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April , 2018
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  The City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) through the Small ...
Baltimore-based company, EdAnime Productions, produces "Meltrek" and creates worldwide buzz with this educational animated ...
  Legislation to help shine light on Illinois’ higher education institutions   SPRINGFIELD, IL – Lt. Governor Sheila ...
Honor Black History while building a better black future by buying black ...
Timing, Self-Dealing Called into Question A new developer for the long-abandoned Edgewater Medical Center ...
COLUMBUS, Ohio – A federal judge ruled on Thursday a law that cuts early ...
By Faye Thompson Nationwide (BlackNews.com) -- Donald Trumps clandestine meeting with Black ...
Dr. Charles Booth, Pastors John K. Jenkins, Co-Pastor Susie Owens, Tasha ...
Lt. Governor calls for reforms to stabilize college costs  EDWARDSVILLE, IL – While speaking about college affordability, ...
SPRINGFIELD, IL– The Illinois State Board of Education has announced the following schedule ...

Archive for the ‘Religion/Commentary’ Category

8th Ward Alderman Ignores Pill Hill Community Concerns and Proceeds to Let Low Income, Section 8 Senior Building Come Into Ward

Posted by Admin On April - 12 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

The 8th Ward community overwhelmingly oppose the 7 Story, 1-2 Bedrooms low income Senior Housing facility proposed to be built in the 8th Ward near Pill Hill Homes, but the alderman is ignoring their wishes

concerned_citizen_no_to_low_income_senior_housingBy Pamela Bratcher-McMillan

As I observed the Community Development Commission meeting yesterday in City Hall, I realized that the 8th Ward alderman was more of a facilitator than an administrator.  When she read the items in her notes one by one, it felt as though she was giving a report to her supervisor instead of selling the idea of why an oversized, low income senior housing development should be allowed to be built in the Pill Hill community.

And as quickly as the vote was acted upon by the Commission, it came across as a predetermined decision, that the committee knew beforehand how they would vote before the meeting started. Obviously, the committee wasn’t interested, didn’t care, or wasn’t concerned about what the community had to say. The 8th ward alderman took the mic and proceeded to say that 99% of the ward supported the Calumet Heights project.  Not so!!!! And her remarks were immediately met with “not true” criticism from several people in the audience. A large part of the 8th Ward community is angry and insulted that she would even make a move to bring the low income, Section 8 housing into their middle-and upper-middle-class neighborhood.

Secondly, the alderman has not met with the immediate community about this Senior Housing Project, the ones that will be most affected by this low income, 7 -story building with 1-2 bedrooms, with a “100-person waiting list”, down from the 400-500 person list her staff mentioned last week in a community meeting. The alderman did hold a developers meeting last week at a Senior Housing development on East 78th Street, pitching the project to what appeared to be a room full of its residents, and she told them there was a “200-person” waiting list.

The alderman failed to attend the meeting at St. Felicitas Church or at St Ailbe Church where 200 angry residents showed up for a meeting only to find it had been canceled. Many of the residents learned about the project through word of mouth, from other residents who had heard that the alderman was trying to bring it in. And believe me, they were not happy campers when they got the news. They were fiercely angry.

And although, about 8 or 10 people stepped up to the mic to express their opposition to the 7 story 1-2 bedrooms low income housing at 9329 to 9429 S. Stony Island Avenue, the Community Development Commission members – who do not live in the community, sided with the alderman.

The Community Development Committee, a small apathetic committee of folks that aren’t familiar with the area, to the horror of most in the audience, continued to vote in the face of a majority of community opponents who unanimously did not want to allow the development to proceed. This after listening to a trumped-up presentation by the 8th Ward Alderman, ignoring earlier community member comments about their concerns for losing their privacy with the huge building over their single family homes and their property value taking a dive.

The 8th Ward alderman aggressively pushed it through, and has yet to meet with the Pill Hill community, even after being sent two invitations to meetings.

What doesn’t the 8th Ward alderman get about the immediate concerns of the community that is affected by this project? The community doesn’t want it! She went on to say that in the Montclare building, another senior building in the 8th ward, that those residents had no complaints about the building being next to their homes. What does that have to do with an area where residents in homes are concerned? Her smug mockery is why the area is losing patience with her quickly. Someone in the audience at the meeting said her “attitude reaps of someone who has been in political office for too long and doesn’t care about the community. We know how we shouldn’t vote in the aldermanic election the next time around. We hear constant lies and a lack of transparency. We want our young people to find the area attractive, and we want to live and continue to grow it.  And this will only take the neighborhood down.”

It is obvious that the alderman does not care what the community wants, as per her past and present agendas for the ward.  It appears that she’s willing to spin stories – whether factual or not – to get what she wants in the 8th Ward. One wonders if the alderman is complacent or passive aggressive when people push these ideas off for development? Or has she received a directive beyond her control to carry out at the expense of the community?

