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Remembering Harriette and Harry T. Moore Page B1
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APRIL 12 - APRIL 18, 2013
VOLUME 21 NO. 15
WELFARE QUEENS? BY JAMES HARPER FLORIDA COURIER
PART 1 Florida legislators are considering giving millions in tax breaks over 30 years to at least four pro sports corporations, with no commitment that the companies will hire local, minority, or women-owned businesses for their projects.
Florida state legislators soon will decide whether giving 30 years of tax breaks and rebates to the owners of a professional sports franchises and venues is more important than funding public education or children’s programs. The NFL’s Miami Dolphins are seeking $3 million a year in sales tax rebates for 30 years (Senate Bill 306) for Sun Life Stadium improvements. Two million dollars a year for 30 years also has been requested by the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars for EverBank Field in Jacksonville (House Bill 721). The Orlando Lions are seeking $2 million a year in sales tax rebates for 30 years for the construction of a stadium in Central Florida (House Bill 219) with a goal of attracting a Major League Soccer expansion franchise. Daytona International Speedway officials are asking for $2 million a year in sales tax rebates in addition to seeking refunds on sales taxes for construction materials esti-
Black progress is uneven Urban League report says ‘equality gap’ remains constant SPECIAL TO THE FLORIDA COURIER
The National Football League’s Miami Dolphins want taxpayers to give them millions of dollars for 30 years to improve Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens. mated at $10 million that can only be requested after a planned $250 million track improvement project is completed. A measure (Senate Bill 1394)
that could land more than $60 million in sales tax rebates for the speedway was unanimously supported by the Senate Commerce See WELFARE QUEENS, Page A2
Pathway to citizenship
Immigrant advocates rally in D.C.
The National Urban League’s (www.nul.org) “State of Black America” report released Wednesday concludes that despite social and economic gains, the AfricanAmerican equality gap with Whites has changed little since 1963 – the year of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and the height of the civil rights movement. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the march, this year’s “State of Black America Redeem the Dream: Jobs Rebuild America” includes a 50-year retrospective analysis conducted through the lens of the Urban League’s Equality Index. The report shows that while the African-American condition has improved, including achievements in educational attainment and employment, this progress has occurred largely within the Black community.
Thousands of people of all ages from across the country took to the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday to urge lawmakers to ease the path to citizenship for the 11 million residents living in the country without proper documentation.
Double-digit gains in education, employment and wealth contrast sharply with the single-digit gains made in those same areas compared to Whites. The report credits civil rights measures enacted to open the doors of opportunity for Blacks for the progress made in education and standard of living. In education, the high school completion gap has closed by 57 percentage points. There is more than triple the number of Blacks enrolled in college. For every college graduate in 1963, there are now five. With regard to the standard of living, the percentage of Blacks living in poverty has declined by 23 points since 1963. The percentage of Black children living in poverty has fallen by 22 points. The percentage of Blacks who own their home has increased by 14 points.
OLIVIER DOULIERY/ABACA PRESS/MCT
Gaps still exist These gains stand in stark contrast to the decided lack of progress in closing the equality gap with White Americans. In the past 50 years, the BlackWhite income gap has only closed by 7 points (now at 60 See PROGRESS, Page A2
SNAPSHOTS FLORIDA | A3
BOOKS | B2
Report: Bright Futures change will hurt minorities
Book explores new identity of the South
FINEST | B5
NATION | a6
States competing to be testing site for drones
New strategies necessary to tackle old issues FROM THE TRICE EDNEY NEWSWIRE
ROY LEWIS/TRICE EDNEY NEWS WIRE
Female leaders discussed the future of civil rights at a Trice Edney Communications forum in Washington, D.C.
When Barbara Arnwine sensed the pending attack on voting rights across the country by a string of Republican politicians attempting to enact voter identification and other questionable laws last year, she immediately tried to warn everybody who would listen. It was her 25-year-old son Justin who gave her the ultimate tool by which to warn the nation. “He said, ‘Mom, you need a map’…and he said it would go viral,” she recounted at an annual forum at the National Press Club last week. From that concise suggestion was born the now-famous “Map of Shame.”
With this map, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and its partner organizations charted and fought the legislative movements of dozens of states as they attempted voting changes that would ultimately result in a civil rights backlash. That backlash included a grassroots ground operation, church-to-church “get out the vote” inspiration, social media strategies, phone banking and word of mouth that helped galvanize the largest Black turnout in voting history in the 2012 presidential election.
Youth ingenuity Arnwine, president/CEO of
COMMENTARY: GLEN FORD: AFRICAN CONQUEST, 21st CENTURY STYLE | A4 COMMENTARY: BILL FLETCHER JR.: OBAMA SHOULD TALK WITH NORTH KOREAN LEADER | A4
See ISSUES, Page A2
APRIL 12 – APRIL 18, 2013
Is this Obama’s second term? Or Clinton’s third? Or Reagan’s ninth? Ronald Reagan hasn’t darkened the White House door in decades. But his policy objectives have been what every president has pursued relentlessly ever since. Barack Obama is only the latest and most successful of Reagan’s disciples. Like the present era, the Reagan presidency marked a series of decisive rightward turns for U.S. empire at home and abroad.
What human rights? Reagan’s invasion of Grenada, along with his bloody contra wars in Central America and southern Africa, signaled the renewal of on and off-the-books military interventions when and wherever the logic of empire suggested – regardless of nambypamby concerns of human rights, domestic or international law. But if being a Republican means you can be a naked imperialist at home as well as abroad, being a Democrat like Obama means making sufficiently ambiguous noises to enable corporate media and your own campaign to manu-
BRUCE A. DIXON BLACK AGENDA REPORT
facture a false narrative of actual and substantive difference between Democrats and Republicans. The first President Bush invaded Panama, and landed U.S. troops in Somalia, a supposed “humanitarian” intervention. Bill Clinton massively increased the shipment of U.S. military hardware and training to more than 50 of Africa’s 54 nations, fueling the conflict in Congo that has taken 7 million lives to date. That’s continuity of purpose and of policy.
No ‘stupid wars’ In Obama’s case, all he had to say was that he wasn’t necessarily against wars, just against what he called “stupid wars.” Corporate media and ‘liberal’ shills morphed that lone statement into a false narrative that Obama opposed the war in Iraq, making him
an instantly viable presidential candidate at a time when the American people overwhelmingly opposed that war. Once in office, Obama strove mightily to abrogate the Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq that would have allowed U.S. forces to remain there indefinitely. But when the Iraqi puppet government, faced with a near revolt on the part of what remained of Iraqi civil society, insisted that uniformed U.S. troops (but not American and multinational mercenaries) stick to the withdrawal timetable agreed upon under Bush, liberal shills and corporate media hailed the withdrawal from Iraq as Obama’s “victory.” Obama doubled down on the invasion and occupation of large areas of Afghanistan, and increased the size of the Army and Marines, which he pledged to do during his presidential campaign. Presidential candidate Obama promised to end secret imprisonment and torture. President Obama seems to prefer murderous and indiscriminate
drone attacks, in many cases, over the Bush policy of international kidnapping secret imprisonment and torture. The Obama administration’s reliance on drones combined with U.S. penetration of the African continent, means that a Democratic ‘antiwar’ president has been able to openly deploy U.S. troops to every part of that continent in support of its drive to control the oil, water, and other resources there.
Long-term policies The objectives President Obama’s Africa policies fulfill today were put down on paper by the Bush administration, pursued by Clinton before that, and still earlier pursued by Reagan, when it funded murderous contra armies in Angola and Mozambique that, assisted by the apartheid regimes of Israel and South Africa, pioneered the genocidal use of child soldiers. Today, cruise missile liberals hail the Obama administration’s use of pit bull puppet regimes like Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda – all of which shot their way into power with child soldiers – to invade Somalia and Congo, sometimes ostensibly to go after other bad actors on the grounds that they are using child soldiers. If either George Bush or Ronald Reagan had openly deployed U.S. troops to Africa on anything like the scale President Obama
has, Black America would be up in arms. It seems that now, by giving us a Black president, the empire can get just about whatever it wants.
Same way at home Ronald Reagan and the first George Bush would have liked to tamper with Social Security, but dared not. All Reagan could do was tell welfare queen jokes, and despite Reagan’s open disdain of organized labor, NAFTA was a distant dream of corporations and billionaires. It took Clinton, who marshaled a minority of Democrats in Congress to vote with Republicans both to pass NAFTA and to eliminate welfare. The second President Bush openly trumpeted right-wing lies about the solvency of Social Security – lies that Obama happily repeats to this day – and tried more than once to privatize it. Obama picked the ball up where his predecessors left it and has run relentlessly rightward ever since. Just last week, Obama offered as his opening position in negotiations with Republicans, the chaining of Social Security and all other federal benefits to the Consumer Price Index – a monstrous betrayal that will reduce Social Security benefits by as much as $100 monthly by a decade from now. It wasn’t anything he had been cornered into by Republicans. It was the point
from which Obama decided to start. That’s continuity. Only a Republican president, like Richard Nixon, could go to China in the 1970s. Only a Black Democrat can break his promises to labor on championing a card check law, refute his commitments to a just and fair media with network neutrality, and do nothing to roll back the prison state which has engulfed Black and Brown youth. Only a Black Democrat could deport more Latinos than all the last three Republicans together, in his first term alone.
The same team Democrats and Republicans are not mutual opponents. They are a tag team, each one pushing the ball further and further down the field in the wrong direction. It’s still winter in America, and the dead hand of Ronald Reagan still guides this nation, decades after his exit from the White House. Welcome to the ninth term of Ronald Wilson Reagan, in the person of Democrat Barack Hussein Obama.
Bruce Dixon is managing editor of BlackAgendaReport.com. Contact him at bruce.dixon@blackagendareport. com. Click on this story at www.flcourier.com to write your own response.
percent). The unemployment rate gap has only closed by 6 points (now at 52 percent). As in 1963, the Black/White unemployment ratio is still about 2-to-1, regardless of education, gender, region of the country, or income level. “As the budget debate continues in Washington on whether to cut critical program funding, the State of Black America 2013 highlights a harsh reality: budget-cutting fever will cause economic pneumonia,” said Marc H. Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League. “If we are to move toward lasting economic recovery and full equality and empowerment, we must apply sustainable solutions – keenly focusing on jobs for all Americans and closing the gaps that result in a ‘tale of two Americas.’” “This year’s State of Black America report underscores that employment remains the biggest barrier to equality in our country,” said Chanelle P. Hardy, senior vice president for policy and executive director of the Urban League’s Policy Institute. “The National Urban League will continue to push for policies that support job growth now and for the next generation, such as the Urban Jobs Act and the Project Ready STEM Act.”
and Tourism Committee on Monday. The Senate committee vote comes after International Speedway Corporation (ISC) announced last week that the net income for the company during the first quarter of 2013 was $13.5 million. The company, which also owns Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway, reported that its overall revenue for the first three months of 2013 was $128.6 million, a $1.2 million increase from the same period a year earlier.
