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Archive for August 29th, 2013

President Obama: “The March on Washington teaches us that we are not trapped by the mistakes of history…”

Posted by Admin On August - 29 - 2013 Comments Off on President Obama: “The March on Washington teaches us that we are not trapped by the mistakes of history…”

“The March on Washington teaches us that we are not trapped by the mistakes of history; that we are masters of our fate.  But it also teaches us that the promise of this nation will only be kept when we work together.  We’ll have to reignite the embers of empathy and fellow feeling, the coalition of conscience that found expression in this place 50 years ago” – President Barack Obama. The remark was made August 28, 2013  at the “Let Freedom Ring” Ceremony commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington

Lincoln Memorial

(President Obama’s Remarks in its entirety)

THE PRESIDENT: To the King family, who have sacrificed and inspired so much; to President Clinton; President Carter; Vice President Biden and Jill; fellow Americans.

Five decades ago today, Americans came to this honored place to lay claim to a promise made at our founding:  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

In 1963, almost 200 years after those words were set to paper, a full century after a great war was fought and emancipation proclaimed, that promise — those truths — remained unmet.  And so they came by the thousands from every corner of our country, men and women, young and old, blacks who longed for freedom and whites who could no longer accept freedom for themselves while witnessing the subjugation of others.

Across the land, congregations sent them off with food and with prayer.  In the middle of the night, entire blocks of Harlem came out to wish them well.  With the few dollars they scrimped from their labor, some bought tickets and boarded buses, even if they couldn’t always sit where they wanted to sit.  Those with less money hitchhiked or walked.  They were seamstresses and steelworkers, students and teachers, maids and Pullman porters.  They shared simple meals and bunked together on floors.  And then, on a hot summer day, they assembled here, in our nation’s capital, under the shadow of the Great Emancipator — to offer testimony of injustice, to petition their government for redress, and to awaken America’s long-slumbering conscience.

We rightly and best remember Dr. King’s soaring oratory that day, how he gave mighty voice to the quiet hopes of millions; how he offered a salvation path for oppressed and oppressors alike.  His words belong to the ages, possessing a power and prophecy unmatched in our time.

But we would do well to recall that day itself also belonged to those ordinary people whose names never appeared in the history books, never got on TV.  Many had gone to segregated schools and sat at segregated lunch counters.  They lived in towns where they couldn’t vote and cities where their votes didn’t matter.  They were couples in love who couldn’t marry, soldiers who fought for freedom abroad that they found denied to them at home.  They had seen loved ones beaten, and children fire-hosed, and they had every reason to lash out in anger, or resign themselves to a bitter fate.

And yet they chose a different path.  In the face of hatred, they prayed for their tormentors.  In the face of violence, they stood up and sat in, with the moral force of nonviolence.  Willingly, they went to jail to protest unjust laws, their cells swelling with the sound of freedom songs.  A lifetime of indignities had taught them that no man can take away the dignity and grace that God grants us.  They had learned through hard experience what Frederick Douglass once taught — that freedom is not given, it must be won, through struggle and discipline, persistence and faith.

That was the spirit they brought here that day.  That was the spirit young people like John Lewis brought to that day.  That was the spirit that they carried with them, like a torch, back to their cities and their neighborhoods.  That steady flame of conscience and courage that would sustain them through the campaigns to come — through boycotts and voter registration drives and smaller marches far from the spotlight; through the loss of four little girls in Birmingham, and the carnage of the Edmund Pettus Bridge, and the agony of Dallas and California and Memphis.  Through setbacks and heartbreaks and gnawing doubt, that flame of justice flickered; it never died.

And because they kept marching, America changed.  Because they marched, a Civil Rights law was passed.  Because they marched, a Voting Rights law was signed.  Because they marched, doors of opportunity and education swung open so their daughters and sons could finally imagine a life for themselves beyond washing somebody else’s laundry or shining somebody else’s shoes. Because they marched, city councils changed and state legislatures changed, and Congress changed, and, yes, eventually, the White House changed.

Because they marched, America became more free and more fair — not just for African Americans, but for women and Latinos, Asians and Native Americans; for Catholics, Jews, and Muslims; for gays, for Americans with a disability.  America changed for you and for me.  and the entire world drew strength from that example, whether the young people who watched from the other side of an Iron Curtain and would eventually tear down that wall, or the young people inside South Africa who would eventually end the scourge of apartheid.

Those are the victories they won, with iron wills and hope in their hearts.  That is the transformation that they wrought, with each step of their well-worn shoes.  That’s the debt that I and millions of Americans owe those maids, those laborers, those porters, those secretaries; folks who could have run a company maybe if they had ever had a chance; those white students who put themselves in harm’s way, even though they didn’t have; those Japanese Americans who recalled their own internment; those Jewish Americans who had survived the Holocaust; people who could have given up and given in, but kept on keeping on, knowing that “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”

On the battlefield of justice, men and women without rank or wealth or title or fame would liberate us all in ways that our children now take for granted, as people of all colors and creeds live together and learn together and walk together, and fight alongside one another, and love one another, and judge one another by the content of our character in this greatest nation on Earth.

To dismiss the magnitude of this progress — to suggest, as some sometimes do, that little has changed — that dishonors the courage and the sacrifice of those who paid the price to march in those years.  Medgar Evers, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, Martin Luther King Jr. — they did not die in vain.   Their victory was great.

But we would dishonor those heroes as well to suggest that the work of this nation is somehow complete.  The arc of the moral universe may bend towards justice, but it doesn’t bend on its own.  To secure the gains this country has made requires constant vigilance, not complacency.  Whether by challenging those who erect new barriers to the vote, or ensuring that the scales of justice work equally for all, and the criminal justice system is not simply a pipeline from underfunded schools to overcrowded jails, it requires vigilance.

