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Obama holds up wife’s initiatives as models for policy action
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FEBRUARY 7 – FEBRUARY 13, 2014
VOLUME 22 NO. 6
FULFILLING DREAMS – OR KILLING JOBS?
A government report on (CBO), which estimated that the law would cause people to voluntarily work less. Obamacare gives both parties ammunition for 2014 Voluntary reduction
COMPILED FROM WIRE REPORTS
WASHINGTON – Republicans and Democrats on Wednesday engaged in a fierce brawl to define what the Affordable Care Act means to consumers – making it clear that Americans’ qualms about the law will remain a volatile issue throughout the election year. Top officials from the two parties clashed in the House Budget Committee, on social POOL PHOTO BY JIM LO SCALZO/EPA VIA ABACA PRESS/MCT media and in states with hot political racPresident Barack Obama used an iPad to record a seventh grader in a classroom es. They relentlessly attempted to put their in Adelphi, Md., on Tuesday before announcing an initiative to bring all schools own spin on a Tuesday report from the into the digital age with broadband and wireless technology. nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office
President Obama’s health care law will reduce the ranks of the uninsured by roughly 13 million this year and 25 million once it is fully phased in, but will prompt some people to work less because of the availability of insurance subsidies, the CBO said Tuesday. The latest projections by the nonpartisan budget analysts inspired new talking points for both sides in the deeply polarized debate over the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare. Republicans seized on the projected reduction in work hours – roughly a 1.5 per-
25th ANNUAL ZORA NEALE HURSTON FESTIVAL / EATONVILLE
‘Happy Feelings’ at ZORA!
See OBAMA, Page A2
Find of a lifetime Woman buys MLK tapes at Goodwill BY TERRY TANG ASSOCIATED PRESS
PHOENIX, ARIZ. – Mary Scanlon had no idea a $3 purchase from a Goodwill resale store in Phoenix would turn out to be a rare link to the civil rights movement’s most revered leader. Last April, Scanlon was at the thrift store when she spotted a pile of 35 vintage reel-toreel tapes, including one labeled with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s name. Despite the moldy and torn packaging, she snapped up all of them. “I didn’t really necessarily have any expectation that this tape would be rare,” Scanlon said. Arizona State University archivists have found that tape is the only known recording of speeches the slain civil rights leader gave at the school and at a Phoenix church in June 1964. The hour-long audio has since been digitized and is now available for listening on ASU’s website through June 30 at http://repository.asu. edu/items/18389. See TAPES, Page A2
DUANE C. FERNANDEZ SR./ HARDNOTTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Maze featuring Frankie Beverly performed their hits at the latest Zora! festival celebrating the life and legacy of author Zora Neale Hurston. See more pictures and a story on Pages B1 and B2.
Another ‘stand your ground’ trial under way BY TAMARA LUSH ASSOCIATED PRESS
JACKSONVILLE – Jury selection began Monday in the trial of 47-year-old Michael Dunn, a software developer charged with firstdegree murder and attempted murder in the November 2012 shooting of 17-year-old Jordan Davis outside Michael a Jacksonville conDunn
venience store. Authorities say an argument over loud music led to the shooting. Davis was parked in a vehicle with three friends outside the store. Dunn and his fiancée had just left a wedding reception and were heading back home when they stopped at the store and pulled up next to the sport utility vehicle that Davis was sitting in. An argument began after Dunn told them to turn the music down, police said. One of Davis’ friends turned the music down, but Davis then told him to turn it back up.
According to authorities, Dunn became enraged and he and Davis began arguing. One person walking out of the convenience store said he heard Dunn say, “You are not going to talk to me like that.” Dunn, who had a concealed weapons permit, pulled a 9mm handgun from the glove compartment, according to an affidavit, and fired multiple shots into the SUV, killing Davis.
Similarities, differences The case has echoes of a trial
that received wide attention and happened only two hours away. George Zimmerman fatally shot Trayvon Martin, an unarmed Black teen, in Sanford in 2012. Zimmerman, who is Hispanic, was acquitted of second-degree murder in July 2013. He was prosecuted by Jacksonville’s State Attorney Angela Corey, who will also be prosecuting the Dunn case. Like Zimmerman, Dunn said he felt his life was in danger when he fired the fatal shots. But unlike the Zimmerman-Martin case, sevSee TRIAL, Page A2
NATION | A3
USPS honors Shirley Chisholm WORLD | A6
Africa’s gene pool being tapped for ‘new race’ ENTERTAINMENT | B5
COMMENTARY: CHARLES W. CHERRY II: RANDOM THOUGHTS OF A FREE BLACK MIND | A4 COMMENTARY: MARC MORIAL: THE GREAT DIVIDE OF INCOME INEQUALITY | A5
Young star discusses being gifted and multiracial
FEBRUARY 7 – FEBRUARY 13, 2014
Obama’s symbolic plan for the long-term unemployed It is a point of historical controversy whether when told that French peasants did not have bread to eat, Marie Antoinette uttered the phrase, “Let them eat cake” – an even more inaccessible and scarce food for poor people. But what is certain is that in response to the capitalist implosion that shattered so many lives, Barack Obama and the corporate Democrats have demonstrated a policy attitude as cavalier as the French queen. Over the last five years, they have offered neither bread nor cake, nor anything other than false hope and empty symbols.
Empty rhetoric On the Friday after Obama’s tepid State of the Union Speech – a speech in which he pledged his concern for the long-term unemployed and low-wage workers – the administration brought members of the corporate and financial elite to the White House to discuss strategies for addressing the plight of the long-term unemployed. The only thing that emerged from this gathering was photo ops and diversionary rhetoric.
AJAMU BARAKA BLACK AGENDA REPORT
Obama and the corporate Democrats have only one primary objective – holding on to power so that they can continue to enjoy the state banquets, media attention and campaign dollars that derive from the benefits of being the “party in charge.” The fact that they are playing with the lives and hopes of millions of people who are desperately looking for some relief from the material and psychological insecurities of life on the edge is of little real concern.
No policy changes The Obama-Clinton centrists who makeup the dominant core of the Democratic Party, along with a subordinate sliver of liberal reformers, have no substantive policy prescriptions to offer the long-term unemployed or the general U.S. public beyond inchoate policy recommendations framed as representing the elements of an “op-
portunity agenda.” The references to creating opportunities is an ideological mystification meant to suggest that reversing the decades of economic restructuring, stagnant and declining wages, unemployment and expanding poverty can be easily corrected by simple will and the right mixture of incentives for private sector capital. It is as though these realities are just the result of incorrect policies and not the inherent logic of capitalist processes.
Neocons more honest The shameless appeal to opportunity agendas by Obama and the Democrats in the midst of a global capitalist meltdown is even more dishonest than their counterparts on the more extreme right. Traditional conservatism has never had a pretense toward believing in relatively equal outcomes in the capitalist market. Inequality, unemployment, and “winners and losers” in the market are all expressions of a natural social order when people are “free” to pursue their self-interests. Democrats and reform
liberalism, in contrast, claim to be committed to the rights of labor, social justice, legal equality and a progressive role for the state. Yet the philosophical and policy differences of those two approaches have almost been obliterated, reduced now to policy differences that are more tactical than substantial, notwithstanding the tea-party critique of the Democratic Party and Obama. Obama and the Democrats understand and accept that the U.S. economy is being restructured and that millions of workers are being shifted into low-wage service sector jobs – for those lucky enough to be employed. Low wages, unequal regional economic development, extreme income inequality, disproportionately high unemployment rates for African-Americans and other racialized national groups with astronomical unemployment rates among the youth sector of these groups, are all a structurally determined consequence of neoliberal social policies. Liberals understand this. Obama knows and understands that capitalist production processes and
the market will produce “winners and losers” and that for the most part the financial and corporate elite will always be on the winning side. He accepts those outcomes as an inevitable outcome of the market that benefits enough people to be morally justifiable. That is why he could praise CEOs for creating eight million jobs over the last five years while knowing that most of those jobs were low-wage, service sector jobs. Obama’s feel-good rhetoric and his administration’s minimalist program of “promise zones,” corporate funded jobs programs that don’t actually employ anyone, and rhetorical concern for income inequality, are preemptive moves geared to mitigate any demands that might emerge for fundamental reforms or radical change.
Opposition is required Can the left overcome its ideological and organizational fragmentation in order to develop a counternarrative and a minimum program of opposition to neoliberalism? Without uncompromis-
TAPES from A1 The tape illustrates that King had been eager to visit supporters in Arizona, a state that would draw criticism more than 20 years later for rescinding the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
A high point Scanlon, who donated all the tapes to the school, said the find is one of the high points of her life. “To have anything about myself connected in any way to Martin Luther King, what more could a person ask for? I’m so proud,” Scanlon said. Rob Spindler, a university archivist and curator, said it’s miraculous that the audio was still intact. When he first spoke with Scanlon, he immediately warned her not to try and play the tape. “When the material is that old, sometimes you only get one shot to preserve it,” Spindler said.
Last stop Arizona was the last stop on a West Coast tour King
AP PHOTO/COURTESY OF MATTHEW HARP, ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES
This undated photo shows a tape box for an audio reel with the typed label, “M L King Tempe 1964.” had been doing, Spindler said. The university and the local chapter of the NAACP worked to get King to come. About 8,000 people attended the June 3 speech at Goodwin Stadium that
OBAMA from A1 cent to 2 percent decline, or the equivalent of 2 million full-time jobs – to boost their claim that the law will harm the economy. Democrats countered that the reduction in hours would be largely voluntary. They pointed to another section of the report which forecast that a provision Republicans have denounced as a taxpayer “bailout” of insurance companies actually would save the government $8 billion over the next decade. The so-called risk-corridors provision is one of several in the law intended to equalize the risk that insurers face if they end up with a less healthy assortment of consumers.
Evidence lacking Supporters of the law also noted that the CBO’s analysts found “no compelling evidence” to support the claim that the law had caused firms to replace full-time workers with part-timers to avoid providing health insurance. Under the law, companies with at least 50 workers are required to provide insurance to those who work at least 30 hours a week. On the other hand, the CBO also said it had not seen proof that Obamacare could be credited for the continuing decline in the inflation rate for health costs. The projection that 13 million people will gain coverage under the law this year – about 6 mil-
started about 8 p.m. In his remarks, King focused on the Civil Rights Act, which at the time was stuck in a filibuster in the U.S. Senate. Keith Miller, an ASU English professor who
lion through buying insurance on the law’s online marketplaces and the rest through expansion of Medicaid – represents a decline from the CBO’s earlier forecasts. Before the botched rollout of the law in October and November, the CBO had projected that about 7 million people would sign up through the new websites.
Millions insured By the end of Obama’s tenure, the CBO forecasts, the number of uninsured people in the U.S. will have been cut nearly in half. About 31 million people will remain uninsured, the report predicts, including about 10 million immigrants in the country illegally who are not eligible for the benefits and 13 million who choose not to buy insurance. The remaining 8 million would be people whose low incomes would make them eligible for the law’s expansion of Medicaid but who do not enroll, either because they choose not to or because they live in states that have declined to expand the program, the report projects. The CBO’s projections about jobs sparked the most immediate controversy.
