Alvin (Greene) and the Chipmunks (Democrats)

In these tumultuous political times it seems like Democrats are searching for an antidote to cure their sagging poll numbers. If pollsters are remotely correct about their predictions for the 2010 midterm elections, the Donkey’s may be licking their wounds. Yes, it seems like Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and the rest of the Dems may be having a pretty depressing Thanksgiving. If the Democrats want to salvage their chances of staying in power they may need to turn to the Good Reverend. No, not the one who had an affinity for jeri curls and sweat suits. No, not the one who believes in pushing rainbows either. I’m talking about the Reverend who can sing you back into the good graces of your significant other. It’s time for Speaker Nancy Pelosi to tell her Democratic colleagues,“Let’s Stay Together” on the agenda. If  Rahm Emanuel continues to tell Democrats to act like limousine liberals Democrats he’ll be asking himself, “How Do You Mend A Broken Heart?”. Finally, President Obama may need to tell the Tea Partyers that all he wants is “Love and Happiness”. Well maybe the old time crooner can’t solve all the Democrats woes, but he probably can do a heck of a lot better than the other Al Green running for United States Senate in South Carolina

When I first heard about Alvin Greene, the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate in South Carolina, I thought it was a joke. I was waiting for Ashton Kutcher to jump out of the background and say “you’ve been punked!” Sadly, Ashton Kutcher never showed up. Soon thereafter, I realized Mr. Greene was a real candidate who actually won.

D.C. school system fires 241 teachers

D.C. school system fires 241 teachers
Sally Holland, CNN, July 23, 2010

Washington (CNN) — The District of Columbia public school system announced Friday that it is letting 226 employees go for poor performance under the education assessment system IMPACT.

Rhee said on CNN’s “John King, USA” that she thought the cleanup was a long time coming.

Another 76 employees will be terminated because of licensing issues, schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee said in a news release. Of the 302 employees who are losing their jobs, 241 are teachers, she said.

“Every child in a District of Columbia public school has a right to a highly effective teacher — in every classroom of every school, of every neighborhood or every ward, in this city,” Rhee said. (Read the full article)

July 19, 2010 – July 25, 2010

Parks department still molding our youth, employing competent staff
Patty Martone, The News-Sentinel, July 25, 2010

Mentoring siblings of gang members
Lawrence Harmon, The Boston Globe, July 25, 2010

Alabama Reading Initiative critical to continued student success
Jim Cook, Dothan Eagle, July 25, 2010

Kruzan to NAACP youth: ‘Never underestimate yourselves’
Christy Mullins, Herald Times, July 24, 2010

A change of heart is the solution to turning around youth violence
Thomas Hill, Indy Star, July 24, 2010

Ohio lags in minority grad rates
Denise Smith Amos, Cincinnati News, July 24, 2010

Start young to prevent violence
Deborah Johnson, Democrat and Chronicle, July 24, 2010

Students draft a lesson plan of their own
Elizabeth Flock, Chicago Tribune, July 23, 2010

“Decade of Dithering” Has Left Black Youth Stuck in Poverty
Dan Parr, VSO International, July 22, 2010

Black-tie boxing affair to help Boys & Girls Clubs
Faye Reeder, Star-Telegram, July 22, 2010

Commemorating a century of service, today’s Boy Scouts reach out to minorities
Vivian Nereim, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 22, 2010

The importance of healthy communities for boys of color
Marian Wright Edelman, The Madison Times, July 22, 2010

Scuffle at Meeting over NC School Resegregation
Associated Press, July 21, 2010

Alexander Russo hits me hard on Harlem Children’s Zone
Jay Matthews, The Washington Post, July 21, 2010

Murray gets $500,000 for anti-gang efforts in King County
Casey McNerthney, Seattle 911, July 21, 2010

Youth violence festers
Mindelle Jacobs, Edmonton Sun, July 21, 2010

Scouting’s positive effect in wake of youth violence
Nicholas Young, Indy Star, July 21, 2010

Cerritos College program will give training to at-risk youth who want to become teachers
Kevin Butler, Press Telegram, July 21, 2010

Kids lobby Congress to end gang violence in their communities
Staff Writer, USA Today, July 21, 2010

No excuse, ever, for violence in youth sports
Staff Writer, Press Democrat, July 21, 2010

Former gang members, crime victims create youth safety net
Gracie Bonds Staples, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, July 21, 2010

$900k for police but what about teens?
Mary Lynch, The Boston Globe, July 20, 2010

Huberman: Minority enrollment in city’s best schools has ‘lost some ground’
Sarah Karp, Catalyst Chicago, July 20, 2010

Motorsports industry reaches out to minority youth
Suzy Stark, Charlotte New 14, July 20, 2010

Anacostia Graduate Aims to be Role Model for Young Black Males
Dorothy Rowley, DC Afro Newa, July 20, 2010

Hundreds rally, bogus charges against black student accused of stealing chicken nuggets dropped
Jacob Flom, Fight Back News, July 20, 2010

The fight against school re-segregation heats up in North Carolina
Staff Writer, Facing South, July 20, 2010

Springfield teens call for end to violence
The Republican Editor, July 20, 2010

Fred Moore High School classmates gather for weekend of memories
Candace Carlisle, Denton Record Chronicle, July 19, 2010

National Day of Action to Silence The Violence – Saturday July 24, 2010
Rhonda Erwin, Sacramento Press, July 19, 2010

