facebook-icotwitter-icogoogle-icorss-ico
connectsubscribearchives
Log in

Opinion

The birth – and ultimate death of – Congressman Cohen’s ‘Miss Pearl’

The birth – and ultimate death of – Congressman Cohen’s ‘Miss Pearl’
It was Monday morning, July 7th, and I was up early to start the workweek. I’d spent Independence Day and Essence Festival weekend in New Orleans and in nearby Houma, La., where I visited family and friends. Heading into the office while listening to Clear Channel Radio station KJMS V101, my ears were disturbed by a political ad that harkened back to a day when freedom did not ring nearly loud enough for African Americans.  
 
A character by the name of Miss Pearl, obviously the brainchild of Congressman Steve Cohen’s campaign, spoke in a tone and manner reminiscent of the Aunt-Jemima stereotype about President Obama’s support of Cohen’s reelection campaign. 

Read more...

  • Written by Bernal E Smith II

What if we looked past the election?

What if we looked past the election?
We are now at the beginning of early voting. By Tuesday, polls will be open all over Shelby County, and until August 2 you will have an opportunity to exercise your franchise through early voting. This is a privilege that many of us take for granted, which is unavailable in many parts of the country. Yet, if recent trends hold true, approximately four to nine percent of registered voters will visit the polls during this voting cycle.
 
Looking at this reality, we must add the toxic cynicism that now is a part of the community’s disillusion with the political process. Many see no reason to vote or hope. With this in mind, I offer this thought:
 
Look past the election.

Read more...

Is hotel shampoo kind of racist?

Is hotel shampoo kind of racist?
The Root recently took its “Race Manners’ column to Facebook, where Associate Editor Jenée Desmond-Harris engaged in a live Q&A. 
 
One reader took serious issue with the toiletries offered by major hotel chains, going so far as to call the selections a “micro-agression” against black people. 
 
Another exchange tacked a timeless question: What does “racism” really mean (and why don’t people get it)? 
 
Here’s a partial transcript:

Read more...

We stand together – lack and brown – for the youth in Chicago and Central America

We stand together – lack and brown – for the youth in Chicago and Central America
Last week The Root’s Keli Goff wrote about the child refugees fleeing violence and poverty in Central America and seeking refuge at our border. Unfortunately, she argued that we shouldn’t protect these brown children, and supports deporting them – while claiming that we have our own black children to care about first, citing recent violence in the streets of Chicago.
 
Well, we are those black and brown children she’s talking about.

Read more...

Deciphering the new game in tech: Do businesses value diversity?

Deciphering the new game in tech: Do businesses value diversity?
Vast wealth, massive disruption, formidable power — these are just the few of the big-ticket prizes behind some of the doors of the high stakes game known as the tech industry.
 
For many years, it has been an exclusive, members-only sort of sector but now, new players try to shoulder their way in to a seat at a table brimming with abundance.  There’s a new breeze beginning to blow in the thin, exclusive air of the tech giants’ offices in this country, and the direction seems to be that of a call to action for diversity. But with just as many complexities as entrants, how things will truly shake out in the long run is almost anyone’s guess.

Read more...

How to raise a financially responsible child

How to raise a financially responsible child

Two weeks ago I handed my son his first debit card for his own bank account. Since he’s 15 years old, I figured it was time for him to control his own money. For the past couple of years he’s received a minimal allowance, which he’s never complained about. Most kids would scoff at $20 a week, but not him. Every time I handed him a $20, you’d think he’d just received $100.

But what he didn’t know was that technically he was earning $40 a week for the errands he’s required to do. For the last several years the extra $20 he wasn’t getting was going directly into his account.

Read more...

Longer safe-haven times for moms might have kept babies safe from harm

Longer safe-haven times for moms might have kept babies safe from harm

Two recent stories captured headlines and broke hearts across the nation. A 7-month-old baby was abandoned in a New York subway station and another baby died, allegedly suffocated by his mother at just 11 months old. Though the stories had different endings, both are tragedies, and in each case, the babies were being brought up by young mothers who were in over their heads and – in acts of apparent desperation – made choices that will haunt them the rest of their lives.

My point isn’t to condone the alleged actions of these two women. But it is to raise a question: If we as a society accept that there are people who become parents every day who aren’t ready for parenthood, why don’t we provide more options to help keep their children healthy and safe?

Read more...

Subcategories