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Washington D.C. Afro-American Newspaper, March 5, 2011

Washington D.C. Afro-American Newspaper, March 5, 2011

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Washington D.C. Afro-American Newspaper, March 5, 2011
Washington D.C. Afro-American Newspaper, March 5, 2011

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Volume 119  No. 30www.afro.com$1.00
Copyright © 2011 by the Afro-American Company
Your History  Your Community  Your News
47105 21847
2 2
MARCH 5, 2011 - MARCH 11, 2011
Hear the
on The DailyDrum, Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Join the
onTwitter and Facebook 
Carmelo’sTrade ReignitesKnicks-HeatRivalry
Black-ownedStationary Co.Offers DiverseOptionsB2
Assault on Unions isan Attack on BasicCivil Rights               A7
First Lady’sVacationMeal SparksControversy
By Valencia Mohammed
Special to the AFRO
Another controversy befell Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray recently when oneof his top aides was abruptly terminated just one day after he was publicly praised for hisperformance.The latest turmoil follows numerous stories of alleged scal mismanagement, unjustiedhigh salaries for top aides and cronyism by the mayor and D.C. Council Chairman KwameBrown.Sulaimon Brown, 40, was a special assistant to the mayor in the Department of HealthFinances, and claimed he was relieved of his duties due to political pressures by CouncilmanDavid Catania (Ind.-At-Large) and was the subject of a smear campaign.“You’re not a good t,” Brown said he was told by Wayne Turnage, director of thedepartment.“Wayne Turnage told me that Catania told him if he didn’t let me go he would not conrm
Fired Aide to D.C. MayorGray Claims Setup
By Sirdonea Davis
Special to the AFRO
With summer quickly approaching, many eagerteens began their search for employment with theOne City Summer Youth Employment Program(SYEP), which was launched on Feb. 25. Ashundreds of the District’s youth and parents owedinside the Department of Employment Services(DOES) building to attend the Midnight Madnesskick-off event, bright smiles and optimism dawnedon many faces.SYEP was established to prepare and provideessential work experience for 12,000 District youth,ages 14 to 21. Midnight Madness, the rst of severalevents held throughout the city, was created to assistwith the application process, mainly providingcomputers for those without Internet access as wellas DOES staff to assist. “We didn’t want the lackof Internet access to keep people from applyingto the program. We kept it open until midnightas a convenience to working parents,” agencyspokeswoman Dy Brown said.Many teens came prepared with the requireddocumentation, including a Social Security card,proof of residency and valid e-mail address. “Thechildren seem to be getting smarter this year.Many have already brought some of their requiredpaperwork,” Brown said.The event was organized to ensure a smoothand quick transaction, having the applicants in-and-out in as little as 20 minutes. The program opened3:15 p.m. Feb. 25 and by 6 p.m. over 4,500 hadalready applied, with many still arriving. At
 press time, Brown said DOES had received 12,000applications, but she encouraged youth to continuesubmitting their applications since there is a waitinglist.The program was initially established by formerMayor Marion Barry. This year Mayor VincentGray implemented critical changes with hopes of enhancing and enriching the program. The mostnotable change is that the program will be smallerand tailored more to the individual needs of youth.“We cut the participant level to 12,000 to make sureeveryone is getting the most out of the program ... inorder to nurture and mentor,” Brown said.
The number of applicants for the One CitySummer Youth Employment Programexceeded the 12,000 goal in just oneweekend.
Continued on A5
By ZenithaPrince
WashingtonBureau Chie 
D.C.Unmasked &Undressed 
,the memoirof LillianMcEwen,a formerjudge and ex-girlfriend of Supreme CourtJustice ClarenceThomas, hitsthe shelvesMarch 5. But,as the authortold the
,this book isdenitelynot for theG-rated crowd.While the talechronicles theoften painfuljourney of thewriter from the despair of adysfunctional, abusive hometo the travails and triumphsof a Capitol Hill and judicialcareer, it is a trail markedwith sex – lots of it. AndThomas gures prominently– literally and guratively –in this tale. McEwen gushesover Thomas’ prowessand “fantasy [package],”describing his body as“coffee-bean ... velvet-covered cement.” He was a“national treasure,” she said,one she shared with otherwomen in ménages à troisand in a voyeuristic pleasurepalace. And she described herthen-lover as being “easilyaroused,” with a “stronginterest in pornography.”In a one-on-one interviewwith the
, McEwenshared her thoughts aboutThomas, about love and lust,mental illness, suicide andabout evil and the will tosurvive it.