To be continued…

Next Meeting:

Chicago Plan Commission Meeting
City Hall, 2nd floor City Council Chambers
121 N. LaSalle Street
April 19th at 10:00 am

 

Time for change…

Elect Linda Hudson for 8th Ward Alderman

Fair Housing Act: A Milestone on the Journey to Equality

Posted by Admin On April - 11 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS
 Op-ED By Jeffrey W. Hicks
 
 

 

A half-century ago, the Fair Housing Act was enacted to prohibit discrimination in housing based on race, color, creed and national origin. The law also supported NAREB’s efforts toincrease Black homeownership which we believe serves to increase wealth and other economic outcomes for Black Americans.

 

We have since experienced highs and lows in the journey towards economic empowerment and Black homeownership. While sometimes challenged, we are not discouraged. And, we have learned vital lessons along the way.

 

The National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) has advocated for Black Americans to own their homes since 1947, and we are proud to play a leadership role in that struggle. But this is not a solitary endeavor. We must grow a “Community of Concern” by partnering and actively involving civil and human rights organizations, community-based and social service organizations, business groups, and the faith-based community-our oldest and most trusted institution. We must collaborate to create strong, viable communities that help to stabilize Black Americans and their families through homeownership.

 

In 1970, two years after the passage of The Fair Housing Act, Black homeownership was 41.6 percent. It reached its height in 2004 at 49 percent. Today, Black homeownership stands at 42.1 percent, almost the same as nearly 50 years ago. The economic downturn of a decade ago hurt many Black homeowners with high foreclosures, upside-down mortgages, and financial upheaval from which many are still struggling to recover.

 

Today, economic segregation remains a problem. Urban centers, long the home of Black Americans, are being gentrified. Many with deep community roots are being forced out by rising taxes and skyrocketing housing values.

 

While obvious obstacles like Jim Crow segregation no longer exist, we still face formidable obstacles to owning homes. Obstacles like credit scoring, which is based not on how diligently we pay our bills, but on how much consumer debt we can amass. Obstacles like crippling student debt, which impacts Black Americans deeply. Obstacles like unfair mortgage lending practices.

 

Despite these challenges, we know that wealth can be built through education, through financial literacy, through creating and growing our Community of Concern to support homeownership. This is how Black America educates its children and how we set up businesses-by using equity from our homes to invest in ourselves, our families and our futures.

 

We stand on the shoulders of NAREB founders and visionaries like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who spoke to NAREB in 1967 about the need for “middle-class Negroes to … publicly identify with the problem of poverty which engulfs the life of the masses.”

 

NAREB’s motto is “Democracy in Housing,” and we will continue to fight for that. We must continue to be vigilant. We must continue to EDUCATE Black Americans, to ENCOURAGE Black Americans, and do everything we can to EMPOWER Black Americans to build wealth, to build stability, and to invest in our futures through that most fundamental part of the American Dream: homeownership.

Jeffrey W. Hicks is the 30th president of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers.

 

8th Ward Alderman Evades Yet Another Meeting with the Concerned Citizens of the 8th Ward About Proposed Low Income Senior Housing

Posted by Admin On April - 7 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

By Pamela Bratcher-McMillan

Once again, the alderman of the 8th ward had the opportunity to talk to residents immediately affected by the low-income senior housing she tried to sneak into the neighborhood, but she didn’t show up. Why is the alderman evading the very people she said she had the support of in the community meeting last week?

According to 8th ward staff that attended the meeting, they have been working on this development since 2015, but no one attending the meeting knew about it, except them! If you are new to this, especially Pill Hill residents, what the 8th Ward alderman is trying to do is force a private and publicly owned 7 story, 1-2 bedroom, 134 unit mammoth shadowing over your homes.

Unlike the community meeting last week, attended by what looked like most of the residents that lived in the Montclare residence on 78th street. It appeared most of the people that attended the meeting never left the building. Another interesting thing that came out about their waiting list (since last week meeting it has gone from 200 to 400-500 people according to them) was that many of the residents at that location would be coming to the proposed location on Stony Island Ave.  You can’t help but wonder how those units were issued out and have a waiting list, and no one knew about it coming in the Pill Hill area.

8th ward alderman staff representatives

8th Ward Alderman Staff Representatives

Although this 38.6 million property being developed by MR Properties, LLC, a private owned company in Des Plaines, Illinois, made contributions to several of the current 8th ward alderman’s’ organizations. (You can request a copy of the contribution list for the 8th Ward Alderman) which is approved by the Illinois Housing Development Authority on September 29, 2017. And the community didn’t know about it. When concerned citizens found out about the scheduled zoning meeting, somehow it was rescheduled and staff couldn’t give the community an idea when it would be ready. I might add that three of the alderman’s staff sent to once again attended the meeting to fill in for the 8th Ward alderman were ill-prepared and hostile when they couldn’t answer some important questions, often returning questions with personal questions unrelated to the issue.

One of the 8th Ward Representatives, when asked how much of the community property taxes were supporting the TIF money being used with the proposed development, was misinformed that TIF money only came from businesses and not citizens when it does, instead of being given an answer. They obviously showed up with no real data. An audience member also pointed out to the alderman’s staff member that she needed to curb her tone which was way out of line and disrespectful to the concerned citizens in the room.