Working less The report forecast a relatively small effect. For the next three years, there would be no change. Then, starting in 2017, the law will “reduce the total number of hours worked … almost entirely because workers will choose to supply less labor,” the CBO said. In 2010, when the
has written two books on King, said King’s visit affirmed the importance of Arizona’s African-American community. While African-Americans made up about 2 to 3 percent of the state population, there was
law passed, the CBO projected an effect about half as large. Some workers who are eligible for subsidies to make insurance more affordable – which the law provides to families of four earning up to $94,000 a year – will find that the money “will reduce incentives to work,” the report said. A mother with small children, for example, might choose to work fewer hours if she finds she can afford health insurance more easily. In a briefing for reporters, CBO Director Douglas W. Elmendorf said he wanted “to emphasize that that reduction doesn’t mean that that many people will choose to leave the labor force.” Overall, the law probably will increase the number of jobs in the economy in the short term, Elmendorf said, adding that the precise effect is hard to estimate. Both the positive and negative effects on employment “mostly fade after a few years,” he added.
Political fight To the political world, the report was largely a gift for Republicans. In the House of Representatives, party leaders have tried more than 40 times to repeal parts of the law, only to see their efforts die in the Democratic-run Senate. Last week, President Obama mocked the repeal bills in his State of the Union address. Democrats thought they had finally gained some momentum on the health care issue, particularly since the woes plaguing the signup web site have eased. The one big argument Re-
an active group in Phoenix that conducted sit-ins and protests, Miller said.
State boycott In 1987, then-Gov. Evan Mecham rescinded Martin
publicans had left was that the law would force employers to slash hours and jobs. “The middle class is getting squeezed in this economy, and this CBO report confirms that Obamacare is making it worse,” said House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio. “This is one of the perverse incentives in this terrible law,” said Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming, chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee. “It actually encourages ablebodied people to not work.”
Different interpretation Democrats battled back, and it became clear the CBO report could be interpreted in different ways. White House press secretary Jay Carney called the law’s benefits “dramatic.” The new law “empowers individuals to make choices about their own lives and livelihoods, like retiring on time, choosing to spend more time with their families, or even opening their own businesses,” said a statement issued by Democrats on the House Budget Committee, headed by ranking Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland. “Americans are no longer trapped in jobs just to provide coverage for their families.”
David Lightman of the McClatchy Washington bureau, and David Lauter and Lesley Clark of the Washington bureau (MCT), all contributed to this report.
ingly radical organizations and a language of opposition, working people and the poor will continue to be marginalized, ignored and eventually disappeared as they fall through the gaping holes in the social safety net. This is already happening to African-Americans in places like Detroit, the Southside of Chicago, and other parts of the country as a result of their new status as an economically “redundant” population. Until a new movement is developed that gives national expression to the plight of workers and the poor, the millions of people who are struggling to survive without jobs or income support from the government will continue to be silenced. The Obama administration and the administrations that follow will content themselves with governing with crude propaganda and symbolism for as long as they can get away with it.
Ajamu Baraka is an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C. Click on this story at www.flcourier.com to write your own response. Luther King Jr. Day as a holiday. The fallout, which included losing a bid to host the Super Bowl, damaged Arizona’s image. In 1992, an initiative to restore the Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Arizona was approved, making it the first state with a voter-approved King holiday. More recently, the ASU chapter of the Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity had its recognition permanently revoked this month after several members attended a Martin Luther King Jr. Day party that was deemed distasteful. The party allegedly perpetuated racist stereotypes with offensive costumes, including baggy sports jerseys, bandannas, backward baseball caps, and a cup made from a watermelon. The scandal came out the same week the recording’s availability was announced. “It was really disappointing that terrible event overshadowed this great history, at least for moment,” Spindler said. “Somebody posted on Facebook they should make those kids listen to the recording and write an essay about it. I think that’s a good idea.”
TRIAL from A1 eral people say they witnessed Dunn shooting Davis, and that there was no physical scuffle beforehand. And while Zimmerman stayed on the scene after the shooting and was not immediately arrested, Dunn was tracked down by police and arrested a day later.
Felt threatened Dunn told officers that Davis threatened him and he thought he saw someone point a shotgun at him from inside the SUV or maybe it was a stick to make him think it was a gun. Under Florida’s self-defense law, Dunn could fire if he believed his life was in danger. But police recovered no weapon from the crime scene, and witnesses said they never saw a weapon. There was no surveillance video taken outside the store.
A good son The church-going Davis was a good student, had never been arrested or in trouble and was thinking about going into the military, his parents said. He loved being with his parents – roller skating with his mom, Lucia McBath, in Atlanta and swimming with his father, Ron Davis, on Jacksonville Beach. His mother homeschooled him as a boy. “I’ve been thinking about all of the things I’ve stopped doing since Jordan died,” said Davis in a recent interview. He said the two were talking about buying golf clubs so they could play together. “The golf bag’s empty in the house. I just can’t seem to get motivated to get the clubs. It’s just taken so much away from me. A lot of me died with Jordan.”
FEBRUARY 7 – FEBRUARY 13, 2014
Taking a page from first lady’s playbook Obama holds up wife’s initiatives as models for policy action BY KATHLEEN HENNESSEY TRIBUNE WASHINGTON BUREAU/MCT
WASHINGTON — As President Barack Obama looks to show off all he can do without Congress, he’s been pointing to a surprising place for guidance on the savvy use of power: the other side of the White House. In public and private, the president has been holding up Michelle Obama’s initiatives in the East Wing as a template for how the West Wing could accomplish a policy agenda the non-legislative way. He has called his wife’s team a model for what’s possible, and, in his State of the Union address last week, he said, “As usual, our first lady sets a good example.” The first lady’s “Let’s Move” campaign has reduced childhood obesity for the first time in three decades, Obama asserted in his prime-time speech to Congress and the nation. Her “Joining Forces” effort has led companies to hire or train nearly 400,000 veterans and their spouses, he said. And her successes have come without help from the lawmakers on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. On college opportunities, long-term unemployment and other policy goals, Obama promised to take “a page from that playbook” as he described his plans for a “year of action” in the face of Capitol Hill’s inaction. It’s easy to see why the president would want to link his new executive action push to his wife’s work.
OLIVIER DOULERY/ABACA PRESS/MCT
First lady Michelle Obama eats a turkey sandwich at an event on January 23 in Washington, D.C., to announce a commitment by Subway restaurants to promote healthier choices to kids. While Obama’s approval rating has plunged and his domestic agenda appears stuck, Michelle Obama has remained popular, powerful — and largely out of the squabbles that consume Washington. Her “Let’s Move” campaign to encourage children to exercise more and eat right is one of the administration’s best-known public policy efforts.
Pursuit of influence Still, the idea that the
nation’s most powerful political office could start to look a bit more like an office with almost no prescribed power was a notable moment in the White House’s pursuit of influence. Obama has often struggled to wield soft power in Washington, where lawmakers have been largely immune to his persuasion and his attempts to use the bully pulpit have often failed. This fresh focus on convening interest groups to tackle an issue — part of a
ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE FOR BLACK STUDENTS. NO EXCUSES. The classic guide from Florida Courier publisher, lawyer and broadcaster CHARLES W. CHERRY II PRAISE FOR ‘EXCELLENCE WITHOUT EXCUSE’: “This guide for African-American college-bound students is packed with practical and insightful information for achieving academic success...The primary focus here is to equip students with the savvy and networking skills to maneuver themselves through the academic maze of higher education.” – Book review, School Library Journal • How low expectations of Black students’ achievements can get them higher grades; • Want a great grade? Prepare to cheat! • How Black students can program their minds for success; • Setting goals – When to tell everybody, and when to keep your mouth shut; • Black English, and why Black students must be ‘bilingual.’ …AND MUCH MORE!
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host of planned executive actions — was for some an example of an ethos that pervades a White House run by a former community organizer. Others saw it as a reminder of the diminished powers of the presidency. “In order to lead, he’s bringing all the tools he has to try to effect change,” said James Thurber, a presidential historian at American University. But whatever change can be accomplished through voluntary initiatives, he continued, “It’s usually not permanent. It’s more symbolic than real. And that is a problem for a modern-day president.”
Unemployment initiative The West Wing’s elevation of the East Wing strategy was on display on Jan. 31 as the president gathered 21 corporate executives at the White House to discuss long-term unemployment. The president has failed for months to persuade Congress to pass an extension of jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed, which expired at the end of last year for more than a million people. The meeting of influential stakeholders was at a venue few could refuse. The price of entry was a pledge not to discriminate against job seekers long out of work and to review hiring practices that might unfairly weed out such applicants. Gene Sperling, Obama’s chief economic adviser, led the long-term unemployment initiative. He said he’d consulted for months with executives. He e-mailed and called many — including News Corp.’s Rupert Murdoch, an Obama critic — to ask them to sign the pledge. The tactic, Sperling said, was to take a “positive approach,” focusing on what
businesses could do better. “It is not an admission in doing anything wrong in the past,” he said. More than 300 companies have signed on, including Apple, Bank of America, Deloitte, Morgan Stanley, McDonald’s and News Corp.
Engaging ‘micro-strategies’ Working with companies, nonprofit groups and advocates is hardly a new approach for a president, but the willingness to reward companies with high-profile praise and the emphasis on voluntary commitments struck some as a new twist. President Bill Clinton’s White House turned to similar “micro-strategies” to advance ideas and goose Congress, particularly after his party lost the House in 1994, but they didn’t include an “ask” from the White House, said Mark Gearan, a former Clinton deputy chief of staff. Gearan, now president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, N.Y., was on the receiving end of such a request last year when he participated in a White House effort to address inequality in higher education. More than 100 colleges and universities pledged to find ways to make college more accessible to lowincome students. Hobart and William Smith Colleges vowed to work with local public schools to get students ready for college, among other efforts. Other institutions committed to increase financial aid, partner with foundations to work on college readiness and expand scholarship programs for first-generation college students.
Praise and publicity Top administration officials, including Valerie Jar-
rett, one of Obama’s closest advisers, asked colleges what was possible and offered suggestions and guidelines for pledges, but generally left the options open. The White House reviewed the pledges and presented them to the media and other college officials. “I think it was a rather savvy blending of the convening authority, the bully pulpit and the opportunity to gain something concrete,” Gearan said. “Let’s Move” solicits pledges from food companies, restaurants and day care centers aimed at improving food choices for children or encouraging exercise. In return, Michelle Obama often showers praise on participants — sometimes rewarding them with a visit — high-value publicity for any company. Last month, from a Subway sandwich shop Washington, she heralded the chain’s promise to market only healthy food to children and include more nutritious options on its kids menu. “Let’s Move” has an affiliated nonprofit group that monitors its pledges, but the promises made by colleges to help low-income students and by businesses to hire the long-term unemployed have no enforcement mechanism. Still, White House officials say, they’re being more aggressive in rounding up allies than presidents were in the past. Sperling, a former Clinton official, suggested a better comparison might be to a different office, one with only symbolic power: former president. “Interestingly enough,” he said, “I think this may be somewhat more similar to some of the efforts President Clinton has done in his post-presidency.”
New postage stamp honors Chisholm NEW YORK – A new postage stamp honors pioneering New York congresswoman Shirley Chisholm. The stamp is part of the U.S. Postal Service’s Black Heritage series. It was introduced on Jan. 31 at a Brooklyn ceremony attended by several current members of Congress. Chisholm was the first Black woman elected to Congress. She represented a Brooklyn district from 1969 to 1983. Chisholm also was the first major-party Black candidate for president of the United States. She ran for
the Democratic nomination for president in 1972. She did not receive the nomination but she wrote
later that she entered the race “because somebody had to do it first.’’ Chisholm died in 2005.
