Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Dr Boyce on CNN: The Facebook Death Poll on Obama



Transcript from

This morning the Secret Service and the FBI are investigating a threatening poll that was posted on Facebook. It posed the question, should Obama be killed? Hundreds of people responded before the social networking site took it down.

Joining us to talk more about what may be behind it, from Syracuse, New York, Boyce Watkins -- he's a Syracuse professor and resident scholar for AOL black voices -- and from Washington, Jamal Simmons, former DNC communications adviser now with the Raben Group, a communication consulting firm.

Let's take a look, gentleman, first of all, at what the poll said posted on Facebook. And again, it was only for a few hours. It said, "Should Obama be killed?" The responses, yes, maybe, if he cuts my health care, and no.

It was put up by a third party application. More than 700 people responded before it was taken down. Boyce, what did you think when you saw that?

BOYCE WATKINS, PROFESSOR, SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY: Well, obviously, I was sickened by it.

What's interesting, though, is that this poll in itself is really more of a symptom of a bigger problem that exists in our country. We know this president gets more death threats than pretty much any president in recent history.

And so if we really just focus on this issue and don't focus on the broader problem, we'll really miss the point, because we have to realize that America is a country that's sick with the disease of racism.

And the disease of racism has its greatest impact on those who think who think they've been cured. So I'm not so angry about this incident as much I am about the environment that's been created around our president.

ROBERTS: Jamal, on that point, former President Jimmy Carter famously said a couple weeks ago that he thought a good deal of the anger and animosity toward the president was race-based. Let's run a little bit of what the former president said.


JIMMY CARTER, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: An overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he's African American.


ROBERTS: Jamal, President Obama says, yes, he does think there is racism, but that it's not an overriding issue. What do you think? JAMAL SIMMONS, PRINCIPAL, THE RABEN GROUP: I agree with President Obama on this, but I don't think that President Carter is wrong. It's clear that race is a part of some of the animosity that you hear about President Obama.

You know, the fact that Joe Wilson yelled out "you lie" in Congress, the first time in 220 years of Congressional -- presidential Congressional addresses that this has ever happened, I think that's something we have to be concerned about. Why is there that level of disrespect for this American institution, the presidency?

But on the other hand, I think that America has clearly shown that we've made great strides in this issue of race. And while it still exists, it hasn't gone away, it is certainly much, much, much better than it ever has been in American history.

ROBERTS: Boyce, where do you think that level of disrespect as demonstrated by Congressman Joe Wilson comes from?

WATKINS: Well, what we've got to understand is that racism is not always the primary factor that drives a certain action. Racism is, to some extent, an accelerant of issues that may, at least on the surface, appear to have nothing to do with race.

Racism is what makes Joe Wilson feel confident in expressing his discontent with the president in the halls of Congress in an incredibly disrespectful way, and then to further disrespect to the president by saying I'm not even going to apologize because I know there are people that support me.

If Obama were not an African-American, I don't think he would feel that same degree of boldness.

Now we understand, though, that most people in America want to bed good people. Most people in America don't wake up and say, how do I disrespect a black person today?

But what we have to understand is racism lies within the fabric of the institutional infrastructure of the country in which we live. And so if we don't deal with the root causes of some of these actions, then we'll continue to miss point.

ROBERTS: Now, Joe Wilson has said, of course, that this has nothing to do about race, that the president was shading the truth on that particular issue about whether or not the health care plans would cover illegal immigrants.

So is it really, do you think, if not founded in race, Jamal, backed up by at least, as Boyce was saying, the idea that some racial intolerance there may give him a good point to stand on?

SIMMONS: Yes, I'm not going to, you know, make an accusation about what Joe Wilson's heart was feeling at that moment. But I will say there's a certain amount of disrespect, or the language that's being used about this presidency, which is pretty fierce. I will also say, though, I've worked for Bill Clinton for years, and Bill Clinton, another Democrat who pushed socially responsible programs, got a lot of animosity from the right.

The one thing that's happening right now is in the 1960s or '70s, a lot of political violence on the country, you start to see from the left, the anti-war movement, the black panthers, people like that.

In the 1990s and 2000s, all the political violence in the country and the political animosity, the real heat is on the right. You see anti-abortion protesters who kill doctors. You see it with the Michigan militia and what happened in Oklahoma City.

