Saturday, May 31, 2003

Next Friday, June 6th at 8pm, our very own Monique Luse will be featured on NBC's Dateline. Dateline will host a one hour special that focuses exclusively on the undergraduate case. The piece also explores the story of Jennifer Gratz, plantiff against U of M.

Friday, May 30, 2003

The other day, I went to eat at Applebee's and I watched a family of four come in to eat. As they were waiting to be seated, one of the children asked, "Daddy, why are we going out to eat?" His father responded, "Because the President just signed a new tax bill and we're getting a check for 400 dollars for you and you," as he pointed to each of his children's heads. The NY Times just ran a piece on the tax law and how families just above minimum wage will not see this 400 check. So my question is, "Who was asleep at the wheel and allowed poor folks to get cut out too?"
In a revival of the true Gulianni era, the NYPD produced two fatalities this week. One, Alberta Spruill, a 57 year-old grandmother's death was ruled a homocide. The second, Ousmane Zongo, an African immigrant, was shot fatally three times in a Warehouse where he worked. So the story isn't old, but the names are new. Didn't Sam Cooke say a change was gonna come?

In more uplifting news, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation is hosting an Emerging Leaders weekend in Washington, DC June 7th. Want more details? Click here

Thursday, May 29, 2003

I recently stumbled upon this pretty interesting Op/Ed piece from the NY Times that discusses the contemporary African holocaust on the Continent. Food for thought.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Apparently, Nike has continued appropriating culture in the form of sneakers . If you've been around the Puerto Rican Day Parade in the last couple of years you probably seen the "Air Boricuas." Nike is now producing Air Force One's that sport the African Liberation Flag (Red, Black, and Green). Isn't it amazing how Nike is so dedicated to people of color, except for when it comes to changing their conditions in sweatshops.

Monday, May 26, 2003

Africana has just launched the Racism Threat Index . The index assesses the current level of threat racism poses to African people. Hilarious and true. As soon as I am able to edit my code on this page the RTI will be in full effect!
The rise in college campus conservatism was covered in a NY Times Magazine article. It's a long read, so here is my summary. College conservatives are becoming increasing popular because they stopped wearing khakis and blue blazers, they write satirical papers, and major conservative think tanks have coordinated student efforts to spread the messages of conservatism. The article centers on Bucknell and how there is a boom of conservatism, despite their conservative club being composed of 35 active members in a school of 3,350. The entering class last year boasted a remarkable 25 African American students, if they all attended a BSU meeting, would they get a Times Magazine article for typifying Black solidarity? But really the article does expose how conservatives are coordinated and impacting the college environment.

Want to know more about the coordinated attack of social justice and civil rights? Check out Lee Cokorino's, "The Assault on Diversity: An Organized Challenge to Racial and Gender Justice."

A Supreme Court decision for the U of M cases should be due in about three weeks. D-day is coming!

Friday, May 23, 2003

I recently heard of a BBC story that suggested a group of Ugandans were immune to contracting HIV. I have not heard much else about it, but if this is accurate it could mean a world of possibilities in development of a vaccine or something of the sort. If you hear anything else, hit me up.

Macy's may get hit with a class action suit from Black shoppers for profiling in their NYC stores. A NY Times articles reports that a suit is being filed on behalf of a falsely detained alleged shoplifter. Macy's security, according to the filed case, attempted to force her to sign a confession and handcuffed her to a bench for over an hour. I don't know how far a class action suit will go, but I am sure that we know that racial profiling in department stores is the only thing more common than over-priced clothes.

Berkeley's ban on students from Asian countries were SARS was reported was highlighted by Iris Chang in an NY Times Op-Ed piece on the 21st.The piece is pretty amazing as it briefly chronicles some of the issues of prejudice towards the APA community in the US. Give it a read.

Thousands protested outside of Jeb Bush's on Thursday regarding Florida's standardized test, the FCAT. The FCAT must now be pased in the tenth grade to recieve a high school diploma. I believe is similar to NY's regent's certified diploma. Many seniors will not graduate this year because they did not pass this newly established benchmark. Leaders of the protest are calling for Bush to grandfather current seniors through and examine the FCAT and its policies. Should standardized tests be eliminated, modified, or maintained?

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Continuing with the surreal . .. or social, take your pick, I was recently forwarded an email about Rent-a-Negro. What do you think?

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

And if you thought it was just about higher education admissions, check this Sun Times article. Chicago city is in the process of examining Affirmative Action policies about contract awarding.

In the introduction to the opposites sketch, y'all remember "You can't do that on television" a White South African went to police and says he was hostage for 12 years and was a Black family's slave. I didn't make it up, for real.

Sunday, May 18, 2003

Clearly, you can't just hush that fuss . The suit that Rosa Parks brought against Outkast for their song entitled, "Rosa Parks," that was dismissed in 1999 has been re-opened. Apparently, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals (heard of them before?) decided that Oukast's use of the name Rosa Parks needed to be better justifiied. I am so glad we have come to the point that we think that the world is in such harmony that Civil Rights activists could really think their image was tarnished by a single from an album. Maybe Todd Boyd is right about "hip hop killed the Civil Rights Era."

