July 31, 2012

James Holmes is a Terrorist ... And We Need to Stand Up Against Gun Violence

It pisses me off that James Holmes is a 2010 graduate of the University of California, Riverside with a degree in neuroscience. I'm also a UCR graduate. UCR has a low profile nationwide ... and it stinks that UCR's most famous graduate is now a mass murderer.

The early reports are calling this 24-year old guy 'insane'. I think that we are better served if we refer to him as a 'terrorist'. Frankly, if his name had been Jamaal instead of James ... that is what he would be called. America's racial challenges are evident even in something as vile as this late-night massacre at a Batman movie in Colorado.

Reports indicate that the terrorist who committed this horrifying act had a bulletproof vest, used some kind of gas canister, and had multiple guns when he opened fire in the crowded theater. A three-month-old is among the injured. Our entire village is sad for those who lost their lives, those wounded, and their families.

I suspect that it won't be long before we see airport-style metal detectors at the entrance of all movie theaters. I suspect that stock in Netflix will spike as more folks decide to watch movies at home instead of going to a theater.

You would think that Americans would use this moment to think about the fact that this kid was able purchase enough guns to shoot 71 people. How many bullets? How many guns?

When are we going to reflect on the fact that random gun violence needs to be dealt with in a comprehensive manner? How many more children must be killed in school shootings? How many more Trayvon Martins? How many more Gabby Giffords attacks? How many more innocents slaughtered at public venues like the local movie theater?

In addition to keeping the Colorado families in your prayers ... perhaps you can support Mayors Against Illegal Guns it its campaign to put a stop to senseless gun violence like this with commonsense measures, like fixing gun checks to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. They've started an online petition to demand action on ending gun violence.

We need to stand up against these terrorist thugs like James Holmes. That's my thought ... what say u?

July 29, 2012

31 Ways 31 Days to Support African American Businesses in 2012

Soulclap to John William Templeton for letting us know about National Black Business Month.   This is a data-driven initiative to channel the creative energy of 2 million African American entrepreneurs as a driver of the global economy. Visit Black Money Worldwide to learn more.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 1 Support the $6 billion African American food service industry. Buy grocery products; visit a restaurant; book a caterer; buy produce or meats from a farmer. Find restaurants, farm coops, manufacturers in Say Grace and Wipe Yo' Hands. Join 50 Top Names in Black Food at Schomburg Center in Harlem for the opening event of National Black Business Month. 
  • Thursday, Aug. 2  Invest in an African American publicly-traded company such as Amarantus BioSciences or American Shared Hospital Services
  • Friday, Aug. 3    Make an angel investment or use crowd-sourcing to support a start-up company.
  • Saturday, Aug. 4  Book seats at the African American theater company such as Chicago’s new Black Ensemble Theater 
  • Sunday, Aug. 5    Attend and contribute to the work of an African American church like Zion Global Ministries in West Chester, Ohio. 
  • Monday, Aug. 6   Contracting Accountability Day.  Ask your local and state officials to boost job creation by investing in, contracting with and financing African American community based businesses. 
  • Tuesday, Aug. 7   Spotlight on Uncle Sam Day.   Connect with purchasers at federal agencies in your area  to boost the 1.2 percent of purchases going to African American businesses.  Ask to see the small business contracting plans of major federal contractors
  • Wednesday, Aug. 8 Higher Education Focus.  Show support for HBCUs and ask other universities and colleges to utilize Black businesses and fund research by Black scientists and engineers.  Many research universities are near Black neighborhoods but contribute little to their progress.
  • Thursday, Aug. 9  Utility and Energy Focus. Invite utility companies to utilize local African American owned businesses, particularly renewable energy innovators like 510Nano or Excellatron Solid State. 
  • Friday, Aug. 10    School the Administrators.   Ask your school principals and school facility and purchasing officials about using more African American-owned firms. 
  • Saturday, Aug. 11 Visit one of the more than 100 African American museums such as the Charles Wright Museum in Detroit or the Schomburg Center in New York.  Support the national tour of the Kinsey Collection. 
  • Sunday, Aug. 12  Support an African American non-profit organization such as as BDPA Education and Technology Foundation, NAACP or the Urban League. 
  • Monday, Aug. 13 Open an account with an African American financial institution like New Orleans’ Liberty Bank and Trust or Mechanics and Farmers in North Carolina.  Find them at National Bankers Association 
  • Tuesday, Aug. 14 Utilize an African American contractor for building, remodeling, repair.  Visit the National Association of Minority Contractors. 
  • Wednesday, Aug. 15  Book a stay or an event with member hotels of the National Association of Black Hotel Owners Operators and Developers (NABHOOD). 
  • Thursday, Aug. 16 Make an appointment with members of the National Medical Association or National Dental Association 
  • Friday, Aug. 17    Connect with a member of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers about housing opportunities 
  • Saturday, Aug. 18 Buy products from a Black-owned beauty products company,  support Black-owned beauty shops and barbers 
  • Sunday, Aug. 19   Use environmentally-friendly products by Black manufacturers such as ChloroFill, EnCap 
  • Monday, Aug. 20  Support African American beverage makers such as United Beverage Group or Heritage Link Brands. 
  • Tuesday, Aug. 21 Utilize African American software and online developers such as Sciberus, Next Galaxy Media, Right Direction Technology Solutions, DB Consulting, BCA, Logicore, or Powertek 
  • Wednesday, Aug. 22 Visit an African American bookstore like Marcus Books in San Francisco or purchase a book from a Black publisher; attend poetry reading or book signing at sites like Sankofa in Washington, D.C. 
  • Thursday, Aug. 23 Support Black radio broadcasters by letting their supporters, advertisers know that you listen to Black radio. 
  • Friday, Aug. 24   Subscribe to a Black-owned newspaper or magazine, like Cincinnati Herald. 
  • Saturday, Aug. 25 Purchase a video or buy a seat for the work of a Black filmmaker. 
  • Sunday, Aug. 26  Purchase gospel CDs or videos 
  • Monday, Aug. 27 Select an African American independent school or tutorial service for your child; use ReUNION: Education-Arts-Heritage to provide culturally-responsive content; select African American educators for professional development 
  • Tuesday, Aug. 28 Purchase back to school items from African American retailers including clothes, electronics, school suppliers or form buying clubs to gain reduced prices 
  • Wednesday, Aug. 29 Buy automobile from an African American dealer 
  • Thursday, Aug. 30 Invest with an African American securities dealer/fund manager/private equity broker. 
  • Friday, Aug. 31  Make a political contribution to the African American candidate or campaign fund of your choice.
Read moreAlso feel free to share ways that you are supporting this effort.

July 25, 2012

Racism Runs Rampant on Both Romney's Team and the Greek Olympic Team

I joined Pinterest last month. It is a social network that allows you to post photos on 'boards' that you create in areas that interest you. One of my boards is called 'Racism in America'.

Who knew that my board was too restrictive. Racism is running rampant in Europe as well.

