Daily Archive: May 19, 2010

International

South African police link explosives to right wing

JOHANNESBURG (AP)—South African police have confiscated a large cache of weapons and arrested suspects linked to right-wing groups, the police ministry said May 6. Zweli Mnisi, a spokesman for Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, told The AP that police acting on tips raided sites in the capital and a western town and found large caches of explosives, illegal guns and ammunition. He said there was a “strong linkage to right-wing operations.”

National

NAACP backs Kagan, Obama’s Supreme Court nominee

WASHINGTON (AP)—The NAACP gave its backing Saturday to Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, expressing confidence in President Barack Obama’s pick after early hesitation that she might not be a forceful defender of civil rights. The nation’s oldest and largest civil rights group voted unanimously at a board meeting in Florida to endorse Kagan, in line to succeed retiring Justice John Paul Stevens. It was an early endorsement by a major interest group for Kagan, who is solicitor general, the government’s top lawyer at the Supreme Court. KEY ENDORSEMENT—Solicitor General Elena Kagan stands with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden as she is introduced as Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court in the East Room of the White House, May 10.

National

Ariz. governor signs bill banning ethnic studies programs

by Dorothy RowleyFor New Pittsburgh Courier (Afro.com)—Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has again stirred the ire of civil rights proponents with her recent signing into law of a bill that prohibits ethnic studies classes that advocate ethnic solidarity, and which are designed mainly for students of a particular race or promote resentment toward a certain ethnic group. The bill targets a program offered by the Tucson Unified School District, which enrolls about 1,500 of that city’s Latino students. In addition to its Mexican-American curriculum, the program offers specialized courses in African-American and Native-American studies with what some state officials called an anti-White slant on history and literature.

National

Project to demolish 450 houses starts in Detroit

by Corey WilliamsAssociated Press Writer DETROIT (AP)— The war on vacant houses in Detroit took on new force May 11 as officials announced plans to demolish about 450 of the most dangerous structures within the next two months, and immediately tore into the first home on the list. Crews collapsed the chimney of a two-story bungalow in northwest Detroit in a ceremonial start to the $4.5 million project backed by Wayne County and faith-based groups. It’s the latest step in an aggressive effort to rid the city of thousands of vacant homes. REBIRTH IN MOTOWN—In this photo taken Feb. 12, a house is demolished in a Detroit neighborhood as Mayor Dave Bing pushes forward with $20 million in federal funds and a plan to resuscitate dying neighborhoods by tearing down 10,000 dangerous, vacant houses.

National

Booker wins 2nd term as mayor of Newark

by David PorterAssociated Press Writer NEWARK, N.J. (AP)—Cory Booker handily won a second term as mayor of Newark on Tuesday night and told supporters that his administration will continue to deliver change even as the city faces a difficult financial future. “This city, this state, this nation … they ain’t seen nothin’ yet,” he bellowed to a cheering crowd at the Robert Treat Hotel. “Newark is going to continue to rise.” CORY BOOKER

National

Study: Atlanta overtakes Chicago as second largest Black metropolitan area

by William H. FreyFor New Pittsburgh Courier Editor’s Note: The just released “State of Metropolitan America” study from the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program portrays the demographic and social trends shaping the nation’s economic and societal metropolitan populations. The excerpt below is from the Race & Ethnicity section of the report. The racial and ethnic profile of the United States continued its transformation in the 2000s, reflecting the combined impact of continued immigration and higher fertility rates for nonwhite groups.

Opinion

How about getting a Black on the Supreme Court?

(NNPA)—It’s been a long time since Thurgood Marshall served on the highest court in the land. I think it’s time we get another Black person on the bench. We have a “Black” president who has now nominated two females, one White and Jewish, and one Hispanic and Catholic. Now we have six Catholics and three Jews on the court, and no Blacks or so-called Protestants, the most prevalent religious segment in the United States. Hmmm. You would think that after all Black people have done for this country, there would be a continuous effort to keep at least one Black person on the highest court in the land. Considering all we have sacrificed for this country, it is reasonable to assume that any fair-minded government leader would make every effort to appoint and maintain one Black to the Supremes.

hopkendrickbox

Opinion

Black builders from pyramids to 2010—what happened?

This column is not directed toward the accomplishments or failures of Black contractors in any city but Pittsburgh. However, in my estimation we need to focus to a degree about the history of Black builders. Everyone knows that the pyramids—one of the seven wonders of the world—were built by Blacks, and it still remains a mystery how, when every block weighed 50 tons, were cut to perfection and no mortar was used.

jasonjohnsonbox

Opinion

A lesbian on the Supreme Court? Let’s hope so

(REAL TIMES MEDIA)—By now you have likely heard that Barack Obama has selected Solicitor General Elena Kagan to be his nominee for the Supreme Court vacancy left open by retiring judge John Paul Stevens. Stevens was a liberal stalwart on the court, and the perfect foil to the rightward lurching of the Supreme Court under eight years of the Bush administration. We’ll be lucky if Kagan is half as progressive. In fact, the only hope that the public has that her nomination will balance out the court rather than be another squishy moderate, is if it turns out that she really is a lesbian.