Analysis, commentary As in past years, the report features essays from leaders of publicly traded companies, not-forprofit organizations, government, academia and media who provide
ISSUES from A1 the Lawyers’ Committee, credits youth ingenuity coupled with seasoned civil rights minds for the successful result. “We’ve got to have that intergenerational and multigenerational fight,” she told the audience at the “Stateswomen for Justice” luncheon and forum March 28. As a part of the third annual forum, Arnwine was honored by the host, Trice Edney Communications and Newswire, for her 30 years of civil rights leadership with the Lawyers’ Committee, now in its 50th year. The forum, moderated by Dr. Elsie Scott, founding director of the Ronald W. Walters Center at Howard University, featured Arnwine alongside four other leading women in civil rights. They outlined cru-
FLORIDA COURIER FILES
The National Urban League says that twice as many Blacks are unemployed as compared to Whites, regardless of education, gender, region of the country, or income level. That statistic is virtually unchanged since the 1963 March on Washington. analysis and commentary on the theme of this year’s publication. U.S. Rep. John Lewis wrote about renewed efforts to roll back voting rights. “Opponents complain of state expense, but what is the price of justice? Their only cost is the paper, postage and manpower required to send copies of legislation to the federal government, hardly a punishment. But without Section 5, victims of voting discrimination, whose rights may already be flagrantly denied, would have to bear the additional cost of an expensive lawsuit to obtain relief, which could take
cial issues and future methods of engagement five decades since the March on Washington.
Still striving Tonya Robinson, special assistant to President Obama for justice and regulatory policy pointed out yet another important anniversary this year, 50 years since President John F. Kennedy’s signing of the Equal Pay Act – a goal that has yet to be attained. She said President Obama drew a “line in the sand” with the Lilly Ledbetter Act as the first piece of legislation he signed in his first term, extending the time that a woman can sue over pay issues. Still, she said, there remains “a compelling economic case that especially impacts women of color and African-American women with respect to the need for African-American women to finally close the pay gap.”
years to resolve.” “From my perspective…Black America’s future success will be influenced in large part by our transition to a knowledge-based, technology-driven economy. Broadband and wireless technologies have become vitally important to educating our children, young adults and continuing education students. Without the requisite emphasis on infrastructure development, however, America will lag behind in providing both education and employment opportunities,” writes Cynthia G. Marshall, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at AT&T.
Remembered battles For the most part, the string of modern-day civil rights battles discussed among the leaders reflected a continuum of the battles of the 1960s. “All of these anniversaries are coming at us at a single moment in time – W.E.B. DuBois’ death, whether it’s the assassination of Medgar Evers or whether it’s the March on Washington for Jobs and Justice…And here it is, here we are 50 years later and guess what we need to march for – jobs and justice,” said Kim Keenan, NAACP general counsel. “That work is not done. The work isn’t based on the color of the president.” Civil rights battles take place from the streets to Congress to the courts. Diversity and conscious people on the inside of institutions have historically made a difference said Leslie Proll, director of the Washington, D.C. office of
No diversity If any of the bills are passed without amendments, they won’t include conditions that would encourage or require them to hire diverse workforces or local Florida-based, minority, or women-owned small business enterprises on any of the proposed projects. The Florida Courier reached out to Florida House Minority Leader Perry Thurston and Senate Minority Leader Chris Smith to determine whether Florida’s leading Democratic legislators were supporting these bills. They had not responded by the newspaper’s press time late Wednesday night.
The Miami experience Cities have been burned by greedy sports franchise owners who have built ultramod-
the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. “Civil rights laws are only as strong as the judges who enforce them,” she said. “We need to get some African-American women nominated and confirmed. It’s very important that new people get nominated to take over the mantle.”
Disproportionately locked up One of the reasons fair judges are needed is because of the disparate numbers of African-Americans and other people of color coming through the system, said Laura Murphy, director of the Washington legislative office of the American Civil Liberties Union. “From the moment that we enter the criminal justice system, African-Americans are treated differently…There is still rampant racial profiling in the United States,” Murphy said. Murphy disagrees with Vice President Joe Biden
ern sports facilities subsidized by tax dollars, only to profitably operate or sell the franchises for a premium and leave cities in the lurch. Exhibit No. 1: Marlins Stadium in Miami. In 2009, after threatening to move his Major League Baseball team, multimillionaire Marlins team owner Jeffrey Luria convinced local politicians to cover 80 percent of a new stadium’s $600 millionplus construction costs. As the public became more aware of the circumstances surrounding the deal – including a no-bid construction contract without a commitment to hiring a diverse workforce and a local jobs requirement – the backlash was fierce. The mayor and supportive commissioners were thrown out of office by a voter recall. The city manager that guided the deal through local government was fired. But a bad deal negotiated under pressure was done. Over a 30-year period, Miami taxpayers will eventually pay $2.4 billion to pay off the $500 million they chipped for construction costs. Next week: Where’s Black Florida’s ‘good news” about these projects?
The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.
who wants more security officers in public schools. “Those police officers in the schools are much more likely to send African-American and Latino students into the criminal justice system. I’m not just talking about teenagers, I’m talking about elementary-aged children,” she said. “I am very concerned because this is the first step in the school-to-prison pipeline…Once kids are brought into the criminal justice system, they get records, they are more likely not to graduate, they are more likely to get suspended. We’re talking about young people who often encounter police officers when they need guidance counselors or tutors.”
Some recommendations “Don’t stand there and let this happen,” said Keenan. “We have been chosen to carry on this legacy, to carry on this work. I
submit to you that it’s never done because once it’s done, we have to make sure it’s not undone.” “Get on the email list of civil rights organizations, including the ACLU, and make sure notices don’t go to the spam folder,” said Murphy. As for influencing members of Congress, “Never underestimate the power of one visit or one call,” said Proll. Arnwine stressed the importance of remembering the enemies of justice and how they work. “Those of us who are driven by a vision of inclusion and diversity and love have got to realize that there are people who are equally driven by a vision of exclusion, privilege, racial superiority and other thoughts,” she said. “We can have an African-American president in the White House but at the same time have people trying to take our voting rights, so you must be vigilant.”
APRIL 12 – APRIL 18, 2013
Helping hands for Florida’s children Children’s advocates visited lawmakers this week to push programs dealing with domestic violence, poverty, homelessness BY MARGIE MENZEL THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA
TALLAHASSEE – It’s Children’s Week at the Capitol, marked by thousands of colorful hand cutouts hanging down the open floors of the rotunda. The man behind the yearly spectacle is Ted Granger, executive director of the United Way of Florida. “Florida’s children today are struggling,” he said. “We’re still coming out of the Great Recession. We’re in a moribund economy.” By Granger’s figures, the recession lasted twice as long – 20 months – and Ted cost twice as much – 4 perGranger cent of GDP – as other U.S. recessions since World War II. Now, although the economy is starting up again for many Floridians, others are still hurting. One in five Florida families reported there were times last year when they didn’t have money for food. Bottom line: 19.2 percent of adults and 28.4 percent of children are sometimes hungry in Florida, compared to national averages of 16.1 percent for adults and 21.6 percent for children.
CROS program The Rev. Pam Cahoon is executive director of CROS (Christians Reaching Out to Society) Ministries, a coalition of about 100 religious groups that runs food pantries and other programs to feed the hungry in Palm Beach County. One is an after-school snack program that CROS took
over from a city program that couldn’t afford it anymore. Cahoon said kids in the free- and reduced-price lunch program often eat their lunches by mid-morning. “There were just a lot of discipline problems, and so we started getting groups to provide sandwiches for the kids after school – and the discipline problems went away,” Cahoon said. “Those kids were just hungry.” CROS also started sending backpacks of food home for the weekend, because teachers were seeing students come in hungry on Monday morning. Academic performances improved. “Principals have identified the children we’re giving the backpacks to,” said Cahoon. “It’s the kids that go around the cafeteria and say, ‘Are you not going to eat that apple? Are you not going to eat that orange – may I have it?’ It’s the child that lays their head on the desk because they’re hungry, and they can’t keep their head up and do their schoolwork.”
Poverty, homelessness A 2006 report, America’s Youngest Outcasts: State Report Card on Child Homelessness, ranked Florida 43rd of the 50 states for homeless kids. At the time – during the 2005-2006 school year, before the recession – 49,886 children and youths were homeless in Florida. By 2008-2009, that number had grown to 70,633 – a 42 percent increase in three years. The economic downturn has led to increases in numbers of homeless children and families. Most of these children are not living on the streets, but with their families in shelters, substandard housing or doubled-up in unhealthy situations. About 21 percent of Florida children were living below the federal poverty level in 2009, according to U.S. Census data. A disproportionate number of children were Black (38 percent) or Hispanic (25 percent) compared to White children living in poverty (12 percent).
COURTESY OF UNITED WAY
The colorful hand cutouts in the Capitol Rotunda in Tallahassee this week represents thousands of children who sent them from around Florida for Children’s Week. The Hanging of the Hands took place on April 7. Then there are children who become homeless because the alternative is worse. Last year about 7,500 Florida children fled violent homes with a parent, said Leisa Wiseman of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Domestic violence Florida battered-women’s shelters housed about 15,000 people in the last fiscal year, and 7,484 were children under the age of 18. “When they’re in shelter, they’re safe,” Wiseman said. “They’re receiving services, with the mom, that they need.” But again, because of the recession and the lack of affordable housing, Florida’s domestic violence shelters were forced to turn away 3,471 requests for emergency shelter in 2012. “It’s disruptive, there’s no doubt,” Wiseman said. “They may have to change schools because of safety. The perpetrator may know where to find that child at school.”
‘Human infrastructure’ Granger said because there hasn’t been a budget surplus since before the reces-
sion, lawmakers will have a tough job sorting out everyone’s needs. There are potholes and crumbling infrastructure everywhere you look, he said. “But from our point of view, the most important infrastructure is the human infrastructure,’’ he said. “If we don’t have a solid human structure, everything else doesn’t matter.” Granger, Cahoon and other children’s advocates are visiting lawmakers this week with that message. Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, is already on board. He praises programs like Cahoon’s, but is also asking both the Senate and House to boost funding for food banks and homeless programs. “We want to make sure the money is used properly,” he said. “But I think those are areas where even the most conservative Republican – and I’m a conservative, and I’m a fiscal conservative – that the most vulnerable folks in our society – the disabled, children, and hungry and homeless people – are the very people we ought to be helping.”
BRIEFS Mitchell to lead House Dems’ campaign efforts
Back in February 2003, university students protested at the Florida State Capitol against changes proposed then in the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program.
Report: Bright Futures change will hurt minorities NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA
An upcoming change in guidelines for Bright Futures scholarships will disproportionately shut out minority students from the popular program, The Gainesville Sun has reported.
Legislators looking to turn down volume in vehicles BY JIM SAUNDERS NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA
TALLAHASSEE – Sometimes the sound can be felt as much as heard – carvibrating, teeth-rattling sound. But with the Florida Supreme Court last year find-
ing that a state noise law was unconstitutional, a Senate committee Monday approved a plan aimed again at turning down the volume. The bill (SB 634) would bar motorists from cranking up music so that it is “plainly audible” 25 feet
The change, which takes effect July 1, will require graduating high-school seniors to earn scores of 1170 or better on the SAT or 26 or better on the ACT to qualify for Bright Futures. The Sun story was based on an analysis conducted by the University of South Florida. That analysis showed the new standards would prevent thousands of students from getting the scholarships. “If left alone it’s going to be devastating, particularly on certain racial and ethnic groups, and unevenly distributed across the state universities,” Robert Spatig, USF assistant vice president of admissions recruitment and enrollment planning, told the Sun. “And it’s not going to go to those performing the best in high school, just those who perform best on the ACT or SAT.”
or more away. Police officers could pull over violators and give them $30 citations, according to a Senate staff analysis.
