Monday, December 22, 2003

Since my last commentary on Hip-Hop culture and Black youth has sparked a little talk, I figured I would update on some more interesting issues and representations within Hip-Hop culture. The first, is the Cam'ron, Dame Dash, and Bill O'Reilly (yeah, the O'Reilly Factor) meeting. Many folks were impressed by the discussion on "the no spin zone," especially since O'Reilly is known to invite guests on the show to destroy them. Apparently, this was not the case on this episode. Black Electorate's hip-hop friday's commentary and transcript give the tale of the tape.

For "all the bad that rap music and Hip-Hop culture produce" there are really good contributions too. M-I- crooked letter's own, David Banner, will donate 50,000 dollars to 5 people hopeful of continuing their post-secondary education. In case you didn't realize, also, David Banner is an alumni of Southern University, where he was the Student Government Association president while there. He has a semester remaining in completing his masters in education at the University of Maryland where his gpa was a 3.9987. Just so you all recognize there's more to him than talking about Mississippi.

More to come later, when I feel moved to do so.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Here is a great column on mainstream journalism and hip-hop culture (read: Black youth) by Amy Alexander. It once again relays the importance of "watchdogs" and the need for diversity in journalism, which includes editorials. Freedom of speech was endowed by this country's "founding fathers" but equality was denied by these same men. Only differences in treatment are much more subtle than they have been in the past.

I'm working on finishing up the semester, so my posts will be real spotty from this time till January. Despite this, like Bartles and James, back in the 80s, "We thank you for your support."

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

So apparently the Klan delivered a letter to the VP of University of Louisville demanding time to speak, complete with spelling errors. Before anyone emails me, I can't spell, but I make sure letters to school officials are correct!

Brian Battaglia has apologized publicly for the pictures on his website, while still acknowledging his right to freedom of expression.

Now that race relations are no longer a problem, we should all be better off ;) More interesting stuff later.

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Here's a little update from two other campuses regarding race relations stuff.
Remember last year when Bank One hired some idiots to give away free tee-shirts with credit card applications? You know the ones that read, "10 reasons why a beer is better than a black man." Well this year, they put in big money to bring Sistah Souljah to speak for a diversity series, but now the heat is on the University of Louisville's administration to sponsor the Klan to speak. That's right, the Klan feels they need to present a balanced perspective ... shouldn't the Klan be petitioning Bank One, or maybe the firm that made the tee-shirts? I'm sure they'd be an ally.

In other Klan news, the chair of Penn State's College Republicans came under heat for posting pictures of a halloween party which featured party goers in Black face, mock Klan garb, and other offensive costumes. Brian Battaglia's personal page featured a number of pictures with one caption reading, "He took a break from cross burning to drink a cold one." Tiffanie Lewis, no relation to me, of the Black Caucus called for his resignation. Doesn't he know that the Republicans were the party of Lincoln ...?

Friday, December 05, 2003

I've been under the weather, so there haven't been any updates in the past few days, but that doesn't mean there isn't a lot to mention!

First, Nathaniel Jones' death was ruled a homicide by the Hamilton County coroner. Now the caveat is that the coroner says that Jones had a number of health problems that contributed to his death. Though he would not have died at that moment, the coroner urged people not to take this as a case of "hostile or malign behavior." Okay, I am way too fed up to even comment!

The Daily recently had another Diversity explosion! This week the Daily looked at the new bill HR 333, which seeks to have APIA communities listed as one of the minority groups that would recieve federal grants in higher education. To complement their reporting of HR 333, the Daily also ran Lauren Strayer's piece entitled, "Racism among friends." This piece was really pointless, but it keeps ringing in my head, well at least one question does. Why can't you tell your friend not to use the term oriental now?

Also, this week, NASA co-sponsored a program on secret socities, apparently the session got heated. Now isn't the term "bashed" a bit prejorative?

The Michigan Ballot Initiative is now upon us! Below you will find an email from Carl Cohen of the Residential College. Beneath his letter in bold is the proposed ballot intiative that will attempt to prohibit affrimative action, and yes that is the correct term, in the state of Michigan! Organized opposition has already begun. The struggle continues.
Colleagues and friends:

You will have noted that the battle over race preferences in
Michigan has begun. It is not a battle over affirmative action;
affirmative action, vigorous steps designed to extirpate all
discrimination by race and ethnicity, are untouched by the proposition
to be voted on. Ours is a country in which racism has penetrated very
deeply; one would be foolish indeed to suppose that there is no need to
continue the battle to uproot it. But that battle, in a decent society,
will certainly not involve the very discrimination that is to be
eliminated. The proposition on which the people of Michigan will vote in
2004 aims only to forbid all discrimination by the state and it
agencies, including the University of Michigan, and to forbid all
preference by race, color, ethnicity, or national origin.

If you come to believe that it is wise to oppose the Michigan Civil
Rights Initiative, that can only be because you believe that the State
or it agencies must be permitted to give preference by race, sex, or
ethnicity. I find it hard to believe that our university colleagues,
proud of the principle of equality that we universally profess, would on
reflection support such preference.

It is my belief that the people of Michigan, of every color and
kind, despise discrimination by race and national origin, and oppose any
preference granted to persons or groups on those invidious grounds. I
think, therefore, that this proposition, the Michigan Civil Rights
Initiative, will be adopted by the people of Michigan, overwhelmingly
and proudly, as Section 25 of Article I of the Michigan constitution.

To help our general understanding of what is at issue in this
matter, I include here an exact copy of the entire text of the
proposition that is to be on the ballot in the fall of 2004. The first
two sentences below comprise the whole of its substantive force. They
appear repetitive, but that is because the University of Michigan, like
some other public universities in Michigan, are constitutionally
autonomous. The complete text -- which I support with all my heart --


A proposal to amend the Constitution of the State of Michigan to
prohibit the University of Michigan and other state universities, the
State, and all other state entities from discriminating or granting
preferential treatment based on race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national

The proposal would amend the State constitution by adding a Section 25
to Article I.

Article I, Section 25

Civil Rights.
The University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Wayne State
University, and any other public college or university, community
college, or school district shall not discriminate against, or grant
preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race,
sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public
employment, public education, or public contracting.

The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential
treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color,
ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment,
public education, or public contracting.

For the purpose of this section “state” includes, but is not necessarily
limited to, the state itself, any city, county, public college or
university, community college, school district, or other political
subdivision or governmental instrumentality of or within the State of

This section does not affect any law or governmental action that does
not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national

This section does not prohibit action that must be taken to establish or
maintain eligibility for any federal program, if ineligibility would
result in loss of federal funds to the State.

Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as prohibiting bona fide
qualifications based on sex that are reasonably necessary to the normal
operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.

The remedies available for violations of this section shall be the same,
regardless of the injured party’s race, color, religion, ethnicity, or
national origin, as are otherwise available for violations of Michigan’s
anti-discrimination law.

This section shall be self-executing. If any part or parts of this
section are found to be in conflict with the United States Constitution
or federal law, the section shall be implemented to the maximum extent
that the United States Constitution and federal law permit. Any
provision held invalid shall be severable from the remaining portions of
this section.

This section applies only to action taken after the effective date of
this section.

This section does not invalidate any court order or consent decree that
is in force as of the effective date of this section.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

"Can you relate? We living in a police state." -Dead Prez
Okay, there are way too many things going on the US around the police and communities of color that make me real concerned. Two recent events in particular. The first, is the beating of Nathaniel Jones last week. The tape has been made public and shows the struggle between Jones and Cincinatti officers. Jones' body has tested positive for narcotics. Many are asking, "is not really was the beating justified?" Rather the question is more about how much force is too much force?

The second issue with the police is the recent Supreme Court decision about the 20 second between knocking and door bashing. Okay, here's the rationale with drug suspects waiting longer than 20 seconds they can flush their product down the drain. Number 1, if police are going to kick down the door, wouldn't you imagine that the dealer would have more product than could be flushed in 20 seconds?

Aight, more local stuff later.

