October 27, 2012

Melissa Harris-Perry Shares Her 'Open Letter to Richard Mourdock'

I woke up this morning and turned on the Melissa Harris-Perry Show. She affectionately refers to her show as 'Nerdland'. The first segment of the show focused on the issue of shadow money in politics. I admit that I wasn't too interested in that segment and I found myself more focused on cleaning out my email inbox than the show at that point. However, Melissa came on after a commercial to indicate that she had written an 'Open Letter to Richard Mourdock' earlier in the week. She wanted to share that open letter with those of us in Nerdland.

I was blown away by the content of her letter and the passion of her delivery. I invite you to see what I saw in this 4-minute video clip:

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What are your thoughts after hearing this 'open letter'? I wonder if Richard Mourdock ... or those who might have thought about voting for him ... will have any response?

October 26, 2012

Why Won't Mitt Romney Fire John Sununu for Racist Remarks on Colin Powell?

The sad influence of racism continues to show itself in the presidential campaign. Colin Powell is a true American hero. At one point he had a legitimate to be the President of the United States.  He retired as a 4-star general before accepting a presidential appointment as our nation's Secretary of State. He is a quiet and well-reasoned leader.

None of this matters to former New Hampshire governor John Sununu ... who serves as one of the loudest surrogates for Mitt Romney. Sununu felt the power of his white privilege enough to tell a national television audience that race motivated Colin Powell's endorsement of President Obama.  Sununu discounted all of the qualifications of Colin Powell and theorized that his endorsement of Barack Obama was strictly tribal in nature:
"When you take a look at Colin Powell, you have to look at whether that's an endorsement based on issues or he's got a slightly different reason for endorsing President Obama."

He added: "I think when you have somebody of your own race that you're proud of being president of the United States, I applaud Colin for standing with him."
Powell -- who also backed Obama in 2008 -- made his endorsement of a second term on Thursday, an an appearance on CBS' This Morning.

Powell said that the nation is recovering from the severe recession that Obama inherited.
"I see that we are starting to rise up," Powell said. "I also saw the President get us out of one war, start to get us out of a second war and did not get us into any new wars. And finally, I think that the actions he's taken with respect to protecting us from terrorism have been very, very solid."
It is tiring to continually have to watch the subtle and not-so-subtle use of the race card by Mitt Romney and his minions. They have written off any chance of appealing to voters of color ... and they are doubling down on the idea that it will take a massive turn-out by white folks, primarily white men, for Romney to win the presidency.

Sununu should be asked to step down from his prominent role as a Romney minion. His racially-motivated strategies and words disqualify him. Don't you agree?

October 25, 2012

Minority Technical Organizations Join Together to Improve STEM Success in Our Community

Did you know that there are more than 40 minority technical organizations (MTOs) working independent of each other on initiatives to diversify the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce? These groups represent a large segment of the demographics of the next generation of scientists, technologists and engineers. Unfortunately, these MTOs are unable to fully implement their mission because too often they are underfunded and are not recognized as full partners in the national STEM effort.

As a result, we are very happy to report that representatives from a number of these MTOs held a luncheon meeting in Washington DC on September 24, 2012. At the conclusion of their summit the MTOs agreed to work together to strengthen their influence on STEM development and to help each other more effectively reach mutual goals and objectives.

The organizations at this meeting included:
  1. American Association of Blacks in Energy
  2. Latino Scientists & Engineers
  3. National BDPA
  4. National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers
  5. National Organization of Minority Architects
  6. National Society of Black Engineers
  7. National Society of Black Physicists
  8. National Technical Association
  9. Society for Advance of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science
  10. Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers
The MTOs agreed to work collaboratively on ways to push forward the agenda for STEM development that would positively impact on people of color. Some of the ideas that came forward were:
  • Combine expertise to support projects of mutual interests and benefit;
  • Collaborate on outreach and marketing activities;
  • Meet at least annually to discuss and select collaborative activities;
  • Pursue collaborative strategies that strengthen the MTO influence on STEM development;
  • Share their common interests and support each other's mission, purpose and activities through information exchange using various communications media;
  • Unite their voice to support STEM policies that promote diversification of STEM and to oppose policies that hinder diversification.

