Public policy after Hurricane Harvey
Hurricane Harvey did everything people said it would do, and more.
‘Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat’
I don't often write about comedians, but the recent passing of my friend Dick Gregory reminded me of the very important role that comedians play in our lives. Not that Gregory was simply a comedian. He was so much more than that—a civil rights activist, leader, amazing speaker, holistic health practitioner. It was in thinking of him that I picked up the book, “Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat,” a hot, relatively new comedian who uses her dysfunctional early life as fodder for her comedy.
Confederate statues fall, but economic racism lingers
Cheers to New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, one of the first mayors to take Confederate statues down and to make the strong point that these statues represent nothing but oppression. You should check out the speech he delivered, in May at MarketWatch.com.
Black women strive daily to fight unequal treatment
Lots of women’s organizations commemorate Equal Pay Day, which this year was April 5. It meant that women, in general, would have had to work all of 2016, and until April 5, 2017, to earn the same amount of money that a man earned in 2016. Few will recognize July 31, 2017, which is the day by which African American women will have to work to earn the same money a man earned last year—seven extra months! A Latina woman will work until October, or nearly 10 extra months, to earn the same money a man earned.
Hugh Price’s African American Life: Lessons and blessings
Hugh Price was the seventh leader (from 1994 through 2002) of the National Urban League, the civil rights organization founded in 1910 to help African American migrants assimilate into urban life, to provide opportunities for urban migrants, and to eliminate segregation in our nation. Price, an attorney, activist, writer, and foundation executive was well-suited for that work, for which he may be best known, but Urban League work is only part of his legacy. Price is scheduled to share his reflective autobiography “This African American Life” (Blair, 2017) during the National Urban League convention that began yesterday, July 26, in St. Louis. I’m sure that many of his colleagues will enjoy his reflections, much as I did, when I read his book.
Is there no decency?
During the 2016 presidential campaign, our 45th president once promised that he would be “so presidential that it will be boring.” If only. Instead, he has managed to irk even his Republican allies by wallowing in the muck of name-calling, yet again, belittling a woman for her looks. Morning Joe host Mika Brzezinski, “45” tweeted, was still “bleeding from her facelift” when he saw her during the New Year’s holiday. He also disparaged Brzezinski’s intelligence and poked fun at her co-host Joe Scarborough. Dozens of Republicans, including leaders like House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), have scolded the president on his language in the June 29 tweets. Some have used terms like “civility” and “decency” to distance themselves from his comments.
On courtesy—Race, gender and the 45 defensive
Courtesy flew out of the window in Washington parlance a long time ago. The minute a deranged congressman stood up and hollered, “you lie” at a sitting president (this was South Carolina Republican Rep. Joe Wilson yelling at former President Barack Obama), we knew that courtesy had taken a vacation.
‘Devoid’ at Bethune Cookman University: We must be the Resistance
I could not be more proud of the students at Bethune Cookman University than if I had raised them myself. Responding to the university’s very late selection of Betsy DeVos (hereafter referred to as DeVoid, as she is devoid of good sense, history, literacy, and even courtesy) for the spring commencement speaker, graduating seniors chose to turn their back on a woman who described HBCUs as “pioneers of school choice.” Their repudiation of her very right to be present was well coordinated.
Who’s afraid of a shrill conservative?
The shrill conservative Ann Coulter has made headlines because the University of California Berkeley, wouldn’t let her speak at the end of April. Invited by college Republicans, her appearance threatened to incite violence, as activists on the left and on the right prepared to either protest or support her appearance.
From factor to failure: What Black leaders can learn from the O’Reilly debacle
Former Fox News channel anchor Bill O’Reilly, the man whose lofty ratings were responsible for the growth of the network, is no longer on the air. Revelations that $13 million had been paid, either by O’Reilly or the network, to women who said they had been sexually harassed repelled millions, some of whom protested outside Fox headquarters and took to the airwaves with their complaints. But it is unlikely that protests or complaints moved Fox to separate themselves from O’Reilly. Instead, it is most likely that the network severed ties with O’Reilly, because advertisers did not want to be associated with a program anchored by a man who seemed to find nothing wrong with sexual harassment.