And we’ll suffer the occasional setback.  But we will win these fights.  This country has changed too much. People of goodwill, regardless of party, are too plentiful for those with ill will to change history’s currents.

In some ways, though, the securing of civil rights, voting rights, the eradication of legalized discrimination — the very significance of these victories may have obscured a second goal of the March.  For the men and women who gathered 50 years ago were not there in search of some abstract ideal.  They were there seeking jobs as well as justice — not just the absence of oppression but the presence of economic opportunity.

For what does it profit a man, Dr. King would ask, to sit at an integrated lunch counter if he can’t afford the meal?  This idea — that one’s liberty is linked to one’s livelihood; that the pursuit of happiness requires the dignity of work, the skills to find work, decent pay, some measure of material security — this idea was not new.  Lincoln himself understood the Declaration of Independence in such terms — as a promise that in due time, “the weights should be lifted from the shoulders of all men, and that all should have an equal chance.”

And Dr. King explained that the goals of African Americans were identical to working people of all races:  “Decent wages, fair working conditions, livable housing, old-age security, health and welfare measures, conditions in which families can grow, have education for their children, and respect in the community.”

What King was describing has been the dream of every American.  It’s what’s lured for centuries new arrivals to our shores.  And it’s along this second dimension — of economic opportunity, the chance through honest toil to advance one’s station in life — where the goals of 50 years ago have fallen most short.

Yes, there have been examples of success within black America that would have been unimaginable a half century ago.  But as has already been noted, black unemployment has remained almost twice as high as white unemployment, Latino unemployment close behind.  The gap in wealth between races has not lessened, it’s grown.  And as President Clinton indicated, the position of all working Americans, regardless of color, has eroded, making the dream Dr. King described even more elusive.

For over a decade, working Americans of all races have seen their wages and incomes stagnate, even as corporate profits soar, even as the pay of a fortunate few explodes.  Inequality has steadily risen over the decades.  Upward mobility has become harder.  In too many communities across this country, in cities and suburbs and rural hamlets, the shadow of poverty casts a pall over our youth, their lives a fortress of substandard schools and diminished prospects, inadequate health care and perennial violence.

And so as we mark this anniversary, we must remind ourselves that the measure of progress for those who marched 50 years ago was not merely how many blacks could join the ranks of millionaires.  It was whether this country would admit all people who are willing to work hard regardless of race into the ranks of a middle-class life.

The test was not, and never has been, whether the doors of opportunity are cracked a bit wider for a few.  It was whether our economic system provides a fair shot for the many — for the black custodian and the white steelworker, the immigrant dishwasher and the Native American veteran.  To win that battle, to answer that call — this remains our great unfinished business.

We shouldn’t fool ourselves.  The task will not be easy.  Since 1963, the economy has changed.  The twin forces of technology and global competition have subtracted those jobs that once provided a foothold into the middle class — reduced the bargaining power of American workers.  And our politics has suffered.  Entrenched interests, those who benefit from an unjust status quo, resisted any government efforts to give working families a fair deal — marshaling an army of lobbyists and opinion makers to argue that minimum wage increases or stronger labor laws or taxes on the wealthy who could afford it just to fund crumbling schools, that all these things violated sound economic principles.  We’d be told that growing inequality was a price for a growing economy, a measure of this free market; that greed was good and compassion ineffective, and those without jobs or health care had only themselves to blame.

And then, there were those elected officials who found it useful to practice the old politics of division, doing their best to convince middle-class Americans of a great untruth — that government was somehow itself to blame for their growing economic insecurity; that distant bureaucrats were taking their hard-earned dollars to benefit the welfare cheat or the illegal immigrant.

And then, if we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that during the course of 50 years, there were times when some of us claiming to push for change lost our way.  The anguish of assassinations set off self-defeating riots.  Legitimate grievances against police brutality tipped into excuse-making for criminal behavior.  Racial politics could cut both ways, as the transformative message of unity and brotherhood was drowned out by the language of recrimination.  And what had once been a call for equality of opportunity, the chance for all Americans to work hard and get ahead was too often framed as a mere desire for government support — as if we had no agency in our own liberation, as if poverty was an excuse for not raising your child, and the bigotry of others was reason to give up on yourself.

All of that history is how progress stalled.  That’s how hope was diverted.  It’s how our country remained divided.  But the good news is, just as was true in 1963, we now have a choice. We can continue down our current path, in which the gears of this great democracy grind to a halt and our children accept a life of lower expectations; where politics is a zero-sum game where a few do very well while struggling families of every race fight over a shrinking economic pie — that’s one path.  Or we can have the courage to change.

The March on Washington teaches us that we are not trapped by the mistakes of history; that we are masters of our fate.  But it also teaches us that the promise of this nation will only be kept when we work together.  We’ll have to reignite the embers of empathy and fellow feeling, the coalition of conscience that found expression in this place 50 years ago.

And I believe that spirit is there, that truth force inside each of us.  I see it when a white mother recognizes her own daughter in the face of a poor black child.  I see it when the black youth thinks of his own grandfather in the dignified steps of an elderly white man.  It’s there when the native-born recognizing that striving spirit of the new immigrant; when the interracial couple connects the pain of a gay couple who are discriminated against and understands it as their own.

That’s where courage comes from — when we turn not from each other, or on each other, but towards one another, and we find that we do not walk alone.  That’s where courage comes from.

And with that courage, we can stand together for good jobs and just wages.  With that courage, we can stand together for the right to health care in the richest nation on Earth for every person.  With that courage, we can stand together for the right of every child, from the corners of Anacostia to the hills of Appalachia, to get an education that stirs the mind and captures the spirit, and prepares them for the world that awaits them.  (Applause.)