They are also floating around mixed materials. Some say the building will only house 62 year old seniors with a maximum income of $44,250 while other handouts from the alderman’s office state “For people age 55 years and older with an annual income that does not exceed $31,680 for one person, or $36,180 for two people.”

It was also pointed out to the 8th Ward alderman’s office by an audience member that people want to protect their life investment, and they should understand it. “Something is amiss here. Something doesn’t smell right,” was also stated by an audience member. There is an obvious lack of transparency on the alderman’s part, and it was also discussed that there may be some issues with an alderman that runs unopposed to not look out for the good of the community. It was pointed out by another audience member that it was important to develop a community for young families, including the types of businesses they like to frequent to help develop the community. They have the buying power.

There was a lot of enthusiasm on the part of the alderman’s staff to keep discussing issues that had nothing to do with what the residents were there for which ate away valuable discussion time. Concerned Citizens stressed the importance of scheduling another meeting with the alderman because she did not attend the other two meetings the organization had invited her to attend, but stressed that they didn’t want the alderman to hold any more meetings at any senior housing complexes. “No career type jobs will be created so young people can continue to live in the community” said Jerry Brown.

A young man at the meeting asked why young people had been excluded from the meetings to make decisions about what takes place in the community. And the whole room was fed up with the alderman’s exclusions and lack of transparency, mentioning that the office needed to be monitored because a lot was probably going on with the community not being included.

The question was raised about eminent domain, would it  be used to seize homes to alleviate traffic issues if necessary that will be caused by cars coming off the highway from under the viaduct at a high speeds on Stony Island Avenue at 94th street.

Jerry Brown, Community Activist

Jerry Brown, Community Activist & Concerned Citizen of the 8th Ward

99.9% of people at the meeting were totally against the development coming to the community, and said they would fight it. Someone asked why the community wouldn’t be included in decisions about what comes into the neighborhood, and the answer was they were. The room was met with responses that it didn’t include the immediate community, and why would the whole 8th Ward make a decision about a part of the Ward they don’t live in, and won’t come directly in contact with?

Jerry Brown, a concerned citizen and community activist who lives in the 8th Ward community, stated that he will be paying for a precinct survey, out of pocket, for the proposed location. He also pointed out that public and private money will be used; that CHA is providing subsidies for this project, and the Chicago Low Income Trust is also providing money. Low Income Housing Trust can provide units that could be made available for homeless leaving shelters, homeless people, people leaving drug facilities, etc., to live in the building and was agreed to by the 8th Ward Alderman’s staff that it is true.

If you are concerned about these developments taking place around your homes without your consensus, the Concerned Citizens of the 8th Ward is asking that you attend the following meetings to voice your concerns about this project taking place in your neighborhood without your input.

Please come out and support the people that have been fighting for you to keep your community a family and business area; and let the Community Development Commission and Chicago Planning Commission know our community is not up for grabs. There will be buses provided by the Concerned Citizens of the 8th Ward for people that need a lift downtown.

Community Development Commission Meeting
City Hall, 2nd floor City Council Chambers
121 N. LaSalle Street
April 10th at 1:00 pm

Chicago Plan Commission Meeting
City Hall, 2nd floor City Council Chambers
121 N. LaSalle Street
April 19th at 10:00 am

Elect Linda Hudson for 8th Ward Alderman

8th Ward Residents Facing Mounting Challenges Head-On

Posted by Admin On April - 5 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

Concerned Citizens Organization and 8th Ward residents are facing head-on challenges in the 8th Ward

 

By Pamela Bratcher-McMillan

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”- MLK

Concerned Citizens of the 8th Ward

Concerned Citizens of the 8th Ward

Once again, the Concerned Citizens of the 8th Ward and some 8th Ward residents have overcome tactics to thwart their activities when trying to inform the community of unwanted developments that only serve a few, but are being forced on the 8th Ward community overall. The Concerned Citizens scheduled meeting at St. Ailbe Church to inform the community of a development that many in the area don’t want was canceled without notice. Reportedly, an unknown caller had called the church sometime ago to reserve the meeting room and falsely used the name of a person several people at the church was familiar with. When the falsely accused woman called the church and complained the meeting was canceled. When attendees arrived at the meeting, and after standing in the rainy-cold for awhile, they were told by an 8th Ward alderman’s staff person stationed in the parking lot passing out brochures about Montclare, that the meeting had been canceled. It was a full-parking lot of cars and disappointed people due to the meeting being canceled. The proposed 134-unit, 8 story low income Montclare building for senior citizens is defiantly opposed by the community but very much sanctioned by the alderman. The Concerned Citizens of the 8th Ward were disappointed but not discouraged that the meeting had been canceled. They quickly relocated everyone to an alternate location because they felt it was too important to let the mishap obliterate them or stand in the way of getting the word out about what was taking place in the community, including a new seven story 1-2 bedroom low-income senior housing development without input from the community. That was quick thinking on the part of Linda Hudson, a candidate for alderman of the 8th Ward, who understands the importance of not letting a situation that some would have given up on and gone home stop her from informing the community. This instantaneous recovery shows that Hudson thinks on her feet (even in the rainy-cold).  That is why we need Hudson for 8th Ward alderman. She won’t give up on getting the community involved and empowered. Let’s hope St Ailbe learned from this and will develop a fail-safe system to confirm persons who call in to use the meeting room. Perhaps a confirmation number could be issued when a meeting is scheduled, and it would have to be used to cancel the meting or with a follow-up call. Elect Linda Hudson for 8th Ward Alderman  

