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Julianne Malveaux

Stories by Julianne

Counting the Cost

Public policy after Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey did everything people said it would do, and more.

Counting The Cost

‘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.

Counting the Cost

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.

Counting The Cost

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.

Counting The Cost

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.

Counting the Cost

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.

Counting the Cost

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.

Counting the Cost

‘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.

Counting the Cost

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.

Counting the Cost

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.

Counting the Cost

I won’t be silenced by the solar industry

The solar industry wants me to be quiet. I wonder why? As a journalist and political commentator, who covers issues important to the African American community and other marginalized communities, I have taken on powerful forces over the years. I have provided a voice for underrepresented communities and engaged both the private and public sector, and I always strive to be accurate and respectful. After all, how can I demand civility and fairness from others, if I don’t practice it myself?

Counting the Cost

The March unemployment report offers mixed news

Our 45th president has had no trouble claiming the good employment news reported for January and February of this year. In those jobs reports, released on the first Friday of the month, we saw unemployment rates of 4.8 and 4.7 percent. In both of those months, more than 200,000 jobs were created. Forty-five crowed that this data showed how successful his presidency had been, even though he had barely kept his seat in the Oval Office warm, and even though he had done nothing, from a policy perspective, to stake his claim on progress that could only have come from the economic recovery engineered by his predecessor, President Barack Obama.

Counting the Cost

Trump’s budget cuts hurt the same people that voted for him

If you happened to have voted for the man who now occupies the White House, you may be feeling bamboozled, right about now. The man who said that he wanted to take care of the little people, those who were forgotten by the elites, now wants to cut programs that affect these working-class people, ranging from Legal Aid to Meals on Wheels to housing assistance to job training. He would cut the Environmental Protection Agency by more than 31 percent, leaving more than 3000 workers in the cold. Many of his other budget provisions will call for federal reductions-in-force (RIFs), and these chaotic RIFs may cause instability in some government agencies, since workers can appeal their RIF, or bump other workers out of their jobs.

Counting the Cost

Secret Service and the Trumps—hypocrisy and hubris

The “budget lite” that our 45th president submitted is described as a “budget blueprint to make America Great Again.” Submitted in the third week of March, it trumpets draconian cuts in many federal programs, eliminating some that provide important services, including the African Development Foundation, the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Inter-American Foundation, the US Trade and Development Agency, the Legal Services Corporation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and many others. The cuts are so unfathomable, and so extremely severe, that even some of 45’s allies are biting back.

Counting the Cost

An attack on education

The effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Health Care Act is generating headlines, and the attempt to investigate our 45th president’s Russia connections is of high importance. The specious claim that President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower, too, has generated interest, largely because it is unprecedented for one president to accuse another of a felony, and because 45 has absolutely no proof that President Obama has done any such thing. While President Obama, with a multimillion dollar book deal tucked into his pocket, is living his life like its golden, 45 has indulged in several public tantrums, with episodic moments of calm. Too many of us have been riveted to the drama, while there is a more quiet revolution happening in Congress, with the approval of the White House.

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Trump's budget cuts hurt the same people that voted for him

If you happened to have voted for the man who now occupies the White House, you may be feeling bamboozled, right about now. The man who said that he wanted to take care of the little people, those who were forgotten by the elites, now wants to cut programs that affect these working-class people, ranging from Legal Aid to Meals on Wheels to housing assistance to job training. He would cut the Environmental Protection Agency by more than 31 percent, leaving more than 3000 workers in the cold. Many of his other budget provisions will call for federal reductions-in-force (RIFs), and these chaotic RIFs may cause instability in some government agencies, since workers can appeal their RIF, or bump other workers out of their jobs.

Counting the Cost

Educating “45” and “One-Note Betsy” on HBCUs

Eighty HBCU presidents did a “fly-in” to the White House in a meeting organized by Trump whisperer Omarosa, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), and others. There was a White House meeting, a meeting at the Library of Congress, and more buzz than 20 beehives. People were prepped to hear that the White House Initiative for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) would move from the Department of Education to the White House and that this would have an impact on the resources HBCUs would receive from this president’s budget.

Counting the Cost

President Trump needs to tweet about the solar panel industry

As a progressive who worked hard to help get Secretary Hillary Clinton elected, it is challenging for me to accept Donald Trump as President. But, he won. At least for now, I have to make the best of a bad situation. Which means progressives like me will have to both resist the Trump administration’s odious policies, and also pressure — and even cooperate with — the administration to implement policies that reflect our worldview.

Counting the cost

The grit and grace of Corretta King

Every day that he holds the presidency, Donald Trump does something outrageous. He blusters, he just plain lies, and he bullies. He pushes his decisions, his executive orders, down the throats of a Congress that he dominates. Why not let the democratic process work and let them vote to build a wall and pay for it, instead of insisting, by executive order, that the wall will be built. In just one short week as president, Trump has demeaned our democracy and our voters, caused international turmoil, and more. But he is doing exactly what he said he would do.

