VOL. 2 Edition Nu mb er 26
April 10, 2010
Willie Veasley # 21
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“Communicating to Communities Nationwide.”
Butler University’s Willie Veasley Jr.
Page 1 The Populace Now
What’s Inside This Issue? •
Moving Forward pg. 1
Doing it Big Willie Style pg. 2
One Women’s Opinion II pg. 3
The New Credit Card Laws pg. 4
Nine Myths About Socialism in the US pg.5
Fallen Black Male Heroes pg. 6
Patrick A. Sellers Publisher Bobbie Collins Editor-In-Chief Lee Dixon Webmaster Contributors Buffy Griffin, Bill Quigley, Jim Neusom, J.J. Fletcher William Vann, Bobbie Collins and Patrick Sellers
Moving Forward By Bobbie Collins, An Illinois Correspondent
Yesterday, I again watched the movie, "A Time To Kill." Those who've seen this heart-wrenching film may recall that the lawyer's summation at the end of the trial required the 12 jurors to close their eyes during the description of a horrible criminal attack on a 10-year old girl. The unexpected request at the conclusion: imagine the little girl was white. This request changed the outcome for the defendant. As I watched, I was reminded again that we live in a world where color is still part of the criteria on which some human beings are perceived different and don't measure up. Unfairly or not, judgment that labels and describes is still based on skin color. And the darker the skin, the clearer the fact that there is no getting away from discussing this obvious difference.
There are those who ask that we forget such a difference. And individuals such as myself, who mention color, are even seen as trouble-makers, stirring the pot of controversy. But I can recall the years of my youth, when white friends expressed curiosity and we freely discussed hair and traditions and food differences and much more. This didn't keep us from being friends. Rather, it contributed to our understanding and affection for one another. And so it continues to be, that as adults, such discussions should bring us closer and make us willing to do more than tolerate one another. Publisher Patrick Sellers and I have had discussions about the mission and purpose of The Populace Now. And one of the things we both agree heartily on is
that readers will get an inside look into the point of view of blacks, on various issues. To walk a mile in someone's shoes requires that we know what those shoes are like. TPN is designed to allow candid looks into the black experience, so that walls of division can be broken down (for those who wish it so). We are finding that our readers from here to Czechoslovakia to England to Norway and all points between, desire to know more about these "shoes." This is a welcome, refreshing change.
Page 2 The Populace Now
Doing It Big Willie Style By Patrick Sellers, An Illinois Correspondents
Words cannot begin to express the feelings of joy and pride that I had when I heard the announcer say “and at guard for the Butler Bulldogs a 6’3” senior from Freeport, IL Willie Veasley.” Although I watched a vast majority of his games throughout his career, this last game took on a whole new meaning because I had a chance to watch his dream come true. It was an awesome experience for me just to watch, but just imagine how it felt to be Willie Veasley Jr. All the hard work and dedication he had to put in for this defining moment, every bench press, every squat, every line drill, every defensive slide every drop of sweat that has ever fell from his body was given in pursuit of this one moment. It’s what every young basketball player dreams of; coming out of nowhere, defying the odds and playing on one of the largest stages in all of sports. Although the Bulldogs came up just 3 points shy of beating the Duke Blue Devils and winning the NCAA national championship, Willie competed against the best that college basketball had to offer and he will always be a champion.
What really makes Willie so special is not that fact that he is a great basketball player, but the fact that he is such a great kid; so this could not have happened to a nicer person. Here we have a hometown kid, never in trouble, always respectful, attends school faithfully and helps to lead his team to the NCAA National Championship game sounds like the makings of great movie to me. There is no doubt in my mind that Willie is definitely a role model for young and old alike. No matter what the future holds for Willie Veasley Jr., whether professional basketball or corporate America, he will always be a winner. The Populace Now is extremely proud of Willie
Veasley Jr. and would like to congratulate him on a remarkable career at Butler University. We would also like to thank him for the many years of excitement that he has given us. “Keep on Doing It Big Willie Style!”
