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AUGUST 17 - AUGUST 23, 2012
VOLUME 20 NO. 33
ALL EYES ON THE FINISH LINE FROM WIRE AND STAFF REPORTS
More than 1 million votes were cast in Florida’s early voting or turned in by absentee ballots this year, state officials said Tuesday. The total is up 350,000 over 2008, despite five fewer days of early voting. With just one statewide race on the ballot – the U.S. Senate seat – turnout was low, as it typically is in primaries. The primary in 2010 drew 22 percent of voters and 2008 brought out just 18 percent. Tuesday’s turnout in counties in which the Florida Courier is circulated was as follows: Miami-Dade, 20 percent; Broward, 10.7 percent; Palm Beach, no data; St. Lucie, 22.6 percent; Orange, 17.6 percent; Volusia, 24.5 percent; Hillsborough, 15.8 percent; Pinellas, 23.3 percent; Duval, 20.5 percent.
Here’s a roundup of primary election results of interest to Black Floridians. The 2012 general election is now 12 weeks away.
Democratic hopeful Patrick Murphy will face off against Republican incumbent Allen West, a Tea Party favorite who’s raised millions in campaign contributions from around the country in the race for Congressional District 18 in South Florida.
Wilson returns Freshman Congresswoman Frederica Wilson will return to Washington, D.C. for a second Jerry Larry Bill Dwayne L. Frederica term after defeating challenger Demings Lee, Jr. Nelson Taylor Wilson Rudy Moise, 68 percent to 32 percent. Wilson’s margin cemented the Democrat’s return to Congress, Sen. Bill Nelson and Republican While Nelson, 69, is often where Republicans have hopes of a spot she won in 2010 in an open U.S. Rep. Connie Mack cruised to thought of as a low-profile mem- a pick-up that could flip control of seat race. There is no Republican or other party candidate. easy wins Tuesday in their respec- ber of the Senate, Democrats the chamber.
tive primaries setting up what will be a crucial matchup in NovemNelson, Mack set ber for the makeup of the U.S. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senate.
Ryan gets ‘F’ from NAACP
Murphy faces West
have a four to six-seat advantage Nelson was elected to the Senin the chamber, depending on the ate in 2000, but has held some votes of two independents, and political office in Florida for 40 the Florida race is one of several years.
Lawson in Congress? Former State Sen. Al Lawson See ROUNDUP, Page A2
XXX OLYMPIAD / LONDON, ENGLAND
Next stop – Brazil, 2016
‘Safety net’ cuts high on his agenda TRICE EDNEY NEWS WIRE
U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who has received consistent F’s on the NAACP Civil Rights report card, is Republican Mitt Romney’s pick for vice president. Voting in agreement with NAACP civil rights issues only 10 percent of the time, according to the report card for the first year of the 112th Congress, Ryan opposed NAACP-supported issues, including funding support for the Special Supplemental Assistance Program for Women, Infants and Children; continued funding to settle the “Pigford II” racial discrimination lawsuit between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Black Farmers; and support for the Election Assistance Commission. According to the report card, released in April, every Republican in Congress got an F, failing on what the NAACP calls “bread and butter issues” for AfricanAmericans.
Poor taxed more A Los Angeles Times newspaper analysis says that Ryan’s government budget proposal, which
WALLY SKALIJ/LOS ANGELES TIMES/MCT
The 2012 Summer Olympic Games closed with a colorful closing ceremony at Olympic Stadium in London, England on Aug.12. Read Olympics-themed commentary and stories on Pages A5 and B3.
See RYAN, Page A2
SNAPSHOTS NATION | A3
White supremists targeting more than Blacks
FROM THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA
OBITUARY | B2
Remembering ‘Malcolm X’ star Al Freeman Jr. FLORIDA | A6
Suicide attempt follows minister’s guilty verdict FINEST | B5
Voter checks to restart before Nov. election State elections officials will re-start an effort to have supervisors of elections check voter rolls against lists of possible non-citizens before Election Day in November, the state’s top elections official said Tuesday. The state will have a new list of possible non-felons that will be better than a previous one, because the state is expecting to use a federal Homeland Security database, said Secretary of
State Ken Detzner. “We’re going to restart the program in the very near future, and we’ll be working deliberately, very cautiously and making sure that all due process is in place,” Detzner said. Asked if the checks would start before the November election, Detzner said they will. The state earlier sent lists of potential non-citizens to local supervisors of elections for further checking and possible purging from the voter rolls, but Detzner said those earlier lists were now outdated and are no longer of any use. The effort to remove non-citizens who aren’t eligible to vote came under criticism when the first lists were sent out because of fears that the effort was casting a wide net that could result in eligible voters having to prove FLORIDA COURIER FILES they are citizens to remain on Orlando voters stood in line at the polls in 2008. the voter rolls.
COMMENTARY: CHARLES W. CHERRY II: RANDOM THOUGHTS OF A FREE BLACK MIND | A4 COMMENTARY: ANTHONY L. HALL: WHAT RYAN’S SELECTION SAYS ABOUT ROMNEY | A5
AUGUST 17 - AUGUST 23, 2012
President Obama: ‘I am not the president of Black America’ During a recent interview with Black Enterprise magazine, President Barack Obama was asked about some of the criticism he’s received for allegedly not doing enough to support Black businesses. In response to the question, the president had this to say: “My general view has been consistent throughout, which is that I want all businesses to succeed. I want all Americans to have opportunity. I’m not the president of Black America. I’m the president of the United States of America, but the programs that we have put in place have been directed at those folks who are least able to get financing through conventional means, who have been in the past locked out of opportunities that were available to everybody. So, I’ll put my track record up against anybody in terms of us putting in place broad-based programs that ultimately had a huge benefit for African-American businesses.” The president is absolutely correct that he has to be sure to serve all of his constituents, not just the Black ones. That point has been duly noted and consistently reiterated by both the Obama administration and all of its surrogates in the African-American community.
Forgotten the truth The concern about the president’s remarks is that he has actually forgotten one undeniable truth: Mr. Obama, you ARE the president of Black America, in addition to being the president of White America, Jewish America,
Seen this before Dr. Boyce Watkins GUEST COLUMNIST
Gay/Lesbian America and all the other groups that came together to form the melting pot that broke their backs to put you into office. The “I am not just here for Black folks” defense certainly excludes you from having to spend a disproportionate amount of time looking out for Black interests, but it does NOT exclude you from the responsibility to treat the Black community with the same degree of legitimacy as every other group that is being consistently patronized by the White House. If I own a restaurant and my own family comes through the door, I can’t simply say, “I’m not just here to serve you,” and then leave them without any food. This is especially true if my relatives loaned me 20 percent of the money I needed to buy the restaurant in the first place. Instead, I should make sure they are taken care of like the other patrons, and then tend to the rest of my job. By refusing to meet with the Congressional Black Caucus for years at a time, and speaking specifically to almost none of the issues plaguing Black America (i.e., mass incarceration, urban violence and unemployment inequality), it’s easy to argue that the Obama administration has gone too far in taking the Black vote for granted.
A teacher has her child in class and treats her worse than the other children. The football coach mistreats and humiliates his son in front of the other athletes. All of us are tempted to substitute preferential treatment for abusive treatment. And when one considers the fact that Black quality of life has worsened over the last four years while simultaneously improving for Whites, it’s hard not to argue that the Obama administration has pandered to conservative (and racist) White Americans by showing how far it can go in ignoring African-American interests. So yes, Mr. President, you ARE the president of Black America. The same inconvenience being hoisted onto your administration when we ask for targeted (not coincidental) action is no less than the inconvenience being thrust onto the Black community when people are asked to take off work to show up to the polls. One favor deserves another, and it is disappointing to see a presidency predicated on the idea that Black Americans are their employees.
Compare his speeches Anyone who compares transcripts of Obama speeches to Black Americans vs. speeches to other constituencies notices that the tone tends to become a bit condescending, noncommittal and even disrespectful when Black people are being addressed (as we were once told to “stop complaining, take off our bedroom slippers and put
on our marching boots” – something that would never be said to gay people or women’s groups). If anyone can prove me wrong on that point, please do so. The modified rhetoric is not by accident, since the White guys working with Obama in the White House know that Black people can be swayed more easily by style over substance. Also, it’s easy to interpret standard Black political advocacy as stereotypical whining and complaining of welfare recipients (we are the only group with a collection of media Nazis telling all Obama critics to be quiet). Even Mitt Romney leaned on stereotypes when he said that NAACP members booed him because they wanted “free stuff.” But when White folks show up at the White House door and demand action for the issues that matter most to them, they are simply utilizing their democratic voice. That, my friends, is White Supremacy 101, and you don’t have to be a racist to use it to your advantage.
