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Friday, January 30, 2009

Finally!! Reverend Sharpton Addresses Lower Tier Behavior.....Will It Continue?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sticking To The Afronerd Mantra......Check Out This Documentary on Immortality Annnnd.....A New Independent Movie Trailer-"Medicine for Melancholy"

I'm looking into cryogenics ASAP. Hey, you never know! Thoughts? Oh and check the trailer for this blipster (the latest frankenword meaning "Black hipster") film effort that depicts a slice of underrepresented Black life in San Francisco. Again, any film that attempts to chisel away the mundane and ubiquitous nature of celluloid ghetto life gets an automatic thumbs up from this blogger. Do yourself a favor and check your local listings for Medicine for Melancholy. And here's a hot off the presses review, courtesy of Salon.com:

Young, black, sexy and sad in San Francisco

Talk About Overstating the Obvious.......Black Individuality Might Cure Racism.....Duh!

While perusing the Wired site (by way of Black Voices), I came across a shocking revelation-racism aimed toward those of a darker hue might actually be ameliorated if they could only be viewed as individuals. Have you guys heard of such an absurd proposition? Okay, perhaps I'm overdoing the facetious indignation but really....just how easy is it for a research team to garner a government grant these days? I think this might be the next order of business that President Obama may need to look into-government waste. And I readily admit that Mr. Starks has always pushed (along side noted professor of psychiatry, Dr. Alvin Poussaint) the notion that racism is truly a mental disorder.

Ironically, one of the main reasons why we developed Afronerd (and the companion internet podcast) was to combat the debilitating monolithic depiction that all persons of color are on the same page. Our media almost preternaturally shows Whites in a myriad of positions, however in the case of minorities-not so much. But with a different political image on the horizon (as alluded to in a previous entry), it will be unavoidable to not see Black people accurately. At least one can dream. Sometimes, I think the minstrels are winning.....just an observation. But let's take a look at snippet from the Wired piece that puts forth the hypothesis of Black individualism:

As the first African-American president in United States history takes office, researchers have shown that it may be possible to scientifically reduce racial bias.

After being trained to distinguish between similar black male faces, Caucasian test subjects showed greater racial tolerance on a test designed to to measure unconscious bias.

The results are still preliminary, have yet to be replicated, and the real-world effects of reducing bias in a controlled laboratory setting are not clear. But for all those caveats, the findings add to a growing body of research suggesting that science can battle racism.

"Any time you can get people to treat people as individuals, you reduce the effect of stereotypes," said Brown University cognitive scientist Michael Tarr. "It won't solve racism, but it could have profound real-world effects."

Tarr's findings overlap with other results suggesting that the key to reducing racial bias — at least in a short-term, laboratory setting — is exposure to people in personalized ways that challenge stereotypes. This is hardly a new notion: it's the essence of the contact hypothesis, formulated in the mid-20th century and the basis of integrated schooling.

But unlike carefully structured social mixing, with precisely controlled conditions of interdependence and equality, Tarr and others raise the possibility of a a lab-based shortcut to bias reduction.

Underpinning this research is the Implicit Association Test, used by psychologists to measure deep-rooted, often unconscious biases. During the test, subjects are measured on the time it takes to associate faces with positive or negative words. If, for example, someone more quickly associates negative words with minority rather than white faces, they're likely to have a bias — a bias that translates into a tendency to hire same-race workers, choose same-race partners, and find minority defendants guilty.

If the bias can be changed, perhaps the behavior will follow.

And just as an aside, I will really try to decompress and not allow this blog to focus on racial construct storylines. Sure we discuss comics, politics and music but everything can't be about race......can it? Click on the link below for the article in its entirety:

Researchers Try to Cure Racism

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Mr. Freeman, You May Have Gotten Your Wish! Courtesy of President Obama.....Maybe

More on this in a few...but the quick story is the ascendency of Barack Obama has some folks questioning the necessity of Black History Month. I would agree but there still has to be susbstantive acknowledgement and information regarding Black culture-hopefully beyond the customary 28 days. Again, more in a few. Check out this link and talk amongst yourselves in the interim.

Well....It Looks Like Fox News Just Got The Memo! Obama=More Superheroes of Color....Hopefully

Actually, we have alluded to this prospect for the last few months now in Afronerd-a President of color should equate to more (and better) minority representation in our media. This supposition makes perfect sense and yet there are no guarantees when it comes to Hollywood's quest for the almighty dollar. But it does seem really hard to have a Black president with a continuation of a mostly Anglo image landscape. I say this as The Bachelor enters its 13th season with yet another "ideal" White protagonist. The same can be said for the female iteration of the show, The Bachelorette. And you can also place your bets that in both respective shows those same lead players will not end up with paramours of color. But Fox News did report on this discrepancy by way of the pulp world, check out this excerpt:

Savage Dragon creator Erik Larsen, a former Spider-Man author for Marvel, says, "I think part of that is that there hasn't been a breakout character that transcends race the way actors Will Smith and Eddie Murphy have, or the 'Cosby Show' did, or, frankly, Barack Obama has.

"The characters in comics are often too ethnic for a white audience and too embarrassing for a black one."

Adds Craft: "I don't think that the black superheroes of the past were all that interesting. Since most of the creators were white, they based their characters on their perception of black men and women. They definitely were not built to stand the test of time."

Political correctness has also been an impediment. "I think that their creators tried hard not to offend blacks and made many of them too perfect," Craft said. "Many were army heroes or Olympic athletes who were fighting a noble cause. They had no character deficiencies or internal conflicts that are usually needed to make a story interesting."

Before Obama won the presidency, blacks were largely implausible as superheroes, Craft said.

"I think that there is a perception of black people that America is comfortable with, and I'm not sure the hero role was it," he said. "We can be athletes and rappers, but not Superman. Thor saved the universe, Captain America saved the country, Spider-Man saved the city, but Luke Cage saved 125th Street (in Harlem) between Frederick Douglass and Adam Clayton Powell Boulevards."

Spike, a 30-year-old black, female comic artist and the creator of the series "Templar, Arizona," says, "This may have something to do with not only the original audience for superhero books, but the interpretation of the superhero as an unattainable ideal with the broadest appeal. That usually means appealing to society's default perspective, and for decades, especially during the conception of the original pantheon of superheroes, that perspective was unquestionably white and male."

Robert J. Walker is the creator of Delete, one of the only black female superheroes in comics, and "O+Men," a group of characters who are all HIV-positive. Formerly employed by Marvel and DC Comics, he focuses now on addressing social issues through his comics.

