The president of the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP, Leon Jenkins, resigned Thursday, amid continued fallout from a decision to award embattled LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling and a report posted on The Root chronicling a history of Jenkins' misdeeds since his days of being a judge in Detroit during the 1980s.
In a letter to the national leader of the NAACP, Jenkins wrote, "In order to separate the Los Angeles NAACP and the NAACP from the negative exposure I have caused the NAACP, I respectfully resign my position as president of the Los Angeles NAACP."
Jenkins came under intense scrutiny after it was announced that the LA chapter of the NAACP planned to present Sterling with a second "lifetime achievement award" later this month.
Only two days after NBA Commissioner Adam Silver brought the hammer down on Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for racist remarks captured during a taped conversation that was leaked to TMZ, NBA owners held their first meeting in a bid to end Sterling's ownership of the team.
The league's 10-member advisory/finance committee held a conference call Thursday to discuss "the process for termination of Donald T. Sterling's ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers," NBA executive vice president Mike Bass said in a statement, the Associated Press reports.
"The committee unanimously agreed to move forward as expeditiously as possible and will reconvene next week," he said.
A perennial favorite science project from preschool on up is the "seed experiment." That's when a child plants identical seeds in two pots. She places the first pot inside a dark cupboard and leaves it there, and she puts the second one in a sunny spot and waters it every day. She waits to see what will happen. It's very easy for even the youngest children to figure out that their seedlings need the basics – sunlight and water – if they are going to survive and thrive.
The same is true for children, and "the basics" during children's earliest years can have long lasting effects. Arloc Sherman, senior researcher at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and one of the contributors to the new Harvard Education Press book "Improving the Odds for America's Children," put it this way:
"I think sometimes we forget to say how important for children's futures the day-to-day basic assistance of food, clothing, shelter is . . . We've had help from the research community recently, striking studies that help make the case that when you just provide the basics, that's one key cornerstone for children's future success. So it's not just that we're meeting an important need – which would be enough in itself – but we're also providing for opening future doors of opportunity."
As is typical of blowhards, Cliven Bundy, the conservative movement's most recently defrocked hero/criminal, opened his mouth once too often. In doing so, the Nevada rancher revealed who he really is behind all the Stars-and-Stripes flag-waving and man-of-the-West rhetoric. The man who has grazed his cattle on federal land for more than two decades but has refused to pay the minimal grazing fees the government charges all ranchers (Bundy now owes about $1 million) is an arch-racist as well as a chiseler.
On Saturday, April 19, Bundy, speaking to a small group of his supporters – and, fortunately for the rest of us, a New York Times reporter and photographer – went off-message to hold forth on a number of topics, including race.
According to the Times, Bundy said: "I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro," as he recalled driving past a Las Vegas public housing project, "and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids – and there is always at least a half dozen people sitting on the porch – they didn't have nothing to do. They didn't have nothing for their kids to do. They didn't have nothing for their young girls to do."
America has a long, ugly legacy of promoting diametrically opposed images of black and white females. This can be traced all the way back to Founding Fathers like Thomas Jefferson, an adulterer who had a white wife, but fathered a half-dozen children with Sally Hemmings, one of his hundreds of slaves.
Yet, in his only book, "Notes on the State of Virginia," the hypocritical third President of the U.S. frowned upon race-mixing while denouncing black women as unattractive on account of their hair texture and skin color. He actually went so far as to pronounce sisters so promiscuous that they would just as soon mate with an ape as a human.
Sadly, such racist notions continued to shape popular attitudes about African-American femininity after Emancipation, especially in the South with its strictly-enforced color line. In the wake of the Civil War, Caucasian women "were transformed into symbols of white supremacy and, eventually, massive resistance," to integration and equal rights.
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