Daily Archive: May 5, 2010


Obama takes aim at anti-government rhetoric

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP)—In a blunt caution to political friend and foe, President Barack Obama said Saturday that partisan rants and name-calling under the guise of legitimate discourse pose a serious danger to America’s democracy, and may incite “extreme elements” to violence. The comments, in a graduation speech at the University of Michigan’s huge football stadium, were Obama’s most direct take about the angry politics that have engulfed his young presidency after long clashes over health care, taxes and the role of government. WORDS OF WISDOM—President Barack Obama gave the commencement address at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, May 1.


Lawyers say ex-HUD chief won’t be charged

WASHINGTON (AP)—Lawyers for former housing secretary Alphonso Jackson said the Justice Department won’t prosecute the former Bush administration official and has closed its criminal investigation. The Housing and Urban Development Department secretary left government in 2008 with unanswered questions about whether he had tilted the agency toward Republican contractors and cronies. On May 3, the Justice Department declined to comment on whether it had closed out the probe. ALPHONSO JACKSON


Sandra Bullock adopts Black son from New Orleans

(AFRO.com)—In the midst of divorce from husband Jesse James, Sandra Bullock is welcoming a new man in her life—an adopted Black baby from New Orleans, the New York Post reported. In the most recent issue of People magazine, Bullock revealed that she and James had officially filed for divorce and she had also completed the adoption process, now becoming the mother of 3-month-old Louis Bardo Bullock. Bullock’s new baby was born into post-Katrina New Orleans, where Bullock and James had previously decided to adopt. NEW MOTHER—Actress Sandra Bullock with her newly adopted child Louis Bardo Bullock on the cover of People magazine.


Respect, hate, violence, death…a saga of the modern South

by Valencia MohammedFor New Pittsburgh Courier (AFRO.com)—Richard Barrett, 67, general counsel of the Nationalist Movement, which he founded in Mississippi, was found dead in his home April 22, in Rankin County, Miss. Police said the attorney, well-known for his public opposition to the Dr. Martin Luther King holiday and his anti-Jena Six demonstrations, was murdered. And they have charged Barrett’s neighbor, Vincent McGee, a 22-year old Black male who was released from prison in February for arson, with the crime. Records indicate Barrett was stabbed and bludgeoned. His home was also set on fire. RICHARD BARRETT


This Week in Black History

Week of May 7-13May 71800—On this date the founder of the settlement, which would grow to become the city of Chicago, Jean Baptiste Pointe Du Sable, sold his property and left the settlement. The Haitian-born frontier trader and businessman would die 18 years later in St. Charles, Mo.1878—Black inventor, J.R. Winters, receives a patent for his designing of the fire escape ladder. ROBERT SMALLS



Women who gave it all, mothers

The nation officially celebrates Mother’s Day May 9, but there are millions of people who celebrate Mother’s Day every day. Mothers have always been special, mainly because they have been required to perform a multitude of roles and they did so admirably. I remember the books and movies titled “Wonder Woman” and it could have been our mother, yours and mine. Amazingly, all mothers were not biological mothers. There were women, for whatever reasons, accepted the responsibility of being a mother to someone else’s children.



‘Is Gay the New Black?’

Leave it to Rev. Wendell Anthony, president of the Detroit branch of the NAACP, to organize a panel discussion on the provocative topic: “Is Gay the New Black?” The lively and sometimes passionate discussion was held as part of Freedom Weekend activities in Detroit and mirrored a long-running debate around the country among African-Americans and between Blacks and the lesbian and gay community. The question is premised on whether the LBGT community (lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender) is discriminated against in the same manner that African-Americans were prior to passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Acts and, to a lesser extent, today. City Council President Charles Pugh, who is openly gay, was the only panelist who took a different tact, thinking the question was about the color black as a fashion statement.



Transracial adoption should win Sandra Bullock another Oscar

I love the blog “Stuff White People Like.” The site promotes itself as a “tongue-in-cheek comprehensive list of everything left-wing, upper-middle-class Caucasians enjoy.” The list is pretty accurate based on what I know of my White liberal friends, they love listening to Black music that Black people don’t listen to anymore (No. 116), publicly screaming about how they hate their parents (No. 17) and of course Facework (No. 106). Recently, Christian Lander, the blog’s creator, was being interviewed on “Lopez Tonight” and joked about how in his mind Obama is a “White liberal” president. The reason? Obama has the one accessory that all White liberals want—cute Black children. I couldn’t help but think of this last week when Sandra Bullock was on the cover of People Magazine with her newly adopted Black baby boy, Louis. It’s nice to see another White celebrity get exactly what they like, and not have to answer any tough questions about it.


Prof. Gates and the blame for slavery

(NNPA)—Like everyone else who read professor Skip Gates’ piece in the New York Times asserting that Africans were just as responsible for slavery as Europeans, I was aghast because he is one of the most acclaimed scholars in the country and his position lends credibility to those who oppose an historical corrective for the oppression of African peoples. Admittedly, my concern also arises from the publication of my most recent book on reparations, “The Price of Racial Reconciliation,” in which I take a strong position favoring reparations as a long-time member of this movement. Although Gates’ argument is cast in scholarly terms, it should be said that he is not a recognized scholar of African history, a fact that has caused him to design a simple equation of the culpability of Africans with Europeans in the slave trade. This cannot be so, even if it is his point that Africans were surely involved in the slave trade.


Suspicion of racial origin

(NNPA)—Arizona Senate Bill 1070 gives law enforcement officers the right to stop, question, arrest and detain any person they suspect is in the United States illegally. What gives rise to such suspicion? Give the climate and the content in which the law has been passed, it might well be called the “detain suspected Mexicans” legislation. Few of us should get comfortable, though, thinking the legislation targets Mexican Americans and not others. Giving law enforcement the right to stop based on suspicion is a license to harass folks who are “other,” and that may include African-Americans and other brown people. It isn’t likely that White folks are likely to be stopped, though perhaps they ought to be.