With that courage, we can feed the hungry, and house the homeless, and transform bleak wastelands of poverty into fields of commerce and promise.

America, I know the road will be long, but I know we can get there.  Yes, we will stumble, but I know we’ll get back up.  That’s how a movement happens.  That’s how history bends.  That’s how when somebody is faint of heart, somebody else brings them along and says, come on, we’re marching.

There’s a reason why so many who marched that day, and in the days to come, were young — for the young are unconstrained by habits of fear, unconstrained by the conventions of what is.  They dared to dream differently, to imagine something better.  And I am convinced that same imagination, the same hunger of purpose stirs in this generation.

We might not face the same dangers of 1963, but the fierce urgency of now remains.  We may never duplicate the swelling crowds and dazzling procession of that day so long ago — no one can match King’s brilliance — but the same flame that lit the heart of all who are willing to take a first step for justice, I know that flame remains.

That tireless teacher who gets to class early and stays late and dips into her own pocket to buy supplies because she believes that every child is her charge — she’s marching.

That successful businessman who doesn’t have to but pays his workers a fair wage and then offers a shot to a man, maybe an ex-con who is down on his luck — he’s marching.

The mother who pours her love into her daughter so that she grows up with the confidence to walk through the same door as anybody’s son — she’s marching.

The father who realizes the most important job he’ll ever have is raising his boy right, even if he didn’t have a father — especially if he didn’t have a father at home — he’s marching.

The battle-scarred veterans who devote themselves not only to helping their fellow warriors stand again, and walk again, and run again, but to keep serving their country when they come home — they are marching.

Everyone who realizes what those glorious patriots knew on that day — that change does not come from Washington, but to Washington; that change has always been built on our willingness, We The People, to take on the mantle of citizenship — you are marching.

And that’s the lesson of our past.  That’s the promise of tomorrow — that in the face of impossible odds, people who love their country can change it.  That when millions of Americans of every race and every region, every faith and every station, can join together in a spirit of brotherhood, then those mountains will be made low, and those rough places will be made plain, and those crooked places, they straighten out towards grace, and we will vindicate the faith of those who sacrificed so much and live up to the true meaning of our creed, as one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Let’s take off the boxing gloves! “Unhelpful People” working in Chicago and Illinois State Government jobs should resign!

Posted by Admin On August - 29 - 2013 Comments Off on Let’s take off the boxing gloves! “Unhelpful People” working in Chicago and Illinois State Government jobs should resign!

By Rev. Harold E. Bailey

President, Probation Challenge & the PCC Broadcast Network

Over my many years of wrestling with our community youth, last Friday, Probation Challenge celebrated 34-years of existence! And in all these many years, I’ve wept with offenders and their families regarding the child’s stupid uneducated offenses! On more than a few occasions, I’ve cried with victims whose loss can never be recovered! I’ve also wept bitterly over Chicago City Hall’s approach to crime – not having one working solution! … And, I’ve all but dried-up crying regarding our Illinois governmental attitude toward seeking constructive means to curb crime committed by youth.

There are many who sit in high places of government that know – just as I know, that there are in fact ways to help youth come from under the heavy burden of obeying a gang-chief – and thusly, return to family and to a sane way of living. Well, if they know these things, why is it that they have signed on to helping those across town rather than those folk right here in the community where they live? Indeed, there are more questions than there are answers!

Are constructive measures hard? Of course not! The way of the transgressor is terribly difficult! Is it easy to do the right thing about everybody rather than some bodies of people? Well, it appears that some folk aspire to help themselves rather than the total masses of people. Some dwell on noting the fact that they are getting over on a certain body of folk – African-Americans and Hispanics. This is far from being equal and certainly not fair.

I encourage Blacks and Hispanics to investigate carefully those persons who are sleeping at the switch… and bring them home to awake from their slumber. What then should we do? Don’t vote for people who are about the dollars and not the lives and safety of the people in the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois. Search political records and make sure who, what and when, they have last helped to curb crime in your community or your neighborhood!

It’s time out for talking the talk and not walking the walk…as children are dying every day in Chicago… and not much of anything coming out of City Hall but budgets and proposals for spending more monies…and the taxpayers will have to bear the burden.

Time is out for foolish responses by city and state administrations after the community has suffered over and over because of weekend shootings at the hands of downright blatant killers and murders!

Many of the public seek to ask, if not beg, all non-helpful government workers, who are sitting on the seats of doing nothing regarding adequate solutions to crime and drugs. My advice to those non-helpful government workers:

1. Get up and earn your salary

2. Admit that you are non-helpful… and RESIGN! As an elected public servant, you were hired by the people to render help for the taxpayer… via solutions, and not to render solutions for your raise, along with other means of self advancement! We are tired! We are angry! And no one is getting over but the undertaker!

Rev. Harold E. Bailey is the President of Probation Challenge and the PCC Broadcast Network http://www.probationchallenge.org/

An addition to CopyLine Magazine

Illinois to lead nation with optimal physical education and health standards tied to brain research

Posted by Admin On August - 29 - 2013 Comments Off on Illinois to lead nation with optimal physical education and health standards tied to brain research

P.E. Task Force releases evidence-based recommendations to improve school physical fitness programs and strategies

“It’s time to value P.E. as a core subject in schools, as it plays a critical role in teaching students how to achieve optimal health and physical fitness, while increasing their ability to succeed academically.”   – Elissa Bassler, CEO of the Illinois Public Health Institute SPRINGFIELD, IL – A state report released today calls for new benchmarks and strategies to improve and increase physical education classes, noting the latest neuroscience research linking physical activity with improved academic performance. State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch and Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck, director of the Department of Public Health, co-chaired the Illinois Enhance Physical Education (P.E.) Task Force, which developed the 148-page report that has been submitted to Gov. Pat Quinn, the Illinois State General Assembly, and health organizations and community groups interested in turning the tide of childhood obesity and improving health for all students.

