by Yvette Carnell
Einstein famously said that if you can’t explain something simply, then you don’t understand it. And right now, black folks are having a hard time explaining to me why Herman Cain is being caricatured as The Boondocks’ Uncle Ruckus whilst Obama is being heralded as the incarnation of MLK.
Every choice demonstrates a person’s values, and politicians are no exception to that. So it is perfectly reasonable for African Americans to question Cain’s bona fides using his proposed policies and past remarks as a measure. It is, by extension, also reasonable for African Americans to reach the conclusion that Cain’s opposition to social justice (“if you’re not rich, blame yourself”) and his refusal to acknowledge racism as a factor in American life (“I don’t believe racism today holds anybody back in a big way”) shoot stray of the African American ideal.
But what of Obama’s incongruences?
Being black in America translates in manifold ways, but for Cain and Obama, the import of American blackness translates similarly. Cain queues white adoration when he, appropriately I think, evokes the story of how his father worked three jobs until he could afford to work two, and two until he could afford to work one. But then Cain errs by misjudging his father’s experience as a demonstration of American colorblindness rather than calling it what it really was; an affirmation that hard work is a formidable tool for combatting institutionalized racism. Read more…
by Dr. Julianne Malveaux, President – Bennett College for Women
The Occupy Wall Street movement is now one month old. The protests have spilled over from their initial Wall Street site to Washington, DC, Miami, and, according to the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) website, around 1500 cities around the globe. They’ve even come here to Greensboro, North Carolina, a day before President Obama is scheduled to visit North Carolina, marching outside a Bank of America building against economic inequality and financial fraud. Some of the signs, screened through the headlines, are poignant, thoughtful, and also humorous. And the outrage of those who are angry about our economic situation is an energy that needs to be harnessed.
If you aren’t angry at our nation’s banks, all you have to do is read Ron Susskind’s latest book, Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President (Harper, 2011), which details the ways that Larry Summers and Tim Geitner essentially defied President Obama and did bank bailouts their way. As I read it, I wanted to shake the smug white men for their clear disrespect of our nation’s elected president, but in truth, I also wanted to shake the president for not calling these men on their nonsense. Here’s the bottom line, if it needs to be regurgitated. Banks got bailed out, we got ripped off. Banks were given money to lend and they chose not to lend it. Banks created risky financial instruments -derivatives – and when they couldn’t perform, they whined and leaned on an excuse that they were “too big to fail”. Now they are even bigger, and our government is all the more invested in their nonsense. And the billions that went to bailing banks out may have created jobs.
There is a raging prostate cancer crisis in Black America where men are diagnosed with the disease at a rate 60% higher than all other men and die at a rate 140% higher. This is the largest racial disparity for any type of major cancer in the United States. Even with these unbelievably gloomy statistics progress has been made over the past 20 years as the overall prostate cancer death rate for Black men and for all men has declined by approximately 40%. Medical experts and the data collected over this period attribute this decline to an earlier detection and better treatment of the disease. The only test that is available today for early detection of prostate cancer is the PSA test.
The U. S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued this draft recommendation on October 7, 2011: “The USPSTF recommends against prostate-specific antigen (PSA) – based screening for prostate cancer. This is a grade D recommendation. This recommendation applies to men in the U.S. population who do not have symptoms that are highly suspicious for prostate cancer, regardless of age, race, or family history.”
If this recommendation is allowed to drive public health policy then the methods for detecting prostate cancer will be returned to those used prior to the PSA test. There is a history, and data, to know exactly what the outcomes will be; a majority of men will be diagnosed with metastatic incurable disease resulting in a higher death rate and increased suffering. The harshest impact will be on Black men and other men at high risk for the disease. However, the USPSTF is basing its recommendation primarily on data that does not include a statistically significant number of Black men.
Control Your Anger!! – Daily Word October 17, 2011
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