vol. 6 no.

13

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DennisNorth Korea? Not! Rodman US Diplomat to

also inside...

Rosa Parks Statue

Unveiled at Capitol

page 9

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In This Issue:
vol. 6 no. 13
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CALENDAR

Dennis Rodman US Diplomat to North Korea? Not!

march
The goals is to create connections between the organizations and the RCSD community in order to address and improve overall health and wellness which positively affects students’ academic success. There will be performances by local youth and students groups, samples from organizations, a raffle, handouts, give aways and much more! 17 City Living Sundays 2013 - Westside Time: 12:00pm-4:00pm Location: Theodore Roosevelt School #43 -1305 Lyell Avenue Realize your dream of homeownership. Learn how easy and truly affordable it is to own a home. Join us for seminars, counseling, neighborhood information, and Open Houses.For additional information, please call (585)428-CITY or TDD (585)428-6054 April 7 4th Annual Edible Books Festival And Competition County Time: 2:00pmto4:00pm Location: Kate Gleason Auditorium, Central Library, 115 South Ave Imagine an event where books look good enough to eat — and can be! Participants select favorite books and create 3-d sculptures based on the titles or themes of those books. They are made from cakes, sculpted fruits and vegetables, chocolate, macaroni and any other edible items. The results will amaze you! Contact: Linda Rock 428-8350, linda. rock@libraryweb.org

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also inside...

Rosa Parks Statue

Unveiled at Capitol

page 9

{COVER {FEATURE

Pg 8

• Dennis Rodman, US Diplomat to North Korea? NOT! Pg 9

• Rosa Parks Statue Unveiled at Capitol

{LOCAL

Pg 4 - 5

6 Skate with the Amerks Time: 6:00pm-7:00pm Location: Manhattan Square Park Ice Rink, 10 Manhattan Square Drive Amerks fans can skate with their favorite players at the annual Wendy’s Skate Amerks players will be on hand to meet and skate with fans. Free passes are available at any participating Monroe County Wendy’s location. Passes will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis while supplies last. One pass admits one person and all patrons must have their passes present upon arrival in order to skate. Skates are also required For more information or to purchase tickets to an Amerks game, visit www.amerks.com or call 1-855-GOAMERKS. 7 Monroe County Planning Board To Hold Public Time: 7:00 PM Location: Auditorium A at Monroe Community Hospital, 435 E. Henrietta Road The Monroe County Planning Board will sponsor a public information meeting on the proposed 2014-2019 Capital Improvement Program. 16 RCSD Health and Wellness Fair Time: 9:00am-12;00pm Location: East High School- 1801 E. Main St. The RCSD 2nd Annual Health and Wellness Fair is open to students, parents, families, staff and community members. There will be over 80 local organizations offering information about their programs and services.

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Dave McCleary davemc@minorityreporter.net Pauline McCleary pmccleary@minorityreporter.net Gary McLendon Editor@minorityreporter.net Catie Fiscus ArtDirector@minorityreporter.net Lisa Dumas Delani Weaver Sharese Hardaway SHardaway@minorityreporter.net

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• NYS Dept of Education Awards Grant to Warner School for City Teachers • Condoms Available at City High Schools • Rev. Marlowe Washington Announces Run for City Council • Woman May Fight to Keep her Home • YWCA Recieves Van Donated by Ford Dealers • Rochester Wins Approval to Form Land Bank

AdvErtIsIng

Dave McCleary Lucy Smith-Fulmore advertising@minorityreporter.net Temple Boggs, Jr. Todd Elliott

PHOtOgrAPHy cOLuMnIsts

{STATE

Pg 6

• Bill Introduced -again- to Honor Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad

Gloria Winston Al-Sarag C. Michael Tillman Rev. Michael Vaughn Vincent Felder Diane Watkins Mike Dulaney Davy Vara Ayesha Kreutz

{NATIONAL {COLUMNS:

Pg 12

• Jurors sought for Pa. abortion doc’s murder trial Pg 14-15

• Education Matters: The Richards, Urbanski Alliance By carrie remis • CNN Reportedly Getting Rid of Both Soledad O’Brien and Roland Martin By Boyce watkins • Former Rochester Mayor Bill Johnson to Run Marlowe Washington’s City Council Campaign By davy vara

