Archive for the ‘Urban Issues’ Category

Where’s the Outrage over the Black Family Breakdown?

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Assistant Secretary of Labor Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a sociologist and later U.S. Senator wrote The Negro Family: The Case For National Action (the 1965 Moynihan Report) which focused on the deep roots of black poverty in America.

I’ve avoided writing about the Trayvon Martin situation because liberals assume I should have an opinion because I’m black and so was Trayvon. When something happens to a black person and it garners national news attention, the mainstream media trots out “the voices of black America.” This is offensive not only because the leftist mainstream media has appointed race baiters like NAACP, Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and Eric Michael Dyson as our spokespeople but also because it assumes blacks are like children who need others think for them. White people don’t have white spokespeople speaking on their behalf and would never allow the mainstream media to dismiss their ability to think as individuals.

The murder of 17 year old Trayvon Martin was tragic and needs to be thoroughly investigated. His killer George Zimmerman should be arrested and questioned along with eyewitnesses. Martin’s race could have been a motivation in Zimmerman pursuing and killing him but we don’t know. Racial profiling certainly exists; I’ve experienced it first hand and witnessed young black men dressed in suits or jeans trying to catch a cab in DC and be ignored.

Juan Williams Wall Street Journal article sums up what black activists are conveniently ignoring in their outrage over a single black teen’s death that “nationally, nearly half of all murder victims are black. And the overwhelming majority of those black people are killed by other black people.”   Instead of wearing hoodies and participating in what I call hollow racial protests, the NAACP, black Congressmen and concerned citizens need to be showing outrage at the cancer called the breakdown of the American black family. Since the 1960s the crumbling black family has led to more black men in prison, greater number of high school dropouts, suspensions, etc. Finally, the biggest problem is 70% of black children are born to unwed others.

Rep. Bobbie Rush and others shouldn’t be spending time wearing hoodies on the floor of the United States House of Representatives, reinforcing negative stereotypes of the thug life (drug dealers with pit bulls, jailhouse fashion, women described as bitches and hoes and illegitimate babies in town). Juan Williams notes Hollywood glamorizes these images in movies and music videos, which has “young black people internalize it as an authentic image of a proud black person.”

“There is no fashion, no thug attitude that should be an invitation to murder. But these are the real murderous forces surrounding the Martin death—and yet they never stir protests,” wrote Williams.

Blacks organizing protests around Trayvon’s death ignore the white elephant in the room the disintegration of the black family over the past almost 50 years which is responsible for driving the black race into economic decline. In his 1965 research paper The Negro Family: the Case for National Action, Daniel Patick Moynihan then Assistant Secretary of Labor revealed the breakdown down of the black family was contributing to higher black dropout and incarceration rates and lower wealth achievement compared to whites. Moynihan warned, “The white family has achieved a high degree of stability and is maintaining that stability.  By contrast, the family structure of lower class Negroes is highly unstable, and in many urban centers is approaching complete breakdown.”

Moynihan further noted there was an alarming trend in the number of black families headed by single women and the rise in illegitimate births among blacks. In 1964, 23.6% of black births were to unwed mothers today it’s 72%. Moynihan reminded us of what holds true today, when teenagers have children they are less likely to finish high school and climb the economic ladder.

The unemployment rate for black teens in 1965 was 29%, today it’s 40%. Since the days of Johnson, Democrat policies like welfare have only worsened the problem for blacks by rewarding black women with taxpayer dollars for raising fatherless children. Moynihan’s report it reads like it was written yesterday rather than nearly 50 years ago. “In a word, the tangle of pathology is tightening,” wrote Moynihan. Indeed it is. The destruction of the black family is where blacks should be firmly directing their outrage not in hoodie protests “full of sound and fury” and achieving nothing.

Get Big Government Out of My Cereal Box

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

As a kid, I loved eating Lucky Charms and my bothers and I couldn’t wait to finish the box of cereal to get the prize inside. We also ate chocolate chip cookies and drank sodas in moderation. None of us are fat because my mother instilled good eating habits in us and we played sports, rode bikes or ran around the yard.

