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On the Other Hand: Dr Boyce and Madeline Talk Chrianna, Octomom and More

March 8, 2009 1 comment

Dr Boyce Watkins and Madeline Hatter discuss Chris Brown,  Octomom and other political issues in this episode of “On the Other Hand”.  Click the image to watch!

 

Black Politics: Michael Steele vs. Rush Limbaugh

March 3, 2009 5 comments

Over the weekend, Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele called Rush Limbaugh’s rhetoric "incendiary" and "ugly" and insisted that he, not Limbaugh, is in charge of the GOP.

"Rush will say what Rush has to say; we'll do what we have to do," RNC Chairman Michael Steele has said.

"Rush will say what Rush has to say; we’ll do what we have to do," RNC Chairman Michael Steele has said.

But that was two days ago. Monday, after a blistering response from the conservative talk-radio kingpin, Steele told the online journal Politico that he "was maybe a little bit inarticulate."

"There was no attempt on my part to diminish his voice or his leadership," Steele said. He added, "There are those out there who want to look at what he’s saying as incendiary and divisive and ugly. That’s what I was trying to say. It didn’t come out that way."

Steele’s original remarks came from an interview on CNN’s "D.L. Hughley Breaks the News," which aired Saturday. They came as Democrats, including White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, have tried to paint Limbaugh — who has said he wants to see the Obama administration "fail" — as the effective head of the opposition party.

Steele rejected the idea, saying, "I’m the de facto leader of the Republican Party."

"Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer. Rush Limbaugh’s whole thing is entertainment," Steele told CNN. "Yes, it is incendiary. Yes, it is ugly." iReport.com: Limbaugh and Steele show divisions in GOP

Limbaugh fired back on his radio show Monday, saying the Republican chairman appears to be supporting President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He said Steele appears "obsessed with seeing to it President Obama succeeds."

"I frankly am stunned that the chairman of the Republican National Committee endorses such an agenda," Limbaugh said. "I have to conclude that he does, because he attacks me for wanting it to fail."

Click to read.

Dr Boyce: Chris Brown and Rihanna Back Together? What?

March 2, 2009 4 comments

 

By Dr. Boyce Watkins

www.BoyceWatkins.com

Forgive me for diving into the crazy world of pop culture, but the fact that Chris Brown and Rihanna are a couple again is something on which I had to comment. I am not speaking on the issue because I love Chris Brown or Rihanna’s music (they are ok). I am commenting because young people need to have a serious conversation about relationships and domestic violence.

Here’s the deal: I don’t know exactly what Chris Brown did and did not do. From the picture I saw and police reports, it appears that he may have done some serious damage to Rihanna’s face. Again, I am not convicting Chris Brown and I am not pretending to know if he is a bad human being. In fact, Chris Brown could very easily be a good man who did a very bad thing. But if he did do this damage to Rihanna, then he should pay a price for his actions.

But it appears that Chris won’t be paying a price, since Rihanna does not seem to be interested in pressing charges. Rihanna’s actions are nothing new: Every day, across America, women are beaten to a pulp by their boyfriends, and then choose to excuse their inexcusable behavior. The prosecutor prepares a solid case that will send the guy packing for years, and the case falls through because the woman chooses not to press charges. So, as extraordinary as Rihanna might be as a performer, her behavior is actually quite ordinary.

Chris Brown, if he was the cause of the facial damage shown on pictures released to the media, seriously needs counseling. He needs to learn that growing up watching your father beat your mother (as Chris admitted on the Tyra Banks show) may establish a destructive social norm, thus making you believe that violence is appropriate in male/female relationships. He also needs to learn about the serious consequences for brothers who choose to beat up on their partners. Even if Rihanna is crazy, provocative or evil, you have no business laying your hands on a woman. Not only is violence wrong, but it will land you in a criminal justice system that destroys the lives of young black men every day. I understand young people making mistakes (I’ve made far too many to count), but you must learn from those mistakes, and we are not doing young people any favors by pretending that this didn’t happen.

Rihanna needs her own counselor. She needs one that will give her and other young women the self-esteem to realize that there are few genuine excuses for a man to put his hands on you. She needs to have someone who truly understands where all this is going, to make her realize that no matter how cute he is, how popular, how rich, or how charming, a man like this can eventually kill you. You don’t know domestic violence until you’ve seen DEATH. It starts innocently enough, and eventually escalates to the point that someone is in the morgue. Any self-respecting adult should, in my humble opinion, refuse to sit idly to the side and allow your teenager to ponder reasons that Chris Brown should have hit Rihanna. No, he should not have done this, and I encourage Chris to make sure he sends the same message.

Old people can be obnoxious. We pee on the parades of young love by writing articles like the one I am writing right now. I hate doing this, but I have my reasons. My friend, a professor in Florida, died at the hands of her husband, who then killed himself and left her two young children without parents. This happens every day, and most of these cases start out like the situation between Chris and Rihanna. In fact, your daughter, friend, sister or cousin may have that lovable boyfriend who only shows peeks and hints of violent behavior, but just enough that your gut is telling you something isn’t quite right. Listen to your instincts, for they’re trying to tell you something. Love should not end with anybody getting punched. Domestic violence is not a silent killer…..it usually warns you all along the way. Whether you choose to listen is up to you.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Finance Professor at Syracuse University and author of “What if George Bush were a Black Man?” For more information, please visit www.BoyceWatkins.com.

10 Things You Should Consider about the State of the Black Union

March 1, 2009 5 comments

By Dr. Boyce Watkins

www.BoyceWatkins.com

I love Tavis smiley and I love the State of the Black Union. I must also admit that my mouth (which my mother used to say will either “make me great or get me killed”) has probably burned any bridge I’ve had with Tavis, thus implying that you will likely never see me on a panel at The State of the Black Union conference. I am ok with that, since I don’t like traveling when I don’t have to, and I don’t like the idea of having to kiss pinky rings of old school leadership in order to fit in (once you accept someone’s support, you can become beholden to them, reducing your ability to be honest). Beyond that, I have a nasty habit of telling the truth, which is neither profitable nor popular. So, the Your Black World Coalition is going to be my venue of choice when it comes to matters of Black Public Policy. Our corporate sponsors are clean, which means that we have a green light to do what’s right without worrying about offending Exxon Mobile, Walmart, The Republican Party, or McDonald’s. Again, I say this with all love and respect for Tavis Smiley.

As a Finance Professor who has spent the last 20 years studying money, I want us to understand the nature of how financial incentives can play a role in the nature of a forum such as The State of the Black Union. This is especially true in the midst of a financial crisis, during which our financial challenges may lead us to make decisions that are not always in the best interests of our constituents. I want to make it clear that my commentary on the State of the Black Union in the past has not been intended to be destructively critical in any way, as I feel that the forum is an important and necessary component of the Black community. But I am going to propose some quick thoughts about the State of the Black Union that should be considered for the future. If this venue is to be considered an important component and gathering of some segments of Black leadership, it is critical that we understand how to properly manage the temptation by some to use the venue as a source of power.

1) Corporate sponsors should be properly vetted: If the State of the Black Union is to be presented as the pseudo-diplomatic forum that Tavis Smiley wants us to perceive it to be, then just any old sponsor simply won’t do. No banks accused of predatory lending using the venue to wash away their sins with a donation to the Tavis Smiley Bank account. No firms trying to sell liquor, tobacco or other products. No companies which appear to get rich from exploiting the poor. All potential corporate sponsors should be evaluated by an unbiased committee and careful consideration should be given to the nature of the donor, where the money is going and other ways that the sponsor must prove their interest in serving the community. President Obama would never allow his State of the Union address to be sponsored by enemies of his country, but that is what we are doing if we allow any dirty corporation to walk through the door to give us money for our forums.

2) Consider the political agendas: I went to a great conference a couple of years ago in Atlanta, and wondered why there were so many videos and speeches being shared that had nothing but good things to say about the Bush Administration. It didn’t take me long to figure out why – The Bush Administration was a major donor to the conference, and in exchange for their money, they wanted the organizers to persuade Black folks to become Republicans and to love George Bush. I don’t think it worked. The lesson to be learned is that taking care of the gatekeepers can mean that those behind the gate are being manipulated. Don’t let another man sell your brain. If your brain gets sold, you should get the money.