Today we learned that an adviser to the Romney campaign suggested the Republican hopeful was better able to navigate the “special relationship” between the United States and England because of his understanding of “Anglo-Saxon heritage.” [SOURCE]

I guess that Anglo-Saxon heritage is a white supremacist homonym used in Europe.
We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he feels that the special relationship is special,” the unnamed adviser said, according to the report in the Daily Telegraph. “The White House didn’t fully appreciate the shared history we have.
Mittens didn't deny the report.
I’m generally not enthusiastic about adopting the comments made by people who are unnamed. I have a lot of advisers,” Romney said. “I’m not sure who this person is … So, I don’t agree with whoever that advisor might be.
The Romney campaign wasn't the only one with racist foot-in-mouth disease today.

Triple jumper Voula Papachristou was expelled from Greece's Olympic team for her comments on Twitter mocking African immigrants and expressing support for a far-right party.

Commenting on the widely reported appearance of Nile-virus-carrying mosquitoes in Athens, Papachristou wrote:
"With so many Africans in Greece, the West Nile mosquitoes will be getting home food!!!"
The Hellenic Olympic Committee kicked Papachristou from the team "for statements contrary to the values and ideas of the Olympic movement."

So ... this woman trains hard for YEARS to represent her country ... she fine-tunes her skills so that she is the best in her nation and one of the best in the world ... she is within a few days of being on a worldwide stage ... and in 140 characters or less she managed to screw it all up.

Racism is a sickness that makes you do and say things that are simply dumb! Hope she has Greek cable TV subscription so she can watch the Olympics on her couch!

I also hope that Mittens can get a backbone like the Hellenic Olympic Committee and locate the racist nit on his staff who made the 'anglo-saxan' comment. That guy needs to get kicked off the team as well!

July 24, 2012

Obama Lays Out 'The Choice' in 2012 Presidential Election

I like how the President looks me straight in the eye during this political message. Have you ever seen Mitt Romney look you in the eye during this campaign cycle?

This video ... "The Choice" ... was released earlier today. Villagers will decide over the next four month between two fundamentally different plans for our country, and President Obama laying out the choice of how to grow the economy, create middle-class jobs and pay down the debt. The President's plan ensures everyone pays their fair share and still invests in the things we need to create jobs and grow our economy over the long term, like education, energy, and infrastructure.

July 22, 2012

Obama's Weekly Address: Remembering the Victims of the Aurora, Colorado Shooting

President Obama honors the victims of the tragedy in Colorado, those who knew and loved them, and those who are struggling to recover.

It is so good to have a president that makes me proud!

July 20, 2012

African American Women and Girls Take Center Stage at BDPA Technology Conference

National BDPA, the largest and oldest non-profit organization of African American professionals working in or having an interest in the computer science and information technology fields is gearing up for their 34th Annual Technology Conference & Career Fair in Baltimore, MD, August 1-4. In what is slated to be one of their most innovative events to date, it is the women of BDPA that are steering the helm on the conference's ship to success.

Founded by Earl Pace and the late David Wimberly as an answer to the lack of Black representation in the technology field; BDPA now serves a diverse membership including programmers, analysts, engineers, managers, instructors, and entrepreneurs, many of which are women. Since its inception in 1975, nearly 50 percent of BDPA national and local presidents have been women. There has been a woman in the top spot since 2006 with over 13 regional chapters led by women. Of the four top national leadership positions, three belong to women overseeing strategy, finance and member services.
"There is a noticeable lack of women, and specifically women in leadership roles within the science, technology, engineering and math fields. It's important for women to take on leadership roles in the STEM fields because women leaders can attract and, as mentors, help guide more women and girls toward rewarding careers in these fields," says current national president Monique Berry. "STEM careers are extremely important to the global economy. Attracting and retaining more women in STEM careers will help to improve diversity, maximize creativity, and boost competitiveness. The United States, compared to many other leading and steadily emerging countries, lacks a strong focus on educating scientists and engineers."
Committed to leading the charge, the women of BDPA are paying it forward with the addition of the Youth Technology Camp to the upcoming conference. Students from around the country will join their peers and parents for a series of hands-on sessions and workshops spanning from robotics to mobile app development. The camp is an added bonus to the hundreds of interactive expositions and a series of workshops that will take place over the course of the 4-day conference.
Berry adds, "If we want to attract the best and brightest minds into the fields that will move us forward, we can no longer look to only half of the population. More women can contribute to our field and BDPA is helping to make that happen."
Copyright (C) 2012 PR Newswire. All rights reserved

July 19, 2012

Michael Clarke Duncan Fighting for His Life

I was stunned to learn that actor Michael Clarke Duncan almost died last week of a heart attack. He remains on a hospital respirator, however he is a strong and powerful man ... and he is in the prayers of the 'village'.

Many are crediting his girlfriend ... Omarosa ... the mad-as-a-hatter sister made famous by Donald Trump ... for saving his life.   She was with Duncan when the heart attack occurred and she gave him CPR until the medics arrived on the scene to rush him to the hospital.

I like Michael Clarke Duncan and respect him as an actor. If he sees something positive in Omarosa then I guess I'll cut her some slack.

Jesse Jackson, 1988 Democratic National Convention Speech

Rev. Jesse Jackson has disappointed me thus far in the 21st century. The mistakes he made in his personal life. His inability to stay silent during the recent election on domestic or foreign affairs troubled me.

Personally, I think that Rev. Jackson was the 'emissary' mentioned in the federal indictment. Rev. Jackson recently denied any involvement in the Blagojevich scandal and says that he was not the so-called 'emissary'.

It wasn't always this way.

In fact, just last century Rev. Jackson was a hero in our community for his spirited presidential campaigns in both 1984 and 1988. In fact, American Rhetoric included Jackson more than once on their list of the Top 100 Speeches of the 20th Century. The speech that Jackson gave at the 1988 Democratic National Convention was named Top Speech #51.

This speech was delivered on July 19, 1988 in Atlanta GA. There is no available video of his speech, however, we do have a 2-part audio clip and text transcript [SOURCE].

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Tonight, we pause and give praise and honor to God for being good enough to allow us to be at this place at this time. When I look out at this convention, I see the face of America: Red, Yellow, Brown, Black and White. We are all precious in God's sight -- the real rainbow coalition.

All of us -- all of us who are here think that we are seated. But we're really standing on someone's shoulders. Ladies and gentlemen, Mrs. Rosa Parks -- the mother of the civil rights movement.

I want to express my deep love and appreciation for the support my family has given me over these past months. They have endured pain, anxiety, threat, and fear. But they have been strengthened and made secure by our faith in God, in America, and in you. Your love has protected us and made us strong. To my wife Jackie, the foundation of our family; to our five children whom you met tonight; to my mother, Mrs. Helen Jackson, who is present tonight; and to our grandmother, Mrs. Matilda Burns; to my brother Chuck and his family; to my mother-in-law, Mrs. Gertrude Brown, who just last month at age 61 graduated from Hampton Institute -- a marvelous achievement.

I offer my appreciation to Mayor Andrew Young who has provided such gracious hospitality to all of us this week.

And a special salute to President Jimmy Carter. President Carter restored honor to the White House after Watergate. He gave many of us a special opportunity to grow. For his kind words, for his unwavering commitment to peace in the world, and for the voters that came from his family, every member of his family, led by Billy and Amy, I offer my special thanks to the Carter family.