Falling short If the respect shown to Black Americans does not match that which is shown to the gay community, Hispanic community and other demographics, then the Obama administration has fallen woefully short in its duty to America. The president has stood strong for marriage equality for gay Americans, so I’m sure he’ll understand those of us who stand up for political equality for African-Americans. If the action
RYAN he billed as “The Path to Prosperity,” “would achieve long-sought conservative goals and shrink spending on federal programs to pre-New Deal levels. “Under Ryan’s plan, which has passed the Republican-controlled House twice in slightly different versions, the Internal Revenue Service would tax the wealthiest Americans less, but many of the poorest ones more; Medicare would be transformed; Medicaid would be cut by about a third; and all functions of government other than those health programs, Social Security and the military would shrink to levels not seen since the 1930s,” the article states. “Mitt Romney has made a point of saying that he’s running on his own budget, not Ryan’s, but even before choosing him as a running mate, he had adopted much of Ryan’s plan. Romney’s tax plan would reduce tax rates by less, but closely resembles Ryan’s, and so do his plans for Medicare, Medicaid and other safety-net programs.”
Billing themselves as “America’s Comeback Team,’’ Romney and Ryan first appeared together on Saturday, Aug. 11, in a shipyard in Norfolk, Va. “His leadership begins with character and values. Paul is a man of tremendous character,” Romney told the cheering audience in front of the USS Wisconsin. “In a city that’s far too often characterized by pettiness and personal attacks, Paul Ryan is a shining exception. He doesn’t demonize his opponents. He understands that honorable people can have honest differences. He appeals to the better angels of our nature.” Ryan, a seven-term congressman, is known as an intellectual leader in the Republican Party, largely due to his fiscal conservatism as chairman of the House
ROUNDUP from A1 of Tallahassee will square off against Republican incumbent Steve Southerland after Lawson defeated state House Rep. Leonard Bembry of Greenville in the Democratic primary for Congressional District 2 in Northwest Florida.
Florida Legislature races Most Black incumbents fared well during the primary. State Representatives Alan Williams, Rep. Reggie Fullwood, Dwayne L. Taylor, Darryl Rouson, Gwyndolen Clarke-Reed, and Hazelle
Keeps him in power The very same broken two-party political system that the Obama administration complains about is the one that’s keeping them in power. The Black vote is held hostage with fear of a Republican presidency, not hope for a better future. Rather than being able to point to any evidence that Black quality of life has improved over the last four years, they simply win the Black vote by default. There is not much to celebrate about that and more should be expected from any politician who asks us for so much.
Dr. Boyce Watkins is a professor of finance at Syracuse University. Read his columns and weblog at www.boycewatkins.com. Click on this story at www.flcourier.com to write your own response.
On the stump
and rhetoric is not equally respectful across the board, then it is entirely unacceptable. The saddest thing about the experience of the Black political orphans in America is that when you ask them why they support the Obama administration, a large majority of them can only say “they’re better than the Republicans.” That’s like a wife saying, “I’ll never divorce my husband because he’s better than the man who used to beat me.” Perhaps a more meaningful endorsement from his wife could be “I won’t ever leave my husband because I am absolutely sure he loves me.” Even the most ardent Obama supporter can’t make such a claim.
CHRIS WILSON/MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL/MCT
Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, left, and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney waved to a crowd in Waukesha, Wis. on Aug. 12.
Preparing to fire back, President Obama on Aug. 11 quieted a Chicago crowd that booed his
first mention of Ryan as Romney’s vice presidential candidate. Obama congratulated Ryan and described him as “a decent man” and “a family man” who will serve as an “articulate spokesman for Governor Romney’s vision.” But Obama – who, as a U.S. senator, made straight A’s on the NAACP report card – contrasted his record, explaining to the audience, “It’s a vision that I fundamentally disagree with. My opponent and Congressman Ryan and their allies in Congress, they all believe that if we just get rid of more regulations on big corporations and we give more tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans, it will lead to jobs and prosperity for everybody else. “That’s what they’re proposing. That’s where they’ll take us if they win.”
Obama continued, “The centerpiece of Governor Romney’s entire economic plan is a new $5 trillion tax cut, a lot of it going to the wealthiest Americans. This is on top of the Bush tax cuts. Last week we found out that to pay for this $5 trillion tax cut, not only would we see them gut education investments; gut investments in science and research, gut investments in things like rebuilding our roads and our bridges, but it turns out that Governor Romney’s tax plan would also raise taxes on middle-class families by an average of $2,000 each.” The introduction of Ryan is widely viewed as the opening shot for the last 80 days before the Nov. 6 election in which voters will choose between the Romney-Ryan or the ObamaBiden ticket.
P. Rogers qualified for office in June without opposition and will serve additional two-year terms. In contested races, Democratic State Representatives Betty Reed, Joseph Gibbons, and Cynthia A. Stafford were elected to additional two-year terms. Rep. Dwight Bullard, D-Miami, won a crowded primary for the Senate seat vacated by his mother, Sen. Larcenia Bullard, who is stepping aside because of term limits. Bullard defeated four opponents, including a House leader and a former lawmaker. Rep. Geraldine Thompson of Orlando defeated Victoria Siplin with almost 56 percent of the vote. Siplin is the wife of State Sen. Gary Siplin, D-Orlando. Both Thompson and Bullard face
token Republican opposition in heavily Democratic districts. Rep. Mack Bernard of West Palm Beach lost closely to Rep. Jeff Clemens of Lake Worth in the Democratic primary for Senate District 27 in South Florida. Clemens is likely to win election in November, as no other candidate will appear on the ballot. In Democratic primaries, Bobby Powell won in House District 88, Shevrin D. Jones won in House District 101, Randolph Bracy III won in House District 54, and Bruce Antone won in House District 46. Fort Pierce businessman Larry Lee, Jr. beat former Rep. Adam Fetterman, D-Fort Pierce, in his bid to return to the House. Lee won nearly 53 percent of the
vote in District 84. Lee will face Fort Pierce Republican Michelle Miller in November in the St. Lucie County district.
Budget Committee and as a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, which oversees tax policy, Social Security, health care and trade laws. In his initial speeches over the weekend, he mostly promoted Romney as “a leader with the skills, the background and the character that our country needs at this crucial time in its history” and criticized President Obama. “Following four years of failed leadership, the hopes of our country, which have inspired the world, are growing dim. They need someone to revive them. Governor Romney is the man for this moment.”
‘A decent man’
Watson wins Alachua Democrat Clovis Watson, Jr., cruised to a win Tuesday in a primary in House District 20, likely clearing the way for him to go to Tallahassee. Watson received nearly 56 percent of the votes in the race against Marihelen Wheeler of Gainesville. Watson faces only a write-in candidate in the November general election.
Other races Incumbent Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings won his
Though many African-Americans are disgruntled due to high unemployment rates, polls show that they strongly support President Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act, which Romney still vows to repeal despite the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of it. Obama supporters also aggressively argue that despite economic woes that remain, the conservative fiscal policies of a Romney-Ryan administration would make life worse for African-Americans. Obama himself is strategically hammering his successes in contrast with Romney’s views: “And when we saved the auto industry, Mr. Romney said, let’s ‘let Detroit go bankrupt.’ I said let’s bet on American workers. And now the American auto industry has come roaring back. And I believe that manufacturing can come roaring back here in America if we make good choices,” the president said in a private campaign event in Chicago on Aug. 12. Obama continued: “Mr. Romney says, ‘My top priority – the first thing I’ll do is kill Obamacare.’...We’ve got 6.5 million young people already who have got health insurance on their parents’ plan because of Obamacare. Seniors are paying lower prescription drug costs now because of Obamacare. Children with preexisting conditions can’t be refused insurance because of Obamacare. And soon, all adults will be able to get health insurance even if they’ve got a preexisting condition, because of Obamacare. “We’ve got preventive care for everybody. Insurances can’t drop you. And women are having more control over their health care choices. That was the right thing to do. We’re not going backwards. We’re going forward.” Democratic primary with 81 percent of the vote. Incumbent Barbara Jordan beat Miami Gardens Mayor Shirley Gibson 59.1 to 34.7 percent to stay on the Miami-Dade County Commission, in a local election made notable when billionaire auto dealer Norman Braman supported and help fund a slate of four candidates who targeted incumbents. (All four, including Gibson, lost.) Miami-Dade voters voted to keep their ban on owning pit bull dogs, 63 percent to 34 percent.
David Royse of the News Service of Florida contributed to this report.
AUGUST 17 - AUGUST 23, 2012
White supremists terrorizing more than Blacks Recent headlines, data from think-tank show fatal attacks by extremists in US BY FREDDIE ALLEN NNPA NEWS SERVICE
WASHINGTON – The disclosure that Wade Michael Page, the Army veteran responsible for killing six people at the Oak Creek Sikh Temple outside of Milwaukee, was a White supremacist has awakened the nation to the truth that White supremacists are a threat to more than just people of color. After earning a less than honorable discharge from the Army in 1998, Page joined Hammerskin Nation, “one of the oldest, most violent and most dominant skinhead groups in the United States,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit organization that tracks hate groups. Even though hate groups such as Hammerskin Nation often escape being labeled as a terrorist organization, experts say that when they’re White-power rhetoric fuels violent action, that’s exactly what they are.