I think the Republican Party has got to make the same decision the Democratic Party did, which is to separate itself from the extreme elements on the right and say to America, we're not as crazy as these people are.

And frankly, I don't think the Republicans in Congress and the leadership have done a good enough job in separating themselves from some of the heated rhetoric coming out of the right wing of this country.

ROBERTS: Boyce, all this talk about the beginning of a post- racial America after President Obama was first elected, and when you see where we are now, what do these cases say about us as a nation and where we're headed in the future?

WATKINS: This presidency is teaching us a lot about where we stand as it pertains to race. The Obama presidency, as painful as it may be for some of us, is really a measuring stick. It's a reminder that you cannot solve a 400-year-old problem with 20 or 25 years of good intentions.

If you want to fulfill the dream of Dr. Martin Luther king, you have got to be willing to do the work. And the truth of the matter is that our country hasn't been willing to do the work. We hold celebrations every year to celebrate King's birthday. We say, oh, well, we believe in diversity and this post-racial this, this post- racial that.

But then you see all these death threats coming in, you see this disrespect coming in. You see this behavior that is part of a tradition in America of disrespecting African-American leadership.

So it doesn't mean that America is a country full of bad people or that everybody's racist or anything like that. What it means is that if we're really going to fix this problem, we have got to start being honest, and we haven't been honest with ourselves.

ROBERTS: Some food for thought this morning, gentleman. Boyce Watkins -- go ahead, Jamal.

SIMMONS: John, on one quick positive note. I think African- Americans have always faced obstacles in this country, the country has always faced obstacles on the issue of race. What we have now is different. There are incredible opportunities for people of color to really succeed in this country, and we've got to really pay attention to that while we still deal with the obstacles we face.

ROBERTS: That does indeed leave it on a positive note.

Jamal Simmons, Boyce Watkins, thanks for being with us this morning. Appreciate you coming in.

We want to know what you think about this poll. Is race a factor? Where is the disrespect coming from? Sound off. Call our show hot line or go to our blog at

Obama's Facebook Threats: Dr Boyce and Warren Ballentine 092909

Dr. Boyce Watkins and Warren Ballentine get on national radio to discuss the Facebook threats of President Barack Obama.

Dr Boyce and Rev. Al Discuss Murder of Chicago Teen Derrion Albert

In this episode of "Keeping it Real with Rev. Al Sharpton," Rev Al and Dr. Boyce discuss the murder of Chicago Teen Derrion Albert, as well as the pending bankruptcy of Ebony Magazine.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dr Boyce: Company Makes Money Off Illegal Drug

You've probably heard the phrase "sippin syrup," used in reference to the act of mixing cough syrup, codeine, and soda together to create a relaxed feeling within the person who consumes the beverage. The "drank" has become quite popular, particularly in the south, as rappers have done their jobs of giving free promotion to an illegal product that has managed to make teenagers even less productive than many of them already are.
It was only a matter of time before corporate America stepped in to make money off the trend. Meet the new drink on store shelves: Sippin Syrup. The drink doesn't use any illegal products, but produces the same "lean" effect that many young people seek from the cough syrup product on the street. Harmless enough, right? Not so fast.
Officers in the Houston area are concerned that the product sold on store shelves is nothing more than a gateway to an incredibly dangerous and addictive drug. The snazzy ad campaign fully leverages the power of the brand of "purple stuff" being sold on the streets already. Teenagers who can't get the real stuff would likely be enticed by the substitute until the door is open for the actual product.

Click to read more.


If the above link does not work, please click here to see Dr Boyce articles on AOL Black Voices

Monday, September 28, 2009

Dr Boyce Releasing a New Book


by Dr. Boyce Watkins

I am not a Finance Professor who happens to be a Black man. I am a Black man who happens to be a Finance Professor. The purpose of this book is to explain, to Black America, how our financial liberation is connected to our social, political and psychological liberation. Black American Money is not a “how to” book on managing money and investing. It is a book that breaks down Black power and explains how money matters far more than race in a capitalist democracy. In other words, this book reminds us that by understanding how money works, we can also understand how America works. Using a variety of creative examples, I explain how the face of American politics and the Black experience is impacted by money, both individually and in aggregate. We explore a variety of case studies, ranging from the State of the Black Union to the NCAA to illustrate key principles regarding the use and control of financial power. Finally, the book explains how African Americans can achieve collective power by understanding and finding ways to manage our economic potential. We all know that money is power and that freedom isn’t free. But it is only by obtaining, understanding and utilizing the power of compassionate capitalism that we can effectively meet the price tag for freedom in America.