Monday, December 01, 2003

Guess who's bizzackl, nah it ain't Face or none of those cats, it's me. So I've been running around the country so I've mised a lot of local dish, but here is my recap of stuff that mattered for the past week and change and or should matter in the near future.
An agreement between the University and GEO has been reached. Below is the snippet of the official GEO statement:
Sisters and Brothers,

I write with the good news that last night we ratified a settlement
our health care grievance. Under this settlement:

1. GradCare premiums will NOT be increased in 2004.
2. GradCare Level 2 (for people away from Ann Arbor) will cover
maternity care.
3. People choosing other plans (MCare, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, etc)
will pay the increased premiums previously established by the U.
4. Those who wish to change to GradCare may do so by submitting a new
enrollment form to Benefits by December 15.
5. People who miss this deadline, but still wish to switch, will
be able to up to March 1, 2004, by a still-to-be-determined method.

Complete information, and updates, will be available at the GEO website .

But in case you missed it Aubrey Henrietta published an editorial entitled, "The union that cried wolf: GEO’s fairy-tale folly." The editorial though short, definitely ruffled some feathers. Today's Daily features a battery of responses. They pretty much cover all the bases, but I was more amused by the editorial by Jon Ochemanek. If I wasn't lazy and the editorial was well thought out I would respond by complining figures on undergraduate debt and then projected accumulated debt in PhD programs, which most GSIs are and then we can discuss what the compensation is for with GSiing. Now it is one thing for someone to work to pay for school, but working there remain a large number of privleged students whose only job is it cover beer money. Doesn't Michigan teach critical thinking anymore?

Now onto stuff that actually matters:
This week is Aids in Black and Brown Week at University of Michigan. The event concentrates on HIV and AIDS in the Latino and Black communities. A full list of events in provided below here from the CAAS website.
Check out some of these events, they are designed for our communities and will enlighten us about what we need to do throughout the diaspora to get this deadly virus under control!

There are also a number of events that will likely be of interest to people including the following:
"History of Native Americans at the University of Michigan"

Tuesday, December 2nd
Angel Hall Aud C
This event features commentaries and information on U of M's secret societies such as Michigamua, Phoenix, and the Vulcans.

Congressman John Dingell will hold a community forum on Tuesday at 7pm. The event will be held from 7-9pm and will be in the Pendelton Room of the Union. It is sponsored by the Ann Arbor Area Committee for Peace, The College
Democrats, and Anti-War Action.

On a national tip, Vanguard Media the company responsible for Savoy, Heart and Soul, and Honey filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy! This may not concern a lot of people but as far as magazines go these ones were pretty progressive and aimed at the expanding Black community concerned with health and upward mobility (for lack of a better term). The loss, or at best postponement of young good Black media, continues to occur.

And since I'm still stuffed on turkey from Turkey day I figured I'd include a commentary from Black Commentator on "Thanksgiving, " aka Thankstaking to some. It's a great long essay.
Aight, that's all for now!

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

The Black Slate (the list of candidates that the Black Student Union has decided to endorse) is as follows:
Katherine McGee
Paul Spurgeon
Laban King
Ashley Whitfield
Charles Adside
Breeana Hare
Jessica Perkins

Voting is not open online here.

The website for the upcoming LSA Theme Semester on Brown v. Board of Education: 50 Year Commomeration is up. Check it out here!

And while you are at it, check of the MLK Symposium site, which will be adding more stuff shortly, about the upcoming 2004 Martin Luther King Symposium entitled, "Still Separate? Still Unequal?: Brown v. Board of Education 50 years later..."

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Well we know that the conservatives keep attacking admissions, summer programs, and now they have finally made it to outreach programs. This Washington Post article describes Amherst's process of recruitment of high-performing students of color and its recent decision to open the recruitment to low-income Whites. Don't they ever stop? Imagine had the people who quest for "civil rights and equal opportunity," please read as "civil rights advocating conservatives," had fought for King's vision of civil rights in the 1960s ... wait then who would have been there to fight against King? Hey, just wanted to remind all the conservatives, even Trent Lott now supports Affirmative Action and civil rights. LOL!

Speaking of admissions and the like, the LSA Admissions Advisory Committee has begun meeting. If you are like me, you are wondering what the heck the LSA Admissions Advisory Committee is, like to know, here you go:
October 2003


The Mission Statement of the University’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions declares that its goal is to “enroll and graduate applicants who will develop and grow educationally and personally and will contribute to the University community. To that end, the role of the Undergraduate Admissions Office is to recruit, admit, and encourage enrollment of applicants who are academically excellent, accomplished in extracurricular endeavors, and broadly diverse. It is the University’s experience and judgment that this mix of students will foster the vibrant educational atmosphere that provides the best educational experience for all students.”

The College of LSA endorses and supports this view and has found the Admissions Office to be an important ally in its educational mission. Indeed, we are deeply impressed with the quality of students admitted to the College year after year. Nonetheless, it has been some time since LSA has taken a comprehensive look at the instructions the College gives to the Admissions Office regarding the criteria for admission to the College. It has been a similarly long time since the faculty have had an opportunity for thoughtful input into defining their own continuing role in this important effort. The need to revise our admission procedures provides us with an exciting opportunity to consider these issues.

The role of the LSA Admissions Advisory Committee, therefore, will be to:

• Develop an understanding of the incoming class we want to accept into LSA keeping in mind the wide range of disciplines we teach and, therefore, types of student we seek.

• Review previous and current admissions and recruitment policies, procedures, and documents to determine the areas where they did or did not produce desired results.

• Recommend means that should be used to achieve our goals and criteria to measure them.

• Recommend ways for faculty to be involved in the LSA admissions process.

The Committee will be expected to consult with the Admissions Office; receive comments from faculty, staff, and students in LSA, where relevant; compare our procedures, policies, and documents with those of our peer institutions; and take up additional questions and issues as needed. At all times the Committee will keep in mind our goal of a student body that is both academically outstanding and broadly diverse.

The committee should plan to prepare a report for the LSA Executive Committee on these issues by March 1, 2004.

The members of the committee are as follows:

Tania Brown, LSA Junior, Sociology
Stephen Darwall, Professor of Philosophy and Director of the LSA Honors Program
Philip Hanlon, Professor of Mathematics and Associate Dean for Budget and Planning
Sharon Herbert, Professor of Classical Studies and Director of the Kelsey Museum
James Jackson, Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies
David Matz, LSA Junior, Political Science
Maria Montoya, Associate Professor of History and Director of Latino Studies in the Program in American Culture
Esrold Nurse, Assistant Dean for Student Academic Affairs
Robert Owen, Professor of Geological Sciences and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education
Rebecca Scott, Professor of History and Law
Thomas Weisskopf, Professor of Economics and Director of the Residential College

This Friday at 7:30pm in the Rackham Auditorium Angela Davis will speak. Here talk is entitled, "How Gender Structures the Prison Industrial Complex." If you an be there, be there. I wonder are the conservakids who wanted Davis' name removed from the lounges in Markley going to be there talking trash? I would like to hear an exchange between Davis and a semi-informed agitator about her life's past!

Back to national, I have no rhyme or reason for the way I'm posting today. My Mets are in a heap of trouble, well actually Bill Singer! Singer, the new Mets super scout, made racially derogatory comments, if you can even call them comments, to Kim Ng of the LA Dodgers. This story still highlights how the APIA community is still considered outsiders, regardless of how deeply rooted in America they are.

The Washington Post has an interesting piece on the use of the term "lynching" as a political technique by Zell Miller of Mississippi and conservatives. I hadn't really thought about its continued use since Clarence Thomas' infamous "high-tech lynching" statement.

Ught oh, A Phi A, hazing is not a good thing. Good luck out of this one!

Yesterday, a protest in Philly was held to raise awareness about curriculum and African-centered studies. The protest called for a public school student walk-out, which it was unsuccessful in achieving, but obviously the issue got some visibility.

Aight, like Big Boi said, " for thought, now eat..."