“There are no silver bullet options when it comes to solutions to the most pressing issues facing our students today,” said State Superintendent of Education Koch. “There is compelling research, however, that shows Illinois students with healthy levels of cardiorespiratory fitness were more than two times more likely to meet state testing standards in reading and math. Increasing physical activity during the school day is a critical and attainable way to improve student health and academic outcomes in the near term.”

Illinois’ schools system, like those in many states, faces multiple challenges, including budgetary and facility constraints as well as soaring obesity rates – all of which disproportionately impact low-income and minority populations.

Enhanced physical education is an evidence-based approach that calls for increasing the amount of time students spend in moderate to vigorous physical activity in P.E. class and has generated proven positive results.

The Illinois Enhance Physical Education Task Force reviewed extensive research showing that children who are more physically active – in P.E. class, throughout the school day and during recess – perform better in class and on standardized tests, exhibit better classroom behaviors and improve health outcomes.

The recommended standards and strategies could be implemented in the coming years and could mean new approaches to P.E., such as integrating physical activity throughout the school day, to reap even more benefits.

Quality enhanced P.E. programs ensure that at least 50 percent of a class time is spent in moderate to vigorous activity. National research, however, shows that the time being spent physically active during P.E. classes is generally low. In a typical 30-minute K-6 class, students engage in only about 11 minutes of physical activity per day. Illinois, the first state in the nation to require daily P.E. for all K-12 students, has seen several schools, such as those in Lake Bluff, Naperville and Unity Point, already change their focus, emphasizing fitness over athletics or team sports, and more schools may take a similar approach in the coming years.

To see a chart outlining the differences between traditional P.E. and enhanced P.E. approaches, go to http://www.isbe.net/EPE/pdf/reports-webinars/epetf-pe-comparison-chart0813.pdf.

In order to increase P.E.’s return on investment for learning and health, the governor signed Public Act 97-1102 in August 2012, creating the Enhance P.E. Task Force. Per its charge, the task force proposed revisions to Goals 19-24 of the Illinois Learning Standards for Physical Development and Health, including the addition of two new standards that incorporate the latest research and best practices for achieving optimal student health and academic achievement.

One proposed new standard covers advocating for the health of individuals, families and communities and another calls for explaining the structures and functions of the brain and how they are impacted by different physical activities and fitness levels. Learning standards are set at the state level while districts then write curricula to meet the standards.

In addition to the task force’s expertise, the revisions were reviewed by more than a dozen experts across Illinois. The task force expects that the regulatory review process, including the Illinois State Board of Education’s review and possible adoption of the proposed standards, public comment and approval by the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, will occur during the 2013-2014 school year.

School officials could begin planning for and phasing in implementation of the new standards during the 2014-2015 academic year and would be ready for full implementation of the standards in the 2015-16 academic year.

The task force convened more than 30 school, physical education, and health experts and stakeholders from across the state.

“After seeing the research showing improved test scores for physically active and fit students right here in Illinois, I became a convert to the cause of enhancing P.E.”   – Jean Sophie, Lake Bluff Schools District 65 Superintendent “I came to this work from a place of caution,” said Jean Sophie, superintendent of Lake Bluff Schools District 65 and member of the task force. “As a school superintendent, I’m keenly aware of the pressure schools are facing to meet new requirements. After seeing the research showing improved test scores for physically active and fit students right here in Illinois, I became a convert to the cause of enhancing P.E. We worked hard to offer a comprehensive set of recommendations that take into account the geographic, demographic and economic diversity of the state’s 860 school districts.”

The report provides a rationale for why physical education is critical given our current fiscal climate and health outcomes, and offers guidance and resources for achieving better academic performance, improved behavior and better health.

“Healthy children are better learners. Improving student fitness and health is a key goal of the Illinois Department of Public Health in our statewide `We Choose Health initiative,’ because we understand that there are lifelong benefits – in terms of less chronic disease and lower costs to the health care system,” said Dr. Hasbrouck. “This report offers practical, implementable and feasible approaches to enhancing P.E. programs right now.”

The recommendations offer an array of strategies to enhance existing P.E. programs, including:

· Promoting training and professional development in enhanced P.E. for teachers and other school and community stakeholders.

· Implementing metrics to assess the impact of enhanced physical education.

· Identifying and seeking local, state and national resources to support enhanced physical education.

· Engaging communities.

For more information on the Enhance P.E. Task Force, and to read the task force’s full report, visit http://www.isbe.net/EPE/html/EPETF.htm. The Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Public Health will continue discussions with members of the task force to increase awareness of the need and the resources available for implementing enhanced physical education.

“It’s time to value P.E. as a core subject in schools, as it plays a critical role in teaching students how to achieve optimal health and physical fitness, while increasing their ability to succeed academically,” said Elissa Bassler, task force member and CEO of the Illinois Public Health Institute. “As health advocates, we also know that better education correlates with better health, so we see this work as a win-win for both education and health.”

For the latest news from the Illinois State Board of Education, follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Illinois-State-Board-of-Education/136022251779 or Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/ISBEnews. Visit the official ISBE website at http://www.isbe.net.