To order an ebook copy of Black American Money, please click here.

To order a hard copy of Black American Money, please click here.

What’s Wrong with Ebony Magazine?

Can Ebony Magazine survive in the digital age?


by Dr. Boyce Watkins 


The black journalism students here at Syracuse often come to me to find out how the industry works. They sometimes instinctively wonder if their professors' stories about being in a CBS newsroom in 1982 are going to help them survive in a world run by Twitter, Myspace and Facebook. The answer is a resounding "probably not."

While respecting the journalism professors teaching their classes, I simply use examples like Ebony Magazine to help them realize that black media is changing, and sites like,, and, are examples of how black media has evolved. In fact, a journalist who doesn't understand technology and business models is in danger of starting his/her career as a dinosaur.

When it comes to recent reports about Ebony Magazine being offered for sale, I admit that I was saddened, but not surprised. The Ebony Fashion Fair has become one of the most celebrated events in black America, and the magazine has been nothing less than a tremendous source of national pride since its creation in 1945. But in the age of the web, oversized bureaucracies can be crushed under the weight of their own arrogance. Bloated payrolls, pompous corporate functions and a sense of entitlement make them easy prey for quick, hungry and rapidly evolving competition.

In spite of the tremendous love we have for Ebony/Jet, the truth must be confronted when realizing that it is what radio was to TV or what the train was to the airplane. Like radios and trains, there is still a place for print media, but that role is no longer dominant. The current economic climate only accelerated the inevitable, since advertisers were eventually going to stop spending $50,000 for magazine ads when they can buy the same number of eyeballs for $5,000 or less.

I present the following 5 questions I'd like to ask out loud about both Ebony Magazine and the state of African American media:

Click to read.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Dr Boyce on AOL – 9/26/09


The Latest from Dr. Boyce Watkins on AOL Black Voices - visit for more information

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President Obama Talks Health Care at Congressional Black Caucus Conference

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Don't Let Your Spouse Control All of Your Finances

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Five Reasons Obama Could Have Supported David Paterson

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BET's 'Skank Robbers': Did They Step Over The Line with Black Women?

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Dr. Boyce Money: No Property Insurance Can Destroy You Financially

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Dr Boyce and Kevin Powell on CNN: Does America Hate Black Athletes?

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Money Blast: What You Should Know about Credit Scores

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Why You Might Not Want to take the Swine Flu Vaccine

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Black Spin News Blast: Why Can't Barack Obama Talk About Race?

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ACORN Responds to Allegations from FOX News

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Dr. Boyce Money: Don't Throw Tavis Smiley Under the Wells Fargo Bus

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Yale Student Murder Symptomatic of Growing Workplace Violence

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Wendy Williams and Dr. Boyce Talk Hip Hop and Money

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Rev Al Sharpton and Dr. Boyce Discuss Serena Williams, Kanye West

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Financial Lovemaking: Couple Divorces to Save Money

Dr. Boyce: Obama Talks Healthcare at the CBC Convention

In an appropriate show of respect, President Barack Obama addressed theCongressional Black Caucus Foundation Conference this weekend. His speech focused primarily on healthcare, which has become the latest battleground for our challenged new leader. In the eyes of the public, Obama is no longer the cool, hip politician he was a few months ago. He is now the guy considered to be too moderate to be liberal, too socialist to be conservative, too black to be white and too white to be "down." Obama can't quite be anything to anyone, which is the price he must now pay for trying to be everything to everyone.
Michelle Obama, as lovely as she is, arrived to the event with the president by her side. The couple, when appearing together, present an inspiring portrait of successful black love. Every black woman in America looks at Michelle and dreams of having her own political Mandingo accompanying her and her children to important social events.

Click to read more at AOL Black Voices

If the link doesn’t work, click here to find Dr. Watkins’ articles on AOL

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Dr Boyce Watkins: G20 Needs Our Attention

A whole bunch of G-20 racket, but is anybody listening?