Saturday, November 15, 2003

For some reason, the recent incidents in Hamtramck have not been largely publicized, to my knowledge. On Wednesday, a African-American student was beaten by Arab-American students in a racial conflict that apparently has been brewing since the beginning of the school year. On Friday, the school held a closed meeting to discuss the racial tensions between African-Americans and Arab-American students. Note: I am referring to Arab-American students as a group because the incident has become racialized. The impetus for the latest clash was over Ramadan, which is Islamic, not practiced by all people of Arab descent.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Oh, I forgot Slick Rick is FREE!!!! MC Ricky D is back among the free, well at least those who are not locked in a cage. Like a wise man often tells me, Ellison once wrote, "When I discover who I am, I will finally be free.” One.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

The Power Moves meeting has been rescheduled for 11/13 (Thursday) from 7:30-8:30.



There is also a pretty good exhibition on North Campus in the Media Union Gallery.
The exhibit is entitled:
Creativity and Resistance: Maroon Cultures in the Americas
The exhibit will be there until the 25th of November. The exhibit is sponsored by
Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity, Inc & Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.
There is a lot perculating in Ann Arbor these days. First, let me hit the union tip.

"They say cut-back, we say fight back!"
Borders workers officially went on strike on Saturday and are garnering support by informing folks via their webpage/blog. And with all union action, you know the bourg... I mean the owners of Borders must speak out. The webpage features an exchange between Irfan Nooruddin which is very good. Want more details? Go to the weblink. By the way, when did the term living wage go out of style, or have the controllers of the means of production always thought it was mythical?

The Graduate Employees Organization (GEO) is also in the middle of a pending battle with the U and healthcare. The issue involves the levying of premiums onto GSIs, and others under the contract, which fundamentally violates labor law in the US. Labor law in the US sucks, so the mandate to negotiate in certain areas is highly regarded, or in this case disregarded. Rackham Student Government (RSG) has been in the middle, well not in the middle anymore if you read their statement, of this controversy between administration and graduate students. Now it as Cedric DeLeon stated so well, the administration is trying to "divide and conquer." Please read the correspondence below:
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2003 07:58:00 -0500
From: Rackham Student Government
To: Rackham Student Government Announcement List


Fellow students,

Below you will find a personal letter written to me from Provost Paul Courant. I caught up with him and decided to question him personally about the changes in healthcare and the promised forthcoming clarification of cost for students. Several campus-wide meetings have already taken place to openly discuss this information, but you were not clearly informed because the dates/location/etc. were published in The RECORD - and who really reads that? I told him that he needs to make sure that RSG gets this information first-hand so that students will be sure to be in attendance.

More to come...

On your behalf,
DeAunderia Bryant
RSG President


Dear DeAunderia,

Here is the information that you and I talked about the other day.

There are three groups of graduate students who are eligible for health
insurance with a University contribution:

1. Approximately 1655 graduate students who receive
departmentally-sponsored fellowships also receive GradCare. The
premium amounts that they currently pay are zero for single contracts
and two-person contracts and $20 per month ($240 per year) for coverage
for three or more persons. There is no change in practice for this
group scheduled for 2004, and the Committee on Health Insurance Premium
Design (CHIPD) only addressed the circumstances of employees, and hence
made no recommendation for change for this group.

2. Approximately 1550 GSRAs currently subscribe to GradCare, which is
the only insurance for which they are eligible. In 2004, members of
this group will pay $12 a month for single contracts (which are about
3/4 of the cases), $23 per month for two-person contracts (about 18% of
the cases), and $27 per month for three or more persons. If the CHIPD
recommendations are followed, all of these amounts will likely be
somewhat lower in 2005. Single contracts would be approximately $5 a
month ($60 a year); coverage for two adults would cost the employee
about $10 a month ($240 a year) and three or more persons would pay a
total of $25 a month, or $300 a year. (The numbers for 2005 cannot be
known with certainty yet so these amounts are estimates only.)

3. Approximately 1200 GSIs and GSSAs receive health insurance through
their employment with the University. The vast majority of these are
in GradCare (and all of them are eligible for GradCare), and their
circumstances are thus identical to the GSRAs discussed in the previous
paragraph. That is, the maximum employee premium cost for 2005 would
be for family coverage, and would be approximately $300 a year. The
vast majority (78%) of this group are in single coverage and would pay
about $60 a year. There are 14 GSIs who elected Blue Cross/Blue Shield
in 2003. If they do not move to a more economical comprehensive plan,
their costs will rise sharply. But all of the rest of the 4400 plus
graduate students with University insurance coverage face cost
increases that are $300 a year or less, with the vast majority much

I hope that this is helpful. Please feel free to contact me if you
want more information.

The University remains committed to providing excellent insurance
coverage for graduate student employees and fellowship holders, and to
providing the lion's share of the cost of such coverage. I trust that
we can work together to continue to make this commitment as effective
as possible.

Sincerely yours,

Paul N. Courant
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1340

THIS JUST IN.... here is a response to Courant's message from Aaron Boros:
Hello DeAunderia and RSG,

I want to point out that Provost Courant's projected figures for the future
are extremely unlikely. Using the same figures the Provost is available here among
other places, you see that in 2004, the actual contributions for GSIs,
GSRAs, and GSSAs will be:

Univ: $226 Emp: $12 Total: $238

The projections he refers to are for 2004, and show these figures:

Univ: $220 Emp: $5 Total: $225

Somehow, this includes a 7.5% drop in premiums for the same coverage in the
same year (they both are based on 2004 premium charges).

Now, consider that (by the University's hypothesis), premiums are rising at
15% per year. That means that the total in 2005 will actually be around
$274. The University will likely pay a larger portion (due to the 5%
formula they are using), but the cost to students will undoubtedly be more
than the $5 he suggests -- probably more in the range of $21/mo. or nearly

If you are interested in hearing more about these figures, I would be happy
to discuss them, as I am very familiar with the University's plans. Also,
see the attached spreadsheet.

Finally, I would like to point out that the changes for _2004_ were made by
executive fiat in the Provost's office. There was no committee that
designed this premium charge, and there was no representation in the
decision-making process of *any* employee, let alone graduate students.
The changes for 2005 were made by a committee that had no graduate student
representation whatsoever, and no employee representation below the level
of associate professor.

As secretary of GEO, I look forward to working together in the future with
RSG to make sure that we share our information and to best represent the
interest of graduate students at the University.


Aron Boros
GEO Secretary
MPP/JD Candidate 2006

Ah, gotta love drawing lines in the sand. So who is gonna ask Courant when the premiums will be levyed on other groups of grad students?

Speaking of lines in the sand, there are a couple of great events happening tonight.
HEADS, SIS2SIS, and SAPAC, and other orgs are sponsoring a film entitled, "NO!" by Aishah Shahidah Simmons. The film explores the silence around domestic violence in the Black community. Ms. Simmons will be in attendance to discuss the film afterwards.
Tuesday November 11th, 2003
7-9pm, East Hall Auditorium, Room 1324

Aché! Drums and Women in the African Diaspora
Tue, Nov 11, 4-6 pm
Michigan League, Vandenberg Room, 2nd Floor, 911 N. University Ave.

A public symposium featuring famed members of Les Rosettes, an all-female
drumming troupe from Dakar, Senegal. Panelists include Detroit-based
drummers Kahemba Kitwana and Jahra McKinney-Hakamma, U-M Chair of Music
Education Carol Richardson, U-M Professor Kelly Askew, moderated by
Elizabeth James, Program Associate, U-M Center for AfroAmerican and African
Studies and translated by Mame-Khady Diouf, U-M student.

DouDou N'Diaye Rose and Les Rosette will be performing Tuesday, November
11, 8pm, Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor. For tickets, please call 734-764-2538
or visit the UMS webpage at

Also, tonight there will be a Power Moves meeting, unfortunately, I can't find the time and place, but I'll put it up when I find it!

I recently recieved this email from a friend who is the president of the Black Graduate Student Association at Northwestern University about hate crimes that have been occuring. Here is an article about the demonstrations.
Attention Northwestern Community:

As you may or may not know, Northwestern University has experienced a
plague of hate crimes specifically targeted towards members of minority
communities, including Asians, Muslims, African Americans, Jews, and the
Latino community. One of the most recent incidents was directed towards a
freshman named Xander Saide, who is a resident of Chapin Hall. Last
Tuesday night he discovered the words "Die Spic" on his poster and the
wall near his room door. On Friday night he was physically attacked with a
knife and once again referred to with racially derogatory words. As the
Latino community we cannot stand aside and allow racially targeted or
violent actions occur against anyone in the Northwestern community.