Total terrorist attacks The New America Foundation, a non-partisan public policy think-tank based in Washington, D.C., collected data on terrorist attacks after 9/11. The NAF study revealed that right-wing extremists have carried out eight fatal terrorist attacks in the U.S. Militants connected to al Qaeda or jihad-inspired radicals have committed four terrorist attacks in the United States – half as many of White supremacists – that have killed 17 Americans. If the FBI investigation concludes that the
Sikh temple shooting was indeed an act of domestic terrorism, the death toll from right-wing terrorism will jump to 15. Last week, New America Foundation director and CNN national security contributor Peter Bergen wrote: “The numbers in the New America Foundation database may well understate the toll of violence from right-wing extremists. Another FBI study reported that between January 1, 2007, and October 31, 2009, white supremacists were involved in 53 acts of violence, 40 of which were assaults directed primarily at African-Americans, seven of which were murders and the rest of which were threats, arson and intimidation.”
ARMANDO L. SANCHEZ/CHICAGO TRIBUNE/MCT
Jennifer Rowland, program associate in National Security Studies Program at NAF, said that many of these crimes carried out by White supremacists were prosecuted as murders or hate crimes, which generally carry lower sentences than domestic terrorism convictions. “These guys are terrorists too,” said Rowland. “When [right-wing extremists] are killing people and they’re politically motivated that falls inside our definition of terrorism.” Because White supremacists often don’t fit into the post-9/11 narrative of terrorism and prevailing fears of shadowy, turbaned foes, the threat they pose is often overlooked because their targets were mostly Blacks. “The [Ku Klux Klan] is the first domestic terrorist group,” said Heidi Beirich, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Members of the Sikh and Oak Creek community hold a candlelight service on Aug. 7 at Miller Park in Oak Creek, Wis., for the six members of the Sikh temple in Oak Creek who were killed in a shooting rampage on Aug. 5. Reconstruction Era immediately following the American Civil War. The hate group’s core principles of White supremacy, White nationalism, anti-Semitism, and anti-immigration spread across the South. The Klan evolved with the nation, rising in prominence in the 1920s and terrorizing and intimidating Blacks, Jews and other minorities through lynching, arson, cross burning, and murder for social and political gain. Today, the Klan survives as many small independent chapters without a centralized governing body. This splintering makes the Klan and other hate groups much harder for the FBI to infiltrate.
verse” has diminished significantly as more violent “much scarier” neo-Nazi and skinhead groups deluged the White supremacist scene. The Southern Poverty Law Center estimates that 1,018 hate groups operate in the United States, today up 69 percent in the last 12 years. So-called “patriot” groups such as the one that inspired Timothy McVeigh to bomb the federal building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 Americans, skyrocketed 755 percent since President Obama’s election, growing from 149 in 2008 to 1,274 in 2011. “If you’re a White supremacist seeing Obama win an election was frightening,” said Beirich.
Veterans created Klan
Losing the battle
Six Confederate Army veterans created the Klan during the
Beirich said that Klan’s prominence in “the hate group uni-
White supremacist see Obama’s win as a symptom of much great-
A3 er threats to White power: multiculturalism and immigration. “White supremacist groups feel that they’ve lost the battle since the civil rights era,” said Marilyn Mayo, co-director of the AntiDefamation League’s Center on Extremism. “They are quickly becoming less powerful and they want to go back to the days before the civil rights era when they felt like White people had power and control in this country.” The Census Bureau projects that Whites will lose their majority by 2042, a notion that has galvanized White supremacist groups to be more active, said Mayo. In less than 40 years, the White population will fall below 50 percent, Blacks will make up 15 percent of the population and Latinos will take 30 percent and other people of color will make up the remainder. “[White supremacists] still don’t like African-Americans, they don’t like Jews, but they believe that multiculturalism has destroyed the United States,” Mayo said. “We see a ratcheting up in rhetoric against the African-American community and other minorities, because we have an African-American president in power today.”
An American problem Currently, the Justice Department is restricted in how they pursue and prosecute White supremacist groups because of First Amendment rights afforded to all Americans, even those that spew hateful rhetoric. But Rowland and other experts agree that as these groups cast a wider net over American society targeting a growing population of minorities, they will increasingly be seen for what they are: domestic terrorists. The New America Foundation found “no evidence” that militants connected to al Qaeda have acquired chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) weapons since 9/11, but 11 extremists groups (right-wing and left-wing) have obtained CBRN material over the same time period. “The more we leave these groups alone, the more ambitious they’re going to become,” said Rowland.
AUGUST 17 - AUGUST 23, 2012
Does America have love for certain terrorists? Do you remember when a group of people that hated the United States flew two airplanes directly into New York’s World Trade Center? Shortly afterward, citizens, politicians and almost everyone else denounced the attacks and called for the arrest, conviction or execution of the people responsible for the deadly acts of terror. Back then, an Islamic militant group called al-Qaeda was said to be the ‘terrorists’ that were responsible for killing thousands of Americans in the World Trade Center attacks. Today, that same militant Islamic group is being described as ‘rebels’ that are trying to oust the legitimate president of Syria, Bashar Assad.
Lucius Gantt THE GANTT REPORT
Lie after lie America’s political leaders have denounced Assad, saying that the Syrian president was a ruthless murderer of his own people – the God-fearing, freedom-fighting ‘rebels’ of Syria. Assad told the world from day one that the Syrian Army was not shooting bullets or firing bombs at innocent citizens. Assad said his army was in a vicious fight with terrorists. Guess what? Bombing ‘rebels’ continues to be front
page and lead story news. But if you turn to the back pages of majority media outlets, you will see that the same terrorists that perpetrated the World Trade Center attacks are the terrorists in rebel clothing that are causing so much strife and bloodshed in Syria. How in the hell can the United States support, fund and arm the terrorist group that orchestrated the murders of so many Americans on 9/11? If your broadcast anchors and newspaper reporters won’t tell you, The Gantt Report will. Al-Qaeda terrorists are very active in Syria and the group that is intent on killing even more Americans is building a network of wellorganized cells with the idea
VISUAL VIEWPOINT: 'SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING'
DARYL CAGLE, MSNBC.COM
Random thoughts of a free Black mind, v. 149 Back to school – Gloraaay! I’ve been counting the days before Chayla, 11, and Charles III, 8, go back. Hopefully it won’t take much time for teachers to help reform brains that turned into mush over the summer... Jonesing already for the Olympics – That went by fast! I was glued to the computer watching online and to my high-def TV screen. The next Summer Olympics will be in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Is there a better place to be for two weeks of high-level athletics and people-watching? More empty symbolism – We wrote about how in the aftermath of Trayvon Martin’s murder that Black folks were buying Walmart hoodies and AriZona Iced Teas, putting unexpected profits in the pockets of owners who support right-wing causes generally hostile to Black America’s interests. Last week, Black church folks were standing in lines winding around the block to buy Chik-fil-A sandwiches to support company president Dan Cathy’s denunciation of gay marriage. Chik-fil-A ownership has a similar right-wing history. Want to make a statement? Keep your money in your pocket, or buy a bean pie from the Nation of Islam (they still sell them) and keep the cash in the neighborhood...
quick takes from #2: straight, no chaser
Charles W. Cherry II, Esq. PUBLISHER
Even more empty symbolism – Papa John’s Pizza founder and CEO John Schnatter, a big-money Mitt Romney supporter, warned pizza eaters that prices of slices would increase due to Obamacare. It was a symbolic clear shot across Bro. Prez’s bow; price increases usually come without such announcements. This is America; business owners have the right to free speech. But if they choose to inject themselves into hot-button political issues like gay marriage and subsidized health care, I have the right to take my consumer dollars elsewhere if I don’t like their politics. No more Poppa John’s for me and mine...and the Koch Brothers’ businesses are next.
Contact me at email@example.com; holler at me at www.facebook.com/ ccherry2; follow me on Twitter @ccherry2.
Opinions expressed on this editorial page are those of the writers, and do not necessarily reflect the editorial stance of the newspaper or the publisher.
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of establishing a terrorist of the WMD lies. foothold in Syria if Assad is In order to spend billions removed from power. of taxpayer dollars to launch a war against Saddam HusRemember ‘WMDs’? sein, lies were told about Hundreds – maybe thou- WMDs. Could the same type sands – of al Qaeda terror- lies describe what people ists and militants are operat- are saying about so-called ing right now in Syria. They Syrian ‘rebels’ that, in some are going from city to city cases, really are Al Qaeda teaching upset Syrians how members that most Amerito build suicide bombs and can citizens hate so much? If the United States helps other weapons of mass deto remove Bashar Assad struction! Did I say “weapons of from office, will the Unitmass destruction”? How can ed States essentially be putwe forget how United States ting al Qaeda terrorists in a citizens were told lie after lie position to take over Syria, a about how Iraq had biolog- country that has a powerful ical, chemical and possibly army strategically close to nuclear weapons of mass Israel, Iran and other coundestruction when no WMDs tries in the area? were ever found in Iraq? Thousands of American sol- Forget about it Certain enemies should diers lost their lives because
never be your friend and ally. The United States should not even consider sending missiles, predator drones and other weapons to fake Syrian rebels that are really terrorist members of al Qaeda. Let’s see. Saddam Hussein hated al Qaeda and he was killed. Muammar Gaddafi didn’t like al Qaeda and he was killed. Now Bashar Assad is in a war with al Qaeda terrorists. Will he be killed too? I always told you Satan was tricky!