Uncle Ben from Spiderman made the most prophetic statement of the entire film series in his dying days (I almost cried, but don't tell anybody): "With great power comes great responsibility." Most of us understood what Uncle Ben was trying to say, and that includes Barack Obama.

Uncle Ben should have been the keynote speaker at the latest G-20 Summit, taking place this week in Pittsburgh,PA. The G-20 Summit is a gathering of the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors of the world's 19 wealthiest countries, plus the European Union. These countries encompass 85 percent of the world's gross domestic product, so they would probably meet Uncle Ben's qualification for "great power," at least when it comes to money.

The G-20 Summit's primary objective is to achieve broad cooperation on the preservation of international financial stability. The motivations of the group, created in 1999, are seemingly noble and make perfect sense in light of the fact that the global economy has reached an unprecedented level of integration. If large nations do not work together, the world's financial system will be subject to alarming amounts of volatility.

Not everyone can see the vision behind G-20 ambitions. Usually, the gatherings of the G-20 are as out of control as a frat party, as protesters have made a game out of disrupting the meetings as much as they possibly can. To prepare for this year's economic fiesta, the city of Pittsburgh has brought in 4,000 police, 2,000 National Guard troops and 11 Coast Guard vessels.

Police, in an overwhelming show of force, declared Thursday's march illegal almost as soon as it began, firing rubber bullets and canisters of pepper spray and smoke after small bands of anarchists responded to calls to disperse by rolling huge metal trash bins, throwing rocks and breaking windows. As of Friday morning, reports said nearly 70 people had been arrested and police were bracing for scattered protests around downtown.

President Obama, being the conflicted capitalist/black man/ex-community organizer that he is, made some telling comments about the demonstrators.

Click to read more on MSNBC’s

Thursday, September 24, 2009

BET’s Skank Robbers: An Insult to Black Women?

During the BET Awards, Martin Lawrence and Jamie Foxx did a skit called "Skank Robbers," which you can watch below. Some have argued that the video goes over the top, producing stereotypical images of black women to the point of being offensive. Referring to them as "skanks" was enough to draw the ire of many African Americans, but there was also a point in the video in which the narrator says, "From the producers of 'Planet of the Apes'."

This video leads to the following questions as it pertains to BET:1) Who's making the decisions? I'd love to see what thought process goes into deciding to make R. Kelly your keynote performer right after he is accused of creating child pornography, or having Lil Wayne sing about wanting to have sex with every girl in the world while underage girls are dancing on stage. I don't hate BET, and I've done a great deal of work with them in the past, but I would like very much for them to explain to the public exactly how they operate.


Click to read more.

If this link doesn’t work, then please click here.

Dr Boyce on MSNBC’s TheGrio – 9/24/09

  • Race is Obama's Catch-22
    Race is Obama's Catch-22

    By Dr. Boyce Watkins

    5:47 AM on 09/22/2009

    OPINION - If you think anti-Obama outbursts have nothing to do with Obama being black, you need to open a history book...

    > MORE

  • U of Michigan's
    U of Michigan's "optional" practices highlight need for reform

    By Dr. Boyce Watkins

    10:00 AM on 09/18/2009

    OPINION -- The University of Michigan football team has a storied tradition when it comes to winning. The program is equally storied when it comes to making money by putting athletes...

    > MORE

  • Stop hating on black female athletes
    Stop hating on black female athletes

    By Dr. Boyce Watkins

    7:44 AM on 09/15/2009

    OPINION - We need to stop putting black women in a box. They don't all belong in the socially dirty box, and they don't belong in the pure, sweet and innocent box.

    > MORE

  • Race was never a factor in track star's gender query
    Race was never a factor in track star's gender query

    By Dr. Boyce Watkins

    6:20 PM on 09/10/2009

    OPINION - Recent reports by the Daily Mail of London and the Sydney Morning Herald of Australia state that the test has revealed that Semenya "is a hermaphrodite with no womb or ovaries." Some have argued that Semenya was the target of the investigation because she is black...