Counting the Cost

What’s next for the economy?

The economic philosophies of Democrats and Republicans are drastically different. While neither party is interested in dismantling the predatory capitalism that extracts surplus value from workers, Republicans are more interested in reinforcing predatory capitalism and “free markets,” while Democrats are more interested in ameliorating the effects of predatory capitalism and regulating markets in ways that produce somewhat more equitable results than so-called free markets.

Counting the Cost

Today’s activists can learn from King’s “creative disruption” tactics

When Dr. Martin Luther King envisioned the Poor People’s Campaign in 1968, he envisioned all kinds of people descending on our nation’s capital, bringing demands to federal agencies.

Counting the Cost

White women can’t speak for me, so I will support the women’s march

“Ain’t I A Woman,” railed Sojourner Truth, “I have ploughed and planted and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain’t I a woman! I could work as much and eat as much as a man—when I could get it—and bear the lash as well. And ain’t I a woman? I’ve bourne 13 children and seen most all sold off and when I cried out with my mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain’t I a woman.”

Counting the Cost

How Americans lost faith in everything and found Donald Trump

Professor Deva Woodly teaches political science at the New School for Social Research in New York. During a recent talk, she shared that trust in our nation’s institutions is at an all-time low. That is, perhaps, why the man who currently holds the title of president-elect was able to prevail in the November election over someone far more qualified. Using Gallup Poll data from June 2016, Professor Woodly noted that the military is our nation’s most trusted institution—73 percent trust them, while our Congress is the least trusted with only 7 percent support.

Counting the Cost

Kanye West is melting down—what can we learn?

Kanye West is melting down. He didn’t perform to expectations at two concert dates, declaring, at one, that he would have voted for Donald Trump for president, and generating boos for his statement. In a subsequent concert, he performed just a couple of songs, and abruptly ended a performance that should have lasted at least an hour. A couple of days later, he was hospitalized in a “psychiatric hold.” Some say he is simply exhausted, sleep-deprived and stressed. Some say it is more.

Counting the Cost

Trump won the election, but White supremacy won’t win forever

I began election night with exuberance. I was among the many who forecast a Hillary win. The only disagreement among my circle was how big the Hillary rout would be. I thought she’d get at least 300 electoral college votes, and hoped that she’d thump Trump by getting as many as 340, holding him to less than 200 electoral college votes. However, the tables were turned and Trump was the one doing the thumping, with the electoral vote count estimated to be 290 to 228 (at this writing, final counts were not in).

After Nov. 8—State of the Black World

I’m writing two weeks before the November election, writing and praying that Election Day comes sooner than it is supposed to. I did my early vote thing so that I could, if necessary, drop into battleground states like Virginia, North Carolina or Florida to do my bit to get out the vote. And I’m hoping that voters will do the right thing and elect Hillary Clinton. But as I wrote, I know that there is the possibility (not probability) that Mr. Chump will prevail.

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Nearly 90 percent of Black voters favor Clinton over Trump in New HU/NNPA National Black Voter Poll

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) and Howard University, announced the results of the 2016 Howard University/NNPA National Black Voter Poll. Nearly 90 percent of Black voters plan to cast ballots for Hillary Clinton and two percent plan to vote for Donald Trump, according to the poll.

Counting the Cost

Voter fraud and voter suppression

I watched the Oct. 19 presidential debate in both awe and horror. Awe because I truly do not understand Mr. Trump’s temerity to lie, interrupt, sniff, sigh, and interject offensive comments (“such a nasty woman”) in lieu of disagreement.

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Counting the Cost

President Barack Obama’s last 100 days

The countdown to President Barack Obama’s last 100 days began on Oct. 13. Already, the president has committed to spending his waning days in office by campaigning for president. Indeed, he has put his legacy on the line, telling Black people at a his last Congressional Black Caucus dinner that he will be personally insulted if folks don’t get out to vote for Hillary.

Counting the Cost

Why Trump must not win

House Majority Leader Paul Ryan (R-WI) is anticipating a Trump win in November. Or, at least, he is preparing for it. He says that if Republicans hold sway in the White House, the House and the Senate, he plans to use budget reconciliation to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) (also known as Obamacare) and to give tax cuts to the wealthy.

Republicans are willing to dance with the devil to win the White House

House Majority Leader Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) is anticipating a Trump win in November. Or, at least, he is preparing for it. He says that if Republicans hold sway in the White House, the House and the Senate, he plans to use budget reconciliation to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) and give tax cuts to the wealthy.

Counting the Cost

Why are the poor unmentionable?

