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Archive for October 28th, 2010

First Lady Michelle Obama focuses on effort to end childhood obesity on TV ONE’s Special premiering Friday, October 29 at 10 p.m.

Posted by Admin On October - 28 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

The one-hour special includes TV One’s two-time NAACP Image Award-winner Roland Martin’s White House interview with the First Lady, plus interviews with the U.S. Surgeon General and features on community members and organizations that are engaged in the fight

 
First Lady Michelle Obama talks with TV One’s Roland Martin about her initiative to end childhood obesity Friday at 10 PM ET on TV One in “Let’s Move with First Lady Michelle Obama
michelle_obama_roland_martinSilver Spring, MD (BlackNews.com) — First Lady Michelle Obama brings her personal effort to fight childhood obesity to TV One Friday, Oct. 29 at 10 PM ET with the premiere of the TV One original special, Let’s Move with First Lady Michelle Obama. In a candid and enlightening interview with TV One’s Washington Watch host Roland Martin that takes place on the White House grounds and by her hand-planted vegetable garden, First Lady Michelle Obama discusses the components of her signature initiative to end childhood obesity within a generation and the issues and challenges involved.
 
The First Lady tells Martin about the genesis of her awareness of the issue, which began with her own family’s lifestyle, and advice and a cautionary word from her own children’s pediatrician.
“I thought that, if I don’t realize that my habits and our cultural transitions are affecting our children, then where is everybody else on this issue?” Mrs. Obama says. “And having conversations across the country, [I was] finding that more families are struggling with this issue, not realizing the impact that it’s having, particularly on the African American community — one in three kids in this country is overweight or obese, but in our community, 40 percent of our kids are overweight or obese.”
 
The First Lady stresses the importance of attacking the problem on multiple fronts – at home, at school and in the community. “The truth is, is that the crisis that we’re facing around childhood obesity hits everything,” she says. It’s about education, what our kids are learning about nutrition in the schools, the quality of the food in the schools. It’s about our neighborhood development. How are neighborhoods designed? Are our kids — do they have access to safe places to play? Are we structuring communities in a way that facilitate healthy living? Are there accessible and affordable healthy foods in our communities? And it’s about economic opportunity as well because if folks can’t afford to put food on the table, then they’re eating what they can.”
 
The program also features an interview with the U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Regina Benjamin. Additionally, Martin will take viewers to River Terrace Elementary School in Washington, DC, a school which the First Lady has visited and which is working hard to encourage student physical activity and healthy eating habits. Viewers will also meet Will Allen, an urban farmer in Milwaukee who teaches inner city residents to garden and grow healthy food in the city; visit a store that is helping to erase the “food desert” in Philadelphia, and learn about organizations that are engaged in the fight against childhood obesity.
 
“All our folks didn’t fight this hard for us to get to this point to find that the biggest threat to our children today could be their own health,” the First Lady says. “…This is a real issue.”
“We’ve got so much more work to do on all the other hard issues that we’ve got to be healthy. We’ve got to be ready to work, and this generation has to be prepared physically and mentally for that challenge. And this is in our power. This is something we can control. There are barriers for sure, but in terms of what we put into our bodies and how we move, that’s on us — if we have the information and the support.”
 
The special repeats at 1 AM ET. Martin, host and managing editor of TV One’s Washington Watch with Roland Martin and also a CNN contributor and Tom Joyner Morning Show analyst, has won NAACP Image Awards for TV One interviews conducted with President Barack Obama, then a senator and Presidential candidate in 2007, and First Lady Michelle Obama, on the eve of the Democratic convention in 2008.
 
Launched in January 2004, TV One (www.tvoneonline.com) serves more than 50.3 million households, offering a broad range of real-life and entertainment-focused original programming, classic series, movies, and music designed to entertain, inform and inspire a diverse audience of adult African American viewers. In December 2008, the company launched TV One High Def, which now serves more than 5.5 million households. TV One’s investors include Radio One [NASDAQ: ROIA and ROIAK; www.radio-one.com], the largest radio company that primarily targets African American and urban listeners; Comcast Corporation [NASDAQ: CMCSA and CMCSK; www.comcast.com], the leading cable television company in the country; The DirecTV Group; Constellation Ventures; Syndicated Communications; and Opportunity Capital Partners.
 

Has Black America lost its backbone?

Posted by Admin On October - 28 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

 H Lewis-SmithBy H. Lewis Smith

 
(Distributed through BlackNews.com)
 
All by-products of African-American ingenuity, Negro spirituals, blues and jazz were created to help African Americans maintain a sense of internal calmness and hope during strife; cultivate, embrace and express individuality; and serve as living connections to and trophies of cultural history, knowledge and heritage.
 
In spite of all the adversities and calamities enslaved African-American ancestors were forced to endure, they demonstrated an unrelenting capacity to survive despite the odds, overcome and prevail. From the ashes of despair arose a solid, magnificent race of people embodying the very essence of genuineness, pride, dignity, and perseverance. With this vigor of relentless resilience and faith at their core, the enslaved captives continued to defy barriers and become fruitful and respected contributors in society by taking on such roles as inventors, entrepreneurs, scholars, writers, religious and political leaders, athletes, entertainers, teachers, doctors, lawyers and scientist.
 
The Jackie Robinson‘s, Lena Horne‘s, C. Delores Tucker’s, Malcolm X’s, Martin Luther King‘s, Freedom Fighters, and many others understood the foundation that had been laid beneath them and chose to continue to build upon the solid ground despite any maliciousness they would have to endure. Aside from their individual strides and achievements within their respective fields, these black heroes fought for advancement of black people. They withstood tremendous amounts of heinous treatment, humiliation, and degradation simply to live up to their God-given individual potential and prove that intellect, talent, positivity and the desire to achieve also runs deep within the veins of black people.
 
During the years of the Civil Rights Movement and struggles for equality, people died, and in some cases outright sacrificed themselves, in order to secure cultural dignity, respect and usher the advancement of the Black American. These brave and convicted spirits’ only purpose was to be viewed as whole human-beings, as men – and not as some savage, ignorant sub-human better known as a n**ger. Even as they gave their last breaths for this purpose, the last words they would often hear were the jeers of the n-word ringing in their ears. However, the seriousness of their purpose was understood, the intestinal fortitude of Black America was unwavering, and they were able to die as dignified, self-respecting men and women in their own right.
 
Unlike their ascendants, many contemporary blacks lack the same conviction or determination to continue to strive for and demand ultimate respect and equality.
For some reason, black n-word users, proponents or apathetics — whether high school drop outs or degreed professionals — feel an affinity toward the term and seem to be unable to free themselves from its clutches. The physically enslaved were left no choice but to identify with the n-word. Today, Blacks have a choice, but rather than exercise the right to free self and society from this demonic term, far too many in the black community continue to blindly embrace it and the helpless mentality; thus intensifying the fight against mental enslavement and the inability for a [colossal percentage] of Black America to acknowledge the effects of the n-word on their psyche.
 
This lack of intestinal fortitude was never more evident than when rappers transformed rap and hip-hop into a “n**gerized” form just to make money. Rather than continuing to use music as a vehicle to re-instill cultural pride, dignity, and cultivate a sense of self-worth as did the sounds of the earlier years, they arrived on the scene with their Pied Piper musical messages of self-destruction. The “new noise” mentally debased and corrupted myriads of black America’s youth. Ministers, community leaders, and civil rights leaders did absolutely nothing to derail this process; instead, they gave this incorrigible travesty its pathetic blessings.
 
The n-word is not just a word, as so many causally and nonchalantly try to make it out to be. The black community’s praising, worshiping and glorification of it makes it more than just a word, but rather their Master, their God whom they willingly bow down to. One black comedian has boasted about how he brushes his teeth with the word and that it makes his teeth white. It is going to take much strength, courage, and backbone for Black America to stand up and eliminate – a 400 year old mind control habit – the n-word from its speech.
 
Some have and are already demonstrating some backbone and mental liberation from this word: In 1994, Attorney Roy Miller succeeded in having the word removed from a major dictionary. Attorney Miller is a proponent for non-use of the word by all Americans, blacks and non-blacks. As well, small regiments of black politicians around the country have begun voicing their displeasure with black America’s use of the pejorative terminology. Organizations online are also voicing their displeasure regarding the use of the disparaging term. Some of these online organizations include Banthenword.org, Abolishthenword.com, empoweringourselvesnow.com and the United Voices for a Common Cause, Inc. An eleven-year-old child has also placed a video on YouTube where over a million viewers have witnessed his plea for blacks to refrain from using the disdainful term: www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMyp8y8SkUM. Even a child understands the seriousness of this matter.
 
Since Obama’s election to office, some very distasteful and disrespectful caricatures of the commander-in-chief, which are clearly racist in nature, have been distributed in mass media. One can’t help but to wonder if the president were Jewish or Latino, would such disrespect prevail and receive no backlash? Answer: (an astounding) NO. Why? Because neither the Jewish or Latino communities [disrespect themselves] or allow it from any outside groups. Black African Americans are the only group in the entire world who actually embrace an affinity to self-destruct. Caricatures of the president come with the territory; however, in President Obama’s case, the privilege has been abused and misused. But because blacks have a tendency to disrespect themselves, others feel that this behavior is acceptable as well – the mentality is “if blacks do it to themselves, why can’t we?”
 
There is a Barack Obama parody video laced with the n-word circulating around the Internet – produced by blacks – depicting the president and his wife as pot-smokers. Again, Black America’s open door policy of self-disrespect makes it so very easy for racist activism to rear its ugly head. Use of the word re-awakens in white America feelings of superiority, and encourages them to do whatever it takes to maintain the classes – even if it means paying a few influential blacks – millions of dollars to continue to promote the idea in mass media. Each time the word is used, it makes a mockery of the black person’s struggle and real successes Black Americans have made.
 
Monday, October 4, 2010, five Boston Celtic’s players made a YouTube video dancing to the rhythmic beat of some rapper’s repetitive, despicable use of the n-word. (By the way, the NBA made no public apology or statement regarding the buffoonery; just another sign that big business promotes the self-destructive mentality.) This type of conduct is typical of Black America’s shameless and nonchalant attitude and acceptance of a lower standard. There is absolutely nothing honorable or respectable about rappers’ use of the demonic n-word in their music. To compound the matter, they are fully supported by a desensitized black community. As religious as many black Americans are, they should understand the evilness in the n-word, realize that it contradicts their religious teachings, and work relentlessly to do away with an evil that offends their God. Yet, the word n**ga sways an enormous and tremendous power over Black America, seemingly, like the golden calf that was chosen to be worshipped over God, making it a sacred, revered, awe-inspiring power greater than that of Jesus Christ. No word in any language, secular or non-secular, mesmerizes a group of people to the extent that the word n**ga does Black America.
 
There are many blacks who may not personally use the word but condone use of it by taking a passive stance on use of the term or lacking the nerve to tell others to stop using the term. At any rate, these individuals are in an even worse position than n-word users because they are truly spineless. There are no sideline (“backboneless”) positions in this game; there are only anti-n-word users against n-word junkies.
However, this is not a condemnation of all black Christians, just the 95% or so who kowtows and meekly accept their [appointed] 400 year old place of being a n**ga.
 
H. Lewis Smith is the founder and president of UVCC, the United Voices for a Common Cause, Inc. (www.theunitedvoices.com); a writer for the New England Informer Online; and author of “Bury that Sucka: A Scandalous Love Affair with the N-Word”. Follow H. Lewis Smith on Twitter: www.twitter.com/thescoop1

Former Kirk supporters now back Giannoulias

Posted by Admin On October - 28 - 2010 1 COMMENT

Leaders from seven groups no longer trust Kirk                                                

 

(From the Giannoulias Campaign)                                                                              

                                                                                                                                                                                                  

    Saying they no longer trust Congressman Mark Kirk to lead on issues important to them, leaders from several Illinois reform and advocacy-based groups joined together today to show their support for U.S. Senate Nominee Alexi Giannoulias in the Nov. 2 election.

The Illinois Education Association, Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood, League of Conservation Voters, Human Rights Campaign, NARAL and Defenders of Wildlife had all endorsed Kirk during his previous campaigns for the U.S. House.

The IEA, which has 133,000 members, had endorsed Kirk since 2002. IEA President Ken Swanson said he was disappointed in the “New Mark Kirk,” who recently voted against legislation that would bring millions of federal dollars to Illinois and save 5,700 teaching jobs throughout the state after indicating he would support it.

“We didn’t leave Mark Kirk,” Swanson said. “By turning his back on teachers and working families, Mark Kirk has left us. We haven’t changed, Mark Kirk has changed.”

Environmental groups – like the Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters and the Defenders of Wildlife – had all supported Kirk in the past as well. Kirk turned his back on them after voting for the Cap and Trade bill last year, which called for creating new jobs and developing a clean, renewable energy future, but then vowed to vote against the legislation if elected to the U.S. Senate.

“Sierra Club has supported Mark Kirk in the past, but we can no longer trust him to stand up for our environment. In his campaign for Senate, he stands solidly against a clean energy future and with the corporate special interests who have given us the failed energy policies of that past,” said Jack Darin, Director of the Sierra Club, Illinois Chapter. “Unlike Mark Kirk, we know where Alexi stands and we know that he will be a leader in the fight for a cleaner, more prosperous, and better future for our children and our country.”

Planned Parenthood endorsed Kirk four times in the past, but is now supporting Giannoulias for demonstrating “unequivocal support” for pro-choice issues. Kirk voted with pro-life groups in 2009 by supporting the Stupak Amendment to the federal health care bill, which would have restricted abortions for women even if they had private insurance.

“All women regardless of their economic status have a right to reproductive health care,” said Carole Brite, President/CEO of Planned Parenthood Illinois Action. “Unfortunately, Mark Kirk does not support funding for abortion services, which is so important to women in Illinois. That is why we stand with Alexi Giannoulias now.” 

The Human Rights Campaign noted that Kirk voted against ending the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which threatens our national security and discriminates against military personnel, who are willing to serve and die for their country, because of their sexual orientation. The HRC also expressed its disappointment in Kirk for failing to support the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, which denies the recognition of marriage of same-sex couples who marry in other states.

Giannoulias attacks from the Left and right leave Kirk in the Center with most Illinois voters

Posted by Admin On October - 28 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

(From the Kirk Campaign)

 First Alexi Giannoulias said Mark Kirk wasn’t conservative enough…

 

“After the debate, Giannoulias admitted his campaign, in coordination with the Democratic Party, funded a mailer to Downstate conservatives touting Libertarian Senate candidate Mike Labno as the “pro-life, pro-gun” alternative to Kirk…” (Chicago Sun-Times, 10/27/10)

 “In the wake of the defeat of a moderate Republican at the hands of a conservative activist in the Senate primary in Delaware, an e-mail Wednesday touts Mike Labno, the Libertarian, as the alternative for conservatives to moderate U.S. Rep. Mark S. Kirk (R-Highland Park) for Senate. That e-mail comes from the campaign of Democrat Alexi Giannoulias.” (Illinois Radio Network, 9/15/10)

“Giannoulias campaign manager Michael Rendina claimed Mark Kirk was too moderate, saying ‘Conservatives here don’t trust Congressman Kirk.’” (Alexi for Illinois, 8/25/10)

Now Alexi Giannoulias says Mark Kirk is too conservative…

Later today, Alexi Giannoulias will stand with interest groups who endorsed the Democratic candidate in an open seat in a desperate attempt to convince voters that Kirk is not the moderate he claims to be.  Unfortunately, this would be yet another Giannoulias flip-flop…this time on Mark Kirk.

That Probably Means Mark Kirk Stands with the Vast Majority of Illinois Voters…in the Center…

 Congressional Quarterly Vote Rating 2009: Mark Kirk’s voting record rated at 50% on presidential support (i.e. exact center of the House of Representatives).

Daily Herald Endorsement, 10/12/10: “We have admired Kirk’s knowledge of the issues and his willingness to shake the shackles of partisanship and look at issues from a broad perspective. He is, indeed, ‘Mr. Independent.’”

Moline Dispatch/Rock Island Argus Endorsement, 10/24/10: “Unlike recent conservative GOP candidates for U.S. Senate from Illinois, we suspect Rep. Kirk more closely aligns with the majority of Illinois voters. He is a social moderate, a fiscal conservative and a military hawk.”

 Chicago Tribune Endorsement, 10/7/10: “And for 10 years in the U.S. House he has voted as what he says he is: a social moderate, fiscal conservative and national security hawk. Watch on the video as Kirk rips through the long list of issues on which he’s voted against the conservative line — health insurance for kids, stem cell research, predatory lending, campaign finance reform and so on. You’re struck less by where you agree or disagree than by the totality of what you know about his temperament. Kirk has been his own counsel, not his party’s robot.”

Bloomington Pantagraph Endorsement, 10/17/10: “Kirk has been effective in Congress working with both sides of the aisle. He has demonstrated leadership in the House and would be better able to hit the ground running in the Senate.”

 Peoria Journal Star Endorsement, 10/16/10: “Mark Kirk is a thoughtful, independent, moderate conservative in a Washington that has too few of those, and he gets our solid endorsement.”

Pioneer Press Endorsement, 10/7/10: “Kirk is one of the few moderate Republicans in Washington, an endangered species, and someone with potential to represent all the constituencies of the state.”

 Belleville News-Democrat Endorsement, 10/17/10: “He has a reputation of working well with politicians on both sides of the aisle, which is preferable to the polarized, can’t-get-anything-done politics often on display. For example, Kirk says Republicans should support Democratic President Barack Obama’s proposal for a line-item veto because it’s a good idea.”

Quincy Herald-Whig Endorsement, 10/10/10: “Kirk, a moderate who has demonstrated the ability to be a consensus builder and has shown a commitment to work behind the scenes to find practical solutions to problems during his decade in Congress, is our choice.”