So I’m guessingthat this book is goingto make retirement moreexciting.
Most denitely[Laughs]
At the end of yourbook you seem to suggest why
By Gregory Dale
AFRO Staf Writer 
District students arecutting classes at alarmingrates, but a proposedplan by the Metro TransitAuthority would monitortheir whereabouts with an eyeto cutting down on student-related crimes while they usethe rail system.This school year, policehave picked up over 3,700truant students and deliveredthem to school, accordingto Councilmember SekouBiddle’s ofce.  Meanwhile,recently released Metro datareveals that in 2010, therewere 2,012 arrests, 507 of which involved youths. Intotal, the transit authorityreported 2,279 crimes, upfrom 1,440 in 2006.“We’ve seen statisticsthat there are increasedincrements of crime amongschool-age students duringthe day when they shouldbe in school, so it wouldfollow that those crimes beingcommitted during schoolhours could possibly happenon the Metro as well,” D.C.Councilmember Sekou Biddletold the
in a recentinterview.According to the
Washington Post 
, Metro andcity ofcials are consideringstrapping restrictions onstudents riding on its trainand bus routes. Under theproposed guidelines, studentswould be issued passeswith a chip that containsidentication information.They currently use passeswithout IDs at a reduced fare.The
reached outto Metro for comment, butdid not receive a response bypress time.But, a spokesman forthe District Departmentof Transportation told the
that if implemented,the program could restrictMetro usage past 8 p.m. andon weekendsthough teenswould still be allowed totravel at a regular priced fare.
Locals Welcome Metro’s Proposed Student Restrictions
Plan Targets Truancy, Student Crime
AFRO File Photo
Metro ocialsare consideringembeddingidentication dataon the cards usedby students in a bidto reduce truancyand violenceamong its youngriders.
Continued on A5Continued on A8
Courtesy and AP Photos
Former District judge Lillian McEwenshares details about her sex life withformer boyfriend, now-Supreme CourtJustice Clarence Thomas, in her newmemoir,
D.C. Unmasked & Undressed 
Clarence Thomas Stars in Sexually Charged Memoir
you wrote it, but what wereyour reasons? And why now?
It’s a book that I hadalways planned to write andhad always been pressuredto write. I never understoodwhy it was that my friendsand family kept saying,‘You’ve got to write a book,Lillian.’ And really it wasn’tuntil I nished the book thatI realized that my life waskinda unusual. I wasn’t reallythinking of it that way whileI was living it. The impetusfor my retirement was reallythe same as the impetus forwriting the book as a catalyst.And that is, one of my bestfriends in life had died and itmade working at the positionI had very difcult. And thenmy mother was dying at thesame time. My brother diedwithin a few weeks of mymother’s death and it justseemed like it was time toassess my life and gureout for myself what wasimportant. It was also timeto relieve a lot of stress thatI had been feeling for manyyears from the pressure of reporters, the pressure of apublic description of what ourrelationship had been betweenme and Clarence. And I justthought it was time for me
Continued on A5
Courtesy Photo
Thousands Apply for Retooled Summer Jobs Program
The Afro-American, March 5, 2011 - March 11, 2011
AFRO National Briefs
First Lady’s Vacation Meal SparksControversy
Radio host Rush Limbaugh recently tookto the air waves to criticize rst lady MichelleObama’s eating habits.According to a report by Vail Daily, the rstlady dined on a pickled pumpkin salad, arugula,braised ancho-chile short rib with hominy, wildmushrooms and sautéed kale while visitingVail, Colo. with daughters Sasha and Malia.During his Feb. 21 radio broadcast,Limbaugh called Obama a hypocrite for eatingshort ribs amid her “Let’s Move” campaigntargeting childhood obesity. Limbaughinaccurately calculated the short rib to be 1,500calories; Vail Daily later reported the ribs to beabout 600 calories.“If we’re supposed to go out and eatnothing, if we’re supposed to eat roots andberries and tree bark, show us how,” Limbaughsaid. “The problem is –and dare I say this – itdoesn’t look like MichelleObama follows her own‘nutritionary’ dietaryadvice.”He went on to critiquethe rst lady’s physique,saying her body is not likemodels on the cover of 
Sports Illustrated 