My right and my privilege to stand here before you has been won, won in my lifetime, by the blood and the sweat of the innocent.

Twenty-four years ago, the late Fannie Lou Hamer and Aaron Henry -- who sits here tonight from Mississippi -- were locked out onto the streets in Atlantic City; the head of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.

But tonight, a Black and White delegation from Mississippi is headed by Ed Cole, a Black man from Mississippi; twenty-four years later.

Many were lost in the struggle for the right to vote: Jimmy Lee Jackson, a young student, gave his life; Viola Liuzzo, a White mother from Detroit, called "nigger lover," and brains blown out at point blank range; [Michael] Schwerner, [Andrew] Goodman and [James] Chaney -- two Jews and a Black -- found in a common grave, bodies riddled with bullets in Mississippi; the four darling little girls in a church in Birmingham, Alabama. They died that we might have a right to live.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lies only a few miles from us tonight. Tonight he must feel good as he looks down upon us. We sit here together, a rainbow, a coalition -- the sons and daughters of slavemasters and the sons and daughters of slaves, sitting together around a common table, to decide the direction of our party and our country. His heart would be full tonight.

As a testament to the struggles of those who have gone before; as a legacy for those who will come after; as a tribute to the endurance, the patience, the courage of our forefathers and mothers; as an assurance that their prayers are being answered, that their work has not been in vain, and, that hope is eternal, tomorrow night my name will go into nomination for the Presidency of the United States of America.

We meet tonight at the crossroads, a point of decision. Shall we expand, be inclusive, find unity and power; or suffer division and impotence?

We've come to Atlanta, the cradle of the Old South, the crucible of the New South. Tonight, there is a sense of celebration, because we are moved, fundamentally moved from racial battlegrounds by law, to economic common ground. Tomorrow we'll challenge to move to higher ground.

Common ground. Think of Jerusalem, the intersection where many trails met. A small village that became the birthplace for three great religions -- Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Why was this village so blessed? Because it provided a crossroads where different people met, different cultures, different civilizations could meet and find common ground. When people come together, flowers always flourish -- the air is rich with the aroma of a new spring.

Take New York, the dynamic metropolis. What makes New York so special?
It's the invitation at the Statue of Liberty, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses who yearn to breathe free." Not restricted to English only. Many people, many cultures, many languages with one thing in common: They yearn to breathe free. Common ground.

Tonight in Atlanta, for the first time in this century, we convene in the South; a state where Governors once stood in school house doors; where Julian Bond was denied a seat in the State Legislature because of his conscientious objection to the Vietnam War; a city that, through its five Black Universities, has graduated more black students than any city in the world. Atlanta, now a modern intersection of the New South.

Common ground. That's the challenge of our party tonight -- left wing, right wing.

Progress will not come through boundless liberalism nor static conservatism, but at the critical mass of mutual survival -- not at boundless liberalism nor static conservatism, but at the critical mass of mutual survival. It takes two wings to fly. Whether you're a hawk or a dove, you're just a bird living in the same environment, in the same world.

The Bible teaches that when lions and lambs lie down together, none will be afraid, and there will be peace in the valley. It sounds impossible. Lions eat lambs. Lambs sensibly flee from lions. Yet even lions and lambs find common ground. Why? Because neither lions nor lambs want the forest to catch on fire. Neither lions nor lambs want acid rain to fall. Neither lions nor lambs can survive nuclear war. If lions and lambs can find common ground, surely we can as well -- as civilized people.

The only time that we win is when we come together. In 1960, John Kennedy, the late John Kennedy, beat Richard Nixon by only 112,000 votes -- less than one vote per precinct. He won by the margin of our hope. He brought us together. He reached out. He had the courage to defy his advisors and inquire about Dr. King's jailing in Albany, Georgia. We won by the margin of our hope, inspired by courageous leadership. In 1964, Lyndon Johnson brought both wings together -- the thesis, the antithesis, and the creative synthesis -- and together we won. In 1976, Jimmy Carter unified us again, and we won. When do we not come together, we never win. In 1968, the division and despair in July led to our defeat in November. In 1980, rancor in the spring and the summer led to Reagan in the fall. When we divide, we cannot win. We must find common ground as the basis for survival and development and change and growth.

Today when we debated, differed, deliberated, agreed to agree, agreed to disagree, when we had the good judgment to argue a case and then not self-destruct, George Bush was just a little further away from the White House and a little closer to private life.

Tonight, I salute Governor Michael Dukakis. He has run -- He has run a well-managed and a dignified campaign. No matter how tired or how tried, he always resisted the temptation to stoop to demagoguery.

I've watched a good mind fast at work, with steel nerves, guiding his campaign out of the crowded field without appeal to the worst in us. I've watched his perspective grow as his environment has expanded. I've seen his toughness and tenacity close up. I know his commitment to public service. Mike Dukakis' parents were a doctor and a teacher; my parents a maid, a beautician, and a janitor. There's a great gap between Brookline, Massachusetts and Haney Street in the Fieldcrest Village housing projects in Greenville, South Carolina.

He studied law; I studied theology. There are differences of religion, region, and race; differences in experiences and perspectives. But the genius of America is that out of the many we become one.

Providence has enabled our paths to intersect. His foreparents came to America on immigrant ships; my foreparents came to America on slave ships. But whatever the original ships, we're in the same boat tonight.

Our ships could pass in the night -- if we have a false sense of independence -- or they could collide and crash. We would lose our passengers. We can seek a high reality and a greater good. Apart, we can drift on the broken pieces of Reagonomics, satisfy our baser instincts, and exploit the fears of our people. At our highest, we can call upon noble instincts and navigate this vessel to safety. The greater good is the common good.

As Jesus said, "Not My will, but Thine be done." It was his way of saying there's a higher good beyond personal comfort or position.

The good of our Nation is at stake. It's commitment to working men and women, to the poor and the vulnerable, to the many in the world.

With so many guided missiles, and so much misguided leadership, the stakes are exceedingly high. Our choice? Full participation in a democratic government, or more abandonment and neglect. And so this night, we choose not a false sense of independence, not our capacity to survive and endure. Tonight we choose interdependency, and our capacity to act and unite for the greater good.

Common good is finding commitment to new priorities to expansion and inclusion. A commitment to expanded participation in the Democratic Party at every level. A commitment to a shared national campaign strategy and involvement at every level.

A commitment to new priorities that insure that hope will be kept alive. A common ground commitment to a legislative agenda for empowerment, for the John Conyers bill -- universal, on-site, same-day registration everywhere. A commitment to D.C. statehood and empowerment -- D.C. deserves statehood. A commitment to economic set-asides, commitment to the Dellums bill for comprehensive sanctions against South Africa. A shared commitment to a common direction.

Common ground.

Easier said than done. Where do you find common ground? At the point of challenge. This campaign has shown that politics need not be marketed by politicians, packaged by pollsters and pundits. Politics can be a moral arena where people come together to find common ground.

