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Archive for June 3rd, 2014

The United States and Poland: Strong and United – FACT SHEET

Posted by Admin On June - 3 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Poland and the United States are bound together by shared history and values, by our security alliance, and by our strong economic ties.  This year marks 25 years since Poland’s historic election that set the stage for its transition from communism to democracy.  Poland is also celebrating its 15th anniversary as a NATO member and its 10th as a member of the European Union.

Security and Defense Cooperation

The recent developments beyond NATO’s eastern border reconfirm the importance of NATO solidarity embodied in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty.  As NATO allies, the United States and Poland work closely to enhance the Alliance’s collective defense, crisis management, and cooperative security.  Poland’s commitment to investing in defense capabilities, its leadership in the Baltic Air Policing mission, and its robust participation in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan underscore its critical contributions to Alliance security.  Poland plays a critical role in the European Phased Adaptive Approach to NATO missile defense as we work together to deploy a missile defense system to Poland in 2018.  In addition, Poland is making significant contributions to NATO capabilities through its $45 billion defense modernization initiative.  The United States looks forward to even closer security ties through cooperation in support of this important project.

The United States and Poland are implementing a “Program for Solidarity and Partnership” to expand our military and security cooperation, including Special Operations forces, exercises and training, our joint aviation detachment, air and missile defense, and defense industry cooperation.  This new initiative will enhance the security of the entire Alliance and particularly that of Central and Eastern European allies.

Our commitment to European and Polish security is exemplified by the 2012 deployment of a full-time aviation detachment at Łask Air Base, the first continuous presence of U.S. troops in Poland.  The aviation detachment has already hosted five joint training rotations, including the U.S. deployment in March of 12 F-16s and approximately 200 support airmen.  Since April, U.S. Airborne Infantry paratroopers have been in Poland conducting expanded U.S. land force training and exercises with Polish troops.  Together with our NATO allies, we are committed to maintaining an augmented presence in Poland through the end of the year and beyond.

Shared Prosperity — Economics, Trade, and Energy

Poland is the United States’ largest commercial partner in Central Europe, and the United States is one of the top sources of foreign investment in Poland.  Over the past ten years, our bilateral trade quadrupled, American companies invested more than $20 billion in Poland, and more than 180,000 Poles gained employment directly from U.S. companies.  Poland stands to benefit significantly from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, a free trade agreement between the United States and the European Union.  More than half of Poland’s gross domestic product is generated by small and medium-sized businesses, over 50,000 of which are already exporters.

The United States and Poland are collaborating on a bilateral innovation program that will bring together Polish and American government representatives, businesses, researchers, academics, and investors.  Under the U.S.-Poland Science and Technology Agreement, American and Polish scientists and researchers already collaborate on advances in areas such as energy and natural resource management, as well as opportunities to expand the participation of women and girls in science.

Poland’s growing market and ambitious investment plans, military and transportation infrastructure modernization, energy sector growth, and development of innovative industries all present major commercial opportunities for U.S. companies.  In September 2014, Commerce Secretary Pritzker will lead members of the President’s Export Council on a fact-finding mission to Poland.  This delegation of senior U.S. business executives will meet with government and business leaders to discuss opportunities for greater U.S.-Poland trade and commercial engagement.

The United States supports Poland’s efforts to increase its energy security by diversifying its energy supply and strengthening its energy infrastructure.  We are committed to sharing best practices on shale gas development and facilitating consultations between our civilian nuclear regulatory authorities, and U.S. companies are engaged in Poland’s efforts to develop its shale gas and renewable energy sectors, as well as its nuclear power sector.

Support for Democracy

The United States and Poland work together to promote democracy and freedom in Europe and around the world.  Key initiatives include our bilateral Democracy Dialogue and the Community of Democracies, which we co-founded.  In Europe, we supported a program to train young political leaders from the Eastern Partnership countries — Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine — in democratic engagement.  We coordinate closely on efforts to support Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as the aspirations of the Ukrainian people.  In Moldova, we pursue joint efforts to support local governance and transparency.  In Belarus, we jointly fund efforts to assist Belarusian victims of repression.  Poland’s own experience makes it an ideal mentor for these countries as they work to bolster their democratic institutions and free market economies.

