COM - WEEK OF JULY 26 - AUG 1, 2012
Syracuse, NY
VOL 3. NO. 31 july 26 - aug 1, 2012
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Boyce Watkins
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In This Issue
COVER: Pgs 6 - 7
- Remembering Sherman

LOCAL Pgs 3-4
- Save The Rain
- City of Syracuse Presents:
Jazz Up Your Lunch Break
- Syracuse, NY, Police Say
Abduction Video a Hoax
- Annual Summer Meetings
Bring Mayor, City Hall Staff to
Parks to Meet With Residents,
Discuss Concerns
- Syracuse Crash Claims Life, 2
Others in Hospital
- Pond Street Wegmans May
be Replaced With New Grocery
- Young CNY Entrepreneurs to
Learn, Test Business Mettle at
Entrepreneurial Boot Camp
- New Law Will Help Improve
Breast Cancer Detection
- Do Our Politicians Deserve Our
Vote and Support?
By Kofi Quaye

- The GOP and The Vote: Return
Jim Crow
By Rev. Jesse Jackson
- Juanita Bynum Has Slept With
Woman, But Does That Make
Her a Hypocrite?
By Boyce Watkins
1 :: WWW.&1<9,6,21&20 - WEEK OF JULY26 - AUG 1, 2012 Syracuse, NY VOL 3. NO. 31 july 26 - aug 1, 2012
July 25 “Pebble Park” — by Columbus Circle
– 12:30 pm
July 26 – Franklin Square, Plum and Solar
Streets – 12:15 pm
July 27 – Parks & Recreaon’s Yard (White
Oaks Park) – 412 Spencer St. – on the
Creekwalk – 12:15 pm
July 30 – Clinton Square – 12:15 pm
July 31 – Hanover Square – 12:15 pm
Blue Rain Ecofest
Locaon: Hanover Square & City Hall
Upstate New York’s first mul-day family
Ecofest and Expo with music, dance,
food, drinks, and exhibits featuring green
technology for homes and businesses, health
and wellness, energy effi cient vehicle test
drives and more. For more informaon, visit
www.bluerainecofest.org or call 479-5299.
42nd Annual Americu Syracuse Arts & Cras
Time: 10:00am-6:00pm
Locaon: Columbus Circle
This spectacular three-day showcase by
150 of the country’s most talented arsts,
craspeople, and entertainers is centered
on historic Columbus Circle in downtown
Syracuse. More than 50,000 visitors will
shop and browse among the art and cra
exhibits and enjoy a wide variety of music,
mul-cultural performances, summer
refreshments, and parcipatory acvies.
The AmeriCU Syracuse Arts & Cras
Fesval is presented by the Downtown
Commiee. For more informaon, visit
www.syracuseartsandcrasfesval.com or
call (315) 422-8284.
Northeast Jazz & Wine Fesval
Time: 5:00pm
Locaon: Clinton Square
Syracuse City Hall Blood Drive
Time: 10:00am–3:00pm
Locaon: City Hall Commons Atrium, 201 E.
Washington St.
Please contact Lindsay Speicher at 448-8005
or lspeicher@ci.syracuse.ny.us”>lspeicher@
ci.syracuse.ny.us to schedule your
appointment to donate. Double Red Cell
donaon is available at this drive.
Come in to donate blood and receive a
coupon for a carton of Friendly’s Ice Cream,
redeemable at parcipang Friendly’s
Beauchamp Branch Events:
One on One Computer Training
Set up a one-on-one appointment at
Beauchamp Library to learn the basics of
using a computer, including the Internet
& Microso Word. Please contact Paschal
Ugoji at 435-3395.
Subscribe to cnyvision
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1 :: WWW.&1<9,6,21&20 - WEEK OF JUNE 14 - 20, 2012
Syracuse, NY
VOL 3. NO. 26
june 14 - 20, 2012
Yard Kids
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1 :: WWW.&1<9,6,21&20 - WEEK OF JUNE 14 - 20, 2012
Syracuse, NY
VOL 3. NO. 26
Yard Kids ƉŐϳ
Opinion Columns ƉŐϭϬ
Save the Rain Team Speaks to
“Project Engage” at Water Street Gateway
Eighth grade girls from the northeast
aending the Syracuse University
Project Engage camp, a STEM summer
camp for girls, got a real life view
of green infrastructure when they
visited the Water Street Gateway in
downtown Syracuse, last Wednesday.
The visit was part of their weeklong
program focused on Sustainability and
Alternate Energy.
The girls met with representaves
from the “Save the Rain” program
who explained the project’s aributes
and the importance of creang green
infrastructure in the city.
