Most Americans have been enjoying the holiday haze since House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) folded and allowed the two-month extension of unemployment insurance and the Social Security tax cut, and other key matters. Indeed, if the French take the month of August off by law, we almost do the same in the period between Christmas and New Year. Except for retail establishments that support the great American pastime – shopping – few businesses got substantive work done in the last week.
Now that Kwanzaa and New Year’s Day have past, the games will begin again. The House of Representatives is back January 17, and the Senate returns on January 23. House Republicans will be hell-bent on finding ways to pay for the legislation passed on December 22, and Boehner, whose humiliating concession to President Obama had to irk him, will probably be ready to rumble when he returns to Washington.…
Are Fredom Riders Seeds Bearing Fruit?
By Julianne Malveaux
Fifty years ago this month, the Freedom Rides began. While the Supreme Court ruled that segregation in interstate commerce, including bus terminals, was illegal, the laws were not being enforced. Because the law failed to act, people of conscience, courage and determination acted instead.
Resistance to desegregation was such that those who got on busses risked their lives. The Freedom Riders, who were both African American and white, were arrested and attacked on
the bus route. Anniston, Alabama was an especially violent site of attack, where the local Klan
and other residents, some still dressed in their church‐going finest, were allowed to beat
Freedom Fighters without police interference. The plan seemed to be that there would be an
initial attack in Anniston, and a second attack in Birmingham. Someone attempted to burn or
bomb the bus that transported Freedom Riders.
As Freedom Riders …
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 …
Now that former Senator Rick Santorum has withdrawn from the Republican race for nomination, it is a foregone conclusion that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee. To be sure, he still has to deal with the nuisance factor of Newt Gingrich, whose lack of money has not only torpedoed his campaign, but also one of his “think” tanks. Maybe Gingrich can find work, as he suggested that inner city youth do, by taking on some janitorial tasks. So it’s down to Romney and President Obama as opponents in November. The entertainment is over. Let’s get down to business.
Those who are undecided about the political path they’d like to take ought to look at several areas of contrast, and consider what either candidate might do in three areas.
JOBS. The unemployment rate ticked down just a tiny bit last month, from 8.3 to 8.2 percent, but …
Dimitris Christoulas was a retired pharmacist whose neighbors said had enormous dignity. At 77 years old, he looked forward to a comfortable old age. He had saved during his 35-year career and did not expect government to, at all, be involved in his pension. But the austerity budget that Greece has imposed on its citizens reduced Christoulas’ pension. So he killed himself, writing in a suicide note that he would rather have “a decent end” than forage thorough garbage to find enough “rubbage to feed myself.” Neighbors say he wanted to send a political message. They say the law-abiding man was a committed leftist, so meticulous that he paid his condo fees ahead before he took his life.
The Christoulas suicide has mobilized many in Greece, some of whom describe his act as one of fortitude, not simply despair. Some describe it as a “political act” because it took place …
I have two nephews that I love with an amazing passion. Anyi, 28, is a Los Angeles based comedian, who kinda looks like me and acts like me. He is my absolute escort of choice when I am in Southern California. Armand, 25, is an Oakland-based aspiring writer, and a 2008 graduate of University of California, Santa Cruz. Both of these young men are well over 6’3″, but neither carries any extra weight. Both of them wear hoodies. And both of them have had unfortunate run-ins with so-called law enforcement officers that have tainted the way that they see law and order. Whenever they share their stories with me I am sickened by their experiences and our nation’s myopia about the way young black men are treated because of a series of sick stereotypes gone amuck.
A few years ago Anyi, then working for Berkeley-based Youth Radio, parked his …
Forty years ago this month, ten thousand African Americans thronged to Gary, Indiana for the first National Black Political Convention. They gathered to develop a black agenda, and to influence 1972 presidential politics. One of the things on the agenda was the development of an independent black political party and to explore the notion of independent black politics. To commemorate this anniversary, Dr. Ron Daniels convened a group of people on Capitol Hill to see the movie, Nation Time, and to listen to a group of people, some of whom had been at Gary, talk about what Gary means today.
One of the things that was exciting about the film was the energy and audacity of the black folk who were gathered at Gary. There is a young Jesse Jackson leading the chant, “What time is it? It’s nation time”. There is a forceful Richard Hatcher, then mayor of Gary, …
Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West deserve high props for their summer poverty tour. They started on an Indian reservation, hit the inner city, and looked at poverty, in all of its manifestations. While many dismissed their high-profile tour as a political ploy, I am absolutely convinced of their sincerity. In addition, these two men are among the few who have dared utter the “p” word in public.
Think about it – Vice President has a Middle Class Task Force, but there has been no focus on the poor or the extremely poor (those who have less than half of the poverty line in income). The Heritage Foundation posits that if you have a cellphone, television, or microwave oven then you really aren’t that poor. Newt Gingrich derisively called President Obama the “food stamps President, even though, thanks to the Great Recession, 15.2 percent of all Americans are poor, and…
We Have to Raise the Debt Ceiling
By Julianne Malveaux
A recent Gallup poll found that 47 percent of all Americans oppose raising the debt ceiling. Only 19 percent support raising the ceiling past its current $12.1 trillion dollar limit. The remainder of us say we don’t know enough about the debt ceiling to have an opinion.
That’s part of our problem. More of us know about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s baby mama drama than about our nation’s finances. And more of us are actually interested in the sordid drama than in a decision that may ultimately affect our nation’s financial health. Of course, most of us have no dog in the Schwarzenegger mess, and all of us are impacted by these budget decisions. We have no choice but raise the debt ceiling, and House Speaker John Boehner (R‐OH) is insisting on draconian budget cuts as the price for Republican acquiescence to increase the debt ceiling. He wants cuts …
- 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
HISTORY, BACKGROUND, FACTS ↓
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.