    > MORE

  • It's clutch time and Obama needs to be like Mike
    It's clutch time and Obama needs to be like Mike

    By Dr. Boyce Watkins

    9:24 AM on 09/09/2009

    OPINION - As President Obama prepares to put on a full-court press for health care reform in a speech to Congress tonight, he needs only to look back at one performance from "His Airness" to gain inspiration.

    > MORE

  • Wednesday, September 23, 2009

    Is College Worth the Cost?


    from the Daily Orange – Syracuse University

    No Easy Decision: Higher Education Requires High Contemplation
    With the economy just now taking steps to recover from a recession that caused millions of jobs to be lost, the four words, "was it worth it?" have likely been uttered by thousands of debt-ridden college graduates.

    According to, the average yearly cost of tuition and fees at a four-year public college for the 2008-09 year was $6,585, while private schools cost an average of $25,143. The Syracuse University Web site lists its tuition for 2009-10 as $33,630, with its total cost of attendance reaching an estimated $50,100.

    Four years later, does this $200,000 expense, whether the financial resources come from family, 40-hour workweeks or loans, guarantee a high-paying job?
    As a student with hopes of getting a job whose success I can parlay into a long and happy career, I find college to be extremely important and value the opportunities it has given me. However, I strongly disagree with the notion that college is right for everyone.


    Click to read.

    Dr Boyce: Don’t Throw Tavis Smiley Under the Bus

    by Dr. Boyce Watkins

    When I read about the predatory lending allegations against Tavis Smiley and Wells Fargo, I wasn't surprised. Not because I feel that Tavis is some kind of crook, but because economic downturns are usually when everyone's dirty laundry gets aired out. The high flying 2000s were a decade of extravagance, overspending, easy money and troubled relationships. The party was bound to end. Smiley's party has ended with Wells Fargo, as the company has been accused of using Tavis Smiley and financial expert Kelvin Boston to convince African Americans to sign on to loans that turned out to be predatory. Neither Boston nor Smiley is willing to disclose the amount they were paid for the service, but I'm sure it wasn't chump change.
    I've been open and honest in my critiques of Tavis Smiley in the past, but I give credit where it's due. I've always felt that Tavis Smiley is a man who works out of a sincere respect and appreciation for the black community. He is not out to hoodwink, swindle or hurt us, at least not deliberately. At worst, Smiley is guilty of being caught in a situation that he may not have fully understood.
    Although I agree with the black community's decision to hold Tavis Smiley accountable for his actions, I want us to be cautious of going overboard in our judgments. Here are 5 things I want to say about Tavis Smiley:

    Click to read.

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009

    Dr. Boyce on AOL Black Voices – 9/22/09

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    Black Spin News Blast: Why Can't Barack Obama Talk About Race?

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    ACORN Responds to Allegations from FOX News

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    Dr. Boyce Money: Don't Throw Tavis Smiley Under the Wells Fargo Bus

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    Yale Student Murder Symptomatic of Growing Workplace Violence

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    Wendy Williams and Dr. Boyce Talk Hip Hop and Money

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    Rev Al Sharpton and Dr. Boyce Discuss Serena Williams, Kanye West

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    Financial Lovemaking: Couple Divorces to Save Money

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    Dr. Wilmer Leon and Dr. Danny Boston Discuss the State of the Economy

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    Michael Baisden and Dr. Elaina George Explain Health Care Reform

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    Dr. Boyce Money: What's The Difference Between a Credit Union and a Bank?

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    Shocking Video: 5-Year-Olds Being Taught to 'Bump and Grind'?

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    Dr. Boyce Money: President Obama's Slam to Wall Street

    Monday, September 21, 2009

    Obama’s Racial Catch-22

    Race is Obama's Catch-22

      Demonstrators protest on Capitol Hill in Washington, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009, during a taxpayer rally. The Washington Monument is in the background. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

    A few years ago, Dr. Cornel West wrote an outstanding book called "Race Matters." In the book, he explains why a post-racial America is not yet a reality. Race certainly matters in our nation, and we don't need to look any further than the anti-Obama lynch mobs to find evidence of this fact.

    What is most interesting is that the people who hate Obama for being black don't even realize that this is the reason they hate him. That's how the social sickness called "racism" sneaks into the very fabric of the social infrastructure on which our country operates.

