Category: Opinion Written by Ulish Carter
With all the important issues going on in Pittsburgh there’s none more important to Pittsburghers than the Steelers draft. Did it help or hurt their chances of going to the Super Bowl?
One thing is for sure; the Steelers of 2013 will not be the Steelers of 2012. Even though most of the starters will be returning many key players will be gone.
James Harrison, gone. Casey Hampton, gone. Mike Wallace, gone. Rashard Mendenhall, gone. Willie Colon, gone. Keenan Lewis, gone. Ryan Mundy, gone. Will Carter, gone. And even though it’s not official, Charlie Batch, gone. Byron Leftwich, gone.
The draft gave people a break from all the heavy hitting of the mayoral race, the city council races, school board races, and judge races. But people in Pittsburgh are just as serious about their Steelers as they are about who’s going to be in whatever political office.
Jarvis Jones, an outside linebacker who led the nation in sacks from Oklahoma was the first choice. He is being counted on to replace James Harrison. Not this season, however, because Jason Worilds will handle that position in 2013. But don’t be surprised to see Worilds moved to the inside spot in 2014 replacing Larry Foote, to make way for Jones.
Le’Veon Bell is a big running back who many are comparing to Jerome Bettis. He will have to sit behind Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman this season but should move past them in his second or third season.
Markus Wheaton, a wide receiver, went in the third round. With the departure of Wallace, Emmanuel Sanders will join Antonio Brown in the starting lineup. But there will be an all out battle for that third receiver slot and Wheaton should win out before the season is over. Justin Brown, selected in the sixth, will also battle for playing time.
Shamarko Thomas was selected to backup the two aging safeties Ryan Clark and Troy Polamalu. With Mundy and Allen gone he will probably see a lot of time and will be looked upon to eventually replace one of them in the near future. He’s an outstanding player and would have gone much higher if it wasn’t for his height, 5 foot 9.
Landry Jones, a quarterback from Oklahoma, was the big surprise of the draft, but it didn’t surprise me. Ben is getting older and it’s time to start looking for a replacement. Lundry is a four year starter for the Sooners and owns every record there is at this football school. He will be the third string quarterback this season with the recently signed Bruce Gradkowski serving as the second string quarterback, but don’t be surprised if he moves ahead of him next season. That means that the two old veterans Leftwich, and Batch are gone.
Finishing out the draft for the Steelers were Terry Hawthorne, cornerback; Vince Williams, linebacker; and Nicholas Williams, defensive tackle.
Surprisingly no offensive linemen were selected, which says the Steelers management must be happy with all the young talent they have acquired over the past three years; so happy that they chose to let veteran Colon go. They do have some very talented young players on that offensive line, but the question is can they keep them healthy? If Ben Roethlisberger gets rid of the ball quickly, yes, if not it’s going to be a long season.
Overall the draft was a very good draft, and if everyone stays healthy the Steelers will be in the playoffs again, in pursuit of another Super Bowl, with eight returning starters on defense, and eight returning starters on offense.
Changing the subject. One of the people here emailed me an article from the Afro American newspaper upset over the fact legendary sports writer Sam Lacey wasn’t mentioned in the movie “42” about Jackie Robinson breaking the color line in Major League Baseball. As I stated in my movie review and column, the movie only dealt with Robinson’s first two years in White professional baseball: his one year in the Dodgers minor league, and his first year up with the Brooklyn Dodgers. That’s all there was time to deal with, and do it justice.
Just like all the complaints about the movie “Red Tails” about the Tuskegee Airmen people wanted the whole story told in one movie and there’s no way that can be done in a two or even a three hour movie.
After World War II a crusade was created in which every Black paper throughout the country fought to integrate baseball, even though they knew it would be the death of the Negro Leagues. The Courier, with by far the largest national circulation, led the fight. Wendell Smith was the lead sports writer for the Courier, but there were others with the Courier as well as Lacey with the Afro American, and a key writer with the Chicago Defender but I can’t recall his name at this time.
These sports writers traveled with their teams all over the country sending back stories to their papers about the great exploits of Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, Buck Leonard, Cool Papa Bell and many others including the young Jackie Robinson. It was the Black Press that fought through its sportswriters, and its editors, and publishers to get the doors opened for Blacks in professional sports.