The project includes the installaon of
several green infrastructure elements
that will capture stormwater and
enhance the urban landscape. The
project incorporates enhanced street
tree planngs, the installaon of
porous pavers in parking lanes, the use
of infiltraon trenches and stormwater
planters, and addional landscaping
features throughout the footprint of
the 300 block of E. Water Street.
The green infrastructure installed in
this project will reduce stormwater
runoff by 924,000 gallons per year.
Mahew J Marko, P.E., BCEE. Vice President and Client Service Manager of
CH2MHILL, in front of a porous pavement parking lane.
Madison M. Quinn from The Execuve
Department Offi ce of the County Execuve
Gloria Allred: NY’s AG Should Probe Syracuse Sex Charges
High-profile aorney Gloria Allred
says the state aorney general should
invesgate Syracuse University’s
handling of sex abuse allegaons
against former assistant basketball
coach Bernie Fine.
Last Friday, Allred called on Aorney
General Eric Schneiderman to
invesgate whether Syracuse was in
compliance with a federal law that
requires colleges and universies
that parcipate in federal financial
aid programs to disclose informaon
about crime on campus.
Allred is represenng Bobby Davis and
Michael Lang, two men who say they
were abused by the former Syracuse
assistant basketball coach. Fine, who
was fired last year, has denied the
Davis, a former Syracuse ball boy, said
that if Syracuse offi cials violated the
federal law, called the Clery Act, they
should be held accountable.
“A college should never care more
about protecng its reputaon than
it does about protecng children
from child sexual abuse,” he said at
a Manhaan news conference with
A spokesman for Schneiderman
declined to comment. Syracuse
University pointed to a statement
a special trustees commiee made
indicang the allegaons don’t fall
within the reporng requirements of
the Clery Act.
Davis, now 41, claims Fine molested
him for years beginning when he was
around 12. He took the claims to
university offi cials in September 2005.
The claims by Davis and Lang, his
stepbrother, happened too long ago to
be prosecuted, but the U.S. aorney’s
offi ce is invesgang the claims of a
third man who said Fine abused him.
That third accuser, 23-year-old Zach
Tomaselli, of Lewiston, Maine, has
since said he lied.
Allred’s Los Angeles-based firm is
represenng Davis and Lang along
with a New York firm.
Allred has represented clients including
Nicole Brown Simpson’s family during
the O.J. Simpson murder trial.
City of Syracuse Presents: Jazz Up Your Lunch Hour
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Add some jazz to
your sandwich or your lunch-hour
walk later this month with music by
the Syracuse Parks & Recreaon’s Stan
Colella All-Star Band.
The jazz ensemble, consisng of young
people from Syracuse, will play at
various venues in downtown Syracuse
and along the Creekwalk.
The schedule is as follows:
Wednesday, July 25 -- “Pebble Park”
— by Columbus Circle – 12:30 pm
Thursday, July 26 – Franklin Square,
Plum and Solar Streets – 12:15 pm
Friday, July 27 – Parks & Recreaon’s
Yard (White Oaks Park) – 412 Spencer
St. – on the Creekwalk – 12:15 pm
Monday, July 30 – Clinton Square –
12:15 pm
Tuesday, July 31 – Hanover Square –
12:15 pm
The performances are free and open
to the public.
Syracuse, NY, Police Say Abducon Video a Hoax
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Police in central
New York say surveillance video
showing a man pulling a woman out of
the back seat of a car in a parking lot,
pu ng her in the trunk and speeding
off is a hoax.
Syracuse police say a 17-year-old
man and two female juveniles came
forward Tuesday night and reported
that they were responsible for the
hoax. Police have not released their
names. Charges are pending.
Based on the video, police had earlier
reported a possible abducon shortly
before 11 p.m. Monday in the parking
lot of a grocery store.
Annual Summer Meengs Bring Mayor, City Hall Staff, to
Parks to Meet with Residents, Discuss Concerns
The schedule of meengs will be as follows:
August 2 Burnet Park Burnet Park Ice Rink
August 7 Thornden Park Thornden Park Field House
August 9 McKinley Park Payton Temple,1816 Midland Ave.
August 16 McChesney Park Community Center
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Mayor Stephanie A.
Miner announces the annual series of
public meengs to be held across the
city. This year, the meengs will take
place in August at Thornden, Burnet,
McKinley, and McChesney Parks.
“This is a great opportunity to get
out and enjoy our city parks and hear
the issues affecng our cizens at the
same me,” said Mayor Miner, “I look
forward to doing this every year and
am excited to speak with the people of
Syracuse once again.”
All meengs will begin at 6:30 PM.
