Daily Archive: January 27, 2010


Haitians respond to media portrayal of homeland

by Kristin Gray (NNPA)—As many Haitians live in peril amid indescribable destruction and death, their American relatives are vexed by the media’s depiction of their native country as an uninhabitable, poverty-stricken no man’s land. While Haiti’s history of widespread human suffering is irrefutable—something most Haitians recognize—some believe the Caribbean nation has been particularly demonized by international media following a 7.0-magnitude earthquake which pulverized its capital, Port-au-Prince.


TSA nominee withdraws amid ‘political agenda’

by Julie Pace WASHINGTON (AP)—President Barack Obama’s choice to lead the Transportation Security Administration withdrew his name Jan. 20, a setback for an administration still trying to explain how a man could attempt to blow up a commercial airliner on Christmas Day. POLITICAL CASUALTY—Erroll Southers, the Obama administration’s choice to lead the Transportation Security Administration, issued a statement Jan. 20 announcing the withdrawal of his nomination. Erroll Southers said he was pulling out because his nomination had become a lightning rod for those with a political agenda. Obama had tapped Southers, a top official with the Los Angeles Airport Police Department, to lead the TSA in September but his confirmation has been blocked by Republican Sen. Jim DeMint, who says he was worried that Southers would allow TSA employees to have collective bargaining rights.


Census ‘insults’ historic influence of Black Press, publishers say

CHARLOTTE (NNPA)—Flanked by dozens of Black newspaper publishers from across the country, National Newspaper Publishers Association Chairman Danny Bakewell is demanding that the U.S. Census Bureau allocate more funding in advertising for Black newspapers throughout America in order to conduct an accurate count in the 2010 U.S. Census. The current allocation both disrespects the Black Press’s ability to influence African-Americans to respond to the census and woefully inadequate to properly inform Black communities about the importance of being counted, he said. CALLING CENSUS TO TASK—NNPA publishers, led by Chairman Danny Bakewell, held a press conference during the organization’s winter conference to decry the piddly advertising dollars that the Census Bureau is spending with Black newspapers.


Public option appears dead, but health care still alive, lawmakers say

WASHINGTON (NNPA)—Despite grave concerns that President Obama’s plans for health care might have been killed by the election of Republican Scott Brown to fill the former Senate seat of the late Ted Kennedy, leading members of the Congressional Black Caucus say the bill is still very much alive. “No it’s not dead. It’s not dead at all,” said U.S. Rep. Donna Christensen, D-V.I. in an interview with the NNPA News Service. Christensen, a medical doctor, is chair of the CBC Health Braintrust and has been among the leading voices on health care. Donna Christensen, James Clyburn


One year in, hope harder to come by, Obama finds

by Nancy Benac WASHINGTON (AP)—At 8:35 a.m. Jan. 21, Barack Obama walked into the Oval Office for the first time as president, the hopes of Americans on his shoulders. He spent 10 minutes alone, soaking in the moment, then set about trying to deliver on the bold promises he had laid out in his inaugural address a day earlier. BACK ON THE STUMP—President Barack Obama takes questions during a town hall-style meeting at Lorain County Community College in Elyria, Ohio, Jan. 22. In a cruel fluke of the calendar, at precisely the one-year mark in his presidency, Obama awoke last Wednesday to headlines shouting about the Republican takeover of a U.S. Senate seat from Massachusetts, an election that represented far more than a shift of a legislator from one side of the aisle to the other.


This Week in Black History

The Week of Jan. 29-Feb. 4 January 29 1837—The great Russian literary genius Alexander Pushkin died on this day as a result of a duel. He is generally considered Russia’s greatest poet. Unlike many famous Europeans of color, Pushkin was proud of his Black heritage, which is traced to his great-grandfather on his mother’s side—Ibrahim Petrovich Gannibal—who was most probably an Ethiopian who became part of Russian royalty. Pushkin’s poetic style combined drama, romance and satire. ALEXANDER PUSHKIN and LANGSTON HUGHES


Editorial…Justices’ decision hurts democracy

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 last week that the government may not restrict political spending by corporations in candidate elections. The ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission allows corporations, labor unions and advocacy groups to buy ads that explicitly try to sway voters. The ruling allows corporations to spend freely to support or oppose candidates.



Cease allowing others to define us

I was born at 2614 Jones Ave. There was an outdoor toilet but no telephone or gas. A pot-bellied stove heated the second and third floor. Mother cooked on a coal stove and used a flat iron. Outsiders probably viewed the community and the Kendrick family as being poor. The truth of the matter was that we never perceived our neighbors or ourselves as poor, because we had family values instilled in us that molded us to understand that richness should never be defined as materialistic.



Race and politics at the New York Times

(NNPA)—Slightly more than three years ago, Gerald M. Boyd, one of my best friends, died of lung cancer at the age of 56. He had been promoted to managing editor of the New York Times, the highest position an African-American journalist had ever attained at the nation’s most influential newspaper. But his career at the newspaper abruptly ended in 2003 when it was discovered that Jayson Blair, another African-American, was a serial plagiarizer.