It was men such as Lacey, and others who were names in the fight. But there was no name bigger than Wendell Smith in this fight, mostly because more people read the Courier at the time than any other Black newspaper.
Maybe someday someone will tell the whole story. Maybe the Black Press will use its influence to get some of the big money people to create follow up movies, telling the stories of these great newspaper people and the fight they forged to open the doors not just in sports but in all walks of life.
Yes, there are many untold stories out there that are begging to be told.
Where are you Tyler Perry, Spike Lee, Oprah Winfrey, John Singleton or whoever? Let’s not hate on each other, let’s try to get the whole story told.
(Ulish Carter is the managing editor of the New Pittsburgh Courier.)
Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 May 2013 10:33
Category: Opinion Written by Marc H. Morial
MARC H. MORIAL
(NNPA)—“No more hurting people. Peace.”—Eight-year-old Martin Richard, a victim of the Boston Marathon bombing
Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 May 2013 15:00
Category: Opinion Written by Dr. Boyce Watkins
by Dr. Boyce Watkins
If you’ve never heard of Felicia the Goat, you’ll know about her soon. Felicia the Goat is the main character in a recent Mountain Dew commercial, created in part by Tyler the Creator. The video shows Felicia in a line-up of criminal suspects, all of whom may be charged with a crime
Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 May 2013 06:56
Category: Opinion Written by Courier Newsroom
A new study shows that the proposed expansion of Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) would dramatically boost Pennsylvania’s economy and save the state hundreds of millions but Gov. Tom Corbett remains skeptical and reluctant to support the expansion.
The governor should approve expansion which would provide Medicaid coverage to everyone below 133 percent of the federal poverty level, or about 542,000 more Pennsylvanians, including 25 percent of those uninsured.
The governor so far has balked at Medicaid expansion.
Christine Cronkright, a spokeswoman for Corbett, said the governor has not made a decision on what to do about the proposed Medicaid expansion. She said he was concerned about whether the federal government would allow continuation of the gross-receipt tax now imposed on managed care organizations in Pennsylvania.
Earlier studies by the Rand Corp. and the Pennsylvania Economy League said Medicaid expansion in Pennsylvania could create tens of thousands of new jobs and generate billions in economic activity.
The League report showed that Medicaid expansion would save about $4 billion in state health care spending over the next decade as people receiving state-funded coverage would shift to Medicaid and “uncompensated care” costs covered by the state would significantly drop. The League said Medicaid expansion could save the state $1.5 billion over 10 years.
Now a new analysis by the state’s Independent Fiscal Office, a nonpartisan agency, also projects savings and revenue to the state from the expansion of Medicaid.
The IFO report also concluded that the state would save by shifting medical costs of General Assistance recipients to the federal government, and expanding tax revenues as the result of roughly $3 billion in new federal funds going into the Pennsylvania economy.
State Sen. Vincent Hughes said in a meeting last week with the Philadelphia Tribune’s editorial board that now three separate independent studies have shown that Medicaid expansion would dramatically help the state.
Hughes pointed out how the money saved and revenue created from Medicaid expansion could be a potential source for funds for the financially-strapped Philadelphia School District, job creation and other pressing needs in the state.
As a former prosecutor and Attorney General, the governor should be used to making judgments on the basis of evidence. Based on the evidence presented Medicaid expansion would be good for Pennsylvania.
(Reprinted from the Philadelphia Tribune)
Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 May 2013 17:12
Category: Opinion Written by Courier Newsroom
by Dion Rabouin
(RTNS)--I got the opportunity to go off on a lengthy diatribe to a friend this week about the harm of White Jesus when I found out that History Channel’s “The Bible” will soon be made into a feature film. The network, Mark Burnett and his wife Roma Downey will be bringing White Jesus, White Moses and the devil that kind of looks like President Obama to the multiplex to inundate a new generation of children with the notions of White privilege and White supremacy.
(If you want a better understanding of White privilege, the ability to recolor the Messiah and make him in your own image, despite prevailing and obvious factual impediments is a good place to start.)
At this point, most people agree Jesus was not the blue-eyed surfer dude that is consistently depicted upon cathedral walls and in pop culture. But whenever I start talking about the generally accepted notion that Jesus was not White, the typical response is, “Why does it matter?”