Pfleger: Calls for zero tolerance of shooting in honor of today’s (August 28th) March on Washington

Posted by Admin On August - 29 - 2013 Comments Off on Pfleger: Calls for zero tolerance of shooting in honor of today’s (August 28th) March on Washington

Says ‘Safe Passage” program ‘is a joke’

By Chinta Strausberg

Decades ago, the “Little Rock Nine” students tried to enroll in a high school but it took President Eisenhower to call in the federal troops to protect them against racists trying to prevent their admission but today 56-years later Father Michael L. Pfleger says we have Chicago’s “Safe Passage” program designed to protect children who are now forced to travel through rival gangs territories.

In honor of today’s commemoration of the 1963 March on Washington, Father Pfleger called for zero tolerance for shooting he said would be the greatest gift a person could give Dr. King.

Pfleger told the story of Black opera super opera singer, Marian Anderson,  and how in 1939 she was banned from singing at Constitutional Hall solely because she was African American.“When she was banned, there was an outraged all across America,” said Pfleger.

He told of then First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt who invited Anderson to sing in front of the Lincoln Memorial where she sang “My Country Liberty” on Easter morning. Pfleger said 24-years later the late Dorothy Heights said, “I must repent from my statement” because on August 28, 1963, more than 250,000 met at the Lincoln Memorial where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his iconic “I Have a Dream”speech.

But, Pfleger made it clear that it was not Dr. King who orchestrated the march on Washington but rather A. Phillip Randolph who had been organizing such an event for 12 years with the porters of the Pullman railroad which employed the largest number of blacks at that time.

Randolph was organizing a march in 1941 to protest racial discrimination in the military; however, President Roosevelt issued an executive order, the Fair Employment Act, which caused Randolph to call off the march.

Pfleger said in 1962 Civil Rights leader Bayard Rustin encouraged Randolph to revise his plans for a march.  At the same time, Dr. King went to President Kennedy asking him to write a new Emancipation Proclamation on this 100th anniversary.  Pfleger said Kennedy refused. King vowed to organize the march.

Fiftty years later, Pfleger said there is a “danger that has come about in our country to try to sabotage and water down the radical message of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr….to sabotage his message and not deal with the oneness and critique ofthe American system….”

Father Pfleger said people try to “make them acceptable to the masses. Dr. King was not assassinated because of a dream” but rather “he dared to challenge the system…the same way that Edgar Medgars and Malcolm X were,” he bellowed.

“When they can’t discredit you enough, they will kill you,” Pfleger said.

Where do we go from here”? asked Pfleger who said he was asked why didn’t he go to Washington. Pfleger had a problem with the people who were not invited to speak at the March on Washington like Harry Belafonte, who paid for Dr. King’s funeral, or with Dr. Joseph Lowery…”those who were there 50-years ago and fighting and had hoses and dogs biting them and who locked up in jail. I have a problem when they are not invited to speak today.

“ I don’t care about the President. I don’t care about the congressman or senators. I want to know where are the people who shed blood” and why they were no tinvited to speak.

Pfleger warned the congregation “not to relegate that speech in the last segment of the  “I Have a Dream.” He said King’s dream speech was neither “warm nor fuzzy” and that King’s speech was “brutally honest about racism, violence…that existed in America in 1963 and exist in America in 2013, 50-years later,” he said.

Pfleger was irate when he learned that Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., was put on at 9 a.m. when nobody was not yet there. Jackson was on the balcony on April 4, 1968 when King was shot.  Pfleger said he was outraged that Jackson was relegated to two-minutes and at the 9 a.m….. hour.

To honor Dr. King, Pfleger said, you ought to be like King. He said the Voting Rights Act “is being gutted right before our eyes. We have to demand the church, the young people must demand congress write a new voter rights act that protects” and ensures everyone the right to vote “without loopholes…. Everybody deserves the right to vote…. We will not go back,” he said referring to the Jim Crow days when blacks had to guess how many bubbles in a bottle.

There are many fights Pfleger said that must be fought like fighting for a higher minimum wage…, fight for an equal education he says today “depends on race, class and zip code. We must break the chains of mass incarceration, end sentencing disparity wgucg still depends on how wealthy you are to get a good lawyer because whether you’re free. It’s not whether you’re innocent. It’s how good a lawyer you got in a courtroom. We know that from George Zimmerman,” he said referring to the man who killed 17-year-old unarmed Trayvon Martin. “It’s who you got in the courtroom.”

“We live in a country where incarceration is still the preferred choice…still the preferred choice over good education, prevention and opportunity. Brothers don’t want to go to jail. Give them an opportunity to do something else than go out into the streets,” Pfleger said.

“We must break the chains of racism, materialism, classism and militarism that still have a choke hold on America. Trayvon  Martin isn’t some random incident that happened in Florida. Trayvon Martin happens all over America every day in the cities, in the streets” of  America,” he said asking all those who have a black male son to raise their hands. He then asked them if they worry about that son being killed. That, he said, is the reality of the signs of the times.

Referring to what is happening in Egypt and the misnomer of calling it a coup, Pfleger said, “When the military takes the president out of his home (who has been) democratically elected whether you like him or not and locks him up in a room and then takes control of a country, that’s a military coup. You can say whatever you want, but let’s just deal with the truth.”

Pfleger explained why “we won’t call it a military coup, then we come down to Egypt we withdraw millions that we’re giving them and they shut off use of the Suez Canal where the oil comes through. It’s not that we give a damn about Egypt. We care about oil. That’s what America cares about is oil….” “Let’s care about people,” he bellowed.

Pfleger said we send millions of dollar to Egypt and to Israel. He said America “is not broke. We just don’t spend our money right. America is just like most of us. We ain’t broke. We just don’t manage our money well….”

“We have to push forward to challenge the challenge Dr. King gave us for equality. Dr. King fought and won integration of schools, of buses and bus stations. Dr.King won the integration” of public accommodation, but Pfleger argued “what does it mean if you can now go to a hotel but you don’t have a job to stay there? What does it mean if you can sit at any lunch counter but you don’t have any money to pay for the lunch?

“Yes, we integrated bus counters, lunch counters, drinking fountains and schools, but now we must integrate corporate board rooms,” said Pfleger. “We must now integrate the Fortune 500 companies. We must now integrate Wall Street. We must now integrate La Salle St. We must now integrate the CEO and the president’s office of every corporate company in America. If you don’t have black people on your board, you should not exist,” he bellowed.

“We must integrate resources. We must integrate respect and value of life not just in the womb but in our children on the streets…..” “We must break the chains that destroyed our value systems….” “When did we give up the structure, responsibility and accountability in our homes? When did we allow poverty, racism and prejudice to destroy parenting”? Pfleger said the reason why he is not in jail today is because of his mother he feared more than any police officer on the street. “We must break the chains of parenting.”

Pfleger spoke about the children who were shot in Chicago including an 11-year-old girl who was on her porch. He asked, “Why was an 11-year-old on the porch at 4 a.m.”? “I’m sad but why  are babies out by themselves on the street? We must break the chains of a society that is trying to lower the standards in compromising.

“Dr. King taught us that hate and injustice and racism can never steal our dignity and our self-respect….”  He spoke about the NRA and how it is pushing a gun in the hand of every American but Pfleger said, “There is nothing in your hand is more powerful than what we have in our spirit.

“I believe Dr. King would weep” at a nation that has fallen in love with guns. “I believe that Dr. King would weep at a nation with guns that have become a part of our wardrobe. I believe that Dr. King would weep at a time when we got to put signs on our doors ‘No guns allowed here.’ There was a day when we would not think of walking into a temple, church of synagogue but today….”

Pfleger said Dr. King would weep at the three students shot a person because they wanted to know how it felt to shoot somebody or shootings in a church.

The violence, he said is replacing the KKK in this country. Pfleger said, “what kind of a sick society we have become” that we have to hire people to protect our children. He spoke of the Little Rock 9 who tried to integrate a school and the governor of Arkansas blocked their entry and President Eisenhower had to call in the federal troops to protect the students.

“And now in 2013, we have to hire people to protect our children. What kind of society we live in today when we put up Safe Passage signs that continue to give a stigma and stereotype to a child and a neighborhood….”? “A sign does not make you safe. The sign is a joke. The hiring of Safe Passage workers should be ashamed….that we have hire someone to keep them safe.”

Pfleger said it pains him when children are asked what do they want to be and they respond, “to live.” Fifty-years later, Father Pfleger said, “We have to resuscitate the call for non-violence…to take the gospel of love off the life support….”

Referring to the people of faith, Pfleger said, “We must reclaim our identity. I believe religious leaders…all across the nation should take the phlegm of the world out of your throats so that you can reclaim the prophetic voice….”

“There will be a rude awakening if this nation returns to business as usual. ”Referring to the summer and black discontent, Pfleger said, “There will be neither rest nor tranquility…. “

Pfleger also told the church that it was gospel great Mahalia Jackson who told Dr. King to tell everyone about his dream. It was at that point that King shied away from his prepared notes and gave his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.

King, Pfleger said, “tried to wake up the conscious of a nation…. “Dr. King did more than deliver a speech. Dr. King delivered a challenge to America and to the world.” He pointed out the bad check” marked Insufficient Funds as an example. “The bank of justice was not bankrupt.” Pfleger said it just didn’t want to pay you.

Pfleger said King was right when he said since 100 years of the Emancipation Proclamation “the Negro was still not free in America. “ Quoting King, Pfleger added, “We must go back home and fight” and said “freedom will not come without suffering.”

So, on this day the nation is celebrating the 50th anniversary of  Dr. King’s march on Washington. Father Pfleger issued a challenge to his congregation. “Don’t be satisfied with better. Don’t be satisfied until it’s the best it ought to be. Fifty-years later don’t be satisfied until every single child can get the education he or she deserves.”

Asking the Saint Sabina peacemakers, who were once gang members, to stand, Pfleger bellowed, “Until we stop calling guys on the street gangbangers and start recognizing this is the future leadership of America…. This is the power of the streets to turn the streets around. Stop demonizing our children.

“Don’t be satisfied until every person can have a job and feel proud about themselves. Don’t be satisfied until every person has health care and doesn’t have to wonder about the kind of health care they get. Don’t be satisfied until no one sleeps under the viaducts…or some kid is on a couch because he or she has noplace else to go.

“Until we respect every race, gender, culture and creed, don’t be satisfied. Don’t be satisfied until the weapons of war are no more whether it’s across the ocean oracross our streets. Don’t be satisfied until no person is shot not in Palestine, not in Columbia, not in Mexico, not in Lawndale, not in Garfield, not in Auburn Gresham or Pilsen. We will not be satisfied until no child is shot and don’t be satisfied until racism and sexism exist no more in America,” he bellowed.

“Don’t be satisfied until there is nobody hungry, until there is no one wondering where they will lay their head at night. Don’t be satisfied until our children can play again in the parks and on their blocks without fear and the sounds of our night …are children’s laughter…..

“Don’t be satisfied until justice and righteousness roll down like a mighty stream because when that happens, we will not have to go to sleep and dream any more about the beloved community because we can wake and live it every single day.The freedom bell still waits to ring but it won’t ring until the hammer of justice hits it high and justice” prevails for justice for all.

Referring to today’s 50th anniversary of the 1963 march on Washington, Pfleger said ministers should honor those people who attended the original march. He called for a zero tolerance on shooting in honor of today’s remembrance of King’s involvement in that march.

