Category: Opinion Written by Courier Newsroom
by Dion Rabouin
ATLANTA (RTNS)--Sports writers have long lamented the lack of seminal sports figures in today’s game. Folks say athletes willing to take a stand like Jackie Robinson and Muhammad Ali are conspicuously missing in this generation.
Last Updated on Sunday, 14 April 2013 16:42
Category: Opinion Written by Van Jones
by Van Jones
(CNN) -- Wednesday morning, President Barack Obama became the first Democratic president ever to propose cutting Social Security.
Last Updated on Thursday, 11 April 2013 15:27
Category: Opinion Written by Courier Newsroom
The errant ways of Pittsburgh’s former Chief of Police Nate Harper can be best described as Machiavellian at worst and dumb at best. Another fallen public figure just adds to the popular consensus that “they all do it and it just so happens this guy got caught”.
The fact that the former Chief of Police is the culprit adds insult to injury. His slam-bang act of contrition even further rankles the taxpayers as he sheepishly admitted to the error of his ways. Like so many other quickly confessed wrongdoers he seems to be admitting to the error of his ways only because he got caught.
The head cop had ample opportunity to learn about right and wrong at home, in church, in school and/or on the job. Even if no one else enlightened him, he still had 60 years to have figured it out on his own. Didn’t he spend decades wearing a badge proclaiming his public commitment to truth, justice and the American way?
However, forgiveness and eventual redemption will probably be his end game. Harper appears to be a first time sinner and the amount of miss-appropriated loot looks like chump change compared to how much public money is squandered daily. The best news is that no one seems to have been physically harmed in this smarmy affair. Harper will quickly become a footnote in local history.
His betrayal of the public trust speaks for itself. We have a legal system that will dutifully resolve Nate’s fate. My personal wish is that there will be no prison time. In most instances sending first time white-collar criminals to the slammer is just not an efficient expenditure of tax dollars.
However, Nate has caused lasting damage to those of his skin color. His stumble from grace will surely cause pain to others of color in current and future public positions in our City.
The disgraced Harper may have unwittingly advanced the cause of bigotry. His failings have added another “I told you so” moment to the racist agenda of hate.
There are those who are already making a poster boy out of Nate Harper. They are showcasing him as an African-American who secured his job only because of his blackness. They allege that he was hired because of some kind of liberal quota system. They say that the proof is in Harper’s failure.
Earlier this week I read a prejudicial posting where the cowardly author spoke for many of his slimy brethren when he wrote that “this is what affirmative action gets you”.
Letting down fellow African-Americans may be Mr. Harper’s enduring legacy.
Last Updated on Thursday, 11 April 2013 10:08
Category: Opinion Written by Raynard Jackson
Two weeks ago, President Obama met with three African presidents—Koroma (Sierra Leone), Sall (Senegal), Banda (Malawi), and Prime Minister of Cape Verde Jose Maria Pereira Neves. This was the White House’s way of rewarding these leaders for their examples of good governance. Receiving an invitation to the White House is one of the most sought after invitations in the world, especially for foreign leaders.
African leaders constantly complain about how they are negatively portrayed in the U.S. media, about how Blacks don’t invest in Africa, and about how there seems to be a disconnect between Africans and American Blacks.
My response has always been quite simple—It’s your fault!
Let me break it down based on the itinerary for the delegation that met with Obama two weeks ago. In most cases, the State Department takes the lead in setting up the program for foreign leaders, but they are free to add their own program in addition to State’s program if they so desire.
While in Washington, each leader participated in numerous meetings and events to strengthen bilateral cooperation on a range of shared priorities. Joint events included a dinner hosted by the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) to discuss trade and investment opportunities with representatives from U.S. businesses; a public discussion on democratization in Africa at the United States Institute for Peace (USIP); an economic and development roundtable with U.S. government officials; and a meeting with Secretary of Defense Hagel to discuss cooperation on shared regional security and peacekeeping objectives in Africa.
Notice anything interesting here? Let me help you. Dinner hosted by CCA—mostly Fortune 500 companies (White-run companies). Many Africans accuse “corporate America” of only using Africa for their natural resources—well duh, you invited them to your country; a discussion on democracy at USIP. I have tried, to no avail, to get Howard University interested in engaging with African heads of state, but they have shown absolutely no interest. I think I can get a meeting with Obama easier than I can get a meeting with the president of Howard University. Meetings with government officials (i.e. White officials, other than former Ambassador Johnny Carson). Meeting with Secretary of Defense Hagel.
So, I guess these African leaders couldn’t find any Black NGOs to meet with or maybe their White lobbyists would not give them permission to meet with successful minority businessmen like David Steward, CEO of World Wide Technology in St. Louis—a $ 5 billion privately held firm.