The answer to this question was perfectly answered last year when a movie based on a popular book series chose to stay true to its depiction of Black characters, at least the auxiliary ones.
When “The Hunger Games” debuted in theaters – to an insane $155 million opening weekend – in March 2012 with a Black Rue, Thresh, and Cinna, folks took to Twitter and Facebook to collectively lose their minds.
“EWW rue is black?? I’m not watching,” said @Joe_Longley.
“why does rue have to be black not gonna lie kinda ruined the movie,” said @maggie_mcd11.
“Kk call me racist but when I found out rue was black her death wasn’t as sad #ihatemyself” said @jasphperparas.
“The posts go on and on and on. It's not just a coupe [sic] of tweets, it's not just a coincidence,” wrote Jezebel’s Dodai Stewart, who cataloged the tweets. “There's an underlying rage, coming out as overt prejudice and plain old racism. Sternberg is called a ‘black b*tch,’ a ‘n*gger’ and one person writes that though he pictured Rue with ‘darker skin,’ he ‘didn't really take it all the way to black.’ It's as if that is the worst possible thing a person could be.”
Feel free to look at the tweets yourself, there are literally hundreds of them.
You could call this racism or you could call it the shock of living a life full of White privilege and then going into the multiplex to see heroes that suspiciously don’t look like you. You’re angry, you’re disappointed and you’re just so full of apathy for these Black characters, because, you know, “EWW.”
This is the harm of a White Jesus. It’s part of a theme in American culture that internalizes the superiority of whiteness. That message is imbued to White kids and Black kids and everyone else through the etiolation of all things good and pure. The most well-worn agent of this message is the archetype of an inexplicably White Jesus.
There’s a fantastic examination of the history of White Jesus in the book “The Color of Christ” that looks at how the image worked in concert with slavery and ensuing notions of race in the U.S.
“The birth, growth, and evolution of White Jesus imagery dating from the antebellum era and exploding in the twentieth century coincided with the birth of an American empire founded, in part, in notions of race,” said Paul Harvey who wrote the book along with Edward J. Blum. “The assault on that sacralization of whiteness through the civil rights years has not, and could not, defeat it entirely, and the depth of religiously-fueled sentiment directed against Obama suggests that as well.”
Essentially, it’s a lot more difficult to justify overtly heinous bigotry, like enslaving an entire race of people, or even seemingly innocuous racism when the son of the God you pray to before every meal is a Black man and His virgin mother is a Black woman. Conversely, it’s much easier to justify when they’re not.
Ask yourself the question, why would Jesus be White? The only possible explanation is that a historically accurate Jesus isn’t palatable to greater (White) society. That should invite the follow-up question, why is that?
Portraits of White Jesus by Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo were created to “honor” the kings of their time who were White, but why have they endured?
“This logic is perfectly cogent,” writes Chauncey DeVega in a piece for Alternet, “a racial project of exploitation and enslavement of non-whites by Europeans, one legitimized by a belief in the natural inferiority of people of color, the pseudo-science of the Great Chain of Being, a belief in the Curse of Ham as well as other myths, must, for reasons of practical necessity, be predicated on the existence of a ‘White’ God.”
While I disagree that the paleness of Jesus can be held responsible for the historical misdeeds of centuries of Europeans, it can be reasonably asserted that a White Jesus allows for a spirit of antipathy and degradation of people of color. That spirit can be seen in ritualistic slaughter and inhumane enslavement of historical masses in centuries past or on Twitter today.
Admittedly, no one knows what Jesus really looked like. Despite the depiction of a man with hair of wool and skin of copper from the Book of Revelation, which is actually an ethereal remembrance of Christ after death, not a depiction of his living self, we don’t have any descriptions to use. But we do have common sense, which tells us that a boy who was born in the Middle East, raised in Northern Africa and was a member of a group of people that were predominately dark-skinned is probably not going to look like Diogo Morgado, Jim Caviezel or any of the other benevolent Caucasians who have played Jesus over the years.
So, does it matter what color Jesus is? Yeah, it matters a lot.
Reprinted from the Atlanta Daily World
Last Updated on Monday, 29 April 2013 18:17
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