FEBRUARY 7 – FEBRUARY 13, 2014
Beyond the rhetoric: Unionizing college sports – No! There is a movement to unionize college sports. The unionizing would result in college athletes being paid cash for their participation. The United Steelworkers Union for some strange reason is the union financing this effort (legal fees, publicity, consultants, etc.). They are proud to win over their first institution – Northwestern University. This is an extreme approach. There is an assumption that athletes receive nothing for their athletic efforts. The fact is they do by way of valuable scholarships. These scholarships will lead them to a valuable education. Booker T. Washington once stated, “You cannot be free without an education.” I know quite a bit about
standards for athletic scholarships. Athletes are given an extra year of education HARRY C. if needed for graduation. There is an injury clause in ALFORD the scholarship which is asNNPA COLUMNIST surance if you are seriously injured and cannot play any athletic scholarships. I re- longer – the scholarship received one to the great Uni- mains in force. versity of Wisconsin for my football skills as an inside More than tuition linebacker. My wife, Kay, Besides tuition a recipient and I guided our two sons has room and board, books, as they received scholar- tutoring, medical insurance ship offers from dozens of and free meals during seaschools for their excellence son. Some conferences ofin Lacrosse (goalie and mid- fer free meals whenever field/face off ). Our twins school is in session. Our settled on the University of boys both had surgery durMaryland. It is so reassur- ing their four years in coling that if you pass your cur- lege and it was fully paid for riculum you will become a per the terms of their scholcollege graduate. The Na- arships. You see, the advantional College Athletic As- tages of an athletic scholarsociation (NCAA) sets the ship have significant value.
VISUAL VIEWPOINT: NO FREE LUNCH
PAT BAGLEY, SALT LAKE TRIBUNE
Random thoughts of a free Black mind, v. 200 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. family drama – (Full disclosure: I was at Morehouse College at the same time MLK III and Dexter were there.) Bernice, the youngest, was sued by her brothers for refusing to turn over MLK’s Nobel Prize and his favorite Bible, which was used to swear in Barack Obama. The fellas want to sell those items. I’ve written before that I have no problem with MLK’s survivors profiting from his intellectual property. That’s as it should be. I have no issue with them selling memorabilia to Morehouse College for millions, or getting millions in ‘licensing fees’ from the MLK Memorial Committee – a project funded largely by major corporations. And Black America generally has no standing to complain. We turned our collective backs, especially financially, on MLK’s widow and four children when he was murdered in 1968. (Were there ‘special offerings’ collected in every Black church on the Sunday after MLK was killed?) It’s the public wrangling that bothers me. The Kings sue each other in shifting alliances; MLK III and Dexter vs. Bernice one day, Bernice and MLK III vs. Dexter on another. The Kings even sued Harry Belafonte, their surrogate father and long-term financial supporter, to get custody of memorabilia. Filing a lawsuit against a sibling or a close family friend is the closest thing to a public declaration of war; ironic given that conflict resolution was what MLK’s life was all about. The King kids could have opted for mediation or binding arbitration, two processes that could have
quick takes from #2: straight, no chaser
Charles W. Cherry II, Esq. PUBLISHER
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'Collective bargaining chips' Now, what if our colleges were to unionize and start paying our students cash instead of the benefits above. First of all, if they did the students would be taxed by the federal government, state and local governments plus social security. They would also be hit with union dues deducted from each pay check. Also, they would be under Obamacare and that could really hurt economically. Being employees of the schools would also subject them to some amount of tuition and the housing and other benefits would wither away or become additional income per the IRS. They wouldn’t be playing for the benefit of the school. Players with
poor seasons or those who lack playing time would be fired. It would become strictly business just like professional sports. Total revenue schools now make from football and basketball will drop dramatically for most schools. Team spirit and the motivation of alumni would fade away. This scheme to turn our athletes into collective bargaining chips is just another desperate attempt by the unions to create a new hustle for revenue.
Mr. Alford is the cofounder, President/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce®. Website: www.nationalbcc.org. Email: halford@ nationalbcc.org.
State of the Union: Festival of lies “Believe it,” said the current Prevaricator-in-Chief, in the conclusion to his annual litany lies. President Obama’s specialty, honed to theatrical near-perfection over five disastrous years, is in crafting the sympathetic lie, designed to suspend disbelief among those targeted for oblivion, through displays of empathy for the victims. In contrast to the aggressive insults and bluster employed by Republican political actors, whose goal is to incite racist passions against the Other, the sympathetic Democratic liar disarms those who are about to be sacrificed by pretending to feel their pain. Barack Obama, who has presided over the sharpest increases in economic inequality in U.S. history, adopts the persona of public advocate, reciting wrongs inflicted by unseen and unknown forces that have “deepened” the gap between the rich and the rest of us and “stalled” upward mobility. Having spent half a decade stuffing tens of trillions of dollars into the accounts of an ever shrinking gaggle of financial capitalists, Obama declares this to be “a year of action” in the opposite direction. “Believe it.” And if you do believe it, then crown him the Most Effective Liar of the young century.
Hidden agenda Lies of omission are even more despicable than the overt variety, because they hide. The potentially most devastating Obama contribution to economic in-
al proportions. Give Obama his crown.
GLEN FORD BLACK AGENDA REPORT
equality is being crafted in secret by hundreds of corporate lobbyists and lawyers and their revolvingdoor counterparts in government. The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, described as “NAFTA on steroids,” would accelerate the global Race to the Bottom that has made a wasteland of American manufacturing, plunging the working class into levels of poverty and insecurity without parallel in most people’s lifetimes, and totally eviscerating the meager gains of three generations of African-Americans. Yet, the closest Obama came to even an oblique allusion to his great crime-in-the-making, was to announce, “new trade partnerships with Europe and the Asia-Pacific will help [small businesses] create even more jobs." Like NAFTA twenty years ago – only far bigger and more diabolically destructive – TPP will have the opposite effect, destroying millions more jobs and further deepening worker insecurity. The Trans Pacific Partnership expands the legal basis for global economic inequalities – which is why the negotiations are secret, and why the treaty’s name could not be spoken in the State of the Union address. It is a lie of omission of glob-
Lower taxes, higher subsidies What is Obama’s jobs program? It is the same as laid out at last year’s State of the Union, and elaborated on last summer: lower business taxes and higher business subsidies. When you say “jobs,” he says tax cuts – just like the Republicans, only Obama first cites the pain of the unemployed, so that you know he cares. “Both Democrats and Republicans have argued that our tax code is riddled with wasteful, complicated loopholes that punish businesses investing here, and reward companies that keep profits abroad. Let's flip that equation. Let's work together to close those loopholes, end those incentives to ship jobs overseas, and lower tax rates for businesses that create jobs right here at home.” Actually, Obama wants to lower tax rates for all corporations to 28 percent, from 35 percent, as part of his ongoing quest for a Grand Bargain with Republicans. For Obama, the way to bring jobs back to the U.S. is to make American taxes and wages more “competitive” in the “global marketplace” – the Race to the Bottom.
Glen Ford is executive editor of the Black Agenda Report. He can be contacted at Glen.Ford@ BlackAgendaReport.com. Write your own response at www.flcourier.com
Scott playing political games with $74 billion budget been done in secret for a fraction of what it costs to constantly sue each other and defend themselves from each other. Are they suing the clubs, club promoters, and graphics companies that pimped MLK’s image this year to make a few dollars? Not to my knowledge…
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It’s great getting your college degree without you or your parents burdened with financing it. A degree and debt free! The two most popular sports are football and basketball. The revenue produced from stadium gates and radio/television coverage is very significant. So significant that the profits are used to fund other sports, facilities upkeep, etc. Plus that, winning teams excite alumni and that encourages them to support their alma mater through donations – more money for the institution. I am a lifetime member of the University Wisconsin and have contributed to my alma mater on other special occasions. It’s like family to me and millions of other alumni.
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“This place is a lot difference than it was four years ago. It’s all about corporate America and giving people a contract so they’ll give you a contribution. This payto-play stuff is remarkable,” says ex-Governor Crist. Florida is a Republican state with a majority in both chambers of the Legislature, and it is not going to change in the election of 2014. Politics in Florida was corrupt when Crist was governor and it is corrupt with Governor Scott. The campaign for governorship in 2014 is a race to determine who will keep the knife in the residents’ back the longest. Crist will probably be the Democratic candidate and many of his friends and wealthy supporters are members of the “pay to play system” that he is charging Governor Scott of being a team player. On the other hand, Scott is charging Crist of being an inefficient administrator and putting the state in a financial hole.
The numbers show improvement Scott will be standing on his record for three years and the unemployment record has decreased from doubledigit numbers to now 6.2 percent. The treasury has a
ROGER CALDWELL GUEST COLUMNIST
surplus of $1.2 billion, and if we can believe the numbers, Scott has improved the state’s economy. He has also cut taxes every year he has been in office, and he will be saving residents on motor vehicle fees. We must remember that this budget is just a proposal and both houses must agree on the numbers before they are confirmed. Still the governor has the power to veto bills, so the budgeting process is just beginning. Even though our governor is sticking his chest out, many pundits and political experts think Scott has made many cuts and outsourced many of major contracts to his friend’s companies, and many of them are doing a terrible job. Scott has forced state employees to pay for their retirement, and refused $51 Billion for ACA. Crist claims that Scott’s first budget cut over 3 billion from education, and the state is still suffering. Governor Scott would like Floridians to think he cares about education, but in 2014
his overall budget numbers are almost identical to what the system was receiving in 2007. This is a terrible record, and in 2014 there are thousands of more students, and the teachers are expected to do more with less.
Expansion and corruption The budgets in the last two years are two of the largest in Florida’s history, but there are thousands of state employees who have been cut from the payment rolls. The Scott administration has been an embarrassment to the state with voter suppression and shrinking minority participation in voting. Scott is hurting millions of Floridians by refusing Medicare expansion, and corruption is running rampant in the state. It is important to not be fooled by the leaders in our state who say Scott is working hard and creating a budget that will help minorities, poor folks and the unemployed. Scott’s goal is to cut state employees, give his friends major contracts, stretch the laws without breaking them, and play games with numbers, but never get caught.
Write your own response at www.flcourier.com.
