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Prince George's County Afro-American Newspaper, March 5, 2011

Prince George's County Afro-American Newspaper, March 5, 2011

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Prince George's County Afro-American Newspaper, March 5, 2011
Prince George's County Afro-American Newspaper, March 5, 2011

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Published by: The AFRO-American Newspapers on Mar 03, 2011
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March 5, 2011 - March 5, 2011, The Afro-American
Copyright © 2011 by the Afro-American Company
Join the
onTwitter and Facebook 
Volume 119  No. 30
Hear the
on The DailyDrum, Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Continued on A5Continued on A5
MARCH 5, 2011 - MARCH 11, 2011
Assault on Unions is anAttack on Basic Civil Rights
First Lady’s Vacation MealSparks Controversy
By George Barnette
AFRO Sta Writer 
The Prince George’s CountyCouncil held a town hall budgetmeeting at Prince George’sCommunity College on Feb. 28.The purpose of the meeting wasto inform the public on the budgetprocess, but it quickly turned into asession to save busing for magnetprograms in Prince George’sCounty.The school that showed up inthe greatest numbers was SuitlandHigh School and in particular, it’sVisual Performing Arts (VPA)program. Students and teachersalike swarmed the meeting dressedin purple to ght for their program.“People all over the countryknow of our program,” saidJean Fadiga, a music teacher atSuitland. “They sang for PresidentObama’s inauguration. They sangfor ‘Christmas in Washington,’Ted Turner’s television program,this year under the auspices of the president and for the previousadministration under President andMrs. Bush.“Our choir has won numerousawards, international competitionsand they’re well known,” shecontinued. “Our students havethe highest GPA at Suitland HighSchool. They’re actually pulling theschool up.”Councilwoman Karen Toles,D-Dist. 7, attended the BlackHistory Month ceremony the schoolproduced earlier in the day andcame away very impressed with theperformance. However, she seemedto be just as pleased that the schoolshowed up to the meeting in fullforce. “I mentioned to [CouncilChair Ingrid Turner] this morningthat I was at a fantastic program andI want to commend you all fromSuitland High School for beinghere,” Toles said. “That’s what it’sall about.“This morning I spoke with yourprincipal and he warned me, ‘Theywill be there’ and he was correct,”she continued. “I’m proud of youall.”Many of the speakers asked thecouncil not take away the program.Councilman Will Campos, D-Dist.2, says the council has a delicatebalance to manage the county’sfunds after it rst goes through theschool board and county executive.Then it’s their job to create nalnumbers that make sense for theentire county.“I can see your passion, butwhen you say we’re trying to takethis away from you; we’re not,”Campos said. “We get put in a toughsituation where we’re told ‘this iswhere the money is, this is what wewant done and this is what we wantcut.’ Then, ultimately, we have togure out how it is that we makedue. We have to balance that.”Despite that, the councilmembers all appreciated the turnoutas they said it greatly helps to showwhich programs are important to thecounty’s residents. They ask that thecommunity continue to reach out to
By George Barnette
AFRO Sta Writer 
On Nov. 19, 2009, James F. Johnson, no relation to Jack Johnson, wasofcially sworn in as director of the Department of Housing and CommunityDevelopment (DHCD) after serving in that role as interim head for a year. Onthat day, there was nothing but effusive praise for a man who was a close friendof former Prince George’s County Executive Jack Johnson.“James Johnson brings over 34 years of experience in program managementand administration and is an excellent candidate to serve as director,” JackJohnson said in a statement. “He possesses the required skills, talents anddemonstrated experience to be successful and I am condent that he willcontinue to be an asset to the citizens and residents of Prince George’s County.”James Johnson’s relationship with the former county executive stretchesfurther than his time as DHCD director. From 2003-2008, he served as specialassistant to the former county executive. Their previous relationship may havecontributed to the former county leader’s sticking with James Johnson during therough stages of his tenure in late 2009.The results of an audit by Prince George’s County Ofce of Audit andInvestigations released in October 2009 showed DHCD was failing in itsmission to provide adequate federal funding in Prince George’s County andmay have been improperly funding several community housing development
Suitland High Fightsfor Arts Program
Courtesy Photo/Prince George’s County Government 
James Johnson, shown here with Jack Johnson, gets sworn-in.
