college athletes has grown. Among the 70 teams playing in bowl games this month, graduation rate for black athletes grew slightly, from 58 percent to 60 percent. For white players, the rate went from 77 percent to 80 percent. Therefore, the gap in graduation rates between white and black players is 20 percent.
"That the gap increased rather than decreased is particularly disappointing," said Richard Lapchick, who conducted the study. "The fact that the disparity is bigger now than 2009 is cause for trying to figure out what we eed to do to narrow the gap."
Lapchick argues that much of the gap in graduation rates between white and black players can be attributed to many of them coming from underfunded inner city schools. He found that roughly one-quarter of all schools participating in bowl games graduated less than half their African American players, and that one-fifth of the schools have graduation rates for black players that are at least 30 percentage points lower than the rate for white players.


Click to read.

Dr. Wilmer Leon Speaks on Black Politics – 12/6/10

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Burger King Commercial: Very strange Black Man

Does this commercial remind you of black women dating black men on the downlow? ;

Juan Williams Says that Extending Jobless Benefits Hurts People's Values

Fox News commentator Juan Williams says that extending jobless benefits hurts American values. ;

Friday, December 3, 2010

Black Unemployment is On the Rise Again

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Today's release of November unemployment data is not good news for President Obama. Unemployment rose nationally to 9.8 percent, after holding steady at 9.6 percent for the previous three months. The jobless rate jumped for nearly every racial/gender demographic. White women still have the lowest unemployment rate of both genders, when comparing African Americans and whites. Black males have the highest.

Black unemployment rose again from 15.7 percent to 16 percent. This number is slightly lower than the high of 16.3 percent experienced back in August. When scaled with the white unemployment rate of 8.9 percent, the black unemployment rate is 79.8 percent higher than that of white Americans.


Click to read.

Former Colorado Coach Says New Coach Hired Because He is Black

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Jon Embree is a former tight end for The University of Colorado. He is currently an assistant coach for the Washington Redskins. The rumor mill has it that Embree may soon take the next step of becoming head coach at his alma mater.
Typically, such a bold move by a university to give an African American coach a chance might be applauded. In this case, heads are turning because of confusing remarks made by former Colorado coach Bill McCartney.
McCartney, who was one of three finalists for the job as of Wednesday night, shut down speculation by stating that the university had informally offered the job to Embree. He also went as far as stating that Embree was offered the job because he is African American.
"It was never about me doing it again," McCartney told the Denver Post. "It was about setting the table for a black man to come in (as head coach). And he (athletic director Mike Bohn) hired one. Now, give him a chance."


Click to read.

Tynielle Silvera: Honor Student Killed by Drunk Driver


by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Tynielle Silvera was the kind of person we all want our children to be. She was making good grades, on her way to college and even tutoring other kids in the neighborhood. She was planning on becoming an attorney, and had become her mother's pride and joy.
Silvera's dreams for the future came to a screeching halt this week, as she was run down by a drunk driver as she was crossing the street.
The perpetrator of the crime, Kenneth Serwan, is a 46-year old married father of three who'd been convicted of drunk driving in the past. He is being held on $100,000 bail. At the time of her death, Tynielle was crossing the highway to take the train back home after heading to Bedford-Stuyvesant, where she'd been tutoring 13-year old Leanora Genus.


Click to read.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

How Sports Marginalizes Black Men from Society


by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 


I was driving out of Atlanta the other day, speaking to my baby sister.  She listens to me ramble, and that’s why I love her.  Our topic for the day was black men and sports.  I mentioned how I turned on ESPN in my hotel room (all 10 million channels) and saw nothing but brothers on every channel. If there wasn’t a court full of black men dribbling a basketball, there were black men in pads banging each other up on the football field.

The presence of Americanized Apartheid was evident by noting that while the men doing the work were black, the men on the sidelines getting paid millions of dollars were white, as were the fans in the stands enjoying the entertainment.


Click to read.