Buy Gantt’s latest book, “Beast Too: Dead Man Writing” on Amazon.com and from bookstores everywhere. Click on this story at www.flcourier.com to write your own response.
How Obama helps banks rig the housing market Mike Whitney, an economics writer that we at Black Agenda Report trust, wrote an article recently that answers some questions about how the banks are dealing with the housing catastrophe they created. The article provides clues as to why President Obama has so doggedly refused to intervene in the housing market to save more than a token proportion of homeowners from foreclosure. Whitney wonders how home prices could be rising, as they are, at the same time that housing sales are dropping, which they are. On the face of it, the two phenomena should not coexist. Falling sales means declining demand, which is supposed to result in lower prices.
Higher prices But average home prices in the 20 biggest cities are rising faster than at any time in the last ten years. And yet, we know huge numbers of homeowners are technically in default, and many millions more are stuck with underwater mortgages they’d like to walk away from. What Mike Whitney concludes is that the banks, acting as a cartel, are manipulating the housing market to force prices higher, for the sake of their own bottom lines. They have slowed the foreclosure process – not out of concern for the families that live in the houses, but to avoid flooding the market with newly fore-
GLEN FORD BLACK AGENDA REPORT
closed homes, which would further undermine housing prices and devalue trillions of dollars in mortgages held by the banks. Whitney and others believe that if the actual value of those mortgages were known, most, if not all, the big banks would be declared insolvent. Therefore, the banks carefully calibrate the foreclosure process, to make sure not too many delinquent homes are put back on the market at one time. They are attempting to stretch the crisis out over time to spare themselves from catastrophic loss. This is not a kindness; it’s called rigging the market, and requires a high level of orchestration among the top players. But that’s not so difficult, since all the big banks share the same interest in artificially inflated assets.
Market ‘fine-tuned’ The banks are not saving homeowners from ultimate foreclosure; they have resisted writing down mortgages as if that would violate all the laws of heaven and earth. But rigging the markets so that the impossible occurs – that is, rising housing prices in a low-demand
market – requires fine-tuning. To succeed, the banks must collaborate with one another to keep too many distressed houses from flooding the market. Government intervention in the housing market and schemes to lower the principle on large numbers of homeowners’ debts could upset the bankers’ careful calculations. And that’s why the bankers’ great friend in the White House, Barack Obama, has refused to intervene in housing in any meaningful way. As a candidate, he rejected any type of moratorium on foreclosures or mortgage rate increases, and has maintained that position as president. His administration refused to spend more than $6 billion in funds provided by Congress to help the hardest-hit homeowners in the country, almost certainly because that kind of intervention might upset the bankers’ delicate calibrations on how many foreclosed homes to dribble into the market at any given time, in order to boost prices. By doing next to nothing on housing, Obama allowed the banks free reign to continue rigging the market. They owe him, big time.
Glen Ford is executive editor of BlackAgendaReport.com. Click on this story at www.flcourier.com to write your own response.
‘Gay’ is not the new ‘Black’ All of a sudden, biting into a fried chicken sandwich has become a political and economic statement. The Chick-fil-A fast food chain is standing firm in its opposition to gay marriage since company president Dan Cathy said the company “backs the traditional family unit.” Gay rights groups have called for a boycott of the chain and politicians in Boston, Chicago and Washington, D.C. told the company they intend to use zoning laws and local regulations to let Chick-fil-A executives know it’s not welcome in their locales. The current campaign may well turn out to be a bridge too far and evolve into a horrible setback for homosexual activism.
Rewriting values Since President Barack Obama threw Black values and emphasis under the same bus as he did the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, “gay” has been allowed to become the civil rights issue of our time. The vile attacks on Chickfil-A and its owners should make clear the ‘gay rights’ movement is not about refining and advancing American freedom, but about rewriting American values and advancing the homosexual political agenda. This type of social activism is a menace to Black values and American free enterprise.
WILLIAM REED BUSINESS EXCHANGE
“Eat mor chikin” is the chain’s prominent advertising slogan. Chick-fil-A [referring to “filet”] specializes in chicken entrées and has long been associated with the South, where it is a cultural icon. It all started in 1946, when Samuel Truett Cathy opened his first restaurant, The Dwarf Grill, in Hapeville, Ga. Credited with inventing Chick-fil-A’s boneless breast of chicken sandwich, Cathy founded Chickfil-A, Inc. in the early 1960s and pioneered establishment of restaurants in shopping malls. Since then, Chick-fil-A has steadily grown to become the second largest quick-service chicken restaurant chain in the U.S. The business is family-owned and has become a multibillion-dollar operation. With 44 consecutive years of positive sales growth, the company is known for being methodical about opening new restaurants, but opening them with fanfare, including giving the first 100 customers free chicken sandwiches for a year. Dan Cathy has been the Chick-fil-A chief executive since 2001. On August 1, at Chick-fil-A locations across
the country, people voted with their wallets by coming out on Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day to express support for the chain and to Cathy for his stance on traditional marriage.
Politically potent Blacks should be aware the gay movement has eclipsed them in political potency. Politicians are swooning to take up gay causes. Sources inside the Democratic National Committee have confirmed the party will include gay marriage as part of its platform. It will be the first time in history that either the Democratic or Republican Party has supported anything other than the traditional definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman. We find no reason to be mad at Cathy and his traditional values. Sexual disposition does not parallel race. And it’s difficult to watch a coordinated, well-funded, well-connected propaganda strategy undermine thousands of years of history. It’s especially disconcerting to watch the use of the civil rights struggle as the vehicle for the strategy.
William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and is available for speaking/ seminar projects via BaileyGroup.org. Click on this story at www.flcourier.com to write your own response.
AUGUST 17 - AUGUST 23, 2012
What Paul Ryan’s selection says about Romney You’d think that nationally respected pundits would be offering insight and analysis on Mitt Romney’s choice of Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate. Instead, liberal pundits are offering nothing but trite talking points about how Ryan’s arcane efforts as House Budget Committee chairman to reduce the deficit and national debt amount to wheelchairing Grandma off a cliff to give rich folks more in tax breaks. Conservative pundits are offering similar talking points about how those very same efforts amount to the only hope America has of avoiding a Greek-style financial catastrophe.
ANTHONY L. HALL, ESQ. FLORIDA COURIER COLUMNIST
Foreign Relations when Obama chose him as his running mate? No. What mattered were the policies Obama was proposing to implement as president, not those Biden advocated as senator. The only issue here is what Ryan’s selection says about the would-be president who selected him. Recall the many times Romney declared that the most important criterion for selecting a VP candidate is ensuring that that person is eminently qualified to They’re both wrong Nobody can possibly know how be president on day one. the best-laid plans to deal with America’s long-term debt will fare What experience? He repeatedly stressed the imwhen confronted with inevitable exogenous factors. Bill Clinton portance of real-world/executive handed George W. Bush a bud- experience. He invariably juxtaget surplus and a comprehen- posed his experience as a busisive plan to deal with the nation- nessman to indicate why he’s al debt. Two unfunded wars and a more qualified to lead America in global financial crisis later, Amer- 2012 than even this sitting presiica’s fiscal house looks a veritable dent who already has nearly four years of real-world/executive exbasket case. Does anyone recall anybody perience in the White House. Given Romney’s declared critemaking a big deal about what Joe Biden advocated as chair- ria for choosing a running mate as man of the Senate Committee on well as the indignation with which
Ryan’s hope could be America’s nightmare Mitt Romney has selected Rep. Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate. Conservatives are hoping against hope that this selection will relaunch Romney’s campaign by providing the necessary policy focus that has been lacking up to this point. Romney’s choice of Ryan was not as much of a bold move forward as it was a bad selection from a pool of bad options.
What ‘bright mind’? Conservatives looked at Bobby Jindal, Tim Pawlenty, Chris Christie, Condi Rice and others as potential running mates for Romney. Before Louisiana Governor Piyush “Bobby” Jindal started palling around with Romney he endorsed
WILMER J. LEON III NNPA COLUMNIST
Texas Governor Rick Perry. Jindal is hailed as one of the “brightest minds in the Republican Party.” Can anyone honestly believe that ultra-conservative WASPs in the Republican Party would vote for a VP nominee named Piyush? That is almost as bad as a president whose middle name is Hussein. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty would have had trouble overcoming his primary challenges to Romney’s health care initiatives. According to Pawlen-
If you’re one of the millions of viewers who watched the Olympics, you’re not alone. Nielsen research shows that the opening ceremony in London garnered a stunning 40.7 million total U.S. viewers (Blacks made up three million of those watching), annihilating all previously held records for a summer Olympics broadcast. The Olympics is a marketing bonanza for sponsors, advertisers and marketers. So while millions of us watched with bated breath to see which of our stellar athletes or teams would ascend the podium to accept their medals, billions of dollars were spent, made, or both to capture our attention. (And you thought consumerism wasn’t a professional sport.) Ratings for the Olympics will probably dwarf the competition for its two week-plus run when the final numbers are calculated. NBC will probably break ratings records with its Olympic coverage, even though much of it was tape-delayed to run in primetime – which some analysts believe underscores the growing power of sports programming. It’s the excitement, the feeling of power and the awe that attracts audiences to the Olympics. You can’t help but feel patriotic when you see the red, white and blue. You get to know the Olympians as if they were your best friends and you want to continue to tune in to cheer them on.
ty, “President Obama said that he designed Obamacare after Romneycare and basically made it Obamneycare…” New Jersey Governor Christie understood that he was not ready. Former Secretary of State Rice’s perspective’s on affirmative action and abortion make her too liberal and I don’t see the GOP backing an African-American woman. Usually during the primary process, a candidate will tack towards the extreme end of the political spectrum to capture their party’s nomination and jib back towards the center to capture the more moderate faction of the electorate in the general election. Romney tacked to the furthest extremes of ultra-conservative ideology by changing his positions on issues such as immigration, health care reform, and contraception. With Ryan’s selection, Romney has compounded his tack towards the right in an effort to convince ultra-conservatives that he’s really in their camp.