Why the 8th Ward Needs Linda Hudson as Alderman

Posted by Admin On April - 3 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

Project_MontclareBy Pamela Bratcher-McMillan

Smart people always know how to take the high road, not the low road. This is why it is important to not fight about things we don’t want, but focus on what we need. Many complain and voice their complaints with anger when the energy should be focused on strategy and solutions. Many lose their patience at forums that are not focused on strategy and resolution. It’s too much wasted energy being angry. Like the saying goes, “Don’t get mad. Get smart.”

I’m not going to dwell on the past when the current 8th Ward alderman tried to get a Marijuana Medical Clinic in the community stealth mode, until a woman with much more interest in the community and its preservation and revitalization was monitoring City Hall and the Zoning Department updates for the community.

I won’t talk about how the same 8th Ward alderman is now up to the same old tricks by trying to sneak another project into the community – a one and two bedroom low income housing project aligned with Pill Hill homes worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Many of those homes were built by families that still occupy them.

There were conversations detailing what could be built in the area and zoning changes put in place to maintain its environment of single family homes and businesses. However,  now the 8th Ward wants to rezone property meant for single family homes and businesses to accommodate a behemoth of a building

While I support looking out for the welfare of our seniors, taking away valuable property meant for businesses to populate Stony Island Avenue and keep it vital is deplorable. Certainly, there are other areas, especially along east 95th that are long overdue for improvement, and there are strip malls, a pharmacy and restaurants in walking distance on the business side of the street. Further, if that office is supposed to be proud of this project as stated by the 8th Ward Alderman during last week’s community meeting, I find it interesting that this is not featured on the home page of the Alderman’s website, but others are. They want to turn a quiet family friendly area into a transient community.

Project_MontclarePerhaps, it was a convenient oversight. Hmm, your most proud accomplishment you worked really hard on after 12 years of sitting in a seat unopposed, and feel people should have “a little more faith” in you with a history of lacking transparency, being deceptive and obviously some personal agendas.

While the community sleeps, deals are being made on their behalf. Hey Pill Hill, did you know there is a 200 person waiting list already for a project in your area in phase 2 for a 134 unit with 1 and 2 bedroom apartments in a 7 story building for ages 62 (site currently states 55 and up) and up “but they are allowed to have guests”? This building will be located at 94th and Stony Island, prime business real estate. Some apartments (PRA) will be paying as low as 30% of their income. “A portion of this project is subsidized by CHA to assist independent seniors through the Property Rental Assistance.”

“All residents must pass a criminal background check,” but not their visitors and potential sublets don’t. The features and amenities in the building are for the residents, not the community. Phase one must have slipped under the radar. Phase 2 would have also slipped under the radar, too, if not for a very active community activist named Linda Hudson.

Wake up people! We can’t continue to let things go business as usual. If you don’t believe the community is rotting, take a look at the businesses along a once vibrant and booming avenue. Stony Island Avenue leads into Bishop Ford Highway on the South end and Lake Shore Drive on the North. What other streets in the city can claim that!? The Alderman moves under the radar unopposed making light of peoples’ fears with jokes and sarcasm, is not the answer Alderman, especially when you have a history of this. It’s like trolling the community, and it further shows the lack of recognizing valid concerns, fears and input from the community.

Is a candidate that runs unopposed necessarily best for the community, especially if they feel grandmothered into a position? Is business as usual the best for a once booming community that flourished and now appears run down with uncared for structures, many terrible pothole streets and a neglected business area. Why would a Dunkin’ Donut be allowed to build at the edge of a parking lot with traffic obstructed and backed up daily off Stony Island when it could have taken advantage of some of the vacant property on the avenue with room for expansion? The right businesses increase property value.

Project_MontclarePerhaps, businesses should have been pursued to take on the so called “swamp lands.” There were businesses there before that included restaurants and a motel.  Another concern is the public verbal spanking of black contractors the Alderman gave and why they aren’t included on jobs, and how training courses had to be given to them to teach them things they did not know. Really, Alderman?  You are going to single out Black contractors as a whole, and talk about them not being suitable? I find it hard to believe there are no qualified Black people available to take on those projects professionally.

Does that mean I should avoid giving work to any Black contractor I come in contact with in Chicago?

At your so-called informational meeting, all of this was done in front of the non-black developers and police officers in the room. Lazy, uneducated black stereotypes were being perpetuated in front of guests, the very people involved with the development of the 7 story monstrosity with a price tag of $38.6 million dollars that will be looking over Pill Hill backyards and homes.

When a concerned resident said she lived on the property line where the building was being built and that she was concerned about her privacy.  I heard someone shout. “They won’t see much.” Guess they never heard of a telescopes and binoculars. I would be very concerned if I had children living on property where people can watch them from their windows. At that height lives can be easily monitored.