We find common ground at the plant gate that closes on workers without notice. We find common ground at the farm auction, where a good farmer loses his or her land to bad loans or diminishing markets. Common ground at the school yard where teachers cannot get adequate pay, and students cannot get a scholarship, and can't make a loan. Common ground at the hospital admitting room, where somebody tonight is dying because they cannot afford to go upstairs to a bed that's empty waiting for someone with insurance to get sick. We are a better nation than that. We must do better.

Common ground. What is leadership if not present help in a time of crisis? And so I met you at the point of challenge. In Jay, Maine, where paper workers were striking for fair wages; in Greenville, Iowa, where family farmers struggle for a fair price; in Cleveland, Ohio, where working women seek comparable worth; in McFarland, California, where the children of Hispanic farm workers may be dying from poisoned land, dying in clusters with cancer; in an AIDS hospice in Houston, Texas, where the sick support one another, too often rejected by their own parents and friends.

Common ground. America is not a blanket woven from one thread, one color, one cloth. When I was a child growing up in Greenville, South Carolina and grandmamma could not afford a blanket, she didn't complain and we did not freeze. Instead she took pieces of old cloth -- patches, wool, silk, gabardine, crockersack -- only patches, barely good enough to wipe off your shoes with. But they didn't stay that way very long. With sturdy hands and a strong cord, she sewed them together into a quilt, a thing of beauty and power and culture. Now, Democrats, we must build such a quilt.

Farmers, you seek fair prices and you are right -- but you cannot stand alone. Your patch is not big enough.

Workers, you fight for fair wages, you are right -- but your patch labor is not big enough.

Women, you seek comparable worth and pay equity, you are right -- but your patch is not big enough.

Women, mothers, who seek Head Start, and day care and prenatal care on the front side of life, relevant jail care and welfare on the back side of life, you are right -- but your patch is not big enough.

Students, you seek scholarships, you are right -- but your patch is not big enough.

Blacks and Hispanics, when we fight for civil rights, we are right -- but our patch is not big enough.

Gays and lesbians, when you fight against discrimination and a cure for AIDS, you are right -- but your patch is not big enough.

Conservatives and progressives, when you fight for what you believe, right wing, left wing, hawk, dove, you are right from your point of view, but your point of view is not enough.

But don't despair. Be as wise as my grandmamma. Pull the patches and the pieces together, bound by a common thread. When we form a great quilt of unity and common ground, we'll have the power to bring about health care and housing and jobs and education and hope to our Nation.

We, the people, can win.

We stand at the end of a long dark night of reaction. We stand tonight united in the commitment to a new direction. For almost eight years we've been led by those who view social good coming from private interest, who view public life as a means to increase private wealth. They have been prepared to sacrifice the common good of the many to satisfy the private interests and the wealth of a few.

We believe in a government that's a tool of our democracy in service to the public, not an instrument of the aristocracy in search of private wealth. We believe in government with the consent of the governed, "of, for and by the people." We must now emerge into a new day with a new direction.

Reaganomics: Based on the belief that the rich had too much money [sic] -- too little money and the poor had too much. That's classic Reaganomics. They believe that the poor had too much money and the rich had too little money,- so they engaged in reverse Robin Hood - took from the poor, gave to the rich, paid for by the middle class. We cannot stand four more years of Reaganomics in any version, in any disguise.

How do I document that case? Seven years later, the richest 1 percent of our society pays 20 percent less in taxes. The poorest 10 percent pay 20 percent more: Reaganomics.

Reagan gave the rich and the powerful a multibillion-dollar party. Now the party is over. He expects the people to pay for the damage. I take this principal position, convention, let us not raise taxes on the poor and the middle-class, but those who had the party, the rich and the powerful, must pay for the party.

I just want to take common sense to high places. We're spending one hundred and fifty billion dollars a year defending Europe and Japan 43 years after the war is over. We have more troops in Europe tonight than we had seven years ago. Yet the threat of war is ever more remote.

Germany and Japan are now creditor nations; that means they've got a surplus. We are a debtor nation -- means we are in debt. Let them share more of the burden of their own defense. Use some of that money to build decent housing. Use some of that money to educate our children. Use some of that money for long-term health care. Use some of that money to wipe out these slums and put America back to work!

I just want to take common sense to high places. If we can bail out Europe and Japan; if we can bail out Continental Bank and Chrysler -- and Mr. Iacocca, make [sic] 8,000 dollars an hour -- we can bail out the family farmer.

I just want to make common sense. It does not make sense to close down six hundred and fifty thousand family farms in this country while importing food from abroad subsidized by the U.S. Government. Let's make sense.

It does not make sense to be escorting all our tankers up and down the Persian Gulf paying $2.50 for every one dollar worth of oil we bring out, while oil wells are capped in Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. I just want to make sense.

Leadership must meet the moral challenge of its day. What's the moral challenge of our day? We have public accommodations. We have the right to vote. We have open housing. What's the fundamental challenge of our day? It is to end economic violence. Plant closings without notice -- economic violence. Even the greedy do not profit long from greed -- economic violence.

Most poor people are not lazy. They are not black. They are not brown. They are mostly White and female and young. But whether White, Black or Brown, a hungry baby's belly turned inside out is the same color -- color it pain; color it hurt; color it agony.

Most poor people are not on welfare. Some of them are illiterate and can't read the want-ad sections. And when they can, they can't find a job that matches the address. They work hard everyday.

I know. I live amongst them. I'm one of them. I know they work. I'm a witness. They catch the early bus. They work every day.

They raise other people's children. They work everyday.

They clean the streets. They work everyday. They drive dangerous cabs. They work everyday. They change the beds you slept in in these hotels last night and can't get a union contract. They work everyday.

No, no, they are not lazy! Someone must defend them because it's right, and they cannot speak for themselves. They work in hospitals. I know they do. They wipe the bodies of those who are sick with fever and pain. They empty their bedpans. They clean out their commodes. No job is beneath them, and yet when they get sick they cannot lie in the bed they made up every day. America, that is not right. We are a better Nation than that. We are a better Nation than that.

We need a real war on drugs. You can't "just say no." It's deeper than that. You can't just get a palm reader or an astrologer. It's more profound than that.

We are spending a hundred and fifty billion dollars on drugs a year. We've gone from ignoring it to focusing on the children. Children cannot buy a hundred and fifty billion dollars worth of drugs a year; a few high-profile athletes -- athletes are not laundering a hundred and fifty billion dollars a year -- bankers are.

I met the children in Watts, who, unfortunately, in their despair, their grapes of hope have become raisins of despair, and they're turning on each other and they're self-destructing. But I stayed with them all night long. I wanted to hear their case.

They said, "Jesse Jackson, as you challenge us to say no to drugs, you're right; and to not sell them, you're right; and not use these guns, you're right." (And by the way, the promise of CETA [Comprehensive Employment and Training Act]; they displaced CETA -- they did not replace CETA.)

"We have neither jobs nor houses nor services nor training -- no way out. Some of us take drugs as anesthesia for our pain. Some take drugs as a way of pleasure, goodshort-term pleasure and long-term pain. Some sell drugs to make money. It's wrong, we know, but you need to know that we know. We can go and buy the drugs by the boxes at the port. If we can buy the drugs at the port, don't you believe the Federal government can stop it if they want to?"