Preceding each meeng, guests will
be encouraged to arrive one hour in
advance to parcipate in a cleanup of
the parks in which the meengs are
being held.
Pond Street Wegmans May
Be Replaced With New Grocery Store
Wegmans offi cials are working out
a deal to sell the former locaon of
the Pond Street Wegmans to Morgan
Acquisions LLC.
The deal, if finalized, may mean a
new grocery story in the area many
residents fear would become a
food desert aer the closing of the
Wegmans store last month.
Wegmans has a policy to not sell
former locaons to competors but
say they may make an excepon in
this case because of the needs of the
Morgan Acquisions LLC has
developed sites for companies like
Price Rite, Family Dollar and Kinney
Drugs. The company says they plan to
purchase the locaon and lease the
space to a grocer.
Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner says
she supports the move and is confident
there will be a new grocery store in the
area in the near future.
Syracuse Crash Claims Life; 2 Others in Hospital
One of three people crically injured
in a one-car crash in Syracuse earlier
this week has died.
Syracuse media outlets report that
21-year-old Robert McGann of
Syracuse died Monday at Upstate
University Hospital.
Police say McGann was the front-seat
passenger in a car that struck a ulity
pole and a tree along a Syracuse street
early Monday morning. Offi cials say
the driver of the vehicle, 20-year-old
Darryl Trapps, and another passenger,
19-year-old Melyssa Turner, remain in
crical condion.
Authories say the cause of the crash
remains under invesgaon.
Young CNY Entrepreneurs to Learn,
Test Business Mele at Entrepreneurial Boot Camp
By Edward L. Byrnes
Local high school students will have
the opportunity to embrace the
entrepreneurial spirit at the Student
Entrepreneurial Experience (SEE)
hosted by the Marn J. Whitman
School of Management at Syracuse
The weeklong event, held at the
South Side Innovaon Center (SSIC) in
Syracuse, begins Monday, July 23, and
connues through Friday, July 27.
The program will provide students
with vigorous full-day training and
mentoring as they learn to become
entrepreneurs, develop business ideas
and compete against the business
acumen of their peers.
“There is so much talent and so many
good ideas coming from students in
our high schools, and we want to take
that passion to the next step with this
inaugural event,” says SSIC Director
Bob Herz.
Business startup ideas from the clean
and renewable energy sector will be
assigned to the students—to replicate
what occurs in the real world, where
individuals don’t always get to pursue
their own business ideas, but instead
must use their skills and experse to
make the ideas of others successful.
To qualify for the compeve program,
students must be in their sophomore,
junior or senior year, and complete
an applicaon that includes a 200-
word essay describing why they feel
the experience would be beneficial to
“The Student Entrepreneurial
Experience is the first part of what
will be a connuous program for
young people, from high school
through college and post-college, and
including those not going to college,”
says Project SEE Program Director
Margaret Butler. “It provides ongoing
counseling, networking and incubator
offi ce space. There is nothing like it in
the Central New York area.”
Herz notes that a 2010 Harris
Interacve online poll conducted for
the Kauffman Foundaon, showed
that 40 percent of individuals ages
8-24 would like to start a business at
some point, or already have done so,
and that interest in starng a business
is consistent among 8-12 year-olds (39
percent), 13-17-year-olds (39 percent),
and 18-24-year-olds (41 percent).
Acvies for the week will include
instrucon on wring a business
plan, how to run a business, money
management, lessons learned from
current college student and younger
entrepreneurs at the South Side
Innovaon Center, and will culminate
with a business plan compeon on
Friday. Each member of the winning
team will receive a $500 gi cerficate.
All SEE parcipants will be invited to
entrepreneurship acvies on the SU
and Onondaga Community College
campuses and to credit-bearing
entrepreneurship courses in their
respecve high schools.
The SEE is supported through a
corporate charitable donaon by
the Philadelphia-based specialty
retailer VILLA, and a grant from the
New York State Energy Research
and Development Authority. Other
sponsors for the program include Say
Yes to Educaon, the Liverpool Central
School District and the South Side
George Jefferson was a bigot. A
loudmouth. Rude. Obsessed with
money. Arrogant. And yet he was
one of the most enjoyable, beloved
characters in television history.
Much of that credit belongs to
Sherman Hemsley, the gied character
actor who gave life to the blustering
black Harlem businessman on “The
Jeffersons,” one of TV’s longest
running and most successful sitcoms
— parcularly noteworthy with its
mostly black cast.
The Philadelphia-born Hemsley, who
police said late Tuesday died at his
home in El Paso, Texas, at age 74, first
played George Jefferson on CBS’s “All
in the Family” before he was spun off
onto “The Jeffersons.” The sitcom ran
for 11 seasons from 1975 to 1985.
