Black Politics

Chicago Teachers Union President Says There is ‘One Party’ in This Country, the ‘Party of Money’

At Illinois Labor History Society’s “Salute to Labor’s Historic Heroes from the History Makers of Today” conference, Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union,  aptly described how past generations of labor leaders believed that they had no choice but to resolve disputes with violence. Lewis drew a few chuckles from the crowd when she discussed  beheading the rich as the ...

Read More »

T.W. Shannon Will Be Sworn In As Oklahoma’s First Black Speaker of the House

By Victor Trammell Republican State Representative T.W. Shannon (pictured) will be sworn in Tuesday as Oklahoma’s next Speaker of the House. Shannon, 34, has been an elected member of the Oklahoma State Legislature for six years representing a district in Lawton, Oklahoma. In addition to being in politics, Shannon also works as a business consultant and graduated from the Oklahoma City University School of Law. Shannon will be the first African American Oklahoma Speaker of the House. At 34, he is among one of the youngest state politicians in the country. T.W. Shannon released a statement to NewsOk.com about his victory and the upcoming session with the Oklahoma State Legislature. Below is an excerpt of the statement: “ My goal next session is to hopefully be a voice of reason and also to be  continuing to push for a conservative agenda that also provides for economic  growth in the state. I’m confident we’ll be able to do it … I’m honored to be the speaker and the fact that I’m the first  African-American, it says a lot about my colleagues who were willing to trust  me. But I know that they didn’t do it because of my race or even in spite of my  race. They did it because they believe I’ve got some ideas and some leadership  abilities that can help, A, unite this caucus and, B, hopefully provide  leadership to the entire Legislature. My race and ethnic heritage, it’s a part of who I am. But I represent the  people of District 62 and I represent all the people of Oklahoma.”  

Read More »

Benjamin Jealous of NAACP Slams Senator Tim Scott; Says Scott Does Not Believe In Civil Rights

By Victor Trammell Senator Tim Scott (pictured) of South Carolina was just sworn in the U.S. Senate as the first black senator since the reconstruction. Scott is a proud conservative who was endorsed by the Tea Party. He believes in smaller government and the free market principles that encourage job creation. However, there are liberal black leaders that are not impressed with Scott’s voting record and have made that clear to him and America. NAACP leaders such as Rev. Joe Darby and Benjamin Jealous have accused Scott of being insensitive the needs of black cause in America. Their  organization believes that Scott does not care about civil rights. Rev. Darby quoted the following about Scott’s voting record: “I think only a couple of times maybe one or two, he voted with what the organization perceived as in line with the organization’s agenda.” (Afro.com) Benjamin Jealous concurred with his fellow NAACP leader and said in a statement: “We have Republicans that believe in Civil Rights and unfortunately, he is not one of them.” (Afro.com) Scott defended himself against the NAACP criticism and downplayed the relevance of race towards finding solutions in public policy. He said in a statement: “I think that some folks want to find a way to make race more of a part of their conversation going forward and I think that it’s time for us to continue to move forward as a nation. “The way to get beyond it is realizing we have an opportunity to inspire folks. The future of this nation is dependent on someone coming up with one really good idea and that’s part of the free market system that we have.” (Afro.com)        

Read More »

Donald Trump Says Republicans are the Worst Negotiators in History

Donald Trump took to Twitter this week to express his disappointment over the fiscal cliff deal that the Republicans made with President Obama and the Democrats.   It’s not as if anyone pays much attention to Trump these days, but he does have a lot of Twitter followers, which he might consider to be a source of his ever-dwindling political power. The fiscal cliff deal was reached barely 3 hours before midnight of December 31, 2012. Vice President Biden had convinced the democrats that going over the cliff would be devastating to the U.S. economy. Many lawmakers realized the wisdom of Biden’s statement and agreed that that they had to maintain the country’s economic growth or America would go back to recession. In spite of the apparent success of the fiscal cliff deal, Donald Trump still sent Twitter abuzz by speaking his mind. His tweets were direct and brutally candid about his thoughts, stating that he was a Republican, but he still thinks that “the Republicans may be the worst negotiators in history.” Donald Trump also tweeted: “Obama and the Democrats are laughing at the deal they just made…the Republicans got nothing!” “This is a terrible deal for the country and an embarrassment for Republicans!” “Make sure you realize that this ‘deal’ is only a stop gap measure. Obama will be looking to raise even more taxes in the coming negotiation…” “Obama’s deal raises taxes on 77% of national households. With Obama Care taxes kicking in now, everyone will be paying for his 2nd term.” Donald Trump continues to criticize the Democrats for the fiscal cliff deal, which Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell brokered. The business magnate has previously questioned the authenticity of President Obama’s birth certificate, as well, to which the president reacted by stating that the government has no time for that type of silliness. Obama, however, presented a birth certificate later disproving Trump’s claim. To what ends would Donald Trump be ready to fight his cause? It would remain to be seen, but most Americans breathed a sigh of relief at the news that a fiscal cliff deal was finally reached in the nick of time.  If Donald Trump were our president, then we might all be doomed.      

