By Julianne Malveaux
History belongs to she who holds the pen. When the lion is writing, he ate. When the prey is writing (but she didn’t survive) she was eaten but also offered a valiant fight. We celebrate our holidays and milestones through the lens of those who won the war, not through the lens of those who mattered, who fought, whose footprint on history is only neglected because we didn’t hold the pen.
So last week we celebrate Memorial Day, a day when we lift up our nation’s veterans. Our veterans are men and women who fought for the right to fight, but few want to tell that story. Mary Frances Berry and John Blassingame inspired a collection of essays that I edited on “The Paradox of Loyalty”, which speaks to the ways that a country that turns its back on black folk also expects us to …
DEBILITATING POVERTY IS CORROSIVE
BY JULIANNE MALVEAUX
The fall of the Roman Empire is best captured in the phrase that “Nero fiddled while Rome burned”. Set on pursuing his own pleasures and indulgences, Nero could not see the walls crumbling around him. Similarly, our leaders seem oblivious to the walls crashing in on us, bickering about the way that relief on our employment situation should be structured, while poverty rates are soaring.
The data that came out last Tuesday included no surprises, but in some ways, it was a stunning indictment of the economic gridlock that has plagued us for the past year. While Congress has been yammering on about debt ceilings, more and more Americans are without work; more and more have experienced poverty.
The poverty rate rose from 14.3 percent to 15.1 percent between 2009 and 2010. That means that the number of poor Americans grew by 2.6 million people, from 43.6 million to 46.2 million. For …
THE OBAMA JOBS BILL – A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
BY JULIANNE MALVEAUX
I was among the millions who eagerly looked forward to President Obama’s speech on jobs last week, among the millions who hoped our President would finally get his arms around the issue that plagues millions of Americans. The official unemployment rates, after all, are nothing more than a pleasant fiction. The 9.1 percent unemployment rate for August is actually a whopping 16.2 percent. For African Americans, the unemployment rate, reported at 16.7 percent, looks more like 29.3 percent. For African American men, the unemployment rate, reported at 18 percent, is more like 32 percent when discouraged workers, people who have dropped out of the labor force, and those who work part time but need full time work are added into the equation. The average unemployed American has been out of work for 10 months! Some have …
I always feel inspired and elated, but also challenged and chagrined, at some of the celebrations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday. There are those, too many folks, who want to sanitize Dr. King and turn him into a dreamer. Too many only quote the part of his “I have a dream” speech that talks about character content and skin color. Too few remember that in the same speech he said, “We have come to the nation’s capital to cash a check, and the check has been marked insufficient funds.” Dr. King was an economic populist, an anti-war activist, as well as a classically trained theologian. Too many put emphasis on the latter, without acknowledging the former.
That’s why each year, I am excited to receive the State of the Dream report from United for a Fair Economy. This organization does great work in talking about the wealth gap, …
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has one hell of a nerve. In an image that has gone viral, she put her finger in President Obama’s face, apparently lecturing him about something or other, making her the pure picture of arrogant disrespect. Apparently, she has learned from the best of the marketers. Before her finger-wagging diatribe, her book Scorpions for Breakfast was ranked 285,568 on the Amazon list. By the time she finished promoting and defending her disrespect, with appearances on Fox News and other networks, the book rose from its lowly perch to be ranked at 21 by Thursday and at 15 by Sunday. And, you know, I almost bit by buying the book myself, figuring that I ought to read about something I’m going to talk about. But Kindle lets you “sample” and the sample was not impressive. And Amazon lets you browse parts of the book. Also unimpressive. At …
The unemployment rate is falling for the third month in a row, and in December about 200,000 private sector jobs were created. The monthly unemployment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that unemployment has declined by six tenths of a percentage point since August. Already, some economists are saying we can expect another decline next month.
I am surprised, however, at the very tepid language that the Employment Situation report uses to describe the increase in African American unemployment. A rise of .3 percent among African Americans, the second rise in as many months, is described as having “changed little”. It has changed enough so that while some are celebrating gains, African Americans are losing. Indeed, the African American unemployment rate increased from 15.5 to 15.8 percent.
Black women, it turns out, are losing more than most. While the unemployment rate for adult African American women, at 13.9 …
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.…
Most parents of college students look forward to December, when their students come home for the holidays. Some are so excited to see their offspring home that they actually come to their colleges to pick them up. Others prepare special treats and goodies as an antidote to the oft complained about cafeteria food.
Robert and Pam Champion won’t have that opportunity. Their son, Robert, died on November 19. His death has been ruled a homicide and he is allegedly the victim of hazing. Florida A&M University, one of our nation’s most respected HBCUs, is in the headlines now, not because of its excellent academic programs, but because its celebrated marching band has apparently had a culture of hazing.
Robert and Pam Champion are to be commended for turning their pain into a force for change. In a recent media interview, they indicated that they have set up a Facebook page …
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was anything but an “arrogant twit”. Yet Dr. Maya Angelou called it entirely correctly when she said that one of the quotes engraved on the side of the new memorial to Dr. King portrays the man as a braggart, not the humble servant leader that he was. ”I was a drum major for justice”, the memorial reads. The actual “drum major” speech is a profound speech about the herd instinct that many human beings have, much to their detriment. As part of a herd, we often buy what we can’t afford, put on airs that serve no purpose, and fail to speak up when it is unpopular with the crowd. Dr. King said, “If you want to say that I was a drum major, say I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. Say I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of …
|I was among the millions who eagerly looked forward to President Obama’s speech on jobs last week, among the millions who hoped our President would finally get his arms around the issue that plagues millions of Americans. The official unemployment rates, after all, are nothing more than a pleasant fiction. The 9.1 percent unemployment rate for august is actually a whopping 16.2 percent. For African Americans, the unemployment rate, reported at 16.7 percent, looks more like 29.3 percent. For African American men, the unemployment rate, reported at 18 percent, is more like 32 percent when discouraged workers, people who have dropped out of the labor force, and those who work part time but need full time work are added into the equation. The average unemployed American has been out of work for 10 months! Some have not been working for as many as two years! Debt ceiling notwithstanding, the unemployment situation is our nation’s greatest challenge at|
- 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.