magazineor baseball player AlexRodriguez’s girlfriends.Criticism of theappearance of thepresident’s wife has surfacein other quarters.BigGovernment.com,a news blog, recentlyposted a cartoon depictingan overweight Obamagorging on hamburgersand demanding PresidentObama “shut up and passthe bacon.”However, formerRepublican presidentialcandidate Mike Huckabee isdefending Obama.According to a CNNblog report, Huckabee toldreporters, “I do not thinkshe’s out there advocating that the government take over ourdinner plates. In fact she’s not. She’s been criticized unfairly bya lot of my fellow conservatives.”He also supported the rst lady’s “Let’s Move” campaign.“If you really want to talk about obesity, let’s talk about it asa national security issue,” Huckabee added. “It’san economic issue, but it is a national securityissue because at the trend we’re going, we betterhope we don’t have a war with anybody becausewe’re not going to have anybody who can passthe physical to wear the uniform. That’s prettyscary. So, rather than us condemn MichelleObama, I think we ought to be thanking her andpraising her for what she’s done.”
N.Y. Black Anti-Abortion BillboardRemoved
A contentious anti-abortion billboard inManhattan that linked Blacks to excessiveabortions was removed by an outdoor advertisingrm Feb. 25, CBS News reported.The ad, created by pro-life nonprotorganization Life Always, showed a Black girlunder the text, “The most dangerous place for anAfrican-American is in the womb.”The message prompted an outcry from bothBlack activists and city residents.“They don’t have to single out African-American children. They could have said themost dangerous place for a child is in the womb,”Byron Wright, a Brooklyn resident told an NBC reporter afterspotting the ad from his ofce window.The Rev. Al Sharpton applauded the advertising companyfor removing the billboard and reportedly cancelled a plannedprotest.“They got a lot of attention, but they may not have gotten alot of support,” he told CBS.But Life Always representatives said the bold billboardwas designed to spark discussion about disproportionally highBlack abortion rates.They said that abortion clinics including PlannedParenthood target minorities, and claim thattwice as many black babies die from abortionprocedures than from violent crimes, AIDS,heart disease, cancer and motor vehicleaccidents combined.“I do understand that it is a provocativemessage, but it is a message that’s sourced infact; it is not hyperbole. It is a truth that needsto be confronted. It is one that needs to betalked about in our community,” Pastor StephenBroden, a board member of the nonprot, toldMSNBC.He said that more babies are aborted thanare born each year in New York City.A Planned Parenthood spokesman took thead’s message as a direct attack on the clinic.“To refer to a woman’s legal right to anabortion as a ‘genocidal plot’ is not onlyabsurd but it is offensive to women and tocommunities of color,” Planned Parenthoodspokesman Christine Quinn said in a statement.“Every woman deserves the right to makehealth care decisions for herself and I willcontinue to ght to protect this basic right andagainst this sort of fear mongering.”Prior to its removal, the billboard wasscheduled to remain up for three more weeks,according to CBS.
Super Slim Models Fail to Sway Black Women’s Self-Perception
A new study led by a University of Florida researchershows that African-American women are less likely to developnegative body images based on media ideals.According to the report, earlier studies showed a negativecorrelation between extremely thin models and women’sperception of their own bodies. However, the recent studyled by Heather Hausenblas found race also plays a factor inwomen’s body dissatisfaction and the media’s inuence.“We’re bombarded with media images of what’s consideredideal. We wanted to measure the inuence of race on howthat makes women feel about their bodies,” said Hausenblas,who conducted the research with doctoral student NinoskaDeBraganza, in an interview posted on the school’s website.“We know that African-American women report less bodydissatisfaction overall than Caucasian women, who are themost affected of all ethnicities. But to my knowledge, no studyon media inuence had ever taken the ethnicity of the modelsinto account.”Hausenblas showed two sets of images to 31 White and30 Black undergraduate students. Both sets of photographsfeatured White female models, but one set showed extremelythin women with bodies generally considered “media ideals.”The other set included photos of women with more averagebuilds.While African-American women reported no change inbody dissatisfaction after viewing both sets of slides, the Whiteparticipants said they experienced more body dissatisfactionafter observing the “media ideal” models.