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One Woman's Opinion II By Bobbie Collins, An Illinois Correspondent
Let's take a look today at two things that are (for many) tied together: skin color and social desirability. First, skin color. Black history, black culture, black empowerment, black heritage, black power. These are terms I've heard in some form all my life. Where I live, small town U.S.A., I rarely hear words like these anymore. Is that because black power stirs up negative memories on both racial sides? For blacks, a by-gone era, that of the 60's when civil rights marches and sit-ins gained hard-fought changes that culminated in the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. For some whites, the same two words could be negative, stirring fears that manifested themselves in riots, non-violent demonstrations that led to beatings, jailings, hotly contested debates. So "let sleeping dogs lie" may be what both sides wish, no longer wanting to shake things up on behalf of racial understanding Yet, I for one have had no skin color change. So skin color remains at the forefront many of my considerations. For many of us, life still is (so to speak), in black and white. Because many of my life and work experiences have not let me forget it, matters of treatment and fairness and reaction cannot so easily be swept under the rug. My very existence and survival have in fact, depended on knowing the importance of my color. It has at times required that I try harder or put more thought into the strategies of job seeking and relationship building. I believe it is not overstating to say, the skin I live in has affected the quality of life I have led. As I mentioned in Issue 23 of this newsletter, black pride is what I and many others feel, because it is the only experience we've ever known. When others swell with pride because of their ethnicity and cultural experiences in the past, blacks have been made to feel there is no such reason to be proud. The failures of some, the criminal and prison statis-
tics, and so forth, are instead paraded before us. I believe that for decades, it has been the common experience of unrelated, decent-living, law-abiding blacks, to dread watching the evening news, for fear that a photo of a black person will pop up on screen--complete with physical description for once again being a crime perpetrator. Just as it is true that, "You don't choose your family," you also have no say-so about what racial group you're born into. And so, taking that into account, let's take a quick historical look back: in my lifetime, my racial group has been called (by persons outside my race): Negras, Negroes, Niggers, coloreds, "boy"/"girl" (when addressing grown men & women, especially in the South), blacks, African-Americans, and persons of color. Yet, our outward uniqueness (a double-edged sword) has been the cause of great suffering and the reason for much achievement and creativity, forced to the surface and coveted by many worldly citizens. This brings me to the second topic: social desirability. Born and raised in America, it is my home. I know no other. I have remained here; a black, a minority in a country who's laws sometimes were created to restrict or prevent mine and my ancestor's freedoms. These laws were later changed but not without the great price of human lives and personal sacrifice. As I reside in America, keeping as quiet about my color as anyone can with so obvious a calling card, I have watched and observed for more than half a century. Never able to fully assimilate, there was never a question of achieving the anonymity that others may have. Fortunately, my journey through life has brought me in contact with many who validated my God-given gifts and talents, as I struggled with identity. As a black person, I have watched white men stare at white women (young, middleaged, and older), with adoration and
sometimes with lust. Chance glances on my part have shown me that I was not anywhere in the league of my white female counterparts. Often not because those females were smarter or possessed more savvy or personality, but simply because they met that European standard of beauty. Tall, petite, lean, curvy, blonde or brunette; blue-eyed, hazel-eyed, with long straight or wavy locks of hair, my femaleness never made it to the table of consideration for dates, social events, or even conversation with most white men. These are simply my own observances. Over time, even the features of my black sisters with Caucasian facial features due to white ancestry, has been flashed before the black sisters who kept the wide, blunt noses and full lips of their African ancestors. Even when compared with black runway models and Hollywood actresses, we have long been left in their dust. And standing on the sidelines, we were left to raise ourselves up "by our boot straps" or pumps by having great personalities or earning college degrees. Our inner beauty unheeded and undesired, has often left us the last to be chosen. With the advent of much black male/ white female socializing, I have been made to feel like the kid in school nobody chooses when the softball or other sports teams are choosing sides. To be left feeling invisible or like a non-entity leads to at least one conclusion: "Don't I measure up or aren't I good enough because of the darkness of my skin or because I was not born one of the "Beautiful People?" May the discussion continue beyond this article. And as always, you can get in on the d i s c u s s i o n a t : www.thepopulacenow.com. Love to hear what your thoughts are and what your experience has been.