Read More »

Several Candidates File Petitions To Fill Jesse Jackson Jr.’s Congressional Seat

By Victor Trammell Multiple candidates have filed petitions to fill the vacated congressional seat formerly held by Jesse Jackson Jr. Jackson represented the 2nd congressional district of Illinois in the U.S. House of Representatives before his resignation. Below is a list of the candidates who have legally filed petitions to fill the vacated congressional seat for Illinois:   -Chicago Alderman Anthony Beale, of Chicago -Clifford Eagleton, of Harvey -Robin Kelly (former Illinois State Representative),  of Matteson - State Representative Toi Hutchinson, of Olympia Fields -Victor Jonathan, of Country Club Hills -Napoleon Harris (former Northwestern University football star),  of Flossmoor Former U.S. Rep Mel Reynolds also filed a last minute petition to run for the seat, which he formerly held. Reynolds was convicted of fraud and having s*x with an underage girl years ago. However, he has defended his interest in running for Congress again. “I’ve made mistakes but that was 18, almost 20 years ago,” Reynolds said. (ABC News) Democratic State Sen. Donne Trotter chose not to run after he was arrested December 5, 2012. On that day, security screeners at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport found an unloaded .25-caliber Beretta handgun and ammunition in his luggage. “Today I formally announce my intention to end my candidacy for that position,” Trotter told an audience in Lynwood, Illinois. “The people of the second Congressional district have critical needs that must be met.” (The Associated Press) Jackson’s brother, Jonathan Jackson, has also said that he is not interested in running for the seat. (ABC News)      

Read More »

There is a Rise in Do-it-Yourself Abortions

JENNIE LINN MCCORMACK was 14 when she had her first baby. It was 1993, and she was in junior high in southeast Idaho, where she’s always lived and where she still lives now. Blond, petite, and fine-featured, she did tap, ballet, drill team, and cheerleading. She started spending time with an 18-year-old boy in her group of friends. Because he was older and she was a virgin, she trusted him when he said nothing bad would happen if they had s*x. The first time they did, she got pregnant. McCormack hid the pregnancy for as long as she could. She’d been brought up Mormon, although her parents were divorced and didn’t make her go to church anymore. But after she started showing, she had to tell her mom. Her mother took her to an adoption agency, but McCormack ran out of the room—she was scared, but felt like she was meant to have the baby. She named her son Tanner, and she didn’t ask the father for anything. After that, McCormack went to a school for teen parents and got her GED. She went on to work various jobs: at a car wash, a McDonald’s, a laundromat, a Dillard’s. When she was 18, she married a man who worked in the heating-and-air business, and they settled down in the sleepy college town of Pocatello. Everything nice she now owns is left over from that marriage, like the plush, comfy furniture in her living room. When she was 19, they had a daughter. But the marriage foundered, and they got divorced in 2004. Her third child, a boy, was born in 2009. The father was “not a long-term relationship,” she says. When the baby was three months old, she started dating an old friend, Buddy Lee, who had recently gotten out of prison after serving time on a robbery charge. Their relationship was tempestuous and occasionally violent; there was at least one restraining order involved. Soon after they’d started dating, she found herself pregnant. Lee took her to the nearest clinic, some 140 miles away in Salt Lake City, and paid for the abortion. Then, in 2010, she realized she was pregnant by him again. “I wasn’t being careless or sleeping around all the time,” McCormack says. “I just didn’t know quite about the options other than condoms.” By then, Lee was back in jail—his parole had been revoked for drinking. McCormack had no income other than the $200 to $250 per month of child support she received from her baby’s father. She shared custody of her daughter, who was then 12, with her ex-husband. Tanner, 17, was hoping to go to college. “I didn’t want to raise it in that situation,” McCormack says, “nor put more on my children and me that I couldn’t handle. I had no money. No car. I didn’t have anything.” READ MORE