‘Clean-up measure’ The 25-foot standard is the same as in the old law, but the bill would get rid of exemptions for vehicles used for business or political purposes. Those exemptions led the Supreme Court to pull the plug. Sen. Rob Bradley, a
Chris Mitchell has been tapped to help steer Florida Democrats’ efforts to eat into Republicans’ majority in the House. Mitchell, chairman of the Hillsborough County Democratic Party, was tapped as political director of House Victory by Rep. Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg, who is scheduled to take over as House Democratic leader following the November 2014 elections. Democrats currently hold 44 seats in the House after gaining ground in last year’s elections, but would still need a net gain of 17 seats to capture the majority. Alan Clendenin, first vice chairman of the Florida Democratic Party, praised the selection. “Along with his demonstrated work ethic, Chris Mitchell brings strong strategic planning and execution skills as well as a commitment to Democrats across the state,” said Clendenin, from Tampa. “Mr. Mitchell is well suited to ensure Democratic House electoral success in 2014 and 2016.”
Panel approves ‘unborn child’ crime bill A Senate panel Monday approved a bill that would lead to additional charges if a crime leads to the death or bodily injury of an “unborn child.” The Senate Criminal Justice Committee voted 4-2 for the measure (SB 876), sponsored by Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland.
Fleming Island Republican who was one of four supporters of the measure on the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, said the bill amounted to a technical fix of the old law. “This is a clean-up measure,” Bradley said. But Senate Minority Leader Chris Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale, and Sen. Audrey Gibson, D-Jacksonville, said they had bigger problems with the bill. For example, Smith said
he was concerned about “primary enforcement” of the noise law – in other words, police pulling over motorists instead of just enforcing the law when they stop them for other reasons.
Like it loud Gibson also questioned how far 25 feet would be and said she likes to head on down the highway with music blaring. “I like my music loud, es-
Under it, a crime that causes bodily injury or death to an unborn child would be treated as a separate offense from the crime committed against the expectant mother. The measure defines unborn child as “a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb.” Sen. David Simmons, RMaitland, and Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, likened the bill to other laws that hold people responsible for the results of criminal activity. “I think it’s a pro-woman piece of legislation,’’ Simmons said. But Senate Minority Leader Chris Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale, and Sen. Audrey Gibson, D-Jacksonville, said the bill might lead to a person facing additional criminal charges without even knowing a woman was pregnant. “We’re getting into some murky water here, I think unnecessarily,’’ Smith said. The bill is next slated to go to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Texting bill heads to Senate floor A bill that would ban texting while driving is headed to the Senate floor after clearing its last committee stop unanimously. The measure (SB 52) was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, bringing a yearslong debate closer to an end. “Hopefully, we’ve gone beyond public support into public frustration that we haven’t passed something,” said Sen. Nancy Detert, RVenice, the bill’s sponsor. “I think this is the year.” The House companion (HB 13) is also ready for the floor. – News Service of Florida
pecially on I-10 when I’m driving back and forth to Tallahassee,’’ she said. The bill, sponsored by Trilby Republican Wilton Simpson, stemmed from a December Supreme Court ruling in the case of a man who was ticketed for cranking up Justin Timberlake too loud. The House version of the bill (HB 1019) was slated to be heard Tuesday in the House Economic Affairs Committee.
APRIL 12 – APRIL 18, 2013
Like Rodman, Obama should talk with North Korean leader Nothing in this commentary is to serve as an apology for North Korea. Rather, it is critical that we have a better understanding of dynamics in the North Korean regime in order to avoid a major military clash. The Korean peninsula was divided in the aftermath of World War II when Soviet troops, coming from the north, moved against the Japanese occupiers and U.S. troops moved up from the South. At the 38th Parallel, the peninsula was divided. Between 1945 and 1950, rather than the peninsula being unified, two separate regimes were established in the occupation zones (in the North it came to be known as the “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea;” in the South, the “Re-
BILL FLETCHER, JR. NNPA COLUMNIST
public of Korea”. A guerrilla war started in the South against a U.S.-supported dictatorship aimed at reunifying the peninsula. The U.S.A. remained committed to not only a divided Korea but also one that was led by their friendly dictator in the South. In June 1950, the formal war in Korea began when North Korean troops moved south in what can accurately be described as a continuation of the civil war that had started shortly after the end of World War II. The U.S.A. was able to convince
the United Nations to get involved in the war, which was followed by a massive U.S. intervention. U.S. troops came close to winning the war until they ignored the Chinese warnings to stay away from the border with China. U.S. General Douglas MacArthur seemed intent on provoking a war with China and reinstating the Guomindang government that had just been overthrown. At that point, 1 million Chinese troops came across the border pushing the US/ UN troops back to the armistice line that currently divides Korea. From 1953 through today tensions have flared up at various points. The USA has regularly threatened the North Koreans and for many years placed nucle-
VISUAL VIEWPOINT: KIM AND NORTH KOREA
PARESH NATH, THE KHALEEJ TIMES, UAE
African conquest, 21st century-style Editor’s note: Charles W. Cherry II’s “No Chaser” column returns next week. AFRICOM, the United States Military Command in Africa, has become the headquarters of recolonization, augmented by the militaries of NATO and legitimized by the African Union and the global credentials of the United Nations. This great feat of imperialism and international White supremacy reached its zenith during the first term of the Obama administration, which roughly coincides with the birth of AFRICOM in 2008. Imperialism with a Black face has been fantastically successful in Africa. The greatest genociders and enslavers in human history – Europe and its superpower offspring, the United States – have nearly completed their reconquest of the African continent. Only a few patches of land are free of their military entanglements and trea-
GLEN FORD BLACK AGENDA REPORT
ties – notably Zimbabwe and tiny Eritrea, among the few nations on the African continent that have not yet been absorbed into the AFRICOM matrix. Since 1996, under Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama, the United States has armed and financed the de facto annexation and bloody depopulation of the mineral-rich eastern Congo. U.S. client states Uganda and Rwanda turned the eastern provinces of Congo into a vast killing field that has, so far, claimed the lives of 6 million people – the greatest holocaust since World War II. All the while, successive U.S. administrations shielded their Ugandan and Rwandan hirelings from inter-
national censure – even as nearly 20,000 United Nations troops were stationed in the killing fields. Now the United States drapes itself in the clothing of humanitarian savior of the Congo. It has pushed through the United Nations Security Council the creation of a new, 3,000-man force to aggressively intervene in Congo. The UN Congo “intervention brigade” will not move an inch without U.S. arms, training, and supervision. The U.S. will now pose as the great peacemaker and life-giver, through the offices of the United Nations and participating African countries. And the bought-andpaid-for governments of Africa will bow, and applaud, and then bow again.
Glen Ford is executive editor of BlackAgendaReport.com. Click on this story at www.flcourier.com to write your own response.
Opinions expressed on this editorial page are those of the writers, and do not necessarily reflect the editorial stance of the newspaper or the publisher.
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ar weapons on the Korean peninsula. In North Korea, a fiercely independent Communist regime was established under Kim Il Sung. Although there is a political party – the Korean Workers Party – that theoretically leads the country, there has been something approaching a “red monarchy” dominating the North that began with Kim Il Sung and has been followed by his son and, now, grandson.
Attacks feared North Korea deeply fears attacks from South Korea and from the U.S. This fear is rooted in the reality of what took place from the end of World War II through today. The U.S.A. and the South Koreans have engaged in a mini-cold war
with North Korea that has included both propaganda and military actions carried out by both sides against one another. Much of what we have been witnessing in the current moment is a continuation of an almost bizarre effort by the North Koreans to get the USA to speak directly with them towards an ending of tensions on the Korean peninsula.
reans start throwing around suggestions of war and missile strikes they are playing directly into the hands of those in the U.S. who would like to turn North Korea into a cinder. As such, the rhetoric is useless, if not outright destructive. Perhaps President Obama should do a version of what Dennis Rodman conveyed as the request from North Korea’s current leader: pick up the phone and give him a Tensions rising call. Yes, diplomacy is more When the U.S. refuses to complicated than that, but have one-on-one talks with you get the point. the North Koreans and reBill Fletcher, Jr. is a Sefuses to acknowledge the legitimate interests that nior Scholar with the InNorth Korea has in nation- stitute for Policy Studies. al security — irrespective Follow him at www.billof one’s view of the nature fletcherjr.com. Click on of the North Korean regime this story at www.flcouri— tensions inevitably in- er.com to write your own crease. When the North Ko- response.
Let’s recommit ourselves to Dr. King’s economic principles Coming the day after the 45th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the new unemployment numbers show that unemployment is still high – and remains much higher for AfricanAmericans. One thing hasn’t changed in the last half century: if you’re a person of color, you’re more likely to be unemployed. Even though the Black unemployment rate fell by .05 percent this month, it still sits at nearly 13.3 percent, nearly double the overall rate. This gap in employment has led to an economic divide between the richest and the poorest in America that is about as bad as in the divide in Rwanda and Serbia. The top 20 percent of Americans earn 50.2 percent of income, while the bottom 20 percent earns just 3.3 percent. Yet Congress continues to do nothing to directly address unemployment.
Inequality undermines progress This is a dangerous trend. Recent studies – including one by the International Monetary Fund – show that countries with higher levels of economic inequality have slower growth rates, and that “economic inclusion corresponds with robust economic growth.’’ Urban economies affect the prosperity of the entire surrounding region, and ultimately the country as a whole.
BEN JEALOUS TRICEEDNEYWIRE.COM
As our country grows more diverse, we must also acknowledge that economic inequality is closely tied to race, due to decades of past and ongoing discrimination. And this inequality undermines the racial progress that we have achieved. As Dr. King asked in 1968, “What does it profit a man to be able to eat at an integrated lunch counter if he doesn't earn enough money to buy a hamburger and a cup of coffee?”
Agenda still relevant In the last year of Dr. King’s life, he was organizing the Poor People’s Campaign. He endorsed the Freedom Budget, a document that called for massive investments in public works and infrastructure, job training and education programs, and a higher minimum wage. The budget insisted that smart investments in our most vulnerable citizens will spur economic growth. Unfortunately, this plan never moved forward. But its message proved prophetic, and Dr. King’s economic agenda is still relevant today. A strong and sustainable economic recovery requires an economic climate
in which all Americans – regardless of race or class – can expect hard work to be rewarded with a steady job. This is not a partisan issue – it is an American issue. And Congress needs to act now.
Try something new Earlier this year, the National Black Leaders Coalition came up with solutions for fixing the current unemployment crisis. They included implementing important parts of the American Jobs Act to revitalize urban areas; funding the Urban Jobs Act to create youth jobs programs; and increasing the minimum wage. These policies echoed King’s recommendations 45 years earlier. In 1962 Dr. King said, “There are three major social evils in our world today: the evil of war, the evil of economic justice, and the evil of racial injustice." Fifty years later, we need to recognize that inaction is not a policy option; it has been tried; and it hasn’t worked. Let’s try something new. Let’s recommit ourselves to Dr. King’s economic principles and advance an economic agenda that bridges our nation’s divides and fosters an economic recovery in which all can benefit.