There is no question that Hillary Clinton “won” the Sept. 26 presidential debate. She was knowledgeable, composed, unflappable, and occasionally even funny. Her opponent, who had the temerity to criticize her “stamina,” seemed to lack stamina of his own. By the time the 90-minute debate was over, the rude, sniffling, frequent water-sipping Mr. Trump looked like a candidate for enforced bed rest.

Counting the Cost

This is why we have to invest in effective teachers nationwide

While millions of children (and teachers) welcome the call to go back to school in August and early September, all is not well in classrooms and school districts around the country.

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What You Need to Know about Voting on Tuesday, November 8

Are you ready to vote? Are you registered? These may seem like simplistic questions, especially for those who are aware, but every year some folks are denied access to the polls, because they didn't register on time, or they moved and their address does not match the address the registrar of voters has, or SOMETHING.

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This Is Why We Have to Invest in Effective Teachers

While millions of children (and teachers) welcome the call to go back to school in August and early September, all is not well in classrooms and school districts around the country.

Counting the Cost

Why do Black businesses struggle to grow?

The most recent data on minority-owned firms in the United States was collected in 2012 (and released at the end of 2015). It showed that the number of minority-owned firms rose from 5.8 million in 2007 to 8 million in 2012.

Counting the Cost

Women celebrate less than a century of progress

With a woman heading the ticket of the Democratic Party, it may be challenging for us to remember that women have had the right to vote for less than a century (and Black folks less than that). But the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote was certified on Aug. 26, 1920, just 96 years ago.

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Hey Donald, When Was America Great?

Our American exceptionalism allows us to shimmer, too fully in our greatness. We are the biggest and the baddest. We are the best armed and the most influential. We win the most Olympic medals, and we have the most nuclear weapons. We are so great that we wave our flags and shout out, “U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!”

When was America great?

Counting the Cost

Our American exceptionalism allows us to shimmer, too fully in our greatness. We are the biggest and the baddest. We are the best armed and the most influential.

Shirley Chisholm and the fight for equal rights for all women

Counting the Cost

With a woman heading the ticket of the Democratic Party, it may be challenging for us to remember that women have had the right to vote for less than a century (and Black folks less that).

Counting the Cost

Rev. Barber’s speech at the DNC was everything

The North Carolina NAACP President Rev. William Barber tore it up and then threw down in a powerful speech at the Democratic National Convention on July 28. He called on those assembled to be a “moral defibrillator of our time,” to shock our nation with the power of love and morality. Rev. Barber did not use the word “endorse,” but urged delegates to “embrace” Clinton, and his rousing rhetoric was challenging and inspirational.

Counting the Cost

Deconstructing Reconstruction in the aftermath of Baton Rouge, Falcon Heights and Dallas

After Baton Rouge, La., and Falcon Heights, Minn., there was Dallas, Texas. After rogue cops unceremoniously killed two Black men, a deranged shooter killed five police officers. The shooter, identified as Micah Johnson, reportedly said that he wanted to kill White police officers. Too many commentators referred to his middle initial “X” in an effort to be more racially provocative.

Counting the Cost

Is there corporate leadership on racial justice?

When North Carolina passed laws eliminating anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, and passing its “bathroom bill,” mandating that transgender people use the bathroom of their birth gender, they experienced almost immediate backlash.

Counting the Cost

The bitter fruit of a broken reconstruction

After Baton Rouge, La. and Falcon Heights, Minn. there was Dallas. After rouge cops unceremoniously killed two Black men, there were five police officers killed by a deranged sniper who reportedly said he wanted to kill White police officers.

Counting the Cost

Too late to ask?

The day after 52 percent of the people who voted that Britain should leave the European Union, Google was deluged with questions. The most common – what is the European Union? That suggests that the people who voted to leave the European Union didn’t even know what it was.

Counting the Cost

Appreciating Congressman John Lewis

I have always had enormous admiration for Congressman John Lewis (D-GA), and that admiration increased exponentially when I watched him lead dozens of his Congressional colleagues to sit-in on the floor of Congress to force a vote on gun control.

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Senator John McCain Foolishly Blames President Obama for the Massacre in Orlando

The cretin who took an assault weapon into Pulse, an Orlando nightclub, on “salsa night” is beneath contempt. Was his target the LBGTQ community, Latinos, or simply human beings?

Muhammad Ali did not ‘transcend’ race

Muhammad Ali was, among other things, a proud Black man. He embraced his Blackness, and often referred to it.

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We Need Literacy Warriors like Kizzy in the Black Community Today

Dictionary defines warriors as “a person who fights in battle and is known for having courage and skill.” In Roots, reimagined Kizzy Kinte tells her dad “Reading is my way of being a warrior, my way of feeling free inside.”

Counting the Cost

A misstep, and a reset: Kudos, Obama

I was apprehensive when I learned that President Obama would give the commencement speech at Howard University this year

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