Tonight, the Coalition of Colors, along with other cultural organizations,
and concerned NU students, decided that we must unite as a community and
take immediate action in response to the hate crimes on our campus. Our
first action will unite the minority students on campus --- students of
color, cultural and religious backgrounds, or anyone who feels they have
faced discrimination or marginalization--- by wearing black from head to
toe. In addition, through a vow of silence for the entire day, we will
show what the NU campus would be like if there were no minorities
here. We strongly encourage and request that you participate in this
peaceful demonstration against the recent threats against our various
cultural, religious and NU communities. We also suggest that you wear tape
across your mouth to emphasize your silence as well as wear a label
indicating your specific identity/minority. Our second action will be on
Wednesday that will unite the entire NU community in a similar method.
Everyone will be invited to wear black during the day and in the evening,
we will trade in our black attire and replace it with NU gear, symbolizing
the solidarity of the NU community. We will rally at the rock on Wednesday
night and voice our concerns. This is only the beginning of a long
struggle and we ask that you show your support through participation.
Thank You,
Alianza Executive Board

Remember all of our struggles are connected by necessity, not by choice!

And speaking of our struggle. I thought that Halloween had passed for the first time in a number of year without huge Blackface issues. It seems blackface is one of the most common Halloween costumes ...honestly. A Louisiana judge managed to piss on my overt racism free parade when his story of dressing up in black face, an afro, and an orange prison jumpsuit made the news.

Okay, onto the national political scene! Wesley Clark... yeah he scares me, but he is engaging the hip-hop generation like no one else ......... Get yourself to a computer with quicktime or video viewer and look at this!!! Thanks CH for this link!!!!!

From hip-hop to Rock and politics. Last night, the Hard Rock Cafe in downtown Detroit opened up. The article here does clown Kwame Kilpatrick for having a 5XL leather jacket! And what is with Kwame and the word dynamic?

Okay, back to hip hop, I mean rap. Now 50 cent may not be the anti-Christ, but I'm still skeptical. 50 has agreed to meet with Farrakhan to discuss his beef with Ja Rule. The interview hasn't been scheduled.

Aight, that's all I'm gonna write on my blog for right now!!!!!

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

So there are a couple things that made me scratch my head today:

"Speaking Hispanic?" a judge in September in Nebraska ordered a father to speak English and not "that hispanic langauge to his child. The case has recently received national attention because of this Washington Post article. Ah, ignorance is so pervasive!

Another head scracther would have to Al Sharpton's decision to host SNL in December! Well that is one way to get visibility, but will it really garner political support or make Sharpton more of a joke to America's mainstream? Who is managing his campaign ... oops never mind I know that's a soar spot!

Lastly, Africana has posted a CBC report card. Look at the scores. Is that Michigan's own John Conyer's tied for last place?

Here is an interesting article on the American Indian community and the California recall election. Never even heard about the casino issues before I read this piece!

On a separate note, I realized today that the comments are not working on the page. I'll try to get to the bottom of that.

Monday, November 03, 2003

I'm back...

If you didn't hear, a company in Livonia has been manufacturing Razanne, a Muslim alternative to Barbie. No jokes! I definitely prefer this to Mattel's attempt at Flavas, the "hip-hop" Barbie crew (Mattel is rumored to have flattened their chests and made their butts bigger!). But I'm too grown to be concerned with toys ;)

Onto more pressing issues, this past week was full of issues in the Sharpton campaign, mainly his bout with Jesse Jackson Jr which resulted in an "outing" of Howard Dean's earlier support for economic, not race based, affirmative action policies. Despite all this, still seems that Dean's super-human front-runner armor remains unblemished. Oh, also Danny Glover officially endorsed Kucinich... okay.

Reason #213 50 cent is the anti-christ: He refused to meet with Louis Farrakhan to squash the beef between him and Ja Rule. Boo you 50, don't you care about anyone but your self and your supersize ego?

On the local tip, a great U of M graduate student Sharon Smith, and Associate Producer, has worked on a documentary entitled Anomaly on multi-racial and multi-ethnic folks. The webpage has just launched at Check the site and see what's good!

And here is a little information from the MSA:
*****Go Vote Tuesday!*****

If you are registered to vote in the City of Ann Arbor, you can
vote in the City elections being held Tuesday, November 4! You
can still vote even if you have not received a voter registration
card! You can vote on several city council seats and two proposals.

For more information or to find your voting location please visit

Make sure your voice gets heard!

That's it for right now.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

We now return you to your regularly scheduled program...

In the past couple of years, thanks to key activism, the American public has been introduced to sweatshops (well actually mainstream middle class America was introduced to them, unfortunately, folks of color have been working in them for years now). The connetions between sweatshops and celebrities have also increased (please see Kathie Lee and sweatshops). Apparently, like most things in the media today, where there is smoke, there is P. Diddy (that's Puffy to me and you!). Diddy is the most recent to be accused of using sweatshops in Honduras to manufacture clothes for his Sean John line. The whistle blower, a 19 year old former factory worker, is leading a charge towards accountability for Diddy and his digs. I was wondering when hip hop was going to get indicted in sweatshop labor, Unfortunately, even the most "conscious" rappers today still rock Nikes and the like in the name of fashion.

Speaking of sweatshops, I recently had the honor of winning my first Intramural championship in softball. On my way to this victory, I loudly joked about wanting my "sweatshop shirt special edition." For the past couple of years, or at least since I've been in Michigan, the prize for victory in IM has been a tee shirt sponsored by Nike. Imagine my suprise when I got my tee shirt and it did not have the scarlet swoosh of unfair labor practices. Now I must admit, my shirt is likely tied to some form of a sweatshop, but for once I was impressed (not oppressed) by a decision U of M made!

Speaking of unfair labor practices, last week the Center for the education of women released a study on the state of under-representation of women executives in Michigan companies. The report, with little suprise, found that representation of women in higher level positions did not reflect the pool of qualified women for executive level positions. I recently had a lively discussion/debate about whether this lack of representation was a function of "self-selection" out of the eligble pool by women who try to have families, or if it were generated by discriminatory practices. An interesting point about self-selection, but it's more likely that employeers probably use individual cases of women "selecting-out" to signal that all or most women will do the same thing, thus never giving new women the the opportunity.

On my labor tip continued, the U is being set ablaze, not literally, by the rise in cost of healthcare. Today at noon, GEO and other labor unions at U of M will be rallying to get the word out about rising healthcare costs and its detrimental effects on folks at U of M. More details later!

As we roll on, the Democratic presidential debate took place in Detroit this past weekend, where 3000 invited guests (yeah, you know they weren't interested in letting in the average woman or man) who watched the candidates do battle ... some of them to the death. The debate was co-sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus Institute and Fox News, obviously the Fox News sponsorship made made me nervous! The debate was pretty interesting. Clearly, Al Sharpton was the crowd favorite, and despite it being in Detroit, the audience was majority White. However, the person with the most success was likely Dean who remains a front runner. Clark scared me to death with his comments. Kucinich got played by the moderators. Edwards ... boring. Kerry ... boring. Gephardt, aren't you Republican? Mosley-Braun, come on sis... where is the fire that got you into offices before? Lieberman, give up now, save yourself ... and us! Here is a shameless plug for Al Sharpton's book, if you don't know about the new Al Sharpton pick it up and read! Don't let the perm fool ya!

Onto the arena of civil rights, this past week, Hussain Rahim made an intersting commentary on Ghettopoly, the NAACP, and racial politics in the US. The piece entitled, "Strictly for my niggaz and bitches" isn't that bad. Besides neglecting the difference in scale of impact between marketing Pimp Juice which provides a pro-pimp statement and a game that attempts to addict your neighborhood to one of the most debilating substances on earth, the opinion piece does a pretty good job. Hussain admits ghettopoly is just a game, to which I respond in my best Serch like voice, "IT'S NOT A GAME!" The state of Black America is difficult to impact, but if we can serve at nipping one perpetuator of stereotypes in the bud, we can continue to deal with the bigger offenders tomorrow.