Press the play button below for a sound bite from the last 8th Ward alderman meeting to hear what the current alderman had to say about “black people.”

It was also mentioned that a certain ward didn’t want the Kroc (McDonald’s!) center, and they found an alternative space in another ward. I could not help but wonder why efforts weren’t focused on pursuing that center by the 8th Ward alderman for education and business empowerment of the community to serve many, instead of a few. Why didn’t the 8th Ward fight to get the Kroc community center? The area has needed a community center for decades. Why aren’t the young people, especially teens being provided safe places to go hangout after school and during the weekends to learn things like economic empowerment, crafts, physical fitness, sports, business, etc.? They are the future of the community.

If you are a citizen concerned about an area once zoned for single family homes and businesses being changed to include this building, show up at the next zoning meeting scheduled for April.

Linda Hudson, Concerned Citizen and Community Activist

Linda Hudson, Concerned Citizen and Community Activist was in the audience asking questions.

“Energy flows where attention goes.” So I will not focus all of my energy on what people in the community do or do not want. I’d rather focus on what the community needs, and that is an 8th Ward alderman that understands the importance of transparency, honesty and really assessing what the community wants and needs without focusing on gossip and rumors, jokingly wasting time instead of easing trouble minds that have good reason to be troubled. That’s what secrecy and lack of communications brings about. We need a person that won’t make fun of their community, but inform them.

Our youth, especially the overlooked teenagers, are very important to this community. Many of them vote too. Give our young people a place to socialize and learn things about business startups, incubators, activities that include recreation, fitness, education outside of school like other neighborhoods and stores and restaurants like the ones they frequent outside of the community so they can buy and put money back into the community. They shouldn’t have to go downtown, south suburbs, north or Hyde Park to find mentors, coaches, prospective project team members, business partners, etc. and to have a good time. What can the 8th Ward provide for these young people to learn how to hold on to the homes in their community, maintain the ones handed down by their parents and provide for their future?

We need someone that knows joking sarcastically about gossip and making fun of people as a platform to stay in office is not good strategy. It makes them look petty and unprofessional to entertain rumors and have an easily bent ear. We need someone that knows that behavior and the aforementioned are unacceptable, and that is why we need Linda Hudson for 8th Ward Alderman. “It’s Time for Change that benefits the community as a whole, and not a few!

Elect Linda Hudson for Chicago 8th Ward Alderman

Elect Linda Hudson for Chicago 8th Ward Alderman

 

 

Republican Jews Run Black Democrats?

Posted by Admin On March - 19 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

 
OpEd by Richard B. Muhammad

In one of the more bizarre cases of American politics, a Jewish Republican group called on seven Black Democrats in Congress to step down in repudiation of Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan over false charges of anti-Semitism. Several of the Black congressional leaders obeyed and denounced Min. Farrakhan.

The Republican Jewish Coalition, which seeks “to foster and enhance ties between the American Jewish community and Republican decision makers,” made the demand. “We work to sensitize Republican leadership in government and the Party to the concerns and issues of the Jewish community, while articulating and advocating Republican ideas and policies within the Jewish community,” the RJC added.