They say, "We don't have Saturday night specials anymore." They say, "We buy AK47's and Uzi's, the latest make of weapons. We buy them across the along these boulevards."

You cannot fight a war on drugs unless and until you're going to challenge the bankers and the gun sellers and those who grow them. Don't just focus on the children; let's stop drugs at the level of supply and demand. We must end the scourge on the American Culture.

Leadership. What difference will we make? Leadership. Cannot just go along to get along. We must do more than change Presidents. We must change direction.

Leadership must face the moral challenge of our day. The nuclear war build-up is irrational. Strong leadership cannot desire to look tough and let that stand in the way of the pursuit of peace. Leadership must reverse the arms race. At least we should pledge no first use. Why? Because first use begets first retaliation. And that's mutual annihilation. That's not a rational way out.

No use at all. Let's think it out and not fight it our because it's an unwinnable fight. Why hold a card that you can never drop? Let's give peace a chance.

Leadership. We now have this marvelous opportunity to have a breakthrough with the Soviets. Last year 200,000 Americans visited the Soviet Union. There's a chance for joint ventures into space -- not Star Wars and war arms escalation but a space defense initiative. Let's build in the space together and demilitarize the heavens. There's a way out.

America, let us expand. When Mr. Reagan and Mr. Gorbachev met there was a big meeting. They represented together one-eighth of the human race. Seven-eighths of the human race was locked out of that room. Most people in the world tonight -- half are Asian, one-half of them are Chinese. There are 22 nations in the Middle East. There's Europe; 40 million Latin Americans next door to us; the Caribbean; Africa -- a half-billion people.

Most people in the world today are Yellow or Brown or Black, non-Christian, poor, female, young and don't speak English in the real world.

This generation must offer leadership to the real world. We're losing ground in Latin America, Middle East, South Africa because we're not focusing on the real world. That's the real world. We must use basic principles -- support international law. We stand the most to gain from it. Support human rights -- we believe in that. Support self-determination -- we're built on that. Support economic development -- you know it's right. Be consistent and gain our moral authority in the world. I challenge you tonight, my friends, let's be bigger and better as a Nation and as a Party.

We have basic challenges -- freedom in South Africa. We've already agreed as Democrats to declare South Africa to be a terrorist state. But don't just stop there. Get South Africa out of Angola; free Namibia; support the front line states. We must have a new humane human rights consistent policy in Africa.

I'm often asked, "Jesse, why do you take on these tough issues? They're not very political. We can't win that way."

If an issue is morally right, it will eventually be political. It may be political and never be right. Fannie Lou Hamer didn't have the most votes in Atlantic City, but her principles have outlasted every delegate who voted to lock her out. Rosa Parks did not have the most votes, but she was morally right. Dr. King didn't have the most votes about the Vietnam War, but he was morally right. If we are principled first, our politics will fall in place.

"Jesse, why do you take these big bold initiatives?" A poem by an unknown author went something like this: "We mastered the air, we conquered the sea, annihilated distance and prolonged life, but we're not wise enough to live on this earth without war and without hate."

As for Jesse Jackson: "I'm tired of sailing my little boat, far inside the harbor bar. I want to go out where the big ships float, out on the deep where the great ones are. And should my frail craft prove too slight for waves that sweep those billows o'er, I'd rather go down in the stirring fight than drowse to death at the sheltered shore."

We've got to go out, my friends, where the big boats are.

And then for our children. Young America, hold your head high now. We can win. We must not lose you to drugs and violence, premature pregnancy, suicide, cynicism, pessimism and despair. We can win. Wherever you are tonight, I challenge you to hope and to dream. Don't submerge your dreams. Exercise above all else, even on drugs, dream of the day you are drug free. Even in the gutter, dream of the day that you will be up on your feet again.

You must never stop dreaming. Face reality, yes, but don't stop with the way things are. Dream of things as they ought to be. Dream. Face pain, but love, hope, faith and dreams will help you rise above the pain. Use hope and imagination as weapons of survival and progress, but you keep on dreaming, young America. Dream of peace. Peace is rational and reasonable. War is irrationable [sic] in this age, and unwinnable.

Dream of teachers who teach for life and not for a living. Dream of doctors who are concerned more about public health than private wealth. Dream of lawyers more concerned about justice than a judgeship. Dream of preachers who are concerned more about prophecy than profiteering. Dream on the high road with sound values.

And then America, as we go forth to September, October, November and then beyond, America must never surrender to a high moral challenge.

Do not surrender to drugs. The best drug policy is a "no first use." Don't surrender with needles and cynicism. Let's have "no first use" on the one hand, or clinics on the other. Never surrender, young America. Go forward.

America must never surrender to malnutrition. We can feed the hungry and clothe the naked. We must never surrender. We must go forward.

We must never surrender to illiteracy. Invest in our children. Never surrender; and go forward. We must never surrender to inequality. Women cannot compromise ERA or comparable worth. Women are making 60 cents on the dollar to what a man makes. Women cannot buy meat cheaper. Women cannot buy bread cheaper. Women cannot buy milk cheaper. Women deserve to get paid for the work that you do. It's right! And it's fair.

Don't surrender, my friends. Those who have AIDS tonight, you deserve our compassion. Even with AIDS you must not surrender.

In your wheelchairs. I see you sitting here tonight in those wheelchairs. I've stayed with you. I've reached out to you across our Nation. And don't you give up. I know it's tough sometimes. People look down on you. It took you a little more effort to get here tonight. And no one should look down on you, but sometimes mean people do. The only justification we have for looking down on someone is that we're going to stop and pick them up.

But even in your wheelchairs, don't you give up. We cannot forget 50 years ago when our backs were against the wall, Roosevelt was in a wheelchair. I would rather have Roosevelt in a wheelchair than Reagan and Bush on a horse. Don't you surrender and don't you give up. Don't surrender and don't give up!

Why I cannot challenge you this way? "Jesse Jackson, you don't understand my situation. You be on television. You don't understand. I see you with the big people. You don't understand my situation."

I understand. You see me on TV, but you don't know the me that makes me, me. They wonder, "Why does Jesse run?" because they see me running for the White House. They don't see the house I'm running from.
I have a story. I wasn't always on television. Writers were not always outside my door. When I was born late one afternoon, October 8th, in Greenville, South Carolina, no writers asked my mother her name. Nobody chose to write down our address. My mama was not supposed to make it, and I was not supposed to make it. You see, I was born of a teen-age mother, who was born of a teen-age mother. I understand. I know abandonment, and people being mean to you, and saying you're nothing and nobody and can never be anything.

I understand. Jesse Jackson is my third name. I'm adopted. When I had no name, my grandmother gave me her name. My name was Jesse Burns 'til I was 12. So I wouldn't have a blank space, she gave me a name to hold me over. I understand when nobody knows your name. I understand when you have no name.

I understand. I wasn't born in the hospital. Mama didn't have insurance. I was born in the bed at [the] house. I really do understand. Born in a three-room house, bathroom in the backyard, slop jar by the bed, no hot and cold running water. I understand. Wallpaper used for decoration? No. For a windbreaker. I understand. I'm a working person's person. That's why I understand you whether you're Black or White. I understand work. I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I had a shovel programmed for my hand.