Let's see, other important things happening today:
The Tamara Williams Memorial Lecture

Loretta J. Ross

You are cordially invited to the annual lecture in
memory of Tamara Williams (1976-1997) a University of
Michigan senior killed by her boyfriend, September 23, 1997

Wednesday, October 29, 7:00 - 8:30 PM
East Hall Auditorium, Room 1324
525 East University Avenue
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Domestic violence is serious and real, if you can, come out and support this!

If you can't make it to that, there is also:


Wednesday, Oct. 29th:

Let Our Voices Be Heard.
an interactive program on affirmative action featuring Ann Arbor Slam Poets!
7pm Pendelton Room, Michigan Union

Thursday, Oct. 30th:
Come out to the diag to hear a BET comic impersonate Ward Connerley himself. Music from DJ Grafitti, MCed by a WJLB radio personality!
12pm, DIAG

Both great events, you'd be wise to find yourself at either one of them!

Aight, that is more than enough to chew on ... oh wait!
FREE SLICK RICK aka MC Ricky D aka The Ruler!!!!!

Monday, October 20, 2003

In my obligatory glancing at the Daily, I only look to insure that we are not being scewed over again by some horrible slander or mislead opinion piece, I think I may have come across a decent opinion piece. The opinion is entitled, "Necessary but not sufficient." The piece suggests Affirmative Action can only be a partial solution to racial inequality because it does not affect as many people as it should. Not a bad thought, now of course it commits the cardinal sin in my book- "We need more/better/different techniques," but then suggests none. It's a pretty common thing, but hey it's a think piece.

About a month ago, Africana ran a column by William Jelani Cobb, a history professor at Spelman. The column argued that the Willie Lynch address never happened. The argument againts Lynch's existence is very sound, despite the occasional inaccuracy about the points of origin of the alleged speech. This is the type of critical inquiry that we need about the history that we have been told, and sometimes we have created, or others have created for us. In response, Africana has launched a new column by Cobb entitled "Past Imperfect."

And before I forget, I noticed that the Rush Limbaugh coment got a lot of attention nationally and eventually sent the man packing . . . and possibly to rehab, coincidence? But the recent comments by Jan Stephenson have remained relatively unknown. Stephenson said,
"This is probably going to get me in trouble, but the Asians are killing our tour. Absolutely killing it,'' she told the magazine. "Their lack of emotion, their refusal to speak English when they can speak English. They rarely speak. We have two-day pro-ams where people are paying a lot of money to play with us, and they say, 'Hello and goodbye.' Our tour is predominantly international and the majority of them are Asian. They've taken it over.''
For real? Well of course, now she has also apologized to the APIA community. I guess the magic words of "I'm sorry" are still good enough for the masses.


Friday, October 17, 2003

Here's a little additional archair activism if you would like to partake. There is now an online petition against Ghettopoly. Click here to sign it!
Okay, there is this really . Here goes an interesting piece in this month's Atlantic Monthly. The piece discusses Roy Freedle's article in the Harvard Educational Review that suggests that African-American students outscore White students on harder questions on the SAT. The article is an interesting twist into the consideration of standardized tests as biased indicators. The piece is rather long (about 9 pages) but definitely worth reading! If you want more detailed information on theories of standardized test bias check out Fair Test.

Also, Al Sharpton is still campaigning strong and has made public two key alliances: P Diddy (we all know him as Puffy) and Jay-Z ( aka Jigga, aka Sean Carter, aka Hova). If you want the young vote, you gotta go to where the young people are!

Lastly, well at least till I fill like posting something else, the NY Times magazine ran an article on health disparities.
Here's an excerpt:
There are many different types of disadvantaged neighborhoods in America, but poor urban minority neighborhoods seem to be especially unhealthy. Some of these neighborhoods have the highest mortality rates in the country, but this is not, as many believe, mainly because of drug overdoses and gunshot wounds. It is because of chronic diseases -- mainly diseases of adulthood that are probably not caused by viruses, bacteria or other infections and that include stroke, diabetes, kidney disease, high blood pressure and certain types of cancer.
Don't think that the environmental issues and things of that matter are all about saving the whales. There are many young brothas and sistahs in our inner cities who live with real problems due to enviromental inequities.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Now we are all pretty much pissed at Ghettopoly, but let's not miss such local stereotypes as the Jerk Pit's website. That's right it's located right across from Hill Auditorium on Fletcher. Why... my mind is tired and my body is weary (Faye 2003)...
Ghettopoly Update 3: Okay, I'm really getting sick of this, but here goes. The Ghettopoly site is up again, this time with a "Message to the Haters." Very interesting!

Here's the letter copied and pasted for the folks who are too lazy to click the link.

As of Mon, 13 Oct 2003 16:43:30 -0700. has been shut down by with no warning. I have attached the Email I received from ( see below ). To say that I am pissed off is an understatement. I have been using Yahoo store selling the same product for over 6 months now. I will use all legal resources to see that is will never happen again to anyone else. For the people who already placed their orders, please rest assure your orders are still coming to you as schedule. All of your orders have been already forwarded to my fulfillment house. We have temporary suspended taking any new orders. Once your order is shipped, we will send your a UPS tracking #. We are now just waiting on the games. Below is a delivery schedule I have compiled so you can reference your order # to.

Order # 4,500 to 11,000 will be shipped on or around 11/3/2003.
Order # 11,000 to 15,000 will be shipped on or around 11/15/2003.
Order # 15,000 and up will be shipped on or around Dec 12/10/2003.

Again I am sorry that I did not foresee this coming. I am not entirely sure why Yahoo has decided to shut down the website. I will be looking at other possibilities to see if I can get the site back up. Please let everyone you know what happened.
David Chang

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Ghettopoly Update 2: Hasbro has demanded that Chang stop selling the Ghettopoly. As a result, no doubt, the Ghettopoly site has been removed from the web.

Friday, October 10, 2003

Ghettopoly updates The local Urban Outfitters on State Street does not and for a couple of days has not "had any in stock." So if you go in there you won't find Ghettoploy but you will find a host of offensive products, it's worth a trip!

I was alerted that the Urban Outfitters website now features a pop up window when you search for "ghettopoly" that says,
"Due to customer concerns, Urban Outfitters no longer sells the board game 'Ghettopoly'." I have not seen an official press release stating that they will not restock in in their stores (the online catalog may operate semi-independently of stores), some stores have been maintaining wait lists for the product, but they seem rather ashamed and trying to make the game blemish die out quickly. The local store also repeats the tagline from the webpage when requests for Ghettopoly are made.

Also, an online vendor Cafe Shops no longer sells the Ghettopoly merchandise listed on their page. A local SCOR member emailed them about its offensive nature and they agreed to stop selling it, great job!

Though Friday, and the Friday before a break, is one of the least read days of the Daily they have a number of articles that are interest, no matter how tainted they are.
The first piece is about diversity of ideological perspective. Now the piece suggests it does not have to do with race, but in Drolet's words, who issued the complaint,
"The pattern of these donations, combined with the University's dogmatic defense of its racially biased admissions policy, demonstrates that ideas matter less to U of M than the skin color of those who bring those ideas to campus." I am amazed how even though it is not supposed to be about race, he immediately bases his issue on the concept of racial diversity. Race is something that can be seen when someone enters a room, for the most part, I don't know about political affiliation.

Another article by Jeremy Berkowitz (I guess the Daily's beat reporter on affirmative action) asks people around the state, not affiliated with U of M about race in higher education admissions. The responses are really interesting, remember, these are the folks who will be voting on the Ballot Initiative, not just informed students. Of course, the lead picture with caption is from a Eva Burgess, a Black woman, who expressed, "she wished there was a way where white students spots weren't being sacrificed for black students." Ah, dang, now even Black folks have bought into White students having the natural "right" to admission to U of M. When will we stop perpetuation the zero-sum game in higher education admissions?

