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Tue04152014

Opinion

Right response from Obama on Zimmerman verdict

David Swerdlick-160(The Root) – Though it's compellingly argued and passionately felt, I disagree with the assessment of my colleague at The Root, Keli Goff, that President Barack Obama's statement about (the) George Zimmerman verdict was disappointing or somehow offensive. After all, everyone has a part to play in this tragedy, and Obama's is unlike anyone else's.

While he's the most visible – and powerful – black man in the world, he's also head of government and head of state. And in those dual capacities, he ought to – and has – spoken out in support of Trayvon Martin's family. But it's also his job to represent the American system, with all its attendant flaws.

That's the difference between being a black politician and a president who's also black.

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Twitter examines white privilege

trayvon-trayvon-575Much of the nation is still reeling from the not-guilty verdict handed down to George Zimmerman over the weekend. Though Zimmerman is half Latino, many rightly name white privilege as a factor in his acquittal.

Since the verdict was announced, white Twitterers have used their own stories to illustrate the way white privilege works. Using the tag #WhitePrivilege, they shared encounters they had with police officers when they were young – situations similar to Trayvon's that ended much differently because they were not profiled as Trayvon was.

Hearing the privileged recognize and speak on their privilege imparts a bit of hope that maybe they can reach an audience that the rest of us can't.

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Were they disappointed we didn’t riot?

Were they disappointed that we didn't riot?

That was the sentiment of some who took to Twitter to give their accounts of the peaceful protests against George Zimmerman's acquittal that took place in Oakland, Calif., Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and other cities across the country on Sunday.

While the demonstrations focused on frustration with the verdict, Twitter accounts reflected what was seen as another instance of injustice: inadequate coverage of media coverage of the events, and especially of the accounts of those who said Los Angeles Police were firing rubber bullets at the crowds.

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In Zimmerman case, doing what’s right not just about law

Donna Brazile-160Like so many others, I am distraught. It will take many days to sort through my feelings and reactions to the verdict of not guilty in the Trayvon Martin case. Still, some thoughts and lessons are obvious, immediate and, in a sense, imperative.

First, those who delight in the verdict are wrong. There is no winner here. Trayvon Martin is still dead and George Zimmerman still must live with the fact that he killed without reason or cause. Here, the "should have" rules: He should have stayed in the truck.

Those who react to the verdict with despair are wrong. We work hard for justice in this world, but we, being human, are flawed. We will make mistakes. The law is only our best approximation of justice, and the law needs constant revision. But doing what's right is not limited to the law. Sometimes, we must go beyond it.

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Oh Really? Rapper Lil Wayne speaks on the George Zimmerman verdict

Boyce-Watkins-160(YourBlackWorld.com) – The rapper Lil Wayne, the man who probably disappoints me more than any hip-hop artist on the planet, took the time to tweet his thoughts on the recent "not guilty" verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman.

Even Wayne felt compelled to look out into the world to express his concerns about the case, sending this tweet:

"Tampa was amazing but kame bak to my bus and saw da news...ain't s**t change, and I may never get to see it do so. I pray 4my kids & yours," he said.

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African-American students need parent-school partnerships

black-boys-in-school-400On July 5, Ivory Kaleb Toldson was born. He is my first son and second child. During his birth I relived the joy, wonderment and jitters that I experienced in 2007 when my daughter, Makena, was born.

Like millions of parents, I want the best education for my children. As a black parent, I am cognizant of the persistent racial inequities and biases in the school system. Black children need to be exposed to a curriculum that builds on their strengths, affirms their culture and treats them with dignity and compassion.

Notwithstanding many problems that schools are having educating black children, I am optimistic that black children can succeed in any type of school (public, private or charter) in any environment (urban, suburban or rural). Through my years of research on academic success, I am convinced that the key to educating black children is to have schools build successful partnerships with black parents.

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Spoiling vs nurturing – How to ensure that your child has it all

Tarrin McGhee-160Babies and young children often serve as the greatest sources of joy in our adult lives.