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Send us your

Mixed Feelings Regarding MCC Moving to Kodak Site
The following responses were posted to our story “Rochester Mayor not Happy with MCC Decision to Move to Kodak Site” [http://www.minorityreporter.net/ fullstory/fullstory.php?id=432] I think we have to look at who is driving this decision. There is plenty of time to study this from all angles and take public input if a true desire was for the County government to do what was best for the students, faculty and taxpayers. Obviously this is not their goal. So what is? Trying to restore the health of the downtown area seems to be important to the City government right now. But while the mayor sees MCC as an asset in this plan, the county legislators apparently do not. Could this be just another racist attempt by predominately white power brokers to remove large numbers of students of color who make them feel unsafe from the downtown area? Is the plan to sanitize the area in hopes of luring white suburbanites back to the center city for commerce and entertainment. One has to wonder. ~Patricia Mannix I do not understand why they want to move MCC campus to State street. Although that part of State Street looks nice and all , but what about the neighborhood behind Kodak. This neighborhood has had no attention accept to put a new Soccer stadium in while the neighborhood slowly depreciates and deteriorates. Will this campus be the start of rebuilding a neighborhood that screams for attention? If not , then leave it where it is and deal with making downtown better. ~ Gregory Bouie As a city tax payer and home owner, I am very concerned about agreements made without any “secured” state funds. An “I’ll see what I can do” means absolutely nothing at the bank! Before locking in the Kodak site, the funding should have been secured. On the other side of the coin is the repeated promises from Sibley owners and the City of Rochester to make the Sibley site safe for students! I have seen the police trailers, mounted patrol, police officers on segways, and foot patrol and we still have the same safety issues. People deserve the right to feel and be safe while in our downtown area. My personal opinion is that be police just dispersing students and not arresting the trouble makers, just allows them to start another problem around the corner or the next day. People say we can’t just arrest everyone especially our youth, but obviously the amount of resources and money we have thrown that way hasn’t worked either. Do I have an answer, NO - but obviously this was one of the major points of MCC wanting to leave the site. How did that work out for us? ~ Luis Aponte Luis, I am an elderly European American woman who spent a great deal of time in front of the Sibley building registering voters and shop at the Rainbow store. There is nothing to be afraid of. I have never been treated in any inappropriate way. ~Carol Aragon Just what I was thinking Pat. Once again we’re catering to irrational fear rather than educating… very disappointing. ~ Carol Aragon

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LOCAL

NYS Department of Education Awards Grant to Warner School for City Teachers
The New York State Department of Education has awarded the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education $749,985 in funding for its Clinically Rich Urban School Leadership Program. According to the Warner School, the grant will support the program’s approach of mentoring and professional development to a select number of teachers in the Rochester City School District. In addition, the central features of the program include enhanced coursework while integrating field-based assignments; and a full-time clinical experience, which gives teachers release time to intern with city administrators during the school year. “Urban schools across the country face the challenge of raising student achievement to higher levels,” said Mary Rapp, director of the K-12 school leadership preparation program at the Warner School. “The innovative design of this program creates a new pipeline for successful Rochester city school teachers to prepare for future school leadership positions within the District. The Warner School launched the urban school leadership program last year in partnership with the city school district and the College of Arts, Sciences & Engineering at the University of Rochester. The 27-credit Advanced Certificate allows teachers in the RCSD to earn a K-12 administrative certification over two years, part-time, while holding a full-time teaching position. Ultimately, the program’s participants will receive New York State Certification in School Building and District Leadership. The Department of Education grant will cover 35 percent of the tuition costs for teachers, and the Warner School will cover another 20 percent.