Source: Whitehouse.gov

NAACP Applauds President Obama on Carbon Pollution Rule

Posted by Admin On June - 3 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, DC – The NAACP released the following statement applauding PresidentBarack Obama for his historic proposal to curb US carbon pollution as a key component of his comprehensive climate change plan. Power plants are the country’s single biggest source of carbon pollution – responsible for up to 40% of the country’s emissions. The proposed regulations could cut carbon pollution by as much as 25% from about 1,600 power plants in operation today. This rule would have significant implications for communities of color. Three out of every four African Americans live within 30 miles of a coal-fired power plant. These communities are disproportionately represented among those with respiratory illnesses, such as lung cancer and pulmonary disease. In fact, African American children are 3 times more likely to be admitted to the hospital for an asthma attack and twice as likely to die of asthma.

From Lorraine Miller, NAACP Interim President and CEO:

“African Americans overwhelming live in areas where millions of tons of carbon pollution are trapping, concentrating, and intensifying the myriad of toxins they breathe every day. And as we have witnessed with natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina and Sandy, which are part of a pattern of shifting climate conditions driven by power plant emissions of carbon dioxide, our black and brown communities are being hit first and the worst. I commend President Obama for taking such a bold step for environmental justice in protecting our most vulnerable communities.”

From Katherine Egland, NAACP National Board Member and Environmental and Climate Justice Committee Chair:

“After surviving the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, it is reassuring that our government plans to curb climate disasters by implementing national limits on carbon dioxide.  As a resident in a coastal hurricane prone zone and within close proximity to a polluting coalfired plant, I am a stakeholder in seeing reform to our loose carbon pollution regulations. It is encouraging as a citizen to know that my government has boldly moved forth in proposing rules mandating corporate responsibility by reducing carbon dioxide emissions into our cherished atmosphere.”

From Jacqueline Patterson, Director, Environmental and Climate Justice:

“Pollution from coal-fired power plants and its impacts, like disasters and rising sea levels, are driving climate change and disproportionately affecting our most vulnerable communities. Even our agricultural outputs are shifting, worsening the food desert conditions in the very black, brown and low-income neighborhoods that already lack equitable access to nutritious foods. I applaud President Obama for proposing strong carbon pollution standards and for advancing efforts to protect the environment on which we all depend for our very existence.”

OSFM Announces Passing of Former State Fire Marshall Thomas L. Armstead

Posted by Admin On June - 3 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL – With great sadness, the Office of the State Fire Marshal (OFSM) announced the death of Former State Fire Marshal Thomas L. Armstead, which occurred on Sunday, June 1, 2014.

Armstead served as State Fire Marshal from 1991-2001. His dedication to the fire service was exemplified by his many accomplishments during his tenure as the Illinois State Fire Marshal. Under his direction, OSFM played a major role in the design and placement of the Firefighter Memorial on the grounds of the State Capitol Building in Springfield. The office also initiated the Illinois’ Firefighter License Plate program to assist in the maintenance of the Memorial. In addition, OSFM established the statewide Fire Fighter Annual Medal of Honor Ceremony which honors members of the fire service killed or seriously injured in the line of duty and those who have displayed exceptional bravery or heroism while performing their duties, and the Illinois State Fire Museum located at the State Fairgrounds opened to the public.

“Our deepest condolences go out to Armstead’s family during this difficult time. His legacy of hard work and dedication to public service will always be remembered,” said Larry Matkaitis, State Fire Marshal.

Additionally, during Armstead’s tenure, OSFM was successful in twice adopting updated editions of the NFPA Life Safety Code to serve as the state’s code for fire prevention and safety. Armstead joined the Springfield Fire Department in 1960 and served as Chief of the Springfield Fire Department from 1985-1988.

The following is the information for the funeral arrangements:

Wake: Wednesday, June 4, 2014, 3:00 to 7:00 pm

Staab Funeral Home

1109 S. 5th Street

Springfield, IL

Funeral: Thursday, June 5, 2014, 10:00 am

Christ The King Parish

1930 Barberry Drive

Springfield, IL

Study: Doctors Choose Different Plan for Dying Patients Than for Themselves

Posted by Admin On June - 3 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Study: Doctors Choose Different Plan for Dying Patients Than for Themselves

New America Media

By Paul Kleyman

SAN FRANCISCO—A new study questions whether doctors providing end-of-life care are “prolonging life, or are we prolonging the dying process,” said lead researcher V.J. Periyakoil, MD, who directs Stanford Medical School’s Palliative Care Education and Training program.