FEBRUARY 7 – FEBRUARY 13, 2014
Income inequality: A domestic crisis on the world’s stage We live in a world where the 85 richest people own the wealth of half of the world’s population. In the United States, the increase in the income share of the top one percent is at its highest level since the eve of the Great Depression.” Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director, Oxfam International “Income inequality” has become the political buzzword of 2014. President Obama, most recently in this week’s State of the Union Address, has made it a central theme of his second term. Both progressive Democrats and conservative Republicans in Congress are making it a focus of this year’s mid-term elections, and leading voices for human rights have called on government and business leaders to take immediate action to close the income gap for the sake of long-term economic and social stability. Even last week, as the world’s elite – leaders from government, business and NGO sectors – gathered in Davos for the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual meeting, the issue of inequality was atop the agenda. WEF’s Global Risks 2014 report recently revealed that the “chronic gap between the incomes of the richest and poorest citizens is seen as the risk that is most likely to cause serious damage globally in the coming decade.”
kind of ideological posturing that has stymied recent efforts to create jobs, reduce unemployment, raise MARC H. the minimum wage and help the MORIAL long-term unemployed. In fact, as reported by CNNTRICE EDNEY WIRE Money, almost two-thirds of the delegates surveyed during a debate in Davos on Friday said that 85 vs. 3.5 billion the widening gap, or what I call Another voice was added to the The Great Divide, “between rich chorus last week when the Brit- and poor is having a corrosive efish-based anti-poverty organi- fect on U.S. politics.” zation, Oxfam International, released a report in advance of the 'Opportunity inequality' Davos gathering, revealing that For example, Senator Marco the richest 85 people in the world Rubio sees the problem not as control as much wealth as the bottom half of the global popu- one of income inequality but of lation – about 3.5 billion people. “opportunity inequality” and conCommenting on the report, Ox- tinues to resist efforts to raise the fam’s Executive Director, Winnie minimum wage. To be clear, opByanyima said, "It is staggering portunity inequality is alive and that in the 21st century, half of the thriving in America; but any atworld's population own no more tempts to separate it from income than a tiny elite whose numbers inequality are divertive and lackcould all sit comfortably in a sin- ing recognition of the correlation gle train carriage. Widening in- between the two. Senator Rand equality is creating a vicious cir- Paul during a recent visit to Decle where wealth and power are troit, where unemployment has increasingly concentrated in the been above 15 percent for more hands of a few, leaving the rest of than a year, said that it would be us to fight over crumbs from the a “disservice” to the jobless to extend their unemployment benetop table.” While we are pleased that both fits beyond the current limit. Fursides of the political ping-pong ta- ther, Senator Paul Ryan, another ble in the United States are now fo- potential presidential candidate, cusing on the domestic crisis and has been traveling the country deimplications of this global prob- claring how the government safelem, there are disturbing signs that ty net – programs like Social Sethe issue may fall prey to the same curity, Medicare and Head Start –
A tale of two comments On Sunday, January 19th after a long and hard fought battle with the San Francisco 49ers, the cornerback of the Seattle Seahawks, Richard Sherman was interviewed after the game about his play on wide receiver Michael Crabtree to secure a victory for his team to advance to the Super Bowl. With emotions high and adrenalin at its apex, Sherman described Crabtree as ‘mediocre.’ It was heard all over the sports world. His rant was viewed as unprofessional and in many ways thuggish. Anyone who has ever played sports understands the competitive nature involved. You display sportsmanship throughout the game, but the goal in any competitive sport is to win. There’s plenty of trashing talking (getting into your opponent’s head) and after the game, you shake hands and go your separate ways. What I found extremely troubling about the media regarding Sherman was how they focused so much attention on what he said that they neglected to talk about
DR. SINCLAIR GREY III PROJECT 21
his play on the field for 3 years, his academic achievements, and his ability to articulate in a clear manner. Perhaps the media along with so many others are busy stereotyping him because he wears dreads, plays football, and is from Compton, Ca.
Silence speaks volumes In addition to this, what I also found troubling was the silence of other athletes, in particularly African American athletes. [It’s important to note that I’m not condoning Sherman’s choking gesture directed to 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick or his calling another player mediocre after winning a game.] I’m concerned with the reaction the media has
taken. Wait a minute. If you listen to sports analysis on sports networks, you’ll hear them call certain players not good or not fit to play a certain position. No backlash there. With that said, what’s the difference in what Sherman said about Michael Crabtree. The comments of Sherman didn’t invoke any violence. There wasn’t any profanity used. It was simply inappropriate to some people. Now I would like to draw your attention to the aftermath of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address on January 28th. Rep. Michael Grimm (R-Staten Island/Brooklyn) threatened a reporter named Michael Scotto for asking him questions relating to fundraising allegations. An upset Grimm responded to Scotto with these words, “I’ll throw you off this f------ balcony,” and “break you in half like a boy.” Hold up for a moment. That sounds like violence to me. Is Grimm being a thug? Days after Grimm’s remarks, backlash from Democrats have
J. Edgar Hoover’s war on Black America By the early 1970s, Black Americans could reasonably say they had emerged victorious from their long struggle with America’s internal evil empire: the regime of legalized segregation in the South. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 had given Blacks in both the South and the North the tools – the power of the federal government at their backs and the ballot in their hands – to, at long last, make America a democracy in fact, not just rhetoric. It was then they got proof that America’s racist power structure had long had a secret ally at the very top of the national government. It was J. Edgar Hoover, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the man who for nearly half a century had in some ways been, except for the president, the single most powerful government official in the country. That’s one of the many powerful truths underscored by Betty Medsger’s new book, The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI. The book explores how the burglary in early 1971 of the agency’s field office in Media, Pa., near Philadelphia, by eight antiwar activists led to the unraveling of the Hoover’s decades-long “secret war” against American democracy.
LEE A. DANIELS NNPA COLUMNIST
'Savage' racism Hoover died in mid1972, when news reports about the few files that had become public had already begun to destroy his reputation as an honorable public servant. But it wasn’t until Congressional hearings in the mid-1970s that the public would learn Hoover’s monstrous behavior included wholesale spying on hundreds of thousands of citizens by both FBI agents and their army of, literally, thousands and thousands of informants. That was especially true regarding Black Americans. The details here of Hoover’s COINTELPRO campaign against the established civil rights groups, Black militant organizations, Black students on college campuses, and ordinary citizens living in Black ghettos are stunning even to this writer, who’s long known of the program’s existence. Those details show that the FBI, driven by Hoover’s “savage” racism – and especially his hatred of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – surrounded Black Americans (and all Americans), whether “militant” or not,
with a secret-police-like structure that rivaled those of the states of the Soviet Union. Several authors have powerfully explored this terrain over the years. But Medsger’s gripping narrative provides new and shocking details in part because in 1971 she was one of the very small group of journalists the “Media Burglars” anonymously began distributing the stolen FBI files to. They had remained anonymous all these years until she, with their permission, in this book reveals the identities of most (but not all) of them. But we also shouldn’t ignore one of the things that fact underscores: Despite the most far-reaching and vicious efforts of the hydraheaded White racist power structure, Black Americans and their allies among other Americans nonetheless broke the regime of legalized and de facto apartheid J. Edgar Hoover through his “secret FBI” helped maintain.
Lee A. Daniels is a longtime journalist based in New York City. His latest book is Last Chance: The Political Threat to Black America. Write your own response at www.flcourier.com.
VISUAL VIEWPOINT: STATE OF THE UNION
BOB ENGLEHART, THE HARTFORD COURANT
has “failed miserably.” In contrast, President Obama has warned that “The combined trends of increased inequality and decreasing mobility pose a fundamental threat to the American dream, our way of life and what we stand for around the globe.” He has called for an increase in the minimum wage – a move the National Urban League has been pushing since 2006 – and an extension of unemployment benefits as first steps in addressing the problem. On January 9, he announced the creation of five “Promise Zones,” in San Antonio, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Southeastern Kentucky and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma that will
receive targeted government tax incentives to create jobs and reduce unemployment. The need is clear. The Urban League has raised this issue constantly over the last several years – and people are finally listening. We must not let the seriousness and urgency of this problem get caught in the crossfire of ideological warfare. Americans need policy solutions developed in partnership with corporate, government and non-profit leaders – now. Awareness is good…action is better.
come forth. Since making his comments to Scotto, Grimm has apologized for his actions. In return, Scotto has declined to press charges. According to Capitol Hill spokeswoman Kimberly Schneider, ‘consistent with our law enforcement responsibilities, we looked into the event, determined there isn’t a complaint and have closed the matter.’
My question is where are the African-American leaders on this matter? I don’t want to hear any apologies about Sherman; I want to know how will they address Grimm and his remarks as it compares to Sherman. AfricanAmericans need to become more offensive minded when it comes to matters that deal with the African-American community instead of consistently being on the defense. Sherman and Grimm – a tale of two comments viewed differently because of their color and appearance. Will it ever change or should we simply stop seeking change and deal with it?
A double standard Grimm came out in an interview and said that he was caught up in the moment and shouldn’t have said what he said. Somebody help me understand the difference between what Sherman said and what Grimm said. In all accounts, it appears as though Grimm showed a ‘thuggish’ mentality. I have to reiterate again, Sherman didn’t invoke violence. He was caught up in the moment as well. The only difference is that the media is so concerned with Sherman that Grimm has received what I like to call ‘white privilege.’ In other words, as long as Grimm is white and a politician, it’s okay. However, for anyone else, it’s a problem.
Marc Morial is president/CEO of the National Urban League. Write your own response at www.flcourier.com.
Dr. Sinclair Grey III is an inspirational speaker, motivator, author and committed advocate for communal change. Connect with him at drgrey@ sinclairgrey.org. or on Twitter @drsinclairgrey. Write your own response at www.flcourie. com.
Timeless lessons Most people my age can’t forget many admonishments from elders, “Child, you’d better learn your lessons.” That reminder was rooted in the belief that education was the gateway to success. It served to reinforce the understanding that, in life, circumstances are introduced to guide us to specific purposes. Those personal lessons, along with lessons learned from books, shaped our appreciation of OUR African-American History. The beauty of our rich culture and history is that it’s a shared experience that’s survived tests heretofore unrivaled in length or brutality. For those willing to listen and learn, the character and strength of our history have become the foundation of the values we use to chart our path to the future. African American History Month provides an opportunity to reaffirm and rededicate ourselves to the lessons of OUR history and plan for OUR future.
Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq. TRICE EDNEY WIRE
the holocaust associated with our history, and acknowledge and honor the challenges we’ve overcome. That clarifies the meaning of Dr. King’s 1963 demand for America to “cash the check” it owes us.
Here are the keys Dr. Woodson gave us the keys to gaining self-autonomy and control when he said, “If the Negro in the ghetto must eternally be fed by the hand that pushes him into the ghetto, he will never become strong enough to get out of the ghetto.” And, “When you control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his actions.” Until we heed these warnings, we’ll experience a collective floundering, remaining subject to negative influences –external and internal. As an educator, he understood the impact of negative information on the mind and performance. He was speaking of our miseducation when he said, “This crusade is much more important than the anti-lynching movement, because there would be no lynching if it did not start in the schoolroom. The thought of the inferiority of the Negro is drilled into him in almost every class he enters and in almost every book he studies… to handicap a student by teaching him that his black face is a curse and that his struggle to change his condition is hopeless is the worst sort of lynching.” Thinking of OUR possibilities and liabilities, I remember the George Santayana truism: “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
The late Dr. Carter G. Woodson, Father of Negro History, was prophetic in his admonitions. He clearly understood the relationship between knowledge, self-esteem and personal accomplishment. He offered numerous observations that serve as timeless lessons that are as important for the survival of OUR race now as they were when first uttered. His thinking about “Negro History” is clearly summarized in his statement, “If a race has no history, if it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated.” He added, “Those who have no record of what their forbearers have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history.” Many have neglected learning the lessons of our history and fulfilling our duty to pass this information on to our youth. One of my greatest hopes is that lines of us will form outside the Museum of African AmeriDr. E. Faye Williams is Chair of the Nacan History and Culture (to open in 2015) in lengths greater than those routinely found tional Congress of Black Women, Inc. Write your own response at www.flcououtside the (Jewish) Holocaust Museum. It’s time for us to demand recognition of rier.com.
