I took a look at an ABC News picture of President Barack Obama sitting in a Situation Room with lead advisers watching the assassination of Obama bin Laden. Everyone had a tense look on their face, as 10 years of hard work suddenly came down to the wire. I couldn’t help but notice, as I scanned all the faces across the room, that there were only two women present (Hillary Clinton and another woman in the back), and one bi-racial black man (President Obama). Every other person in the room was a white male.
What startles me the most is that millions of other Americans can look at this picture and see absolutely nothing wrong with it. The “white guy’s club” has always been the status quo in leadership positions.
Reported in the SU Student Voice.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson and former Rep. Cynthia McKinney have now thrust themselves into the debate over Boyce Watkins’ tenure appeal, The Student Voice has learned.
Three days after the Rev. Al Sharpton sent Syracuse University Chancellor Nancy Cantor a letter in support of Whitman professor Boyce Watkins’ pending tenure appeal case, Jackson told Watkins that he wanted to get involved. Watkins sent SV writer Naresh Vissa a text message early this morning saying Jackson wants to speak with Cantor as soon as possible.
Watkins and Cantor are scheduled to meet today to discuss Watkins’ future at the university after he was denied tenure, first reported in The Student Voice.
And McKinney, the Green Party presidential candidate in 2008, wrote what Watkins called “the most astonishing letter in support of my tenure case” to SU administration yesterday. Prominent African-American syndicated columnist Julianne Malveaux has also voiced her support for Watkins.
Heather Ellis is facing 15-years in prison for allegedly cutting line at a Wal-Mart store in Missouri.
Heather Ellis is in trouble. The 24-year old preacher’s daughter has spent most of her life doing the right things: Going to college, getting ready for medical school and staying out of trouble. What Heather didn’t realize is that even when you do the right things, your margin of error as a person of color in America is virtually non-existent.
When I wrote my book, “What if George Bush were a Black Man?” the key point was that America’s justice system has a difficult time understanding that punishments must match the magnitude of the crime that has allegedly been committed. The actions that a “frat boy” can get away with 20 times during college can send an African American to prison for the next 20-years. America is a country that has, without question, consistently over-charged, over-searched, over-incarcerated and over-sentenced African Americans for the past 400 years of its existence.
Given its ugly past, the criminal justice system has very little credibility, and even police reports are subject to being questioned – especially in a town like Kennett, MO. My father’s a cop, so I know how all this works. Even when black men were lynched 100 years ago, there were always “witnesses” and police reports to say that he was a bad person. Fortunately, lynching does not occur anymore (although a black boy – Walter Currie Jr. – was burned alive by his white classmate in the same area as Heather), but the noose has been replaced with the long prison sentence as the most typical and most devastating form of punishment. As a result, black men and women are filling up America’s penitentiaries at an alarming rate, and it is destroying the core of the black family.