Ben Jealous is president/ CEO of the NAACP. Click on this story at www.flcourier.com to write your own response.
Who bears the burden of unemployment? Unemployment rates were “little changed” in March 2013; they were either holding steady or dropping by a tenth of a percentage point or so. The unemployment rate dropped from 7.7 to 7.6 percent representing a steady, if painstakingly slow, decrease. This declining unemployment rate was reported with some circumspection because even as the rate dropped, nearly half a million people left the labor market, presumably because they could not find work. Further, the March economy generated a scant 88,000 jobs, fewer than in any of the prior nine months. An economy that many enjoy, describing as “recovering,” has not yet recovered enough to generate enough jobs to keep up with population increases. Of course, there are variations in the unemployment rate, which is 6.7 percent for Whites, but 13.3 percent for African-Americans. Hidden unemployment pushes the White rate up to 13.8 percent and the Black rate to 24.2 percent. More than 4.6 million Americans have been out of work for more than 27 weeks. Those who are unemployed experience malaise, displacement, and perhaps even depression. This malaise, or worse, affects dynamics in families, workplaces, and communities.
DR. JULIANNE MALVEAUX TRICEEDNEYWIRE.COM
Some workers exhale when they dodge the bullet of a layoff. Next they inhale when they realize that, thanks to layoffs, their workload will increase. In families and communities, the unemployment of just one person has a series of unintended costs for those close to them. We have mostly looked at unemployment data as a reflection of the number of jobs our economy generates. We’ve also looked at those who hold them, those who lose them, and what this means in terms of poverty, education, and community health.
Unemployment communities We could expand our understanding of the employment situation if we looked at those who bear its burden. Some of these are the individuals who are unemployed, but many others are those who live in communities of unemployment. There are politicians who rail that people are unemployed because they are lazy. The fact is people are unemployed because the econo-
my is not generating enough jobs. The French philosopher, Albert Camus, mused, “Without work all life is rotten.” Everybody wants to be useful; and until “use” is defined as something other than paid employment, many will feel marginalized because of their vocation situation. When unemployed, people hear about our “recovering” economy. They wonder what is wrong with them. We all need to wonder what is wrong with an economy that generates such unemployment.
Recovering economy? We need to wonder about an economy that has soaring stock prices and robust corporate profits, while so many individuals are struggling financially. We need to do more to include those at the margins into the vitality of our “recovering” economy. And we need to understand that if one in four African-Americans and one is six of the overall population, experiences unemployment, this is not a personal problem, but a societal one. Will our society fix it, or let it roll. And who pays?
Julianne Malveaux is an economist and author. Click on this story at www. flcourier.com to write your own response.
APRIL 12 – APRIL 18, 2013
Ancestors’ accomplishments need to be protected This article - the 12th of a 20-part series - is written in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
VISUAL VIEWPOINT: NRA MAGNET SCHOOL
vestments totaling more than $70 million over the next five years.
MARC H. MORIAL
TRICE EDNEY WIRE “It is better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one than to have an opportunity and egation of this precious franchise to increasingly partisan legislanot be prepared.” - Whitney M. Young tures; or a cut back on social investments that can help current In 1963, more than a quarter- and future generations thrive in a million people gathered in Wash- fast-changing economy. ington to march for jobs and equality. The Great March for Full equality Jobs and Freedom was a waterTaken alone, our achievements shed moment in American histocould be hailed as good progress ry - birthing now-iconic speeches in the pursuit of full equality. But that voiced the hardships facing unfortunately, the African-AmerBlacks as they sought a fair shot at ican condition has only improved an elusive dream. As we fast-forward 50 years primarily within our own commuand reflect on the progress we’ve nity. This means economic dismade toward economic equal- parities with Whites persist and ity, we meet the sobering truth cast doubt on what we thought that much has been achieved, was meaningful change. These disparities underscore but much more needs to be done. the need to reinforce our fight for Some people use apparent proofs of progress - that Blacks are no lasting economic empowerment longer barred from living, learn- and for policies driving developing and earning where they want ment in under-resourced commubecause of their race, not to men- nities. For example, the National tion the election and reelection of Urban League launched our onour first Black president - to con- going “War on Unemployment” clude that Blacks in America have in 2011, which included the release of our 12-Point Plan: Putting overcome. However, a shiny veneer of prog- Urban America back to Work. We ress cannot justify the elimination expanded the program in January of affirmative action in education of this year with a ground-breakand employment; the roll-back of ing endeavor, Jobs Rebuild Amervoting rights protections and rel- ica - a series of public/private in-
Ongoing struggle Beyond each of us actively working toward solutions, our ongoing struggle cries out for the kind of coalition advocacy that drove many of the civil rights and economic victories in the 1960s. Between November 2012 and January 2013, I helped to organize a historic convening of civil rights, social justice, business and community leaders to identify and push for public policy priorities to drive economic recovery and rebirth for African-American and urban communities and all lowincome and working-class Americans. This policy agenda was embodied in an official communique that included specific recommendations with clearly defined objectives to move us forward as a community. When I compare these recommendations with the demands made on that August afternoon in 1963, I am struck by how little has changed.
Little change In 1963, as today, the most pressing demands centered on economic equality, educational opportunity and parity, and civil rights. But instead of fighting against discrimination in hiring or a $2 minimum wage, we’re
STEVE SACK, THE MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE
fighting for job training and wage equity. Instead of calling for school segregation to end, we’re demanding an end to disparities in educational investment. Rather than calling for meaningful civil rights legislation, we’re fighting to preserve those very rights our ancestors fought and died for and to retain the practical application of civil rights and equality through affirmative measures to achieve diversity in jobs and education. Our experience since the Great March says that we must be vigilant in protecting our hard-won rights. To paraphrase William Ernest Henley’s poem “Invictus,” we must become masters of our own fate to fully realize the economic prosperity we demanded on that day in 1963.
Young, one of the unsung visionaries of the Great March and the Urban League’s leader from 19611971, we must not only be prepared to seize opportunity when it comes, we must be committed to creating opportunity when it does not.
Marc Morial is president/ CEO of the National Urban League. The Lawyers’ Committee is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to enlist the private bar’s leadership and resources in combating racial discrimination and the resulting inequality of opportunity - work that continues to be vital today. Click on this story at www.flSeize, create opportunity courier.com to write your own If we are to honor Whitney M. response.
Blacks beginning to not watch video content on TV Are you a Zero-TV household? No, I don’t mean restricting the kids’ TV viewing to the weekends or until after they’ve completed homework. I mean – do you watch TV the traditional way or on any of the growing techy options available to us? So many of us are watching video content on our phones, computers, or tablets, that Nielsen designates this group of consumers: Zero-TV Households. This consumer segment is so significant; it will soon be included in our measured samples. For those of us who are hard-core holdouts or just plain tech-challenged, don’t worry. Ninety-five percent of Americans still get entertainment and information the old-fashion way – via traditional TV. In fact, according to Nielsen’s latest CrossPlatform report, American TV viewing time was up in
CHERYL PEARSONMCNEIL NNPA COLUMNIST
ing hours a week than other demographic groups. The latest numbers show that African-Americans average 55 hours a week in front of the telly. The new kids in town, the Zero-TV households, do own televisions – about 75 percent of those in this category have at least one in the house, but they prefer to watch, or consume content, on other devices. The data shows that 36 percent of viewers feel cost and 31 percent of viewers say a lack of interest are reasons for their preferred choice. Right now, about 5 percent or 5 million American households fall into this Zero-TV category. African-American consumers make up almost 10 percent of that number.
late 2012 over the same period the previous year, averaging more than 41 hours a week. That makes sense. There were a few notable, life-altering events towards the end of 2012 which kept our eyes on the continued coverage. Several states along the East Coast suffered the catastrophic Hurricane Sandy. The Newtown, Conn. tragedy touched all of our hearts, and the highly anticipated 2012 presidential election was also noteworthy. Since you and I have been together in this space for a while now, you know Other screens that the Black community Nielsen’s latest Africantends to log more TV view- American consumer report
45 years after King, struggle goes on April 4 marked the 45th Rev. year since the assassinaJesse L. tion of Dr. Martin Luther King at the Lorraine Motel Jackson, in Memphis. Dr. King, 39, Sr. at the time, has now been TRICEEDNEYWIRE.COM gone from us longer than he was with us. A monument celebrates his life on Poor People’s the mall in Washington. He campaign is remembered as the man Dr. King was focused with a dream at the March on organizing a Poor Peoon Washington. ple’s Campaign to march on Washington, reaching ‘Chicken a la King’ out to impoverished White In 1968, however, Dr. King miners, Hispanic farmworkwas far from the favored ce- ers, Native Americans, the lebrity he is today. He was urban poor. Injustice anyunder fierce criticism for where, Dr. King preached, opposing the war in Viet- was a threat to justice evnam. Former colleagues erywhere. were scorning his commitDr. King decried the unment to nonviolence. When employment that was so he went to Memphis, head- crippling to the Black comlines called him “Chickmunity. But he also knew, en a la King.” The St. Loueven then, that a job no lonis Globe-Democrat termed ger guaranteed a way out of him “one of the most menacing men in America to- poverty. “Most of the poverty-stricken people of Amerday.” The civil rights move- ica,” he said, “are persons ment had succeeded in who are working every day ending legal segregation. and they end up getting The Voting Rights Act had part-time wages for fullbeen passed. But Dr. King time work.” So Dr. King went to Memknew that his greatest challenges were still ahead as phis to march with sanitahe turned his focus to pov- tion workers — and there erty and equal opportuni- his life was taken from him. Now, 45 years later, his ty. The war on poverty was being lost in the jungles of last mission is still unfulVietnam as war consumed filled. Forty-six million Americans are in poverty. the resources needed. Dr. King went to Memphis More than 20 million peoto support African-Ameri- ple are in need of full-time African-American can sanitation workers who work. remains were striking for equal pay unemployment and for a union. twice the rate of whites.
Demand justice Dr. King knew that these conditions would not change unless working people and the poor joined across lines of race and religion and region to demand justice. Nothing would change unless people disrupted business as usual, with nonviolent protest, expressing their own humanity while exposing the inhumanity of the current arrangements. The way to remember Dr. King is to pick up the struggle. Poverty and inequality, he taught us, are a threat to democracy and to freedom. And only nonviolent engagement by people of good conscience joining with those who are afflicted can possibly drive the change we need. Today, inequality has reached even greater extremes. Wages are sinking, poverty is spreading. In this rich nation, poor children go hungry. The Poor People’s Campaign that was lost in the wake of war and the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy is needed now more than ever.
Keep up with Rev. Jackson and the work of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition at www.rainbowpush. org. Click on this story at www.flcourier.com to write your own response.
looks at our alternate traditional TV viewing numbers more closely. We enjoy our multiple-screen options. Thirty-one percent of us watch video online. I have to admit it took me a minute to get there, but I’ve learned to appreciate the charms (and convenience) of other screens. And, these are our favorite video sites: • YouTube (48 percent) • Other (31 percent) • Netflix (10 percent) • Hulu (8 percent) • VEVO (3 percent) • Yahoo! (1 percent)
Blacks tweet As much as we love to watch TV, we also love to let our fingers do some of the talking, too. A new Nielsen/ Social Guide study shows that 32 million people in the U.S. tweeted about whatever they were watching in 2012. You know what I’m talk-
ing about. Some 68 percent of African-Americans own smartphones and we tweet on those phones 30 percent more than other groups.