Jack and James Johnson:Connection Goes BeyondGovernment
Continued on A8
By George Barnette
AFRO Sta Writer 
A bill being discussed in the MarylandSenate could place accountability for the stateof foreclosed properties on the owners – thebanks.The bill, sponsored by the Prince George’sCounty’s delegation, would give the CountyCouncil authority to collect a $75 registrationfee each year from owners of abandonedforeclosed property in the county.  The moneycollected would go into a fund to help maintainabandoned properties.Residents and realtors alike have beencomplaining about how distressed propertieshave brought down the property value of homes.  Both parties say neighborhoods arebeing destroyed because of it.“The banks were not very cautious abouthow they were taking care of the assets theywere backing with these loans,” MichaelCerrito, chair of the Legislative/PoliticalAffairs Committee of the Prince George’sCounty Association of Realtors, told the
“In many cases they’d shut off theutilities which would cause more damage tothe property and it drove the price down. Itmade it harder for the average buyer to buy thehouse because the condition of the house wasso bad.”
Banks Face AbandonedProperty Fee
Prince George’s Delegation Proposed Bill 
Continued on A8
By Zenitha Prince
Washington Bureau Chief 
D.C. Unmasked &Undressed,
the memoir of Lillian McEwen, a formerjudge and ex-girlfriendof Supreme Court JusticeClarence Thomas, hits theshelves March 5. But, asthe author told the
,this book is denitely notfor the G-rated crowd.While the tale chronicles theoften painful journey 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,
Courtesy and AP Photos
Former District judge LillianMcEwen shares details abouther sex life with formerboyfriend, now-Supreme CourtJustice Clarence Thomas, in hernew memoir,
D.C. Unmasked & Undressed.
Clarence Thomas Stars inSexually Charged Memoir
“People all over thecountry know of our program.” 
WHUR to Hold Radiothon to HelpLocal, National, InternationalCommunity
See afro.com
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.
Your History • Your Community • Your News
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Baltimore Ofce • Corporate Headquarters2519 N. Charles StreetBaltimore, Maryland 21218-4602410-554-8200 • Fax: 1-877-570-9297www.afro.com
Founded by John Henry Murphy Sr., August 13, 1892Washington Publisher Emerita -
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- _ _ _ _ _ _ _
By Lango Deen
Special to the AFRO
“It’s been 25 years of inspiration,” Ted Childs, aretired diversity executive atIBM Corporation, said Feb.19 at the 25th annual BlackEngineer of the Year Awardsin the Washington, D.C.The Black Engineerof the Year Awards(BEYA), produced byCareer CommunicationsGroup, showcases African-American talent in science,technology, engineering andmath and provides studentswith pathways to lucrativetechnical careers.“It’s an opportunity toconnect at a high level of intelligence and capitalwith business people whoare interested in science,mathematics and engineeringand who never get anopportunity to recognize orconnect with one another,”said DavidSteward, founderand chairman of St. Louis-basedWorldwide Technology Inc.,who attended the event. “Itshows the intellectual capitalin the Black community andthe leadership in the Blackcommunity and the value webring to this society and thiscountry and the world.”Over the past two decades,BEYA has put Black mindstogether with major employerssuch as IBM Corp., BoozAllen Hamilton, RaytheonCo., Boeing, NorthropGrumman, NASA, theNational Security Agencyand the U.S. Navy RecruitingCommand to promote jobopportunities in science,technology, engineering andmath (STEM) elds.The theme of the 2011BEYA STEM Conferencewas “Listen, Learn, Lead.”Throughout the three-day event, students andprofessionals presentedpanel discussions andevents focusing on careerdevelopment, diversityand science, technology,engineering and matheducation.More than 100 companiesand organizations supportingthe rise of young Blacks intotechnical careers were ondisplay at the BEYA Job Fair,one of several recruitment,recognition and retentionevents held at the conference.The Black Engineer of theYear Award, along with otherspresented during the ceremonyon Saturday, recognizes “truepioneers who have achievedexceptional career gains ingovernment and industry, whohave already merited lifetimeachievement recognition,and who have energizedtheir companies and theircommunities alike.”BEYA’s top award, the2011 Black Engineer of the Year, was presented toLloyd Howell, executivevice president of Booz AllenHamilton.  Twenty othercategory award winners,including Boeing Senior VicePresident Wanda Denson-Low, were also recognizedfor innovation, careeradvancement and diversityprograms.  “Boeing considersdiversity to be a strategicadvantage in attracting thebest talent available andenabling innovation bybringing together differentviewpoints,” said NormaClayton, vice presidentLearning, Training andDevelopment for Boeing.“Many Boeing people havereceived BEYA awards overthe years, and the awards area terric conrmation that weare on the right track.”In Howell’s acceptancespeech, he said he felt honoredto be selected as the 25thBlack Engineer of the Year. “Iwake up everyday excited tomake a difference,” he said.Howell, a Philadelphia native,praised the BEYA cultureand shared a little-knownstory: He was one of theyoung athletes in Jim Ellis’all African-American swimteam, depicted in the 2007lm
starring TerrenceHoward. Howell lauded theinspiration of Ellis’ quietstruggle against racism andbureaucracy.Howell serves as volunteerassistant coach for DC Heat,a youth basketball team.On behalf of Booz AllenHamilton, he has supportedthe United Negro CollegeFund and Lincoln University.His involvement withUNCF is not unusual inthis community. BEYAhas a history of persuadingemployers to recognizethe strength of engineeringdepartments at historicallyBlack colleges anduniversities.The HBCU EngineeringDeans’ Roundtable hasfostered cooperationbetween hiring ofcersand even a new industry-academic partnership: AMIE(Advancing MinoritiesInterest in Engineering).Scholarships, internships,donation of laboratoryequipment and loans of professionals for facultypositions have all come out of the connection.BEYA is the brainchildof Career CommunicationsGroup CEO Tyrone Taborn,who also publishes a numberof diversity titles including
US Black Engineer & InformationTechnology
magazine.“Tyrone’s vision isinextricably linked todemocracy and America’seconomic system, and ourresponsibility to it is realizednot just for Black America,Hispanic America or NativeAmerica but for America,”Ted Childs said.BEYA’s rst event was heldFebruary 1987 at MorganState University in Baltimore.“The timing of theevent was not accidental,”said Eugene M. DeLoatch,veteran dean of the School of Engineering at Morgan Stateand longtime chairman of the Council of EngineeringDeans of Historically BlackColleges and Universities.“It was planned to coincidewith observance of NationalEngineers Week and to servehistorically as a tting tributeto those close to Black HistoryMonth.”Bill Granville was a high-ranking oil executive whenhe attended BEYA in 1987.He led a positive report withMobil. Mobil’s CEO, seeingthat diversity and inclusionmade business sense, wrotea letter to other Fortune500 CEO’s, telling themhe had discovered a talentdevelopment program hethought they should support.The rest, as they say,is history. Top defensecontractor, Lockheed MartinCorp., has co-hosted BEYAfor more than a decade, andcorporate attendance reachesto the executive levels of management.“You see these majorcorporations get excited –Raytheon, Lockheed, Boeing– these major players andtheir CEO’s,” David Stewardsaid. “And they are thereto recognize the signicantcontributions these African-American engineers andleaders not only make tobusiness, but to society.”In the mid-1980s, whenBEYA was initiated, Blackrepresentation among thenation’s 1.6 million engineerswas only 2 percent – 32,000men and women. By the turnof the millennium, manybaby boomers were headingtowards retirement and therewas a need for youngerprofessionals to take theirplace in the workforce.“Demand for qualiedSTEM professionals hasgrown considerably in thepast 25 years, and it will onlycontinue to expand,” saidTaborn. “Our advancementscome from intrepid engineersand technologists, frombusiness executives boldenough to take chances.”And BEYA has becomean important hub for theseintrepid engineers and boldexecutives to connect withone another. “It’s exciting tobe around,” Steward said. “It’scontagious.”
– Additional reporting byGarland L. Thompson
In Praise Of Black Engineers
Where Corporate America Meets and Encourages Black Talent
Executive VicePresident of Booz AllenHamilton LloydHowell, left,received the2011 Black Engineer of theYear Award atthe 25th annualBEYA event inWashington, DCon Feb. 19.
Photo by Glenwood Jackson Studio
March 5, 2011 - March 11, 2011 The Afro-American
“It’s exciting to be around.” 

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