Read More »

Nelson Mandela is Now Recovering from Surgery Related to an Infection, Says Zuma

The recent illness of former South African President Nelson Mandela has been shrouded in mystery since its inception.  But South African President Jacob Zuma recently made an announcement that Mandela has been recovering from gallstone surgery.  The doctors say that the 94-year old former leader has made ”steady progress and that clinically, he continues to improve.” Mandela was in the hospital for nearly three weeks last month and came home right after Christmas.   He is still under constant care at his home, and his health doesn’t seem to be the best these days. Zuma congratulated Mandela on his recovery and said the anti-apartheid icon has “the love and support of all South Africans.” Mandela has been reading newspapers, sitting up in bed and receiving visitors, according to reports in the South African media. The news that Mandela has recovered from the recurring lung infection and the minor surgery will reassure many in South Africa concerned about the health of the aged leader, who has become increasingly frail over the years. A year ago, Mandela was admitted to a Johannesburg hospital for what officials initially described as tests but what turned out to be an acute respiratory infection. He was discharged days later. He also had surgery for an enlarged prostate gland in 1985. READ MORE

Read More »

The Gap Between Blacks and Whites is Larger Under Obama than Bush or Any Other President

Gary Younge at the UK Guardian , right before the 2012 presidential election, wrote a commentary that would either be considered insulting to black people or enlightening, depending on what side of the fence you’re on.   Younge talks about the tremendous enthusiasm that the black community has had for President Obama, citing the symbolic meaning behind his win.  But beyond the symbolism, there is a grim reality which says that the Obama Administration has put the black community at the bottom of its priority list, and that this denial is coming at a huge price.  Unfortunately, Younge notes that black American economic fortunes are worse under Obama than any other president in recent history. No other block of voters is  more optimistic . Over the past few years polls have  consistently shown  that African Americans are more likely than any other group to be bullish about their own future, to think the country’s best days are yet to come and that the economy is already recovering. A  Pew survey  in January 2010 indicated that the percentage of black Americans who thought blacks were better off than they were five years before had almost doubled since 2007. There were also significant increases in the percentages who believed the standard-of-living gap between whites and blacks was decreasing. No wonder they love the president. Younge says that the enthusiasm proves that black people are emotionally excited about President Obama’s success and truly believe that they are better off than they have been for years.  The problem, according to Younge is that they are not better off at all. There was only one trouble with these assessments. They weren’t true. African Americans, as a group, are far worse off now than they were when Obama came to power and the gap between whites and blacks in terms of wealth and income has increased under Obama’s tenure. The overall rate of unemployment may be close to where it was when Obama took office, but black unemployment is up 11%. Meanwhile  the wealth gap has doubled  during this recession with the average white American now having 22 times more wealth than their black counterparts. So too has the educational achievement gap with the rate at which white Americans graduate from high school growing at a far faster clip than black students. Younge notes that the paradox behind the strong black support for President Obama is driven by the fact that blacks are most likely to support the president and are simultaneously worse off under Obama than under any other president in recent history, including the Republicans.  He implies that the president’s lack of interest in addressing racial inequality has come at a huge cost to the people who love him the most.   He notes that there is a deep fear among black public figures to speak up in a way that might seem critical of the president. Discussing this dilemma within the black community can be tantamount to heresy . Wagons circle, messengers are shot, ranks close, critical faculties are suspended. “Too many black intellectuals have given up the hard work of thinking carefully in public about the crisis facing black America,” Princeton professor Eddie Glaude  told fellow academic Fred Harris recently . “We have either become cheerleaders for President Obama or self-serving pundits.” Not only are criticisms shunned but even constructive critiques are unwelcome. At times it seems like questions as to how his tenure has affected black communities either should not be asked or, at the very least, should not be answered honestly. “I have friends,” says Virginia state delegate,  Onzlee Ware  from Roanoke, who is an ardent Obama supporter, “who, if I bring [his shortcomings] up as an intellectual conversation, they say I’m a traitor.” Younge cites the racism that is being faced by the president has led black people to close ranks around him as if he were a member of the family.    He says that many of the criticisms of President Obama have been rooted in race and uniquely saved for a black president.   He also notes that Obama’s election has hardened racial attitudes in America. Nonetheless, the nature of these particular lies and attacks have, as often as not, been  rooted in race . Half of white Americans in one Pew survey shared the birthers’ doubt that Obama was born in this country. The percentage of Americans who believed he is a Muslim has doubled since he took office. After the president produced his long-form birth certificate, Donald Trump demanded his college transcripts (claiming he was not smart enough to get into an Ivy League school). Newt Gingrich branded him the “food stamp president”. Southern congressmen shout “liar” while he’s speaking, Romney surrogates question his connection to “Anglo-Saxon values”. To read more of this article, click here.    