    President Obama's recent experience is yet another reminder that the disease of racism has its greatest impact on those who think they've been cured. In spite of his continuous efforts to "just get along" with those on the right wing, they have insisted upon engaging in some of the most pathetic, thug-like behavior imaginable, creating a climate unlike anything our country has seen in the last 30 years.

    If you think this has nothing to do with Obama being black, you need to open a history book. Lynch mobs rarely attacked a black man just for being black. They attacked him for being black and doing something that white people found to be unacceptable.

    Click to read on MSNBC’s

    Saturday, September 19, 2009

    U. Michigan and the “Optional” Practices

    U of Michigan's

    by Dr. Boyce Watkins 

    The University of Michigan football team has a storied tradition when it comes to winning. The program is equally storied when it comes to making money by putting athletes on the field no matter what. This football factory rivals the other bastion of athletic exploitation down the road: my alma mater, The Ohio State University.

    It was recently unearthed that The University of Michigan has been using "optional" practices as a way to push athletes against their will. Players and their families have reported that any athlete who doesn't attend the "optional" practices has a strong likelihood of being punished by the team.

    I have just one question: why is anyone surprised? The only thing surprising to me about the University of Michigan case is that someone is actually willing to testify against the university. I am simply stunned that the players are bold enough to stand up for their rights in light of the fact that there are extreme penalties for athletes who have the audacity to think for themselves.

    For college athletes, loyalty to the NCAA is not a choice. The officials who run college sports serve as the judge, jury and executioner in all cases related to athletic conduct. Like Michael Vick's pit bulls, athletes within the NCAAsystem are domesticated, indoctrinated and brainwashed from the minute they set foot on a college campus.

    The same way that many major retailers look the other way when five year olds are employed in third-world factories, the NCAA doesn't do a very good job of enforcing the standards within its very own rulebooks. The only standards that seem to be applied strictly are those that keep the athletes and their families away from the multi-billion dollar revenue-generating machine that pays for the massive salaries of college football coaches. This is nothing less than a slap in the face to the players and their families, who give so much on the field.


    Click to read.

    Thursday, September 17, 2009

    What a Congressman Can Learn from a Tennis Star




    Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III

    On Saturday September 12th, at the U.S. Open semifinals, Serena Williams was caught in a “human moment” that she wishes she could change. After being called for a foot fault by a line judge Ms. Williams launched into an “f-bomb” laden tirade saying in part, “If I could, I would take this @#$#ing ball and shove it down your @#$#ing throat…" The resulting unsportsmanlike conduct penalty cost Ms. Williams the match.

    On Monday September 14th Ms. Williams offered a written apology. In it she said, "I want to sincerely apologize first to the lineswoman, Kim Clijsters, the US Tennis Association and mostly tennis fans everywhere for my inappropriate outburst … I really wanted to apologize sincerely...I think the lady was doing the best she could. She was just trying to do her job.”

    Some have questioned Serena’s sincerity and others have questioned the timing of her apology. These questions may be valid but at the end of the day Ms. Williams did the right thing. She took responsibility for her behavior and apologized directly to all of those whom she attacked and offended.

    On Wednesday September 9th, Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) had his own “human moment.” During President Obama’s speech to a joint session of Congress on health care, Wilson shouted at the President “you lie”. Shortly after his outburst Congressman Wilson called the White House to offer his apology to the President. President Obama did not take his call. It was accepted on his behalf by Chief of Staff Rhom Emanuel.

    Congressman Wilson has been asked by members of his own party as well as Democrats to formally apologize on the House floor. He has refused to apologize on the floor of the House saying, "I've apologized one time. The apology was accepted by the president, the vice president. ... I am not apologizing again … I believe that is sufficient."

    As a result of Congressman Wilson’s failure to apologize on the floor, the House passed a “resolution of disapproval” by a 240-179 vote. Congressman Wilson has now been duly punished for his outrageous and childish behavior.

    Even though polls show a strong majority of American’s oppose Congressman Wilson’s actions, Republican Party leadership stands behind him. Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said the House Democrats are guilty of “stunning…. Hypocrisy.” GOP leader John Boehner (R-OH) said that the action initiated by Wilson's fellow South Carolina colleague, Democratic Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) — is "patently partisan." Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) circulated a letter of support for Wilson.

    Click to read.