And I'm too lazy to find an article on Bush just spoke about bring "democracy to Cuba." Hey, I wonder it's a two for one deal, like most US foreign policy "request democracy and get capitalism 'free.'"

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Ghettopoly is getting a lot of attention, even the infamous Tim Wise weighs in on it in this week's Black Commentator.
Today's Daily features two pieces on Christopher Columbus. NASA and La Voz Latina have managed to stir a bit of controversy, and much more thought, about the nature of Columbus' effect on the Native peoples present in "America." The article, which tries hard to display a side that can defend Columbus' genocidal expansion across "America," but when it just doesn't cut muster! When some of the strongest defenses are,
""Frankly it's ridiculous. If they're going to say this, they'll probably start saying Washington and Jefferson were racists," said Raham, an LSA sophomore. "Columbus' contributions changed the course of history. ... Everybody makes mistakes."
Okay, where should I begin. Hmmm, Washington and Jefferson racists... lol, guess we have no evidence for that. Okay, everyone does make mistakes, but how many people's mistakes take a toll of thousands (and I'm being conservative). And if he didn't do the "killing" himself, he certainly set an interesting precedent for Manifest Destiny. Good job NASA and La Voz for stirring things up!

The second piece, is an editorial by Lauryn Strayer, and I think I like it! Yeah, miracles never cease to happen. It argues that we should "recall" Columbus day as it stands and if people really demand its retention it should occur on the first Monday of November to honor the "right to vote." Hey, I'm for it, but I wonder if on that day of celebration history will once again forget the disparities in the right to vote. I imagine if the US is able to repaint history with Columbus day, not mentioning the denial of the right of the vote wouldn't be any more difficult.

The Daily also runs a piece on the defeat of Prop 54 in Cali. Of course, very few folks will suggest that Prop 54 and the Michigan Ballot Initiative are too connected, so the piece of course ends with shoulders shrugged. And when will people stop reporting about that dang poll that says 52% of folks in Michigan don't support the use of race in affirmative action? It is not even a statistically significant difference.

Lastly, Don't forget the Moment meeting tonight! Moment is an alternative publication that is just starting and needs help shaping its vision. Come check out the meeting at 7pm in 3222 Angell.


Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Today, in EST, Arnold was selected as governor of California and Proposition 54 died a slow death. But most importantly, if you didn't think this was a political fiasco, you should! Gary Coleman managed to capture 12,518 votes!

On a much more sad note, the men (police officers) charged with killing Steve Biko, the South African freedom fighter, will not be going on trial for murder! Justice delayed is justice denied.

Last year, the Stern school of Business at NYU was bombarded with racist emails. One of my friends recieved some of his messages and forwarded it on to me, maybe if I find it I'll link it up here later. A Tennessean, Scott Bain, was arrested for these hate emails.

And out of the world of randomness, I find a story about race in Brazil in higher education. Just an interesting little read.

There is also a rather confusing editorial in the Daily today by Jeff Cravens. He is questioning the university's "blind pursuit of diversity." I think he is trying to make multiple points, but it just doesn't come out right, read it if you want to.

On a local issue, Michael Moore's appearance on the 12th is apparently "sold out." Dang, don't sleep, people are on their stuff at U of M.

I'll soon be updating the political corner, give me a few days. You'll be able to change the world from the comfort of your home, or coffee shop, or computer lab, or library ... okay you'll be able to change it from a computer hooked up to the internet!

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

So there's a bunch of the stuff that I want to get out to people. Here goes:

On Sunday, October 12, Michael Moore (of Bowling for Columbine and Stupid White Men Fame) will be coming to U of M to speak on his new book, Dude, Where's My Country?. The talk is sponsored by Anti-War Action and will hopefully get a decent turn out despite its near fall break date. Tickets are free and are available through MUTO.

If you can't make it to the Moore's talk on the 12th, you can catch Moore at EMU on Halloween. This talk is also a ticketed event, so make sure to get in on this early!

This Thursday at 7pm, the first meeting of Moment will occur in the English Department Conference Room (3222 Angell Hall). Below there is an excerpt from an email sent out by Moment:
"We have called this meeting in response to three trends; namely the
absence of an alternative press, the renewal of right-wing aggression
around the world, and the fragmentation of the forces that seek universal
justice and fight against oppression and exploitation. It is in these
times of both necessity and opportunity that the unity of such forces is
at its most urgent. It is in the spirit of urgency and hope that Moment
is proud to issue this call to action."

Today at 4pm in the Michigan Theatre, the premiere screening of "Campus Diversity, Student Voices." The documentary explores student reactions to and understandings of diversity. Ernest Mejia coordinated this film and you may have seen him and his crew around campus last year.

Also, in news of the ridiculous, Ghettopoly a new game sold at Urban Outfitters is making some waves because of its stereotype heavy format. The creator of the game, David Chang, has not been receptive to criticisms of the game's stereotypes offensive nature. Ah, the free market where ideas are exchanged openly...

This is week is National Coming Out Week. A host of events are planned for this week, though so far the only decent listing is in this Daily article. If there is a different site that is sponsored by the NCOW folks, I'll link that when I find it or it get forwarded to me. Come out and support (pun intended)!

Be on the look out on ways to become involved with National Take Affirmative Action Day (NTAAD) which is coming up October 30th.

Friday, October 03, 2003

Sha' Duncan, of the Multi Ethnic Student Affairs (MESA) office, has announced the formation of the Black Programming Task Force. The task force's purpose is, "to identify educational and social justice programming needs in the community. It will fill the void if programming does not exist to target specific issues in the Black Community and it will help to promote and support existing efforts that are already present in the Community."
Applications (portfolios) are accepted until October 15th. For more details, contact Sha' Ducan at
7 whole days... and not a word... yeah, my bad. So let's get it!

The Michigan Daily has been on a diversity frenzy over the past week. The Daily attempts to be "fair and balanced"(tm) by presenting opposing stories other emerging Michigan Ballot Intiative sponsored by Wardell Connerly. The pro-piece ran on Wednesday, while the con piece ran on Tuesday. Well, I will pretty much bet that Connerly gets the necessary signatures, so what is the next step?

The Daily also runs a piece today on the Honors Program's lack of diversity. I was really interested in Ruben Duran's comment:
"That was the University's entire argument, that racial diversity is beneficial to the academic experience. If that's what the University believes and it's not extended to all its programs, then the University's failing itself. If the belief is that true diversity is diversity of ideas, then it's not," said Ruben Duran, LSA senior and editor in chief of the Michigan Review."
Great, now maybe Ruben Duran supports Affirmative Action too! LOL!!!

On a bright note, a heart warming story from Colorado (yeah, I was suprised too ;), where students organized ... not a rally, but a bake sale to keep a sistah in school!

There is a lot more to add, but I gotta Run like DM C ya later!

Friday, September 26, 2003

So I'm gonna go international to national to local, let's go!
Yesterday, Amina Lawal's sentence on death by stoning was overturned!!! While the reasons for the overturn are not the greatest, it is good to see her go free and able to continue her life!

Nationally, there is a really ... strange collaboration between the WWE (formally the WWF) and Russell Simmons' Hip Hop Summit Action Network.They are teaming up to do a voter registration drive! The campaign, "2 million more in 2004," will pair the two entertainment giants to attempt to get voters in the 18-30 bracket out to vote. I guess it could be good ;)

Locally, Dustin Seibert's editorial in yesterday's Michigan Daily illuminates the incorrect information in Jim Trout's editorial. Of course, in traditional Dustin style, he gets a couple of jabs in at the general population. Here's one of my favorite excerpts

Though (hopefully) all of the upperclassmen of the University know that Trout's son didn't know what the bloody hell he was talking about when he made that glaring, obviously uneducated mistake in telling that to his dad, I can still imagine some encouragable freshman with a snot bubble coming out of his nose reading the response and jumping to that ridiculous conclusion that there would actually be a lounge in a University reserved exclusively for one ethnicity.