FEBRUARY 7 – FEBRUARY 13, 2014
Numbers tell the depth of Olympics terror threat BY MATTHEW SCHOFIELD MCCLATCHY FOREIGN STAFF/ MCT
BERLIN — The terror threat at the Sochi Games can be measured in numbers.
The granddaughters of Nelson Mandela are honored in a ceremony before the game between the Washington Wizards and Detroit Pistons at the Verizon Center on Dec. 28, 2013. Left to right: Washington Wizards point guard John Wall, Wizards owner Ted Leonsis, Swati Mandela, Zaziwe Mandela, Washington Mayor Vincent Gray and Detroit Pistons power forward Greg Monroe.
Mandela leaves $4.1 million to family, staff and schools African National Congress, staff remembered in will of South African president BY ROBYN DIXON LOS ANGELES TIMES/MCT
JUBA, South Sudan — Nelson Mandela left an estate worth about $4.1 million — a minuscule fortune compared to the wealth of many African leaders — to his widow, Graca Machel; other family members; staff; and educational institutions, according to a reading of his will in South Africa on Monday. He also left a generous portion of the royalties from the sale of his books and other items to the African National Congress, to be distributed through a trust and used to promote the governing party’s ideas and national reconciliation. South Africa’s former leader died Dec. 5 at age 95 after a long battle with recurrent pneumonia. As the country grieved his death and celebrated his life, he lay in state for three days before being buried in his home village of Qunu.
40-page document The will was read to his descendants Monday at what executors described as an emotionally charged event. It was released to the public in the interests
of transparency — another rare departure from the secrecy cloaking the finances of many African leaders. One of the executors, Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke, said at a news conference that the reading went well. “There were clarifications sought from time to time,” he said. Mandela wrote his will in 2004 and made slight amendments in 2005 and 2008. Moseneke said Mandela carefully explained the reasons for each bequest in the 40-page document, describing it as an “interesting read.” He said he was not aware of any challenges to the will, but anyone who wishes to dispute it has 90 days to do so.
Legal disputes The Mandela clan was involved in acrimonious legal disputes last year. At one stage, two daughters from previous marriages, Makaziwe and Zenani, sued to remove directors from the boards of two companies that support a family trust, in order to access Mandela’s money. They later withdrew the action. The family has also split over the leadership of the clan in the wake of Mandela’s death, with his eldest daughter, Makaziwe, and a grandson, Mandla, on opposing sides. At one point last year, Mandla claimed that his brothers were illegitimate. The tense family re-
lationships have ignited speculation that Mandela’s lengthy, complex will may trigger further legal contests over proceeds from his famous name. Graca Machel is entitled under South African law to half Mandela’s estate. But if she waives that right within 90 days, she inherits three houses and their contents, a property in Mozambique, motor vehicles, her jewelry, artworks and the money in accounts registered in her name.
No bequest for Winnie Her children from a previous marriage to the late Mozambique president, Samora Machel, would receive about $300,000 each if she renounces her 50 percent claim, while Samora Machel’s children from his previous marriage would get nearly $9,000 each. Mandela had already given his surviving daughters, Makaziwe, Zindzi and Zenani, and two granddaughters, Nandi and Ndileka, about $300,000 each, and they receive no further amounts. Mandela left $300,000 to each of four grandchildren — Mandla, Ndaba, Mbuso and Andile — and just over $9,000 to other grandchildren and great-grandchildren. South African media reported that Mandela’s second wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, did not get a bequest.
‘Happy’ staff Mandela left about $4,500 to each of nine staff members, including his secretary, chauffeur, personal assistant and chefs. His personal assistant, Zelda la Grange, tweeted that the bequest was “an unexpected, priceless gesture that left me humbled. It’s testament to the generosity of Madiba’s character that he acknowledged so many.” One of his chefs, Xoliswa Ndoyiya, told Reuters news agency, “It really makes me happy.” “I didn’t think Tata was thinking of leaving something for me,” he said, using the affectionate term meaning “father” that most South Africans use for Mandela.
Houses for family
The distance in miles from Makhachkala, Dagestan, to Sochi, about the distance from Denver to Kansas City. That road reaches into the heart of the current terror threat. Dagestan is where the “black widow” suicide bombers come from. While the terrorists here first reached the
Adam Habib, vice chancellor of the University of the Witwatersrand, said Mandela’s bequests of about $9,000 to the institution and to other schools where he had studied or lived were “a magnificent gesture from a great humanitarian.” The bequest for the ANC will be provided via the NRM Family Trust, which has the discretion to pay the party between 10 percent and 30 percent of the royalties owed to Mandela’s estate. He left his houses in the Johannesburg suburb Houghton and in Qunu to the trust for use of family members, to promote family unity.
Africa’s gene pool being tapped to create ‘new race’ EURWEB.COM
In an attempt to “diversify the gene pool’’ of the Motherland, a new fertility company is seeking to offer African couples biracial babies through White donor sperm. According to a website called Half-Caste Babies: “We make racial integration possible not only by marriage but also by birth. Gone are the days when to give birth to a mixed race (half-caste) baby is only through interracial marriage. Now any couple, single woman etc. hoping to have a half-caste baby and thereby promote world integration can freely and easily have one.” “This is the beginning
of a new world of mixed race and it all starts with just a simple but bold decision, giving birth to a mixed race baby through artificial means of conception. In this new world all that matters is LOVE and CARE,” they add. The company, it is said, has plans to create “one people, one world.”
Reproductive cells for $3,000 and up In an investigative article on Infoboxx.com, Augustine N.K. Boateng was found to be the man behind the campaign. When Boateng was reached by telephone, he didn’t offer specific details about why he began HalfCaste saying, “I just started it and wouldn’t want to in-
The minimum number of terror groups active in the area. Most experts agree the total number is hard to pin down. Generally speaking, the organizations sprang from separatist groups in Chechnya and Dagestan that battled for independence from Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Some of those groups later morphed into radical Islamic terror organizations. The U.S. State Department has identified one, the Islamic International Peacekeeping Brigade, as having links to al-Qaida on the Arabian Peninsula, the Yemen-based terrorist group known as AQAP. Other groups include the Special Purpose Islamic Regiment, the Riyadus-Salikhin, the Sabotage Battalion of Chechen Martyrs, the Yarmuk Jamaat, the Ingush Jamaat and Shariah Jamaat. Of those, experts note that Riyadus-Salikhin is most often associated with suicide bombers. The driving distance in miles from Grozny, Chechnya’s capital, to Sochi, where this year’s Winter Olympic Games are being held. That’s a drive similar to Sacramento, Calif., to Boise, Idaho, but it’s a road that travels centuries of hatred. Tribes have been fighting since the 17th century against Russian rule. In 1944, Josef Stalin expelled the entire ethnic Chechen population to Kazakhstan, where an estimated 60 percent died. They were allowed to return to Chechnya after Stalin’s death.
world stage while joining those from Chechnya, it’s the Dagestani groups, created in the harsh Russian response to Chechen rebel incursions into Dagestan, that have vowed to disrupt the Games.
800 The number of police and police department employees murdered in Dagestan since 2011 in their piece of the war on terror. Henry Plater-Zyberk, an expert on extremism in the area with the Prague Security Studies Institute, noted that in addition to those killed, thousands of other police have been injured. There were 188 officers killed in 2011. He notes that the pace of killings appears to have quickened.
10,000 The number of Russian army special forces troops now patrolling the Caucasus Mountains near the Olympic venues. They are part of a security force of an estimated 100,000 for the Olympics. Plater-Zyberk says that other Russian state organizations have their own special forces units that could be deployed if needed.
150,000 The estimated number who died during the two wars in Chechnya, fought in 1994-1996 and 19992006. Hundreds of thousands of people fled the region.
57.8 billion The number of rubles Russia is spending on security for the games. That equates to about $2 billion.
50 billion The total dollar cost of staging the games in Sochi. Plater-Zyberk says this number is worth noting because it explains part of the Russian strategy of pacifying the region by bringing development, and because it shows the sheer scale of the construction project that was undertaken. That construction relied on workers from the region, including many from Dagestan and Chechnya. That has led to one persistent worry: that “something very nasty” was built into the venue, timed to go off while the world watches.
HARRY E. WALKER/MCT
Security forces gather along a transportation route at the Olympic Park in Sochi, Russia on Feb. 4.
Red Cross suspends work in Sudan BY MOHAMED OSMAN ASSOCIATED PRESS
The website called Half-Caste Babies is encouraging a single woman or couple to consider having a mixed race baby. volve the media at this early stage.” According to Infoboxx. com, this is not his first go ’round with the whole “creating biracial babies’’ thing. Apparently, for $3,000 and up, Boateng has provided gametes (reproductive cells) from almost all nationalities, including the United Kingdom and U.S., depending on the process and the individual’s request.
An article does cite a Facebook post from Boateng, where he claims that his company is bringing Africa into the future. “A new world has began and it is like the tide, you either swim along or get left behind. You too can be a blessing for the next generation,” he wrote. Meanwhile, some Ghanaian people have questioned the rationale for such a venture.
KHARTOUM, SUDAN – A Red Cross official in Sudan says that the organization has suspended its work there after the Sudanese government said that the organization was not complying with national laws. Head of the International Committee of the Red Cross’s delegation in Sudan, Jean-Christophe Sandoz, said in a statement Sunday that the group is now in discussions with authorities on how to lift the suspension, which took effect on Feb. 1. The state news agency SUNA quoted Khartoum’s Humanitarian Aid Commissioner as saying that the request to suspend the Red Cross’ work came after the commission noticed that the ICRC was operating outside the framework provided by international agreements. It wasn’t clear to which work he was referring. In the statement, Red Cross said it has over 700 staff in Sudan, locals and expatriates.
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Prehistoric village discovered in downtown Miami See page B3
SHARING BLACK LIFE, STATEWIDE
FEBRUARY 7 – FEBRUARY 13, 2014
SHARING BLACK LIFE, STATEWIDE
‘Foolish’ statement about Strahan as Hall of Fame inductee See page B5
ZORA! FESTIVAL 2014
25 years of arts, humanities and cultural programming Maze, Melba Moore and Sonia Sanchez among guests at event in Eatonville BY ADRIENNE NOEL SPECIAL TO THE FLORIDA COURIER
he official theme of the 25th Zora Neale Hurston festival in Eatonville was “Celebrating Our Milestone: 25 Years of ZORA! Festivals.’’ However, it was obvious fairly early on that this festival would also be about reunions. The Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community (P.E.C.) was pleased to welcome the direct descendants of Zora Neale Hurston at this year’s festival. N.Y. Nathiri, P.E.C.’s director of multi-disciplinary programs remarked, “We were ecstatic that close to 100 members of Zora Neale Hurston’s family travelled from Texas, New York, Missouri, California and parts of Florida to celebrate this milestone with us. It was really quite impressive that these family members invested their time and treasure to join us for our silver anniversary celebrations.”
2 1. A large crowd enjoys music at the 25th ZORA! Festival. 2. Melba Moore entertains on Feb. 2.
