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All-white high school basketball team hails ‘white power’ after winning game

howell 600A Michigan high school has shocked residents with racist tweets sent last Thursday celebrating the Howell High School's boys basketball team's win over Grand Blanc, MLive.com reports.

According to the news site, several students are now facing disciplinary action for hailing their "white" team's victory following the 54-49 win in the Class A regional final that took place at Linden High School.

Some of the tweets, as reported by the site, included:

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The GOP’s ‘culture of poverty” gambit

daniels 600The 2014 mid-term elections are just eight months away – and the Republicans are worried about black voters again.

They have good reason to be – that is, to worry about a repeat of 2012. Then, despite the best efforts of GOP-dominated state legislatures to block blacks' access to the polls, black voters' turnout rate surpassed that of whites for the first time ever. That achievement, along with the substantial turnout of both Hispanic-American and Asian-American voters, helped underwrite President Obama's decisive re-election victory.

Equally important, Obama's name on the ballot was only partially responsible for blacks' march to the polls, because the black vote had been rising markedly since 1996.

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New studies shatter myths about African-American cohabitation and marriage

cohabit 600WASHINGTON – Decades of research and the warnings of African-American mothers everywhere are being challenged by an emerging body of research that finds no link between cohabitation and chance of divorce. Further, researchers are asserting that cohabitation actually boosts the stability of resulting marriages for women who typically have lower marital rates – such as African-American women.

As one study, published in the Journal of Marriage and Families asserts, "...the positive association between cohabitation with commitment, and marital stability existed only among select subgroups of women who faced greater risks of dissolution (i.e., women who were black, had a premarital birth, had less than a college degree, were raised in single or stepparent families, or had more than the median number of sex partners)."

According to Census data, married couples lead 28.5 percent of African-American households. Many African-American couples choose to share their lives before they are willing or able to make it official. This is particularly true for low-income couples that find cohabitation economically convenient, or as a solution to unexpected economic problems.

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8 sneaky racial code words and why politicians love them

codeword 600When Paul Ryan talked about a "real culture problem" in "our inner cities in particular" this week, he wasn't the first American politician to be slammed for using racially coded language to get a point across. Far from it.

Ian Haney López, author of "Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class," says it's not just the promotion of old-fashioned racial stereotypes that we need to worry about. Rather, he argues, it's the manipulation of racism in service of very specific goals.

López's book focuses on elected officials' ability to tap into bias without being explicit about it, all to gain support for what he calls "regressive policies," which, ironically, hurt working-class white people as much as people of color.

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Harvard minorities inspire students of color around the world

Harvard 600The student group I, Too, Am Harvard at Harvard University, which celebrates diversity at one of the nation's top educational institutions, is inspiring other students from other universities around the world to form similar groups.

"I, Too, Am Harvard" is a play based on interviews with African-American students, exploring their experiences at Harvard College. The play was the inspiration behind the I, Too, Am Harvard photo campaign.

Throughout the photos on the campaign's Tumblr, students hold dry erase boards with things written on them that they believe or that they have been asked or told by students of different races. This campaign provides students of color with the opportunity for their voices to be heard on campus.

 

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The last black mayor of Chocolate City?

chocolatecity 600In awkwardly timed remarks 24 hours after dramatic campaign-corruption allegations were leveled against him, Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent Gray defied rumors of his political death spiral.

"I did not break the law," pronounced the mayor to a very pro-Gray crowd of several hundred this past Tuesday night, who complimented the moment with stand-up chants of "four more years."

That night in a Northeast D.C. auditorium, Gray may have temporarily reenergized "Chocolate City." But the campaign now headed to a hotly contested April 1 Democratic primary for his hoped-for reelection finds a black urban apotheosis a shell of what it was more than two decades ago.

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SAT officials hope to score high in eliminating racial bias


SATs 600WASHINGTON – Administrators of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) have announced with great fanfare that they are overhauling the standardized tool that helps determine whether an applicant will get accepted into the college of his or her choice.