Tomorrow, leaders within the the Black community will convene to further discuss the state of Black folks at U of M.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Today's Daily runs an editorial by a number of White U of M students that challenges Johanna Hanink's editorial (9/22/03) and its unwitting espousal of white privilege. Now what are the chances this is the only anti-Hanink letter? Does the editorial desk have a policy about inclusion of pieces from a diversity of perspectives?

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Cali folks, you're voting on October 7th, again! The ninth court of appeals just ruled that the recall election and Prop 54 will be voted on the 7th as originally planned. With that said, once again, the absentee ballot information for Cali folks can be found here!
In the world of higher education, it is always amazes me how vocal and informative people can be. It is more amazing how vocal and wrong people can be. A perfect case is an editorial by U of M alum parent- Jim Trout. The letter states,
" We strolled thru his dorm and came to a large, nicely decorated room labeled "African-American Lounge." I asked my son if anyone else was welcome there. He told me that the lounge was only for African Americans, thus the sign."
Let me say, I am really impressed that Jim Trout would have such a memory of the lounge that exists in South Quad, also known as the Ambatanaa Lounge, but I am saddened to realize that for 13 years (his son graduated in 94) he has carried the incorrect information that this lounge, notably that is for only African-American students. Find out what these lounges are really about here.

Monday, September 22, 2003

When it rains, it pours (literally today). The Ann Arbor news highlights a poll by WDIV and Mitchell Polls that suggest 52% of people polled favor a ban on affirmative action in the state of Michigan.Unfortunately, I cannot find the original article online right now, but when I find it I'll post it later with more details. The article does not give the original question, nor the margin of error, which would be 2 good things to provide. Just food for thought!
Update: Still didn't find the Ann Arbor News story, but I was kindly forwarded the Detroit News story. The story outlines that there were 600 respondents for the state, which is pretty small sample size and the margin of error is 4%, which essentially means the results are basically a wash. This story also doesn't give the exact question, Carol Swain in America Becoming gives a detailed analysis of why survey question wording has a dramatic effect on responses with questions about Affirmative Action. Also, these polls are conducted with people's gut feelings, to take this as predictive of voting patterns would suggest that lobbying and information campaigns have no effect.
Have you ever heard the expression, "Who pissed in your Cheerios?" This morning Johanna Hanink of the Michigan Daily pissed in my and every other person of color's Cheerios! Early yesterday morning, about 1am, I was thrilled to announce that the Daily had placed it bylaws online. Now at 8:30 this morning, I am greeted with a column entitled 'Members-only' diversity. The column, in a nutshell indicts "minorities" for being exclusive and provides incorrect examples of exclusion of Whites allegedly perpetrated by "minorities" at U of M. She offers her own challenge,

As a white-as-white-can-be student who can date her European ancestors' arrival in the United States to the 1690s, it is admittedly difficult sometimes - and very probably impossible - to always fully understand what is at stake in students of color's issues. This doesn't mean that I don't want to or don't try - I want an explanation. If you have one, please send it."

So, what are we/you gonna say?? Still think it doesn't involve you?
****Note: The Daily's site seems to be pretty slow right now. You can also try to get to it directly via the Daily's homepage, but I'm not sure if that will help.****
I am not 100% sure that this is completely new, but the Michigan Daily has finally placed their bylaws online! I recall on September 4th, Rob Goodspeed challenged readers to locate an "ethics policy" on the Daily's website. Click here to take the "Goodspeed Challenge." No really, go back and take the goodspeed challenge! A newspaper's code of ethics governs many important things that newspaper staffers can and cannot engage in. Now that you've taken the GS challenge and read different codes of ethics, doesn't the Daily's current ethics policy appear rather thin? More on why this is important later!

Sunday, September 21, 2003

Apologies on my absence, now let's go intenational to local.. feel me?

On the international tip, This week Amina Lawal's sentence of stoning, will come before a Nigerian court. If you don't know Amina's case, you need to find out about it. Don't forget our sistahs!

In Michigan, presidential politics are a hot topic! A new poll by Detroit News/Local 4. and Mitchell Poll find that, albeit by a neglible margin, more folks in Michigan want Bush out of office than in. As a sociologist, these poll results are really weak, but nonetheless, they do demonstrate that a large number of folks are looking critically about Bush. The Detroit News also ran a syndicated story on the Congressional Black Caucus' trouble gaining political sway in this neo-conservative era.

The ground breaking for the new Policy building doesn't really interest me, that's why I didnt' go. But I was intersted by the Ann Arbor News story which highlighted that Gerald R. Ford played football with an African-American...
"Ford had stood by an African-American football player, Willis Ward, when the two played for Michigan in the early 1930s and a Southern team resisted playing U-M because the team had a black player.
Ford said that the association had made an indelible impression on him, and said that Ward became a close friend and went on to a distinguished career as a state judge."

Doesn't that just warm your heart... U of M has always embraced diversity ;)

On Tuesday, the 23rd, a rather interesting collaborative protest will be occuring at Wayne State. The event, is a call to protest attacks on people of color in Benton Harbor and Palestine. The protest is set to happen at noon in Gullen Mall and there will be a teach in at 6pm in Bernath Auditorium. The event is co-hosted by the NAACP--Wayne State Chapter and Students' Movement for Justice. It's few and far between that international and local struggles come together.

As mentioned on my last posting, the recall election in Cali that features Prop 54 has been moved. But the vote will happen later, so if you're from Cali make sure your absentee ballot stuff is straight. California absentee ballot information is available online here. Big shout out to folks of color in Social Work for hooking people up with this info. Make sure your voice is heard!

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

So much to comment on, we'll go local to national... alright, here we go.

This past weekend, various student leaders from the U of M African-American community were convened to discuss the state of Black U of M, more of less. The meeting was well attended, but to garner more representation, a meeting for September 27th from 10 to 1pm has been scheduled. If you represent a Black org or are a concerned Black citizen, this will be a great meeting. Check back for more details later.

I've gotten a number of questions about the boycott of Coors that is now being pushed by BAMN. The long and the short of it is this, Coors is evil... well who their monetary contributions have gone to is pretty evil. Joseph Coors was one of the charter funders of The Heritage foundation, a conservative foundation, which funds most attacks on any progressive measures. For years, the LGBT community and other like minded communities have called for a boycott of COORS. In particular, the COORS connection to Affirmative Action is through their funding of anti-Affirmative Action activists. For an amazingly detailed break-down of how the conservatives have systemtically attacked racial and gender justice check out
The Assault on Diversity.

Speaking of social justice, the local college chapter of the NAACP is holding a mass meeting on Wednesday at 8pm. Pop Quiz: Do you know the difference between the NAACP and the BSU ... well if you don't, go and find out!

That same night, U of M will be sponsoring a panel on Affirmative Action moderated by Mark Kamimura, former SCOR president. The panel entitled, "The Affirmative Action Rulings: How they will impact our campus," will feature Marvin Krislov, Lester Monts, Theodre Spencer, Patricial Gurin, and Terrence McDonald. The panel will be held in the Michigan League Ballroom at 7:30pm on the 17th. The panel participants are all very well informed on the issue, this should answer a number of questions for people, and provide the basis for more indepth and accurate questions on Affirmative Action and this campus.

The Black Student Union will have its first meeting on Thursday night at 6pm in the Trotter House! Come check that out!

Okay, now to the national front. The California Recall election will likely not occur on the October 7th, it will likely be postponed to March. So you may be wondering, why does this matter? Well, more important to frequenters of this page is Proposition 54, aka CRENO, will be voted on the same day as the recall. If you don't know about Prop 54 check the above link and my political corner. Some experts suggest this delay will allow more people of color to become informed about the truly terrible nature of Prop 54. Also, for all my Cali folks, the Trotter House is setting up a absentee ballot station for you all, when I get more details, I'll put them up!

As the tempatures begin to cool down, the race for Democratic presidential nod seems to heat up. Last week's debate at Morgan State University, the first ever at an HBCU has really ignited discussion about the role of the Black vote. There are two really interesting commentaries on Howard Dean and his relationship to Black voters and his chances of winning the actual 2004 election. Black vote is a powerful thing to throw away!

More to come later!

