Never before in modern history have we had a president-elect so ill-informed, ill-tempered, irrational and ill-equipped to deal with the major issues that face this country. The counterintuitive election of Donald Trump has left a lot of political pundits from both parties throwing up their hands, saying, “All we can do is hope for the best.” But as Mark Wahlberg’s character in Deepwater Horizon warns the British Petroleum executives ignoring the oil platform’s numerous problems right before it bursts into flames: “Hope is not a strategy.” And based on the political appointments and nominations Trump has recently made, people of color have little reason to be hopeful. That’s why it’s especially important over the next four years that black celebrities step up and take stances to give voice to those in the black community who will not be heard by the incoming administration. Given that the country is in the throes of a civil rights backlash that threatens to undo the progress we’ve fought so hard to attain, we have to be fearless and relentless in speaking up at every opportunity.
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By Elliot Booker — 2 years ago
JOHN EDWARD BRUCE 1856 – 1924
Was a Historian, Journalist, Pan-African Nationalist and the Co-Founder of the Negro Society Of Historical Research.
John Edward Bruce was born into slavery in Piscataway, Maryland in 1856. When Bruce was three years old his father was sold away to Georgia prompting young Bruce and his mother to escape to Washington, D.C. in fear of losing each other. Bruce and his mother Martha resided with Martha’s cousin Busie Patterson who was a body servant to Missouri senator Thomas Hart Benton. This relationship with a powerful white congressman provided the Bruce family with opportunities and access to jobs in white upper-class communities. Martha Bruce, for example, obtained a job in Connecticut working closely with a white family. While in Connecticut, John Edward Bruce enrolled in an integrated school and received his first formal education. Traveling back to Washington, he received a private education and attended Howard University.
Busie Patterson’s connection with the senator was helpful in launching John Bruce’s career in journalism. At age 18 Bruce was an assistant in the office of the New York Times. Starting in 1879 he founded a number of newspapers in the Washington, D.C. area including The Argus Weekly (1879), The Sunday Item (1880), and The Republican (1882) While creating his own papers Bruce was the editor and business manager for the Commonwealth, a major newspaper in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1884 when Bruce was 28 years old he started using the name “Bruce Grit” for his columns. His reputation as an uncompromising opponent of racial discrimination and proponent of African American advancement would grow over the next two decades. In 1910 Bruce was the American correspondent for the African Times and the Orient Review in London. Continuing to use the name “Bruce Grit” he became a regular columnist for several newspapers in the United States, the Caribbean Islands, Europe, and Africa.
Bruce also became prominent on the lecture circuit, giving speeches that addressed lynching, the condition of southern blacks, and the weak American political system that failed to protect the rights of its black citizens. In 1890 he joined activist T. Thomas Fortune’s Afro-American League, the first organized black civil rights group in the nation. He became the organization’s new president in 1898 when it reformed as the Afro-American Council.
In 1911, while living in Yonkers, New York, John Edward Bruce started the Negro Society for Historical Research. His passion for African history led him eventually in 1919 to Marcus Garvey and his Pan-Africa nationalist ideas. Bruce became a father figure to Marcus Garvey when he joined the Universal Negro Improvement Association at the age of 64. He was a featured writer for the organization’s newspapers the Negro World and the Daily Negro Times. Although his health was fading, Bruce continued to work. He worked for the Port Authority of New York until 1922 when he retired. Two years later John Edward Bruce died in New York City.
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By Elliot Booker — 1 year ago
And that underpins some toxic beliefs
NBC reported recently that at a meeting last year with the Congressional Black Caucus a member told President Donald Trump that his planned welfare cuts would hurt her constituents, “not all of whom were black”. Mr Trump is reported to have replied: “Really? Then what are they?” If the president had not realised that most welfare recipients are white, he is not alone. And the media are partly to blame, for black Americans are overwhelmingly over-represented in media portrayals of poverty.
The poverty rate amongst black Americans, at 22%, is higher than the American average of 13%. But black people make up only 9m of the 41m poor Americans. The Kaiser Family Foundation, a non-profit focused on health care, found that in only five states for which it had data and the District of Columbia, were there more black poor people than white. Black Americans are more likely to be recipients of means-tested welfare programmes like Medicaid or Housing Assistance – at 41% participation in one or more programmes in 2012 that is about twice the national average. That suggests black people make up about 26% of all recipients.
Media news suggests that the percentage is very much higher. Travis Dixon at the University of Illinois analyzed a random sample of television, print and online news stories over 2015 and 2016 and found that 59% of the poor people discussed or depicted in them were black. White families, by contrast, accounted for only 17% of poor people shown, though they constitute 66% of the poor population. It is possible that, with a new emphasis on the frustrations of poor white Americans, that Mr Trump tapped into in 2016, media portrayals will begin to change; it is too soon to know.