Nowhere in the RJC mission is there a commitment to bi-partisanship, nor recognition of any interests except the interests of Jewish people and Israel.
Yet the group devoted to Jewish and Republican interests saw fit to order Black Caucus members to repudiate meeting with a man who has worked on behalf of Black people for over 62 years?
Clearly the only thing that matters is the Jewish part of any so-called Black-Jewish relationship. Blacks don’t have a right to forge their own agendas or to even meet among themselves-which are apparently rights reserved for Zionist Jews.
And, apparently, Jewish concerns even outrank party loyalties and naked attempts to hurt Blacks inside the Democratic Party. So powerful are the Jewish Republicans that not only do they keep Republicans in line, they also have enough juice to force Blacks who are Democrats to toe the line too.
You find no common interests between these groups as the RJC was virulently anti-Barack Obama, the first Black president, and literally spent millions trying to defeat him.
If the RJC had its way, you would have never had that Black man in the White House.
But wait, there’s more. There’s the RJC’s sacred defend-Israel-at-all-costs commitment without a commitment to justice for all. And, when it comes to racist-in-chief Donald Trump, the RJC even refused to criticize the president for a 2017 statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day that failed to mention Jews. Others took the Donald to task, but not the RJC.
This is the same Donald Trump that called African nations and Haiti shithole countries, urged a crowd to beat a Black Lives Matter protester (a Black man who was actually assaulted and then arrested) at a pro-Trump campaign event, and who had to figure out White supremacists and the killing of a young White women at a protest in Charlottesville, Va., was wrong.
Mr. Trump fed into the hysteria that led to five young Black and Latino men going to jail in the 1989 Central Park jogger case in New York, though they were innocent. Mr. Trump claimed the young men were still guilty after they were released.
That the men were paid a $41 million settlement in 2014 meant nothing. In 2016, presidential candidate Trump declared the men were still guilty. At the height of trial hysteria, Mr. Trump took out a full-page ad saying New York should bring back the death penalty. Then there were those Trump lawsuits for housing discrimination and charges because he didn’t want to rent to Blacks in the 1970s.
So clearly there is no affinity between these lawmakers and the RJC’s love fest with Mr. Trump, who is essentially reviled by the Congressional Black Caucus.
Maybe it’s the RJC protect-Israel-at-all-costs mantra that fits with the politics of these Black congressmen? Not really. Rep. Andre Carson of Indiana, who was called out by the RJC, conducted a TV interview on FOX 59 in his home state. During the March 9 broadcast, Rep. Carson admitted to meeting with the Minister to discuss important issues. What about the RJC demand he step down?
“That organization doesn’t have any credibility with me. I know they have a political agenda,” said Rep. Carson. “The Congressional Black Caucus is asking that organization to condemn (Israeli Prime Minister) Benjamin Netanyahu and the (Israeli) government for discriminating against Africans who are migrating, who are fleeing dictatorships, who are fleeing oppression. There’s a great deal of bigotry and racism happening right now they fail to condemn.”
So African migrants in Israel are suffering, threatened with deportation and jail, the Black Caucus asked the RJC for help and heard crickets? What kind of fake Black-Jewish relationship is this? And, while Israel is kicking Black Africans out of Israel, she is blocking Ethiopian Jews from reuniting with family members living in the so-called Jewish state, which seems to welcome White Jews Only.
Yet these Jewish Republicans had the gall to demand that congressional representatives Carson, Maxine Waters of California, Keith Ellison of Minnesota, Danny Davis of Illinois, Al Green of Texas, Barbara Lee of California and Gregory Meeks of New York condemn Min. Farrakhan. Sadly lawmakers Ellison, Davis, Lee and Meeks had done just that by Final Call press time.
It’s enough to be on the Democratic plantation, but when your masters come over from the Republican plantation that should be more than any self-respecting Black man and woman should stand. So the only bi-partisan thing for a Negro politician to do is join with Jewish Republicans to denounce Min. Farrakhan?
Sad. Shameful. But proof once again that the Negro has no political interests nor political power that the White Man, the Jewish Man, is bound to respect.
Or do we have no political power at all?
Richard B. Muhammad is editor-in-chief of The Final Call newspaper. He can be reached through www.finalcall.com and at editor@finalcall.com. Find him on Facebook at Richard B. Muhammad and on Twitter: @RMfinalcall. His website is www.richardmuhammad.com.
For more information, contact:
Straight Words column by 
Richard B. Muhammad, 
312-480-9775

 

Students of Color Need to See More People of Color; That Shouldn’t Be Controversial

Posted by Admin On March - 15 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS
 
OpEd By Nate Bowling
 
 
Nate Bowling

I spent most of my first year of grad school sitting in the back row of class with my hood up. There were nearly 40 of us in the cohort. Two were Black.

My hoodie was an act of silent dissent. Today, I completely understand when my students want to do the same, even with me in front of the room. Academia and public schools are spaces where people of color often feel underrepresented, unwelcome and unheard.

From third grade through high school, I was a student in a series of neighborhood public schools. Afterward, I went to community college and then on to a public liberal arts college where I earned my bachelor’s and eventually my master’s degree. Each phase in my educational journey shared two characteristics:

1. The further I progressed, the fewer Black and Brown classmates I had.

2. As I progressed, regardless of the demographics of the student population, the faculty and administrators were uniformly nearly all White.

That needs to change.

An organization I am part of, the National Network of State Teachers of the Year, recently released videos designed to provoke conversations that will lead to this kind of change. Called Courageous Conversations About Race in Schools, the videos provide an effective starting point for real discussions that should be happening in schools-particularly in colleges and universities-across this country.

Research tells us that upwards of 80 percent of U.S. teachers are White. Different research tells us that nearly 80 percent of teachers are female. Obviously, those Venn diagrams overlap in a largely White and female workforce.

At the same time, because of higher birth rates among immigrant populations and the “mysterious phenomenon” of disproportionately high numbers of White children in private schools, the majority of the population of students in public school are students of color, and those numbers are headed even higher, based on enrollment numbers in lower grades.

Schools systems need to do a better job of attracting and retaining effective teachers of color. Students of color need to see more people of color in positions of expertise and authority, and teachers need to be conversant and literate in the cultural traditions that are present in their classrooms. None of these statements should be controversial.

The lack of representation is an equity issue, and to resolve it we can look to lessons elsewhere in our society. During the Vietnam War the Pentagon realized that majority Brown platoons of soldiers and Marines wouldn’t take life-or-death orders from a uniformly White officer corps. The Pentagon thus underwent an intentional effort to diversify the officer corps. Since then, the Pentagon has submitted amicus curiae briefs in every major affirmative action case before the U.S. Supreme Court because they understand that representation matters.

TIME FOR A REPRESENTATION DISRUPTION

The word “disruption” gets hurled around frequently in business and increasingly in education. Usually, it’s about handing Silicon Valley tech bros a metric-ton of venture capital to sprinkle the #EdTech™ fairy dust of the moment. But I’m going to argue that when it comes to teacher diversity and representation in schools, we actually need disruption.

