Daily Archive: March 17, 2010


Obama donates Nobel prize money to charities

by Gregory DaleFor New Pittsburgh Courier (NNPA)—President Obama will donate $1.4 million from his Nobel Peace Prize to several charities, according to a White House press release. Obama will donate a total of $750,000 to six groups that assist students going to college. The Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund, which helps to rebuild the devastated country, will receive $200,000. Fisher House, which supplies housing for the families of hospitalized veterans, will receive $250,000. “These organizations do extraordinary work in the United States and abroad helping students, veterans and countless others in need,” President Obama said in the statement. “I’m proud to support their work.”


Obama’s 40-yard dash for health care reform

by Stephon JohnsonFor New Pittsburgh Courier (NNPA)—President Barack Obama and the majority of Democrats in Washington have heard everything they needed to hear—positive and negative—about health care and are ready for a vote. Question is: When will the vote happen? Democrats have used campaign-style tactics the past several weeks to push the benefits of the health care plan. But the election for America’s right to free health care doesn’t have an end date. And that’s a problem.


This Week in Black History

Week of March 1925 March 19 1620—The first Black child born in America, William Tucker, was probably born on this date in Jamestown, Va. However, some controversy surrounds the exact date. What we know for sure is that he was the son of two of the first Africans brought to America as indentured servants in August NAT KING COLE 1619—Anthony and Isabella. We also know he was baptized on Jan. 3, 1624. Further, there is debate as to whether his last name was actually “Tucker.” It seems that many historians simply assumed that the child was given the last name of the man on whose plantation his parents worked. While this would later become the practice on many plantations, there is no documentation that Anthony and Isabella actually gave their son the last name of Tucker.


Test your knowledge of women’s history

1. Who founded Bethune-Cookman College, established the National Council of Negro Women, and served as an adviser on minority affairs to President Franklin D. Roosevelt? 2. What woman was the first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature? 3. What Black woman refused to give up her seat to a White man, in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955, thus sparking the Civil Rights Movement of the following decade?



We agree on Jordan Miles situation, but nothing else

An overwhelming percentage of people from all races and genders agree that the Jordan Miles situation was an absolute example of excessive police force. This case, as tragic as it is, is a continuation of the absolute power the police possess when it involves life or death. The newspaper estimated that there were at least 100 people in attendance at the Homewood branch of the Carnegie Library in response to Councilman Rev. Ricky Burgess’ proposed Miles’ Bill. The truth of the matter is that the meeting wound up being a discussion of police abuse of power, which resulted in the death of Jonny Gammage and Jerry Jackson—the miracle driver who allegedly attempted to turn his car around in the Armstrong tunnels, and justice was denied once again.


The agenda after health care

(NNPA)—Is the passage of health care reform a foregone conclusion? At this writing, Democrats lack enough votes in the House of Representatives to pass even a watered-down version of the initial legislation because, on the left, there is opposition to the absence of a public option and because, on the right, there are objections to market manipulations. Still, between Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s commitment and President Obama’s high-risk brinksmanship on this issue, it is likely that some form of health care reform will be voted in before the end of this month. It won’t be enough to satisfy some, and too much for the taste of others, and yet it will be a step forward in the quest to make health care a right, not a privilege, something that progressives have been advocating for decades.



Tiger Woods takes some tips from Bush

(REAL TIMES MEDIA)—I had several New Year’s resolutions for 2010. I would hit the gym on the regular, call family more often and not write one word about Tiger Woods until he returned to golf. It looks like I’ve gone three months into the new year, Tony Robbins would be proud. The latest Tiger story is just too important to pass up, not because I think his public scandal deserves more attention, (it has been analyzed to death) but because his latest move is worse than anything he did to cost himself endorsements last fall. The last thing anybody should do to re-habilitate their image is take advice from a member of the old Bush administration, but that’s exactly what Woods is doing.



Reducing the Black male dropout rate

(NNPA)—Boys don’t drop out in the 12th grade. They physically drop out in the ninth grade, but they emotionally and academically drop out in the fourth grade. That observation is made early by Jawanza Kunjufu, a noted educator, public speaker and publisher, in his new book, Reducing the Black Male Dropout Rate (African American Images, Chicago, 708/672-4909) He issues this challenge to readers: “Visit a kindergarten class and observe Black boys in action. They’re eager, they sit in the front, they’re on task. They love learning.”


Conservative or conservationist?

A little bit of wisdom that was shared with me not too long ago. “God gave us a powerful gift—your mind. As you look around at any object, it began as an idea in some one’s mind. Any change of situation begins as a thought.” Indeed there is infinite power in an idea. Russell Kirk wrote, “Conservatism is not a political system, but a way of looking at the civil order.” Put more plainly, it is a world view. People often confuse being a conservative with being a Republican. However, Republican is a political party not a way of thinking. All Republicans are not conservatives. In fact as we have seen over the years there are even some Republicans that are not Republicans. Being a conservative is really about the embrace of an idea.


Tough on teachers

The recent firing of all the teachers at Central Falls High School in Rhode Island by the district superintendent was applauded by both President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Both thought this was the right thing for the students being failed by the teachers and the school. But is it all the teacher’s fault? Should the principals also be held responsible? What about the parents? After all, it does take a village.