Youth Group Speaks Out Against Indy Black Expo Violence
John W. Davis, July 19, 2010, Indiana News Center

She pushes ‘Let’s Move’ initiative, warns of childhood obesity
Steve Kraske, McClatchy Newspaper, July 18, 2010

Use positive messages to point the way to real empowerment
Mike McHugh, JD News, July 18, 2010

Targeted anti-gang patrols raise racial-profiling red flags
Kate Allen, The Globe and Mail, July 18, 2010

The Arts Are Alive
Staff Writer, ABC Local, July 18, 2010

Fight Childhood Obesity By Making Family Reunions A Healthy Affair
Corliss Hill, Black News, July 18, 2010

The King Wants Rings Redux

The other day, I was talking to my so-not-a-sports fan friend, rrrr about the LeBron James situation.  I mentioned how people took real issue with the slavery as analogy aspect of the whole debate.  I know I said something about the plantation model in my previous post about LBJ, but I wanted to return to it here.

One thing I failed to mention in my LeBron James/plantation model discussion was his financial impact on Miami. I just read something about a restaurant in Miami offering a Lebron Burger,  and a spa offering “The LeBroyal Treatment.”  Thinking about this in conjunction with the how financially hurt Cleveland will be with James’ departure reminds me that the economic viability of these small institutions is directly affected by and reliant upon LeBron James’ body, his literal presence in the city. If LeBron doesn’t succeed in Miami, if he doesn’t play–and play well– or if he leaves, then not simply the Heat, but these other businesses are in some trouble.

War Spending Bill Won't Pay for Teachers' Jobs

War Spending Bill Won’t Pay for Teachers’ Jobs
Julianne Hing, July 23, 2010

Late Thursday night, the White House successfully intimidated the Senate into passing its war-spending bill without $10 billion for teachers’ jobs and other domestic spending that the House included weeks ago.

Part of the money inside the war-spending bill was meant to go to an emergency fund to stave off over 100,000 imminent teacher and school worker layoffs this coming fall. The resolution, introduced by Rep. David Obey from Wisconsin, would have also set aside an extra $5 million for Pell Grants, which are distributed to undergrads from low-income families. In order to pay for this $10 billion emergency fund, which itself was whittled down from an original $23 billion, Obey suggested shaving off a total of $800 million from some of President Obama’s pilot education reform initiatives like the competitive grants program Race to the Top, a charter school fund and a new program that ties teachers’ pay to their students’ performance. (Read the full article)

Rick Ross' "Teflon Don": The Review

Amid one Hip Hop PR disaster after another, Rick Ross has somehow managed to not only maintain a formidable level of success and relevancy, but he’s also steadily progressed as a recording artist. Every release has been slightly better than the last, but last year’s Deeper Than Rap can’t hold a candle to the hefty Miami emcee’s latest, the unstoppable Teflon Don.

Why My Black Girlfriends and I love Shirley Sherrod: “She Wears Big Girl Drawls”

“I was working my butt off . . . I did not get to be 62  without being able to move beyond things . . . I was worried that my grandchildren would read in the history books years from now that their grandmother the First Black Rural Director for Georgia was fired by the first Black President.” [A paraphrasing of Shirley Sherrod from her CNN interview on Wednesday]

I want to join the internet chorus of bloggers praising Shirley Sherrod for her ability to wear what my godmother calls, “big girl drawls.” You see, over the last couple of days much has been written praising her commitment to Civil Rights and to helping all farmers irrespective of race.

But, what I briefly want to talk about is her ability to wear “big girl drawls” in the midst of public scrutiny from the NAACP and the Tea Party and against factions of dissent in the Obama Administration. Early this year, I wrote a post about Michelle Rhee who is the current chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools in Washington, D.C. where I talked about her being:

“A woman who knows how to dig her heels into the ground and say, “These are my boundaries that you will not cross and if you do I will not cower away and lick my wounds. I will fight you. Do you hear me. I will fight you.” It is her spirit of fight (i.e. big girl drawls) that I marvel at because we as a society do not intentionally cultivate girls’ fighting spirits. We do not teach them how to maintain their position in a street corner brawl where their reputation, occupation, family life, self-esteem, and most importantly their inner voice are on the line. We do not teach them how to stay in a battle . . . how to endure when people “scandalize your good name” because they do not like you . . . how to deal with not having a cadre of friends because you tell it like it is and you don’t hide behind passive aggressive actions and behaviors . . . how to negotiate leading people when they utterly refuse downright protest being lead.”

And, I must render the same words for Shirley Sherrod who refused to sit quietly by and allow people like Roland Martin and USDA Secretary Vilsack to scandalize her good name.

The Kids Are All Right (spoiler alert)

I was in college and in the closet when The L Word first aired on television. My then girlfriend and I got the hookup from the dorm cable guy and each sunday night we would curl up in her twin bed to watch the episodes. Beyond the uber-feminine, white, west-coasty crunchy vibe, somewhere along the way we found ourselves in the characters. It was validating. Of course, along the way as I learned a bit more about being gay and black, my reaction to the sex scenes weaned and my critique to the feminine aesthetic grew. I knew as did everyone else, The L Word was packaged in a way that was safe for both homos and heteros, there was one strap scene albeit with a cheating straight women but the sex was real in all of its splendor and in all of its boredom.