The study, titled “Do Unto Others,” reveals that even though an overwhelming majority of physicians Stanford surveyed (88.3 percent) would reject unnecessarily invasive treatment for themselves and opt instead for comfort care, patients in the United States continue to spend their last days receiving high-intensity care that is often ineffective and sometimes ordered contrary to patients’ wishes.

The nearly 1,100 doctors who participated—over half of them women physicians and nearly half of them from immigrant and minority communities—were also highly supportive of patients filling out advance directives that state whether they’d prefer intensive treatment or palliative comfort care, if they become incapacitated at life’s end.

Doctors, patients want the same care

The Stanford study, published last week in the respected journal PLOS One, cites research showing that most Americans want the same care doctors do for themselves: “More than 80 percent of patients say that they wish to avoid hospitalizations and high-intensity care at the end-of-life, but their wishes are often overridden.”

Despite that knowledge, says the Stanford report, high-tech treatments have increased dramatically in recent years. Medical data show a 12 percent jump just from 2003 to 2007, in the number of Medicare patients who saw 10 or more doctors in their last six months of life—mainly medical specialists—and spent more days in intensive care units.

Not only is most high-tech care unwanted, says the Stanford study; it’s enormously costly. Medicare spends a quarter of its budget on services in the last year of life. And 40 percent of that expense is on patients within the last 30 days of life.

In fact, said Periyakoil, those receiving high-intensity care in the last six months of life do not survive longer on average than people who get lower-intensity care. Instead, her study reports, starting palliative care sooner after a diagnosis of serious or terminal illness helps patients get control of their pain and their families to reduce unpredictable emergencies.

More ethnic and women doctors

Stanford’s study, the largest of its kind, included physicians at two California academic medical centers. Unlike a similar smaller 1989 study that surveyed mostly white physicians, it included enough women doctors and physicians from different backgrounds for the researchers to be able to compare results across racial and ethnic demographics.

Periyakoil said in an interview, “Ethnic doctors are in a unique position to be able to advocate for excellent palliative care and early access to it for their patients. And also to be able to explain within their community that high-intensity treatments can become ineffective.”

There were significant, but modest differences among those in the Stanford sample. African-American and white physicians expressed equal strong support for their patients’ use of written advance directives stating their treatment preferences.

Somewhat less supportive of advance care planning documents were Asian medical practitioners, followed by Latino doctors’ stronger resistance to such documents.

Periyakoil emphasized, though, that “almost everyone was positive towards advance directives.”

Also, women tended to be more favorable toward use of advance directives than men. And doctors in more general or primary care areas, such as pediatrics or gynecology, were more positive toward the written plans than surgeons and other medical specialists.

The study adds that doctors who were less supportive of advance directives were more likely to opt for “full-code” intensive treatment for themselves and were less likely to opt for organ donation.

“Tipping point” when treatment causes harm

Although patients and family members may worry they won’t receive every treatment that might restore their health, Periyakoil, a geriatric doctor, said, “The truth is completely the opposite. Doctors tend to do too much.” A primary reason doctors forge ahead too far is that they are trained “to be optimistic” about finding a cure.

Severe disease, she explained, often reaches “a tipping point where the treatment becomes more burdensome than the illness itself.” Medical education needs to train doctors to recognize such tipping points and coach patients and improve patients’ understanding “that we are not withholding helpful treatments – but harmful, burdensome treatments.”

That physicians select do-not-prolong-life orders for themselves is unsurprising, says the Stanford study, because so may medical practitioners “recurrently witness the tremendous suffering their terminally ill patients experience as they undergo ineffective, high-intensity treatments at the end of life.”

Yet, says the study, a key factor causing many doctors to override their patients’ stated preference—a factor that can overtake a physician’s own ethnic or cultural values—is the culture of “biomedicine with its default set to maximal interventions for all patients, irrespective of the effectiveness of doing so.”

Periyakoil noted, “The culture of medicine is so intense and powerful that it mutes the effect that your own ethnicity might have. The more you’re in training, the more acculturated you are to biomedicine, you may stop thinking [of other things], because the culture is so automated, you react to numbers.”

System rewards high-tech care

Another major factor perpetuating the disparity between what doctors wish for themselves and chose for their patients, says the study, is that the “current fiscal system rewards hospitals and doctors for medical procedures and providing high-intensity care to terminally ill persons.”