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The New Credit Card Laws By Buffy Griffin, A North Carolina Correspondent
The Credit CARD Act of 2009 was signed into law May 22, 2009 by President Obama and most of the new laws went into effect on February 22/2010 with only a few that will take affect in August and December this year. Below are the five titles and a brief summary of the three that has everyone talking. Title I. Consumer Protection Increased rates on existing balances are can occur if/when promotional rates expire, there is a variable rate, or when the cardholder makes a late payment. Increased rates on new transactions can not occur until after the first year. Also, a 45 day notice must be given prior to any significant changes within any terms on an account. For those with bad credit, initial fees will no longer exceed 25 percent of the available credit limit within the first year of the application agreement. However, high interest rates may be applied by the card issuer. Consumers are able to opt in or out of over the limit fees. When choosing to opt out, purchases that exceed their card limit will be denied processing. Fees must be within reason that are applied to those who opt in. Consumers may also opt out
of changes in terms to their account. If the choice is made to opt out, the account may/will be closed giving the consumer upto 5 years to pay the balance under the original contract terms. Card issuers must provide sufficient time for cardholders to make monthly payments after each bill has been mailed. Finance charges on an outstanding balance will apply to current charges only (no more double billing). Title II. Enhanced Consumer Disclosures Card issuers must make the cardholder aware (disclose) the consequences of making minimum payments each month, like how long it will take to pay the balance and how much is to be paid each month if they want to pay off their balance (including the interest) in 36 months. Cardholder accounts with various interest rates for different types of purchases such as ATM withdrawals and cash advances will have payments applied to the higher interest rates first. Credit card balances will no longer have raised interest rates due to any late payments to other agencies such as gas and power companies, etc. Any payment falling due on a holiday, weekend or any days that the card issuer is closed will not be subject to late fees.
Title III. Protection of Young Consumers Individuals under the age of 21 will have to show proof that their income is sufficient to pay the balance, if not, an adult co-signer will be required. Title IV. Gift Cards Sec. 401. General-use prepaid cards, gift certificates, and store gift cards. Sec. 402. Relation to State laws. Sec. 403. Effective date. Title V. Miscellaneous Provisions Sec. 501. Study and report on interchange fees. Sec. 502. Board review of consumer credit plans and regulations. Here (http://bit.ly/aN6OG) is a short link to the fact sheet at www.whitehouse.gov for the credit card Act.
Page 5 The Populace Now
Nine Myths about Socialism in the US By Bill Quigley, A Louisiana Correspondent
Bill Quigley is Legal Director at the Center for Constitutional Rights and law professor at Loyola University New Orleans. Bill has litigated numerous cases with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., the Advancement Project, and with the ACLU of Louisiana, for which he served as General Counsel for over 15 years. here is a version of this article with footnotes for those interested. Quiley77@gmail.com Glenn Beck and other far right multimillionaires are claiming that the US is hot on the path towards socialism. Part of their claim is that the US is much more generous and supportive of our working and poor people than other countries. People may wish it was so, but it is not. As Senator Patrick Moynihan used to say “Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. But everyone is not entitled to their own facts.”
middle class and poor behind since the 1980s. Myth #2. The US already has the greatest health care system in the world. Infant mortality in the US is 4th worst among OECD countries – better only than Mexico, Turkey and the Slovak Republic. Myth #3. There is less poverty in the US than anywhere.
The fact is that the US is not really all that generous to our working and poor people compared to other countries.
Child poverty in the US, at over 20% or one out of every five kids, is double the average of the 30 OECD countries.
Consider the US in comparison to the rest of the 30 countries that join the US in making up the OECD – the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. These 30 countries include Canada and most comparable European countries but also include some struggling countries like Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Korea, Mexico, Poland, Slovak Republic, and Turkey. See www.oecd.org
Myth #4. The US is generous in its treatment of families with children.
When you look at how the US compares to these 30 countries, the hot air myths about the US government going all out towards socialism sort of disappear into thin air. Here are some examples of myths that do not hold up. Myth #1. The US government is involved in class warfare attacking the rich to lift up the poor. There is a class war going on all right. But it is the rich against the rest of us and the rich are winning. The gap between the rich and everyone else is wider in the US than any of the 30 other countries surveyed. In fact, the top 10% in the US have a higher annual income than any other country. And the poorest 10% in the US are below the average of the other OECD countries. The rich in the U.S. have been rapidly leaving the
The US ranks in the bottom half of countries in terms of financial benefits for families with children. Over half of the 30 OECD countries pay families with children cash benefits regardless of the income of the family. Some among those countries (e.g. Austria, France and Germany) pay additional benefits if the family is low-income, or one of the parents is unemployed. Myth #5. The US is very supportive of its workers. The US gives no paid leave for working mothers having children. Every single one of the other 30 OECD countries has some form of paid leave. The US ranks dead last in this. Over two thirds of the countries give some form of paid paternity leave. The US also gives no paid leave for fathers. In fact, it is only workers in the US who have no guaranteed days of paid leave at all. Korea is the next lowest to the US and it has a minimum of 8 paid annual days of leave. Most of the other 30 countries require a minimum of 20 days of annual paid leave for their workers.