Master multi-taskers The data confirms what most of us already know – as consumers, we are master multi-taskers. At least several times a month, 80 percent of U.S. tablet and smartphone owners use those fancy gadgets to visit a social network while watching TV. Research shows that the decision-makers in the TV industry would be smart to take notice of the numbers attached to all that tweeting that’s going on while live television is being watched, whether traditionally or through multi-screen viewing because tweeting affects the numbers. And, it’s interesting how the Twit-
ter numbers correlate with ratings depends on the age group. For younger people, 1834, an eight and a half percent increase in Twitter activity equals a percent ratings point increase. But, it takes a 14 percent increase in Twitter volume to see an extra ratings boost of a percent among 35-49-yearolds Once again, our behavior, our choices as consumers have the power to influence industries. What you watch and how you watch it, matters. So, choose wisely.
Cheryl Pearson-McNeil is senior vice president of Public Affairs and Government Relations for Nielsen. For more information and studies go to www. nielsenwire.com. Click on this story at www.flcourier.com to write your own response.
Know the facts of our history Those who know me or read my columns know that I’m a history enthusiast. Although my preference is reading, I urge all who read this column to join my pursuit of learning more about history through whatever medium provides you the greatest pleasure. To answer your obvious question, it’s essential for you to know the facts of our history instead of being dependent upon someone else to tell it to us. This is more essential as we see distortions in history books and we listen to public figures contradict previous policy statements that are no longer in fashion. As the old axiom goes, “Until the lions tell their stories, the hunters will always be glorified.”
Visual dimension To ease your concerns, I sometimes watch documentaries or docu-dramas. These add the visual dimension to processing information and create emotional events that can’t be dismissed. I remember a docu-drama where a 1930s era Pullman Porter was discussing asking the conductor to provide him with a betterfitting uniform. The response from the conductor has stayed with me since. The porter stated that the conductor told him, “I can hire a new nigger easier than I can get you a new uniform.” Since the time I heard it, that statement’s been symbolic of the dismissive attitude some maintain towards those who work for them. That thought came to me recently as I saw a relatively new Papa John’s commercial. Their million pizza promotion has been featured for the “March Madness” period. What’s significant about the commercial is that Papa John committed to give away a million pizzas. Although this promotion will yield increased sales for his company, those who’ve listened to his company’s policies will see the hypocrisy of his position. From the background of John Schnatter’s (Papa John) palatial mansion in Ken-
Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq. TRICE EDNEY WIRE
tucky where he held a fundraiser for Mitt Romney, we hear echoes of Romney’s 47 percent comment. We hear those 47 percent echoes in the words John spoke about the burdensome 13-cent increase in the cost of each of the pizzas he sold. His complaint was that it was unfair for him to have to pay this amount to provide for increased healthcare costs for his employees under the Affordable Care Act. However it is spun, listening to John say those things, I hear another “conductor” de-valuing the significance of another employee. Whether it is his intent or not, it would seem that he’s telling us that his employees are unworthy of quality health care.
Undervalued past Sadly, many of our dollars don’t walk the path of our principles. Papa John will be giving away a million “free” pizzas, but is overly concerned about the impact of 13 cents per pizza! Papa John’s Pizza is not the only business that mirrors this sentiment. It just takes the opportunity to be more obvious. How we spend our money is important. In the case just described, it speaks volumes about our concern about our undervalued past and those who’ve stepped into the shoes of those presently being under-valued. History repeats itself!
Dr. E. Faye Williams is Chair of the National Congress of Black Women, www.nationalcongressbw.org. Click on this story at www.flcourier.com to write your own response.
NATION & WORLD
APRIL 12 – APRIL 18, 2013
States competing to be testing site for drones Florida investing $1.4 million in pitch; sees drones as way to recover from end of space shuttle program BY RICHARD SIMON LOS ANGELES TIMES/MCT
WASHINGTON–Although the prospect of drones flying over U.S. cities is generating cries of spies in the skies, groups from California to Florida are fiercely competing to become one of six federally designated sites for testing how the remotely piloted aircraft can safely be incorporated into the nation’s airspace. North Dakota boasts of its “minimal air traffic congestion.” North Carolina, whose license plates read “First in Flight,” cites its aviation history. California pitches its diverse geography: desert, mountains and ocean. Technically, the designation itself offers no money, but 50 groups in 37 states have entered the Federal Aviation Administration competition. States see the designation as an opportunity to generate jobs from a burgeoning industry. “Clearly, we wouldn’t be interested unless we thought there was money,” said Bob Knauff, a retired general leading a New York-Massachusetts bid.
Florida touts weather And so the pitches keep coming. Oklahoma notes its experience in testing drones for the military. Arizona boasts of its nearly year-round “perfect flying weather.” Florida, on the other hand, sees its sometimes severe weather as a plus for testing drones in all kinds of conditions.
DON BARTLETTI/LOS ANGELES TIMES/MCT
In this January 9, 2010 file photograph, a Predator unmanned drone flies a training mission over Victorville, Calif. The carbon fiber, rear engine craft was being controlled by a pilot on the ground at the U.S. Air Force 163d Reconnaissance Wing of the California National Guard at George Air Base. And the leader of a joint effort by Alaska, Hawaii and Oregon says, “We think we bring something to the table that is going to be hard to match,” citing the diversity of environments and “massive amounts” of “relatively unpopulated airspace,” especially up in the Last Frontier. Not everyone, however, is so enthusiastic. Even as the competition rages, lawmakers from city halls to Congress are writing legislation to restrict drone flights. The FAA also is getting an earful from a public anxious about drones invading their privacy. “This is a highly visible
step toward a Big Brother-like state,” a Wisconsin resident complained to the FAA.
Testing over corn? Those vying for test sites say that privacy concerns should be addressed separately from the testing. But they are aware of the concerns. North Carolina has proposed testing in airspace over crops. “Corn doesn’t care” about drones flying overhead, said Kyle Snyder, director of the NextGen Air Transportation Center at North Carolina State University. Still, the FAA has directed
that existing privacy laws be obeyed during testing. Those bidding for test sites — in many cases alliances of economic development groups, universities and aerospace companies — believe that if they land a test site, drone manufacturers will follow. Aerospace research firm Teal Group Corp. estimated that worldwide drone spending will almost double over the next decade to $11.4 billion.
‘Next big thing’ Thousands of drones are expected to be deployed over the U.S. within the next five years for all sorts of
Uhuru Kenyatta sworn in as president of Kenya BY ROBYN DIXON AND NICHOLAS SOI LOS ANGELES TIMES/MCT
NAIROBI, Kenya — The swearing-in ceremony Tuesday for President Uhuru Kenyatta, already one of the Kenya’s richest and most powerful men, involved pomp, a 21-gun salute, an old Bible and controversy. A dozen heads of state attended as Kenyatta took the oath of allegiance on the same Bible his father, Jomo Kenyatta, held for his own swearing-in as Kenya’s founding prime minister in 1963. For the son’s ceremony, Western nations sent diplomats rather than leaders as part of their policy of minimizing contact with men who have been indicted by the International Criminal Court. Kenyatta, from one of Kenya’s most powerful dynasties, has been indicted by the court in The Hague on charges of crimes against humanity in connection with his alleged role inciting violence after the 2007 election that left more than 1,200 dead. His running mate, William Ruto, sworn in Tuesday as deputy president, has been indicted on similar charges.
Speech criticizes court Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who has held power since 1986, stirred controversy at the ceremony at Moi International Sport Center when he gave a speech sharply critical of the court and commending Kenyans for voting in leaders facing indictments by the court. “I want to salute the Kenyan voters on the rejection of the blackmail by the ICC and those who seek to abuse this institution for their own agenda,” Museveni said. “They are now using it to install leaders of their choice in Africa and eliminate the ones they do not like,” a remark apparently directed at the West. Kenyatta and Ruto have promised to appear before the court. But analysts question who will be brave enough to testify at the court against Kenya’s two most powerful men. Some witnesses have already recanted or withdrawn. “I assure you again that under my leadership Kenya will strive to uphold our international obligations, so long as these are founded on the well-established principles of mutu-
chores, including inspecting pipelines, scouting film locations, searching for lost hikers, helping police track criminal suspects. “Simply put, unmanned aircraft systems are the next big thing in the aerospace industry,” California Democratic Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, chairman of the California Assembly Select Committee on Aerospace, said at a recent Sacramento hearing. Florida, which is investing $1.4 million in its pitch, sees drones as a way to recover from the end of the space shuttle program. Nevada officials have said they see an opportunity to be-
come the “Silicon Valley of unmanned aerial systems.” The FAA, which will select the six test sites by the end of the year, was directed by Congress to draw up rules by 2015 for drone flights in U.S. airspace. Among those pushing for the legislation was the 49-member Congressional Unmanned Systems Caucus, founded by Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., who has cited the potential for jobs and improvements to public safety and emergency response times from integrating drones into the nation’s airspace.
Alabama pardons legendary ‘Scottsboro Boys’
pardons are coming after all the Scottsboro Boys have died – but the bill lets Alabama write a “better final chapter.'' “Their lives were ruined by the convictions,'' he said. “By doing this, it sends a very positive message nationally and internationally that this is a different state than we were many years ago.''
BY BOB JOHNSON and JESSE WASHINGTON ASSOCIATED PRESS
KENYAN DAILY POST
Amid controversy, Uhuru Kenyatta was sworn in on Tuesday as president of Kenya. al respect and reciprocity,” Kenyatta said in a speech at the ceremony.
Sword and constitution Outgoing President Mwai Kibaki, from Kenyatta’s Kikuyu tribe, the country’s largest ethnic group, handed Kenyatta the instruments of power: a sword and a copy of the constitution. The loser in the election, Raila Odinga, from the Luo tribe, who disputed the result and unsuccessfully challenged it in Kenya’s Supreme Court, didn’t attend. Observers will be watching Kenyatta’s government appointments closely to see whether he reaches out to different ethnic groups. In his speech, Kenyatta promised to be inclusive.
“We will leave no community behind,” he said. “Where there’s disillusionment, we’ll restore hope.” In Mathare, a Nairobi slum, Odinga supporters remained bitter, in a sign of the enduring ethnic tensions over political power. “Today is a big day for Kenyans, but not all Kenyans are happy and rejoicing,” said George Alunya, 40, a clothing trader in Mathare. “Kenya is one, but some people think they are better than others.”
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The legacy of the “Scottsboro Boys'' is secure: The nine Black teens were wrongly convicted more than 80 years ago in one of America's most infamous racial tragedies. Alabama is now moving to repair its own legacy, and correct past injustices, with a bill to allow posthumous pardons for the group. On April 4, the state House voted 103-0 in favor of legislation setting up a procedure to pardon the teens, who were falsely accused of rape by two White women in 1931. The Senate had passed the bill earlier, 29-0. Gov. Robert Bentley has indicated he will sign it. The Senate sponsor, Republican Arthur Orr, said it was unfortunate that the
Memorialized in Broadway play All but the youngest member of the group, whose ages ranged from 13 to 19, were imprisoned on death row after convictions by all-White juries. All were eventually freed without executions, although several suffered for many years in prison. The “Scottsboro Boys’’ were Olen Montgomery, Clarence Norris, Haywood Patterson, Ozie Powell, Willie Roberson, Charlie Weems, Eugene Williams, and brothers Andy and Roy Wright. Only one of the men has received a pardon. Former Alabama Governor George Wallace pardoned Clarence Norris in 1976. Their case has been memorialized in songs, books, museums, films and a 2010 Broadway play.
