In a world that is dominated by men, especially white men, feminism is, for me, an empowering concept. It is a movement, which in the United States, according to Wikipedia, is aimed at "defining, establishing and defending equal social, economic and political rights for women."
It is certainly possible to argue that women have come a long way, but while we out-enroll men in college attendance, we don't out earn them, no matter our level of education. We don't out-represent them in elected office, or even in the higher echelons of employment, such as the Fortune 500 corporations. Women are doing better than we ever did and we still have a long way to go.
The feminist movement shows up differently in the African-American community. Our nation's antipathy toward black men suggests that men of African descent are not the same oppressors that white men are, bearing the burden of oppression themselves.
When I interviewed Marie Johns, then the outgoing deputy secretary of the Small Business Administration, a year ago, she said the SBA does not separate figures by race, though it hopes to do so at some point.
Technically, she was correct in saying the SBA does not separate agency-wide figures by race. But the SBA's 8 (a) program figures can be broken down by race and that's where she was being disingenuous. I specifically asked her twice about the status of black businesses under Obama and twice she was less than forthcoming.
Now, I know why: The Obama administration's record of guaranteeing loans to black businesses is worse than it was under George W. Bush.
Last week, the Obama Administration declared war on one million underserved students pursuing higher education throughout the United States. While the President and First Lady launch their campaign to make it easier for low-income minority students to access college, the Department of Education has launched an unprecedented assault on this same community through a new proposal that will cut thousands of college programs that disproportionately serve poor communities, single working mothers, veterans and other at-risk populations.
At a time when American employers desperately need an educated, skilled workforce to sustain economic recovery, a confused and conflicted White House is hurting the underserved communities it claims to support.
On March 14, the Department of Education published its new proposed "Gainful Employment" rule. The rule is a rehashed patchwork of regulations concocted several years ago in an attempt to prevent abuse of the federal financial aid system. Rejected through legislative process and shot down in federal court only a few years ago, the Administration has nonetheless resurrected the policy and repackaged it in an 841-page proposal that will decimate college programs and career-focused vocational training currently serving one million students.
Just in time for April, which is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, there's a new clip making the viral rounds of an angry black dad wailing on his child with a belt.
In a video partially titled "Father Whoops on His 13-Year-Old Daughter Dressed Like Beyoncé After Missing for 3 Days," a scantily clad black girl is being swung around by her long hair as her father mercilessly beats her in public. The girl, who never cries or makes any noise at all, holds on to her purse and tries to protect herself. There's a woman in the background—hopefully not the child's mother—calling her a "bitch" and a "ho."
Some viewers were shocked to discover that the man doing the hitting was the girl's father. "[This] video is disturbing," wrote one commenter. "This is a bit far. I thought it was a pimp and one of his ladies." If I had not seen the caption before I watched the video, I would have reached the same conclusion.
In a recent PSA to ban the word bossy, Beyoncé said, "I'm not bossy, I'm the boss," and little girls everywhere rejoiced.
Well, maybe that's not entirely what happened, but I'm sure it did.
Contrary to Bill O'Reilly's latest conspiracy theory, Beyoncé is not the cause of the downfall of society's children—quite the opposite. Mrs. Carter is just the woman we need to lead the discussion on leadership and feminism in the 21st century.
My friend is awaiting health insurance. This is not academic. She's afraid that she might have cancer. Think about what it says about a society that someone concerned about a serious illness has to wait to see whether they have the right insurance to cover a potentially life-threatening crisis.
For those who are procrastinating in getting your personal health insurance, I would suggest that you are gambling. And while the "cards" may play out in your favor, they also may not.
My friend has to wait till she gets her health insurance because, like many other workers, she is employed by a company that does not offer health insurance. They do not offer much in the way of time-off either. It is all part of a larger pattern. Each day that passes, workers find that they have to cover more and more of what, at one point, people took for granted. No health insurance; no pension; no sick time; little, if any, vacation. It starts to feel like the days prior to the advent of labor unions.
Everyone knows America has a hyper inequality problem. The six Walton family heirs who own Walmart have the same wealth as the bottom 42 percent of Americans. In the latest data through 2011, researchers Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty show the top 1 percent of income earners in the U.S. get 20 percent of all the income. Both the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD-the organization of the advanced industrialized democratic countries) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) recognize that high levels of inequality hurt economic growth.
The question is: What do we do about the inequality?
Understanding the need to explain inequality, we now hear from Republican House Budget chair Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) in an interview on Bill Bennett's "Morning in America" radio show that the problem is rooted in the cultural inferiority of inner city men: