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Archive for June 4th, 2013

The State of Equality and Justice in America: The Anatomy of the Modern Day Drum Major

Posted by Admin On June - 4 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

By Rev. Joseph Lowery

“The State of Equality and Justice in America”  


This is the seventeenth of a 20-part series

On April 9, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. preached a message that was strikingly applicable to the lives of modern day civil rights leaders and leaders of America’s future.

In the pulpit of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta only five days before he was assassinated, Dr. King meticulously outlined the anatomy of what he called, the “drum major instinct”.

In that message, he drew from the book of Mark, Chapter 10, starting with Verse 13 where Jesus’ disciples, James and John, asked to be placed on the Lord’s right side and on his left side in glory. Jesus gave them an answer that resonates today as I contemplate the current state of equality and justice in America and the necessary anatomy of today’s drum major. The Lord told them that their placement in glory was not his to give. Rather their placement in glory – and anyone else’s – would be contingent upon how they served here on earth. Specifically, Dr. King quoted the passage as saying, “But whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.”

Dr. King then described how some in leadership positions mistakenly think that they should be sat on high, receive expensive houses, cars, and receive exclusive access simply because of their positions.

But, now, just as Dr. King pointed out then, the anatomy of the drum major – the leader that sets the tempo for justice and equality in America – must be the soul that is willing to humbly serve.   As then, the drum major instinct has been perverted and must now be corrected in order for us to reach our righteous goals. In other words, as we look at the current state of equality and justice in America, we must refresh our hearts and minds, as Dr. King said, with “a new definition of greatness”.

What he was saying is that it is not wrong to desire to be important, to want quality things and access. But those things are not equivalent to greatness. Greatness must be earned, he said. And that new definition is simple – service.

As much work as has been done and as much progress as has been made, there is much work needed as racial disparities in this nation are still horrendous. In a nutshell:   African-Americans are incarcerated at nearly six times the rate of Whites, according to the NAACP. Yet, the NAACP also reports that five times as many Whites are using drugs as African-Americans, but African-Americans are sent to prison for drug offenses at 10 times the rate of Whites.

Economically, according to the U. S. Census Bureau, approximately 30 percent of Blacks are living in poverty. And the racial breakdown of that statistic is riveting.

The National Urban League reports that the total 2013 Equality Index of Black America stands at 71.7 percent. This means that on average, African-Americans enjoy less than three-fourths of the benefits and privileges offered to White Americans.

Educationally, the NUL reports that African-Americans have closed the college enrollment gap at five times the rate of closing the unemployment rate gap. Still the racial disparities of deep. The National Center for Education Statistics reports that though college attendance is steadily rising for people of color, it is only around 14 percent for Blacks, 13 percent for Latinos and 61 percent for Whites.

This brief description of the state of equality and justice in America tells us that an astronomically higher level of service is needed – one that must replace any mindset of being recognized and awarded for every move. These statistics denote that people from the grassroots to Congress to the White House; people from the churches to the streets to the prisons; people from the educational institutions to the businesses to the civil rights organizations; people in every corner of our society much rise up and take leadership by placing their hands to the plows where they are. Without looking around to see who is looking, without seeking name recognition and reward – at every age and in every season – we must not shrink from the courage to say and to do that which is right.

This year is not only the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom; but it is the 50th anniversary of those four little girls killed on September 15, 1963 in the bombing at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.

In Dr. King’s sermon at their funeral, he spoke of how they had not died in vain for even in their innocence their deaths sent multiple messages. Among those messages that they preached from the grave was the fact that they died nobly and they did not die in vain because “unmerited suffering is redemptive.” Yes, the deaths of those children, and even too many of our children today who have died by senseless violence and even at the hands of terrorists, have taught us that we must indeed temper courage with caution.

But, in modern day America, we too often find ourselves – not cautious, but afraid. Instead of challenging the systems that oppress; instead of crying out in non-violent protest where it is warranted; instead of acting upon the courage of our convictions, we far too often live in fear of what we might lose or what we personally might not attain.

But, the drum major instinct is one that is impeded by fear because it requires both vision and mobility. In order to attain an acceptable status of equality and justice in America, the drum majors of our communities must keep moving. That means, those of us who have been given much are required to give much. We must mentor the young, we must teach truth, we must take action where it is warranted, and by all means one of those actions must be to venture to the polls at every opportunity and vote.

As we move this great nation forward, let us take a moment to recognize the drum major instinct within each of us. Let us take personal leadership of ourselves and yield to our individual responsibilities to make a difference. Then and only then, will we perfect the noble art of leadership. Only then will we – through our service – become “the chiefest among us.”

 The Rev. Joseph Lowery was a co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, by President Barack Obama in 2009, he continues to serve through numerous forums, including as advisor to the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda.

 Editor’s Note: This article – the seventeenth of a 20-part series – is written in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. 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. For more information, please visit www.lawyerscommittee.org.

Deadline today (Tuesday, June 4th) for Lebron James Internship Program

Posted by Admin On June - 4 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS


Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — LeBronJames.com has internship openings for students who have an interest in online content development and digital sports marketing. The program runs through the spring, summer, and fall semesters. Candidates must be available at least 10 hours a week. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, June 4, 2013.

– Maintaining basketball and technology industry dossiers
– Researching trends and advancements in the technology & sports space
– Assisting the content development team with updating LeBronJames.com
– Communicating and interacting with LeBron fans around the world

Basic Qualifications:
– Must currently attend college or a four year university.
– Access to a computer & phone
– Works well in a team setting and takes direction
– Strong communication skills and work ethic
– Has a strong urge to learn and improve
– Demonstrates a strong knowledge of basketball and technology trends
– Proficient with creating spreadsheets and detailed reports (Word/Excel)
– Familiarity with leading social media and blogging platforms (i.e. WordPress, Tumblr, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter)
– Proficient with Adobe Creative Suite (including Photoshop, InDesign)

For more details, visit:

To search hundreds of other internships, visit:


Sec’y of State Jesse White encourages people to wear helmets and bike responsibly during Bike Safety Month

Posted by Admin On June - 4 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is encouraging children and adults at a far north side school to practice safe bike riding and to always wear a helmet as May marks Bike Safety Month.

“Teaching kids to bike safely now will help them become responsible adult bike riders and drivers,” White said. “It is important to wear helmets, obey traffic signs and signals, supervise children as they ride and take the bike paths where available.  My office would like to ensure a safe and enjoyable ride for everyone on the road.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):

  • Head injuries are the most serious type of injury and the most common cause of death for bicyclists. Bicycle helmets have been proven to reduce the risk of head and brain injury by as much as 88 percent.
    • In 2011, 16% of the bicyclists injured in motor vehicle crashes were 14 years old and younger.
    • 72% of all bicyclist deaths in 2010 occurred in urban areas with most occurring between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.

White spoke about bike safety during a press conference and bike rodeo at St. Margaret Mary School on Chicago’s far north side.   Representatives from the Chicago’s Safe Routes and Bicycling Ambassadors, Safe Kids Illinois and the Chicago Police Department spoke about the importance of safety and sharing the road.

“As the weather continues to get warmer, more bicyclists will be sharing the roads with cars,” said White.  “In order to make our roads safe for everyone, as bike riders we should follow the same rules of the road as motorists and as drivers we should keep our eyes out for bicyclists.”

“In order for bicyclists and motorists to safely share the road, it is the responsibility of both drivers to obey all traffic laws,” said Officer Jean Maroney.

“Learning to share the road begins at a young age,” said Charlie Short of the Bicycling Ambassadors. “It’s important for children to learn how to ride safely on sidewalks and trails.”

White reminds Illinoisans that his office issues the Bicycle Rules of the Road to ensure safe bike travel. Visit any of the Secretary of State’s facilities for a copy of the Bicycle Rules of the Road, or visit the website at www.cyberdriveillinois.com.

Road Trips: You Gotta Love ‘em!

Posted by Admin On June - 4 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Soap Box Rants

A WEEKLY Column to CopyLine Magazine


By Pamela Bratcher-McMillan

President, Chair & CEO, of PETAL et al. 

Do you ever feel like you’re in a rut and tired of doing the same things over and over again? You know, you get up and go to work…you work…and you head back home again. And it seems that a short time later, you‘re headed back to work again.

 Are you bored and feel that a weekend road trip can clear your mind and renew your outlook on life? Would it do wonders to have a little weekend excitement? Do you want to take a trip now but feel you can’t afford it?

If you don’t own a car or have a friend or family member with a car to accompany you, how about renting a car? You can rent a car for a lot less than you think. There are some car rental places with weekend specials that include unlimited miles. You don’t want to go that far away, so you’ll want to use as much time as you can to enjoy the trip.

Here’s the best way to start: When I think about taking a break and doing something special for me or with family, I do a search on the web for events taking place in a neighboring state or the Midwest.  For example, let’s say I found an event in Indianapolis that had more than 100 guitars on display that were owned by famous rock musicians. Being that I love guitars, I had to check it out! It was only $10.00. My friend wanted to check out the Star Wars event “Science Meets Imagination.” It was only $19.50, and there was plenty to do.

My next effort was to focus on locating a hotel in Indianapolis within an hour of the events I would be attending. Of course, the closer, the better; so I’ll either pay a visit to Expedia.com or Orbitz.com website, and do a search of hotels by putting the address of the event I am attending as a starting point or an address I have determined on Google maps is in the center of both events.

After locating a hotel with a good price, good ratings (not just stars, but what customers had to say), and amenities, including Wi-Fi (If they don’t have free internet access and free parking, it’s a deal killer for me and my family), a fridge in the room, some nearby restaurants and a gym. I prefer to walk to the restaurant or store, so if they’re nearby I consider that a plus.

When you get to your chosen place of retreat, you should take it all in – the sites, and how people there (location) act and move around. Remember, you’re in a different place. Note the clear evening skies, the nearby lakes, how it smells, how the food tastes. Experience everything as if it were something new to you, because it is. You are away from home. Try to avoid those places you can eat at when you’re home. Look for different restaurants and stores that are not in your home area to check them out.

Check out the museums and zoos. If you want to save more, do a search on the Internet for free events going on during your stay there, and make sure to put an itinerary together. Remember, it’s possible that you can save more by taking a bus or train, buying your own groceries, and avoiding restaurants altogether. Without a car though, you won’t have the convenience of event hopping and stopping at roadside stores and restaurants or pulling over just for fun to take a closer look at something you saw while you were driving down the street.

But most of all enjoy your trip and stay safe. And don’t forget the camera. If there are no pictures, did it really happen?

Pamela Bratcher-McMillan is a technology Expert and President, Chair & CEO, of PETAL et al.

Local Spanish Television Personality charged in second child sexual assault case

Posted by Admin On June - 4 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

A local Spanish language music show producer who was charged earlier this month with the sexual assault of a child is facing additional charges in the sexual assault of another child victim, according to the Office of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

Elpidio “Juan” Contreras, 53, of Chicago, has been charged with one count of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse (Class 2 felony).  Contreras appeared in bond court today at the George Leighton Criminal Courts Building in Chicago where his bond was set at $250,000.  He is scheduled to appear in court again on June 20, 2013.

According to prosecutors, Contreras was a friend of the victim’s family and during the summer of 2007, the victim and a family member were invited to visit Contreras at his office.  During the visit, Contreras sent the family member to run an errand and while alone with the victim, who was eight years old at the time, Contreras is alleged to have pulled down the child’s pants and underwear and taken a photo of the victim. Contreras then fondled the victim’s chest over her clothes, showed the victim the photograph and then gave her money. 

On another occasion approximately one year later, Contreras offered to help the same victim learn how to ride a bike and while doing so fondled the victim’s buttocks over her clothes.

The victim in this case came forward after seeing news media reports of Contreras’ arrest earlier this month.  In that case, Contreras is charged with Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault (Class X felony) for touching an 11-year-old victim in an inappropriate manner and taking photos of the victim in a bikini and topless on several occasions while giving the victim voice lessons.  His next court date in that case is June 6, 2013.

Contreras is the producer and host of “The Juan Contreras Show” a Spanish language musical show featuring local and national musical talent.

The public is reminded that criminal charging documents contain allegations that are not evidence of guilt.  The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the state has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Tio Hardiman: ‘I am innocent of domestic violence charges. I never put my hands on my wife’

Posted by Admin On June - 4 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Pfleger firing Tio was “unfair and wrong”


By Chinta Strausberg

Apologizing to the entire city of Chicago after being charged with domestic violence, CeaseFire Director Tio Hardiman late Monday night confirmed he has been firedby Dr. Gary Slutkin who began the anti-violence program back in 2000 but said he is innocent and that he never put his hands on his wife, a woman he hasloved for the past 13-years.

“I never put my hands on my wife. I never hit my wife,” said Hardiman referring to Allison Hardiman. “We’ve been married for 13-years and the police have never come to my home. The truth will come out in court,” he told this reporter.

An irate Father Michael L. Pfleger expressed outraged over the firing of Hardiman who has been credited with stemming the violence in a number of African American communities. Referring to the firing of Hardiman, Pfleger said, “I think it is unfair and wrong. It seemingly looks like they fired Tio because they are more worried about the $1 million than a human life.”

Hardiman received the $1 million funding from the city of Chicago, which ends in August. Hardiman has had problems with some Chicago Police Department brass that once tried to force him to shut down his program. The officers, including Police Supt. Garry McCarthy, did not like Hardiman or his “Violence Interrupters,” a concept he created to stem the violence because they refuse to share gang information.

Hardiman hired ex-felons who had reformed and who were able to mediate and prevent gang disturbances. They meet gangbangers on their own turfs and prevent major confrontations from occurring.

Police officials were upset that Hardiman’s “Violence Interrupters” wouldn’t fork over information on the gangbangers. However, Hardiman explained if they had cooperated with the police, their role would have become totally ineffective.

Interviewed during his weekly Peacemaker’s Basketball game at the Saint Sabina ARK, 7800 South Racine late Monday night, Father Michael L. Pfleger said, “Tio got arrested, hasn’t been to court yet, hasn’t been charged yet; so I can only think the reason they fired him nowis because they are more concerned with keeping the money than doing right and if that is true, then WOW,” Pfleger said wondering which is more important tothe city of Chicago, money or “doing what’s right.”

The 50-year-old Hardiman is due in court in the Maybrook Court 9 a.m. Tuesday where he hopes to prove his innocence. Hardiman said he cannot talk about the details of the case but is determined to prove his innocence, clear his good name andgo on to begin his own CeaseFire chapter and continue what he does best—stopping street violence.

Expressing sorrow that his arrest early Friday morning and release on a $20,000 bond Saturday night brought negative media attention to the CeaseFire program he so loved, Hardiman said, “I am in mediation and prayer to prove my innocence. I am concerned about my wife. I love my wife,” he said explaining he cannot go further with the details of that incident but emphasized he never laid a hand on his wife.

“I am not the type of guy who would look at women. I love my wife, and the truth will come out in court. I am innocent of these charges,” Hardiman said.

When asked why would Dr. Slutkin fire him when he took a lot of heat from African American activists and elected officials who didn’t like him, questioned Slutkin’s motives and criticized Hardiman for working with the doctor, Hardiman explained, “Before this happened, Dr. Slutkin had already erased my entire history from his website.”

Hardiman blamed this on Dr. Slutkin he said couldn’t handle his popularity,” but to Hardiman, this is a lifetime of hard work and commitment to ending violence even if he has to put his life on the line which he has done many times.

Raised a Catholic, Hardiman, who has worked with Father Pfleger including bringing Pfleger’s Peacemakers basketball concept to Christ The King College Preparatory School, said, “I am in deep prayer about this situation, and I am going to prove my innocence. I am innocent of those charges.” He also plans to take his CeaseFire program to another level and one that includes teaching young black men how to prevent domestic violence.

Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.

Statement from the Governor’s Office on Roseland Hospital

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On June - 4 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

“Governor Quinn is concerned about Roseland’s long term stability, and that’s why his top healthcare advisors have been meeting with them repeatedly over the past six weeks, including yesterday. Unfortunately, the executives have failed to respond to our requests for a viable plan to properly run the hospital.

“To be clear, the hospital and its board of directors have serious management issues that need to be addressed. Roseland Hospital is in deep debt and they have mismanaged their resources into the situation they are in today.

“The State of Illinois does not owe Roseland $6 million. The State owes nothing. In fact, to help the hospital in the short-term, the State of Illinois advanced all payments to Roseland for this year.

“There has also never been any promise to use taxpayer money to keep the hospital open, which is not in the state’s control. (This is not a state-run hospital – we do not appoint the CEO or board.)

“The State of Illinois remains committed to working with the hospital and helping them identify potential partners and available resources within the law to develop a plan for long-term sustainability. Those discussions are ongoing. However, the hospital has never provided a plan or any information to move forward.”

 Brooke Anderson

Press Secretary to Governor Pat Quinn

State Senator Collins’ measure protects tenants during foreclosure

Posted by Admin On June - 4 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) secured passage of legislation to protect tenants living in a building in foreclosure.

“Tenants should not be evicted on short notice because of the financial circumstances of their landlord,” Collins said. “This legislation establishes that paying tenants have rights under state law, even when the rental property is repossessed by a bank or sold.”

Currently, tenants living in foreclosed properties are protected under federal law, but those protections are set to sunset in 2014. An owner who acquires a property in a foreclosure proceeding can evict a tenant only at the end of the lease or, if there is no lease, with 90 days’ notice. If the new owner intends to use the property as his or her primary residence, he or she may terminate the lease but must give 90 days’ notice. A bank foreclosing on a rental property also must inform tenants of where they should pay their rent.

“As a legislator with a consistent commitment to housing rights and keeping people in their homes, I do not want the residents of Illinois to fall through the cracks when federal protections expire or are inadequate,” Collins said. “I want Illinois to be known for its comprehensive approach to the foreclosure crisis so our neighborhoods can weather this storm and emerge stronger.”

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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