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Opinion

How ‘knockout game’ hysteria hurts Black America

How ‘knockout game’ hysteria hurts Black America

The hashtag '#knockoutgame' tells the story.

Social media is buzzing with fear and hysteria and the spread of anti-black sentiment. The proxy war for a host of racial agendas has a new rallying call. It is "the knockout game."

For those who followed the so called "Central Park Jogger" case, an incident in April of 1989 when one Hispanic and four black teens from Harlem were said to be "wilding," this 'knockout game' development is very troubling.

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‘Power leaks’ are self-imposed

‘Power leaks’ are self-imposed

Dear Lucy: There are some people who make me feel so small when I am around them. I don't know why but I just want to disappear. I never feel like I could ever be as smart or successful as them and I just lose my power when I am around them. I really need to get over this because it makes me feel like I am weak! Any advice? – Power Leak

Dear Power Leak: I just love that description. If we all told the truth, we would admit that no matter how cool we think we are, there is some situation or person that causes us to leak our power.

Some people actually live with people for whom they consistently leak away their power. It can be done with a certain look, a word or a gesture. When I was a child and would misbehave in church, my mother could give me that special look and I would not only go weak in the knees but immediately sit up straight and behave.

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Braves’ move is the latest blow to blacks in baseball

Braves’ move is the latest blow to blacks in baseball

My grandmother, with skin as dark and smooth as molasses and no formal education, never had a will. She didn't need one. She left this earth with a little under $100 in her savings account. But Alice Cole Robinson gave me some things good money cannot buy: an enduring faith in God, her banana pudding recipe, and a devotion to the St. Louis baseball Cardinals.

We couldn't afford to go to more than a few games a season. And even then, only when nose-bleed seats went on sale. My cousin Bookie and I used to crawl into the backseat of my uncle's old white Buick for the short drive to Busch Stadium. Grandma Alice never went. She preferred to sit in her upper room and listen on her transistor radio perched on the windowsill. She could see the brightly lit stadium from her armchair as she listened to Jack Buck call the game.

I was raised on big league ball. The 1982 World Series was like Christmas in our house. I will never forget pitchers like Joaquin Andujar and Bruce Sutter. Coming up, I had heroes like Oberkfell, McGree, Hernandez, and the Smiths—Lonnie and Ozzie. Manager Whitey Herzog and Cardinal legend Lou Brock were nothing short of gods in our house.

 

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If you love it, stop calling it ‘Obamacare’

If you love it, stop calling it ‘Obamacare’

Here's a fairly simple concept for supporters of that persistently troubled health care law with the glitchy website that runs as slow as a NetZero connection: Stop calling it "Obamacare."

For sure, that's a tough pill for fan girls and boys to swallow. There are legions of stubborn partisan Democrats who want the law to work—an admirable goal, given the realities of the uninsured landscape. We get that. But in casually adopting or accepting one of the more derisive political-messaging terms in recent memory, faithful surrogates (including the namesake himself) are refusing to put it to rest.

In that sense, it's worth wondering whether supporters are actually interested in making certain the Affordable Care Act actually does what it says or if they're more interested in preserving its creator's political legacy. These are two vastly different goals—the latter as politically impolitic as the incessant Republican effort to repeal it.

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Is it men only at the top of civil rights organizations?

Is it men only at the top of civil rights organizations?

In a petition circulated online, Change.org minces no words – "NAACP: Hire the First Woman President in the NAACP's 104 year History."

Seventy percent of the respondents agreed it is time that NAACP (the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) elect the first permanent woman president in its history.

The petition and the clamor for a woman to lead the organization came almost within moments after current NAACP President/ CEO Ben Jealous announced he was stepping down at the end of the year. This is hardly the first time there's been a clamor and an even louder criticism of the dearth of female leaders at the top of the nation's major civil rights organizations.

 

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Multiple screen viewing & you

Multiple screen viewing & you

Today, of course, when we talk about what we watch, that doesn't necessarily mean just television or the big screen. We have the choice of watching content (e.g. movies, TV, shows and videos) on a number of our cool devices whenever we feel like it.

We have the choice of watching this content on a number of cool devices whenever and at times wherever we choose. We have our computers (African Americans are 10 percent more likely to spend time on the Internet searching for information on electronics than the total population); smartphones (71 percent of us own smartphones compared to 62 percent of the total population); and television of course (African Americans watch 37 percent more television that the total population, which is the most of any other group).

Although how we watch continues to evolve, what we watch remains consistent, as Nielsen's latest report on African-American consumers, Resilient, Receptive and Relevant: The African-American Consumer 2013 Report, details. We prefer shows and movies that star or feature people who look like us – even though they might not always act like the average African-American person (When was the last time you threw a drink in someone's face or tried to pull someone's wig off?). Marketers who want to reach African-American audiences and a piece of our $1 trillion buying power should be paying close attention.

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  • Written by Cheryl Pearson-McNeil/NNPA News Service

Bullying does not lead to suicide

Bullying does not lead to suicide

Hardly a week goes by when there is not a tragic story of a teenager committing suicide. Tragic as these deaths are, there is absolutely no causation between bullying and suicide. The media's simplistic and sensational coverage of these teenage deaths are very problematic in this regard.

Suicide is never, let me repeat, suicide is never the result of one cause. Suicide is always the result of a culmination of events that triggers the deadly act; any one event could be the tips the scales.

Every kid is teased, picked on, or bullied growing up. I can guarantee that most people born in the '60s and '0s do not know anyone who committed suicide as a kid. So, why in today's times, does it seem to be so prevalent?

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  • Written by Raynard Jackson/NNPA

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