"I used to gripe all the time about the lack of ethnic characters at Marvel and DC," he said. "Most people working there were Caucasian. I don't think it was a racist thing. It was just an understanding that, you know, black girls aren't really the target audience for comics, so black girl superheroes weren't really going to be major characters.

"Even black artists there didn't really have the power to push black superheroes."

The dearth of black superheroes in mainstream, big-market comics has driven independent authors and artists to create and market their own through self-publishing and online. It's also resulted in an online Museum of Black Superheroes, which spotlights lesser-known characters and addresses the historical roadblocks that have kept many of these heroes in the shadows of their more famous peers.

For more of the Fox piece, click on the link below:

Captain Obama ... Is It Time for a Black Comic Book Superhero?

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Comic Shoppe is Open For Business! Check Us Out at 7pm eastern, Tues-No Green Hornet?, Afro-Samurai Returns, Wolverine & The Cartoon & More!

Again...keeping this short and succinct! We have yet another Comic Shoppe broadcast, scheduled for this Tuesday at 7pm sharp! Join Daryll, Max and yours truly as we discuss the following: Sam Jackson news (no Marvel franchise appearances?) involving Afro-Samurai and the video game; Seth Rogan may not get to play the Green Hornet after all; Wolverine and The X-men marked its U.S. debut; finally chopping it up about the Hulk Vs. dvd release as well as our favorite picks from last week's graphic novel picks. So once again, feel free to drop by the Shoppe and call in with your comments and questions at: 646-200-0104.

the Comic Shoppe's Week in Review

And clink on the links below for more "treats".....shhh!

A Treat...Part 1!

A Treat...Part2!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Obama has had quite an influence. Larry King's eight year old son says he wants to be Black now.

He may want to speak to us first to get the complete picture!

Courtesy of the U.K.'s Telegraph:

CNN's orange-haired septuagenarian chatterbox Larry King has been bowled over by the new Age of Obama, enthusing that his youngest offspring (from his seventh marriage) wants to be black. I guess it's a case of black being, er, the new black.

Interviewing a visibly uncomfortable Bob Woodward on his eponymous CNN show last night, Larry, 75, gushed: "My younger son Cannon, he is eight. And he now says that he would like to be black. I'm not kidding. He said there's a lot of advantages. Black is in. Is this a turning of the tide?"

The distinguished Watergate scribbler responded "well, maybe" and talked about how his 12-year-old daughter Diana liked Barack Obama's inaugural speech before gingerly steering the discussion towards George W. Bush's magnanimity and how he "hasn't, you know, made any cheap shots" at his White House successor.

It could have been worse, Bob. The other day, Larry blurted out that things were changing so fast that there could soon be a lesbian in the Oval Office. "Who would've thunk it," he said on KIIS radio in Los Angeles. "I can't believe it. Well, in 10 years' time we'll have, a what, a lesbian?"

Mr. Starks

Saturday, January 24, 2009

It's Afronerd Radio!-Sun, 7pm eastern-Model/Blogger Nikia Phoenix on Modeling & Racism; Discussing Pop Culture & Obama, Negro Cookies (!!!) & More!

Keeping it short and simple! We implore or readers and radio supporters to stop by at the usual Afronerd time (Sunday at 7pm-eastern) and on the usual Afronerd channel, and please do call in (646-915-9620) with your opinions/questions. A previous guest and supporter, Nikia Phoenix stops by to talk about her career, trials and tribulations in the modeling industry. And for this extended broadcast, Mr. Starks and Dburt will discuss the following: our personal post inaugural angst (i.e. the "My President is Black" mantra and other lower tier battle cries); Is President Obama our Commander in Chief or has he become a pop culture symbol?; the infamous Drunken Negro Face Cookies as well as our usual ruminations on this past week's current events. So join us once again as we pick apart today's topics in or usual inimitable fashion.....onward and upward-Imperius Rex!

Afronerd Radio's Week in Review

And while you're waiting for the next Afronerd Radio broadcast (consider it our form of an intermission), listen to some words of wisdom from perhaps America's greatest living song writer (Bob Dylan, notwithstanding) Smokey Robinson, courtesy of Def Poetry by way of YouTube:

Friday, January 23, 2009

Looks like some folks are still interested in playing a musical instrument

One of our many "beefs" is with the lack of instrumentation in todays music. You just don't see enough young people showing an interest in playing a musical instrument anymore. Here are two young brothers (literally), Tourie and Damien Escobar from Queens, NY, putting the violin through a workout. The song is entitled Thunder and they call themselves Nuttin But Stringz.

It Never Really Stops Does It? Check Out "The Drunken Negro Face CookieI"

Yeah...I know..it's tired, it's ignorant and perhaps the most obvious elephant in the room (and I hate referencing President Obama at every instance) but doesn’t the above “cookie” seem even more absurd with a sitting POTUS of color in the White House? Due to time constraints, I can’t flesh out this issue fully at this moment but we can’t expect to take a bite (pardon the pun) out of these matters unless we begin to address our complicity in the promotion of today's neo-minstrelsy. Further, the cookies in question bear a striking resemblance to Jay-Z, Diddy and Jeezy, if their faces were pressed against the cookie dough-just an observation. More to follow…..

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Racial Rampage in Brockton, MA......Just Madness!

It appears that only WorldstarHipHop.com are reporting that this racially motivated rampage occurred because one man took offense to the Obama inauguration. It's not a stretch to make that assumption but again, I cannot find any confirmation from the available news sources online that the suspect, Keith Luke made any statement linking the presidential festivities to killing minorities. Here's more on this tragedy, courtesy of the daily News tribune:


A 22-year-old white man is being held without bail on charges he shot three Cape Verdean people, killing two. Police said Keith Luke told them he was "fighting for a dying race" and planned to kill as many black people as possible and he had been planning to kill all "non-white" people.

According to papers filed in court, Luke said he had been planning to kill African-Americans, Hispanic and Jewish people and he had planned to go to a Jewish synagogue near his home that night and "kill as many Jews as possible on bingo night."

Luke of 1177 Pleasant St., Brockton, pleaded innocent to two counts of murder, kidnapping, aggravated rape and other charges in Brockton District Court Thursday morning. He was ordered held without bail.He told police in an interview after his Wednesday arrest that he purchased a 9mm handgun with 200 rounds of ammunition about six months ago outside Gilmore Academy on Clinton Street. He said he planned to kill himself after his killing spree.

Luke, who attended Brockton High School in 2001 but didn't graduate, told police he went to his former home at 103 Clinton St. around 12:20 p.m. Wednesday and planned to kill one of his former neighbors Salma Goncalves, 20, but another woman answered the door.

He asked if he could come in to use the phone because his van broke down, then he pulled out his gun and forced his way inside. He told police he brought a backpack that contained two sets of handcuffs, a blindfold, hammer and a mouth gag.

For the Tribune article in its entirety, click on the link below:

Brockton shooting suspect told police he targeted blacks, Jews, Hispanics

First the WB, Now Citigroup.....What's Next.....World Domination? Richard Parsons to Head Citigroup

More evidence that smart Black folk are in style and have never fallen out of fashion. It's the lower tier aesthetic of low expectations that must be stamped out. Black men are on the rise folks.....No More excuses....

Excerpt from the New York Times business section:

Richard D. Parsons swatted down talk last November that he might become the chairman of Citigroup, the struggling financial giant. “I have every confidence that we have the right team on the field to pull this thing out,” Mr. Parsons, then chairman of Time Warner and a Citigroup director, said in an interview with CNBC.

But on Wednesday, Mr. Parsons got the job — the latest task in a seemingly charmed life in which his gregariousness and smooth personality have placed him at the center of events and made him a candidate for any number of high positions. He succeeds Winfried F. W. Bischoff, a longtime Citigroup banker who presided over an increasingly fractious board.

The appointment will put to use Mr. Parsons’s ties to the Obama administration (he was a member of President Obama’s transition economic advisory board), as well as his experience in running companies under the federal government’s microscope. But it will also most likely offend some on Wall Street who are calling for a more radical shake-up at Citigroup.

Formed a decade ago in a merger that brought a range of financial services under one roof, Citigroup has received two bailouts from the government and announced plans last week to split itself in two. The company lost more than $8 billion last quarter, and its stock price has plunged nearly 85 percent in the last year.

“The investors, Citi shareholders, have strong views that there’s been a lack of accountability at the board,” said John McDonald, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein. “There’s been a lot of blaming the environment by Citi’s management and board. I think a lot of investors would want to hear, with someone who has been on Citi’s board, why is that a fresh change?”

Click here for the remainder of the Times piece:

More Pop Culture Fodder For Obama......Obamicon.Me

And now you too can be obama-ized-just upload your photo:


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Can We All Agree-Let's Stop Giving Dumb Folks of Color a Platform! Give The Bullhorn to The Smart Folks!-Aaron McGruder's Footinmouth Disease!

I'm really growing weary of this type of vituperative b.s. I don't want to get into a lengthy diatribe to overstate the obvious but can our readers answer this question-what is the deal with quantifying Blackness? Or better yet-what exactly is an authentic Black person. It seems that the general answer is someone who has ties to slavery and has suffered. Add the customary dash of self-destruction and anger and you have the prototypical real African-American. It amazes me that many Blacks and Whites have a similar hypothesis as to what a true blue blood Black person is and he/she is usually a person with negative attributes.

Former president Clinton really did not get the "Black" tag until impeachment proceedings commenced due to his philandering in the Oval Office. Then this socio-political Negro stew became complete when he added some ray bans, an appearance on The Arsenio Hall Show and a quasi-admission to marijuana use. Now that's super bad and super Black-just ask Mr. McGruder. I think it's confession time for yours truly as well-I liked some of what the Boondocks was trying to do but was never truly comfortable with it either. McGruder is cut from the same tired 60s progressive cloth that comprises much of the Black victimization model that we all grew up with-this ideology just doesn't cut it anymore. But don't let me add to the suspense. Check out this snippet from Pal-item.com which encapsulates McGruder's belief that Obama isn't a "real" Black person....again (maybe McGruder needs to speak to President Obama's Secret Service detail for the definitive answer)-

On the eve of President Barack Obama's inauguration, McGruder is "cautiously pessimistic" about the presidency.

"I don't think you're going to see any dramatic change from Barack Obama," said McGruder, who wore a "Boondocks" T-shirt over a black long-sleeve shirt and jeans. "I'm hoping he proves me completely wrong."

McGruder bases his opinions of the U.S. presidency on the 2000 election and how nothing has been done since then to change the election system. "It was a sham then ... It's got to still be a sham," McGruder said. "I don't want to rain on anyone's parade, but it's what I tend to do."

On the topic of race and ethnicity, McGruder said that to him, Obama is not black because he is not a descendant of a slave.

"The person who is one of us in the White House is Michelle Obama and her momma," McGruder said.

His comments outraged Dionne Robinson, 44, of Richmond.

"I want my $5 back," she said. "It's one thing to have an opinion, but he doesn't have any facts. He needs to go back to college."

Robinson said that people were enslaved in many parts of the world, not just in America.

If you want to hear the rest of McGruder's foolishness, click on the link below:

Cartoonist 'cautiously pessimistic'

And if you need even more evidence that these dummies need to be verbally neutered, check out this clip of Young Jeezy and Jay-z spouting the n-word with irreverent veracity......during pre-Inauguration festivities-

Jay-Z My President is black Remix LIVE 1-18-09 from pleasedontstare on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

And Now Let's Reflect.......Introducing President Obama!

Talk amongst yourselves......Be proud today because there's work tomorrow!

I'm Not Sure What To Think About This One......Watch For Chris Rock's "Good Hair"-Courtesy of the Sundance Film Festival!

This recent news tidbit comes about at an ironic time since we just interviewed my father, who is a hairstylist as well as a conversation I had with Mr. Starks concerning women of color and their hair. I believe I likened their obsession with weaves (again some Black women, certainly not all) to a type of extravagant toupee. Am I wrong? Again, my father is in the hair business (although he has since moved over to barbering, primarily) but he ceased his involvement in the womens' hair business slightly before the weaving craze reached its height. Perhaps we will have to address this topic with greater verve in the ensuing weeks. In the interim, Chris Rock has just produced/directed an independent piece on this very subject entitled, Good Hair. Here's an excerpt of a written critique on Mr. Rock's film, courtesy of ParkRecord.com:

The premise comes from a long history of black and biracial women feeling the pressure to fit with a Caucasian standard of straight hair. Rock finds out all about what comes with the need for silky straight locks.

"There's always this sort of pressure in the black community, if you have good hair, you're prettier or better than the brown-skinned girl who wears the afro or dreads or the natural style," said actor Nia Long in the film.

Rock's documentary is a study in the hair and now a look at African American women and their hair in the world today. He interviews with African American models and actors, some with "good hair" other with natural locks.

Perhaps most startling is the lengths to which the women go in the name of "beautiful hair." He enlightens viewers with a look at relaxers used to straighten African American hair, a damaging chemical mix that scientists show can be very detrimental to all it touches.

Then it's on to the weave blending in human hair into the existing head of another person. Weaves can cost upwards of $1,000 and everyday women are paying for them. That takes Rock to India, where the hair comes from. Rock witnesses the Indian ritual of hair sacrifice and the shops where the hair is sewn together and then shipped to the States.
He looks at the people behind the black hair business and finds it most Asians and Caucasians primarily making money from the African American population.

From men he learns how hair can affect a relationship. He even explores how black women's hair can affect intimacy.

"Chris is a guy that going to ask you stuff that's uncomfortable," said actor Trace Thoms.

White curiosity about black hair is also addressed by Rock's frank film. Thoms said that she thinks many non- African American audiences will get a greater understanding of the black woman's experience.

"The mystery of our hair is perpetuated by our unwillingness to talk about it," she said. "We need to embrace who we are if we want them to embrace who we are."

Perhaps most startling is an interview with high school girls who single out their natural-haired friend and say that her look isn't appropriate for the workplace.

"Good Hair" takes a good look at beauty and culture

Monday, January 19, 2009

An Inauguration Day Treat-After the Festivities-Stop By The Comic Shoppe, Tues, 7pm eastern-Hulk Vs, Watchmen settles, Black Panther & NY Comic Con

Keeping it simple....tomorrow's the day but I think we can still talk pulp fiction afterward. Our president is ultimately an Afronerd-so why the frack (a little BSG humor) not? So join Dburt, Daryll and Max this Tuesday at 7pm eastern to discuss the following: our opinions on Geoff John's take on last week's special Smallville episode; will the Black Panther remain Black and male if left up to Reginald Hudlin?; more Battlestar Galactica news; Fox Vs DC Vs Watchmen and the fans won; NY Comic Con expectations and our favorite graphic novel reads from last week. So stop by with your questions/comments by calling us "live" at-646-200-0104 or via email/IM-thecomicshoppe@yahoo. Oh and we'll talk about the treat that I provided in the above clip......shhh! Or some green dude will smash you. Excelsior brethren!

The Comic Shoppe's Week in Review

Hey Ma! No Hands......Or Should I Say...I'm Guest Blogging-Check Out The WNYC Blog!

Just keeping you guys abreast of things. I have been invited to guest blog on the WNYC site for the next two days to pontificate on....you guessed it-this special inauguration. Check it out:

Afronerd Says "No More Excuses!"

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Barbershop Discussions Next on Afronerd Radio-Sun at 7pm (eastern), Also Analyzing Notorious, Ann Coulter, Dr. King, Inauguration Day &....Jim Jones?

Stay tuned for a special pre-inauguration day extended broadcast tomorrow at 7pm eastern. The highlight for tomorrow's show will, of course be an interview with my father, Mr. Nat Burton, proprietor of Des-Marc His & Hers Hair Salon located in Long Island, N.Y. Mr. Starks and I often give credit to Dr. Cosby for being the catalyst behind the development of Afronerd but truth be told, Mr. Nat (aka the "Oracle") also deserves co-production credit for this blog. We will conduct an impromptu barbershop chat covering how the barbershop remains an important institution in the African-American community. And I'm sure we will cover a plethora of topics....just like in the shop. After the interview, Mr. Starks and yours truly will proceed to take out our gloves and scalpels and with surgical precision discuss the above entitled topics-so don't miss the show! As always the drill remains the same-call in with your questions/comments at-646-915-9620 or via email/IM-afronerdradio@yahoo. And remember-Be there and be Square.....Excelsior!

Afronerd Radio's special Pre-Inauguration Day broadcast.

And as warm up-listen to Curtis Sliwa and Debbie Schlussel's take on Notorious-

Aaaaand......here's wikipedia's take on barbering:

Wiki goes to the barbershop.

Here's proof that the current crop of rappers are low on talent but big on ignorance. An intellectual gem from Harlem rapper Jim Jones.

Check out this quote from Jim Jones after a screening of the film Notorious.

"I did it for Hip-Hop," said Jones, who compared Notorious and its subject to another trailblazer. "It's as big as Obama's being the first black president. This is part of our history in the urban community; Biggie was our first Obama."

We will address this mindless negro during the broadcast Sunday...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Just a few links of interest.....

Hey what's Mr. Starks doing in that pix? (ha..inside joke)....no that's an early photo of Prince Rogers Nelson who probably just signed a deal with Warner Bros. during that particular time period. Well, His Royal Badness has returned with reportedly three albums in the chamber for '09 and he kicks off the year with a new site, entitled Lotusflow3r.com:

Check it out here.

Just curious....how many of our readers/radio supporters are taking a day off to either check out Tuesday's inauguration personally or at the very least, watch the festivities on television? It appears that many folks of color are taking off in record numbers making the event somewhat of an extended holiday:

Some blacks choose inauguration over work

And lastly, the Pop Matters site has an article that delves deeper into the nagging conundrum of how Obama's win will affect Black youth culture:

Some think Obama's victory could change black youth culture

I really pray that this presidency does plant the seed for some amelioration to the current strain of dysfunctionalism with some of our Black/Brown youth.

But I'm leery...matter of fact, one can get depressed-even Obama can't work miracles.

An interesting piece on the security details for Barack Obama. And a reminder of Americas love affair with hate.

WASHINGTON (AFP) – An unprecedented security blanket has been draped over the US capital for Barack Obama's inauguration next week, and the threat level to the country's first black president is expected to remain high well beyond his swearing-in.

More than 12,500 active troops and military reservists, thousands of metropolitan police as well as personnel from 57 departments around the nation are descending on Washington to protect against any potential terrorist attack during Tuesday's historic ceremony, according to officials.

With estimates of up to a record two million people attending, the Department of Homeland Security has designated Obama's inauguration a national special security event.

"I think we all have to be concerned about a chemical, biological, radiological potential attack," Major General Richard Rowe, head of the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee, said Wednesday.

To counter the threat, officials are putting in place what is likely to be the biggest and most advanced inaugural security operation ever.

The US military will fly air patrols, man surface-to-air weapons systems, ply the Potomac River with gunboats, assess chemical and biological threats, organize large-scale medical support in the event of an attack, and provide visible and undercover on-the-ground security.

But a "perfect storm" of factors is brewing that will require security forces around Obama to be in top form for long after he takes office, according to Mark Potok, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Policy Law Center (SPLC) which tracks hate groups.

Outside elements include the vicious economic downturn which may fuel hate groups and extremists in the United States, some of whom "are enraged at the ascendancy of a black man to the White House," Potok told AFP.

"It's perfectly obvious that our first black president is faced with some dangers that other presidents would not be," he said, noting that Obama received official protection 18 months before the November 4 election, earlier than any other presidential candidate.

The SPLC says the Secret Service tasked with protecting presidents acknowledges that Obama has received more threats than any incoming chief executive in history.

They include one that came days before the election in which two white supremacists were arrested in Tennessee for plotting to kill him.

Attacks and threats have soared since his victory, ranging from physical attacks and the burning of crosses in their yards to second-graders chanting "assassinate Obama" on an Idaho schoolbus last November. Potok says Obama has been hanged several times in effigy.

A California man was reportedly arrested last week for posting a note on an Internet message board predicting "he (Obama) will have a 50 cal(iber) in the head soon."

The Secret Service does not provide specifics on the new security regime, but it says it is prepared for any contingency.

"We understand the historical significance of his election, and we pay attention to that," Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan told AFP. "We look at every single aspect of protection... any factor that you could imagine."

The president's skin color has clearly added to security concerns in the country, where there are more than 200 million legally owned firearms and about 30,000 gun deaths per year, and where four sitting presidents have been assassinated.

Obama spoke on the campaign trail with The New York Times about his life in the security cocoon, saying "I've got the best protection in the world... So stop worrying."

The protection level ramps up come Tuesday, when Obama will start being whisked to and from appointments in the most secure presidential limousine ever, a hulking Cadillac said to be tough enough to withstand a rocket-propelled grenade.

Experts say threats are amplified by an accumulation of outside factors, including the tanking US economy and the simmering immigration issue which has led to a surge in hate-group numbers.

Fred Burton, vice president of counter-terrorism at geo-political intelligence analysis firm Stratfor, cites as an example the Gaza war being waged by US ally Israel.

"A Sirhan Sirhan-type (attacker) could become the needle in the haystack" that eludes federal agents, Burton said, referring to 1968 presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy's convicted assassin. Sirhan is believed to have acted out of Arab nationalism.

"The problem is, it's one thing if you know that person and you have leads to go after," Burton said. "But you're really challenged when you're out there looking for ghosts."

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

We'll Put Further Analysis Into This For Sunday's Afronerd Radio But Ann Coulter Might Have Been Right But She Went Too Far-Coulter on the View!

Mr. Starks hipped me to the above altercation on The View earlier today and we both agreed that this will make a great topic for Sunday's upcoming radio broadcast. And don't forget that we will get a dose of wisdom from my father (dubbed the Oracle, again thanks to Mr. Starks) for the selfsame show as well. But back to the above clip-why did Coulter have to pontificate or rather feel comfortable on pontificating on Black authenticity....again? Despite this blog's conservative bent, some folks should still be ousted from the fraternity-Ms. Coulter being first on the list. I do believe, however, that she was initially treated unfairly by the hosts of this daily hen coop, as their responses were too personalized during Coulter's dissemination of the hard data. Are all single parent, female-headed homes the cause for much of this country's criminality? The quick answer is a resounding "no." But do a disproportionate amount of criminals come from such a background? You know the answer as the stats are pretty transparent.

Where Coulter loses her argument amongst a barrage of non sequiturs lies in
her belief that Black folk of bi-racial parentage (i.e Alicia Keys, President-elect Obama, Halle Berry) should not self-identify as African-American if their Black parent abandons them. Huh? We will address this further on Sunday but a tidbit to Coulter (who we will try to get for an interview)-perhaps she should take up the issue of racial abandonment with our bi-racial ancestors who were enslaved by their White fathers not too many generations ago. Just food for thought....but again, we'll use our analytical microscopes to dissect this issue. Oh, we may have to put the Notorious (and you know it's not the Hitchcock classic, folks) film on our conservative barbecue grill as well but stay tuned. And if you want more info on this latest Coulter scandal (we're sure there's more to follow), click on the link below:

Ann Coulter Blames Single Moms for Rape, Murder

Afronerd Brain Blast! Scholar-Athlete Forsakes NFL for Rhodes Scholarship!

Courtesy of the New York Times:

Rolle Is Heading to Oxford, Not the N.F.L.
By Pete Thamel

Myron Rolle with Sally Karioth, who helped him prepare for the Rhodes scholarship process. (Phil Sears for The New York Times)
The former Florida State safety Myron Rolle said in a text message Monday that he would be heading to Oxford, England, for his Rhodes scholarship instead of entering the 2009 N.F.L. draft. Rolle started for most of three seasons at Florida State and was considered a strong pro prospect.

Instead he will head to England for a one-year master’s degree in medical anthropology. He said he would enter the 2010 draft. In November, Rolle became the most prominent student-athlete since Bill Bradley in 1965 to win the Rhodes, which is considered the world’s most prestigious postgraduate academic award.

“I’m very excited to go,” Rolle wrote in a text message.

Rolle received plenty of attention from the news media when he risked missing all or part of the Seminoles’ game at Maryland on Nov. 22 to have his final interview for the scholarship in Birmingham, Ala. Rolle completed the interview, then found out he had received the scholarship. He received a police escort to a local airport and a private plane took him to the game, which he entered late in the second quarter. The Seminoles won, 37-3.

Rolle, who hails from Galloway, N.J., arrived at Florida State as the country’s No. 1 prospect and graduated with a pre-med degree in two and a half years. When his N.F.L. career ends Rolle plans on attending medical school with the hopes of opening up a clinic for the needy in the Bahamas.

Rolle said he was told he was projected to go in the top 49 picks in the draft, with the potential to go higher if he ran a strong 40 time in the pre-draft combine.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Finally It's Available On DVD...........Electric Purgatory-The Untold Story of Black Rock Musicians

Pick this up NOW! My commentary in a few....

Electric Purgatory

Check Out Comic Shoppe Radio.....Tues at 7pm eastern! More On Black Kryptonians, Battlestar, Smallville & More!

It's going to be a busy, event-filled sci-fi/fantasy/pulp laced week-so let's talk about it! Join Dburt, Max and Daryll at The Comic Shoppe (tomorrow, 7pm eastern) to discuss the following: more on the concept of a post racial Krypton (and the comic fans that think the days of Jim Crow are preferable), our expectations for Kyle XY, Smallville and Battlestar Galactica which are all airing this week, Does Heath Ledger's Golden Globe win equate to an Oscar for Batman by proxy?, more on the Spidey/Obama team-up and of course our favorite graphic novel reads from last week. You guys definitely know the drill-call in with your comments and questions at: 646-200-0104 or via email/IM-thecomicshoppe@yahoo. And in conclusion.....a hearty Imperius Rex!

The Comic Shoppe's Week in Review

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Boys Are Back! Drs. Cosby & Poussaint Appear on Meet The Press

Hell...I am a fan and supporter so there's no need for an analysis from me. Check us out this evening (7pm eastern) on Afronerd Radio to discuss the good doctors along with the other prescribed topics.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Perhaps Another Story Of Black Middle Class Angst (and Anger) That Must Be Exposed-A New Book To Explore-"The Black Girl Next Door"

While walking through the virtual halls of the New York Times book section this afternoon, I came across a pretty interesting article highlighting a new literary effort entitled, The Black Girl Next Door: A Memoir. Although the Times critique seems to poke holes in author (and Yale’s first black female professor of history...what did I say about those damn firsts!) Jennifer Baszile's failure to inform the prospective reader about her rise in the world of academia, any book that deviates from the stereotypical African-American inner city struggle is worthy of further analysis. Here's an excerpt from the Times piece:

Jennifer Baszile grew up in Palos Verdes Estates, an elite and nearly all-white suburb of Los Angeles in the 1970s and ’80s, and she and her family were sometimes called, without a hint of irony, “the real live Huxtables from ‘The Cosby Show.’ ”

They seemed to have it all figured out. Ms. Baszile’s father ran a successful metals business and drove a Mercedes; her mother was known for her volunteer work. They had a large house a block from the ocean; they were attractive and well dressed; they took expensive vacations. Ms. Baszile’s older sister was her high school’s first black homecoming queen; the author was the first black student-body president. (Today Ms. Baszile is Yale’s first black female professor of history.)

Beneath the placid surface, however, Ms. Baszile writes in her new memoir, “The Black Girl Next Door,” lay churning emotions and brewing drama — “consuming fears of poverty, failure, exclusion and rejection” — as well as a debilitating kind of rage. By moving to one of America’s most exclusive suburbs, the Basziles thought they had outrun race.

“We were sorely mistaken,” she says.

The Basziles’ experience in Palos Verdes Estates is a story for the ostensibly post-racial Obama era: the tale of an upper-middle-class African-American family striving to get ahead while sensing that it is somehow at the same time too black and not nearly black enough. It’s a story about class as much as about race, and about the elusive, sometimes almost spectral limits of segregation.

The Basziles’ arrival in Palos Verdes Estates was met with limited if nonetheless ugly resistance. Some boys scrawl a racial epithet on the family’s front walk and paint a cherub in the family’s front yard fountain black. The Basziles fight back, calling in the F.B.I. and hanging a newspaper clipping about the epithet on their mailbox with a sign that declared: “These Are Your Neighbors.”

The family eventually settles in, more or less happily, and “The Black Girl Next Door” becomes a chronicle of Ms. Baszile’s school years and a hashing out of dozens of smaller, if no less hurtful, slights and rejections: white kids wanting to fight her; white boys not dancing with her or not asking her out on dates; a general gnawing feeling that she does not belong and is not fully accepted.

When her class studies the Civil War era, she observes: “They got Rhett and Scarlett, while I got Mammy without the humor.”

Stay tuned for more on this story and in particular, Ms. Baszile, as we will try our best to contact her for an interview. In the interim, click on the link below for the complete article:

Perfect Neighbors, Perfect Strangers

Just A Few Things to Chew On In Lieu Of Sunday's 7pm (eastern) Afronerd Radio broadcast-Obama/Spidey Team-Up & A Oakland Police Shooting!

Rest assured, I think our radio devotees will be in store for yet another dose of internet warfare as we disclose our opinions regarding this week's latest newsworthy events. First up, another claim of police misconduct/malfeasance that occurred in Oakland, CA on New Years Day resulting in the death of another twenty something man of color. If you check the raw footage above (my, those cell phones make for some wonderful toys), it appears that a BART transit police officer killed the unarmed man in question. Of course, the standard riot and protests occurred and yet we can never get this reaction from folks when the countless victims of non-police intra-racial violence meet an equally tragic demise. But I digress, we'll pick this up and the subject of a rise in Black teen murder rates during Sunday's show. Here's more on the Oakland story courtesy of the AP:

Fatal police shooting sparks violent protests

In addition, check out these latest comments, courtesy of USAToday, pertaining to something as simple as the next president's likeness appearing in Spider-man:

obamathelooser wrote:
I'm repulsed by this cover and by inserting Obama in the comics. The new president didn't even do anything and he is hailed as a hero. What other presidents have been in there? Has President Bush been in there after keeping United States safe after the world trade centers destroyed by terrorist? I think not. What a joke and a sad day for a great comic book.

kjvman wrote:
Spidy's new arch-villian revealed!!!

fitzelwig wrote:
what do you expect. a liberal commie indoctrinating kids thru childrens books and comics.
everywhere you go,you see this studdering buffoon.

These are just a few of the statements left by "alleged" comic fans that just couldn't let this one historical moment and Marvel Comics' acknowledgment of the prospective presidency pass without venom (and not the Eddie Brock kind, either). Well again, stay tuned for our etymological dissection of the aforementioned stories in the next 72 hours-see you there!

Call-in number-646-915-9620

Afronerd Radio's Week in Review

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Sometimes A Trailer Can Be the Ultimate Spoiler vehicle! Check Out Japan's Watchmen trailer

A hat tip and Afronerd Comics no-prize goes to the ever vigilant Sergio of the Bloodsport blog for emailing this latest Watchmen-International clip to our attention. We still have to cross our fingers if we hope to see this film due to the current Fox vs. Warners legal battle.....but...doesn't this clip show a little too much? I had to stop watching it! I know this clip was meant for the Land of the Rising Sun but still....

Perhaps What Afronerd Has Been Espousing Since Its Inception Is Starting To Seep Through......Houston Clergy Are Tired Of Lower Tier BullS&%!

Houston (as well as other urban settings)...We have a problem!

I'm taking a break on editorializing on underclass minority crime and violence. I'll let Houston's Rev. Robert Gilmore (in the above clip) take over this time. You can click on the link below for the accompanying article, courtesy of the Houston Chronicle:

Fed up with the violence

And as a side note-the Dr. Bill Cosby vs. Dr. Michael Eric Dyson debate continues! take a look at a ALLHipHop.com message board discourse on the issue:

Of course, you know we are TEAM COSBY all the way!

Dr. Dyson took a huge dump on the life of Bill Cosby

Hey.....More Black Firsts Are Coming Through.....It's Not Just Obama-Yale Gets Their First Football Coach of Color!

In that last few years, I have become a bit weary of constant proclamations of Black firsts. Don't misunderstand me, I admire any achievement that promulgates self-determination, grit and fortitude but there is a hint of Black folks (and by proxy Blackness) possessing some sort of affliction or handicap that must be overcome, as opposed to having a benign cultural and/or physical characteristic. Are we going to still exclaim racial or gender milestones in the twenty-fourth century? Well that's it for my one to grow on proselytizing moment, take a gander at NECN.com's take on Yale's hiring of Tom Williams:

(Brian Burnell, NECN: New Haven, CT) - Yale has been playing football for 137 years. Wednesday marked a milestone in that history as the school named Tom Williams as its new head football coach.

He is the first African American to hold the position. Major college football lags well behind the rest of society in hiring blacks to top positions. African Americans head just seven, of the 119 division one programs, in a sport where half the players are black. Yale athletic director Tom Beckett says they were simply looking for the best coach.

Tom Beckett, Yale Athletic Director: “The fact that Tom Williams is African-American is spectacular but it didn't matter. We wanted the best coach and the best leader that this university could possibly find and bring to New Haven and we did that.”

Williams says he feels the same though he does not downplay the significance of his appointment.

Tom Williams, Yale Head Football Coach: “I look forward to the day when it doesn't matter what the color of the skin of a coach that's hired at anyplace is but, unfortunately, I don't think we live in that era yet. Movement is glacial. Its happening but its glacial and I am proud to wear that banner for African-American coaches.”

As he enters that very exclusive fraternity of African-American coaches at the top level of college football coach Williams points out that the Ivy League is actually ahead of the rest of college football with 2 men in that fraternity.

Tom Williams, Yale Head Football Coach: “The Ivy League's always been a trend setter on the social scene and the world scene and you can tell by the rapid pace of African-American coaches being hired that, again, they're setting the tone, they're setting the trend, they're doing the right things because that's what they've always done.”

Williams boasts excellent credentials. He was a team captain at Stanford where he was a Rhodes scholar candidate. Over 11 years he's had several coaching jobs on the college and professional level and comes to Yale from the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars. Former Yale coach Carm Cozza was part of the search team that chose Williams.

Carm Cozza, Former Yale Head Coach: “To climb up like that which isn't easy no matter what color you are, I think, really says something for him. And when he spoke with us he really had an impact on the athletes and that's what really counts. He's not going to be coaching me. He's going to coach those young men.”

One thing is certain. Coach Williams is off on the right foot.

Tom Williams, Yale Head Football Coach: “The first goal that we'll have every year is to win an Ivy League championship. That is the very first thing. And, secondly, we're going to beat Harvard.”

If We Can Have A Black President......Why Not Black Kryptonians?

Well, Stan Lee did recently intimate the "revolutionary" concept for more Black imagery in comicdom due in part to the emergence of President-elect Obama. Perhaps we are finally getting to see Lee's prediction come to fruition. I just happened to peruse Newsarama yesterday, when they highlighted a story revolving around the subtlety by which the current New Krypton storyline has infused minority representation in Superman's mythos. Here's a snippet from the Newsarama piece in question:

For those keeping their eyes open, there was a welcome return in last week’s Superman #683 in Part 9 of the “New Krypton” storyline (featuring 100,000 Kryptonians like Superman coming to earth) – non-white Kryptonians were clearly shown.

There had been some “squint and you can see them” individuals in group shots earlier in the storyline, but the Sergio Leone-style “showdown” page (extreme close-ups of faces and eyes looking at one another) showed Kryptonian African and Asian analogues. (Preview of Superman #683 here)

Big deal?

Well, kind of. Without opening the larger can of worms in regards to how, by and large, superheroes are still the domain of the idealized white man (and woman), for the first thirty or so years of its existence (shown in flashbacks and time-travel stories), Superman’s homeworld of Krypton was all-white. It was only in 1971’s Superman #234 - 33 years after his debut in 1938 - that the first non-white Kryptonian was seen. A few months later in issue #239, the idea of non-white Kryptonians was expanded upon.

“In issue #239, a two-page map showed that Kryptonians Of Color had an island all to themselves, which is pretty embarrassing,” says Mark Waid, Boom! Studios Editor-in-Chief, occasional DC Comics writer, and pretty much expert in all things Superman. “I cringe to tell you this, but the Kryptonians of Color were all on ‘Vathlo Island, Home of a Highly Advanced Black Race.’ It wasn't until the mid-70s, when more ‘World of Krypton’ back-up stories ran more regularly, that we really saw any ethnicity whatsoever on the planet.”

Isn't it peculiar (or primitive or shameful-whichever euphemism you may want to choose) that in this day and age, minorities still have to fight for diversity of imagery? Pardon me as I go into geek mode but if we can imagine humanoids on different planets-why is it a stretch to assume that there wouldn't be racial stratification on another human analogue planet. This idea was addressed more than a decade ago when Star Trek introduced Tuvok, another Black other worldly character into that franchise's mythos. What do our readers think about this issue? Is this a matter of legitimate plausibilty or political correctness? And while we await your answer, click on the link below for the Newsarama article in its entirety:

Supermen of Color: The Non-White Kryptonians

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Some folks believe we should coddle, pacify, and speak gently to the lower tier. Well here's 2 more reasons why YOU should stop avoiding reality.

Complete madness, and unfortunately, brought to you by preteens this time.

Boy shoots 8-year-old playing 'gangster'

CLEVELAND (Map, News) - Cleveland police say they have arrested an 11-year-old boy who shot and wounded his 8-year-old brother while the two were playing "gangster" Friday morning.

Police say the boys were playing with a gun they found in their grandmother's car.

The 8-year-old is being treated at MetroHealth Medical Center for a gunshot wound to his upper chest. His condition wasn't immediately available, but police Lt. Thomas Stacho says the wound does not appear to be life-threatening.

He says the 11-year-old is being charged with felonious assault and the grandmother will be charged with failure to secure a deadly weapon.

The boys' mother, Kimmie Hicks, was sentenced Nov. 17 to four years in prison for beating them with an ax last July.

4-Year-Old Shoots Baby Sitter, Cops Say

JACKSON, Ohio (Jan. 5) - Police say a 4-year-old boy in southern Ohio shot his baby sitter because the sitter accidentally stepped on his foot.
Police in Jackson, Ohio, say an angry 4-year-old Ohio boy grabbed a gun from a closet and shot his baby sitter.
Police said 18-year-old Nathan Beavers and several other teenagers were baby-sitting several young children in a mobile home in Jackson on Sunday when the shooting occurred.
Witnesses told police the 4-year-old retrieved the shotgun from a bedroom closet and shot Beavers. Police said the child was angry because Beavers accidentally stepped on his foot.
Beavers was hospitalized with minor pellet wounds to his arm and side.
Police say another teen was also injured with shotgun pellets.
Jackson County Sheriff John Shashteen said authorities are investigating the shooting. The child has not been charged.

Posted by Mr. Starks

Monday, January 05, 2009

Check Out The Comic Shoppe Radio's Latest Broadcast-Tues at 7pm...New Time! Comic (and Real) Deaths, Video Games & More

Once again, Happy Belated New Year Folks! Let's start the new year correctly with an on air discussion of sci-fi/graphic novel news. Come in and better yet, call in this Tuesday to the Comic Shoppe (at 646-200-0104, 7pm eastern) to speak with Dburt, Max and Daryll about all things pulp. More specifically, we plan to dovetail on the above IFanboy clip regarding comic book deaths (and resurrections), the real death of actor, Pat Hingle who portrayed Commissioner Gordon in the pre-Bale Batman films, new comic themed video games (Watchmen, Flash and Batman: Arkham Asylum), our expectations for next month's NY Comic-Con and of course, our favorite reads from last week. So you have your golden ticket invite-join for another geeked out, fan filled episode.

The Comic Shoppe: Comic Book Deaths plus More!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Afronerd Radio-Sunday at 7pm (eastern), And Like Rodney I Get No Respect! Afronerd vs Other Shows, Father Kills Son Instead of Child Support & More!

Like the title of this entry clearly states, I really do feel like I get no respect! But that's OK-life, death, statistics and empirical data always seem to confirm my stalwart beliefs. What exactly am I talking about? Well I paid a visit to two BlogTalk radio shows and had the most difficult time trying to convey my views. Both shows, The Black Conservative and African-American Political Pundit are polar opposites from a political perspective and yet they both manage to have a problem with yours truly-go figure.

I was respectful and maintained my composure and yet on the Black Conservative broadcast (where I would have expected a kinship) I was interrupted and scolded for not being conservative enough! The term RINO (Republican In Name Only) was bandied about.....again, go figure. In reference to Pundit's show, I was too Cosby-esque, too far to the right and perhaps not Black enough...allegedly. But I want our readers and radio supporters (and detractors) to take a crack at this issue. Stop by tomorrow evening at 7pm eastern and join in the conversation, as Mr. Starks and I bring analysis to this situation and trust me, there will be fire. Remember..the call in number is: 646-915-9620. Check out the broadcasts in question for your edification:

Black Conservative Show: The Rise of Black Supremacy In 2009


And lastly, we will attempt to touch on a few other issues that occurred this past week: A young man has just been arrested for allegedly killing his 2 year-old son to dodge child support payments; Chi-Town's Bobby Rush is demanding that Governor Blagojevich's Black Senate pick remain valid and the loss of Black Middle Class wealth, the 2008 edition. So you guys know what's up-Remain square...your life may depend on it!

Afronerd Radio: Dburt & Mr. Starks Vs. The League of Misguided Justice, The Disciples of Victimization and Other Villains

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Didn't We Cover This On The Last Afronerd Radio Broadcast? Newsweek Highlights The No More Excuses Paradigm For Black Folk!

Hat tip to Sergio of the Bloodsport blog for emailing this Newsweek piece to our attention. The article, which is entitled "A ‘No More Excuses’ Christmas?," rather succinctly encapsulates the opinions of Mr. Stark and yours truly regarding the future of the Black community (and families of color, more specifically) post Obama. There really are no excuses but let's take a look at an excerpt from the piece (written by the beauteous Maryann Reid) in question, for the sake of specificity:

"I have no more excuses" is what I've been hearing at holiday parties from people who believed the system was designed to prevent black progress. The discussion has gone from talk of race to talk about ourselves and our families. When the president is black, it means so much more than a color; it means a new national consciousness. And I wonder whether attitudes about marriage will change among black couples. As the founder of Marry Your Baby Daddy Day, an annual event where 10 unwed couples who already have children together are chosen to walk down the aisle, I've heard a lot of excuses about marriage.

I organize the all-expenses-paid wedding event, now in its fifth year, as an effort to strengthen two-parent homes in the black community, where the situation is dire. According to the National Institute of Health, almost 70 percent of black children are born out of wedlock; a 2002 study done by the Urban Institute and American University for the Department of Health and Human Services reported that "married couple households were much more likely to avoid poverty than all other types of households," and that "the apparent gains from marriage are particularly high among black households." And the journal Social Sciences Quarterly reported in 2005 that 9 percent of children in married-couple households were poor in 2000, but 54 percent of children living with never-married mothers were poor. Clearly, we're faced with an emergency that points to a deep societal problem. And while it's not a problem one president can fix, I know people can change things if they are prepared to ask for more and to do more.

For more of Ms. Reid's article, click on the link below:

A ‘No More Excuses’ Christmas?

We Really Have To Stop Ghettoizing EVERYTHING.......But It IS Funny-Fat Albert in The Hood!

Although Dr. Michael Eric Dyson often uses Bill Cosby's Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids show to rebut Cosby's critique of ghetto culture, I do not think that the viewers looked at the cartoon (in it's original form) as a minstrel performance. Fat Albert was loosely based on Dr. Cosby's childhood experiences while coming of age in Philadelphia's inner city. Sure, Albert displayed humor but there was always a moral to the story by the end of the show's credits. Of course in the 21st century, everything in African-American culture must get a lower-tier makeover. A penny for your thoughts (down from a quarter-adjusting for inflation)-what say you all?