“This is a big puzzle to me,” stated Periyakoil. “We don’t train doctors to talk to patients and we don’t reward them for doing so, meaning there’s no reimbursement. We train them to do treatments that are high intensity, and we reward doctors for doing procedures. But we say we want them to talk to patients?”

She went on, “There are all kinds of studies showing that doctors don’t let patients talk, that they are not good listeners. We didn’t train them to do any of that.”

One provision of the 2009 Affordable Care Act would have reimbursed physicians for discussing a patient’s end-of-life treatment preferences every five years, if the person chose to have that conversation. But that provision was excised from the bill when critics labeled it a pathway to “death panels.”

The Stanford findings highlight the need for educational and policy changes to improve doctors’ attitudes towards advance directives. Periyakoil stressed, “I’d like there to be more self-reflection and awareness about how we’ve been raised, who we are, and how that influences how we think.”

“First, do not abandon” patients

As a palliative care physician dedicated to easing pain in severely ill patients, Periyakoil asserted that while doctors are famously taught, “First, do no harm, to her “the most important thing is: First, do not abandon.”

She explained that physicians need to stay with the process of healing, “even if it’s suboptimal, even if you don’t agree with your patient, or your patient doesn’t agree with you.”

Periyakoil said, she always begins by discussing every possible treatment option a patient or family members could consider, but then separately states her opinion of the better choice.

“So if the patient [or family] opts for high-intensity treatment anyway, I don’t try to impose my will on them,” she said. Instead she will tell them that she doesn’t think they’ve made the best choice, but make it clear that, “I’m still here and I will still support you.”

Periyakoil tells her medical students, “What matters to patients is an important question. So ask people to think about what matters to them, what makes life meaningful to them at any given point.” That talk can guide both doctors and patients to the best outcome at life’s most difficult moment.

Photo: Stanford doctor Vyjeyanthi “V.J.” Periyakoil, lead author of a new study on end-of-life care. (Richard Springer/India West)

Kirk, Rubio Call on Administration to Halt U.S. Aid to Palestinian Authority

Posted by Admin On June - 3 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) issued the following statement calling on the Obama administration to halt and review U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority following President Abbas’ announcement of a new Hamas-backed transitional government:

“Israel has gone to great lengths in recent months to negotiate in good faith with the Palestinian Authority, but President Abbas’ announcement earlier today of a Hamas-backed Palestinian transitional government makes clear once again that Israel does not have a viable partner for peace.

“The United States has given more than $5 billion to the Palestinians over the last several decades. U.S. assistance to the Palestinians has played an important role in helping to ensure Israel’s security and promoting stability in Palestinian controlled areas. Current U.S. law is clear – any government over which an unreformed Hamas exercises undue influence and which emerges from a Fatah/Hamas deal is not an appropriate recipient of U.S. assistance. The naming of a technocratic slate of ministers by President Abbas seems to be an attempted end run around these obligations.

“Hamas remains a terrorist group that has killed Americans. Its leaders continue to refuse to accept Israel’s right to exist. One month ago, we wrote to Secretary of State Kerry and urged him to state clearly the U.S. position regarding assistance to a power-sharing government backed by Hamas. We have yet to receive an answer. Now that the President Abbas has announced the new government, consistent with existing U.S. law, we believe that U.S. assistance should be halted and reviewed. Unless Hamas publicly accepts Israel’s right to exist and ceases its support for terrorism, U.S. aid should be suspended to any Palestinian government over which Hamas exercises influence.

“The administration’s initial reaction to continue aid is troubling and runs counter to existing law. We call on the Obama administration to enforce the law. U.S. credibility as well as Israel’s security are at stake.”

Madigan: Stephenson County Man Sentenced to 10 years for Disseminating Child Pornography

Posted by Admin On June - 3 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL ─ Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced that a Freeport man was sentenced to 10 years in prison for disseminating child pornography. The defendant’s arrest was part of Madigan’s “Operation Glass House,” a statewide initiative to apprehend the most active offenders who download and trade child pornography online.

Stephenson County Circurt Court Judge Michael P. Bald sentenced John A. Fernandez, 23, to a total of 10 years Thursday for dissemination of child pornography. Fernandez was arrested in February after investigators with Madigan’s office executed a search warrant at his residence. Assistant Attorney General Shannon O’Brien of Madigan’s High Tech Crimes Bureau co-prosecuted the case with Stephenson County Assistant State’s Attorney Carl Larson.