I remember My eyes were glistenCHERYL PEARSON- ing as my own memories of similar mornings flitMCNEIL NNPA COLUMNIST
in a 30-second U.S. commercial spot during the opening ceremony: • In 1988, for the Seoul Olympics, a 30-second commercial cost $155,000. • In 2000, advertisers in the Sydney opening ceremony shelled out $275,000 for a 30-second spot. • In 2008, the cost climbed to $320,000 a spot for Beijing’s opening ceremony. • A spot in the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony jumped up to as much as $725,000 per commercial. Nielsen analysis shows that with some $1 billion in ad sales and another $200 million in local TV and digital ad revenue, NBC and its family of networks may actually break even with its $1.28 billion investment into the London games. The televised games provide an opportunity for a parade of brands to tap into your innermost yearnings while you are feeling patriotic, or inspired or emotional – or all three. What mother among us – who’ve given up our early mornings, late evenings and full weekends and holidays to drive, cheer, and coerce our own little athletes toward glory – could tear our eyes away from the commercial that celebrated mothers globThe numbers ally? Talk about powerful Check out the increase stuff!
VISUAL VIEWPOINT: ROMNEY-RYAN 2012
he routinely dismissed Obama’s experience as a community organizer, college professor, and U.S. senator, you’d think Romney’s choice would’ve been someone with impeccable credentials as a businessman and creator of private-sector jobs. Instead, Ryan has the poster boy for the very kind of career politicians – with no real-world/ executive experience – whom he blames for turning the U.S. economy into what he would have you believe is a hopelessly moribund, dysfunctional mess. After all, Ryan began his career as a politician at the suckling age of 29 – at which time his only real-world/executive experience was working as a personal trainer and driving an Oscar Meyer wienermobile. The hypocrisy inherent in his choice should be reason enough to vote against Romney. But Romney is exposed as a spineless phony when you realize that the only reason he compromised his own principles in this brazen fashion is to cater to the rabid Tea Partiers who now control the Republican Party. To be fair, Romney telegraphed his willingness to sell his soul to these right-wing nuts last year when he took a Tea Party pledge during a Republican candidates’ debate to reject, as president, any
Olympics an advertising bonanza ted across my mind as I watched moms across the world jostling their little ones out of bed and getting them off to practice, returning home later, to do laundry and cook and clean with the company’s products. My 6-foot, 4-inch basketball-playing son looked on incredulously as the tears trickled down my cheeks as I watched the spot. His 16-year-old cynicism collapsed into three words: “Really Ma?! Really?” I don’t expect him to understand why that particular commercial resonated with me. Because likewise, I don’t feel any connection when my non-athletic self watches a sweaty hoopster guzzle down energy drinks in a spot that highly resonates with him. That is the true sport of advertising – connecting an audience to a product. When a marketer does that successfully, we consumers repay them with our own form of a gold medal – we purchase the product. But just like we demand of any Olympian, be sure advertisers earn the status we give them.
Cheryl Pearson-McNeil is the senior vice president of public affairs and government relations for The Nielsen Company. Click on this story at www.flcourier. com to write your own response.
ADAM ZYGLIS, THE BUFFALO NEWS
compromise with Democrats to solve the budget crisis. The reasonable and pragmatic Romney who served as governor of liberal Massachusetts has been born again as an unreasonable and doctrinaire Tea Partier who believes compromise is a dirty word and that the Lord has ordained that the only way to govern is the Republican way – or no way.
No ‘bold’ pick Frankly, the only difference between John McCain’s fatally flawed choice of Sarah Palin and his choice of Ryan is that at least Ryan has a brain between his ears. But if being a brainiac on
‘Starve the beast’
budgets and debt financing were all that mattered, shouldn’t Romney have chosen a Nobel laureate in economics? It’s absurd that anyone tries to spin his choice of another plainvanilla White guy as bold and inspiring. I’m sure Florida’s Hispanics who were hoping he would pick their senator, Marco Rubio, don’t see it that way.
Anthony L. Hall is a Bahamian native with an international law practice in Washington, D.C. Read his columns and daily weblog at www.theipinionsjournal.com. Click on this story at www.flcourier.com to write your own response. doo economics” – has contributed to the sinking fiscal boat America finds itself in today. Part of the solution is to simply go back to the tax rates of the Clinton era. Congressman Bobby Scott’s idea of allowing the Bushera tax cuts and the 2 percent payroll tax holiday to expire is a very simple way to revenues back on track. This would yield approximately $4 trillion to $5 trillion. The additional revenue could be immediately put towards direct job creation, such as investments in transportation and infrastructure. Conservatives hope that adding Ryan will provide the policy focus that the campaign has sorely lacked. It’s bad policy with the wrong focus. Ryan’s hope would prove to be America’s nightmare.
Ryan’s budget, his so-called “Path to Prosperity,” is actually the latest version of Reagan Administration Budget Director David Stockman’s “starve the beast” fiscal philosophy, a fiscal-political strategy to cut taxes in order to deprive the government of revenue in a deliberate effort to create a fiscal budget crisis. Creating the crisis then allows conservatives to make the case for cutting the social programs –“the beast” they have opposed since their inception. They force the federal government to reduce spending by cutting programs rather than raising tax levels. Ryan’s proposed cuts to social programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, and housing assistance while maintaining the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy is a 2012 version of a failed 1980s Contact Wilmer Leon via idea. The “trickle down” economics of the Reagan era as applied www.wilmerleon.com. Click on during the Bush 43 era – what this story at www.flcourier.com George H.W. Bush called “voo- to write your own response.
Olympic gold and educational mediocrity The Olympic games are a celebration of excellence and athleticism. Whether we cheered the Williams sisters in their gold medal-winning doubles match, the graceful Gabby Douglass in flight, or some of the many others, we are cheering their excellence, indomitable spirits, and drive. We are also acknowledging the tens of thousands of hours that they must have put into practice. Even as we cheer, there are lessons. Often the difference between a gold and silver winner is the one was hungrier, wanted the gold more intensely, and worked harder than the other.
Gabby sacrificed To be sure, some Olympians have good days, and others have days that are less than good. But there is no such thing as “luck” in the Olympics. Luck is the collision of preparation and opportunity. Was Gabby Douglas lucky to have been taken on by Liang Chow, the coach that trained her to earn the gold? No, she was prepared to shine in a way that made Chow see her potential. She sacrificed, moving from Virginia to Iowa, missing her family and moving with a generous White family who, for all their goodwill, were culturally out of synch with Gabby’s Black experience. She worked hard, she sacrificed, and she won the gold medal. There is a parallel between Olympics wins and the state of United States education. Our nation has made few contemporary sacrifices, and an insufficient investment, for the cause of education. Instead, teachers are being laid off, school hours are being cut, and essentials like civics, art and sports are being cut or augmented by parents who contribute so that their sons and daughters can have these classes. Meanwhile, the children of those who don’t have the dollars to contribute to public education find their achievement gap growing each year.
Our investments As a nation, we will get that in which we invest. If we invest in the Department of Defense, we will get war. If we invest in the Department of Education, along
DR. JULIANNE MALVEAUX TRICEEDNEYWIRE.COM
with state and local school systems, we will end up with a better-educated population. If we choose to invest in correctional facilities, we’ll end up incarcerated people. If we invest in inner city schools, we close the achievement. If we behave as if the world is race-neutral (or post-racial), when the data say differently, then we broaden – not narrow – the achievement gap. Our Olympians are dedicated, hardworking athletes who have committed themselves to achieving excellence. While we give a lot of lip service to educational excellence, the fact is that we are not as dedicated and hard-working to that end as we might be.
Who will fight? Who feels so passionately about education that they will flood school board meetings and insist on necessary changes? How many are willing to fight for after-school and summer programs, or provide tutoring? There is an anti-tax lobby, led by Grover Norquist of the Americans for Tax Reform. This organization will not endorse candidates unless they pledge not to raise taxes. The Tea Party is so effective that they are unseating Republican stalwarts. Might a group of education advocates come together to develop power as formidable as that of the Tea Party? Might that group decide that any legislator that cannot support a robust educational agenda, is unworthy of re-election? Might we have the will to assert that all children can learn, and then make their learning a priority?
Julianne Malveaux is a D.C.-based economist and author. Click on this story at www.flcourier.com to write your own response.
