News & Commentary
I was among the 33.5 million people who sat riveted to their televisions, parsing every second of the State of the Union Address. I was stunned to learn, through a Washington Post article by Lisa De Moraes, that viewership was less substantial for this address than last year’s 38 million, and even lower than the 48 million that watched in 2010. Are people less interested in what our President has to say? Or is there something else going on?
In any case, from my perspective this was an important and significant SOTU address. Unleashed from the pressure of re-election, and able to set forth a progressive and aggressive agenda, President Obama dealt with some of the key issues that face our nation. He was able to utter the word “poverty” without his tongue freezing up. Unfortunately, he is unable to utter the words “Black” or “African American”. Still, President Obama …
Sex trafficking takes place in Milwaukee and Mumbai. Girls, women, and even boys are kidnapped, coerced, or seduced into prostitution. Grown men rape them. Drug them. And discard them.
Sex trafficking is a multi-billion dollar global enterprise involving millions of people. Most victims are females of color – Asian, African, African-American, and Latina. According to Federal law, human trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person to perform labor or a commercial sex act through force, fraud, or coercion.
Any commercial sex act performed by a person under age 18 is considered human trafficking, regardless of whether force, fraud, or coercion is involved. So prevalent, Laurel Bellows, of The American Bar Association, made abolishing human trafficking a focus of her presidency.
Human traffickers move like traffickers of guns and drugs. Human beings are packed in vans and container cars, moved overland, or shipped by sea. Runaway …
When President Barack Obama is sworn in for his second term, his hand will rest not only on President Abraham Lincoln’s Bible, but on Dr. Martin Luther King’s, too. As the ceremony falls on the federal holiday celebrating Dr. King’s birth, the civil rights leader would no doubt be proud as an African-American president is sworn in on the steps of a Capitol built by slave labor, about 170 miles from Jamestown where slave ships landed. We have come a long way. But Dr. King would not be satisfied. He marched to his own drummer, and wanted to be remembered …
This month and the next, we walk again with Carter G. Woodson, honored and upraised ancestor, who set aside a special space and time for us to pause and think deep about the profound meanings and endless lessons of this sacred narrative we know and celebrate as Black History. Ours is a sacred narrative in the universal sense of its being the record and struggle of human beings, who are, the Husia teaches us, bearers of dignity and divinity and whose lives are sacred, i.e., worthy of the highest respect.
And our history is a sacred narrative for us in the particular sense in that it is our own narrative, our own special cultural truth, the narrative of a distinct group of humans who know themselves as possessors of dignity and divinity, and who know that there is no history more sacred than their own, no people more holy, and …
This time of marking National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, February 7, finds us as a people again as ever, on the battlefield for a better way forward; for social and racial justice; for equal consideration, treatment, access and opportunities in all areas of vital interests; and for the capacity to live a decent, dignity-affirming, self-determined life, and pass on this achieved good to future generations. And yet, each year of struggle and reflection yields invaluable lessons on how we must understand our lives and relations with others and develop and expand our strategies of struggle in the most ethical, effective and expansive ways.
This year, like last year, we cannot help but notice and make note that HIV/AIDS is not a prominent presidential, congressional, state or locally-promoted concern although, for us as a people, it is still a deadly and disabling disease, in spite of its becoming a less urgent …
There is a Whole Foods store about 3 blocks from my home, and around the corner from my gym. I am enamored by the displays of produce, the red peppers contrasting the yellow ones, the kale, chard, and collard glistening from their morning sprinkle. I love the way the fish gleams back at you, char and salmon, swordfish and tilapia. When I walk over to the prepared food, I grin at the ways the veggies are layered with cheese, crumbs, and so much more. They have sandwiches that I identify with, ingredients that I salivate about. And now I must declare that I would rather drink muddy water or sleep in a hollow log that to indulge in whole foods.
I am utterly appalled that Whole Foods CEO John Mackey described Obamacare as “fascism”. Fascism is an incendiary word that speaks totalitarianism, or dictatorship, and it descries it in a …
We ignore our moral compass when we allow children to be slaughtered.…
We ignore our moral compass when we allow children to be slaughtered.…
By BAR executive editor Glen Ford
“The Black Misleadership Class has no intention of taking any position that might discomfort this president or reveal their own impotence.”
While the Congressional Hispanic Caucus met at the White House to press for immigration reform, on January 25, traditional Black organizations gathered at Washington’s Mayflower Hotel to further refine their so-called “Black Agenda,” for presentation to President Obama at some future date. The five broad goals are really more like a set of suggestions for Obama’s consideration, talking points on economic parity, educational opportunity, voting rights, healthcare disparities, and criminal justice reform – nothing remotely resembling demands. Obama need never worry about any drama from this crowd.
Malcolm X would have derisively called them the Big Four-Plus: the National Urban League’s Marc Morial; Ben Jealous, of the NAACP; National Coalition of Black Civic Participation president Melanie Campbell; Rev. Al …
The president is committed to reforming our gun laws; a working group headed by Vice President Joe Biden is considering a broad agenda. The proposals mentioned, not formally announced yet, already are being strafed by politicians in both parties. Before everyone goes to the barricades, it would be worth trying to have a rational discussion. The reforms under consideration include the basic: reinstating the ban on the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. They include good governance: bolstering state reporting on felons, drug abuses, the mentally ill for the FBI database, strengthening mental health screening. They include what many …
- 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
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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.