And to show his gratitude, Father Pfleger bestowed the “Medallions of Honor” to four members of his church who attended the 1963 March on Washington. They were Ed Collins, Richard Walker, Mrytis Minor and Lavergne Mormon with Mrs. Minor telling her story about her life in Mississippi.

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.

R&B Legend Kashif Returns to the Stage

Posted by Admin On August - 29 - 2013 Comments Off on R&B Legend Kashif Returns to the Stage

Kashif is back! The Legendary Writer, Producer & Recording Artist returns to the stage to continue his unrelenting assault on the Music & Entertainment Industry

The R&B Festival Live 2 concert benefits The National College Resources Foundation who has given away over $500,000 in college scholarships to deserving at risk students

Los Angeles, CA (BlackNews.com) — R&B Hall of Fame Living Legend and six time Grammy nominated Producer/Songwriter and Recording Artist KASHIF performed at the annual R&B Live Festival 2 event on August 3rd at the Fairplex, Pomona Fairgrounds in Pomona, California to a sold out audience of 9000 – plus screaming fans.

R&B Live Festival is an annual event that brings a day full of soulful music, positive energy and unity to the community to help raise funding for the National College Resources Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps underserved and underrepresented students get into college. Along with KASHIF, the concert also featured Joe, After 7, Jon B, Carl Thomas and a surprise come back performance by O’Bryan.

This was KASHIF’s first appearance on stage in California in over 25 years. “This is my 39th year in music and entertainment,” he announced to his audience. “I am constantly reminded of how blessed I am. The entire audience was on their feet dancing and singing along with every hit, as his band and orchestra delivered that melodic and robust sound he’s known for. KASHIF’s vocals were brilliant, and strong as ever, his passion, love and respect for music was seen and felt by everyone who has ever been touched by his timeless musical genius.

The R&B Live concert goers lined the front of the stage with their eyes fixed on him, as he soulfully performed hit after hit, ‘Lover Turn Me On’, ‘Help Yourself To My Love’ and others. The crowd already on their feet went into an absolute frenzy as he shifted gears and began to perform hits that he wrote and produced for other artists. Songs such as ‘You Give Good Love’, performed by the late Whitney Houston, ‘I’m In Love’, performed by Evelyn Champagne King, ‘So Fine’, performed by Howard Johnson ‘Love Come Down’, and many others. The crowd rushed the stage and security had to intervene as he launched into ‘Love Changes’ to end the show.

An adoring fan, still in awe of Kashif’s performance, exclaimed, “The moment his band started to play and Kashif walked on the stage something shifted. Literally car alarms started going off and a major increase in the energy was felt. I felt it, everyone I was with felt it. All I can say is WOW!” As important as it is to know your fans appreciate you, knowing that the promoter does as well is every artists’ desire. “Kashif! Me and my staff have nothing but love for you and your band. You put on one hell of a show” – Marcus WIldstyle – Promoter of R&B Live

To his credit KASHIF has sold over 70 million records worldwide. This Grammy nominee not only writes music, produces and performs, he is also an author, who wrote and self-published the highly acclaimed book Everything You’d Better Know About The Record Industry considered by many to be the music industry Bible, it has sold over 375,000 copies worldwide!

KASHIF has received community awards from the California State Senate, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villariagosa, all five Los Angeles County members of the Board of Supervisors, The Los Angeles County Children & Family Services and others. He founded Kashif University, located on the campus of Morningside High School in Inglewood, California, it is an integrated education and arts training program for at-risk-youth ages 8-18. His influence is not only felt and heard in his music, his innovations will benefit the music industry as a whole and will be felt for many generations to come!

Kashif is currently producing and directing a ten part documentary series entitled The History of R&B Music and Its Influence On World Culture. Inspired by the murder of Trayvon Martin and the continuous attacks on children, Kashif has taken a brief pause in this project and written an anthem of peace that will be used as remembrance and a call for solidarity.

“We are leaving too many of our children unprotected. It is imperative that we stand and pay attention to the constant demise of children all around the world. This is a call for awareness and action globally. We must come together and embrace the cause of taking better care of our children,” he stated.

Over the next few weeks he will be filming and recording a “We Are The World” type performance in Los Angeles and New York with various musicians, singers, actors, actresses, athletes, other celebrities and caring individuals from all industries. We invite you to join us in this important project and lend your voice to our contribution in the growing movement for justice and peace. 100% of the net profits from this project are being donated to the Trayvon Martin Foundation and the ACLU.

KASHIF remains humbled and driven to help bring a better life to America’s most valuable resource, our children.

About National College Resources Foundation

National College Resources Foundation (NCRF) is a full service student and parent outreach program geared towards underrepresented youth and their families to help restrain the high school dropout rate. In California, only 68% of students are graduating from high school (2009 Alliant for Excellent Education). NCR Foundation has helped over 375,000 students get into college and has given away over $500,000 in scholarships.

Photo Caption:
KASHIF, R&B Hall of Fame Living Legend and six time Grammy nominated Producer/Songwriter and Recording Artist

Department of Insurance announces $10 million settlement with ING

Posted by Admin On August - 29 - 2013 Comments Off on Department of Insurance announces $10 million settlement with ING

Illinois leads multi-state effort to examine use of Social Security DMF records

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI) Director Andrew Boron today announced a $10.7 million settlement with ING regarding its use of the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File (DMF) and also announced the release of a market conduct report of the MassMutual Companies. The MassMutual report concludes that the company had complied with the law in its use of the DMF.

The resolutions with both ING and MassMutual stem from multi-state market conduct examinations of the forty largest life insurers regarding the timely payment of proceeds to beneficiaries of life insurance policies and annuities. These examinations were lead by Illinois, along with California, Florida, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania. Massachusetts was also a lead state on the MassMutual examination.