My mother, a working woman. So many of the days she went to work early, with runs in her stockings. She knew better, but she wore runs in her stockings so that my brother and I could have matching socks and not be laughed at at school. I understand.

At 3 o'clock on Thanksgiving Day, we couldn't eat turkey because momma was preparing somebody else's turkey at 3 o'clock. We had to play football to entertain ourselves. And then around 6 o'clock she would get off the Alta Vista bus and we would bring up the leftovers and eat our turkey -- leftovers, the carcass, the cranberries -- around 8 o'clock at night. I really do understand.

Every one of these funny labels they put on you, those of you who are watching this broadcast tonight in the projects, on the corners, I understand. Call you outcast, low down, you can't make it, you're nothing, you're from nobody, subclass, underclass; when you see Jesse Jackson, when my name goes in nomination, your name goes in nomination.

I was born in the slum, but the slum was not born in me. And it wasn't born in you, and you can make it.

Wherever you are tonight, you can make it. Hold your head high; stick your chest out. You can make it. It gets dark sometimes, but the morning comes. Don't you surrender!

Suffering breeds character, character breeds faith. In the end faith will not disappoint.

You must not surrender! You may or may not get there but just know that you're qualified! And you hold on, and hold out! We must never surrender!! America will get better and better.

Keep hope alive. Keep hope alive! Keep hope alive! On tomorrow night and beyond, keep hope alive!

I love you very much. I love you very much.

Do you remember the Jesse Jackson of 1988 who made us so proud with his historical presidential campaigns? Share your memories and thoughts of Rev. Jackson in the COMMENTS section below.

July 18, 2012

Mitt Romney Dances Around His Policy Mistake re: Detroit and the Auto Industry

President Obama had a big advantage over Hillary Clinton in 2008 because of the stark contrast in their position on the Iraq War. I think that Obama has a similiar edge on Mitt Romney because of the stark contrast on the issue of auto bailouts. Mitt wanted Detroit to go bankrupt. Obama wanted to save the auto industry. Mitt tries to dance around his policy mistake as shown in this video:

Mitt Continues to Dance Around His Secrecy Issues

Mitt Romney and the Romney's dressage horse Rafalca, dancing around the issue of secrecy. Why do you think that Romney is so afraid to release his tax returns? What is he hiding?

July 17, 2012

Even Republicans Agree: Mitt Romney is Hiding Something

Mitt Romney and his team know what is in his tax returns for the past 7-10 years. They have made a calculation that whatever negative press that they are getting for being secretive is not as bad as it would be if the tax returns were released. That is my take on things.

GOP leaders are getting worried as you can tell from this video:

That punchline at the end is devastating! John McCain had 23 years of tax returns from Mitt Romney during the 2008 presidential campaign as he was vetting vice president candidates. Upon reviewing those returns ... McCain decided to pick Sarah Palin for his VP candidate. That says it all!

Village Tips: Marketing Your Small Business

I have owned my own consulting service since July 2002. The economic tsunami that hit America over the past couple of years provided me with many anxious moments as I tried to match my cash inflow with my expenses. I don't have much margin for extravagant marketing items to promote my business. Here are some tips that I've used that you may find helpful as you market your small business.
  1. Deliver presentations or speeches - There are many organizations that need educational, entertaining, interesting or motivational speakers to talk with their members at monthly program meetings, annual conferences or special events. Are you making yourself available to be a presenter for these groups?
  2. Network - Make yourself available in the real world (not just social media outlets) to meet with your accountant, banker, colleagues, other professionals and even your competition. Attend professional meetings whenever possible. Get engaged in social events with your current or potential clients to have fun together.
  3. Join Organizations - It is important to get the word out about your business. Joining organizations allows you to become knowledgeable about other professions that may lead to new clients ... and it also helps you stay well-rounded and informed.
  4. Teach a Class - Many community colleges or vocational-technical schools in your area seek working professionals that can provide real-world experience to their students. These are opportunities to educate potential clients, build skills, offer hands-on experience or provide information. Use the soft sell during these classes or workshops to promote your business with brochures or business cards.
  5. Accept Pro-Bono Work - Providing work for clients who cannot afford your services is a way to give back to society and also to market yourself.
I hope that these small business tips are helpful to you. Feel free to contact me by email or phone (513.284-4968) if you would like to discuss additional ways to market your small business.

In the meantime, I will continue to share these Village Tips on a semi-regular basis!

July 16, 2012

Electronic Village Nominated for 2012 Black Weblog Award

The Electronic Village has been nominated for Best Political Or News Blog in the 2012 Black Weblog Awards. It is nice to be recognized for the work that this blog does to bring information that is uplifting and relevant for the Black cyberspace community. I hope that this nomination spurs our readers to continue reading, sharing and commenting on what they see on this blog.

Once the nomination period is over then we will need your support in the actual voting process. We'll share more info with you as the details on voting become available.

July 15, 2012

OURStory: Negro Motorist Green Book

We're able to plug a destination in our GPS and drive anywhere in the country that we want. It wasn't always so for Americans of African descent. There were many places on the nation's highways that were very unfriendly to African Americans. My Dad used to note that he always packed a full lunch whenever he was on a long ride because you could never tell if there would be an integrated eating place on the route.

I wonder if Dad knew about the Negro MotNegro Motorist Green Bookorist Green Book? This publication was released in 1936 and served as a guide for African American travelers. Because of the racist conditions that existed from segregation, Blacks needed a reference manual to guide them to integrated or Black-friendly establishments. That's when they turned to "The Negro Motorist Green Book: An International Travel Guide" by activist Victor Green and presented by the Esso Standard Oil Company. Originally provided to serve Metropolitan New York, the book received a great response and spread throughout the country within one year. The catch phrase was 'Now we can travel without embarrassment'.

The Green Book often provided information on local tourist homes, which were private residences owned by Blacks and open to travelers. It was especially helpful to Blacks that traveled through sunset towns or towns that publicly stated that Blacks had to leave the town by sundown or it would be cause for arrest. Also listed were hotels, barbershops, beauty salons, restaurants, garages, liquor stores, ball parks and taverns. It also provided a listing of the white-owned, Black-friendly locations for accommodations and food.

The publication was free, with a 10-cent cost of shipping. As interest grew, the Green Book solicited salespersons nationwide to build its ad sales.

Inside the pages of the Green Book were action photos of the various locations, along with historical and background information for the readers' review. Within the pages of the introduction, the guide states:
"There will be a day sometime in the near future when this guide will not have to be published. That is when we as a race will have equal opportunities and privileges in the United States ."
The Green Book printed its last copy in 1964 after the passing of the Civil Rights Act.

July 14, 2012

Obama's Weekly Address: It's Time for Congress to Pass the Middle Class Tax Cut Extension

President Obama calls on Congress to act now to extend tax cuts for the 98 percent of Americans making less than $250,000 for another year.

Are you in agreement with President Obama on this one?

July 13, 2012

Nominations Open for 2012 Black Weblog Awards

Did you know that nominations are now being accepted for the 2012 Black Weblog Awards?

