The question asked at the National Action Network’s convention panel on immigration was what was the effect of immigration reform on African-Americans. Very straight forward. But as reported on Here and Now, the show that ABC puts on in the time slot where cultural educator Gil Noble reigned with Like it Is, the question was never answered.
Instead what followed was an unending stream of comments from politicians and immigration experts, all giving the Democratic talking points of how Black people have always been for freedom and justice for all. They spoke of the heartbreak and pain of illegal immigrants threatened to be separated from family and new roots, but the impact of immigration reform on African-Americans was never addressed. Every other ethnic group has a chance to, and is expected to by the way, stand up and voice their concerns about how their group should receive special treatment as immigration reform is being considered. But when African-Americans ask the question on what ostensibly is a black show, then the answer is let’s talk about freedom instead. That’s the Democratic message and everyone on the segments aired recited it like puppets.
Perhaps in sessions not shown there were discussions of displaced workers, overburdened public health facilities and how resources can be apportioned to respond to the effects of immigration on a population already at risk.
You can support immigration reform and still ask the question, as so many other ethnic groups have, “What’s in it for me?” Are there going to be dollars attached to cover the increased use of city hospitals where many African-Americans get their health care? What about extra dollars into the education system to help defray the cost of educating our foreign-born brothers and sisters and provide better education outcomes for all of the students?
Do the reform, but include addressing African-American concerns in that “comprehensive” immigration bill.
Apple Computer: An Extreme Tax Dodger
We know paying taxes is not the strong suit of major American corporations but recent reports say that Apple Computer has set new standards for avoiding paying anything approaching a fair share. By having a corporation in Ireland, but handling the management from the U. S., they are able to exploit loopholes in both countries to avoid paying taxes all together.
Tens of billions of dollars in taxes not paid means that it is the masses of people who have to pay for the infrastructure, talent pool and country that made Apple possible. Here’s another ripe opportunity for “comprehensive” reform.
Sexual Assaults in the Military
As reported in the New York Times a 2011 study by the Pew Research Center has “found that of the 167,000 enlisted women in the military, 31 percent are Black, twice their percentage in the civilian female population”. Which means that of the 26,000 incidents of sexual assault and unwanted sexual contact reported, at least 8,060 were black, and if history and psychology are any guide, the number is probably higher than that.
New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has introduced legislation that is bipartisan and bicameral (supported both in House and Senate) and would for the first time remove the decision as to whether to take a case to trial or general court-martial completely out of the chain of command and give that discretion to experienced trial counsel with prosecutorial experience. We hope that passes and once justice gets meted out, watch how fast their behavior stops.
Bullying: Not Just a Young Person Problem
There is a lot of justifiable concern regarding the increase in bullying behavior in the schools and there is a great deal of work being done in the schools and in homes to address the situation. But part of the problem may be the culture of bullying running through the society and soaking into the children. The behavior of the United States overseas is nothing if not bullying, going wherever it wants and doing whatever it wants, including killing American citizens without due process. And here in the States the administration has been caught spying on journalists and political activists and has a penchant for severely punishing whistleblowers risking their careers to expose information an informed citizenry must have.
The financial industry is another bully. They use the muscle of their money to tell legislators what to write and they try to beat up anyone who doesn’t go along, their apoplectic response to no-nonsense Senator Elizabeth Warren being a case in point. The senator is like the schoolyard hero who confronts the bully and we need to elect more like her. If we can rein in all of that bullying, we’d have the resources necessary to solve a lot of the problems in the schools.
Medgar Evers College
The turmoil at Medgar Evers College regarding the presidential selection process may be justified, but it may also be unnecessary. Our guess is that none of the names being floated about will be among the finalists visiting the school the first week in June and it may not be a bad idea to see who they are, look at their backgrounds and hear them speak, before objecting to them.
And with local politicians waiting until the very last minute to unite in opposition to the process, they make it difficult to take them seriously.
For all that is actually known, the search committee may have found surprisingly good candidates who are able to address the community concerns with the direction of the college.
The alternative is to fight over finding an interim person of substance and position, who’s willing to stop whatever they’re doing for a year to take over a troubled institution, while another fight is joined on who will be on a new committee that will look for a new president to battle over. Meanwhile, the students are left to deal with uncertainty and drama instead of learning the skills to deal with a competitive and dangerous future. And if it turns out that the search committee has made poor choices to present to the community, then we can take to the ramparts.