AUGUST 17 – august 23, 2012
Former pastor found guilty of molesting boys attempts suicide in court FROM WIRE REPORTS
The Rev. James Richard Harris of Belle Glade was found guilty last week of performing two sex acts on a 15-year-old boy. Harris, 64, was accused of drawing in young boys by promising them connections to exclusive football scouts and NFL attention. He also was found guilty of filming a 14-year-old girl and her boyfriend having sex in his home. After being found guilty, Harris tried to stuff a handful of white pills in his Rev. James mouth in an attempted Richard suicide beHarris fore being apprehended by officers. He was escorted out of the court on a stretcher Harris faces 80 years in prison for his acts. He kept a somber expression on Aug. 9 as a court clerk read guilty verdicts for lewd and lascivious battery and five other charges involving minors. Then the judge told him that he would be going directly to jail. As soon as the words left the judge’s mouth, Harris reached for his bottle of water on the defense table.
‘Oh my God, it’s cynanide’ Deputies immediately lunged toward him, but by the time they tackled Harris, he had stuffed a handful of pills into his mouth. “Oh, my God, it’s cyanide,” a couple of public defender’s office interns whispered as they stood from their seats in the back of the courtroom. “Spit it out! Spit it out!” deputies yelled at Harris as they pinned him on his stomach to the floor. And so ended the threeday trial for Harris, the 64-year-old former Belle Glade minister who for years was a fixture on the sidelines at Glades Central High School’s football games. Though Harris was charged with the offenses related only to the two teens at the time of his April 2009 arrest, many in the Belle Glade community said he was rumored to have molested some of the area’s up-and-coming foot-
ball stars for decades. Harris’ court-appointed attorney Chris Haddad stayed behind until after paramedics wheeled Harris from the courtroom on a stretcher. Harris lay back
with his eyes closed, his dress shirt unbuttoned, undershirt damp and his right shoe on the stretcher. The scene was reminiscent of a case in an Arizona courtroom in late July in
which Michael Marin, a former Wall Street trader, killed himself by swallowing cyanide immediately after he was convicted of arson. Marin, 53, was caught on video, slumping forward,
head in hands, and he appeared to swallow something that had been hidden in his fingers. He also drank from a water bottle. Marin went into convulsions and was pronounced dead in
the courtroom. Harris will be sentenced on Oct. 5.
The Palm Beach Post was used in compiling this report.
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Money to help nurses, new students NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA
Private scholarship money is going to the state’s college system to help relieve a shortage of nurses, and also to boost the number of first-generation college students. Money from the endowments of the Helios Education Foundation, Florida Blue, and Bank of America is awarded annually by the Florida College System Foundation to all 28 colleges in the system for Florida nursing students and first generation students in any field. Florida College System Chancellor Randy Hanna last week announced this year’s award of $825,000.
ONE DAY SALE PRICES IN EFFECT 8/17-8/18/2012. *INTERMEDIATE PRICE REDUCTIONS MAY HAVE BEEN TAKEN. OPEN A MACY’S ACCOUNT FOR EXTRA 20% SAVINGS THE FIRST 2 DAYS, UP TO $100, WITH MORE REWARDS TO COME. Macy’s credit card is available subject to credit approval; new account savings valid the day your account is opened and the next day; excludes services, selected licensed departments, gift cards, restaurants, gourmet food & wine. The new account savings are limited to a total of $100; application must qualify for immediate approval to receive extra savings; employees not eligible.
HEALTH FOOD || HEALTH TRAVEL | |MONEY SCIENCE | BOOKS | MOVIES | TV | AUTOS LIFE | FAITH | EVENTS | CLASSIFIEDS | ENTERTAINMENT | SPORTS | FOOD August 17 - August 23, 2012
IFE/FAITH Strong finish for USA in 2012 Olympics See page B3
SHARING BLACK LIFE, STATEWIDE
SOUTH FLORIDA / TREASURE COAST AREA
Back-toschool food ideas See page B4
MARK RANDALL/SUN SENTINEL/MCT
Lawrence Johnson (front) and his partner, Irving Camiel pose for portrait in their Delray Beach home on Aug. 2. Johnson, before meeting Camiel, cared for his longtime partner, Alexandre Rheaume, in the Boston area after Rheaume was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Eventually, Alexandre went into a nursing home and died in 2009.Johnson recounts his experiences as a gay man and a caregiver in the documentary film, “Gen Silent.’’
Pushed back in the closet Many gay seniors hiding information about their lives if they enter nursing homes or assisted living facilities for fear of abuse or discrimination.
BY DIANE C. LADE SUN SENTINEL (MCT)
ay and lesbian elders have lived long enough to see amazing changes: marriage rights, the rise of AIDS activism, celebrities coming out. But there is something that may drive some of them back into the closet: long-term care. Afraid of abuse or discrimination, LGBT seniors who are open about their relationships with friends and families may hide that part of their lives if they enter nursing homes or assisted living facilities. It’s a real concern. “Gen Silent,” a 2011 documentary, hopes to shed light on the issue. The one-hour film by independent California director Stu Maddux opens the doors of nursing home rooms and private homes, letting LGBT seniors and the people who care for them tell their stories. “We forget that we have an entire generation of people for whom being out wasn’t even an option,” said Tony Plakas, CEO of Compass Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Lake Worth. “They can’t be guaranteed an environment, as they age, where they will be treated equally.”
Unknown numbers One social worker in the film, who coordinates sensitivity training in care facilities, describes watching a nursing aide offer to pray with a frail resident to be forgiven for the sin of being gay. “I watched this film and got sick,” said Ellen Wedner, chairwoman of the Miami Jewish Film Festival who brought “Gen Silent” to South Florida through her nonprofit, Creative Arts Enterprises, in association with Treece Financial Group Inc. “None of us imagine aging or getting older, so this is serious and thought-provoking.” No one is sure exactly how many gay and lesbian seniors there are in South Florida, yet alone the numbers in retirement centers. There could be as many as 53,520 LGBT elders in Palm Beach and Broward counties alone, by the common estimate that 10 percent of the overall population is homosexual.
Caregiver’s story Lawrence Johnson, a 68-yearold retired teacher in Delray Beach, was recruited by Maddux to be in “Gen Silent” shortly after the state of Massachusetts named Johnson as Caregiver of the Year in 2007.
MAD STU MEDIA, INC.
The “Gen Silent’’ film highlights the concerns of a couple trying to find a nursing home where the couple can feel safe about holding hands.
MAD STU MEDIA, INC.
Mel Simms was a closeted senior in “Gen Silent’’ who was lucky enough to find an elder services agency trained to help him feel safe about asking for help as he cared for a dying partner.
“The gay community rallied during the AIDS crisis. Now we need to rally to support our elders, many who are alone.” –David Treece, a gay man whose Miami financial planning service has about one-third LGBT clients The camera follows him from his former home in suburban Boston into a nearby care facility where his partner of 38 years, Alexandre Rheaume, struggles with conversation during their daily visit. “I love you,” Rheaume finally murmurs clearly through the dementia that clouds his memory and blurs his speech. Johnson and Rheaume, who was 22 years Johnson’s senior, had met at Harvard University. They made a home together, supported each other in life’s ups and downs. And like many other couples who grow older together, Johnson suddenly found himself a caregiver when Rheaume was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Johnson suddenly discovered that in other ways they weren’t like other couples. A social worker connected him with a caregiver support group, “but I felt uncomfortable, being the old gay person there. I never felt I could talk about my issues,” he told the Sun Sentinel.
Cases of mistreatment At the first nursing home where Rheaume lived, “they weren’t prepared to deal with us as a couple. You could pick up the vibrations, especially from the aides,” Johnson said. A second nursing home stay went much better, after Johnson had a frank talk with management in advance. The administrator “made it very clear we were welcome and if I got the feeling we weren’t wanted, I should come to him,” said John-
son, who eventually moved to Delray with his new partner after Rheaume died in 2009. “It starts from the top and filters down.” A 2010 national survey, done by a coalition of gay and nursing home residents’ civil groups, polled a mix of 769 gay seniors, family members and care providers. Among them, 43 percent reported 853 cases of mistreatment.
‘Stories from the Field’ Yet while the debate about Chick-fil-A fast-food restaurants supporting anti-gay causes has made national news, advocates say the public is largely clueless about the extra pressures aging LGBT people face when they can no longer care for themselves. Gays also are more likely than their straight counterparts to face these pressures alone, as their lifestyle denied them life partnerships or estranged them from family. “Stories from the Field,” the report that included the 2010 survey, found that the most common complaint was abuse or harassment of gay or lesbian residents by other residents, accounting for about one-fourth of the instances. It was followed by being abruptly discharged, about 20 percent of the cases; and verbal or physical harassment from staff. More than three-fourths of the LGBT survey respondents said gay seniors would hide their sexual orientation if they ended up in institutional care.