In my neck of the woods the numbers are especially grim: There are only about 800 Black teachers in all of Washington State. In my 12-year teaching career, I have never worked with another Black male general education teacher.

There’s no reason for me to be alone. We see talented students of color all over higher education because universities know how to recruit them. As Jeff Duncan-Andrade says, “Look at any college football or basketball team and tell me colleges don’t know how to recruit Black talent. When I was a kid I thought Georgetown was an HBCU.”

But it can’t just be student athletes. We need to bring in students who can increase teacher diversity. It’s imperative-and it’s well within our power.

Nate Bowling is a high school government teacher in Tacoma, Washington, who was named the 2016 Washington State Teacher of the year and a finalist for National Teacher of the Year. His blog is called A Teacher’s Evolving Mind.

Wake-Up America! President Donald Trump is Positioning Himself to Govern the United States for an Unprecedented Period!

Posted by Admin On March - 14 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS
By Harold E. Bailey
President & Founder of ProbationChallenge & the PCC Network

Wake-Up America! President Donald Trump is positioning himself to govern the United States for an unprecedented period! Heard in recent dialogs was that he is in for the long haul…and, thusly, planting subliminal seeds as he rests under the assumptions that changing of the president’s term-law will help to accommodate his insanities.  Unfortunately, President Trump believes everything he utters!  However, take note that when the Head of the United States Aches … the Body Profoundly Ails!

 

As tax-payers examine as to who in government is ailing, they find the disposition rest by-large at the feet of Republicans. A large portion of the Republican Congressional body has become frightened to halt the terrorist sitting in the seat of authority who is tearing into the core-fabrics of this country!  Without question, this delegation of Republicans has sold itself to the highest bidder… with defying silence for the sake of filthy-greed! They have elected to choose riches and possessions rather than to represent U.S. citizens. Their utmost concern exceeding the welfare of humans is to maintain a congressional seat!

 

Civilized politicians both Democrats and Republicans once lifted the U.S. Congress as the highest body of leadership in the land and were once proud to have youth emulate them! However, in the last year many have separated from their invaluable principles and have surrendered their morals to the absurdity flowing from the bowels of the 45th president!

 

Immeasurable taxpayers have become hypnotized with disbelief as they look into the eyes of representatives who were elected to represent them! These were the officials sworn to uphold the U.S. Constitution and to preserve justice for all… now, many have made a transition into the political arms of prostitution under the Trumps spell.

 

Trump along with other insidious political favorites have fallen from grace and will remember that the loss of morals, principles and spiritual ethics will ever be remembered in the archives of history.

 

While fraudulent politicians fear for the loss of local and a congressional seat … they have put their own biased needs over the needs of their constituents!  This belligerent agents-of-government wink at righteousness and representative of greedy-dogs who return to eat their own vomit. That vomit was that which they spewed out to clean up the Nation from bullies, mobster-actions and muscle men who gangland their way into the halls of government … they now violate decency!

 

In an act of transformation, these unwise legislators have now become disciples of President Donald Trump… who merely come to rob, steal, kill and to destroy the core-fabric of these Not-So-United States!

 

I humbly suggest that the United States government consider an aggressive house-cleaning! This cleaning process should reflect removing the harshness that has caused this country to be greatly divided! There must be priority regarding the stench that was derived from the deportation of families!  During this cleaning, there should be a methodology set-forth that would give youth a chance to security a quality education and a cause to live into adulthood!  An impetus from the government that would be an incentive for families to live wherever without discrimination or fear of harassment from neighbors or that of the police.

 

Sanity and its attributes can be accomplished… in this century, if the head of this nation would consider taking leave of nonsense and jump into the saneness that all men/woman are created equally by God, the creator of all mankind.

 

An awesome difference would and could take place should the government focus on youth who have fallen victim to the orchestration of crime, drugs and street violence! This second-chance would be a ‘hands up’, especially for the heroin and other devastating physical and mentally impaired!  Those sitting in congressional seats of judgment ought to remember that drugs are ‘those drugs that the U.S. government’ with or without justification allow into this country frequently by default!  Building the Trump Wall’ is yet another ‘Trump Tower’ and yet another mere distraction which will not make the difference anticipated. Change come about by a shifting of attitudes coupled with honest spiritual communications in prayer. This could be the beginning of a grand difference!

 

The public is currently deliberating about their hard-earned-dollars – rather eat or pay for medicine. Remedy to much of these dilemmas could be in ridding Washington, Chicago, and local political offices of puppets who dangle financial promises to them by deranged puppeteers. These puppeteers are draining tax-payers of their finances while they in-fact run quickly to the bank.

 

Taxpayers have just-cause to send meaningless officials into the sunset to never reenter government service! Then again, taxpayers (employer) must awaken and seek diligently to rid these United States of political loafers who swallow-up public’s tax dollars – giving inconsequential returns.  These questionable politicians sitting on the seats of complacency should first be considered for incarceration for raping the public and should thereafter stand in the unemployment line!