With the gospel-style theme song of
“Movin’ On Up,” the hit show depicted
the wealthy former neighbors of
Archie and Edith Bunker in Queens as
they made their way on New York’s
Upper East Side. Hemsley and the
Jeffersons (Isabel Sanford played his
wife) oen dealt with contemporary
issues of racism, but more frequently
reveled in the sitcom archetype of a
short-tempered, opinionated patriarch
trying, oen unsuccessfully to control
his family.
Hemsley’s feisty, diminuve father
with an exaggerated strut was a kind
of black corollary to Archie Bunker —
a stubborn, high-strung man who had
a deep dislike for whites (his favorite
word for them was honkies). Yet unlike
the blue-collar Bunker, played by
Carroll O’Connor, he was a successful
businessman whose was as rich as
he was crass. His wife, Weezie, was
oen his foil — yet provided plenty of
zingers as well.
Despite the character’s many
faults — money-driven, prejudiced,
temperamental, a boor — Hemsley
managed to make the character
endearing, part of the reason it stayed
on the air for so long. Much like
O’Connor’s portrayal of Archie Bunker,
deep down, Hemsley’s Jefferson loved
his family, his friends (even the ones
he relentlessly teased) and had a good
heart. His performance was Emmy and
Golden Globe nominated.
“He was a love of a guy” and
“immensely talented,” Norman Lear,
producer of “The Jeffersons” and “All
in the Family,” said aer learning of
his death. El Paso police said the actor
was found dead at a local home where
neighbors said he’d lived for years, and
that no foul play is suspected.
“When the Jeffersons moved in next
door to the Bunkers, I wanted to deliver
the George Jefferson who could stand
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up to Archie Bunker,” Lear recalled
Tuesday. “It took some weeks before I
remembered having seen Sherman in
‘Purlie’ on Broadway.”
Hemsley read for the part and “the
minute he opened his mouth he was
George Jefferson,” Lear said. Hemsley
was smaller than O’Connor’s Archie
but “he was every bit as strong as
Archie,” Lear said.
Sherman Alexander Hemsley, though,
was far less feisty. The son of a prinng
press-working father and a factory-
working mother, Hemsley served in
the Air Force and worked for eight
years as a clerk for the Postal Service.
Having studied acng as an adolescent
at the Philadelphia Academy of
Dramac Arts, he began acng in
New York workshops and theater
companies, including the Negro
Ensemble Company. For years, he kept
his job at the post offi ce while acng
at night, before transioning to acng
He made his Broadway debut in 1970’s
“Purlie,” a musical adaptaon of
Ossie Davis’ Jim Crow-era play “Purlie
Victorious.” (Hemsley would later
star in a 1981 made-for-TV version
of “Purlie,” as well.) It was while
touring the show that Hemsley was
approached by Lear about playing a
character on the sitcom that would
become “All in the Family.”
Hemsley joined the show in 1973,
immediately catapulng himself from
an obscure theater actor to a hit
character on the enormously popular
show. Two years later, “The Jeffersons”
was spun off. Among the numerous
“All in the Family” spin-offs (“Maude,”
‘’Archie Bunker’s Place, “704 Hauser”),
“The Jeffersons” was the longest-
The character, the owner of a chain
of dry-cleaning stores, was devised,
Hemsley said, as “pompous and feisty.”
“All of it was really hard ... because
— rude, I don’t like to be that way,”
Hemsley said in a 2003 interview for
the Archive of American Television.
“But it was the character, I had to do
it. I had to be true to the character. If
I was to pull back something, then it
just wouldn’t work.”
And he brought some of his hometown
with him. “That dance I do (as George
Jefferson), it’s the Philly Slop,” he told
the Philadelphia Daily News in 1996.
Aer “The Jeffersons” was abruptly
cancelled, Hemsley starred in the
sitcom “Amen” as a fiery Philadelphia
church deacon, Ernest Frye. The show
latest five years, running 1986 to 1991.
Jackee Harry, a longme friend who
made appearances on the show, said
she and Hemsley had planned to tour
in the musical “Ain’t Misbehavin’’’. She
said they had discussed it recently and
that he seemed in good health and in
good spirits.
“It’s a sad, sad, sad day,” she said from
her home in Beverly Hills, Calif.
She recalled when the two of them
were on a Manhaan sidewalk during
the era of “The Jeffersons,” and
passers-by went wild.
“He got mauled and mugged,” she
laughed. “He said, ‘What’s all the
screaming about?’ He was so popular
and he didn’t even know it.”
She described him as “a very private
person unlike George Jefferson. But
he was very kind and very sweet, and
generous to a fault.”