 Southtown Star Endorsement, 10/17/10: “Kirk has shown a willingness to break with his own party on key votes…We want to send Kirk to the U.S. Senate to unwind the partisanship, to leverage his independence by swinging between both sides of the aisle. Illinoisans embrace middle-of-the-road positions, and so do most Americans. It’s called common sense. It’s called compromise.”

Lake County News-Sun Endorsement, 10/9/10: “His decade-long record has been one of service to the district and state, of a social moderate and fiscal conservative; of a Republican not in lock-step with party leaders.”

Crain’s Chicago Business Endorsement, 10/22/10: “The North Shore congressman’s support for O’Hare expansion underscores another reason we support him: a record of bucking party authority when it’s in the best interests of his constituents.”

 Chicago Jewish Star Endorsement, 10/27/10: “A moderate Republican, we have long respected his independence, his work in congress, and his strong support for Israel.”

Maynard Institute launches Americaswire.org; new wire service will provide comprehensive stories on structural racism in America

Posted by Admin On October - 28 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

Michael K. Frisby, President-America's WireMichael K. Frisby, president
America’s Wire

 

Washington, DC (BlackNews.com) — The Maynard Institute’s Media Center on Structural Racism launched America’s Wire, an innovative news service that will provide enterprising content for wire services, metropolitan newspapers, ethnic/community papers, magazines and websites.
 
In an effort to help the media better cover communities of color and the impact that structural racism has on the families who reside there, America’s Wire will provide subscribers with professionally reported, written and edited stories that will help readers better understand the obstacles and challenges that people of color continue to face in America today.
 
“The news media in the United States has historically been a guardian of the public’s interest,” said Michael K. Frisby, president of America’s Wire. “But there has to be a realization that the media have not accurately communicated the continued impact of structural racism in America. Public opinion polls repeatedly show that a majority of whites believe that racism and discrimination no longer exist. But those residing in communities of color know the reality. Their communities are devastated by high unemployment, poor schools, environmental dangers, inadequate housing and many other conditions that are caused by structural racism rooted in American society.”
 
America’s Wire will report on the people impacted by structural racism and their communities, hoping to improve awareness of the true conditions in communities of color. As part of our introductory offer, all media outlets and the public can visit our website at www.americaswire.org and sign up for a free, 30-day subscription. During that period, subscribers can download and publish our stories free of charge in their media outlets. After the trial period, media outlets must obtain a paid subscription to access our stories. The rates, which vary according to outlet type and size, can be viewed at www.americaswire.org/catalog/5.
Our staff writers, Kenneth J. Cooper, a Pulitzer Prize winning-journalist, and Marjorie Valbrun, an award- winning writer, will add a new enterprise story to the wire each month. America’s Wire will also have a selection of stories from freelancers. As America’s Wire expands, we also expect to provide opinion columns from experts, as well as broadcasts ready for radio and television. Our stories are expertly edited by Bill Elsen, formerly an editor for The Washington Post.
Our initial offering of stories include articles on:
* The impact of residential segregation on health outcomes
* Conservatives blaming the poor for being poor
* The declining number of black males at colleges and universities
* Tim Wise, a white crusader against racism
* States easing restrictions on ex-convicts
* Commentary by University of Chicago Professor Cathy Cohen on African American youths and the midterm elections
 
“We are excited that America’s Wire will bring a better understanding of communities of color and the challenges they face,” said Dori Maynard, who chairs the America’s Wire Advisory Board and is president and CEO of the Maynard Institute. “Our goal is to provide professionally reported, written and edited stories that can broaden the selection of articles that daily newspapers, magazines, ethnic media and websites make available to their readers. We urge media outlets to sign up for our trial offer and subscribe to America’s Wire, and bring a wider variety of stories to your readers.”
 
Other Advisory Board members include Bill Celis, an associate professor at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and a former reporter for The New York Times; Christopher Johnson, a freelance journalist who spent seven years with NPR as a producer, reporter, editor, commentator and manager; Keith Kamisugi, director of communications for the Equal Justice Society; Evelyn Hsu, a past president of the Asian American Journalists Association and former vice president of UNITY: Journalists of Color, Inc.; Beatrice Y. Motamedi, a teacher, writer and youth media advocate based in Oakland, Calif; Mark Trahant, a former columnist at The Seattle Times, who was publisher of the Moscow-Pullman Daily News in Moscow, Idaho and executive news editor of The Salt Lake Tribune; and Sally Lehrman, who is the Knight Ridder-San Jose Mercury News Endowed Chair in Journalism and the Public Interest at Santa Clara University .
America’s Wire is made possible through a grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.

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