Under the agreement, ING will implement business reforms to promote a timely and efficient search for the beneficiaries of its in-force life insurance policies and annuities. The company will regularly match all of its insureds and annuitants against the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File to help promptly identify when an insured has died, to locate and make payment to beneficiaries.

“I am glad the examinations of two of the largest life insurance companies in the country have been resolved and will ensure the obligations to policyholders and their beneficiaries are being met in a timely manner,” said DOI Director Boron. “Illinois will continue to aggressively investigate insurance companies’ improper use of the DMF in order to protect policyholders and consumers and to ensure that rightful benefits are paid under insurance policies and annuities.”

After conducting the MassMutual and ING exams, insurance regulators have concluded that eight of the largest life insurance company groups already do or will now use information obtained from the DMF to search for beneficiaries if claims have not been filed. In total, life insurance companies with 42.5% of the national market have either settled with insurance regulators or have been found compliant in their use of the DMF. Other investigations are still underway.

ING is the seventh largest life insurance company in the nation with more than $24 billion in annual premiums. MassMutual is the 11th largest insurance company, nationwide, with more than $21 billion in annual premiums.

A copy of the ING settlement agreement and the MassMutual examination report are available on the DOI website at http://insurance.illinois.gov/Home/ImpLinks.asp. Consumers who have any questions regarding this settlement, or who have any questions or concerns about their insurance, should contact the Department’s Consumer Division at http://insurance.illinois.gov or call 866-445-5364.

Collins expands energy efficiency loan program

Posted by Admin On August - 29 - 2013 Comments Off on Collins expands energy efficiency loan program

Utilities now may offer on-bill financing for loans to owners of larger rental properties

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) announced that an energy efficiency loan program has been expanded to rental properties with more than four units, thanks to legislation she sponsored this spring. Senate Bill 2350 was signed into law yesterday.

“Making energy efficient improvements boosts rental properties’ value, as well as tenants’ quality of life,” Collins said. “Millions of dollars had been set aside to make these loans to owners and landlords but was going unused, so my colleagues and I wanted to expand the reach of the program using available resources.”

The program, funded by the state’s public utilities, lends money to residential owners and landlords to make improvements that increase the energy efficiency of their properties. On-bill financing helps borrowers gradually and easily pay back their loans as they pay their utility bills each month. Landlords are not allowed to include repayment amounts on tenants’ utility bills. Starting in 2009, electric and gas utilities were required by state law to offer the loans; they contributed $12.5 million to the energy efficiency effort, but so far, less than $3 million has been issued.

“I’m pleased that we’re allowing this program to work to its full potential, benefitting property owners, tenants and the environment,” Collins said. “The money the utilities have allocated for this purpose should not sit unused.”

Jesse White Urges Student Readers to Enter “Letters About Literature” Competition

Posted by Admin On August - 29 - 2013 Comments Off on Jesse White Urges Student Readers to Enter “Letters About Literature” Competition

Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White is urging students in grades 4 through 12 to enter the 2014 “Letters About Literature” contest, a national reading and writing competition sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and the Illinois Center for the Book.

“Letters About Literature” invites students to read a book of their choice and write a letter to the author about how the book changed their life or view of the world. Students can enter on their own or through their schools, libraries or other youth organizations.

“Every year thousands of students in Illinois enjoy participating in this inspiring competition,” said White. “Illinois has had more entries than any other state for six years in a row. Anyone who has read these letters can see how literature inspires and touches the lives of our young people. I encourage all our students to take part in ‘Letters About Literature,’ and I hope their participation leads to a lifetime of reading.”

There are three levels of participation: Level I for grades 4, 5 & 6, Level II for grades 7 & 8 and Level III for grades 9-12. One Illinois winner will be selected for each level and receive a $200 cash award. Teachers of the winning students will receive a $100 cash award to purchase materials for their school library. Winners and teachers will be invited to an awards ceremony in Springfield. The state winners’ letters will be forwarded for national judging. One national winner in each of the three competition levels will receive a $1,000 cash award, and one national honor in each level will receive a $200 cash award.

The deadline to enter the competition is Friday, January 10, 2014, for Levels I & II, and Tuesday, December 10, 2013, for Level III. State winners will be announced in April 2014. For more information about the competition, contact Bonnie Matheis at 217-558-2065 or bmatheis@ilsos.net. Information also is available at http://illinoiscenterforthebook.org.

Online Petition to Repeal and Abolish Supreme Court’s Ruling Batson v Kentucky

Posted by Admin On August - 29 - 2013 Comments Off on Online Petition to Repeal and Abolish Supreme Court’s Ruling Batson v Kentucky

The ruling declares: “A citizen has no right to a jury composed in whole or in part of persons of his/her own race.”

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — According to Roger Hicks, founder of Race Justice, the court ruling which makes it legal for African-Americans (and other minorities) to be tried by all-white juries has proven over time to be nothing but an illegal racially discriminatory practice and procedure which has caused grave injustice to people of color for decades.

Hicks says, that if not repealed, Batson will continue to have devastating and destructive effects over the lives of people of color by depriving them their civil and constitutional right to a fair and impartial jury system under guise of judicial process.

He comments, “Indeed, in America, a country designated as the melting pot, with its many different types of people, ideas, religions, etc. existing together, racial diversity on juries would unquestionably improve a jury’s ability to assess witness testimony, evaluate cross-racial situations, avoid unfounded presumptions, and permit a fair outcome in both criminal and civil proceedings.”

“Equally important, racial diversity on juries would improve public confidence on part of African-Americans (and other minorities) in our American Jury System,” Hicks adds.

For more details and/or to sign the online petition, visit www.racejustice.org

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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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