Hemsley frequently turned up as a
guest on sitcoms like “Family Maers,”
‘’The Hughleys” and even, in a voice
role, “Family Guy.” He twice reprised
George Jefferson, appearing as his
famous character on “The Fresh Prince
of Bel-Air” and, in 2011, on “House of
Hemsley, whose films include 1979’s
“Love at First Bite,” 1987’s “Stewardess
School” and 1987’s “Ghost Fever,”
released an album, “Ain’t That a Kick in
the Head,” in 1989.
In an interview with the Gloucester
County Times in 2011, Hemsley said
his show business career actually
began in childhood.
“Making people laugh was automac,”
he said. “I was in a play in elementary
school and had to jump up and run
away. I was nervous and tripped and
fell down and everyone laughed. Their
laughter made me relax, so I pretended
it was part of the show.”
“I always told my mother I wanted a
job where I could have a lot of fun and
have a lot of me off,” Hemsley added.
“She asked me where I was going to
find that, and I said, ‘I don’t know, but
it’s out there.’”
Did you know that dense breast ssue
is one of the leading risk factors for
breast cancer in women? Dense breast
ssue is very common, but it can make
it more diffi cult to find cancer on a
mammogram. In addion, women
with high breast density are more
likely to develop breast cancer than
women with low breast density.
To help improve breast cancer
detecon and prevenon, Governor
Cuomo signed legislaon yesterday
that will require mammography
services to inform paents if dense
breast ssue is found during an exam.
“Early detecon can save lives and this
new law will give women who may
be at a higher risk for breast cancer
the informaon they need to consult
with their physician about follow-
up screening and other prevenve
measures,” Governor Cuomo said.
This new law will ensure that more
women are receiving this crical
informaon, which could lead to
earlier detecon and save lives.
Women should be aware and discuss
with their doctor all potenal risk
factors, including, but not limited to,
ssue density, age, family history of
breast cancer, obesity, and alcohol
Source: Offi ce of the Governor
New Law Will Help Improve
Breast Cancer Detecon and Prevenon
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Gar y Mor r i s, Sr., MBA
Licensed Real Estate Broker/Owner
Regi na E. Mor r i s
Office Manager/Owner
G& R Real Est at e 2007, LLC
761 North Salina Street
Syracuse, New York 13208
Email: GaryRegina5511@msn.com
Office: 315.399.5183
Fax: 315.399.5191
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The views expressed on our opinion pages are those of the author and do not
necessarily represent the position or viewpoint of MRMG or CNY Vision
Do Our Policans Deserve Our Vote and Support?
The other day,
I received the
kind of mail most
people tend to
discard without
bothering to see
what it’s all about.
There was no
doubt about
the fact that it
was a computer
g e n e r a t e d
post card size
That’s right. We call it junk mail.
More than likely, any such computer
generated mail that ends up in your
mailbox has one characterisc; a
company or an organizaon is asking you
to buy something, join them or support
a cause.
That explains why most people tend to
throw away computer generated mail
these days regardless of its origin.
Such mail almost always runs the risk of
ending up in the garbage can, unless the
name of the sender means something to
the addressee.
In this instance with the mail in my
mailbox, it did. The post card mail was
sent to me from the offi ce of Sam Roberts.
A couple of days later, I received another
mail. It was also computer generated, but
was different the way it was packaged.
It was in an envelope with the address
of Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle.
I know who she is, she represents us in
Washington DC.
I am sure I am not the sole recipient of
the mailings from Sam Roberts and Ann
Marie Buerkle. I am also certain that the
decision to send me the postcard and the
leer was not based on the fact that I
write a column for this newspaper, or that
I have known Sam Roberts for decades or
know who Ann Marie Buerkle is.
The leer from the congresswoman
discussed the significance of non-profit
organizaons in this area and the role
they play in providing our communies
with valuable services.
She concluded by stang that her
offi ce would do what they can to help
an organizaon such as the one I am
affi liated with if we need help.
I knew I was not in error in assuming that
each mail I received was one of several
mailed out to constuents. They were
probably sent out to a list of addresses
generated by a computer from a database
available to policians and possibly
anyone interested in finding out who
resides in any parcular secon of town.
For policians, such databases serve an
important service; they tell them about
the people who reside in the areas they
represent, and who may become useful to
them as potenal voters and supporters.
Receiving those two pieces of mail was
important to me in many ways. First of
all, they alerted me to one important
fact; that my good friend Sam Roberts
is on record, according to his offi ce
and the post card, for a number of
legislave iniaves that will benefit our
Also, and just as significantly, he has to
be re-elected. I asked myself: Is it me
already for Sam Roberts to be re-elected?