3) Be careful with the Obama-Haterology: It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that Tavis Smiley was a clear “homie” to Hillary Clinton. This close relationship, as well as some hope that he might be her Press Secretary, led to some “interesting” words being fired across the aisle last year as Barack Obama chose not to attend the conference. This forum is designed for the people and should not be used to reflect the personal agendas of a few powerful men. One must draw the line between carefully considered critiques on The White House vs. politicized attacks in response to being “dissed”. I too have critiqued our president, but I have always wanted him to succeed.

4) Kill the self-righteousness: There is no boss of the Black community. We are not children who need to be told what’s best for us. Being of a strong religious background, Tavis Smiley can sometimes become more of a preacher than a leader. There is this idea that he and a few others know the solutions and the rest of us don’t have a damn clue. Please get over your selves….we’re all smart people. This does not, for one second, imply that strategic and intelligent guidance cannot be meaningful. But this guidance must be balanced with mutual respect for the people you are serving.

5) Kill the “flossing”: Sometimes, when people get on their respective soap boxes, the forum can become a contest of who can make the most earth-shattering, slap-ya-leg, koolaid-coming-out-of-your-nose, “hoo-hoo-she-sure-is-funny!” moment. Due to the presence of media, which many people on the panel are seeking by attending this forum, we can be pressured to entertain more than enlighten. While entertainment is excellent, the focus must be on commentary which educates the public. I encourage the audience to watch the forum and listen to the content and substance of the rhetoric, and not be swayed by distractive inflections, body language or vocal tones. Some of us are very good at saying a lot and saying nothing, all at the same time.

6) FYI – Here is the source of Smiley’s power (for which I congratulate him): He gets C-span to show up and he has access to major White corporations. Were there no media and/or no corporate sponsorship, The State of the Black Union forum would cease to exist. This is not to disrespect the nature of the platform, but to help those who don’t understand business and media to see why so many of our leaders flock to the forum and why many Black leaders gladly appear on Fox News. Since they don’t have any other outlets for their work, this is one of the few provided. This gives a great deal of power to the owner of the platform, sort of like having the only grocery store or hospital in town. When Black folks get more ownership of media (even online media), the need to succumb to the power of others will cease to exist.

7) This is not the only forum in Black America: Kevin Powell, a man who will eventually be elected to Congress, holds Black male empowerment forums in New York City. The “Your Black World Coalition” has done amazing work in the past. “Color of Change” engages in meaningful, effective protest that is not sponsored by any of the corporations known for the exploitation of African Americans. “Dangerous Negro” is a group of young, intelligent brothers who are changing campuses across the world. Tavis Smiley’s insinuation that The State of the Black Union forum is the place you must be if you truly care about Black people is simply wrong. You can be in a lot of places and still care about Black people, which is why there are a lot of Black Bloggers, Black leaders and Black business people who are choosing not to attend The State of the Black Union.

8) The Money Makes a difference: I am a Finance Professor, which makes me the last person to criticize anyone for showing up to collect the cash flow. But the truth is that money is POWER. Money determines what we do and who we do it with. So, the idea that (what some consider to be) one of the most critical forums in the Black community is driven by corporate sponsorship granted by our historical oppressors is a very serious and problematic contradiction. I encourage us to find ways to sponsor other forums without sponsorship from mainstream corporate America so that we can speak real truth to power.

9) The Covenant with Black America: This is a great book. But it is still just a book. It is a book written to make a profit. When you see the book being advertised to you, there is a business model designed to sell the book. It is not the most important book in Black history, it is not necessarily a “must-read” for you and your kids. It’s just a book. Remember that. If the advertisers convince you that it is a “must-read”, then they’ve achieved their corporate objectives.

10) We need Tavis Smiley: Tavis, like most of us, has to make a living. He has done an amazing job with his work and platforms, and like the rest of us, he is not perfect. If you are compelled by his work, you should support him and support The State of the Black Union, I know I will. Also, just because Tavis seemed to have personal reasons for his attacks on Barack Obama, that doesn’t mean that his critiques were invalid. Yes, we have a Black President, but we need Black leaders. The greatest Black leader in the world is the one you see in the mirror. Get out there and do your thing.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Finance Professor and author of “What if George Bush were a Black Man?” For more information, please visit www.BoyceWatkins.com.

What Does Your Man’s Body Look Like?

February 24, 2009 Leave a comment

Nicole Spence

Ladies how important is it for your man or boo to be in shape, body right?

I’m wondering because I’m always obsessing about my body, more importantly my lack of muscle tone. Lol, seriously the people that know me, know me as the “Food Nazi”. Don’t even think about eating greasy fatty foods around me, I’ll go bizerick.
Oddly enough lately the “chubbsters” have been hollering. I think its because we’re making it too easy for them to feel sexy, “Oh Big Daddy”, well I’m just not into it.

So I’m pretty open about my body, its beauty and flaws. I dated this guy a while back, and he had a nice athletic build. I actually loved his body.

Anyway he knew that I’m all about fitness and eating right, even though sometimes I go weeks without squatting shit and eating emotionally. I’m Human! I just use my Joe’s jeans to keep me in check, when those bad boys don’t fit; it’s time to quit! {Like right now!}

So one day my little porn star surprised me with a gift. He bought me a P90X! Have your heard of it? It’s a set of intense workout DVDs; there are 13 DVD’s in the set that you have to commit to for 90 days! It’s supposed to really “transform” your body. I didn’t know what to make of this! Was this motherfucker calling me Fat?? I mean P90X ain’t no cheap shit, its expensive. So that really got me thinking, “He thinks I really have a problem?”OMG!! And I’m naked all time and he gives me P90X! Confused and convinced that we would have sex no more, I turned to my girls, who all assured that he probably got it for me because he knows how crazy I am are about my body! Of course we were still together after that, he thought I would have loved the gift. But I didn’t.

P90X is no joke, you are literally co-signing for this man, Tony Horton, to come up into your house and Kick Your Ass! No thanks! Please note that P90x is still collecting dust on top of my fridge, no less! Lol

This story has sparked my mission {our mission join me} of no longer rebounding. I’ll be 30 and I’m going to be super tight, with a fluffy round bottom of course!

Is this just some women shit? Ladies are you satisfied with the way your man looks, when he strips for you? Or is he leaving his tee shirt on to cover his double D’s or bird chest? Or is he soo hippy and doesn’t want you to see his girlie bottom so he sometimes leaves his boxers on, like we’re in high school sneaking a phuck! Lol.
As women I think we are so much more forgiving and tend to think his belly is cute, and adds character. Meanwhile, he isn’t smiling at those dimples on your ass, or that little muffin top you’ve been rocking.

So I’m saying today that I don’t like “Chubby”, I’m putting in the work and so should he! Women should be nice and soft to touch and men need to be hard and strong! Get it!

*** P.S. I’ve decided to get my Pilates Certification! So stay tuned to my fit tricks!

Posted by Nicole Spence at 9:23 AM 6 comments

Domestic Violence and Family Impact

February 24, 2009 9 comments

By Hugh V. Collins and Syreeta L. McNeal, CPA, JD

I know everyone is talking about the alleged domestic assault and battery that occurred between Chris Brown and Rihanna during the weekend of February 7 – 8, 2009. Recently, MTV, US Weekly and People magazine did specials or cover stories regarding the incident. Gossip organizations like Mediatakeout.com and TMZ.com all had their spin on what transpired. Many people are expressing outrage and taking sides. Some people have stated that Rihanna must have done something and deserved to get beat by Chris Brown while others believe that Chris Brown had no right whatsoever to lay a hand on Rihanna regardless of the argument between them. Well, domestic abuse is more common and more people in the U.S. and in the world have witnessed some form of domestic abuse in their lives or among their families. According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics report in 2005, one in 320 households were affected by intimate partner violence. Also, they report that female victims are more likely to be victimized by intimates than male victims.

Click to read.

Chris Brown on Saturday Night Live?

February 23, 2009 1 comment

Kenan Thompson

Saturday Night Live cast member Kenan Thompson got into some trouble by stating that his show would be open to having Chris Brown as their special guest.

According to Kenan, "It’s not up to me, but I’m sure we would if he had another hit single. We don’t care about scandal. We just care about what brings us ratings!"

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