Fernandez’s arrest in February 2014 marked the 55th of Madigan’s Operation Glass House, which targets the state’s most active online traders of child pornography. In total, the Operation has secured 60 arrests, with the latest being a Kane County man who was arrested and charged with 10 counts of possession of child pornography earlier this week.

“Viewing and trading child pornography is not an innocent act but a terrible crime that perpetuates the sexual assault of children,” Madigan said. “My office will continue to seek out the worst offenders in Illinois and ensure they are weeded out of our communities.”

Attorney General Madigan launched Operation Glass House in August 2010 to crack down on the most active offenders in Illinois who are trading and downloading child pornography. Four years of subsequent investigations by her office’s High Tech Crimes Bureau have revealed a disturbing community of criminals who are trading and viewing extremely violent videos of  children as young as infants being raped and abused.

In addition to her Operation Glass House, Madigan leads the Illinois Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) with a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. The Task Force investigates child exploitation crimes and trains local and county level law enforcement agencies throughout Illinois to do the same. Since 2006, Madigan’s ICAC task force has been involved in 739 arrests of sexual predators and provided Internet safety training and education to nearly 350,000 parents, teachers and students and over 17,000 law enforcement professionals. Currently, 182 agencies in Illinois are affiliated with ICAC.

NBCI and TrustEgg Partnership Takes Off

Posted by Admin On June - 3 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS
Collaboration Promises One Million Savings Accounts to Secure Children’s Future

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Black Church Initiative (NBCI), a faith-based coalition of 34,000 churches comprised of 15 denominations and 15.7 million African Americans, announced on May 19th, 2014 a ground-breaking strategic partnership to offer TrustEgg’s expertise and resources to NBCI’s nationwide membership base, helping one million children start savings accounts. This collaboration will leverage TrustEgg’s financial resources to help bridge the socioeconomic divide affecting the black faith community, adding to the 125,000 families NBCI has already educated on financial literacy issues.

TrustEgg was officially launched in 2013, when Jeff Brice brought his vision of an easy-to-use savings solution for his niece’s future to life, one that could be shared with the entire family. With the impact of social media TrustEgg’s reach flourished, and Brice had created a revolutionary child savings product, leveraging the power of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

“This is a wonderful addition to NBCI’s portfolio of financial wellness plans. Combining TrustEgg’s expertise and tools with our 15.7 million-strong membership base opens new doors for the African American community” said Rev. Anthony Evans, NBCI President. “As a leader in housing and financial issues for the Black Church, we are in a strong position to convey the importance of savings, and TrustEgg’s tools finally present this important resource in a way that speaks our congregants’ language. We are thrilled to see the benefits this partnership will undoubtedly create.”

African American families save substantially less over the course of their lives, risking the financial health of their children and themselves. According to the Brookings Institution, the median financial assets of African American households age 70 or older is about $300 in financial assets compared to $13,000 held by the median retired household nationwide.

Two Legends Unite Forming a New Hip Hop Duo Known Collectively as the “White Crow”

Posted by Admin On June - 3 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

White Crows

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — For many years, true Hip Hop heads from coast to coast and worldwide have been asking: “What’s happened to our music?” The original Hip Hop aesthetic has given way to auto-­tuned banality and clichéd lyrics. But one duo is planning on changing things. They are Mista Lawnge and Ras Kass, known collectively as The White Crows. West Coast rapper and lyricist Ras Kass and East Coast producer Mista Lawnge (once of legendary Hip Hop group Black Sheep) want to bring back the true essence and spirit of Hip Hop. They want to mix true lyrical talent with an original sampling skill and, most importantly, do it with style and a smile.

As The White Crows, their first three cuts have already been generating heat and got the Hip Hop community talking about the most exciting act to come along in many years. DJs from London, Japan, Canada and Australia, as well as from all over the US, have been spinning the tunes already, while they have been more than warmly received by fans and critics from coast to coast. In February, The Crows released their incendiary first single, ‘Kick Rocks’, a reworking of The Police’s classic ‘Roxanne’ with razor sharp lyrics from Ras Kass over some of Mista Lawnge’s infectiously choppy, funky beats. The tune shot into the Hip Hop top 5 and announced The White Crows to an expectant public.

And this month, the dynamic duo has followed up with a pair of cuts that will have headphones and dance floors alike blowing up across the nation.