Excellence award for Sonia Sanchez
ZORA! Festival 2014 was a reunion for others as well. Poet and activist Sonia Sanchez, who had attended the festival in earlier years, returned to Eatonville year to receive the inaugural “Richard A. Long Award for Creative Excellence” at the ZORA! Festival Gala. Long was professor emeritus at Emory University and a distinguished scholar and an internationally respected cultural historian. He served as the lead ZORA! Festival planner prior to his passing in 2012.
4. Renowned poet Sonia Sanchez was honored at festival.
First Eatonville visit for Moore
Tony Award-winning actress and singer Melba Moore performed at this year’s ZORA! Festival. Although it was her first time to Eatonville, Moore won a Tony for her role in Purlie, which had been written by the late Ozzie Davis. Davis and his wife, Ruby Dee, were longtime supporters of the ZORA! Festival. As if to come full circle, Dee received an award at the gala in recognition of her involvement with the festival. Dr. Maya Angelou received a similar commendation that night. The Zeta Phi Beta Sorority also celebrated a reunion of sorts at this year’s festival. The 24th international president, Grand Basileus Mary Breaux Wright, met with her sorors from Central Florida and across the state at the festival. Wright also received an award for civic involvement for the sorority’s work with the festival’s youngest visitors for the past 25 years. See ZORA!, Page B2
3. Maze featuring Frankie Beverly perform their hits.
5. Ambassador of Morocco to the U.S. Rachad Bouhlal is shown with Congresswoman Corrine Brown and Eatonville Mayor Bruce Mount. 6. U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, center, along with other elected officials and members of the United States Postal Service present the Zora Neale Hurston and Shirley Chisholm stamps.
PHOTOS BY DUANE C. FERNANDEZ SR./ HARDNOTTS PHOTOGRAPHY
FEBRUARY 7 – FEBRUARY 13, 2014
1. Omega Psi Fraternity represents at the festival.
from B1 ‘Happy Feelings’ from Maze
2. An array of good eats were available from food vendors.
At every family reunion, the music plays a prominent role in creating the soundtrack of memories of the event. Maze featuring Frankie Beverly willing obliged the tens of thousands of festival visitors by creating “Happy Feelings” and ensuring that they were “Back In Stride Again.” The ZORA! Festival celebrates the life and work of 20th-century writer, folklorist and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston; her hometown, Eatonville, the nation’s oldest incorporated African-American municipality; and the cultural contributions people of African ancestry have made to the United States and the world. The mission of the Association to Preserve Eatonville Community is to enhance the resources of Eatonville, to educate the public about the town’s historic and cultural significance, and to use the community’s heritage and cultural vibrancy for its economic development.
3. Eatonville’s Super Sensational Steppers perform at the festival. PHOTOS BY DUANE C. FERNANDEZ SR./ HARDNOTTS PHOTOGRAPHY
4. A large crowd enjoys the music of Maze featuring Frankie Beverly on Feb. 1. PHOTO BY VICTOR WATKINS PHOTOGRAPHY
The presenting sponsor was Orange County Government through the Arts & Cultural Affairs Program. Bright House Networks was a featured sponsor. Major funding also was provided by Florida Blue; Harper Collins Publishers, InGlur Inc, TeKontrol Inc., the University of Central Florida (UCF) Office of the President, UCF College of Arts & Humanities, the Zora Neale Hurston Institute for Documentary Studies, Visit Orlando, WKMG-TV Local 6 and the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
LoveFest Miami 2014 will feature Wale, K. Michelle, Meek Mill and Marcus Cooper on Feb. 14 at the BankUnited Center.
DR. GWENDOLYN BOYD
City of Tampa to host Black History Celebration on Feb. 14 The 26th Annual City of Tampa Black History Celebration will take place on Feb. 14 at 11 a.m. The celebration’s theme is “Determined to Make a Difference: Now and in the Future.” The event, hosted by City of Tampa Black History Committee, will be held at the Tampa Convention Center - Ballroom C, 333 South Franklin St. This community-oriented event is free and open to the public. Parking is available for a fee in the Tampa Convention Center garage. Joining Mayor Bob Buckhorn on the program will be Tampa City Council member Frank Reddick. The keynote address will be delivered by Gerald Honey-
well, retired major from the Tampa Police Department. Recording artist Virginia Williams, new wave Gospel group, Zeal, and jazz saxophonist Jarryd Dollard will perform. Prior to the celebration, attendees will meet grassroots organizations, entrepreneurs and corporate citizens at the Black History Expo. The expo will begin at 10:15 a.m. in Ballroom D of the Tampa Convention Center. Marcus Boothe, jazz saxophonist, will perform during the expo. For more information, call 813-3481027 or send e-mail to BrittanyJ.Jackson@tampagov.net.
The new president of Alabama State University and former president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority will be the keynote speaker for the Deltas of Collier County at the Naples Hilton on Feb. 23. More information: CollierDST@gmail. com or 239-601-2525.
Tampa’s DJ Ekin is shown with the 2013 MLK Youth Essay winner and Middleton High School student Alicia Bishop.
The actor and comedian is scheduled at the Tampa Improv Feb. 13-16.
FLORIDA COMMUNITY CALENDAR
tle’s Underground Railroad: A Spiritual Journey show takes place Feb. 23 at the Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.
Miami Gardens: The ninth annual Jazz in the Gardens is March 15-16. More information and lineup of artists: www.jazzinthegardens.com.
Tampa: UniverSoul Circus continues in Tampa through Feb. 10. More information: www.universoulcircus.com.
Gainesville: The Take 6 Project Concert takes place Feb. 15 at 7:30 p.m. at the Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Jacksonville: The Temptations and Four Tops will perform on Feb. 20 at the Florida Theatre Jacksonville. Gainesville: Kathleen Bat-
Gainesville: J. Cole and Chance the Rapper are scheduled for a 7 p.m. show Feb. 27 at the O’Connell Center. Tampa: Katt Williams’ Growth Spurt tour stops at the USF Sun Dome on March 15. Tampa: Charlie Wilson is scheduled Feb. 21 at the University of Sun Dome and
the James L. Knight Center on Feb. 22 in Miami. Daytona Beach: Wayne Brady takes the stage at the Peabody Auditorium on Feb. 19 for a 7:30 p.m. show. St. Petersburg: Branford Marsalis will perform at the Palladium Theater on April 3 and on April 4 at the Curtis M Phillips Center for Performing Arts in Gainesville. Jacksonville: John Legend is scheduled at the Florida Theatre Jacksonville on April 30. Tampa: Miley Cyrus’ Bangerz Tour stops in Miami on March 22 and Tampa on March 30.
Organization still accepting essays for MLK contest The Tampa-based non-profit organization i Care About Me is hosting an MLK Youth Writer’s Essay Contest. The competition asks middle and high school students to submit essays answering select questions about how Martin Luther King Jr. has inspired them to reach their goals. Founded in 2009, i Care About Me is a social movement designed to increase the self-esteem and self-worth of today’s youth. DJ Ekin, a well-known deejay in the Tampa Bay area and beyond, launched the organization out of what he saw as a
need to reverse the effects that popular culture’s emphasis on materialism has on youth. “We want kids to see beyond the clothes, cars and jewelry that’s emphasized in today’s society and focus on what’s inside of them and their abilities,” said Ekin, who can be heard weekday evenings on HOT 101.5 FM. Entries for the contest are being accepted through Feb. 14. Four students will win a tablet. For a full list of contest rules and information, visit www.icareaboutme.org.
FEBRUARY 7 – FEBRUARY 13, 2014
C.W. GRIFFIN/MIAMI HERALD/MCT
An archeological dig in Miami is under way at the Met Square development.
Archaeologists find prehistoric village in downtown Miami Foundation could have been dwelling of Indians as far back as 2,000 years BY ANDRES VIGLUCCI MIAMI HERALD/MCT
MIAMI — Archaeologists who for months have been uncovering mounting evidence of an ancient and extensive Native American village in the middle of downtown Miami have concluded it’s likely one of the most significant prehistoric sites in the United States. The archaeologists, under the direction of veteran South Florida archaeologist Bob Carr, have so far painstakingly dug up eight large circles comprised of uniformly carved holes in the native limestone that they believe to be foundation holes for Tequesta Indian dwellings dating as far back as 2,000 years.
They have also discovered linear, parallel arrangements of hundreds of such postholes stretching across the site that Carr hypothesizes mark the foundation for other structures, possibly boardwalks connecting the dwellings. The village site borders a rocky outcropping that his team has concluded was the original natural shoreline at the confluence of Biscayne Bay and the Miami River, a spot long ago occluded by fill. “What’s unusual and unique about the site is that it’s this huge chunk of land where a major part of this ancient Tequesta village site is preserved,’’ Carr said in an interview. “It’s one of the earliest urban plans in eastern North America. You can actually see this extraordinary configuration of these buildings and structures.’’
Thousands of artifacts The finds, which have not been widely publicized, have placed
public officials and a big downtown developer in a major quandary. The Tequesta village site covers roughly half of a long-vacant, two-acre city block on the north side of the river where the developer, MDM Development Group, plans to build movie theaters, restaurants and a 34-story hotel. The project would cover most of the block, including the full archaeological site. The city of Miami granted MDM zoning and development approvals for the Met Square project, though not a final building permit, before the full scope of the archaeological finds was known or understood. The site has also yielded thousands of Tequesta artifacts, including bone and shell tools, as well as newly uncovered remnants of industrialist Henry Flagler’s 1897 Royal Palm Hotel, which gave rise to the city of Miami. State of Florida and MiamiDade County historic-preservation officials are pressing the city
to revisit the Met Square plans to consider possible alternatives that would salvage a portion of or even the full archaeological site. That could require a major, costly redesign of the Met Square project.
Years of study, analysis MDM, which already has leases, agreements and timetables for the theaters, restaurants and hotel, says it could be out a substantial amount of money if that happens. The developer has offered to carve out the limestone holding one or two of the larger circles on the site and display those in a planned public plaza. In recent weeks, MDM officials have discussed doing more in meetings with city and county planners and preservation officials, but have made no promises or commitments. “We will do our utmost,’’ MDM director Ian Swanson said Monday in an interview at the site. “There is no easy answer to this at all.’’ While recognizing the site’s importance, Swanson said there are still “ambiguities’’ over precisely what it was. He said the store of artifacts taken from the site and stored at the History Miami museum will provide specialists and historians years’ worth of study and analysis. Carr, who works for MDM, which by law must pay for the archaeological survey, said he has also recommended to his client that as much as possible of the site be preserved in place.
“If you have a necklace filled with pearls, what makes it valuable is its entirety, not four or five pearls,’’ Carr said.
‘Birthplace of Miami’ Preservationists and city board members say there is strong and growing support for measures to save and create a major exhibit around at least some of the archaeological site. State officials say it would likely earn National Historic Landmark status, like the Statue of Liberty and Miami’s Freedom Tower. Some local officials and preservationists believe it might also qualify for designation as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Making the site even more significant, they say, is the fact that Carr’s team has also uncovered artifacts and other elements from two later historic structures sandwiched over the Tequesta village at the site — a well and artifacts from Fort Dallas, a mid-19th century military fortification used during two of the Seminole Indian wars, and brick column bases and other traces of Flagler’s hotel, which prompted the founding of the city of Miami. “It’s extremely important,’’ said city preservation board member Gerald Marston of the site. “If they gave it a name, it’s the birthplace of Miami.’’