Myth #6. Poor people have more chance of becoming rich in the US than anywhere else. Social mobility (how children move up or down the economic ladder in comparison with their parents) in earnings, wages and education tends to be easier in Australia, Canada and Nordic countries like Denmark, Norway, and Finland, than in the US. That means more of the rich stay rich and more of the poor stay poor here in the US. Myth #7. The US spends generously on public education. In terms of spending for public education, the US is just about average among the 30 countries of the OECD. Educational achievement of US children, however, is 7th worst in the OECD. On public spending for childcare and early education, the US is in the bottom third. Myth #8. The US government is redistributing income from the rich to the poor. There is little redistribution of income by government in the U.S. in part because spending on social benefits like unemployment and family benefits is so low. Of the 30 countries in the OECD, only in Korea is the impact of governmental spending lower. Myth #9. The US generously gives foreign aid to countries across the world. The US gives the smallest percentage of aid of any of the developed countries in the OECD. In 2007 the US was tied for last with Greece. In 2008, we were tied for last with Japan. Despite the opinions of right wing folks, the facts say the US is not on the path towards socialism. But if socialism means the US would go down the path of being more generous with our babies, our children, our working families, our pregnant mothers, and our sisters and brothers across the world, I think we could all appreciate it.
Page 6 The Populace Now
Fallen Black Male Heroes By William Vann, A Michigan Correspondent
cheat? What is their excuse? Bill Cosby, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan seemed to be happy people on television as they shared many successful events with America. However, behind the scenes did money rein in their personal lives? For instance, when Civil Rights Leader Jesse Jackson fathered a child out of wed-lock, he pampered child and mother with a 400,000/month Former Washington, D.C. Mayor Marion Berry spending allowance. The list continues with former if at all found by the Europeans who D.C. Mayor Marion Barry who was not only Since slavery, there has been an compared Christianity with traditional caught with a prostitute; he was also unspoken norm of black males having African religions, for an excuse to encaught on tape smoking crack. babies without supporting them. Could slave. this be because 300 or 400 years ago How might these gentlemen and we the slave masters took care of the chilAnother factor that can be examined ourselves dren and now is who upholds moral values the most respond to the welfare sys- “Whether a poor black man or a rich when it comes to fidelity in marriage. Is John 4:7tem is the modit the rich who can buy anything they 41, where a ern-day slave black man, sexual outlets practiced want, including people? Is it the middle woman posimaster? Anclass husband and wife who carry the tioned herself other unspoken since slavery need to be examined burden of paying taxes and fit to be at the norm since slavthe scenario of a family home, a white well at a cerery has been and dealt with.” picket fence, 2.5 children and a station tain time the black fewagon in the garage? Last but not when most women would not come? Did male weaving her way in and out of least, is it the poor female, who finds it the wives of these superstars and famous white society because she possesses better to remain single in order people not position themselves to come non- threatening attributes and perto receive welfare benefits than to get when other women did at a certain haps unwittingly uses this as a power time? What would they say about Luke tool against the black man. married and lose those benefits? 7:36-50, a woman who was known to be a prostitute and scorned for washing JeBecause the white society can see According to Kinnon (2003), “In sus’ feet? Jesus mentioned that because and use the black man and women as 1963, when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. of her particular sin, she would love Him two distinct entities (one against the gave his 'I Have a Dream' speech, more more for forgiving her. other), especially with the quota system than 70 percent of all Black families in business and government, there will were married couples, with male heads Whether a poor black man or a rich always be the communication gap of of households. In 2002 that number black man, sexual outlets practiced since her being able to serve the white sociwas 48 percent.” Whatever is going on slavery need to be examined and dealt ety more gracefully than that of her needs to be addressed and addressed with. Before slavery, West Africans prachusband or boyfriend. Because surin a timely fashion, as more Africanticed polygamy, the marrying of more vival is at the top of the list of many American households are being headed than one wife. Both European explorers African-American females, they cannot by single parents, causing many detriand slave traders noted that the black and will not serve a man who cannot mental issues to surface that hinder us women from the Gold Coast showed no provide for his family. In this day and from being the people we once were. signs of social disease and most married, age, that may mean earning more than going straight to their husband's house $45, 000 per year, per household. from the father's home. Rape, incest and domestic abuse was looked for but rarely What about rich black men who After seeing Tiger Woods on television addressing the issue of adultery, I asked myself the question, "Do people in power think that they are God?" "Are they on another planet?" There is a long list of famous African-American heroes who have fallen from grace. And the most reoccurring issue or thread these powerful black men all have in common, is adultery. I know that it takes two to tango. And I know that some of these men do not want to be looked at as a role model. Taboo subject or not, we as African-Americans must open up the dialogue when it comes to black males expressing themselves sexually.
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