Read More »

Bill O’Reilly Says Asians Aren’t Liberal: They are Industrious and Hard-Working

  Look to Bill O’Reilly to always provide entertaining dialogue on race.  Bill is one of the most well-known bigots in the country and the fact that he makes so much money is a testament to the idea that people listen to what he has to say. But thanks to America moving forward, O’Reilly-like thinkers no longer dominates the American power structure.   But he is entertaining to watch nonetheless. BILL O’REILLY (host): Now I have to say, Hawaii is one of my favorite places in the world. It’s beautiful. JESSE WATTERS (Fox News producer): Yeah, it’s beautiful. O’REILLY: But when I’m there I’m under water. I’m not talking to pinheads. But the state is in enormous debt. WATTERS: They are. O’REILLY: Alright. They’ve got a lot of social problems. When you says it’s the biggest homeless thing, it’s because of the addiction. WATTERS: Right. O’REILLY: The addiction is rampant, all over the place, because they don’t enforce the drug laws. WATTERS: No. O’REILLY: And, you know, I think the one person who said, Look, this is a place where people come to to escape. This is, you know, generally speaking. But you know what’s shocking? 35 percent of the Hawaiian population is Asian, and Asian people are not liberal, you know, by nature. They’re usually more industrious and hard-working. WATTERS: But they did vote for President Obama – O’REILLY: Big time. WATTERS: — and if you add the indigenous native Hawaiian population – O’REILLY: About 20 percent. WATTERS: — to the Hispanic population, they outnumber whites by more than two to one.

Read More »

Gov Chris Christie Says Boehner Wouldn’t Return His Calls After Rejecting Him for Sandy Relief

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) is livid with Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) after Boehner led the effort to keep people in New Jersey and New York from getting much-needed relief funding for Hurricane Sandy.  The anger is showing publicly and leading to a divide that has many supporters of the Republican Party worried that the problems might not be resolved anytime soon. Christie said at a press conference that GOP leadership had assured him that he would get a relief package sent to the floor of the House of Representatives.  He said that instead of keeping their promise, they pulled the issue from consideration right before midnight. “Last night, politics was placed before our oath to serve our citizens,” Christie said. “For me, it was disappointing and disgusting to watch.” “Shame on Congress,” he said. Christie says that he was promised that Sandy relief would be discussed right after the fiscal cliff negotiations came to an end. “We were given assurances by everyone … that this was going to be done,” he said. “There is only one group to blame for the continued suffering of these innocent victims: the House majority and their Speaker, John Boehner,” Christie said. Christie expressed personal fury with Boehner, adding that the Speaker refused to return the governor’s calls after Christie learned that the relief package would not be put to a vote. “I was given no explanation,” Christie said. Christie stressed that, despite Boehner’s refusal, the Speaker had not lost “all credibility with him.” “So no, he hasn’t lost all credibility with me. But, right now, I think what happened last night was absolutely uncalled for and I’ve been given no credible explanation as to why,” Boehner said. “But, again, he’s the Speaker of the House, and tomorrow’s another day, so he can prove to me that he really does care about the people of New York and New Jersey by getting this package done.” READ MORE

Read More »