Turbulence possible in passage of a hurricane-tax holiday law BY JIM TURNER NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA
TALLAHASSEE – One of the sales-tax holidays backed by Gov. Rick Scott received Senate committee support Monday, but minor turbulence could be ahead as the measure travels through the Legislature. While Scott has recommended a 15-day period in June for a list of hurricane-related items to be sales-tax free, the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee approved a version of the proposal (SB 362) that stands at 12 days. Senate bill sponsor Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, called the differences between his measure and Scott’s recommendation “minor details that need to be worked out.” “The devil’s in the details about how many days it’s ultimately going to be,” Bradley said. “There is some discussion about what items are going to be included or not included.”
15 days sought On Jan. 31, Senate Finance and Tax Chairwoman Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, filed an amendment to expand the measure to 15 days as Scott proposed. But before the committee meeting on Monday afternoon, she withdrew the proposal as the Senate continues to review the additional time sought by Scott.
“We look forward to working with the governor’s office to get the final Senate position on the bill,” Bradley said. Bradley has proposed that during the period the sales tax would be lifted on flash lights and other self-powered lights selling for $20 or less; portable self-powered radios, two-way radios, or weather band radios that sell for $50 or less; tarps or other flexible waterproof sheeting that sells for less than $50; first-aid kits that cost under $30; packets of AA, C, D, 6-volt, and 9-volt batteries that sell for under $30; and portable generators worth less than $750.
$3.6 million cut in revenue The governor’s office has promoted the 15-day hurricane sales tax holiday as a $20 million savings for consumers. In November, state economists, sitting as the Revenue Estimating Conference, projected that Bradley’s proposal would cut state and local government tax revenue about $3.6 million. At the time, economists said the calculation was difficult as many Floridians already have storm-preparation items around the house as standard parts of hurricane kits. The proposal is also unique in that the discount period would occur prior to the start of the next fiscal year, July 1. Bradley has proposed the dis-
JOE BURBANK/ORLANDO SENTINEL/MCT
Shoppers flood into the Costco store in Altamonte Springs to stock up on Sept. 24, 2004, in preparation of Hurricane Jeanne. count be offered between June 1 and June 12, 2014.
No dates for House Bradley’s measure still must get through the Finance and Tax Subcommittee and the Appropriations Committee. The House version of the bill (HB 567) by Rep. Matt Gaetz, RFort Walton Beach, has yet to be
scheduled for a committee appearance. Scott also has also called for legislators to extend the backto-school sales-tax holiday from three days, as it has been in recent years, to 10 days. Another proposal (HB 769 and SB 740), by Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda, D-Tallahassee, and Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Holly-
wood, would designate October as sales-tax free for certain energy-efficient appliances costing $1,500 or less. Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam plans to include a discount period for many of the same items as part of his energy agenda for the 2014 session. That proposal should be rolled out in a couple of weeks.
FEBRUARY 7 – FEBRUARY 13, 2014
Americans to watch 10 US athletes poised to make a splash during the Sochi Olympics By Linda Robertson The Miami Herald
The United States’ Olympic team, which has never competed on the home ground of its old Soviet-era rival, plans to build on a world-leading haul of 37 medals from 2010 at the first Winter Games held in Russia. The U.S. expects to take a record number of 200-plus athletes to Sochi with the goal of overtaking Canada in the gold medal count. X Games stars can capitalize on new podium opportunities in events that play to Americans’ strengths — and make up for weaknesses the U.S. is likely to experience in figure skating and speedskating. Here are 10 Americans to watch during the Feb. 7-23 Olympics at venues that stretch from Black Sea shores to Caucasus Mountain slopes:
Meryl Davis, Charlie White Figure skating
Partners on the ice since they were 9-yearold kids, Davis, 26, and White, 25, are the best and probably only hope for U.S. gold in figure skating and are favored to win the first-ever U.S. gold in ice dancing. They won world titles in 2011 and 2013 and have earned respect for a discipline that used to be mocked as all style, no substance. Davis and White share a coach with and train near Detroit alongside their Canadian rivals, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, gold medalists in 2010. Davis and White will skate their long program to “Scheherazade” by Russian composer Nikolai RimskyKorsakov. “It never hurts to have the support of the crowd, not only in the team itself but being involved in the music and the story it is we’re trying to tell,” Davis said of their choice. “We feel this is the right moment. We have grown into skaters who can make the most of this special music.”
Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times/MCT
Steven Holcomb, front center, led the U.S. men’s four-man bobsled to gold in the 2010 Vancouver Games.
Steven Holcomb Bobsled
Holcomb is pilot of the “Night Train” bobsled that broke the 62-year U.S. Olympic winless streak with a dramatic gold-medal performance at the 2010 Vancouver Games. He’s aiming for double gold in Sochi, in the two-man and four-man bobsled events. Holcomb’s driving savvy should serve him well on Sochi’s curvy, technical track — it’s even got two uphill sections — that is in sharp contrast to the speed layout of Canada’s Whistler Sliding Centre course used in the last games, but the Russians will log a substantial training time advantage over adversaries.
Ted Ligety Alpine skiing
The world’s best giant slalom skier looks forward to competing on Sochi’s moderately steep but lengthy course. “It’s about 25 seconds longer than most,” Ligety said. “My legs were burning midway not to even mention at the bottom.” Ligety, 2006 Olympic champ in combined, has won four of the last six season titles in GS. He’s known for his powerful,
Meryl Davis and Charlie White compete in the compulsory ice dance competition during the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada. The 2013 world ice dancing champions won silver at the last Games and are favored to win gold this year. a lot of options on the Sochi course. You could see 10 people ski it and then the 11th person goes and you never imagined you could see that.” Wallisch, a Pittsburgh native, is eager to introduce Olympic viewers to his spinning, flipping, slipping and grabbing tricks. “It’s a young sport that started here, which means making the U.S. team is as hard or harder than making the top 10 at the Olympics,” he said. “That gives us a great advantage. So many guys are pushing each other.”
sharply angled turns and for his nickname-sake company, Shred, maker of helmets, goggles and outerwear. At the 2013 World Championships, Ligety’s three golds in super G, GS and super combined made him the first man since Jean Claude Killy in 1968 to pull off a hat trick. His chief rival is Austrian Marcel Hirscher, and never count out American Bode Miller.
Kikkan Randall Cross-country skiing
If you think Norwegians dominate cross-country skiing, pay attention to Alaska’s Randall. In her fourth games, Randall, 31, could become the first U.S. woman and the first American to win an Olympic medal in the sport since Bill Koch brought home silver in 1976. Randall has steadily moved up the ranks since finishing 60th in 2002 and placing sixth in the team sprint with Caitlin Compton four years ago — the best finish ever by U.S. women. In a breakthrough season, she edged Norway’s Marit Bjoergen by 0.07 seconds to win the 2013 World Cup sprint title and partnered with Jessie Diggins to win the world championship team sprint. “We’re in contention for the first time in my games experience,” Randall said of the depth of the U.S. Nordic team. “I remember being at my first Olympics at Salt Lake. It really feels like the blink of an eye.”
Tucker Fredricks Speedskating
Tom Wallisch practices some tricks at the 2013 U.S. Freeskiing Spring Camp at Mammoth, Calif., in May. Wallisch finished first in the freeskiing slopestyle event at the 2013 International Ski Federation world championships and is a two-time X Games gold medalist.
Julie Chu Ice hockey
Shaun White Snowboarding
Snowboard acrobat White, two-time gold medalist in half-pipe, has returned to his first love since he started in the sport at age six — slopestyle snowboarding. The expansion of the Olympic menu to include the terrain-style event means White can go for double gold in Sochi. Everyone is talking about the latest twist to his halfpipe routine — a frontside double-cork 1440 that adds an extra half revolution to the two flips of the Double McTwist 1260 he performed in 2010. White perfected his newest trick on a secluded half-pipe in Perisher, Australia. “It’s just a level of commitment,” White said on a recent GoPro video of the maneuver. “You’ve got to be in the right mindset.” He’s been managing an ankle injury this season, yet so far none of his competitors have unveiled tricks even close to White’s in terms of difficulty.
Jessica Jerome Ski jumping
Jerome made history by becoming the
Long track speedskater Fredricks is taking one more shot at an Olympic podium spot after disappointing finishes of 24th in 2006 and 12th in 2010. The former World Cup champion has been dealing with back pain from a bulging disc and contemplated retirement after a mediocre 2013 season. But the Janesville, Wis., native, encouraged by his wife, who is a former speedskater from Japan, and Japanese rival Joji Kato, will go for the Olympic medal in the 500 meters that has eluded him. Fredricks, 29, who is taking a different approach to hitting his peak speed, could be one of the feel-good stories of the games.
Kikkan Randall rounds a corner during the U.S. Cross Country Classic Sprint race at Kincaid Park in Alaska, Jan. 8, 2010. Randall, a four-time Olympian, won the 2013 World Cup sprint title and, with partner Jessie Diggins, world championship team sprint. first athlete selected to the first U.S. Olympic women’s ski jumping team for the sport’s first appearance at the Olympics. After a 10-year battle with Olympic authorities that went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, women will get to fly like the men have been flying since 1924. Jerome beat 2009 world champion Lindsey Van by two points at the Olympic trials at her home venue in Park City, Utah. The top American, defending Jessica world champ Jerome Sarah Hendrickson, has been recovering from an August knee surgery and is expected to be named to the team. Because
Chu, oldest member of the ice hockey team, will be making her fourth trip to the Olympics with the goal of beating arch rival Canada for the gold medal. The U.S. won the inaugural Olympic gold in women’s hockey in 1998; Canada has swept every gold since. Chu, 31, a former Harvard forward who has played for the Montreal Stars of the Canadian women’s league, is one of 11 returning Olympians on the squad that beat Canada at the 2013 world championships in Ottawa. Two of the pre-Sochi U.S.-Canada games have ended in brawls.
Hendrickson has been hurt, 4-foot, 11-inch, 17-year-old Sara Takanashi of Japan has emerged as the favorite with her football field-length jumps. Jerome started jumping in second grade and was a fore-jumper at the Salt Lake City Games. Her personal record is 138 meters. She’ll join 29 women on the Olympic hill on Feb. 11.
Tom Wallisch Freestyle skiing
Wallisch is a fan favorite in the sport of freeskiing, specializing in the slopestyle discipline where he’s known for his innovative rail routines. The X Games, Dew Tour and world champion combines artistry and athletic skill. “It’s like a skate park for skiers,” Wallisch said. “There are
JOE RIMKUS JR./MIAMI HERALd/mct
Julie Chu will make her fourth Olympic appearance for the U.S. women’s hockey team.
FEBRUARY 7 – FEBRUARY 13, 2014
FINEST & ENTERTAINMENT
Meet some of
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Think you’re one of Florida’s Finest? E-mail your high-resolution (200 dpi) digital photo in casual wear or bathing suit taken in front of a plain background with few distractions, to news@flcourier. com 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.
jasmine Jasmine Akakpo is a former child model and actor who has recently made her way back in the entertainment industry. She has done work on TV shows such as “The Game” and “Drop Dead Diva” along with independent films through young filmmakers like herself. Jasmine takes pride in her fun, down-to-earth personality and loves working with others. “I appreciate the team effort that it takes to create any project so much. It’s amazing.” Contact Jasmine at:www.jasmineakakpo.com, www.facebook. com/jasmineakakpo.com or on Twitter:@jasmineakakpo. CREDIT: BlackIce Bell
Mike Garvey is a South Florida resident of Jamaican decent. He’s also a Marine Corps veteran who has bloodlines to historical leader Marcus Garvey. The aspiring actor and 1st Million Management talent has worked numerous projects, including appearances on Starz Network’s “Magic City,” “The Glades” (A&E Network), and “Burn Notice” (USA Network). He plays a security guard in the upcoming film “Pain and Gain.’’