Friday, September 12, 2003

Yesterday was also the release of the special inaugural edition of Moment, a new alternative progressive publication for the U of M, Ann Arbor, and Ypsi area. The paper is distributed throughout U of M's campus and local progressive hotbeds, pick up a copy and read it. Oh, and a shameless personal plug, I have an article that I co-authored with Rupal Patel in this issue about Affirmative Action and immigrant rights.

In news of the surreal, after months of requests, doors painted with "colored" signs were painted over in Pampa, Texas. The signs were re-painted as part of a restoration project for the courthouse which it sits in, but remained up for months despite requests for their removal.
Yesterday marked the second anniversary of the September 11th, 2001. There were a number of events around campus to commemorate the infamous date. One unscheduled, but controversial event, were chalking on the Diag that connected Democrats and terrorism. Ignorance only breeds more ignorance.

A one of a kind film on Black firefighters who died on 9-11-01 was premiered in NY. Often the loss of non-White lives is forgotten. Especially after the controversy around the statue of the three firefighters raising the US flag at ground zero.

There is an interesting opinion piece in the NY times today about the relationship between African-Americans and American Indians. The piece suggests that the close ties between the two groups have been ignored, especially by American Indians. Give it a read, an interesting perspective that I had never been exposed to.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

The author of the Divine Nine, Lawrence C. Ross Jr. penned an editorial to against hazing. This is nothing new, but the editorial argues that hazing and pledging are like smoke and fire, as the old metaphor goes! Pretty controversial response to an earlier editorial which is linked in the articled. This is must read for Black Greeks or anyone interested in Black Greeks.
This past week, Black Commentator ran an interesting column on Black immigrant deportation. I have to admit, if the figures are right in this column, I had NO IDEA that Black immigrant rights were in such serious jeopardy! The article also nicely breaks down the false dichtomy between social justice (for Blacks) and immigrant rights (for Brown folks).

Also, if you get a chance, on September 13th, check of the new New Chinatown mural unveiling in Detroit at the corners of Cass and Peterboro. The event will occur at the On Leong building at 425 Peterboro from 1pm to 5pm.
I found a rather amusing AP story that talks about White Democratic presidential candidates and their discussion of race and civil rights. Presidential hopeful Dean suggested he was the only White candidate to talk race to White audiences, to which the other White Dem candidates objected! I personally love how two of three candidates discussion of race alludes to race in the past, while not mentioning the present. The third candidate "urges racial tolerance." So is this supposed to convince us that Dems really are addressing people of color issues, or is it supposed to demonstrate that Dems know people of color exist?

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

And the new school year has officially started, so with great remorse I have to look at the Michigan Daily. Maybe this year we can get the even reporting of race in all crime reports. I see the story from today mentions the race of the assailants, per usual. What's that fresh morning scent? Could it be the aroma of racial profiling brewing around U of M? Maybe we'll get some really nice non-descript sketches of Black men as suspects hanging up aroud campus again this year!
Note: To view many of the articles that I link to require a subscription (for example-the NY times). Subscriptions are free, so just sign up and you can always have access to their newspaper!
Last night, I was able to attend a HEADS meeting that discussed Bush, the US, and foreign policy towards Africa. It was exteremely interesting, one thing considered was Bush's request for 87 billion to fund "the efforts" in Iraq and Afghanistan versus his underfunding of education in the US. As we think about education and foreign policy, I thought this article on Ghanians sending their children back to Africa to be schooled is very an interesting commentary on US schools.

On the education thing, today, from 6-7pm President Mary Sue Coleman will address Second Baptist of Ann Arbor on Affirmative Action. For those who don't know, Second Baptist in Ann Arbor is one of the oldest and most signficant African-American churches in the area. I am sure there will be interesting discussions and engagement from local activists and leaders in the Ann Arbor community.

And if you happened to have missed the announcement, here is an Ann Arbor News story on the new admissions process. Also check my political section for more info and commentary. Also, the Ann Arbor News ran a story on UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunity) as a case of outreach programs that have historically targeted underrepresented groups, but are under more scrutiny in the era of attacks on diversity.

And in Cali, Wardell (he likes to go by Ward) Connerly is feeling pressure around the Proposition 54 (racial privacy initiative). This LCCR article discusses why his confidence in affecting public opinion has wained as October 7th nears.

Monday, September 08, 2003

Well, it's finally here The site right now is up, but it's not "public." By visiting right now it's like going to a business that is open, but hasn't had it's grand opening, feel me? Which means if you find issues with the page, make sure to drop me an email. I'll be updating the blog tonight and tomorrow, so in the meantime surf the general site! Peace

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

I have been conspiciously absent, but it's for a good reason. There are gonna be some major changes coming around here. Look for a new version of this page sooner than later. Peace Dumi

Sunday, August 03, 2003

So I believe by the charge of this site I should report on issues in the African-American community at U of M, but I hardly find Marlin Jackson's charges something that I want to talk about, so I won't (really). It's a shame that this is the only U of M thing about Black folks to make national news since the Supreme Court decision.

Alternatively, the UK independent ran a story today on airport scrutiny and US anti-war activists. Yeah, just so you know that you're not making it up, big brother is watching ;)

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

I was recently alerted to the UM Alumni Assocation Magazine's running an ad for New Life Church. New Life is known to explicitly have anti-gay messages . James Leija has a site on his page that includes action info on having the ad removed from the magazine. Check it out.

UPDATE: THE INFORMATION POSTED EARLIER TODAY ON NEW LIFE IS QUESTIONABLE, TO SAY THE LEAST. A colleague of mine, who shall remain nameless, sent me an email regarding the church and its messaging. Unfortunately, the Jim Leija's page which was up earlier today has been removed. I'll work on finding out more details! Dumi

Monday, July 28, 2003

So the 700 Club, one of the most comical programs on TV, recently had Pat Robertson request that people pray for the "retirement" of 3 Supreme Court Justices . In response, Africana has responded by constructing a prayer circle for Pat Robertson's "retirement." Hilarious!
Here's an excellent commentary on why the US should intervene in Liberia from a legal perspective. Not only do I like the argumentation but I also like the person- Noah Leavitt a U of M Law School grad (and general all around nice guy).

Friday, July 25, 2003

Oh no, it's here. That's right, a website sure to get a lot of traffic in the next two years, Ward Connerly's soapbox aka The site itself is in its early stages, but you can see the growth of propoganda. The website, unfortunately, features a letter that Rep. John Dingell sent to Ward Connerly. Connerly and croanies in turn ripped into Dingell and are retaliating with a "moral" and "constitutional" appeal to be heard. Time for us to get savy! How about someone launching ?

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

The progressive community in California is making some big steps. The Colorblind Racism National Conference will take place October 2-4 and will explore the impacts and implications of a racial classification ban. The conference will take place at Stanford. For more information contact Allegra Churchill at or (415) 543-9444.
Earlier this month, the Michigan GOP said it would not come out in support of Ward Connerly's Ballot Initiative. What that really meant is that they wouldn't say anything on either side pretty much. Connerly has recently announced that 1/3 of the state's Republicans have signed on in support of the ballot initiative that would ban the use of race (affirmative action) in higher education. Outright opposition has to come forth, not silent disagreement. As Audre Lorde said, "Your silence will not save you."

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Liberia is not in a good state. In the throes of a 13 year civil war, both rebel and government forces are calling for intervention. I do not support US imperialism, but Liberia's condition is not going to get any better, only worse. There certainly will be an increase in loss of life on both sides if no one intervenes. Africana has established a letter campaign for intervention in Liberia .Contact the Congressional Black Caucus also to pressure the US governement to intervene as peacekeepers. Dire times, call for dire measures!

In continuing on the international thread, I recently recieved this article from a good friend about Bill Gates and his "philanthropy." I have not verfied all the facts, but if nothing else, it should get you thinking about Gates and AIDS in Africa.

Lastly, a US Civil Rights landmark (and location of some good food) is slated to be closed. Paschal's , meeting place to great leaders such as MLK, Bond, you name them, they ate there will be closed forever next Monday. Clark Atlanta University is closing Paschals' for financial reasons. So where will tomorrow's great leaders gather?