Twenty-nine categories are returning to the Black Weblog Awards this year. Nine categories were retired. Nine were added. The largest number of new categories recognize outstanding achievement in video blogging.

Due to the large number of nominations in this category in 2011, the Best Fashion or Beauty blogging category was split into two separate categories. There is now a separate category for Best Fashion Blog and Best Beauty Blog. Best Culture Blog will now be called Best Fine Arts Blog. In some cases, categories which were spin offs of broader categories have been returned to their original category.  Blog of the Year will now be selected through a separate nomination process based on essay-based nominations.

Rules Review
The rules for every category are under review to establish more objective criteria to be applied to each nomination to determine whether a blog is qualified to compete in that particular category.

Returning Categories
  • Best Automotive or Car Blog 
  • Best Book or Author Blog 
  • Best Blog Post Series 
  • Best Business Blog  
  • Best Faith Based Blog 
  • Best Film Blog 
  • Best Food Blog
  • Best Gaming or Comics Blog 
  • Best Gossip Blog 
  • Best Group Blog
  • Best Health or Wellness Blog
  • Best Humor Blog
  • Best International Blog
  • Best LGBT Blog 
  • Best Micro Blog 
  • Best New Blog 
  • Best Personal Blog 
  • Best Photography in a Blog  
  • Best Plus Sized Fashion 
  • Best Podcast 
  • Best Parenting Blog
  • Best Political or News Blog 
  • Best Science or Technology Blog
  • Best Sports Blog
  • Best Sex or Relationship Blog 
  • Best Teen Blog 
  • Best Travel Blog 
  • Best Video Blog 
  • Best Writing in a Blog
New Categories 
  • Best Beauty Blog 
  • Best Comedy Video Blog
  • Best DIY, Home Improvement, Interior Design Blog
  • Best Entertainment Video Blog
  • Best Fashion Blog
  • Best Fine Arts Blog 
  • Best How to & Style Video Blog
  • Best Original Graphic Design in a Blog 
  • Best Science & Technology Video Blog 
Retired for 2012 
  • Best Blog Design (Replaced with “Best Original Graphic Design in a Blog”.)
  • Best Fashion or Beauty Blog (Split into “Best Fashion Blog” and “Best Beauty Blog”.) 
  • Best Culture Blog (Now “Best Fine Arts Blog”.) 
  • Best Hip Hop Blog (Moved back into ”Best Music Blog”.)  
  • Blog Of The Year (Moved to a separate selection process.)  
  • Blog to Watch (Moved to a separate selection process.) 
  • Best Green Nature or Outdoor Living Blog (Introduced in 2011. Small nomination pool in 2011.)
  • Best Blog Network  (Small nomination pool in 2011.) 
  • Best Lifestyle Blog (Subsumed in Fashion, Design, Fine Arts categories.)
I encourage all our our blog readers to take a moment and support this Black Weblog Award process by making your own nomination. Goes without saying that we hope you will consider nominating this blog!

July 12, 2012

Taser-Killer Cop Faces Manslaughter for Electrocution of Roger Anthony

It is nice that a district attorney in North Carolina is finally holding a taser-wielding police officer accountable for the pre-judicial electrocution of an innocent and unarmed citizen. John Turner, 26, resigned in disgrace from the Scotland Neck Police Department after the taser-related killing of 61-year old Roger Anthony. [SOURCE]

A grand jury in Halifax County indicted John Turner on the charge of involuntary manslaughter.

'Villagers' may recall that Turner responded to a call in reference to an intoxicated man on that November afternoon. He saw Anthony riding his bike in the area and tried to get him to stop. When Anthony didn’t stop, Turner shot him with his stun gun. Anthony died from head trauma suffered when he fell from his bicycle and hit his head on the pavement.

Turner is currently free on bail. His next court date is August 6.

July 10, 2012

Good News Tuesday: Justin Wulf (BDPA Twin Cities)

Justin Wulf is a long-time BDPA Twin Cities chapter member with a powerful legacy in the organization's Student Information Technology Education and Scholarship (SITES) program. He is working towards his computer science degree at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota. Justin used his STEM experiences gained through BDPA to obtain an ongoing internship at Medtronic. Justin competed in national High School Computer Competition (HSCC) championships from 2007-2010. He earned a Jesse Bemley Scholarship from the BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) as a result of high performance in the 2009 HSCC championship.

He recently shared the following testimonial with us:

"I have been a member of the BDPA Twin Cities Chapter since 2005. At the time, I was only 13 years old and hardly knew anything about computers beyond using them to install video games, surf the Internet and type papers. My first couple years of being in the Summer BDPA Youth Technology Camp (YTC) were spent familiarizing myself with the hardware of an actual computer. It was the first time I ever took apart a working computer and put it back together in its functional state. I had also learned a bit about operating systems, computer networking and what really made computers tick. I felt like I knew everything I needed to know about computers after those first two summers in YTC, but when I entered high school, I learned that I was completely wrong.

Upon entering 9th grade, I was encouraged to continue attending BDPA classes throughout the year and was eventually offered a spot on the 2007 BDPA HSCC Team. I was introduced to the wonderful world of web development and computer programming. My curiosity and determination assisted me with understanding HTML and CSS languages used for designing websites. In addition to web design, our instructor Mark Holden taught us object-oriented programming in Visual Basic for more application-based programs. I had a little more trouble with making sense of object-oriented programming as it was complex and still so new to me. Something amazing happened to me that year. There was one moment in particular that I, as well as everyone else in the room, will always remember, is when computer programming all “clicked” for me. It was a Saturday afternoon, the classroom was silent, Mark was teaching us some confusing string concatenation techniques, and all of a sudden, my eyes widened, I sat completely straight up in my chair and I shouted, “I get it!” The other students on the team turned to me and smiled, along with Mark giving me a hardy chuckle and congratulating me. I will always thank back and remember that “click” every time I learn a new concept that I’ve been working hard at understanding.

From that point on, I was given the opportunity to compete in four National BDPA High School Computer Competition championships; Washington, D.C. in 2007, Atlanta, GA in 2008, Raleigh, NC in 2009 and Philadelphia, PA in 2010.

My most memorable year was in 2009 when our chapter rented a 15-passenger van and drove to Raleigh, North Carolina for the National BDPA Conference. Everyone on the team was focused and prepared to finally place top five in the High School Computer Competition. We anxiously waited for our names to be called in the award ceremony. We all held hands around our banquet table with our coordinators keeping their fingers crossed. Surprisingly, our chapter was called for 4th place and we all jumped and screamed simultaneously as if we all received the same electric shock in our circuit of linked limbs. It was a truly, inspiring year for me. It gave me the feeling that anything can be obtainable if you really put your mind to it.

My ambitious state of mind continued to develop over the years. Here I am now, a second year college student at Bethel University pursuing a Computer Science degree with a minor in Psychology. I have also acquired an internship at Medtronic, Inc., a Fortune 500 company and world leader in medical technology and pioneering therapies. In the span of about two years, I have worked closely with three different teams in Information Technology. BDPA has helped me reach new plateaus and opportunities from the experiences and lessons I’ve learned. I have decided to give back to the BDPA community by teaching students how to computer program in Java, C#, MySQL and ASP.NET and by training this year’s BDPA Twin Cities HSCC Team.

