Daily Archive: December 10, 2009


Cuba blasts U.S. Black leaders for charges of racism

by Will Weissert HAVANA (AP)—Cuba hit back Dec. 3 at 60 prominent U.S. Black leaders who challenged its race record, with island writers, artists and official journalists calling the criticism an attack on their country’s national identity. The five-page signed statement, distributed by Cuban government press officials in an e-mail, defended Cuba’s progress in providing social and personal opportunities for Blacks and people of mixed race. CORNEL WEST, SUSAN TAYLOR and JEREMIAH WRIGHT But it focused more on Cuba’s past than the racial inequalities of contemporary Cuban society that came under criticism from Americans such as Princeton University professor Cornel West; Jeremiah Wright, former pastor of President Barack Obama’s Chicago church and Susan Taylor, former editor of Essence magazine.


Obama’s stylish aide under withering scrutiny

by Jocelyn Novek (AP)—She arrived in Washington with more of a splash than any White House social secretary before her, and no wonder: Desiree Rogers had obvious style, wealth, a Harvard MBA, years of corporate experience, and friends at the top, most importantly Barack and Michelle Obama. UNDER FIRE—White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers arrives for a state dinner hosted by President Barack Obama for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the White House in Washington, in this photo taken Nov. 24. She defined her goal as nothing less than bringing life to the Obama presidency. And she pulled off a series of innovative, high-wattage events that seemed to be doing just that. She even got the nation’s governors to dance in a Conga line. Enter Tareq and Michaele Salahi.


Tiger’s troubles widen his distance from Blacks

by Jesse Washington Amid all the headlines generated by Tiger Woods’ troubles—the puzzling car accident, the suggestions of marital turmoil and multiple mistresses—little attention has been given to the race of the women linked with the world’s greatest golfer. Except in the Black community. RACHEL UCHITEL When three White women were said to be romantically involved with Woods in addition to his blonde, Swedish wife, blogs, airwaves and barbershops started humming, and Woods’ already tenuous standing among many Blacks took a beating.


New Obama plans: ‘Spend our way out’ of downturn

by Philip Elliott WASHINGTON (AP)—President Barack Obama outlined new multibillion-dollar stimulus and jobs proposals Tuesday, saying the nation must continue to “spend our way out of this recession” until more Americans are back at work. Without giving a price tag, Obama proposed a package of new spending for highway, bridge and other infrastructure projects, deeper tax breaks for small businesses and tax incentives to encourage people to make their homes more energy efficient. ON THE ECONOMY— President Barack Obama speaks on the economy at the Brookings Institution in Washington, Dec. 8. “We avoided the depression many feared,” Obama said in a speech at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank. But, he added, “Our work is far from done.”


Slim win for mayor shows battered Black electorate

by Errin HainesAssociated Press Writer ATLANTA (AP)—When the final votes are counted, it’s likely the Black political machine that integrated Atlanta’s City Hall—and kept it that way for four decades—will have pulled through one more time to deliver a fifth consecutive Black mayor. Barely. Former state Sen. Kasim Reed edged out Mary Norwood by 715 votes in the Dec. 1 contest for the nonpartisan mayor’s office. That falls within the 1 percent margin of victory that under Georgia law allows the runner-up to petition for a recount. Kasim Reed


Detroit NAACP head receives Community Leadership Award

DETROIT—Reverend Dr. Wendell Anthony, president, Detroit Branch NAACP, recently received the Excellence in Community Leadership Award during the first Advocates and Leaders for Police and Community Trust banquet. He was awarded this honor for his perseverance and commitment to the advancement of diversity, community and humanity. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder served as the keynote speaker for the banquet. PROUD WINNER—From left; Heaster Wheeler, executive director, Detroit Branch NAACP; Andrew Arena, ALPACT co-chair, FBI Special Agent in Charge, Detroit; Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, president, Detroit Branch NAACP; U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder; attorney Nabih Ayad, ALPACT co-chair, Nabih Ayad & Associates.


This Week in Black History

Week of December 11-17 December 11 1917—Thirteen Black soldiers were hanged for their participation in the so-called Houston riot. The “riot” had occurred in August of 1917 when Whites objected to the presence of Black soldiers in the city. Racist insults and mistreatment began. Then a Black soldier intervened in the arrest of a Black woman. A Black corporal inquired with the police about the arrest of the soldier. A fight broke out between the corporal and the police. JOE ‘KING’ OLIVER, ELLA BAKER and JACK JOHNSON A rumor spread that a White mob was marching on the Black camp. Roughly 100 Black soldiers grabbed rifles and marched on downtown Houston. Within two hours they had killed 15 Whites including four police officers. They returned to camp but military officials pressured seven soldiers to snitch on the others. That resulted in the convictions and hangings of 13 Black soldiers.


Speak Out: What happened to Tiger Woods?

Since the Tiger Woods incident has dominated the news lately we asked Pittsburghers what they thought. Here’s what you said: “I think she should take her money and leave.” Jamel Williams Lawrenceville Retired police officer Jamel Williams, Lisa Magee and Curtis Brown


Guest Editorial: Obama’s decision is true act of leadership

by Shannon Williams President Barack Obama’s strategy for the war in Afghanistan is one that was received with mixed reaction. Supporters say his plan to increase U.S. troops as well as set an end date is a move in the right direction, while opponents feel that the war is senseless—be it in Iraq or Afghanistan. While I’m against war (particularly the war in Iraq), I understand the United States’ global role and our need to have a presence in Afghanistan.



Birthday on Thanksgiving, what wonderful gifts

I celebrated my 78th birthday on Thanksgiving Day in Acto, N.J., at my daughter’s home. All three of my daughters—Toni, Kim and Jerri—were present. I received the usual gifts and my favorite lemon pie was substituted for the traditional birthday cake. My wife and family presented me with birthday cards, with words so moving it almost bought me to tears. These cards are in my column this week.