Maybe their White lobbyist wouldn’t give them permission to meet with the NNPA, a federation of 200 Black-owned newspapers in the U.S., or give a speech at a Black university.
So, to my African heads of state, if you are looking for positive media coverage from the U.S., then sit with our Black media and tell them your story. If you are looking for investment in your country, then invest some time by meeting with Black businessmen when you come to our country. If you want Americans, especially Blacks to tour your countries, then take a tour of our communities when you are in the U.S. So, stop complaining and be what you are looking for.
Africa has a lot to offer as far as investment opportunities, tourism, and even education; but Africa has not made its case to the American people. Until they do, they will continue to be like the tinkling cymbal or the sounding brass, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
(Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a Washington, D.C.-based public relations/government affairs firm. He can be reached through his Web site, www.raynardjackson.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at raynard1223)
Last Updated on Thursday, 11 April 2013 10:06
Category: Opinion Written by Harry C. Alford
HARRY C. ALFORD
(NNPA)—During my research on street gangs, one thing became clear: They are the primary source for drug distribution. The crimes conducted by these street gangs on a daily basis also include murder, bribery, extortion, robbery, carjacking, prostitution, human trafficking, and money laundering. Some gangs concentrate on some of these crimes but all of them have drug trafficking as their number one activity. This makes them truly a menace to our society. Yet, we ignore them for the most part. We tend to be blind to their destruction and terror. There are 1.4 million street gang members (2011) and we act like they don’t exist.
There are more than 2.1 million men and women incarcerated. The majority are there for drug related-crimes. Approximately 650,000 persons are released from our jails/prisons each year but at least 52 percent will return within three years for parole violation or a criminal act. It is a social disgrace to have that many human beings incarcerated and then they get into a “revolving door.” The cost of housing a state prisoner can be as high as $45,000 per year. Wait—it gets worse. It is so disappointing that when we persuade a company to hire some of our youngsters for on the job training they cannot pass a drug test. During the Katrina rebuilding, we warned potential job applicants that they would be tested for drugs and urged them to become clean. For many it was too late because they were hooked and couldn’t shake it.
Dealing is a very big “business” for many drug dealers and unlike many other sectors in the U.S., business is booming. The gang leaders don’t have a recruiting program; they “draft” top prospects. One day, my aunt in Los Angeles asked her grandson if he were in the Crips. His reply was, “Grandma, I have no choice; it is Crips or die.”
And these young members have quotas to fill. They must push dope and get as many hooked as possible. The Peoria, Ill. Chamber of Commerce once did a job study for Black youth (18–30). The number one employer was the city government; number two was the local utility company and number three was the illegal drug activity. Peoria has a population of approximately 100,000 persons. No place of any size is immune from drug trafficking. I could not find credible estimates of how large the illegal drug business is in America but with certainty it is at least $250 billion per year. I bet we would be surprised where some of it ends up.
My brothers and sisters we have an extreme problem that needs urgent fixing. I would like to see Black elected officials become more active about addressing this problem. It is my firm belief that withdrawal programs are not the end solution. We need to come together and do something radically progressive. Nothing that has been tried in the past has improved this “illness.”
The time has come for bold, Americana style action. The first thing we should do is legalize drugs. Treat it like liquor and cigarettes by taxing it to the limit and regulate it wisely. The demand for illegally transported drugs will soon dry up and the use of street gangs will be a public danger. We could close many prisons and reduce enforcement officers along with parole and probation officers.
The next thing we need to do is to write new legislation. Organized street gangs are already being broadly prosecuted as racketeering enterprises. The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO) should be amended to explicitly include street gangs with certain, severe prosecution of their leadership. Everyone knows who the leaders are and where they live. A good example of this is how authorities are currently going after the street gang MS–13.
According to the Associated Press, “The Obama administration declared the ultra-violent street gang MS–13 to be an international criminal group ….The aim is to freeze it out of the U.S. financial system and seize what are estimated to be millions of dollars in criminal profits from drug… and other crimes committed in this country”.
Let’s form a taskforce like the old “Untouchables.” Make them forfeit their assets, bust up their leadership and strongly police our banking system that plays along with some of the vast money laundering that is taking place. If we follow the money and clean up the inside corruption, we will begin to turn the tide. Imagine our nation becoming a populous of people living productive lives once again. Right now we are just seeing our cultures and neighborhoods slide into oblivion. It is not something so great that we cannot manage. Some common sense, a lot of courage and a taste of vision could change it around. God bless us.
Last Updated on Thursday, 11 April 2013 06:03
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