‘Something R.E.A.L’ is a lyric­ driven track with Ras Kass’ inimitable flow backed by a sampled chorus courtesy of Boy George and the Culture Club. ‘Far From Good’ meanwhile is the misleading title of the flip side of that record. This is a track that has DJs buzzing. Its music that no­ less of an authority than Hip Hop Bible which The Source describes as “Ambrosia for Heads”. You don’t get better recommendations than that!

But these tunes are just the start for the group. There is an album in the works. The release date has yet to be announced, but the hip hop nation can’t wait. After all this time, a true successor to the spirit of Tribe, Rakim and the Wu has arrived. Its name is The White Crows.

To Listen to The White Crows Music, please visit their Web site at www.thewhitecrowsproject.com or Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/WhyteCrowz

Senate passes Raoul’s fix of eavesdropping law

Posted by Admin On June - 3 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Legislation reasonably defines which conversations are private

SPRINGFIELD, IL  – Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) brought to the Senate floor a reasonable and carefully crafted eavesdropping measure in response to a recent Supreme Court ruling that invalidated Illinois’ approach to recording conversations. The Senate approved the legislation with broad bipartisan support.

“I feel strongly that it would be irresponsible to adjourn without settling this area of the law and setting commonsense boundaries that respect both freedom and privacy,” Raoul said. “I’ve negotiated this balanced approach with the state’s attorneys, always keeping public safety and privacy rights at the forefront.”

On March 20 of this year, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that the state’s eavesdropping law was overbroad because it prohibited anyone from recording any conversation without the consent of all parties – even when the conversation took place in public and could be easily heard by bystanders.

Raoul’s rewrite of the eavesdropping law specifies that someone is only guilty of eavesdropping if he or she surreptitiously records or uses an eavesdropping device to listen in on a private conversation. It defines a private conversation as one that at least one of the parties reasonably considers to be private. It also expands the circumstances under which law enforcement can record a conversation between an undercover officer and a suspect or suspects to include not only drug deals but investigations of suspected plots to commit other serious offenses, such as murder, sexual assault and gunrunning.

“Our previous law, which landed honest citizens in prison just for recording an encounter with a police officer on a public sidewalk, didn’t make sense, but the complete absence of an eavesdropping law doesn’t make sense either,” Raoul said. “This legislation would draw a prudent line between public and private conversations, and I would urge my colleagues in the House to work with me to put this distinction into law as soon as possible.”

The House must approve the changes Raoul made in the Senate before the legislation can be signed into law.

Psychologist Wants to Purchase an HBCU to Serve Black Boys

Posted by Admin On June - 3 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Why I want to purchase an HBCU and use it as a boarding school to serve black boys

By Dr. Umar Johnson

Dr. Umar Johnson

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — Black boys were gifted with an all-new G.E.D. test for the 2014 school year, which will make it even more difficult for them to escape the trappings of low expectations, as the only alternative to a high school diploma, the G.E.D., has now been made just as difficult to obtain as the diploma itself. Why a new G.E.D.? Politically-speaking, keeping Black boys from having a gambler’s chance at a decent life in this country seems to have become a fetish of the American Social Order. As states scramble to find more dollars to incarcerate young Black males, a quiet but very powerful sense of hopelessness is settling in amongst the Black boy population in America. In quiet protest, many have dropped out of school and have taken to the street corners, not necessarily to participate in the underground economy, but to puff their life away and daydream amidst the purple haze of marijuana. While educational racism and economic castration suck the life out of Black boys in America, the Black community sits distracted by American foreign policy initiatives, reality television shows, and professional sports. As neighborhood violence increasingly becomes a fact of life in Black communities, many are at a loss for what to do.

However, we know exactly what must be done. If we want to reverse the special education, ADHD, psychotropic drug, juvenile incarceration, and premature extermination wars against Black boys then we will have to build schools that are uniquely designed to teach Black boys, not only how to succeed in a racially-biased society, but also how to avoid the trappings of a racist criminal justice system. Unfortunately, historically Black colleges have been under attack as well. Many state higher education systems are underfunding HBCUs in an attempt to force mergers will larger white universities who are not sympathetic to the needs of Black youth. Other private HBCUs have struggled with financial difficulties and a lack of support from the larger African-American community. One such college is the historic St.Paul’s College in Lawrenceville, Virginia. Founded by a contemporary of the legendary Booker T. Washington, the great James Solomon Russell, St. Paul’s would be the perfect location for a residential school for Black boys. Located in a rural section of southern Virginia, not far from the North Carolina border, St.Paul’s campus is reclusive enough and sizeable enough to be the perfect psycho-academic training camp for the current generation of Black boys.

