Wednesday, 17 August 2011

African-American Commission Will Examine Racial Disparities In Illinois

Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill into law forming a new commission that is "aimed at researching disparities in the African-American community."
Members of the bipartisan commission will be joined by directors of several state agencies and will look into a wide variety of community topics including employment and education. The committee will have until the end of 2013 to report its findings to the Illinois General Assembly. Gov. Quinn deemed the formation of the commission a necessity and is taking responsibility to make sure that the state is paying attention to what's going on in African-American communities:
“We know that disparities exist within the African-American community, preventing some from achieving their full potential,” Governor Quinn said. “In Illinois, we want everybody in, and nobody left out. We won’t shy away from examining the root causes of inequality, and working to correct them.

We know that disparities exist within the African-American community, preventing some from achieving their full potential,” Governor Quinn said according to a press release issued by his office. “In Illinois, we want everybody in, and nobody left out. We won’t shy away from examining the root causes of inequality, and working to correct them.”

The Commission to End the Disparities Facing the African-American Community will be comprised of a bipartisan group of legislators from both houses of the General Assembly, as well as the directors of the Department of Human Services, Healthcare and Family Services, the Department of Corrections and other state agencies. The Commission will also include the Executive Director of the Illinois African-American Family Commission and up to 10 other individuals with research backgrounds representing African-American communities statewide.

Representatives Monique Davis and Mattie Hunter, both Democrats representing Chicago, proposed the bill, which went into effect immediately.

The Commission must hold one or more public hearings and will present its findings with recommendations to the General Assembly before the end of 2013.

Recruiters at Black Colleges Break From Tradition

TIMERY SHANTE NANCE is an African-American woman who has a thing about her hair. “I don’t use chemicals or straighteners,” she said. “It’s just my natural texture, and I wear it in a normal-looking puff.

Now she wonders, as some other black women evidently do, whether the Transportation Security Administration also has a thing about their hair. Ms. Nance is the second black woman I’m aware of within a month who says she was racially profiled when a T.S.A. officer insisted on publicly patting down her hair after she had already gone though a full-body scan without setting off any alarm.

Ms. Nance was departing from the airport in San Antonio in late July. After she passed through the body scanner, she said, a female T.S.A. screener told her to stand facing her possessions. “You’re good to go, but first I have to pat your hair,” the officer told her, she said.

“I’m like, pat my hair? O.K., I guess,” Ms. Nance said.

But it wasn’t O.K. Ms. Nance, who had been visiting her husband at the Air Force base where he is stationed, was deeply embarrassed as other passengers stared at her, “as if I’d done something wrong.”

She asked the screener why her hair was searched while others, including white women with ponytails or bushy hair, were simply waved through. “Is it just African-American women with natural hair who get the hair search?” she asked.

The screener said no, “but if you have certain kinds of ponytail or bun, you have to get your hair patted,” said Ms. Nance, who is 30.

Now, as I said, this is the second such recent incident. On June 30, a young African-American woman, Laura Adiele, said that a screener at the Seattle-Tacoma airport insisted on patting down her hair, which was also natural and curly, even though the body scan had not set off an alarm. Ms. Adiele said in various interviews that she thought the search had been racially motivated.

The T.S.A. denies that. “All passengers are thoroughly screened coming through the screening checkpoint,” said Kristin Lee, a spokeswoman. “Additional screening may be required for clothing, headgear or hair where prohibited items may be hidden,” she said.

The agency says it never uses racial or ethnic profiling — and I totally accept that assurance, as a matter of agency policy. But when I spoke to Ms. Nance, she seemed to see also a cultural issue, rather than a strictly racial one.

In what has become a mutually beneficial relationship for schools and students, many of the nation's 105 historically black colleges are increasingly wooing non-black students. The goals: to boost lagging enrollment and offset funding shortfalls.

Some black colleges are stepping up recruiting at mostly white or Hispanic high schools and community colleges. Delaware State University is bringing 100 Chinese students to its Dover campus this fall for cultural and language training. Other colleges are showcasing unique programs. Florida Memorial University in Miami Gardens promotes its chorale, which backed Queen Latifah in the 2010 Super Bowl, for example.

Even top-ranked black schools such as Howard University in Washington, D.C., and Spelman College in Atlanta, are recruiting more aggressively in the face of intensifying competition for top African-American students.

About 82% of students at the nation's 105 black colleges are African-American, a percentage that has been fairly constant over the past 30 years, according to a data analysis for this column by the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, a New York nonprofit. Increases in Hispanic and Asian students have offset declines in whites, partly because of cuts in federal- and state-scholarship programs that encouraged white students to attend historically black colleges, says the fund's president, Johnny C. Taylor Jr. He predicts growth in white, Hispanic and Asian enrollment, as black colleges cast a wider net.