The bias isn’t limited to right-leaning news sources. In the news coverage Mr Dixon looked at, CNN depicted seven poor families—all seven of them were black. And all five of the poor families depicted in Dixon’s sample of New York Times coverage were black.
Unsurprisingly, this tendency, which has a long history, has informed the way Americans think about race and poverty. Martin Gilens, a politics professor at Yale, found that in a survey in 1994, 55% of Americans thought that all poor Americas were black and only 24% thought the reverse.
And this, in turn, has set some Americans against welfare spending. Katherine Krimmel and Kelly Rader, political scientists, have found that individuals who are more likely to benefit from government spending tend to support it. Richer people in poorer states are notably keen to cut domestic spending. But they found that racial resentment has an even greater influence on attitudes to government spending. They measured resentment via two questions about whether blacks should overcome prejudice “without any special favours” and whether “generations of slavery and discrimination have created conditions that make it difficult for blacks to work their way out of the lower class.” The impact of resentment on attitudes towards spending was four times that of income differences and larger than measures of self-interest including being unemployed. If welfare is seen as overwhelmingly benefiting blacks it is little surprise that whites displaying racial resentment might oppose it.
The Sentencing Project, an advocacy group for criminal justice reform, has found a similar pattern regarding violent crime. Crimes perpetrated by African Americans were disproportionately likely to be covered on television –especially if they involved a white victim. While only 10% of victims in crime reports were whites who had been victimized by blacks, these crimes made up 42% of cases televised by local news. Popular perceptions of crime reflect the coverage bias: a survey from 2002 found that respondents estimated 40% of people who committed violent crimes were black; surveys showed the proportion to be 29%. And white Americans who more strongly associated crime with black Americans were more likely to support punitive criminal justice policies including the death sentence and three strikes laws.
A media focus on black poverty may be well-intentioned. It probably has its roots in the pre-Civil Rights era when the plight of poor black Americans was too often neglected. But it has helped underpin a toxic set of beliefs about poverty and race. It would be better, of course, if people did not decide their support for programmes based on the skin color of beneficiaries. But until that is the case a more accurate understanding of the diversity of welfare recipients would help.Post Views: 84
By Elliot Booker — 3 years agoBy Editorial_Staff –
AFRICANGLOBE – Haiti will officially become a member of the African Union at the next African Union (AU) Summit which will take place in Lilongue, Malawi this June. Although this decision is novel for a diaspora country, Haiti undeniably has some shared links with Africa.
Haiti Is The First ‘Out Of Africa’ Country To Join The African Union, But Is It Really?
Haiti is famous throughout the African Diaspora for a number of reasons other than the fact that it is a predominantly Black country. The first that calls out to most African states is its significant population of African descendants. In 1804 it became the first Black Republic, when a group of Africans defeated the French to earn the nation’s freedom. An act which made the Island special to Africans and African countries all over the world. Haiti has made recognizable diplomatic efforts to the advent of free African States. It was the first Black Republic that carried high the flame of liberation and freedom for Black people. Haiti also greatly criticized the invasion of Ethiopia by Musolini’s Italy, stood against the war in Algeria, held its support for the independence of Libya and impacted on many African countries.
In January 2010, when Haiti was hit with a devastating earth quake, Haiti was shown love and support by several African countries. Senegal offered Haitians free land and Haitian students a place at its university. African countries pledged more than $8 million USD of which Republic of Congo pledged $2.5 million to aid the devastated country. At the AU Summit in 2010, Chairperson Jean Ping asked Haitians to repatriate to Africa. “We have an attachment and link to that country. The first Black Republic…that carried high the flame of liberation and freedom for Black people and has paid a heavy price in so doing,” said Jean Ping.
Also it is no news that Haitian meals are usually a fusion of Caribbean and African delicacies. It is not strange to find a bit of Okra (flowering plant in the mallow family used for soups and other dishes), Tard root and other African delicacies in their meals. Kompa, the country’s national music style can be linked to African music with its reliance on the African drums beat.
What This Could Mean For Haiti
Haiti is a country that depends on foreign aid and has been identified as one of the poorest countries in the world but it seems that is about to change. Becoming a full member of the African Union will avail the country several other options that will help boost its economy. They will be privy to the debt cancellation scheme, and likely benefit from the China- AU investments as Haiti currently attracts very little direct investments. It will also facilitate free trade between Haiti and other members of the African Union.
The country has also been called out as one of the poorest countries in the Americas, with high rates of unemployment, dependence on foreign aid—the list goes on. The devastating earth quake that hit the country about six years ago leaving several dead and displaced, only aggravated the situation as this further crippled an already collapsing economy. However they have since been on a long road to recovery and their soon to be affirmed membership with the African Union is a step closer.Post Views: 51