Los Angeles Times special correspondent Soi reported from Nairobi and staff writer Dixon from Johannesburg, South Africa.
Katrina loan changes mean relief to HBCUs ASSOCIATED PRESS
NEW ORLEANS – Three historically Black colleges and universities in New Orleans and one in Mississippi are getting relief from their federal loans taken after Hurricane Katrina. U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu says Dillard University, Xavier University and
Southern University at New Orleans have received loan modifications that will save the schools more than $200 million. She says Tougaloo College in Mississippi has also received a modification that will save it an estimated $4 million. Last week, Landrieu announced she
added a measure to a 2012 spending bill that’s enabling the Department of Education to modify the loans so that the schools can take advantage of the current low interest rates. Landrieu says the schools have been paying off the loans, but have struggled as enrollment levels have yet to return to pre-Katrina levels.
The Scottsboro Boys, shown with attorney Samuel Leibowitz, were under guard by the Alabama militia in 1932.
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Obama urged to pick Black woman to lead SBA See page B3
SUN COAST / TAMPA BAY
April 12 - April 18, 2013
SHARING BLACK LIFE, STATEWIDE
Halle Berry surprised about her pregnancy See page B5
Far left: Harry T. Moore was born Nov. 18, 1905 in Houston, Fla.
Left: Harry Tyson Moore with wife Harriette Vyda Simms Moore
Harriette and Harry T. Moore
Below: Principal Moore, right, is shown with teachers in Brevard County.
The 10th Annual Moore Heritage Festival of the Arts and Humanities, which pays tribute to the slain civil rights leaders, will take place April 2327 at various venues on Florida’s Space Coast. BY ANDREAS BUTLER FLORIDA COURIER
Later this month, Floridians will stop to reflect on two of the state’s civil rights icons who sacrificed their lives for the cause of civil rights. The 10th Annual Moore Heritage Festival of the Arts and Humanities is slated for April 23-27 at several municipalities and venues throughout Brevard County. The event honors Harry T. Moore and his wife, Harriette, for their contributions to the civil rights movement. Harry Tyson Moore was a pioneer civil rights leader in Florida and the South. A former president of the state NAACP, he also founded the Brevard branch. He is considered the first prominent civil rights leader in the country to be killed.
Killed in 1951 The Moores were killed on Christmas Day in 1951 when a bomb was set off in their home in Mims. It also was their 25th wedding anniversary. Until this day, no one has been officially charged with their murders. “Our local heroes such as Harry and Harriette Moore should be recognized for their work, which laid the groundwork for the modern civil rights movement. Not only should students know but adults should also know the story of Harry and Harriette Moore,” William Gary told the Florida Courier this week. Gary is the president of the Harry T. and Harriette Moore Cultural Complex, Inc. and the co-chair of the Moore Heritage Festival of the Arts and Humanities.
Educational focus The Harry T. and Harriett Moore Complex is a 501(c3) non-profit volunteer organization whose mission is to support the Moore Memorial Park, which opened in 2004 in Mims. The Moore festival is sponsored every year at the complex. “We want to celebrate, educate and enlighten people on the legacy and work of Harry T. Moore,” stated Gary. The festival itself provides a unique experience
FOR MORE INFORMATION For more information about the festival, call the Moore Cultural Complex at 321-2646595.
from other Black Heritage festivals across the nation. “This festival strictly focuses on education and cultural enrichment. It has a lot for everyone, but it’s all about people learning the history and culture of people that lived and worked here in Brevard County. In addition, they learn about other AfricanAmericans who contributed to the bettering of our society,” explained Gary.
Above: Evangeline Moore holds photos of her parents.
CHUCK KENNEDY/ MCT
Left: The Moores died after the Ku Klux Klan bombed their home in Mims.
Teacher, principal, activist Harry T. Moore had fought for voting rights, equal education, equal pay and other civil rights for Blacks from the 1930s to the 1950s. He also was the leader of the Progressive Voters League, which registered Blacks to vote and he once served as the president of Florida’s NAACP. Harry T. Moore worked mainly as a teacher beginning in 1925 and was in several administrative positions in north Brevard County. Moore was the first principal at the Titusville Colored School. After being fired for his political activism, he spent most of his time fighting for civil rights with the NAACP. Moore and his wife were inducted into the Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame in February. “Many have seen Dr. King on TV shows, movies, documentations and other avenues of the media but before him and the 1954 Brown v. the Board of Education Supreme Court decision, we had Blacks here registering people to vote and fighting the injustices at the time,” Gary noted. “The Moores fought to bring people to justice for the lynching of Black people and police brutality. They didn’t have the entourage, media or today’s social media. The story needs to be told and their
Below: A street festival will be held at the park and museum that bears the Moores’ name. The event has grown,” added Gary.
NAACP’s Jealous to speak
contributions need to be acknowledged.’’
‘Evening with Evangeline’ The festivities kick off on April 23 in Cocoa Beach at the Florida Historical Society building with an “Evening With Evangeline.’’ Evangeline Moore, who is the only surviving daughter of the Moores, now spends her time telling her story and work-
ing with law enforcement to solve her parents’ case. She will give a drama performance at the kickoff event. The Moores had two daughters. Daughter Annie Rosalea Moore died in 1972. On April 25-26, the event moves to Titusville and Melbourne on the campuses of Brevard Community College with a symposium featuring presentations on civil rights and
cultural history. Those events will be hosted by Evangeline Moore. “We started out with an activity held on the Titusville campus of Brevard Community College and another at Moore Memorial Park in Mims. We first had about 100 students attend the educational session. We are now spread throughout the county. Our educational components now have about 700 to 800 students attend.
On April 26, a Gala Awards Banquet will be held at the Holiday Inn Express Space Coast Convention Center in Titusville with Ben Jealous, NAACP national president as the keynote speaker. Dr. Spencer Crew of the Smithsonian Institute also will be a special guest at that event. The Moore Freedom Award will be handed out and student winners of a Moore Festival essay competition will be recognized. The event closes on April 27 with a street festival at the Moore Memorial Park and Museum located at 2180 Freedom Ave., Mims. The festival, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. will feature food, vendors, arts and crafts, a children’s play village and musical entertainment by local artists.
FLORIDA COMMUNITY CALENDAR
APRIL 12 – APRIL 18, 2013
Emeli Sande will be at the House of Blues Orlando July 2 for a 6:30 p.m. show.
St. Petersburg: The 2013 NAACP Health Summit is April 13 from 8:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Bethel Community Baptist Church, 2901 54th Ave. It will include a health village with free testing and screenings. Workshops will be held on cooking, stress and exercise. Free Continental breakfast and lunch. More information: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tampa: The stage play “Side Affects...Hurting People, Hurt People’’ will be held April 13 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Center for Manifestation, 3102 E. Lake Ave. More information: www.thestageplay-sideeffects. eventbrite.com. Tampa: An economic empowerment workshop on retirement basics will be held from 10 a.m. to noon April 13 at Strayer University, 4902 Eisenhower Blvd. S. More information: www.100bmtb. eventbrite.com. Tampa: Hillsborough Community College’s Dale Mabry Campus will host its annual job fair April 16 from 9:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. More information: 813-253-7310 or www.hccfl.edu/ jobfairs. Tampa: The ninth annual Evening in Africa: Dinner, Dance and Auction will be held April 13 at 6 p.m. with cocktails and dinner at 7:30 p.m. at the Wyndham Westshore Hotel, 700 N. Westshore Blvd. $60. More information: 813-903-9247 or www. theivorycluboftampa.org. Tampa: The Black Businesses Bus Tour takes off again on April 20 – this time from Frank-El Soul Food, 1141 E. Fletcher Ave. Stops at Black businesses in the Tampa area. More information and RSVP: Candy Lowe at 813-394-6363. Jacksonville: Jazz and Blues group Fourplay will be at the Florida Theatre Jacksonville along with Harvey Mason, Chuck Loeb and Nathan East April 21 for an 8 p.m. show. Tampa: The Delta Sigma Theta Sorority’s Centennial Torch Tour makes a stop in Tampa on May 18. The day, hosted by the Tampa Alumnae Chapter, will include an
Avant will be at the Florida Theatre Jacksonville May 24 for a 7 p.m. show.
Melanie Fiona will be at the James L Knight Center May 12 for a 7 p.m. show. KIRK MCKOY/LOS ANGELES TIMES/MCT
event for students at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. A Crimson Yacht Soiree on the Yacht StarShip starts at 6:30 p.m. More information: Call 850-284-3386 or visit www.dstta.com. Palmetto: Fantasia is scheduled at the seventh annual Gulf coast Rhythm & Ribfest at the Manatee County Fairgrounds on April 14. Orlando: Funny man Mike Epps will be at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre on May 24 and the Jacksonville Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts April 12. Tampa: 1990s rap stars Salt N Pepa are among the artists slated to perform at Funk Fest 2013 at Tampa’s Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park May 3 and 4. Concerts also are scheduled in Jacksonville and Orlando. Complete lineup: http://
Book explores new identity of the South
funkfestconcerts.com. Orlando: Eric Deggans, TV and media critic with the Tampa Bay Times who wrote the book “Race-Baiter: How the Media Wields Dangerous Words to Divide a Nation,’’ will be one of the authors featured at the University of Central Florida Book Festival/Orlando 2013. The festival is April 13 from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at the UCF Arena. More information: bookfestival.ucf.edu. Jacksonville: The 17th Annual Southeast US Boat Show, formally known as the Jacksonville spring boat show, will take place April 12, 13 and 14 at the Metropolitan Park & Marina to include live seminars, live music and hundreds of new boats. Jacksonville: The stage play and musical “Dreamgirls” will be at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts May 21 at 7:30 p.m.
Winter Park: As a tribute to the 125th anniversary of the City of Winter Park and incorporation of the City of Eatonville, Crealdé’s Hannibal Square Heritage Center will feature an original exhibition through April 13 among the three African-American communities – Eatonville, Maitland and Winter Park. Venue: 642 W. New England Ave. Free. More information: 407539-2680 or www.hannibalsquareheritagecenter.org. St. Petersburg: LL Cool J, Ice Cube, De La Soul and Public Enemy will be at The Mahaffey in St. Petersburg during their Kings of the Mic Tour on June 6. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. St. Petersburg: Youths ages 7 to 11 can enjoy a night of football, kickball, ping-pong, foosball, video games and dance parties during “Freestyle Fridays” at the Fossil
Park & Willis S. Johns Center, 6635 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N. First visit free; $6 each following visit. More information: 727-893-7756. St. Petersburg: First Fridays are held in downtown St. Petersburg at 250 Central Ave. between Second and Third Avenues from 5:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. More information: 727-393-3597. Fort Lauderdale: The Florida Minority Community Reinvestment along with a coalition of Florida minority non-profits and neighborhood associations are hosting the 2013 Let’s Do Business Florida & Summit June 28-June 29 at the Westin Beach Resort & Spa. No cost to women-minority-veteran businesses and nonprofits. More information: www.letsdobusinessflorida.com.
