Going Green Is a Balancing Act

“Are you doing your part?” and “Save the planet.” During Earth Week, we’ll being hearing a lot of these phrases, both part of “going green” and saving our worn down environment. But hey…why is the focus of this wildfire movement limited to the abused natural resources? Don’t get me wrong I am all for living a more eco-friendly life, but I am also all for equalizing access to resources around the world as we abusers (myself included) cut back. Not only do most people in the United States waste an extraordinary amount of resources, but we simultaneously and unconsciously contribute to the absence of resources in the lives of people in less wealthy parts of the world.

Going green is supposed to be a global movement, but if going green means cutting back and giving back then it’s not something that can be asked of everyone. Some people on this planet don’t have that privilege.

Corporate Thuggin': Goldman Sachs, Gordon Gekko, and Greed

Webster’s dictionary defines thug as a “ brutal ruffian or assassin”. In other
words, he/she is a ruthless badass that nefariously pushes and breaks laws to achieve their desired ends. Today when the word thug is mentioned, many people conjure up images of young ethnic looking men, with baggy pants, an “I don’t give a damn” attitude, and who speaks broken English. These are the people that make little old ladies clinch their purses; these are the people that scare convenience store clerks; these are the people who they construct prisons for. While law enforcement agencies continue to “overpolice”, “overharrass”, and “overprofile” these presumptive criminals, America’s worst scumbags go undetected (until the SEC finds them).

Wake up and smell the coffee America! Many of our country’s worst and most heartless criminals are in the heart of our nation’s capitol and at the epicenter of the financial industry. Many of these individuals were educated at the finest institutions in the world, and have a lineage that even the Kennedy’s would kill for. These individuals don’t “shoot craps”, they play badminton and sail. They don’t smoke Newport cigarettes, they smoke the Cohiba cigars. They don’t live in subsidized housing, they live in gated communities with butlers and maids. Some of America’s worst thugs are White-collar criminals. The most recent example of this White collar ruthlessness surrounds the financial behemoth, Goldman Sachs. The high profile fraud case brought against Goldman is yet another example of why we desperately need regulation and transparency so the folks on “main street” don’t get ripped off of by the boys on Wall Street.

College Student Attack a Hate Crime?

CNN | April 20, 2010

The student body president of California State University, Chico, was recovering Monday from stab wounds suffered in what police believe was a hate crime, officials said.

Joseph Igbineweka, who was born in Nigeria, was stabbed early Sunday while walking in a Chico neighborhood near the college where mostly students reside, Chico police Sgt. Rob Merrifield said.

Igbineweka passed two men who began to make racial slurs, Merrifield said. He ignored them and continued to walk, but they followed him and continued to yell at him. (Read more)

April 12, 2010 – April 18, 2010

Closing the Educational Divide
Matthew Mcgowan, Avalanche-Journal, April 18, 2010

Troubled youths succeed, alcohol awareness, Milton High goes back to the ’80s
Carmen Paige, Pensacola News Journal, April 17, 2010

Kansas Wildscape Hires New Youth Programs Coordinator
Staff Writer, Kansas City InfoZine, April 17, 2010

Anti-violence group’s work on hold
Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun, April 17, 2010

Attending School While Black Criminalized
Ruth Calvo, The Seminal, April 17, 2010

Coloreds Need Not Apply: Modern-Day Segregation and Greek Organizations
Alexander Zou, The Student Life, April 16, 2010

Hatred spurs more violence among youth
Jennifer Hoff, Deleware Daily Times, April 16, 2010

Amherst documentary chronicles historic black school
Duffie Taylor, The News and Advance, April 16, 2010

Minority graduation rates focus of national summit
Jason Fry, The Pioneer, April 16, 2010

Time for Action on Summer Jobs for Youth
Marc H. Morial, LA Watts Times, April 15, 2010

I glimpsed a possible answer to the youth violence
Phillip Morris, The Plain Dealer, April 15, 2010

Philadelphia mayor talks tough on youth violence
Yael T. Abouhalkah, Kansas City Star, April 15, 2010

Young black achievers need to take back Jersey City’s streets
Staff Writer, The Jersey Journal, April 15, 2010

About 160 MN Black youth are waiting for an adoptive home
Lorenzo Davis, Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, April 14, 2010

Mississippi told to stop segregating schools
James Causey, Milwaukie Journal Sentinel, April 14, 2010

“The School-to-Prison Pipeline”
Matt Stiles and Brian Thevenot, The Texas Tribune, April 14, 2010

Community gathers to confront violence
Cathy Spaulding, Mukogee Pheonix, April 14, 2010

Jadon Woodard takes his rhymes to TV – and the street
Natalie Pompilio, Philadelphia Daily News, April 14, 2010

Youths must take up world’s challenges, Michelle Obama says in Mexico speech
Katherine Skiba, Chicago Tribune, April 14, 2010

Music helps homeless teen avoid violence
Melissa Jenkins, The Sydney Herald, April 13, 2010

Making our schools safer for kids: Bullying solutions discussed at hearing
Bernard J. Scally, Montgomery Media, April 13, 2010

Lee County’s jobless teens face cruel summer
Laura Ruane, News Press, April 12, 2010

Negro Is, Negro Ain't: On Erica Jong's Version of Oprah

Last week, Erica Jong wrote the most random “book review” (or something) I have ever read in my life.  In her Huffington Post blog, Jong, apparently charged with discussing Kitty Kelley’s recently published unauthorized biography of Oprah Winfrey, essentially writes about knowing both Winfrey and Kelley, and admits that she hasn’t actually finished the text in question.  (Note to self: Figure out how to get a gig like Erica Jong.)  In this latest version of “I knew [insert famous person] when…,” Jong had the following observation about the divine Ms. O:

The Black Eyed Peas, and The ART of Selling Out…

I went to my first concert when I was in the fifth grade; It was 1999 (I think)and Wyclef Jean was headlining, with direct support from De La Soul, and the Black Eyed Peas as the opening act. Not bad, right? My aunt and uncle took my little cousin Joe and I to the show, at the Mann Music Center in Philadelphia, and besides my Uncle Jerry getting pissed at the college kids smoking weed behind us, it was an amazing show and among my fondest musical memories.

Oddly enough, the set I remember best was that of the Black Eyed Peas. Coming off the moderate success of their first album Behind The Front, and promoting their soon-to-be-released follow-up Bridging The Gap, the Peas stormed the stage around 4 or 5 o’clock in the afternoon. Espousing a conscious, alternative hip hop style akin to that of The Roots or The Pharcyde, Will.I.Am, Apl.De.Ap and Taboo put on a great show, freestyling, beatboxing and breakdancing with reckless abandon.  From what I can recollect, their set was undeniably impressive.

The only problem: there couldn’t have been more than 50 people actually watching that performance. Nobody was paying attention; nobody cared. This is a ridiculous thought, but a part of me wants to feel that it was this concert, as well as the less-than-stellar performance of Bridging The Gap, that led the Black Eyed Peas to draft Fergie into the group, and sellout beyond belief.

And judging by the epic, big budget, sold out, futuristic pop extravaganza they put on last month in Chi-town (which I attended as well), selling out has never seemed so necessary.