Insight News

Monday
Aug 03rd

Commentary

The Minneapolis Urban League: From sustained advocacy to strategic action

The Minneapolis Urban League: From sustained advocacy to strategic actionIn Minnesota, every 53 minutes a child is born into poverty; every hour a child is abused or neglected, and every day before his or her first birthday a child dies. Every ten days a child or teen is killed by gunfire, and for every 100 African-American students enrolled in the public schools, 14.4 were suspended. These are the facts as reported by the Children’s Defense Fund in its 2009-Moments in the States.  These are but a few of the life concerns which confront our youth of promise.

For the 2007-08 school year, the Minnesota State Department of Education noted that “the four-year-graduation rate for all the state's Black males and Black females was only 41 percent.”
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We marched, now what?

We marched, now what? At the 1963 March for Jobs and Freedom, Dr. King noted that his march was not an end, but a beginning. He knew that it alone would not create the change that the country so desperately needed. His coalition of civil rights, religious groups, and labor organizations would go on to register voters and help struggling Americans gain equal access to voting rights, fair housing and employment opportunities. The One Nation Working Together march in Washington, D.C., on October 2, while unprecedented in unifying Americans from all corners, was only the most recent step forward on Dr. King’s long march for jobs and freedom.
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Humorless Muslims and annoying Christians

I am curious to see what happens when President Obama invites Molly Norris to the White House for a beer.  Oh, Wait…Molly Norris can’t go to the White House for beer because Molly Norris no longer exists; any trace of her has been wiped clean.

Norris, a Seattle cartoonist, was the unfortunate, creative mind who conceived of “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day.”   Ironically, her satirical comment on the demise of free speech in America led to protests and death threats from fundamentalists Muslims, who apparently take cartooning very seriously.  Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born cleric who became an al-Qaida leader, then issued a fatwa.  According to this man of God, the mere suggestion that people should draw Muhammad was cause for assassination. The FBI then suggested that Norris “go ghost,” which is to say, move from her home, change her name, stop drawing her cartoon—essentially wipe away any trace of her existence.
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New regulations on career schools will hurt African Americans

WASHINGTON—The US Department of Education recently proposed a series of rules aimed at tightening regulatory oversight of career colleges. But the new standards, if enacted, are a classic example of the federal government doing more harm than good. In this case, many African American youths and working adults will be the victims.

Under the proposed rules, students at career colleges would be ineligible for federal loans and grants if their chosen career school doesn’t meet certain guidelines pertaining to the institution’s default rate on student loans and the salary level of its graduates. The reasoning behind these rules is ridiculous: How can the value and worthiness of an educational establishment be gauged by how many students default on their loans?    
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Democrats need Michelle Obama

Fearing they could lose control of the House and, possibly, the Senate after the November elections, Democrats are once again expecting Obama charm to breathe new life into the party. The difference between today and two years ago – when then Senator Barack Obama rose through the political ranks and energized the left – is that, this time, the Dems seek the assistance of his wife, First Lady Michelle Obama.

The First Lady recently announced that she will spend two weeks in November traveling the country, campaigning for Democrats tangled up in hotly contested races. As part of her work, she’ll speak at rallies and fundraisers in at least nine states.  It makes sense that the Democrats are reaching out to Mrs. Obama for help. With a 68 percent approval rating – compared to the President’s 50 percent - she is, at the moment, the most popular White House representative.
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Situation between heaven and hell

He don’t speak with no anointing!  He don’t speak with no authority!  He’s a con artist! – Chris Brown

Black mega churches are big business in the United States.   Take Faithful Central Bible Church, whose for-profit arm now owns The Forum, former home of the L.A. Lakers.  Or Bishop T.D. Jakes, a pastor of a 30,000-member church in Dallas, whose company produces books, movies, radio shows and conferences across the country.

Black preachers of mega-churches do quite well.  Many live in mansions and drive Bentleys.  Their churches have become conglomerates.  If Jesus were to show up at some of these locations, he’d be turning over vendor tables along with voter registration tables along with ATM machines.  The public rarely gets a glimpse at religious leaders' compensation because churches are not required to file tax returns.
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Harry J. Elam, Jr. to keynote El Kati Distinguished Lectureship in American Studies

Harry J. Elam, Jr. to keynote El Kati Distinguished Lectureship in American StudiesProfessor Harry J. Elam, Jr., Stanford University, will be the Keynote Speaker for the El Kati Distinguished Lectureship in American Studies "Struggling with Racial Legacies: Adrienne Kennedy and the Power of African American Theatre." The keynote address is on Monday, October 4, 2010 4:45-5:45 p.m. at Macalester College, 1600 W Grand Ave. St Paul, Minnesota in the Chapel. A reception with heavy hors d'oeuvre s will follow the talk in the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life in the basement.

The lectureship was established by Dr. Stanley M. Berry '75, Bertram M. Days '74 and Ava B. Days to honor Professor Mahmoud El-Kati's career as a lecturer, writer and commentator on the African American experience. From 1970 to 2003, Professor El-Kati taught many generations of Macalester students in courses such as The Black Experience Since World War II, and Sports and the African American Community.
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