Maybe that's why we are all guilty at times of going against our better judgment – spending beyond our means or giving in to tearful requests even when we suspect it may not be the right thing to do.

This conflict leads many parents to worry whether they are "spoiling" their child. In common terms, a "spoiled" child is one who is used to getting whatever she wants – and prone to throw temper tantrums when she doesn't.

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Zimmerman trial: It’s about race

zimmerman trial-600We have all been duped in the Trayvon Martin case. Bamboozled.

This case was never "open and shut" as Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump insisted in a news conference at the start of the trial. I doubted it was that easy from Day One.

Said Crump then: "The jury will have to hear all of the evidence. We think this is a simple case. No. 1: Zimmerman was a grown man with a gun. No. 2: Trayvon was a child with no blood on his hands. Literally."

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Zimmerman-like drama may be as close as local courthouse

8greentrials-600It goes on every day, in every county in the United States.

It's absolutely free.

Usually there's no wait to get in.

And it can be as compelling as anything on television.

The Florida trial in which George Zimmerman stands accused of murdering Trayvon Martin is attracting large TV audiences. The O.J. Simpson trial got the country accustomed to watching high-profile court proceedings gavel-to-gavel; the trial of Jodi Arias drew big ratings before the Zimmerman trial.

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Why do so many people think blacks are racist?

earl ofari hutchinson-160(The Root) – Blogging at the Huffington Post, Earl Ofari Hutchinson checks in on the recent Rasmussen poll, which showed that more Americans think that blacks are more racist than whites.

"A recent Rasmussen poll found that more Americans by a wide margin think blacks are more racist than whites. This also included a significant percent of blacks who according to Rasmussen said that they consider more blacks racist than whites or Hispanics. The poll was sloughed off, mocked, and skewered by some.

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Eat fresh fruits and vegetables if you want to live

Chef Timothy Moore-160CHEF TIMOTHY Eating fresh fruits and vegetables on a daily basis is key to long life. But longevity cannot be achieved unless there is a lifestyle change. Too many people are afraid of change. They're complacent and uninspired to do what is best for their overall health.

Most people in society are lazy when it comes to taking good care of their health. They don't eat the right foods and don't drink enough water to keep their bodies hydrated. Also – and this is just as important – they don't spend enough time exercising. Many don't exercise at all.

In some respects, we don't think about our health failing. Eating poorly, in addition to living a sedentary lifestyle, is what causes the body to break down and lose its vigor. Food labels are responsible, in most cases, for causing people to err when choosing what foods to purchase.

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Sacramento mayor warns of ‘crisis’ in education

kevinjohnson-500NASHVILLE – The education of African Americans has reached a state of crisis that demands a strong response from all African-Americans, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson told members of the National Newspaper Publishers Association at its annual convention here.

"We have a crisis when it comes to public education in this country," Johnson said at a luncheon on Friday. "Only 52 percent of our third- and fourth-graders are reading at grade level. If you're black, only 16 percent of our kids in the third and fourth grade are reading at grade level – only 16 percent. To make matters worse, if you're not reading at grade level by the time you leave the third grade, 75 percent of the kids never catch up"

Johnson continued, "So, essentially if you can't read by the time you leave the third grade, the chances of you ever reading is very slim. This should be enough to outrage every single person in this room when 84 percent of the kids who look like us cannot read."

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Supreme Court makes right call on affirmative action & voting

R Jackson-160Last week liberal blacks and whites went crazy after the Supreme Court issued its ruling on affirmative action and the voting rights cases. Well, I happen to agree with the court in both decisions. Now, before you start calling me a "sell-out, Uncle Tom," or Republican," turn off your emotions and listen to reason.

In the black community, the mere mention of revisiting any civil rights program automatically elicits cries of "Jim Crow," "racism," or "turning back the clock." Despite protestations to the contrary, in a 7-1 decision, the Supreme Court actually upheld the use of affirmative action. They simply stated that institutions must prove that they have exhausted all other remedies before they resort to using race in their admission decisions. In light of the progress we have made in this country on the issue of race, I find the court's decision very reasonable.

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