Ms. Daugherty was looking for a school that offered flexible schedules. As a teenager, she lost interest in college after three semesters, dropped out and went to work. In time, she became interested in city planning and decided to go back to school. Tennessee State's downtown Nashville campus enabled her to combine a full-time course load with her job as a supervisor at a nonprofit performing-arts center. As at many black colleges, its cost—at $2,400 a semester—was low as well.

She quickly found her professors and fellow students friendly. Race would sometimes enter the conversation. In one class, she says, her sociology professor looked out at the 40 students, most of whom were black, and asked rhetorically, "When did you first become aware that you were black?" She says she locked eyes with one of the two other white students, laughed and mouthed the words, "Today, I guess!"

After graduating last weekend, Ms. Daugherty regards her experience as a big plus that prepared her to live in a diverse society. "It has expanded me as a person."

Tennessee State's interim president, Portia Holmes Shields sees its mission as a public university to provide a quality education to students of all races, she says. While some older alumni are uneasy with the increasing diversity, younger grads embrace it, says the former dean of education at Howard University.

Michael Sorrell, president of tiny Paul Quinn College in Dallas, says black colleges must stay committed to their historical mission as "beacons of light" for students who need resources and support. "My difference is, I just don't assign a race to that."

After being hired in 2007 to help solve the school's financial and accreditation problems, Mr. Sorrell told alumni that the campus would soon "look dramatically different," he says. "It doesn't mean that we've turned our backs" on the college's historical constituency. "It means we've expanded our mission and our definition of who will benefit," he says. No alumni have objected, he adds.

Part of his strategy is to recruit top students of all races to serve as campus leaders, by offering personal mentoring, full $20,000-a-year scholarships and a post-graduation job guarantee. Among these 20 hand-picked "presidential scholars," six have been white or Hispanic. This fall, African-American enrollment among Paul Quinn's 200 students will likely drop to 85% from about 94% last year.

Some black colleges, of course, are doing relatively well financially. Headed for 43 years by current president Norman Francis, an adroit fund-raiser, Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans has more than doubled its endowment since 2005 to nearly $134 million, larger than that of many black colleges.

Many schools have track records in producing top African-American professionals. Xavier sends more black students to medical school than any other U.S. college and is among the top-three producers of African-American pharmacists with doctorate degrees.

With just 7,000 undergrads, Howard produces more African-American graduates who go on to earn doctorate degrees in science and engineering than any other college in the country, the National Science Foundation says. Second is Spelman, with about 2,100 students.

"They do it by really nurturing students and providing role models—not by fostering a competitive cutthroat environment," says Marybeth Gasman, professor of higher education at the University of Pennsylvania's graduate school of education.

Black colleges do a good job by another measure, in educating students who enroll with less money and lower college-entrance test scores, on average, than incoming freshmen at other schools. Historically black colleges and universities enroll 16% of all black undergrads, but award 25% of the bachelor's degrees received by African Americans, Dr. Gasman says.

New anti-abortion billboard targeting African-American leaders unveiled

Another new campaign produced by black pro-life advocates says African-American political leaders have betrayed the black community with their support for abortion, which has destroyed millions of black Americans.

Catherine Davis, founder of the Restoration Project, has joined with other pro-life African-Americans to launch a new billboard today in downtown Atlanta. The “Betrayed” billboard calls attention to the pro-abortion views of many African-American leaders. The billboard is posted on the corner of Spring and Marietta Streets and is linked to

“Something is wrong,” Davis says, “when those elected to protect the interests of their constituents turn a blind eye to the horrific impact that abortion is wreaking on the black community. In New York City, for every 1,000 black babies born alive, 1,489 are aborted. In Washington, D.C. for every 100 black babies born alive, 165 are aborted. Something is wrong.”

Davis was instrumental in implementing another successful billboard awareness campaign in collaboration with Ryan Bomberger of the radiance Foundation and Georgia Right to Life.

Day Gardner of the National Black Prolife Union is also on board with the new project and asks: “Can’t we at least ask the hard questions about these numbers?”

“Pro-abortion groups cry racism when black pro-life leaders point out the depopulation effect of abortion,” she lamented. “I say yes racism is a factor, not on the part of pro-lifers, but on the part of those who want us to continually stream into the clinics to kill our children. All black leaders should help stop it or stay home.”

Star Parker from CURE is a member of the black pro-life coalition of leaders sponsoring the billboard.