 

 

OpEd: Here’s to This Flag of Mine

Posted by Admin On March - 5 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

                                                          By Dr. Sunni Ali

 

Why should African Americans celebrate allegiance to the U.S. Flag?

 

Many people argue that the long history of slavery, Jim Crow, and racism alone entitles black people’s exemption away from pledging their allegiance to this nation’s flag.

 

From President Trump’s recent harsh statement toward National Football League players’ refusal to stand during the National Anthem to NFL owners and politicians’ perspectives over this issue, generations of black folk since the time of Frederick Douglass and the black emigrate movements of the1820s questioned their patriotism.

 

The powerful lesson of Colin Kaepernick is similar to that of a patriot, a person who sacrifices themselves fighting injustice and unfairness to birth change. Since its conception, America has needed patriots around to demand that equality and equity become common for all people living in this nation.

 

Kaprenick’s refusal to stand during the National Anthem served as notice to the nation it is not living up to its creed, which struck a chord for people choosing to ignore the current racial issues shaking up the American landscape such as, the unjustifiable police homicides of black civilians.

 

The history of having patriots, rebels, and intellectuals apply rhetoric, civil protest, and rebellion helped progress America. Yet as perplexed, challenged, and complicated American history has been toward African Americans, their loyalty and honor toward the American flag continues to celebrate an abundant country they helped make possible while arguing for more progressive change to improve a nation.

 

Hence the title of text, Here’s to This Flag of Mine springs forth from Marcus Garvey’s Black Nationalist Song, written by his wife, Amy Jacques Garvey, which provides a metanarrative of the African American experience dealing with the challenges paying homage to a nation’s flag.

 

Such arguments emerged through the 20th Century between W.E.B. Dubois and Marcus Garvey as well as Malcolm X and Dr. King Jr. Despite this, majority of African Americans continue to believe in the hopes, dreams, and values America promises.

 

The significance of African American’s patriotic debate is also rooted to W.E.B. Dubois’ Double Consciousness Theory that says African Americans harbor a divided soul living in America; they struggle with being African and American while paying homage to both.

 

Especially considering the magnificent contributions blacks have made to the nation before its conception. Indeed, African people have helped to develop the Americas as far back as 700 A.C.E.

 

Hence, the journey of African Americans goes beyond the pages of any history textbook or lesson that emphasize a narrative of chattel slavery. African Americans have been the scientists, mathematicians, architects, artisans, domestic engineers, horticulturalists, agrarian specialists, and soldiers for a nation that marginalized their existence. Thereby blacks’ loyalty or patriotism should never be questioned.

 

Here’s To A Flag of Mine celebrates the struggles, successes, and challenges imposed onto African Americans fighting to improve their second-class status. A history that deserves reparations and appreciation as America transitions beyond the 21st Century.

 

Curse Inflicted: From Slavery To Sex Trade

Posted by Admin On March - 5 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS
By Ebonique Harrison
 

As Black History month begins many people think of others who have paved the way for blacks and others in America. To have freedom, liberty and justice were not just given to blacks, it was fought for and blacks are still fighting for equality.

 

As society think of black women in black history, brings acknowledgement of Oprah Winfrey referencing Recy Taylor in her great speech when she accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes Awards. Oprah mentioning her legacy brought worldwide attention to the past, the history of women in America to the #Me Too Movement. Shining light on her story brought many at home watching to tears. The story of Recy Taylor is that she was walking home from church and suddenly abducted at gun point and raped by a group of six white men in 1944. The white men took her into their car to a secluded area. She was threatening to be killed and she thought they were going to kill her, but they let her walk home in fear. She survived the traumatic, sexual violence event, and she reported it to law enforcement right away. She stood up. She spoke up as many women never have the courage to do, because of fear of losing their life. She didn’t remain silent and used her voice for herself and all the other women who were afraid to use theirs. The sheriff sought after the suspects who committed the crime, but no arrest was made. Her house was firebombed at night, and she and her family moved to her father’s house. Many of the men had denied the rape while 4 of them confessed in doing it consensually. Our historic Civil Rights Leader Rosa Parks of the NAACP stepped in to bring exposure to her case. Sadly, she didn’t receive any justice in the court of law in Alabama. Two grand juries declined to indict the men. She eventually separated from her husband and moved to Florida with one child. She partnered with another man but didn’t have any more children because the vicious sexual assault left her infertile.

 

Those times were fragile, and many black women never saw any justice to sexual misconduct. With the women’s movement taking place in America and during Black History Month, a salute goes to honor all the black women for their strength, perseverance and desire to have their voices heard. The debut book Curse Inflicted: From Slavery to the Sex Trade examines black women in history to present day and the sexual harassment, sexual violence and sex trafficking that often takes place.

 

Crime and violence are so prevalent in black women lives and Recy Taylor storygives birth for other women to continue to fight the fight. The criminal justice systemneeds to be reformed, and so does criminalizing sex trafficking victims. The newlyreleased book Curse Inflicted, will discuss the reasons why all of this sexual misconduct takes place in black women lives and how they can stop it.

 

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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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