Depressing situation James Lopresti, clinical education director for SunServe in Fort Lauderdale’s Wilton Manors, said sometimes facilities err not because they’re hostile but because “they just don’t know how to deal with it.” One local assisted living center, when residents complained about having to live and eat with a gay person, moved the man to the memory ward, where management assumed the residents would be too confused to notice. But spending his days being the only mentally sharp person surrounded by cognitively impaired people was so depressing that the man eventually committed suicide, Lopresti said. He’s developed a new program for SunServe, an LGBT social service agency, which will help long-term care facilities and home health agencies develop gay-sensitive policies, train staff and create welcoming environments. Gay and lesbian seniors searching for longterm care would be able to ask which providers participate in the program, Lopresti said Some corporate care providers already are interested. “South Florida is a retirement destination for many LGBT seniors, and that means there will eventually be a lot of people needing long-term care,” he said.
Benefits and rights “Gen Silent” screenings will
include panels of experts so viewers can get more information after seeing the film. One will be David Treece, a gay man whose Miami financial planning service has about one-third LGBT clients. Gay couples can ease the path into old age by stating their wishes in living wills and drafting powers of attorney, Treece said. But other benefits, like veterans’ long-term care pensions and Medicaid allowances that let one spouse keep some assets when another needs government-funded nursing home care, are outright denied gays because they cannot legally marry in most states, Treece said. One of his clients, in a committed relationship for years, ultimately had to declare bankruptcy after his partner died because, unlike a legally married spouse, he had no rights to his deceased mate’s benefits. Another man initially could not claim the life insurance benefit his long-time partner left him, Treece said, because the hospital would only release the death certificate to the immediate family. “The gay community rallied during the AIDS crisis,” said Treece, an accredited investment fiduciary. “Now we need to rally to support our elders, many who are alone.” For more information on the film, visit www.gensilent.com. More on LGBT aging: www.lgbtagingcenter.org or call 212-7412247.
FLORIDA COMMUNITY CALENDAR
AUGUST 17 - AUGUST 23, 2012
Funny lady Sommore will be at the Palm Beach Improv Aug. 17 for an 8 p.m. show.
Tampa: The 12th Annual Back to School Giveaway hosted by Children With A Vision is a free cookout for the community with games and music for the family and school supplies for children. It will be held at Ragan Park, noon – 6 p.m. Aug. 19. More information: www.childrenwithavisioninc.com. Lake Buena Vista: The Central & North Florida Minority Supplier Development Council’s 29th Annual Business Opportunity Fair & Conference will be held through Aug. 18 at the Disney Contemporary Resort. Registration, complete conference agenda, and additional information: 407-404-6700 or www.cnfmsdc.org.
Charlie Murphy headlines at the Miami Improv on Sept. 7 for an 8 p.m. show.
Jacksonville: Hip-hop artist Flo Rida will be at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena Aug. 23 for a 7:30 p.m. show. Orlando: Reggie Watts and T.J. Miller will be at the UCF Arena Orlando Aug. 21 for an 8 p.m. show. Jacksonville: The Back to Love tour featuring Anthony Hamilton and Estelle stops at the Times Union Center Performing Arts Moran Theater on Sept. 9 for a 7:30 p.m. show. Tampa: The Institute for Corporate and Continuing Education presents an inaugural Wine-Tasting Seminar on the first Wednesday of each month beginning in September and running through December. Sessions will prepare attendees on the history of wine, paring
Santana takes the stage Aug. 26 at the 1-800-ASKGARY Amphitheatre At the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. wine with food, purchasing wine as gifts, choosing the best wine for the holidays and more. Cost: $40 per twohour session. The seminars will be held at Hillsborough Community College. More information: 813-259-6552. Jacksonville: A new art exhibition “The Roaring 20’s Transportation Beaches Style,” a series of paintings based on the Jacksonville Beaches area, and “Nehemiah - Leader and Servant” will be on display through Aug. 30 at the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum, 101 W. First St. More information: 356-2992.
Tampa: Girl Scouts of West Central Florida is seeking troop leaders, both men and women over age 18, to volunteer as positive adult role models for girls to build courage, confidence and character. Training provided. More information: Kristie Wiley: 813-262-1765, email@example.com or www. gswcf.org/volunteer. Ocoee: The City of Ocoee’s Human Relations Diversity Board will host its third annual Fiesta de Colores in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month Sept. 15, 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Bill Breeze Park, 125
North Lakeshore Drive, offering Latin cuisine, salsa dancing, vendors, games, bounce house, face painting and door prizes. A vendor application is available at www.ocoee.org. Deadline is Sept. 5. More information: 407-905-3100. Jacksonville: Comedian and actor Kevin Hart will be at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts Oct. 12 for a 7 p.m. show. Tampa: CredAbility will be hosting a homebuyer’s workshop Aug. 18 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at 5421 Beaumont Center Blvd, Suite 600.
Workshops are open to the public. Topics include closing on a home loan, qualifying for a mortgage loan and free financial counseling. More information and reservations: 800-251-2227. Jacksonville: The Jacksonville Tattoo Convention featuring live tattooing by some of the nation’s top artists as well as contests, seminars, giveaways and more will be held Sept. 14 -15 at the Wyndham Riverwalk Hotel Convention Center. Price: $15 day pass- $35 weekend pass, tickets may be purchased at the door.
St. Petersburg: First Fridays are held in downtown St. Petersburg at 250 Central Ave. between Second and Third Avenues from 5:30 p.m.10:30 p.m. More information: 727-393-3597. Orlando: Tyga will be in concert at the University of Central Florida Arena on Sept. 2 at 7 p.m. Miami: Tickets are on sale for a show featuring Enrique Iglesias and Jennifer Lopez at the American Airlines Arena on Aug. 31 for an 8 p.m. show.
Actor Al Freeman Jr. dies at 78 ‘Malcolm X’ star was longtime artistic director at Howard University FROM WIRE REPORTS
The man who played Elijah Muhammad in Spike Lee’s epic film, “Malcolm X,” Al Freeman Jr., has died. He was 78. Freeman also was the first AfricanAmerican to win a Daytime Emmy Award. Howard University confirmed his death on Aug. 10. Freeman taught acting there for years and served as chairman and artistic director of its theater arts department. “He was a brilliant professor, a renowned actor and a master director who made his mark in the classAl room as well as on stage, Freeman screen and television. … He has mentored and taught scores of outstanding actors. He was a resounding voice of Howard and will be missed,” university spokeswoman KerryAnn Hamilton said in a statement. Freeman’s performance in “Malcolm X’’ won him an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Motion Picture. Raised between San Antonio, Texas, and Cleveland, Ohio, Freeman was the son of a jazz musician and actor who raised him in part as a single father after a divorce. He went on to study at Los Angeles City College, where his love of acting developed. Soon thereafter, he relocated to New York to pursue a career in theater.
Lung disease claims life of music producer Carl Davis FROM WIRE REPORTS
Carl Davis, the music producer behind some of R&B and pop music’s biggest hits died Aug. 9. Davis, a Chicago native, died at his home in Summerville, S.C. He was 77 and had been suffering from lung disease. Davis was probably best known for de-
First Black to direct soap Freeman’s first big Broadway role came in 1962, when he appeared opposite Cicely Tyson in “Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright.” Two years later, he gained acclaim in James Baldwin’s “Blues for Mister Charlie,” where he played a lynching victim based loosely on Emmitt Till. He performed in the film adaptation of Amiri Baraka’s (then LeRoi Jones) “The Dutchman” in 1967. In 1972, he became one of the first African-American soap opera stars when he joined the cast of “One Life to Live’’ as police captain Ed Hall. He won the Daytime Emmy seven years later. During his 15 year-run with the series, Freeman also became the first Black to direct a soap opera. Freeman played Malcolm X in the 1979 miniseries “Roots: The Next Generations,” garnering another Emmy nomination. Of his many television guest appearances, Freeman’s 1985 role as Heathcliff Huxtable’s former college track coach is perhaps the best known. After numerous auditions, Spike Lee chose Freeman as the pivotal role of Elijah Muhammad, a casting that was widely praised. Freeman told the Washington Post in 1992 “I had never seen Elijah alive, but I had heard him on the radio. His voice was an octave higher than mine and he put sentences together in an odd way. The difficult part was not to imitate but to give an essence.”
A report from Ebony magazine was used in compiling this report.
veloping “The Chicago Sound.” He was the man behind such hit songs as Gene Chandler’s 1962 classic “Duke of Earl,” Jackie Wilson’s 1967 hit “Higher and Higher,” and the Chi-Lites’ ballads “Oh Girl, ” “Have You Seen Her?” and Major Lance’s “Monkey Time,” among many others. Carl Davis He also produced Barbara Acklin’s “Love Makes a Woman’’ and was responsible for The Dells’ six minute R&B classic, “Stay in My Corner.” Davis is survived by his wife and seven children.
