CONGRESS BOTH GIVES AND TAKES AWAY OPPORTUNITIES TO COLLEGE STUDENTS
Cheers to the Congress for holding interest rates on college loans down. Instead of doubling to 6.4 percent, the interest rate on federal college student loans will remain at the 3.2 percent level. However, this proviso is only in effect for one year. This time next year, congress will be waging the same fight. Young people, especially enrolled students and recent college grads, along with those who work in education, especially higher education, might want to think about these things when they head to the polls in November.
Of course a man like Mitt Romney might ask why the entire population ought to subsidized loan rates for college grads that needed to borrow to complete their educations. Why should we subsidize anybody? We subsidized the automobile industry with low cost loans because it helped up shore up our nation’s economic …
Ai-Jen Poo leads the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and she is a powerful and passionate advocate for the rights of domestic workers. Who are these folks? They are the private household workers (maids) who propped up inept women in the movie The Help. They are the home health aides who take care of our elders when they are ill or disabled, bringing meals, bathing them, and accompanying them to medical appointments. They are the nannies that care for children when parents are working. In some ways, they are a backbone of our economy, and yet they often have neither voice nor money.
I am struck by the situation of domestic workers when I listen to Ai-Jen present at the National Council for Research on Women’s annual conference. While some of us focus mostly on race, she is more likely to focus on class and the many ways that public policy …
The most conservative Supreme Court in the past four decades is poised to overturn the already limited affirmative action provisions in the latter part of this year (after October 1) unless good sense visits one or two of them and they vote in favor of student body diversity instead of against. Since Bush-appointed justices John Robert and Samuel Alito have joined the court as Chief Justice and Associate Justice, respectively, the court has voiced hostility to government uses of race.
The case, Fisher v. University of Texas, was brought by one Abigail Noel Fisher, a white woman student who did not qualify for the Texas Top Ten Percent plan, which automatically admits the top ten percent of every high school class in Texas to the University of Texas. Despite this, Ms. Fisher contends that she was denied Fourteen Amendment protection and was discriminated against because of her race. Her reasoning…
Congress is on fire to balance the federal budget, and they don’t care who they take as prisoners in the process. There are at least two proposals to freeze federal salaries for yet another year (they have been frozen since 2011), and to continue to demonize federal workers as do-nothing folks who don’t need raises. Meanwhile, president Obama has asked for a minimal half percent a year increase, and many in the private sector are seeing wages rise. Of course, everyone is struggling with unemployment rates rising to 8.2 percent. Still, it is onerous that federal employees seem to be bearing the brunt of this budget crisis.
It is even worse when we understand that African Americans make up 17.4 percent of the federal workforce, compared to 10.1 percent of the civilian labor force. Of course, the higher the pay grade the fewer African Americans, but whatever the pay grade …
In April the unemployment rate was 8.1 percent. In May it rose, just a tiny bit, to 8.2 percent. A tenth of a percentage point does not seem like a big deal. Indeed, the Department of Labor descries the unemployment rate as “essentially unchanged”. And compared to this time last year, when the rate was nine percent, people are mostly better off. But the magic number for many observers is a number below 8 percent. According to many, should the unemployment rate drop to 7.5 or even 7.8 percent, President Obama will have something to point to in terms of labor market progress. Should it rise above 8.5 percent, Republican candidate Romney can continue to pound on him about economic failure (that is, when his team is not misspelling “Amercia”). Between 7.8 percent and 8.5 percent is a question mark.
There is no help to be claimed from legislation and, …
When you leave the United States, you’ll often find “cultural tourism”, or the opportunity to enjoy a culture and also purchase trinkets or more substantial items in markets around the world. In Ghana, we look for kente cloth, statues, and masks. In other African countries, the offerings are often similar, but Zimbabwe is known for its marvelous and distinctive Shona sculpture. South African offers Ndebele dolls, among other items. And so it goes.