Now big government not only wants to dive into America’s cereal box but also tell parents what to feed their kids. A gang of four colossal agencies (the Food and Drug Administration, Federal Trade Commission, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the US Department of Agriculture) are joining forces to severely limit food and beverage advertising to kids. This Interagency Working Group (IWG) seeks to develop voluntary industry guidelines on food marketed to kids age 2-17.

Though dubbed “voluntary,” the food industry believes this a “thinly veiled government command” intended to circumvent the regulatory process. Why? Because obesity rates are rising among kids, especially black kids, and the government thinks parents, particularly black parents, aren’t smart enough to decide what foods to feed their kids. By banning food ads, the government thinks kids will magically slim down.

It’s true black Americans have the highest rates of obesity in the nation but this isn’t because of food ads. As a black woman, I find it insulting that whenever government talks about a problem affecting minorities, it takes this paternalistic approach that blacks and hispanics are too stupid to make informed decisions and need to be protected from themselves.

For many blacks who are obese, the culprit is consuming a “soul food” diet rich in fat, sugar and sodium, which has been passed down from generations along with not exercising. If the government wants to help blacks and other Americans combat childhood obesity, it should follow Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” anti- childhood obesity campaign and encourage parents to get their kids exercising. Other great programs include the Bernard Center’s “Moms and Dads Know Best” Facebook campaign and Dr. Ian Smith’s “The Makeover Mile,” a one mile health walk to encourage Americans to lead healthier lifestyles.

Aside from the fact this proposal is void of scientific evidence; it fails to acknowledge kids are fat in America because they don’t exercise! Research by Georgetown Economic Services (GES) found food and beverage ads to kids dropped 50% from 2004-2010 while childhood obesity rates climbed.

Previous analysis by GES found TV food and restaurant ads viewed by kids age 2-11 declined from 1993-2004 and concluded “these results cast doubt . . . on the correlations between the volume of commercials and the trend in childhood obesity.” Following the government’s logic, if ads cause kids to become obese, then kids should have slimmed down over the past 17 years.

The solution to trimming America’s kid bulge is not more government in our lives but bringing back mandatory physical education in public schools. According to the National Association of Sports and Physical Education only five states require physical education in every grade from K-12.

If these proposed guidelines become effective, foods like Cheerios, Wheaties, animal crackers and milk could become more expensive. On future shopping trips, parents might find slim pickings of other nutritious foods like yogurt, peanut butter and milk. because manufacturers would lose their incentive to develop new products. You may be shaking your head saying, “How can this be true?”

These “voluntary” guidelines would ban the industry from advertising to kids and on certain programs where most viewers are adults. Food companies would also be prohibited from using animated characters like the Jolly Green Giant, the Pillsbury Dough Boy, Peter Pan or athletes to market products. Toy co-branding with food companies would also be restricted. It’s simple, advertising and marketing help inform consumers about products, which drive up sales.

Such draconian measures would have a devastating impact on jobs. By choking off companies’ ability to advertise, big government could force farmers, grocers and other retailers to fire many of the 1.5 million Americans working in the food industry. At a time when jobs are scarce, this capricious food ban is just plain stupid.

Food advertising doesn’t make kids obese. A lack of exercise and balanced diet does. Instead of banning food ads to kids, government should bring back mandatory PE in schools and leave food choices up to parents. This food ban is a slippery slope to government telling parents how to raise their kids. What’s next, banning toys like Betty Crocker’s Easy Bake Oven (another childhood favorite of mine) because girls will get fat learning how to bake cakes?

DC Politicians Are Their Own Reality TV

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Just when you think DC government and its band of corrupt politicians can’t get any worse, more scandal is unearthed. Attorney General Irvine Nathan filed a lawsuit June 6th in DC Superior Court, alleging Ward 5 Democrat Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. of stealing $300,000 in public funds to buy a $60,000 Audi SUV and fund trips to Las Vegas and the upscale Pebble Beach, CA. The lawsuit demands Thomas repay the money to the city plus damages to the tune of $1 million.

Responding to the Thomas scandal, DC Council Chairman Kwame “Fully-Loaded” Brown vowed to develop “a plan of action” to deal with these allegations. Brown has zero credibility in holding any councilmember accountable for wrong doing when he has been accused of failing to report $250,000 in campaign contributions during his 2008 campaign. The City Paper obtained emails proving three days after he was elected Chairman, Brown demanded the city lease two pimped Lincoln Navigators for him to drive.