UNIVERSAL PICTURES PRESENTS IN ASSOCIATION WITH RELATIVITY MEDIA A KENNEDY/MARSHALL PRODUCTION IN ASSOCIATION WITH CAPTIVATE ENTERTAINMENTMUSIC STACY KEACH OSCAR ISAAC JOANPRODUCEDALLEN ALBERT FINNEY DAVID STRATHAIRN SCOTT GLENN BY JAMES NEWTON HOWARD RENNER RACHEL WEISZ EDWARD NORTON “THE BOURNE LEGACY” JEREMY INSPIRED BY THE BOURNE SERIES STORY EXECUTIVE CREATED BY ROBERT LUDLUM BY FRANK MARSHALL PATRICK CROWLEY JEFFREY M. WEINER BEN SMITH BY TONY GILROY PRODUCERS HENRY MORRISON JENNIFER FOX SCREENPLAY DIRECTED A UNIVERSAL PICTURE BY TONY GILROY & DAN GILROY BY TONY GILROY SOUNDTRACK ON BACK LOT MUSIC AND VARÈSE SARABANDE
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AUGUST 17 - AUGUST 23, 2012
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USA’s Chris Paul (13) and teammates celebrate their victory over Spain in the Gold Medal game at the North Greenwich Arena during the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, England, Sunday, August 12, 2012. USA defeated Spain 107-100.
2012 OLYMPICS: STRONG FINISH
United States wrestler Jordan Burroughs celebrates as he defeats Iran’s Sadegh Saeed Goudarzi, background, to win the men’s freestyle -74kg wrestling gold medal at the Summer Olympics at the Excel Arena in London on Aug. 10.
The last week of the 2012 Olympics in London, England, generated more great moments on the court as the USA basketball teams for the men and women both captured gold medals. There were plenty of shining moments in track and field as well. Here are some images over the last week at the Games of the XXX Olympiad. The Olympics closed out on Sunday, Aug. 12. The 2016 Summer Games takes place in Brazil.
ROBERT GAUTHIER/ LOS ANGELES TIMES/ MCT
WALLY SKALIJ/LOS ANGELES TIMES/MCT
Allyson Felix, Francena McCorory, Sanya Richards-Ross and Dee Dee Trotter celebrate after winning the gold medal in the women’s 4x400 relay on Aug. 11.
WALLY SKALIJ/LOS ANGELES TIMES/MCT
Carmelita Jeter of the USA screams while clinching the gold medal in the 4x100 relay in world record time. The United States team had a record time of 40.82. East Germany had owned the mark of 41.37 since 1985. The USA women pose for photos after the medal presentation ceremony following their victory over France at the North Greenwich Arena on Aug. 11. USA defeated France 86-50 to win the gold medal. HARRY E. WALKER/MCT
DAVID EULITT/KANSAS CITY STAR/MCT
Brigetta Barrett of the United States celebrated her successful high jump of 2.03m, which earned her the silver medal in the women’s high jump on Aug. 11.
HARRY E. WALKER/MCT
Members of the USA basketball team stand on the podium after receiving their gold medals for their victory over Spain on Aug. 12. The USA defeated Spain 107-100.
august 17 – AUGUST 23, 2012
Finding foods that the kids will like is always a challenge — and hectic school routines don’t make it any easier. Simplify your life with these family-friendly ideas that cut down time in the kitchen and add up to smiles all around the table. – Family Features
NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE MORSELS
Farm Rich Queso Cheese Bites
Surprise your family and friends with extra rich brownies; put an unexpected twist on a classic chocolate chip cookie recipe; or make your favorite snack even tastier with Dark Chocolate Morsels from NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE. Made with 53 percent cacao, these morsels are sure to delight the chocolate lovers in your life everytime you Bake Some Love. Visit www.TOLLHOUSE.com for quick and easy recipes.
Between carpool, homework and sports, it can be tough to fit in that much anticipated and oh-so-important after-school snack. But a plate full of new Queso Cheese Bites from Farm Rich just might do the trick. They’re quick and easy, but wholesome and delicious, too — and will help keep you and the kids happy and energized on hectic days. For information and coupons, visit www.FarmRich.com.
USA Pears Pears are a delicious and fun way to pack a healthy lunch. They come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes and each has its own sweet flavor. You can pack a whole pear, or cut one into French fry shapes and serve with nut butter or yogurt for dipping. Or serve sliced pears with whole grain crackers and cheese for a stackable snack. For more ways to send pears to school, visit www. USapears.org.
Boar’s Head Ovengold Turkey Breast Ask any kid: not all sandwiches are created equal. But whether they like crust or no crust, mayo or mustard, Boar’s Head Ovengold Turkey Breast makes a winning sandwich every time. Ovengold is the highest quality turkey breast, roasted to perfection, and certified heart-healthy. And like all Boar’s Head Brand premium deli meats and cheeses, it is gluten-free and contains no fillers or artificial colors or flavors. Learn more at www.boarshead.com
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
AUGUST 17 - AUGUST 23, 2012
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Think you’re one of Florida’s Finest? E-mail your high-resolution digital photo in casual wear or bathing suit taken in front of a plain background with few distractions, to firstname.lastname@example.org with a short biography of yourself and your contact information. (No nude/glamour/ fashion photography, please!) In order to be considered, you must be at least 18 years of age. Acceptance of the photographs submitted is in the sole and absolute discretion of Florida Courier editors. We reserve the right to retain your photograph even if it is not published. If you are selected, you will be contacted by e-mail and further instructions will be given.
South Beach resident Marshana Rae is a native of Pittsburgh and has modeled nationwide. She says that she “loves what I do and am seeking to broaden my horizons as an international model.” Contact Marshana at email@example.com or her facebook fan page at facebook.com/marshanarae. Credit: Vision East Photography Ishamel Blue, 29, participates in runway shows, print modeling and acting. He has been featured on MTV, VH1 and BET as well as theatrical stage productions. Contact Ishamel via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Credit: Ishmael.
Strong opening numbers for Spike Lee, Chris Brown films Both Spike Lee and Chris Rock have reasons to smile. Their movies debuted with strong numbers in one of the toughest cities in the country: New York. Spike Lee’s “Red Hook Summer,” was placed on four New York screens. The film, which follows 13-year-old Flik Royale as he is sent from Atlanta to Red Hook, Brooklyn to live with his preacher grandfather, grossed an estimated $42,100. Released by Variance Films/40 Acres and A Mule Filmworks, the movie will expand nationwide later this month.
Shown above is the cast of Spike Lee’s “Red Hook Summer.’’ “We’re very excited,” said Dylan Marchetti, president of Variance Films, “We made sure the film was available to audiences in Har-
lem and of course, the Republic of Brooklyn right on the break, and the reaction from the crowds showed it was clearly worth it.” Variance and Lee’s 40 Acres plan to keep ‘Red Hook Summer’ in the New York area this week, followed by an expansion into Atlanta, D.C., Chicago, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Los Angeles in two weeks with more expansions to come on Aug. 31. Meanwhile the new addition of Chris Rock to French filmmaker Julie Delpy’s film, “2 Days in New York” appears to be a winner. The film, a romantic comedy starring Delpy and Rock, is a sequel to Julie Delpy’s 2007 film, “2 Days in Paris.” It grossed $27,000 from only two New York screens; the best of any film last weekend.
HUNGER KEEPS UP ON CURRENT EVENTS, TOO.
KATHLEEN GALLIGAN/DETROIT FREE PRESS/MCT
Jordin Sparks is shown at the premiere of “Sparkle at the Emagine Royal Oak in Royal Oak, Mich., on Aug. 5.
Sparks following in Houston’s footsteps with US Open performance In 1997, the late Whitney Houston kicked off the US Open and christened the then-brand-new Arthur Ashe stadium, singing “One Moment in Time.” Now, 2007 “American Idol’’ winner and “Sparkle” star, Jordin Sparks, will follow in her footsteps. Sparks will headline the opening-night program Aug. 27 at the U.S. Open tennis tournament, held in Queens, New York’s Flush-
ing Meadows Park, performing a song from the highly anticipated movie as well as singing the national anthem. “Sparkle” was Whitney Houston’s last major endeavor before she met her untimely demise earlier this year and Sparks spent a great deal of time with the pop superstar during the movie’s filming. The movie hits theaters nationwide on Aug. 17.
Chris Rock on Martin case: ‘There’s no joke there’
tally agree with Bill Cosby. He said it wasn’t racial, it’s a gun issue. Well, it’s a gunracial issue. You know what makes you approach a sixfoot-three Black guy in the middle of the night? A gun. DETAILS: What did you think when you heard about Whitney Houston’s death? Chris Rock: I’d known Whitney a little bit. She’s not dead because she was an addict. She’s dead because she was an addict who kept getting money. Chris Farley’s dead because he was an addict with 50 grand in his pocket. DETAILS: Do you think Murphy will ever tour again? Chris Rock: Barring financial ruin, I don’t think so. I think we’ll see a Richard Pryor hologram on tour before we see Eddie Murphy.
FROM WIRE REPORTS
1 IN 6 AMERICANS STRUGGLES WITH HUNGER.
Hunger is closer than you think. Reach out to your local food bank for ways to do your part. Visit FeedingAmerica.org today.
In a recent interview with Details Magazine, Chris Rock talked about Trayvon Martin’s death and what he thinks killed Whitney Houston, among other things. DETAILS: Is it too soon to make George ZimmermanTrayvon Martin jokes? Chris Rock: There’s no joke there, unfortunately. It’s sad. When you get old, it’s like, “Damn it, I’ve seen this.” I’m from Bed-Stuy. I marched for Yusuf Hawkins, you know? I don’t to-
AUGUST 17 – AUGUST 23, 2012
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