America’s foremost school psychologist and kinsman to Frederick Douglass, Dr. Umar Johnson, is attempting to purchase the St. Paul’s College to be transformed into the Frederick Douglass and Marcus Garvey RBG International Leadership Academy for Black Boys. This academy will be based on a global business model that prepares Black boys for self-employment and entrepreneurship, not merely acceptance into college. The banking establishment and the higher education systems of America are in collaboration to put more African-Americans into financial debt in the name of a collegiate education. This is a collegiate education that is increasingly becoming useless in the face of an economy that is becoming more global, while it does nearly nothing to ensure that enough jobs remain in the United States for college-educated young adults. This situation is sending devastating numbers of Black children with college degrees to the homeless shelter and soup kitchens of America.

Our children have to be taught how to make a living anywhere in this world regardless of the circumstances of the political economy in which they live. The FDMG Academy will teach our children to be masters of Agricultural/Agronomical Science, Economic/Financial Science, Political/Military Science, Nutritional/Dietary Science, Family/Community Science, and African-Centered Spiritual/Cosmological Science. In addition to these six core sciences, and the three “R’s,” our boys will be taught to master at least two building trades (i.e., electrical, cosmetology, plumbing, auto, carpentry, HVAC, computer network/design, masonry, etc). Why the trades? A man’s bread and butter are only guaranteed when he can work for them. During the 1970s America’s public school system began working in concert with the racist building trade unions to systematically see to the removal of the trade building programs from predominately Black high schools, which created a blue-collar skills gap in Black communities, particularly in the inner-cities, which was then quickly monopolized by white labor. With Black parents brainwashing their children into thinking that their is no hope without college, we have seen generation after generation of Black youth turn their backs on the building trades only to end up graduating Magna Cum Laude with a doctoral degree that has no marketability in the competitive job pool.

Why a residential academy? Black boys are disproportionately raised by single Black mothers, who oftentimes struggle escorting their sons safely and successfully into manhood. Although some Black mothers, blinded by the influence of Eurocentric feminism would argue that their sons don’t need fathers, many know otherwise. The crisis in Black male education isn’t really about education at all: it’s about the lack of masculine energy in the schoolhouse leaving our boys hungry for guidance from male role models that they rarely get to spend time with. Our residential academy will provide our boys with the discipline, structure and masculine energy needed from strong caring Black men. A heaven on earth, a home away from home, is what we have in store for our boys. A powerhouse academy where they love coming to school and never have to worry about being mis-diagnosed and thrown into special education for “invisible” disabilities like ADHD and Emotional Disturbances (ED). This would be the first residential academy in U.S. history for boys based upon the principles of traditional African culture.

The African-American community must change its paradigm and approach to education if our children are to have a fighting chance in this world. With white racism using the charter school movement as a front for its ethnic cleaning campaign, thereby gentrifying every major Black inner-city in America, public school will soon be a distant memory. If you care about the future of Black boys, and of all African-Americans please donate to help me acquire the historic St. Paul’s College, to be used as the FDMG Academy, before it is purchased by those not interested in the welfare of our children. Visit www.DrUmarJohnsonSchool.com for more information on the school project and to make your much needed donation to this critical fundraiser. We must raise $5M by August 21, 2014 and need your immediate help. Resumes are now being accepted at FDMGResumes@gmail.com.

Dr. Umar Johnson is a Doctor of Clinical Psychology, Certified School Psychologist & Certified School Principal. He is one of the most requested speakers in the world and has lectured in North America, South America, Europe, Afrika, and the Caribbean. He is author of the best-selling book “Psycho-Academic Holocaust: The Special Education and ADHD Wars Against Black Boys.” As a private-practicing school psychologist he works with parents, educators, superintendents, attorneys and mental health professionals to better serve the needs of African-American children. He is a descendant of both the great Frederick Douglass and Bishop Alexander Wayman , 7th Bishop under Richard Allen’s AME Church. Dr. Johnson can be reached at www.DrUmarJohnson.com or 215-989-9858. He welcomes correspondence from parents with issues protecting and educating their children from special education abuse and ADHD exploitation.

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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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