It seemed like he was elected not too
long ago. How me flies.
I know Sam Roberts quite well. He is
the assemblyman who represents us in
Albany. He had previously been a county
legislator. I also know about Ann Marie
She came to my aenon a couple of years
ago during the campaign for Congress
that pied her against an incumbent who
had no intenon of losing.
It was a hotly contested campaign and
both sides were determined to win,
but when the dust seled, Ann Marie
Buerkle, emerged victorious.
There was just something about Ann
Marie Buerkle that appealed to the
voters. On the basis of the campaign she
waged and the impact made, she was
elected as our Congresswoman for the
25th District. More importantly, I am a
constuent of both Sam Roberts and Ann
Marie Buerkle.
I live in the assembly district Sam
Roberts represents in Albany and
the congressional Ann Marie Buerkle
represents in Washington, DC.
They are definitely doing the right thing;
reaching out to their constuents. Do
they deserve our support? Should we
vote for them and send them back to
Albany and Washington DC to connue
to represent us?
Why not? They were good enough to get
our vote and support two years ago. And
so far, they haven’t given us any reason to
not vote for them again.
The other day, I discussed a project I
planned to undertake with Mike Atkins,
the former city council member. He
would do what he could, but if need be,
he would seek help from Sam Roberts on
my behalf, he said.
That was all I needed to hear. I know he
has close es to Sam Roberts and can put
in a word on my behalf. As for Ann Marie
Buerkle, I intend to follow up on the leer
she wrote to my organizaon. I won’t
be disappointed if they don’t recognize
my name; but will most certainly be if
they don’t help us with our request for
Kofi Quaye has been a Syracuse
resident for more than 30 years. He
is a writer, author and publisher. Over
the years, he has been involved with
the publication of several African
American focused newspapers in
The GOP and the Vote: Return to Jim Crow
com) - Aug. 6
marks the 47th
anniversary of
the signing of
the Vong Rights
Act of 1965 by
President Lyndon
B. Johnson.
Passed by large
majories of both
Democrats and
Republicans, the
act reflected the
ov e r whe l mi ng
consensus in America that had been
finally forged on Alabama’s Edmund
Peus Bridge during the civil rights march
from Selma to Montgomery.
In the end, only one Republican senator
voted no: Strom Thurmond of my birth
state of South Carolina, founder of the
Dixiecrats Party.
Think of that: In 1965, only one
Republican senator voted against this
great expansion of vong rights for the
disenfranchised and dispossessed.
But today a different GOP wages war on
our right to vote. The modern Republican
Party is largely a creaon of that same
Strom Thurmond, who helped Richard
Nixon defeat Hubert Humphrey in 1968
with his famous “Southern Strategy,”
which helped turn southern Democrac
Wallace voters into Republican Nixon
voters, and later into Reagan voters and
Bush voters.
The foundaon of the modern Republican
Party is no longer rooted in Lincoln, who
signed the Emancipaon Proclamaon;
its roots lie in the racism of Thurmond,
who did everything he could to block
African Americans from gaining expanded
vong rights.
Now the party that he warped is doing
everything it can to abandon one of our
naon’s proudest legacies, the legacy of
the Rev. Marn Luther King Jr. and Fannie
Lou Hamer and LBJ: the expansion of
vong rights to all our people.
Instead of automac voter registraon,
Republican legislators in states such as
Florida are making it harder for even
groups like the League of Women Voters
to register voters. Instead of emulang
the successes of same-day vong and
early vong, GOP legislators in states
such as Maine and Ohio have fought to
roll back these successful reforms.
Instead of making it easier for working
people to vote by instung vong
holidays, conservave legislators in states
such as Pennsylvania and Texas have
enacted voter ID laws to depress and
restrict turnout of poor people, students
and minority voters.
The situaon has grown so bad that
in his speech to the NAACP naonal
convenon, U.S. Aorney General Eric
Holder recently compared the Texas
restricons to the reviled “poll taxes” of
the Jim Crow era.
Mi Romney spoke to that same NAACP
convenon. Here’s what he said about the
wave of restricve vong laws promoted
by GOP legislators across the country:
“All types of conniving methods are sll
being used to prevent Negroes from
becoming registered voters. The denial
of this sacred right is a tragic betrayal of
the highest mandates of our democrac
tradions and it is democracy turned
upside down.”
Oh, wait. That wasn’t Mi Romney last
week. That was King in 1957 in his “Give
Us the Ballot” speech.
Sadly, King’s words sll ring true. And Mi
Romney’s silence on these restricons
speaks volumes.