Please, Brown promising to take seriously these allegations against Thomas is like Rep. Weiner telling the NYC court he’ll guard Strauss Kahn during his house arrest. If DC residents believe Brown’s pledge, they’ll believe anything.

The Washington Post aptly described DC’s state of affairs pregnant with scandals involving “top elected officials,” as “a government in disarray.” The same day Nathan accused Thomas of graft, Sulaimon Brown testified before the Council about his allegations Mayor Vincent Gray paid him to attack Fenty during the mayoral campaign in exchange for a job in the Gray administration. Sulaimon turned the hearing into a circus act by refusing to remove his dark sunglasses and rather than answer questions , he reminded councilmembers like Barry he never registered his Jaguar in the city and was driving around without tags and chastised Thomas about the city’s recently filed lawsuit against him.

But Sulaimon forgot Councilmember “I want to raise your taxes” Michael Brown’s ethical lapse of not paying his property taxes. And of course the icing on the cake of DC’s disgraced government is after a mere six months in office, Gray has been accused of running a quid pro quo administration, giving jobs to people who worked on his campaign but who weren’t qualified for the positions.

When are DC voters going to hold their elected officials accountable and start voting credible, competent people into office? Voters had a chance to vote Republican Patrick Mara into office for the at-large council seat but instead voted “been there and done that” Vincent Orange back into office. If you keep doing the same thing, you will get the same results.

NAACP School Daze

Monday, June 6th, 2011

The National Association for the ADVANCEMENT of Colored People, emphasis on the word “advancement,”claims “for 102 years, the NAACP has fought to ensure that all our children have access to high-quality public education.” If this is indeed true, then why would the NAACP, which used to be the most revered civil rights organization for black Americans, throw New York City black kids under the bus to save unionized teachers’ jobs and keep failing schools open?

In May to the shock and awe of thousands of New York City parents, the NAACP locked arms with the United Federation of Teachers (emphasis on union) and filed a lawsuit in the State Supreme Court to stop the city from closing 22 poor performing schools and giving 20 charter schools space inside public schools.

After 2,500 charter school parents and students protested in Harlem last week, blasting the NAACP, it wrote an op-ed arguing that allowing charter school students to use available space in NYC schools “impedes learning” or “tears at the fabric of communities.” Tell me how giving parents’ access to 20 charter schools impedes learning. What the NAACP failed to mention in weak defense of its actions was that by filing the lawsuit with the teachers’ union, the NAACP prevented 4,100 teachers from losing their jobs and denied 7,000 children access to a better education. That is called hypocrisy!

If the NAACP really espoused Shirley Chisholm’s maxim as it wrote in its op-ed “there are no permanent friends, no permanent enemies, just permanent interests,” particularly when it comes to education of black kids, then the NAACP should be praising Republicans. GOP policies support charter schools, vouchers and programs like the DC Scholarship Program, which House Speaker John Boehner brought back to life after Obama killed the program which helped 1,700 black kids escape failing DC schools. NAACP does have permanent enemies, they include Republicans and those enlightened people against teachers unions and possibly the very black people it claims to protect! The one honest thing NAACP wrote in that flimsy op-ed was “we are independent actors.” Yes, you are but not for the good of the constituents you claim to serve.

This NYC school madness is another reason the NAACP has become an irrelevant organization, a distant shadow of the Civil Rights group which worked so assiduously during the 1950s and 1960s to combat racial discrimination. Sadly, it seems the NAACP can be bought by anyone at the expense of black people, who it is supposed to serve and in this case NAACP was bought by the teachers union. As former DC Councilmember Kevin Chavous noted Supreme Court Justice and former NAACP Chief Counsel Thurgood Marshall, who won the infamous 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education case, “must be shaking his head.”

News flash, school choice, vouchers, and charter schools, all are Republican policies, help BLACKS escape education ghettos and succeed in life. As my good friend Michelle Bernard says often “education is the great equalizer.” Stop being stupid my Black people and throwing your vote blindly to Democrats, get educated on who and what you vote for!