Friday, May 16, 2003

The Racial Privacy Initiative Ward Connerly's latest dastardly scheme to "colorblind" the nation has not been supported by the UC Regents. This is particularly important because in the dismantling of Affrimative Action in California's higher education system, the Regents backed the decision to eliminate the use of race as a factor. The associated press reports that the UC Regents voted 15-3 , with one abstenum not to support the RPI. Visit Ward's site and carefully read his proposition and the language. Notice where it is permissible to use race. Okay, I can't trust you all to read it, you can use racial classification in, "law enforcement descriptions; prisoner and undercover assignments." Ah, don't you just love the "freedom" from race, except in criminal matters?

Thursday, May 15, 2003

It's been a long time . . . I shouldna left you . . . hope you get that reference, if you don't it's all good. So back on the political front.
Anne Arundal County is experiencing racial and ethnic tension , still wondering when the "melting pot" is going to come into effect.

The Jayson Blair scandal seems to have touched a national nerve. As always, it is not enough to simply call into question the issue of journalistic integrity, but a whole slew of race related baiting is not picking up. In one of the most amusing, yet ignorant column's yet, Jason Riley's, quickly tries to smite Jayson Blair and Affirmative Action in the same breath.

The Crown Heights saga may finally draw to a close as Lemrick Nelson Jr. was convicted of violating Yankel Rosenbaum's civil rights but was not found responsible for Rosenbaum's death.

It is rumored that MCI Worldcom is thinking about dropping Danny Glover as their pitchman, following his comment's against the Bush administration. So in the battle royale between "freedom of speech" and capitalism, which is more likely to win out?

Thursday, May 08, 2003

The New York Times reports the Cambridge, MA school system is turning to socioeconomic diversity to improve achievement in public schools. With race conscious, yes- conscious not based, policies under attack, a number of approachs to achieving equality using racial proxies are underway. Boston had an intense history of busing and school integration. I wonder how long it will be before parents of the economically advantaged feel having their child bused to a disadvantaged school is invalid.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

I recently received an email that updated the situation of Amina Lawal in Nigeria. You may recognize the name, Amina Lawal, from the email and petitions campaigns that were buzzing a couple months ago that were intended to stop her from being stoned to death. A recent statement by the Baobab group for Women's rights issues clarifications and ways that you can still be involved in aiding this sistah. If you have no idea what I am talking about, please click the link above!

On the domestic front, the Chicago Tribune ran an article today on the cutting of minority programs at colleges. Make sure to find out what each school did. Cutting and revision of programs is very different. The results were likely sparked by pressure form the "Center for Equal Opportunity" and the "American Civil Rights Institute's" letters. Don't sleep.

Monday, May 05, 2003

The President of Students of Color of Rackham (SCOR), Ayesha Hardison, just released an email statement about hate mail the group recieved as a result of their continued participation in Affirmative Action supporting activities. The letter was entitled, " Shut up you nigger crybabies" and included an article that criticized University of Virginia's use of legacy points. SCOR has filed a report with the local police and urges anyone else who may have received such a mailing to do the same. Don' t sleep on others watching our actions. On another Affrimative Action hating note: Do you remember the big sign that the Ginsberg center hung on the days prior to April 1st that said, "The Ginsberg Center supports Affirmative Action" ? Well, I, like many others, thought the sign was taken down by the staff after April 1st, but recently learned that the sign was cut down in the middle of the night!

Sunday, May 04, 2003

After a short break, I return with some relevant stuff for you. Do you rememher Timothy Thomas? Do you remember the Cincinatti uprisings? Do you remember the United Black Front boycott? Well, a new chapter in progress may have been reversed with the Cincinatti Police Department requesting release from a Justice department mandated community partnership around racial profiling. I'm still searching for more information on the situation. Contact me if you have any more info!

April marked the centennial anniversary of The Souls of Black Folks by W.E.B. Du Bois. The sociological and African-American Studies canonical text was not honored at U of M this year, tisk, tisk, tisk. Still it remains one of the most insightful works on the African-American tradition.

Thursday, May 01, 2003

N'COBRA ,the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America, has recently launched a new publication entitled, "Black Reparations Times." The BRT is the successor the to N'COBRA newsletter. Make sure to check out the entire N'COBRA site, it's filled with great information.

Students in Albany, GA are organizing a White only prom. A article today talks about how last year was the first time that the prom at Taylor County High School was integrated in 31 years. The "integrated" prom will still occur, but the White only party will also occur. Don't sleep on the neo-confederate child. For every step backward, there may be one forward . . . the Georgia Flag has been a eye-sore for African Americans for years, but that may change, some. Last week, a new flag was voted upon that doesn't have the Dixie cross but still pays homage to the confederacy.

Today the NYtimes ran a piece on the Homies, fairly controversial figurines that started in vending machine among communities of color, but have taken on national attention. They seem to fall somewhere in the gray area between stereotype and satire. What do you think?

Lastly, the movie Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony is playing at the Michigan Theater. The movie is about the music in South Africa that sustained our brothas and sistahs. I have heard really good reviews of it. And as I said about BLT , make sure to check it out soon. Because like Joni Mitchell and Janet Jackson, "You don't know what you've got till it's gone."