If you're reading this blog post ... then we would love your thoughts. Are you part of any of these MTOs? Do you have other suggestions for them to consider?

October 14, 2012

Billboards and Voter Suppression Roaches in Ohio and Wisconsin

Ordinarily when you turn on the lights the roaches in the room begin to run for the exists. That isn't the case with the folks trying to steal the 2012 presidential election. This week the roaches responsible for an outrageous voter suppression scheme in communities of color in Ohio and Wisconsin. The roaches this time around are trying to say anonymous as they have paid for devious billboards designed to scare Black and Hispanic people away from voting.

Melissa Harris-Perry and Ohio state Senator Nina Turner were on the case about this issue yesterday.

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With less than a month to go ... an anonymous advertiser tries to create an atmosphere of fear around voting just as the early voting period begins in Ohio and Wisconsin. I encourage all 'villagers' to sign an online petition demanding that demanding that Clear Channel immediately take down these offensive and dangerous billboards:


These billboards are clearly designed to intimidate voters, and they're part of a coordinated right-wing attack on the voting rights of people of color. The billboards are hosted by Clear Channel, a media conglomerate owned by Bain Capital — the same company that Mitt Romney co-founded. Clear Channel has tried to avoid any responsibility for the ads, saying that the group who paid for them is responsible for the content. But Clear Channel has rejected billboard ads at least three times in the past.

The myth of widespread "voter fraud" has been used to justify voter suppression efforts again and again. As a result, we've seen new restrictions on voting and voter registration, including discriminatory voter ID laws and voter roll purges. The fact is that voter fraud rarely occurs. In fact, voter fraud happens as infrequently as death by lightning.

Clear Channel syndicates some of our country’s most conservative commentators like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, and now it is allowing the myth of voter fraud to intimidate Black and Latino voters. Please join us in demanding that Clear Channel immediately remove the billboards, it only takes a moment.

October 13, 2012

Obama's Weekly Address: 'One Million American Jobs Saved and a Stronger American Auto Industry

President Obama talks about his choice to rescue the American auto industry from collapse and save more than one million American jobs. This is one of his best accomplishments ... and it may be the reason that he wins re-election for a second term as our president.

You have to agree that Mitt Romney made a big mistake when he wrote editorial entitled, 'Let Detroit Go Bankrupt'.

October 12, 2012

Actors for Obama: Morgan Freeman

I must admit that I'm not a huge fan of Morgan Freeman. He said some things in the past that rubbed me the wrong way. However, I just saw this pro-Obama ad that he shared recently on 'The Conan Show' and I must admit that I'm feeling a little better about this award-winning actor.

Did you smile?

October 9, 2012

Good News Tuesday: Dr. Tonya Matthews (Cincinnati Museum Center)

I think that the Cincinnati Museum Center is a wonderful culture icon for my city. One reason for the continued excellence of the Cincinnati Museum Center can be found in its leadership.

Meet Dr. Tonya Matthews from Cincinnati, Ohio, whose interests have led her to become a scientist, educator, community activist, and a writer/poet. Dr. Matthews received her undergraduate degree from Duke University and her graduate degree from Johns Hopkins University, both in biomedical engineering.

Her career history has been varied, including community science education, creating a biotechnology program with the Maryland Science Center, developing a biomedical science curriculum with Project Lead the Way, and working as a biomedical engineer for the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Matthews currently serves as the Vice President for Museums at the Cincinnati Museum Center.

Her message to girls:
"My advice for you is to declare a dream and get on the path... any path. If I have learned anything, it is that it really is the journey, not the destination. I have never ended up where I thought I would be, but every moment has been worth it and every place I have ended up has surpassed my dreams."
To learn more about Tanya, visit her FabFems profile at: http://www.fabfems.org/users/tonya-matthews.

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.