But in revamping the test, SAT officials are facing a test of their own.

"The redesign is trying to get a sense of what students learned in high school...and trying to help students demonstrate their critical thinking skills instead of just picking an answer. And that's all well and good," said Michelle Cooper, president of the Institute for Higher Education Policy, a college-access policy think tank.

 

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If Ebony Wilkerson has a mental illness, it’s a wake-up call for all African Americans

mental 600Ebony Wilkerson is sitting inside a Florida jail cell, but should she be viewed as a cold-blooded criminal or a mentally-ill person in need of long-term mental health care?

Wilkerson, 32, has been charged with three counts of attempted murder and is being held on $1.2 million bail after she drove herself and her three children (two girls and a boy, ages 3, 9 and 10) into the Atlantic Ocean in Daytona Beach last week.

While it has not been confirmed, reports suggest that Wilkerson may have been suffering from a mental disorder, thus renewing public conversations on how the mentally ill should be treated by the legal system and society in general.

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Unemployment rate for black women falls to single digits

black-umeployeement 600WASHINGTON – During another slow month of economic recovery, the unemployment rate for black women 20 years and older fell to 9.9 percent in February, the lowest rate for that group in five years, according to the Labor Department.

Meanwhile, black men and black teenagers continue to lag behind other major worker groups.

In March 2009, the unemployment rate for black men 20 years and over was 15.4 percent. According to the latest jobs report, the jobless rate for black men is 12.9 percent, the same rate recorded in February 2013.

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Parents of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis protest ‘Stand your ground’

standyourground 600The Rev. Al Sharpton, the parents of Jordan Davis and Trayvon Martin, as well as Tom Joyner and members of the Dream Defenders, are once again marching for change to Florida's "Stand your ground" law, Tallahassee.com reports.

Joined by hundreds of other marchers, the group – including family members of Emmett Till – traveled less than a mile from the Leon County Civic Center to the Florida Capitol, calling on lawmakers to address the law, the news site reports.

"It's a flawed law," Sharpton said. "Because you don't need an actual threat. All you've got to do is believe a threat and you can use deadly force."

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Mom charged with attempted 1st-degree murder after driving kids into the ocean

oceanmom 600Thirty-two-year-old Ebony Wilkerson's three children were reportedly screaming for their lives when she drove a minivan into the ocean surf off of Florida, the Associated Press reports.

The children, ages 3, 9 and 10, were rescued Tuesday by bystanders and officers as the minivan was almost submerged off a coast in Daytona Beach, Fla. Wilkerson, who is pregnant, was charged Friday with three counts each of attempted first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse, police said.

Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson said that while she denied trying to harm her children, they disputed her claim. Witnesses also stated that she tried to block their rescue and the windows were rolled up and the doors were locked. One of the children reportedly tried to wrest control of the steering wheel, the AP reports.

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‘Spring Forward’ Sunday

smoke 600Sunday at 2 a.m. marks the beginning of Daylight Saving Time for 2014. "Spring Forward" by setting your clocks ahead by one hour.

The twice a year ritual is also a great time to replace the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, test them, and review your preparedness plans with your family and co-workers.

The Shelby County Office of Preparedness, under the leadership of Bob Nations, Jr., Director, recommends the following safety tips:

 

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Uplifting our young brothers

judgemathis 600I, along with my three brothers, was raised by a single mother who worked multiple jobs and sacrificed a tremendous amount for us. Despite all of her love and hard work, in my youth, I did not escape the pitfalls that commonly plague young boys growing up in low-income and single parent households.

I was arrested multiple times until a Michigan judge gave me an ultimatum to either turn my life around and get my education or serve a long term prison sentence. The goodwill sentencing of that judge allowed me to change for the better and overcome seemingly insurmountable odds that my friends I faced growing up.

I was trapped in a cycle of self-destructive behavior. It's the same cycle that far too many of our minority brothers are stuck in today.

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