BDPA is doing a wonderful job in providing STEM experiences to hundreds of K-12 students.  Please click here to show your support for these efforts!   Also, take a moment to POST A COMMENT for Justin!  You can follow Justin on Twitter -- @JustWulf

This blog will continue to seek out Good News stories about people of African descent and share them with you each Tuesday. We need to tell the positive and upbeat information about OURstory. We can't depend on others to do it for us. Please pass along any Good News story that comes your way. In the case of bloggers ... we want you to join our Good News parade every Tuesday.

July 9, 2012

Leading African American Tech Association Announces "Transforming the IT Professional" Conference August 1-4

BDPA, the largest non-profit organization of African American professionals working in or having an interest in the computer science and information technology fields, will make Baltimore, Maryland the home of their 34th Annual National BDPA Technology Conference & Career Fair. The 3-day event will rally the top tier of tech titans with thousands of IT professionals, students and corporate participants for an interactive series of innovative expos and workshops on August 1-4 at the Baltimore Hilton.
"Over the years, the National BDPA Technology Conferences have taken on unique personalities based on the venues in which they were held, as well as the character of their host chapters and leadership team," says Monique Berry, president of BDPA. "Attendees have access to top-notch keynote speakers, topical educational sessions, and a myriad of networking opportunities along with recreation; all in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere."
BDPA was founded in 1975 by Earl Pace and the late David Wimberly as an answer to the lack of black representation in the technology field. Today the organization serves thousands around the globe and boasts a diverse array of members including programmers, analysts, engineers, managers, instructors, and entrepreneurs. The national conference stands as one of the organization's cornerstones, embodying its mission to promote fiscally sound practices and improved productivity, facilitating transformational change within its membership, and contributing added value to the lives of its members as the premier provider of quality content and programs.

In what is slated to be the most highly anticipated and attended BDPA conference to date, attendees will enjoy a combination of new and staple events surrounding the latest technologies and innovation trends. Participants will gain insights and enhance their perspective from keynote speaker and "Cyber Czar," Dr. Ernest McDuffie; partake in a free career fair, preview the newest inventions and products at the technology showcase and have their choice of an assortment of workshops, seminars and panels cultivated to inform, educate and inspire.

You can secure your spot at the 34th Annual National BDPA Technology Conference if you register here.

To learn more about BDPA and the 34th Annual National BDPA Technology Conference please visit http://www.bdpa.org/?page=NationalConference

July 8, 2012

Taser Death: Sampson Castellane (Fife, WA)

It happened again! This time we learned about another taser-related death from villager Zeke. Sampson Castellane, 29, was electrocuted with the taser guns of unidentified Puyallup tribal officers at the Emerald Queen Casino on July 5. [SOURCE]

The tribal police indicate that Castellane was seen fighting another man in their hotel room. Two officers went to the hotel room and knocked on the door. According to the police one of the men in the room attacked the officers ... that is when 50,000 volts of electricity were pumped into Castellane's body.

Castellane was then handcuffed. Shortly after he was in police custody he stopped breathing. CPR was performed, and he was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead.

It will be interesting what the other man in the hotel room has to say about all of this. Stay tuned.

July 7, 2012

Obama's Weekly Address: Pushing Congress to Create Jobs, Keep College in Reach for Middle Class

President Obama discusses legislation he signed on Friday that does two important things: It keeps thousands of construction works on the job rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, and it stops interest rates on federal loans from doubling this year for more than seven million students.

It's nice to see congress passing some useful legislation. It's called 'doing your job' and perhaps we can see more of it in the coming weeks and months!

July 6, 2012

Black Unemployment Crisis Continues; 14.4% Unemployment in June 2012

The United States added 80,000 jobs in June 2012 - making it 28 consecutive months of private sector job growth - and unemployment rate remained at 8.2 percent. U.S. job growth barely picked up in June, the latest sign that economic growth has slowed.

There are about 12.7 million unemployed people in the country - and our nation's unemployment metrics don't provide any positive movement for President Obama as we enter the final months of the presidential campaign against Gov. Romney.

The numbers in the Black community are bad!

The unemployment rate in the Black community rose in June 2012 to 14.4%. This compares to previous months:

The Labor Department said private companies accounted for all of the growth in June payrolls, adding 84,000 jobs. Governments, meanwhile, cut payrolls by 4,000. The federal work force shed 7,000 positions.

Employment increased 47,000 in the professional- and business-services category, led by temporary-help services. Companies sometimes add temps before making permanent hires.

Manufacturing, a bright spot in an otherwise tepid recovery, added 11,000 jobs. The pace of factory hiring has tailed off, though, to an average of 10,000 a month in the second quarter from 41,000 a month in the first.

The health-care and wholesale-trade industries also added jobs.

What is your opinion of the unemployment data that was released today?

July 5, 2012

Taser Death: Victor Duffy (Tukwila, WA)

It happened again! This time a mentally-ill 25-year old man - Victor Duffy - was electrocuted by the tasers of unidentified police officers in his own home. Most of the information that is known comes from the dead man's mother. [SOURCE]

Victor Duffy's mother returned to her Tukwila home on Saturday just as the police were arriving.

Her son, 25-year-old Victor Duffy Jr., called 911 during a fight with his younger sister despite his "deathly" fear of police, Deanne Mills said.

According to Mills, her son had been diagnosed as being bipolar and having post-traumatic stress disorder after a confrontation with police in which he was tased six years ago, she said.

Mills said she told the officers who came to her house on Saturday that her son was mentally ill and had not been taking his medications.

"I begged them not to use a Taser on him," Mills said Monday. "I told them he was afraid and I asked them to take care of him."

She said she and other family members were herded outside their home leaving her son alone in the house with police.

"As soon as we were out, I heard 'zzzt,' 'zzzt,' and knew they were tasering him," Mills said.

A short while later, she said, her son was dead.

The police haven't publically acknowledged that a taser was used. The Tukwila Police Department say that Duffy began to experience "breathing difficulties" while he was in an ambulance and died later at Harborview Medical Center.

The Tukwila police statement said officers were called to the home, where a "male with a history of mental illness was being combative with his family and making strange statements to the 911 operator" late Saturday morning.

Duffy was "holding a golf club and threatening his family" when officers arrived, according to police. Duffy's relatives said they could hear a Taser being used and him screaming inside the home while they were outside.

As officers tried to take him into custody for an involuntary mental-health commitment, Duffy attempted to escape and broke his ankle.

"He was so afraid that he jumped out of a second-story window to get away," said his cousin, Kevin Duffy.

Duffy's mother said that while her son was on the ground and unable to move, officers attacked him, used the Taser on him again and handcuffed him.

Police seem willing to use the power of their taser guns without any regard for the damage that it can cause. Were the police officers in danger from an unarmed man with a broken ankle? If not, why was a taser deployed on him? Instead of being helped by mental health professionals a 25-year old man is dead. Something is wrong with this picture.