Spectator Asks, ‘Who Will Shoot Obama?’
Ga. GOP Rep’s Failure to Condemn Draws Fire
Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) is receiving national attention aftera spectator at one of his recent town hall meetings in Athens,Ga. asked, “Who will shoot Obama?”According to
The Athens-Banner Herald 
, the question cameafter the congressman rst asked who had driven the farthest toattend the Feb. 22 town hall meeting. After the attendee blurtedthe comment, the crowd began to laugh.Without apparently condemning the comment, Broun,according to the
, nevertheless respondedby stating, “The thing is, I know there’s a lot of frustrationwith this president. We’re going to have an election nextyear. Hopefully, we’ll elect somebody that’s going to be aconservative, limited-government president…who will sign abill to repeal and replace Obamacare.”After the incident drew national headlines and criticismtoward Broun for not immediately condemning the comment,he released a statement Feb. 23 expressing his thoughts afterthe spectator’s question and his reason for not condemning it.“I was stunned by the question and chose not to dignifyit with a response; therefore, at that moment I moved on tothe next person with a question,” Broun said in a statement,according to
The Politico
newspaper. “After the event, myofce took action with the appropriate authorities. I deeplyregret that this incident happened at all. Furthermore, Icondemn all statements  made in sincerity or jest  thatthreaten or suggest the use of violence against the presidentof the United States or anyother public ofcial. Suchrhetoric cannot and will not betolerated.”According to
TheWashington Post 
, SecretService ofcials got in contactwith the person who made thecomment and found that it wasan “elderly person who nowregrets making a bad joke.”Broun drew criticism lastmonth for one of his tweetsduring President Obama’s Stateof the Union address. Accordingto
, Broun tweeted, “Mr.President, you don’t believe inthe Constitution, you believe insocialism.”The next day, he declined toback down from his comments,telling CBS News, “I stick bythat tweet.”
AP Photo/Virginia Postic, File
In this Jan. 27 photo, First Lady MichelleObama discusses nutrition at Fort Jacksonin Columbia, S.C.  to promote healthyeating. She was recently criticized by RushLimbaugh about a meal she ate duringvacation.
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta
President Barack Obama waves as he arrives at the WhiteHouse in Washington, Feb. 22.
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By Lango Deen
Special to the AFRO
“It’s been 25 years of inspiration,” Ted Childs, a retireddiversity executive at IBM Corp., said Feb. 19 at the 25thannual Black Engineer of the Year Awards in the Washington,D.C.The Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA), producedby Career Communications Group, showcases African-American talent in science, technology, engineering and mathand provides students with pathways to lucrative technicalcareers.“It’s an opportunity to connect at a high level of intelligenceand capital with business people who are interested in science,mathematics and engineering and who never get an opportunityto recognize or connect with one another,” said DavidSteward, founder and chairman of St. Louis-based WorldwideTechnology Inc., who attended the event. “It shows theintellectual capital in the Black community and the leadershipin the Black community and the value we bring to this societyand this country and the world.”Over the past two decades, BEYA has put Black mindstogether with major employers such as IBM Corp., Booz AllenHamilton, Raytheon Co., Boeing, Northrop Grumman, NASA,the National Security Agency and the U.S. Navy RecruitingCommand to promote job opportunities in science, technology,engineering and math (STEM) elds.The theme of the 2011 BEYA STEM Conference was“Listen, Learn, Lead.” Throughout the three-day event,students and professionals presented panel discussions andevents focusing on career development, diversity and science,technology, engineering and math education.More than 100 companies and organizations supporting therise of young Blacks into technical careers were on display atthe BEYA Job Fair, one of several recruitment, recognition andretention events held at the conference.The Black Engineer of the Year Award, along with otherspresented during the ceremony on Saturday, recognizes “truepioneers who have achieved exceptional career gains ingovernment and industry, who have already merited lifetimeachievement recognition, and who have energized theircompanies and their communities alike.”BEYA’s top award, the 2011 Black Engineer of the Year,was presented to Lloyd Howell, executive vice president of Booz Allen Hamilton.  Twenty other category award winners,including Boeing Senior Vice President Wanda Denson-Low,were also recognized for innovation, career advancementand diversity programs.  “Boeing considers diversity to be astrategic advantage in attracting the best talent available andenabling innovation by bringing together different viewpoints,”said Norma Clayton, vice president Learning, Training andDevelopment for Boeing. “Many Boeing people have receivedBEYA awards over the years, and the awards are a terricconrmation that we are on the right track.”In Howell’s acceptance speech, he said he felt honored tobe selected as the 25th Black Engineer of the Year. “I wake upeveryday excited to make a difference,” he said.Howell, a Philadelphia native, praised the BEYA culture andshared a little-known story: He was one of the young athletesin Jim Ellis’ all African-American swim team, depicted in the2007 lm
starring Terrence Howard. Howell laudedthe inspiration of Ellis’ quiet struggle against racism andbureaucracy.Howell serves as volunteer assistant coach for DC Heat,a youth basketball team. On behalf of Booz Allen Hamilton,he has supported the United Negro College Fund and LincolnUniversity.His involvement with UNCF is not unusual in thiscommunity. BEYA has a history of persuading employers torecognize the strength of engineering departments at historicallyBlack colleges and universities.The HBCU Engineering Deans’ Roundtable has fosteredcooperation between hiring ofcers and even a new industry-academic partnership: AMIE (Advancing Minorities Interest inEngineering). Scholarships, internships, donation of laboratoryequipment and loans of professionals for faculty positions haveall come out of the connection.BEYA is the brainchild of Career Communications GroupCEO Tyrone Taborn, who also publishes a number of diversitytitles including
US Black Engineer & Information Technology
 magazine.“Tyrone’s vision is inextricably linked to democracy andAmerica’s economic system, and our responsibility to it isrealized not just for Black America, Hispanic America or NativeAmerica but for America,” Ted Childs said.BEYA’s rst event was held February 1987 at Morgan StateUniversity in Baltimore.“The timing of the event was not accidental,” said EugeneM. DeLoatch, veteran dean of the School of Engineeringat Morgan State and longtime chairman of the Councilof Engineering Deans of Historically Black Colleges andUniversities. “It was planned to coincide with observance of National Engineers Week and to serve historically as a ttingtribute to those close to Black History Month.”Bill Granville was a high-ranking oil executive when heattended BEYA in 1987. He led a positive report with Mobil.Mobil’s CEO, seeing that diversity and inclusion made businesssense, wrote a letter to other Fortune 500 CEO’s, telling themhe had discovered a talent development program he thoughtthey should support.The rest, as they say, is history. Top defense contractor,Lockheed Martin Corp., has co-hosted BEYA for more than adecade, and corporate attendance reaches to the executive levelsof management.“You see these major corporations get excited – Raytheon,Lockheed, Boeing – these major players and their CEO’s,”David Steward said. “And they are there to recognize thesignicant contributions these African-American engineers andleaders not only make to business, but to society.”In the mid-1980s, when BEYA was initiated, Blackrepresentation among the nation’s 1.6 million engineers wasonly 2 percent – 32,000 men and women. By the turn of the millennium, many baby boomers were heading towardsretirement and there was a need for younger professionals totake their place in the workforce.“Demand for qualied STEM professionals has grownconsiderably in the past 25 years, and it will only continue toexpand,” said  Taborn. “Our advancements come from intrepidengineers and technologists, from business executives boldenough to take chances.”And BEYA has become an important hub for these intrepidengineers and bold executives to connect with one another. “It’sexciting to be around,” Steward said. “It’s contagious.”
– Additional reporting by Garland L. Thompson
In Praise Of Black Engineers
BEYA: Where Corporate America Meets and Encourages Black Talent
Photos by Glenwood Jackson Studio
Boris Kodjoe and Lloyd and Patricia Howell posed for aphoto after Lloyd Howell received the Black Engineer of the Year Award.
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