“When you look at the data on what is occurring in our urban communities, you find that one out of every two and a half pregnancies is being terminated,” the nationally syndicated pro-life columnist says. “It is imperative that our leaders examine what we know is the targeting of black women and children. We don’t need to wait until it is too late like we did with the Tuskegee study, later looking back to ask why somebody didn’t do something.

Billboards have become de rigueur for the anti-abortion community, and have cropped up across the country, from California to Jacksonville. Like the recent campaign spearheaded by the Radiance Foundation, the Atlanta ad is part of an effort to denounce black leaders for what groups see as their failure to take a stand against abortion in the African-American community. The groups sponsoring the ad, which include the Restoration Project, CURE and Priests for Life, claim that more babies are aborted than are born in communities like Washington, D.C., and New York City. #

“Can’t we at least ask the hard questions about these numbers,” said Day Gardner, of the National Black Prolife Union, in a press release. “Pro-abortion groups cry racism when black prolife leaders point out the depopulation effect of abortion. I say yes racism is a factor, not on the part of pro-lifers, but on the part of those who want us to continually stream into the clinics to kill our children. All black leaders should help stop it or stay home.”
In addition to taking aim at African-American leaders, the groups are also again pointing the finger at Planned Parenthood — which they often accuse of racism. “In its 2008 tax filing, Planned Parenthood acknowledged their mission is to achieve a ‘US population of stable size.’” said Connie Eller of Missouri Blacks for Life, in the release, “What that means to black people, is they will continue to prey upon black women and children. We say no more, no way.”
Planned Parenthood has disputed claims of racism in the past, and its representatives argue that more clinics are placed in lower-income neighborhoods because of the lack of health care for women of a certain demographic — lower income, African-American and Latina — that often relies on Planned Parenthood for health care services.

Race Riots in America

You've damaged your own race," said Mayor Michael Nutter to the black youths of Philadelphia whose flash mobs have been beating and robbing shoppers in the fashionable district of downtown.

"Take those God-darn hoodies down," the mayor went on in his blistering lecture. "Pull your pants up and buy a belt, 'cause no one wants to see your underwear or the crack of your butt."

And the mayor had some advice for teenagers looking for work.

"You walk into somebody's office with your hair uncombed and a pick in the back and your shoes untied and your pants half down, tattoos up and down your arms and on your neck, and you wonder why somebody won't hire you?"

"They don't hire you 'cause you look like you're crazy."

Nutter is African-American and the first leader to speak out about the racial character of the flash mobs attacking people in one American city after another. And where are our other leaders?

At the Iowa State Fair last August, black thugs beat a white man so savagely he was hospitalized. Police only began to look into the possibility of a racial attack and hate crime after fair-goers said the thugs were calling it "Beat Whitey Night."

After Memorial Day, Chicago cops had to close a beach when a flash mob formed, attacked people and knocked cyclists off bikes.

In Miami Beach, there were beatings and shootings that same weekend. In D.C., flash mobs of black youths have turned up a half-dozen times in stores to loot clothes and merchandise and flee.

The media almost never identify the race of the thugs. Their reticence would disappear were a white mob in some Southern city to be caught beating up on black shoppers at a mall.

But the flash mob scourge hitting U.S. cities has been eclipsed by the pillaging and burning of London and other British cities in the worst violence visited on that nation and its capital since Goering's Luftwaffe executed the "Blitz.

In the past two years, Philadelphia has been tormented by several flash mobs composed of poor black teens who decide to meet at predetermined locations and then commit assorted acts of mayhem. The latest event, which took place in late July, saw 20 to 30 youths descend on Center City after dark to punch, beat and rob bystanders. One was hospitalized with a fractured skull after being kicked savagely in the head. Mayor Michael A. Nutter recently imposed a 9 p.m. weekend curfew on all minors in an attempt to curb the ongoing problem posed by these flash mobs. Nutter, who is African-American himself, then issued some tough talk to the black teens in his city, telling them that their actions had “damaged” the reputation of their own race.

It is human nature that creates prejudice, jealousy, envy, competition, strife, vanity, lust, greed, resentment and all the evils that always end up leading to violence. This means that race relations will continue to deteriorate as the economy worsens.

During the height of the American civil rights movement, the renowned educator Herbert W. Armstrong wrote from a unique perspective—not white or black, but based on the eternal truths of the Holy Bible. Mr. Armstrong taught the way to true peace and correctly identified the problems plaguing race relations. Yet, he also understood what the Bible prophesied for the near future. Basing his predictions on these prophecies, he wrote in the October 1963 Plain Truth: “Make no mistake! This is no light matter to pass over casually! Race war is coming! Racial tensions, passions and hatreds are being deliberately stirred by organized planning. It will explode into mass violence that will stagger the imagination! It will be whipped into an accelerating crescendo until human blood runs like rivers.