Sapp apologizes to Strahan over ‘foolish’ statement EURWEB.COM
MARK CORNELISON/LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER/MCT
Michael Strahan, left, enjoys a moment with Joe Namath before the start of Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on Feb. 2.
Adult entertainer convicted in buttocks injection trial EURWEB.COM
Natasha Stewart, an adult entertainer from suburban Memphis, Tenn., has been convicted of culpable negligence manslaughter in the death of Karima Gordon. According to the Associated Press, a jury found Stewart guilty last week in Jackson, Miss. Known as Pebbelz Da Model, Stewart took $200 for a referral to Natasha the authorities, alStewart leged injector and falsely represented that the injector was a nurse. Stewart testified on Jan. 31 that Gordon, a 37-year-old resident of Atlanta, was insecure about her body and wanted help
fixing previously botched buttocks enhancements. Stewart said she connected Gordon with the woman performing the injections to help her out. Despite Stewart not wanting money for helping her, Gordon insisted on paying Stewart.
Silicone embolism cause of death In her testimony, Stewart said she thought the woman performing the injections was indeed a registered nurse and had gotten the injections herself more than 20 times over seven years. Prosecutors argued that Gordon died from silicone embolism in her lungs about a week after getting the shots in March 2012. Emails introduced on Jan. 31 showed that Gordon was a fan of Stewart and was persistent in asking for help to get butt injections beginning in 2010. “I won’t give up my mission to ultimately achieve a tastefully great butt enhancement,” Gordon wrote in one of the messages. The death garnered Stewart with a charge of “depravedheart” murder, which is defined as a “callous disregard for hu-
After Michael Strahan was announced on Feb. 1 as one of seven players elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Warren Sapp claims he apologized to the former Giants linebacker for comments he made four days earlier questioning his Hall of Fame eligibility. Sapp, a 2013 Hall of Fame inductee who curWarren rently works as an Sapp analyst for NFL Network, said he approached Strahan on Saturday night to apologize. “I hugged him and wouldn’t let him go,” Sapp said Sunday on NFL Network. “I said, ‘Please forgive me.’ I said, ‘Dumb Lex Luthor came to the city of Gotham and pulled Superman’s cape. How foolish could I have been,
my man? Please forgive me.’ “If he tells the story any different, he’s lying to you, America, because I sure did apologize. I’m going to beg for forgiveness because there’s a party in Canton, and I promise you, I’m not going to miss it.”
Strahan’s credentials Sapp didn’t say how Strahan reacted to his apology. Strahan recorded 141.5 sacks, the fifth-highest total in NFL history, in his 15-year career and set the league’s single-season record with 22.5 sacks in 2001. Sapp, a seven-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman who had 96.5 sacks in his 13-year career with the Buccaneers and Raiders, made headlines last week when he questioned Strahan’s Hall of Fame credentials. “I don’t think his résumé stacks up,” Sapp said. “Four straight Pro Bowls and a mythical sack record. When you really measure
it up, he comes up short, except you all are giving it to him.” Strahan fired back at Sapp, saying that the “tiger does not pay attention to the opinion of the sheep.”
Other inductees Along with Strahan, other Hall of Fame inductees are Andre Reed, Walter Jones, Derrick Brooks, Aeneas Williams, Claude Humphrey and Ray Guy. Announced Saturday at “NFL Honors” held at Radio City Music Hall, the seven are headed for enshrinement in Canton. Strahan was surprisingly not chosen for the Hall of Fame last season in his first year of eligibility, but he didn’t have to wait long. The 2001 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Strahan was also on the NFL’s All-Decade team of the 2000s. He had a memorable sack of Tom Brady of Super Bowl XLII.
man life” resulting in death. That charges carries a maximum penalty of life in prison. In addition, Stewart was charged with conspiracy to commit depravedheart murder.
‘High School Musical’ star discusses being young, gifted and multiracial
Faces 20 years
Before “High School Musical” star Corbin Bleu became a teenage heartthrob at age 16, he was a young boy who found himself targeted by bullies who didn’t understand him. From his love of ballet and tap to his mixed race, the now-24-year-old entertainer struggled with feeling misunderstood by his peers. His race, especially, was a question among other children. “The whole bullying thing is a very important thing for me,” he says on an episode of “Oprah: Where Are They Now?”. “I remember growing up and having so many kids ask, ‘Wait, so what are you?’”
Jurors ultimately decided to convict Stewart of the lesser charge as well as find her guilty of conspiracy to commit culpable negligence manslaughter. Stewart faces up to 20 years in prison for each charge. At this time, a sentencing date has not yet been set. Wearing what appeared to be an orange wig, Stewart reportedly showed little emotion immediately after the verdict was read. She was found not guilty on the charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, the AP stated. Tracey Lynn Garner, the person suspected of administering the injections, is charged with depraved-heart murder in the deaths of Gordon and another woman, Marilyn Hale of Selma, Ala. She has pleaded not guilty. Garner’s trial is scheduled for March.
FROM WIRE REPORTS
Italian, Jamaican descent Upon learning that Bleu’s mother is White, other kids became confused. To Bleu, there was – and is – nothing complicated about his heritage. “I identify with my Italian culture,
I identify with my Jamaican culture,” Bleu said. The rest of the world, however, doesn’t always see the actor as biracial. “Of course, in society, I am considered ‘Black,’” Bleu noted. He saw this same mentality in his professional life as well. “Even in the industry, it drives me crazy that you need to have the ‘token Back’ or it needs to be a project that’s just all-Black,” Corbin he added. Bleu Now in an interracial relationship (with actress Sasha Clements), Bleu is hopeful things will change. “I want us to get to a point that you don’t see the colors anymore. We’re all going to be beige,” he says with a laugh.
A report from Blackvoices. com was used in compiling this story.
FEBRUARY 7 – FEBRUARY 13, 2014
Simple weeknight suppers with FAMILY FEATURES
‘‘Hectic family schedules don’t have to get in the way of serving up tasty and healthy weeknight dinners,” explains leading nutrition expert, cookbook author and television star Ellie Krieger, author of “Weeknight Wonders: Delicious, Healthy Dinners in 30 Minutes or Less.” Krieger notes that pairing the unique sweet ness of healthy, fresh pears with savory pro teins like pork or chicken makes for a satisfy ing supper that can be made in a snap. “Pears are a perfect pick for weeknight dinners,” says Krieger. “Their distinctive flavor goes well in savory main dishes that are simple to make and will be enjoyed by the whole family.” Krieger’s recipe for Pork Chops with Pears in Port Wine Sauce from her new “Weeknight Wonders” cookbook will help add variety to the weeknight dinner routine, as will these other supper - time recipes that feature juicy USA Pears. For more great recipe ideas, visit www.usapears.org.
Asian Style Lettuce Wraps with Chicken and Crunchy Pears Makes 4 servings 1 tablespoon cornstarch 2 tablespoons peanut oil 1 tablespoon minced garlic 1 1/2 tablespoons grated gingerroot 6 scallions, thinly sliced, green and white parts separated 1 pound ground chicken, dark meat 1 tablespoon chili sauce 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce 2 tablespoons soy sauce 1 large USA Pear, such as Red Anjou or Bosc, cored and cut in matchsticks Toasted sesame oil to taste 12 large tender lettuce leaves, such as bib, butter or red leaf Cilantro sprigs In small bowl, mix cornstarch with 3 tablespoons water to form smooth paste and set aside. Warm peanut oil in skillet or wok over medium high heat. Add garlic, ginger and white parts of scallion and stir-fry until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add chicken and cook, stirring frequently until it breaks into small pieces and is no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Add chili sauce, hoisin, and soy sauce, stirring to combine and evenly distribute ingredients. Add reserved cornstarch slurry and stir until sauce is clear. Finish with reserved scallion greens, pear matchsticks, and a splash of sesame oil. To serve, place heaping tablespoon of filling in middle of lettuce leaf with few cilantro leaves, if desired. Wrap lettuce around con tents, pick up with hands and eat.
Pork Chops with Pears in Port Wine Sauce Makes 4 Servings 3 large firm-ripe USA Pears, such as Bartlett or Anjou Cooking spray 4 1/2-pound center-cut bone-in pork loin chops (about 3/4 inch thick) 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth 3/4 cup tawny port wine 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard Peel and core the pears, then slice them into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and preheat over mediumhigh heat. Add the pears and cook, stirring once or twice, until warmed and slightly softened but they still retain their shape, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer the pears to a plate. Season the pork chops with the salt and pepper. Spray the skillet with cooking spray again, then add the pork chops and cook until just slightly blush in the center, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a second plate and cover to keep warm. Add the broth and port to the skillet, raise the heat to high, and cook until the liquid is reduced by about half, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the mustard and whisk until dissolved, then return the pears to the pan and stir to combine. Spoon the sauce over the chops and serve. Recipe adapted and reprinted with permission from the publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, from Weeknight Wonders by Ellie Krieger. Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.
Check the Neck for Ripeness Pears are best enjoyed at the peak of ripeness. The best way to judge whether a fresh pear is ripe, sweet and juicy is to “check the neck”: • Press the neck, or stem end, of the pear with your thumb, and if it yields to gentle pressure it is ripe and ready to eat. • To ripen your pears at home, keep them at room temperature. Display these beautiful fruits in a decorative bowl as you wait for them to ripen. • To slow ripening, simply put the pears in the refrigerator.
Crispy Chicken Cutlets with Pears, Shallots and Wilted Spinach Makes 4 servings 4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts Salt and freshly ground black pepper 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided 2 shallots, thinly sliced 2 large USA Pears, peeled, cored and cut in 1/2-inch dice Juice of 1 lemon 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 3/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock 4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme (about 4 sprigs) 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat leaf parsley 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 1 1/4 pounds fresh spinach, trimmed, washed and dried Place each chicken breast between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Using heavy skillet or mallet, pound breasts to 1/4inch thickness. Season both sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper and lightly coat with dusting of flour. Place 1 tablespoon each of olive oil and butter in large skillet over
medium high heat. When butter begins to foam, add two chicken breasts and sauté one side until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn chicken breasts over and sauté other side until cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate, raise heat to medium high and repeat with another tablespoon each of olive oil and butter and other 2 chicken breasts. Add shallots and pears to pan and cook over medium-high heat until lightly translucent and golden, about 3 minutes. Add lemon juice, mustard, chicken stock and any juices on plate and deglaze pan, scraping to loosen any brown bits on bottom with wooden spoon. Simmer until sauce reduces by half, about 4 minutes. Add chopped thyme and parsley, and gradually stir in remaining butter until just melted. For spinach, add remaining olive oil and sliced garlic to large sauté pan. Warm oil over high heat. When very hot, and before garlic has color, add spinach and cook, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes or until spinach is bright green and slightly wilted. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. To serve, divide spinach between four plates, placing a mound on each. Top spinach with cutlet and spoon shallot and pear sauce over top.
Published on Feb 6, 2014