Unfortunately, the existence of the
Vong Rights Act of 1965 may soon hinge
on the whims of the U.S. Supreme Court,
which contains members with parsan
and ideological hoslies towards vong
My judgment is that this fight is not over.
My judgment is that the 47th anniversary
of the Vong Rights Act is a great day for
America. It’s a day for celebrang one of
our finest achievements, not a me to
connue destroying it.
And it’s a reminder that vong rights sll
need to be expanded, not abandoned;
protected, not rejected.
The Reverend Jesse Louis Jackson,
Sr., founder and president of the
Rainbow PUSH Coalition, is one
of America’s foremost civil rights,
religious and political figures.
The views expressed on our opinion pages are those of the author and do not
necessarily represent the position or viewpoint of MRMG or CNY Vision
Juanita Bynum Has Slept with Women,
But Does that Make Her a Hypocrite?
I once recall meeng
a nice, prey
woman in Kansas
City, a place where
bible thumping
is praccally an
Olympic sport. I
could tell she was
coming onto me,
since she seemed
like the kind of
c h u r c h - g o i n g
woman who had
a peculiar fesh
with men like myself, Michael Eric Dyson
and other guys who went to school. I went
on a few dates with the woman, only to
conclude that her lifestyle was a bit too
wild for me, and found myself shocked at
how she maintained the good, corporate
Chrisan woman demeanor during the
day, and lived an edgy and dangerous
lifestyle when she wasn’t at church. The
most ironic thing was that she told me
that she could never date me seriously
anyway, because I don’t go to church.
There was no conversaon about whether
or not I am a decent man, it was all about
following the habitual ritual. I found this
both confusing and ironic.
There’s no telling what you’re going to find
coming out of the black church these days.
Literally, every single day, we hear stories
like the one about the cheang pastor who
is suing Sprint for le ng his suspicious
wife see his phone records, Creflo Dollar,
who was arrested for allegedly assaulng
his own daughter, and even stories like
the one about the pastor’s wife who
was having sex with her foster son in the
backseat of a car. There are hundreds of
other stories out there.
Finally, there is Ms. Juanita Bynum. Juanita
made news recently aer admi ng that
there was once a me when she would
sleep with prey much anyone, no maer
what gender they were. She also admied
during an interview to doing drugs and
all kinds of other things to fill the void
that existed in her life. Juanita made the
revelaons during an interview on V-103
in Atlanta, the city that has become known
as both “The Black Mecca” and “Sodom
and Gomorroh.”
“I’ve done it all. I did the drugs. I’ve been
with men. I’ve been with women. It’s not
a line. It’s my life,” Bynum said. “I took
full responsibility in every area because
every choice that I made, nobody put a
gun to my head. These were my choices
and I made these choices due to a lack of
“I’m not embarrassed about my
conversions, and that’s why I’m not
insecure about being around people who
have issues and struggles,” Bynum said.
Part of me appreciates Pastor Bynum’s
candor, admi ng that she is as imperfect
as anyone else and has made mistakes for
which she is willing to take responsibility.
But I find that it’s always easier to confess
to your indiscreons when you get too
old to do them anymore. Old men whose
testosterone levels have declined have
an easier me condemning young men
for sleeping around. Older women like
Juanita have also sewn their oats, so the
things that she might want to do in her
fiies are not the things she would have
done in her twenes. Typically, aer
folks have gone around the world and
back, they return to church, which is the
only place they know that can give them
comfort and forgiveness aer their lives
have fallen apart or they’ve ruined the
lives of others.
With that being said, I quietly wonder
exactly what it means to be a person of
faith, and I wonder if there is truly any
value given to the idea of serving God in
a righteous life. Not to say that anyone’s
perfect, but I wonder just how much I
would have to do before someone deems
me to be incapable of being a spiritual
leader. From where I’m standing, it
appears that I could rape 50 nuns, shoot
10 kids in a daycare, use $200,000 worth
of cocaine and slap my mother and sll
have people waing in the wings for me
to give them any old explanaon for my
behavior. As long as I tell them that the
behavior is in the past and quote a few
biblical loopholes, then I’d be good to
go. If I slip up again, I keep it to myself,
and when I get caught, I cry in front of the
church and swear that the devil made me
do it. No problemo. As my drug-addicted
Chrisan friend said to me aer telling me
that Jesus is the reason he doesn’t need to
go to rehab, “I stopped using cocaine two
days ago and the lord says that I will never
use it again.”