DR. GLENN C. ALTSCHULER SPECIAL TO THE FLORIDA COURIER
Living next door to Tracy Thompson’s former colleague in Marietta, Ga., is a Navy man, who watches Fox News and listens to Rush Limbaugh. The man and his wife, both of whom are White, recently adopted African-American twins. Life with these kids, Thompson’s friend noted, did not alter his neighbor’s views on health care, social welfare, or any other aspect of American politics. Surprised at first, Thompson concludes that “then again, this is the South; cognitive dissonance is what we do.” A journalist and a native of Georgia, Thompson takes the measure of Southern identity in the 21st century in “The New Mind of the South.’’ Its contents, and especially its demography, she claims, are changing; but its constants – evangelical religion and the legacy of slavery – remain the same.
Change is coming As she examines them, she tries, with mixed success, to express her “deep love and respect for the South without pandering, apologizing, subscribing to racist delusions, or drinking anybody’s Kool-Aid.” Thompson reminds us that the South has attracted more recent immigrants than any other region of the United States. Hispanics now make up about 5 percent of the population of the Deep South, even if Texas and Florida are not included, and Arkansas, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee witness more live births from Hispanic mothers than any other states in the nation. The newcomers will change the South, Thompson predicts, and the South will change them. She isn’t certain that they will call themselves Southerners.
Uncertain future identity Although Thompson expresses confidence that the characteristics that generate the South’s best self remain largely intact, her account at times leaves readers uncertain about the nature and future of Southern identity. She indicates that the influence of fundamentalist religion in the region may be waning, for example, and suggests, without much evidence, that a “more global, socially conscious evangelicalism” will replace it. She documents the decline of the rural South and a sorting out of the population into “haves” and “have-nots,” and then makes a mostly faith-based declaration that a sense of communi-
“The New Mind of the South,” by Tracy Thompson, is published by Simon & Schuster. It’s 263 pages and retails for $26. ty “is a surprisingly hardy thing” that can flourish without being tied to a sense of place.
Treatment of race Thompson’s treatment of race also raises fascinating questions it doesn’t fully answer. She reminds us that many Southerners persist in re-litigating what they call “The War Between the States.” In 2010, she reveals, Texas officials mandated that the Inaugural addresses of Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln be given equal time in the social studies curriculum. She then claims, however, that the 21st-century South “promises to be a region where Americans of different races learn, at last, how to honestly discuss both the present and the past with each other;” that the South “has gone a long way – maybe further than any other region – toward divesting itself of overt racism;” and that social barriers keeping Blacks and Whites “from moving in the same social circles are pretty dead.”
‘Historical amnesia’ Thompson asserts as well that the Black remigration to the South, which began in the 1970s and continues apace, originates in a search for “shared meanings, accents, folkways, and ways of doing things that they had always carried inside.” Blacks who reside in the South, she notes, are a bit more likely to identify as Southerners than Whites. The continued existence of community, Thompson concludes, depends on memory and an understanding of history. She leaves you wondering how community can co-exist with the “willfully induced historical amnesia” she has identified with the South – but also hoping that her fellow Southerners will unlearn what she’s unlearned, “learn some other things, and have a clearer sense of what they still don’t know.”
Dr. Glenn C. Altschuler is the Thomas and Dorothy Litwin Professor of American Studies at Cornell University. He wrote this review for the Florida Courier.
The LATCH system makes it easier to be sure your child’s car seat is installed correctly every time. Just clip it to the lower anchors, attach the top tether, and pull the straps tight. To find out more, visit safercar.gov.
APRIL 12 – APRIL 18, 2013
Obama urged to pick Black woman to lead SBA BY HAZEL TRICE EDNEY TRICE EDNEY NEWS WIRE
Mounting support for U.S. Small Business Administration Deputy Administrator Marie Johns to be appointed as top leader of the agency is now knocking at the front door of the White House. An April 4 letter bearing the signatures of at least 80 Black business and civil rights organizations, representing nearly 30 million small businesses, was sent to the Presidential Personnel Office in support of the appointment. Hope for the selection of Johns is said to be based on her established record of work for inclusion of Black and other minority-owned businesses, which have been hit hardest during the economic downturn. “On behalf of the 27.5 million small businesses and several national civil and human rights groups across the country, our collective organizations…are writing in support of the current Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Marie Johns, being nominated for the position of Administrator of the SBA,” states the letter, penned by Ron Busby, president of the U.S. Black Chamber of Commerce. “During her tenure as SBA Deputy Administrator, Marie Johns has been instrumental in strengthening America’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by increasing global competitiveness and strategic alliances among small businesses, specifically within communities of color.”
Criticizd by CBC chair Among the organizations listed on the letter is the National Bankers Association, which recently gave Johns its “Beyond the Call of Duty” award. Also listed in support are the National Urban League, the NAACP, the National Association of Minority Contracting, the National Association for Black Veterans, the National 8(a) Association and dozens of Black chambers of commerce around the nation.
Both Small Business Administration Deputy Administrator Marie Johns, left, and current Chief Administrator Karen Mills are slated to leave the administration this term. That announcement caused alarm within the minority business community, which credits Johns for her hands-on approach and sensitivity to their struggle. Obama was recently criticized by Congressional Black Caucus Chair Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), among others, for his lack of Black appointments so far given that Black voters have proven to be his most faithful constituents. Fudge subsequently tamped down her criticism, saying she is more confident after a conversation with the White House and would take a wait and see approach. Obama has yet to appoint an African-American to his cabinet or to a major agency leadership position in his second term. Attorney General Eric Holder, appointed in 2009, is now the only African-American cabinet member. Meanwhile, with the nation’s economic woes and joblessness disparately impacting AfricanAmericans and Latinos, some Black leaders see the SBA as a good place to start. Though Black joblessness has slowly subsided over the past year, it remains in double digits and remains twice that of White unemployment, which is constantly below the national average. Economic experts, including Johns, have stressed that small business growth is the single greatest en-
“During her tenure as SBA Deputy Administrator, Marie Johns has been instrumental in strengthening America’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by increasing global competitiveness and strategic alliances among small businesses, specifically within communities of color. Ron Busby
President of the U.S. Black Chamber of Commerce gine of the economy.
More Johns support The letter credits Johns with major progress in five key areas. They are: Advocacy: In part, the letter describes her as “one of the strongest advocates in the federal government for small businesses overall, as well as for small businesses owned by racial and ethnic minorities.” Access to capital: In part, it credits her as having led process improvements for the Community Loan Advantage and 7(a) Loan Programs as well as assisted Community Development Financial In-
stitutions (CDFIs) as well as women and minority-owned Banking Institutions in becoming SBA Lenders. Contracting: She is, in part, credited with streamlining the request for proposals process by “reducing the amount of paperwork required to do business with the federal government”. Entrepreneur training: The letter states that SBA District Offices, SCORE, Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, U.S. Export Assistance Centers, Veteran’s Business Outreach Centers, the Procurement & Technical Assistance Center, and the E200 Emerging Leader Initia-
tive, have maintained a wealth of resources for growing sustainable enterprises. “Marie Johns has been a champion for ensuring that these options remain present in the underserved communities that need them the most.” Chamber and Trade Association Development: “Thanks to introductions and connections made by Deputy Administrator Johns, organizations such as the U.S. Black Chamber, Inc., the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the National 8(a) Association, the U.S. Pan Asian American Association, the Native American Contractors Association, and the National Bankers Association, are working more closely together to secure more opportunities, capital sources, and access to new financial markets,” the letter states.
Morial weighs in Both Johns and current Chief Administrator Karen Mills are slated to leave the administration this term. That announcement caused alarm within the minority business community, which credits Johns for her hands-on approach and sensitivity to their struggle. “I know Marie Johns. I have great respect for Marie Johns. I think Marie Johns would make a tremendous SBA director,” said Marc Morial, president/CEO of the National Urban League. “Naturally our collective organizations are concerned about the continuity of progress made in the small and microenterprise communities going forward,” the letter states. “Given the tangible results yielded under the leadership of Deputy Administrator Marie Johns, we strongly support her nomination to be the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration.” Morial, the convener of major civil rights organizations since Obama’s re-election, said he has “weighed in” with the Obama Administration on the general need for diversity. “I believe that diversity in the Cabinet is important,” Morial said. “A qualified candidate like Marie Johns is a good way to approach it.”
Saving more – and planning – not a top priority in survey BY BECKY YERAK CHICAGO TRIBUNE/MCT
Melody Sucharda, a certified public accountant with a master’s degree in taxation, always makes the maximum contribution to her 401(k) plan. Married with no children, the corporate tax manager also has some savings set aside for emergencies. Still, the Wauconda, Ill., resident, 42, sees room for improvement in her finances. “I would like to put a little more into savings this year,” said Sucharda, noting that much of the couple’s short-term cushion was wiped out in recent years after a failed business investment.
When it comes to striving to save, Sucharda is in the minority, a recent survey shows. Only 46 percent of respondents in a PNC Financial Services Group Inc. survey said they planned to increase their savings and investing this year. What’s more, these are savvier consumers. The survey consisted of 1,020 U.S. adults ages 35 to 70, with more than $100,000 in investable assets. A quarter of the sample had more than $1 million in investable assets. “People are finding it easier to develop habits devoted to physical fitness than financial fitness,” said Stephen Pappaterra, PNC’s head of wealth planning.
Not enough Of respondents to the survey, 19 percent believe they are doing better than expected on saving for retirement; 47 percent believe they’re where they need to be. Worker savings remain modest, and many retirees — and people approaching retirement — haven’t socked away enough to provide themselves a comfortable standard of living after they quit working, PNC and others have found. Fewer than half of Americans have tried to calculate how much money they’ll need for retirement, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, a nonprofit focused on eco-
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D A T A A N D M E S S A G E R A T E S M A Y A P P LY.
What is “chained” CPI?
As a way to save the federal government money, President Obama wants to change the way cost-of- living (COLA) adjustments for Social Security benefits are calculated so they would rise more slowly. How the current CPI compares to “chained” CPI:
• Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures the average change in prices for a fixed set of 80,000 goods and services
• Reflects shifts in consumer buying habits among 211 categories of goods and services*; grows more slowly than CPI
• CPI overstates how quickly prices rise, so government pays too much for COLA increases • Chained CPI could cut about $230 billion from Social Security COLA increases over 10 years, advocates say
*Chained CPI calculation adjusts if, for example, consumers switch from steak to cheaper chicken; because of this reaction to spending, chained CPI rises more slowly than CPI
• How the government applies CPI Social Security, military and federal worker retirement, poverty levels, much of the tax code are automatically adjusted for inflation Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, McClatchy Washington Bureau © 2012 MCT Graphic: Judy Treible, Robert Dorrell
nomic security issues. Sucharda has contributed to a 401(k) at every job since college. She said, however, that she can do a better job of living within her means. “We have a bad habit of buying things we may not need because they’re a good deal,” she said. The mortgage from the home they bought in 2006 is also hindering them from putting more into savings. “We can’t refinance since the market value has declined,” Sucharda said.