During my recent trip to Peru, I had the opportunity to buy genuine baby alpaca scarves, shawls, and even a coat. We also had an example of cultural tourism, perhaps at its worst, when we went to a village off the Amazon River and were allowed to go into a family’s home to “see how they lived”. Was their poverty exaggerated? It’s not clear that it was. But behind one closed door was a television set that…
When race, equality, and fairness are taken into consideration, there is far too much to be outraged about in these United States of American. Just a few minutes ago I learned that Andrew Bloomberg, the 29 year old police officer whose participation in the brutal beating of Chad Holley was found not guilty of the beating. The video of the beating has gone viral, and few doubt that an actual beating took place. Actually, using the word “beating” severely misstates the case against Bloomberg and some of his fellow officers (who have not been tried yet). In the video that I saw, Chad Holley is lying face down in pavement, surrounded by five offers who are kicking him in the head, shoulders and legs, and then stomping him all over his body and near his head. Bloomberg says they had to stomp Chris Holley because he was resisting arrest! I …
One hundred and nine Bennett College students shook my hand and received their diplomas on Saturday, May 5. With big smiles and a little swagger, they went through the time-honored ceremonies of baccalaureate and commencement. And, we were blessed to have phenomenal friends join us. Rev. Al Sharpton was our baccalaureate speaker, and the Hon. Alexis Herman was our graduation speaker. Wow! Between the two of them they offered lessons for graduates all over the world.
Rev. Sharpton is an exceptional leader, brother and friend. He made lots of accommodations (including taping his show) to get to Bennett on time. He was gracious, kind, and took pictures with all my folks. But most importantly, he brought an incredible message to the campus. He told our students to claim their crown, claim their destiny. He reminded them of the many ways that the rejected eventually prevail and asked them to claim …
President Barack Obama hit a home run when he traveled to three colleges last week, including the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Colorado at Boulder, and the University of Iowa. While Republicans called it a campaign trip to swing states, the fact is that, at the cusp of graduation season, President Obama did the right thing to share his feelings on legislation that would either increase the interest rate on subsidized Stafford student loans or take money from essential women’s health programs to maintain the 3.4 percent interest rate. In rallying students, President Obama is reminding them that their fate is in his hands. An increase in the Stafford loan program would affect 7.4 million students. Cutting $5.6 billion from women’s health programs would affect millions of women. Pitting women’s health against lower student loan rates makes no sense. We could make headway if we …
When Democratic commentator Hilary Rosen said that Ann Romney had “never worked a day in her life”, Ann Romney behaved as if she had just hit the lottery. She smugly made the media rounds talking about how hard it was for her to raise her five sons. And she’s right. Stay at home moms work extremely hard to cook, clean, run a shuttle for their children and their various activities, participate in school activities like “Room Mom” and “Cookie Mom”. How do I know, having never had chick or child? A very dear friend, a Harvard-educated lawyer, has been mostly home with her children, one of whom is my godson, for the past decade or so, and it shows.
I digress. Hilary Rosen misspoke when she said Ann Romney had never worked. What she, perhaps, might have said is that Ann Romney never needed to work in the paid labor …
- AT LAST
May 13, 2013
- THE FLAWED IMMIGRATION REFORM BILL
May 6, 2013
- ACHIEVEMENT GAP OR OPPORTUNITY GAP?
April 30, 2013
- DIVERSITY FOR CATHOLICS, NOT FOR OTHERS
March 18, 2013
- WHOSE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION HAS IMPROVED?
March 11, 2013
- TURNING THE CLOCK BACK ON VOTING RIGHTS
February 27, 2013
- STATE OF THE UNION HITS HIGH MARKS
February 19, 2013
- FASCISM BY ANOTHER NAME: WHOLE FOODS AND WHOLE FOOLS
February 11, 2013
- BUDGET CUTS WILL SLOW ECONOMY
February 5, 2013
- PRESIDENT OBAMA SPEAKS: ALL OF US, SOME OF US OF US, NONE OF US.
January 28, 2013
Other Julianne Malveaux
Haiti Oasis Institute
The War On Drugs Is A War On Us
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Black Family Summit
A collaborative of national Black professional organizations dedicated to promoting holistic principles, policies and practices to strengthen Black families and communities.
Damu Smith Leadership Development and Organizer Training Institute
An Initiative devoted to providing training in the principles of community organizing and
Collaborative of progressive, African-centered scholars, think tanks and research centers dedicated to utilizing theoretical and applied research to address issues of vital concern to people of African descent and enhance the development of Black communities.
Shirley Chisolm Presidential Accountability Commission
Group of leading Black scholars and activists charged with monitoring the executive branch/presidential administrations of the U.S. government for progress on the Black Agenda/ issues of importance to people of African descent in the U.S. and globally.
Haiti Support Project
An Initiative committed to “Building a Constituency for Haiti in the United States,” focusing on mobilizing/organizing African Americans and other people of African descent to strengthen the process of democracy and development in the world’s first Black Republic.