    Rev. Al and Dr. Boyce Discuss Serena, Kanye and Race

    Were there any racial implications to the recent outbursts by Serena Williams and Kanye West? Yes, there were. In my latest conversation with Rev. Al Sharpton, we break down these interesting events, all of which occurred during the past week. We can agree, however, that there are certainly things more important than worrying about Serena Williams and Kanye West. But these situations, in light of the backdrop of Obama's comments about Kanye, might provide true teachable moments regarding America's tattered racial history.As I've written before, Serena and Kanye have a lot in common, but nothing in common, all at the same time. Serena's actions were justifiable, given the intensity of the situation and the fact that the line judge made the wrong call. At the same time, most of us can agree that Serena went over the line by threatening to "shove the ball down the f**ing throat" of the line judge because of her mistake. Yes, Serena, you are from the hood. But you don't need to take it back to the hood to make your point to a U.S. Open line judge.

    Click to read.

    Tuesday, September 15, 2009

    Howard University Responds to Student Demands

    In an effort to address the student demands raised during the Sept. 4 protest , President Sidney A. Ribeau and Interim Provost and Chief Academic Officer Alvin Thornton sat down  with The Hilltop to go through each presented demand.

    Howard University President Sidney A. Ribeau

    Demand:  Hours of the  Financial Aid office should be immediately extended until 7 p.m. until the set purge date with staff (i.e. certified financial aid officers and managers) in place to render quality customer service and to serve the unusually large number of students who have yet to be validated.

    Response: “That’s something that I agree with and will, in fact, do,” Ribeau said.

    Thornton said even before students raised the concern, this issue was a priority. He said that the office will be open from 8:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. until the set purge date. He said additional staff people will be needed, but they have agreed to move a substantial part of the operation back to the Amour J. Blackburn Center. Ribeau said this move will be completed by Friday. “It’s not easy, but that’s what we’re going to do.”

    Demand: 24-hour, 7-day a week access to the Undergraduate Library and Founders Library, as well as significant capital improvements and renovations to Founders Library and Undergraduate Library.

    Click to read more.

    Dr Boyce Speaks on Serena Williams

    Stop hating on black female athletes

    by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University


    Black women are too aggressive. They are vicious, nasty, neck-swinging, over-sexed, amazons who utilize every available opportunity to tell off anyone in their path. They hate black men and they even manage to find creative ways to hate one another. We've now come up with a one-dimensional way of describing an incredibly diverse group around the world. That is what the world does to black women, and it is the same thing they do with black men. Personally, I'm getting sick of it.

    In our natural aversion to such blatantly biased characterizations like the one presented in the first paragraph, we then go to the other extreme: Black women are all perfect, beautiful, loving, enlightened creatures who can do no wrong. All the problems of the black family belong solely to those "trifling brothers who just can't get it together," and even when black women appear to be wrong, it's just because the rest of us "are too weak to handle strong and intelligent sistuhs." Sorry my friends, stereotyping is wrong, even when it works in your favor.

    Serena Williams' tirade during the US Open on Saturday was offensive and sad to watch. She embarrassed herself and her family by threatening to "shove the ball down the f***ing throat" of a line judge during an internationally televised event. At the same time, Serena was in an extremely tense situation, the judge made a horrible call, and this was one of the biggest matches of her career. The judge had no business making that kind of call at that time, especially one that was ultimately incorrect. Serena simply said exactly what I certainly would have been thinking myself.

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    The President Gets Tough with Wall Street

    by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

    The president recently gave an interesting address to Wall Street on the anniversary of the start of the financial crisis which began last year (and also got him elected). One year ago, the fall of Lehman Brothers left the nation scrambling to find ways to secure critical liquidity to a financial market that was on the brink of devastation.
    In his speech, the president wasn't nice. He received applause from the audience only one time, so they don't like him as much as black people do. What's also clear is that he's not President Bush: Wall Street doesn't want Barack Obama to be president, but he is exactly what they need right now.Our banking system is ranked 108th in the world in terms of stability, behind Tanzania. What's even more frightening is that while being incredibly reckless, our banking system is the most powerful in the world, driving the strongest economy on earth. We can't afford to be silly or irresponsible.
    The president focused his conversation around three key adjustments:

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