Living within means In the PNC survey, 43 percent said their best financial moves include putting as much as they could into retirement plans, as Sucharda has, while 15 percent say living within their means is their best plan of action. Chris Hartrich and his wife both grew up in the Chicago area but moved to Neenah, Wis., about three years ago for his insurance job. They have four children, with two in college and one a senior in high school. Partly through budgeting and limiting discretionary spending, they consid-
er their financial condition “healthy,” having been able to finance their kids’ college educations and still save for retirement. Hartrich said he worked with a financial adviser last summer and said he’ll probably continue to do so every other year to get feedback on the family’s financial planning. In the PNC survey, 43 percent of respondents said they planned to meet with a financial planner in 2013. “As a CPA with some good experience in investing, I thought I would not need a financial planner,” he said. “But an objective look at what we were doing was a valuable exercise.” While only 46 percent of PNC survey respondents said they planned to boost their saving and investing, 70 percent said they planned to exercise more.
Health-care costs Hartrich’s wife, a nurse, says increasing his exercise “would be more valuable than increasing our savings” partly because “the biggest unknown as I approach my 60th birthday is health-care costs in retirement.” Getting in better physi-
Comparing the indexes Annual percent change in inflation indexes
’01 ’03 ’05 ’07
cal shape now might mitigate future medical costs, he said. But the couple has also stepped up their contributions to their 401(k) plans in the past year. Hartrich said he also had the good fortune earlier in his career to work for companies that offered pension plans. “So at age 65 I expect to receive pensions from three different organizations,” he said. The couple is unsure when they’ll retire but have begun shifting assets from stock funds into more conservative fixed-income funds. They’re trying to pay off their mortgage as fast as they can, and the move to Wisconsin might hasten that goal. “When we moved up here we were able to purchase a much less expensive home so that freed up some assets for college costs,” he said. PNC’s survey findings had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. The online survey, done in January and designed by Artemis Strategy Group, represents about a fifth of U.S. households.
APRIL 12 – APRIL 18, 2013
Smashed Potato Bar Yield: 4 servings 2 pounds Florida potatoes, washed and quartered 1/2 cup milk, warmed 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1/2 cup plain yogurt or light sour cream Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste Place potatoes into a soup pot and add water until they are completely covered. Lightly salt water and place over medium high heat. Cook potatoes for 15 to 25 minutes until they are soft, but not falling apart. Carefully drain the water and return them to the pot they were cooked in. Kids Can: Use a potato masher to achieve desired texture, being careful not to work the potatoes too much. Kids Can: Add milk, butter and yogurt to mashed potatoes. Stir ingredients to combine. Taste mashed potatoes and season them with salt and pepper. Add any extra flavorings or toppings and serve warm. Potato Bar Toppings Low fat yogurt or low fat sour cream Chives/scallions Cheese Bacon bits Fresh herbs Sun-dried tomatoes Lemon Chef Justin’s Tips Use a combination of purple, yellow and red potatoes to make multi-colored mashed potatoes. Leave the skin on the potatoes for extra nutrients. Don’t over-mash the potatoes; overworking can cause them to become gummy. Potato and Green Bean Salad Yield: 10 servings 1/2 pound Florida green beans, washed, ends trimmed and cut into thirds 2 pounds Florida potatoes, washed, peeled and diced large 1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise 2 lemons, juiced 1/4 cup olive oil 3 bell peppers, seeded and diced small 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped fine 1red onion, diced small Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste Kids Can: Snap the ends off the beans and break them into thirds. Fill medium-sized mixing bowl halfway with ice and water; set aside. Fill large sized stock pot 3/4 full with lightly salted water. Bring to rolling boil over medium-high heat. Add green beans to boiling water and let cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Using a hand strainer, remove green beans from boiling water and place into the ice water to stop them from cooking. After the green beans have cooled down, remove them from the ice water and set aside. Carefully add cut potatoes to same boiling water greens beans were cooked in. Cook potatoes in boiling water for around 15 minutes, depending on size. Once tender, drain and rinse with cold water. Kids Can: In large mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, lemon juice and olive oil. Stir the mayonnaise mixture to combine. Add all of the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and lightly stir to combine all flavors. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Keep potato salad cold in the refrigerator and stir before serving on favorite greens.
Super Spuds Florida potatoes are a good source of potassium (for your muscles and growth), vitamin B6 (to help fight illness and help your nerves function), and fiber (for digestion). Most of the nutrients are right under the skin — leave the skin on whenever possible.
Pass the potatoes, FROM Family Features
Chef Justin Timineri
French fries are one of a kid’s favorite things to eat. But there’s a whole lot more that can be made from delicious, nutritious potatoes. “I love the versatility of Florida potatoes,” said Chef Justin Timineri, Executive Chef and Culinary Ambassador, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. “There are so many different kinds of potatoes that can be flavored in just about any way you like. Get the kids into the kitchen with you and experiment with making potato dishes the whole family will enjoy.” You can find more recipes that will have the kids saying, “Pass the potatoes, please!” at http://bit.ly/flpotato.
Roasted Campfire Pockets Yield: 4 servings 20 Florida fingerling potatoes, sliced thin 1 large onion, sliced 2 bell peppers, sliced 2 cups mushrooms, sliced 2 tablespoons fresh herbs, chopped fine (basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary) 2 tablespoons olive oil Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat, or an oven at 375°F. In medium sized mixing bowl combine potatoes, onion, bell peppers, mushrooms, herbs and olive oil. Stir ingredients to combine and season lightly with salt and pepper. Make 4 12 x 12-inch squares of aluminum foil and lay them out to be stuffed. Place a chicken breast in the middle of each foil square, and lightly season with salt and pepper. Evenly distribute vegetable mixture on top of each chicken breast. Fold each packet so that a tight seal is formed and all the food is contained. Grill packets, or bake them in the oven, for 20 to 30 minutes until internal temperature of chicken reaches 165°F. Remove packets from heat and let cool slightly. Open packets carefully as hot steam may rush out. Kids Can: Help slice veggies and stuff their pockets with their favorites.
Homemade Potato Chips Yield: 4 servings 4 medium Florida fingerling potatoes, unpeeled (mixed colors) 1 tablespoon olive oil Pan release spray Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste Additional seasonings (see below) Special equipment needed: French mandolin Preheat oven to 425°F. Rinse and dry potatoes. Slice potatoes as thin as possible with a mandolin. Place sliced potatoes in medium sized mixing bowl and rinse several times with warm water. Lightly squeeze and dry potatoes. Kids Can: Place sliced potatoes back in a dry mixing bowl and add olive oil. Toss potatoes to make sure they are evenly coated with the oil, using a little more oil if needed. Lightly spray a cookie sheet with pan release spray. Lay sliced potatoes in a single layer on cookie sheet. Place cookie sheet in oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Remove cookie sheet from oven and let cool slightly. Use a thin spatula to remove potato chips from cookie sheet into a mixing bowl. Kids Can: While they are still warm, season chips with their choice of seasoning. Potato Chip Seasonings Garlic-Parmesan; Fresh herbs; Your favorite dried spice mix (Greek, Cajun, BBQ)
APRIL 12 – APRIL 18, 2013
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Jackson lawsuit against AEG expected to take over four months
Halle Berry is Jordan Turner in her latest film “The Call.” The Academy Awardwinning actress recently learned she is pregnant with her second child.
BY JEFF GOTTLIEB LOS ANGELES TIMES/MCT
GREG GAYNE/ COURTESY OF TRISTAR PICTURES/ MCT
Halle Berry surprised about her pregnancy EURWEB.COM
Working with Kors
Halle Berry admits she was a little taken aback upon finding out she was with child for the second time at age 46. “I feel fantastic. This has been the biggest surprise of my life to tell you the truth,” said Berry in an interview with CNN’s Alina Cho. The Academy Awardwinning actress and fiancé Olivier Martinez are expecting their first child together. “I thought I was kind of past the point where this could be a reality for me. So it’s been a big surprise and the most wonderful,” the actress said.
In the interview, Berry said she did not know if she was having boy, as some other media outlets have reported. Berry has been engaged to Martinez, 47, a French actor, for more than a year. Berry also has a daughter, Nahla, 5, with her exboyfriend, Canadian model Gabriel Aubry. She waged a difficult custody battle with Aubry when she wanted to move with Nahla to France. The estranged couple reached a settlement in November. Berry’s CNN interview also touched on her work with designer Michael Kors and the U.N. World Food Programme to fight hunger.
LOS ANGELES — The lawsuit filed by Michael Jackson’s mother and children blaming entertainment giant AEG for the singer’s death is expected to take more than four months to try, the judge said last week. The length of the trial was the court’s first concern as jury selection began on April 4 in a downtown courtroom where Jackson’s towering legacy will be pitted against a business enterprise that has had a profound influence on the entertainment scene in Los Angeles. Thirty-five potential jurors were brought into Superior Court Judge Yvette M. Palazuelos’ courtroom and given a questionnaire to see who could take that much time from their personal and work lives. A second panel of 35 was scheduled to be given the same questionnaire.
Big pool of jurors Groups of jurors will continue to be brought in each day until a pool of 80 to 100 people has been chosen. From that group, attorneys will select 12 jurors and five alternates who will decide the case. Attorneys estimate that jury selection alone could take two to three weeks.
MARK BOSTER/LOS ANGELES TIMES/MCT
Katherine Jackson leaves the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Los Angeles on Nov. 7, 2011, after jurors found Dr. Conrad Murray guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of her son, Michael Jackson. Mrs. Jackson and Michael’s kids now are suing AEG relating to the pop icon’s death. More than 60 news organizations from countries including Japan, France, Germany and Australia have asked for seats to cover the trial, according to Pat Kelly, a court spokeswoman. There is space for roughly 10 reporters in the courtroom. Last week, Palazuelos heard a motion from CNN asking that the cable network be allowed to broadcast the trial live. The judge has not ruled
Real Housewives’ drama update: Kordell says Porsha was party girl FROM WIRE REPORTS
Porsha and Kordell Stewart seemed a near perfect pair on “Real Housewives of Atlanta.” But that
on the motion.
Hiring of Murray The suit filed by Katherine Jackson, Michael Joseph Jackson Jr., Paris-Michael Katherine Jackson and Prince Michael Jackson II, alleges that AEG negligently hired and supervised Dr. Conrad Murray, who — in an attempt to help the singer sleep — gave him a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol.
suddenly changed when the brighteyed reality star Porsha was served divorce papers. In new documents, Kordell says that Porsha stays out all night, partying and then calls the police to get her into the house they both share. The former Pittsburgh Steelers football player claims that Porsha has called the police twice to let her into the house, though she has a key. Kordell claims he only locks the house at night for security purposes.
They say that AEG pushed Jackson to prepare for a tour that he was not physically up to. AEG says that it was Jackson’s decision to hire Murray and that the company recommended a British doctor. Jackson died in 2009, two weeks before his “This Is It” tour was scheduled to begin in London. Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2011.
He claims the real problem is Porsha frequently leaves home for several days straight … and sometimes comes back between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. smelling like alcohol. He also claims that she’s neglecting her responsibilities, including caring for her stepson. Kordell wants the court to deny Porsha temporary support because she’s a celeb with her own money.
A Eurweb.com article was used in this report.
APRIL 12 – APRIL 18, 2013