No, I don’t want the thousands of pastors,
deacons, bishops and congregaon
members reading this arcle to email
me and tell me that they are praying for
my allegedly misguided soul. I’ve talked
to God and he says that my soul is just
fine. Just because a person quesons the
foundaon of religion, that doesn’t mean
that they are somehow unable to see the
real truth. It is a strong possibility that
none of us knows the truth and that some
of us have somehow been convinced that
our percepon of truth has more merit
than everyone else’s; that’s the confidence
that a bunch of documentaon and
millions of like-minded followers gives you
in a debate. The first thing I learned when
I became a scholar is how lile I actually
know. There is nothing more irritang
than when both ignorance and arrogance
are being spewed from the same person.
As the son of a pastor myself, I’ve been
part of the black church most of my life.
Also, I’ve observed the church as both an
outsider and insider, with an intense love
for my people. One of the things I really
can’t figure out is where morality fits into
the picture when it comes to black church
parcipaon. We appear every Sunday
and are told stories about this amazing
figure called Jesus Christ. Jesus gives us
instrucons on how to live our lives with
purpose, mercy and compassion, yet many
of us walk outside the church and do the
exact opposite of what Jesus told us to do.
Then, aer spending the week engaged in
the kinds of debauchery that would make
a demon blush, we come back to church,
ask for forgiveness, cleansing our souls
the same way a sweaty fat man takes a
shower aer a hard day at work. We then
get a license to tell other people that we
are beer off than they are because we go
to church and they don’t. At what point is
there some degree of accountability that
goes beyond simply admi ng that we are
not perfect and that we are all born in sin?
Personally, I refuse to believe that we were
put on this planet to hurt other people
and to live lives that create volality in the
souls of other human beings. No amount
of bible thumping or scripture recitaon is
going to save you from the consequences
of living a wretched and despicable life.
When I refer to those who are living in
ways that might be considered sad and
shameful, I am not referring to Juanita
Bynum. Instead, I visualize someone
like Bishop Eddie Long, who spent years
convincing young boys that he was a
surrogate father figure, all so he could
have sex with them. I am referring to all
of Bishop Long’s congregaon members,
who sll see him as their spiritual leader
in spite of all the evidence that he’s
vicmized young children. I think about
all those poor souls who praised the
“lawud” alongside R. Kelly at Whitney
Houston’s funeral, knowing full well that
this man may have given lifelong STDs to
12-year old girls. I am also referring to all
of us who see Sunday church as a “get out
of hell free card” that alleviates us of the
guilt we should rightly feel for the horrible
things we’ve done to other people.
Finally, situaons like Bynum’s bring
aenon to the dangers of hyper-
religious thinking, where everything is
a sin, everyone is a sinner, and anything
resembling pleasure is automacally
condemned. Because the bible tells us
not to have sex out of wedlock, we don’t
talk to our kids about sex because we are
convinced that they would never do it. As
a result, we find out that our sweet lile
baby girl has more men coming through
her apartment than Grand Central Staon.
By condemning everything in her path,
we not only increase the temptaon
of parcipaon in certain acvies, we
guarantee that our kids are going to
do everything wrong and irresponsibly
(hence, the high rates sexual promiscuity
and subsequent STDs in the black
community, with the highly sancfied
“Hotlanta” near the top of the pack).
I am reminded of a statement I heard
from a highly religious girl who loved to
have unprotected sex with thugs and
easily cleared 15 sex partners a year. Her
reason for engaging in this risky behavior
that threatened her life? ”Thugs are just
soooo forbidden and my daddy used to
always tell us that sex was evil and bad.”
Maybe if this girl’s father had shared
healthy conversaons with her about her
sexuality, she wouldn’t be audioning to
be the next Kim Kardashian.
The point is that discussions within the
black church about HIV, homosexuality,
sexuality in general and truly following the
principles of Jesus in everyday life (helping
the poor, standing up for what is right, etc)
would help all of us and our kids. Some
of us sll believe that church is a place
to scream, holler and pray and then go
out and live a life of blatant hypocrisy.
The honest reality is that most of us go
to church primarily because we were
raised in the church. Our grandmothers
threatened to beat us if we didn’t show up.
We became addicted to our faith before
we ever learned what it truly means to
connect to a higher power, and we believe
certain things because they were told to
us by someone else. Most of us didn’t get
a chance to choose our faith, the people in
our faith chose us.
Juanita Bynum is not the only woman in the
black church who has a crazy story to tell.
There are millions of other women who
feel oppressed to the point of living one
life behind closed doors and pretending
to be something else in public. Keeping
ourselves in a psychological prison is never
healthy, and I doubt that God would want
any of us to reject the person he designed
us to be.
Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Finance Professor
at Syracuse University and author of the
book, “Financial Lovemaking 101: Merging
Assets with Your Partner in Ways that Feel
Good.” .
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