Condoms Available in City High Schools
Starting last Monday, condoms were made available to Rochester City School District high-school students through the district’s new Condom Availability Program. According to RSCD, the district hopes the controversial health policy will help reduce teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases in schools. A study released by the Monroe County Department of Health in 2010 found that 45 percent of new HIV cases in the county are among adolescents and young adults under the age of 25. “Sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancy are public health concerns faced by every school district in our community,” said Jerome Underwood, the district’s senior director for Youth Development and Family Services. “We have designed this program to protect Rochester students from the dangers of unsafe sex, while ensuring that they have the necessary guidance to make smart choices, and that their parents can opt out easily if they don’t approve.” While the contraceptives became available in schools Monday, there are, however, several guidelines that must be met under the new program, the district said, which allows students in ninth through 12th grade access to a free, limited amount of condoms per day. Those criteria include: • Parents must approve by not signing an “opt out” letter that was distributed to all high-school families in October, and remains available through each high school. • The student must have completed a health course that includes AIDS education. • The student must receive personal health guidance from the nurse that includes information about abstinence, safe sex, sexually transmitted diseases including HIV, and pregnancy prevention along with instruction on how to safely use a condom. Underwood said that along with the letter previously mailed to their homes, the District will send a phone message to all high school parents informing them about the program and how they can opt out. The Rochester school board approved these policy guidelines in early 2012. The CAP program has received approval from the New York State Department of Education and is funded entirely by the New York State Department of Health.

Rev. Marlowe Washington Announces Run for City Council
Reverend Marlowe Washington of Christ Community Church announced that he’s running for City Council Thursday during a news conference at the Main Street Armory. According to reports, Washington, an enrolled Democrat, called for a return to police precincts, among other neighborhood initiatives. What motivated me to run is my love for the city of Rochester,” Washington said. “I’m not from here but I really love here. I enjoy the people, and I enjoy my work from my previous assignments. I’m motivated because I see two Rochesters. I see a very poor Rochester and a Rochester that has [wealth]. We’re not hitting the poor side strong enough in terms of various systems such as education and poverty.” “It seems that right now city council lends itself to only one certain direction,” he continued. “I’m sure they do a whole lot, we just don’t know it. My hope is that we will not really any longer dance around the problems of our city, and that we are hitting it with a bull’s-eye; a plan. My plan is called Great Community. My plan is to de-concentrate poverty.” Washington said one way he hopes to tackle the situation is by bringing more practical employers into the city. “We need to deal with the issue of figuring out why half of Rochester’s poor and what we need to do to change that half in terms of jobs,” said Washington. “The jobs that have been coming to our town have been minimum wage jobs or your callcenter type jobs. And that to me is not a functional situation. We need to be more functional.” In 2005, Washington came to Rochester from Newark, N.J. and is now one of the city’s more well-known clergy members. Since his arrival, he’s been a pastor at two churches, and led the “You Bet I Told” campaign, encouraging people who know about a crime to come forward with information anonymously by calling 3-1-1. In addition, he was an integral part of former Mayor Robert Duffy’s literacy commission and is co-founder of project T.I.P.S. Rev. Marlowe Washington Former mayor Bill Johnson will be managing the campaign. “We’ve been close since the first day I moved to town,” Washington said. “I enjoyed my work with him for my first year, and we’ve been connected like father son ever since.” Five at-large City Council seats will be on the ballot this fall. All of the incumbents are Democrats seeking reelection.

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LOCAL

Woman May Win Fight to Keep Her Home
Mary Smith, along with Take Back the Land Rochester and other supporters, may have been successful in an effort to keep her home at 53 Cutler St. from being auctioned by American Tax Funding and the city of Rochester. Facing foreclosure despite having fully paid for her house, Smith pledged to stay in her home of 30 years and not let the for-profit corporation ATF forcefully evict her. According to a statement released by Take Back the Land, a not-for-profit group providing eviction defense, Smith had paid off her mortgage 12 years ago, but recently fell behind paying taxes on the residence due to issues with her health and the death of her husband. As a result, the city sold her tax liens to Florida-based ATF. In response, Take Back the Land promptly called for negotiations instead of foreclosure, and scheduled a non-violent auction protest and a community eviction-defense, if one became necessary. But after rallying the community around Smith and circulating a petition in support of her cause, the organization’s call for help may have been answered. According to reports, ATF is now working with Smith’s attorney on an arraignment that is expected to keep her home off the auction block and there has also been some assistance from city government in the matter. Smith’s home was scheduled to be auctioned Feb. 26 at 10 a.m. American Tax Funding was not immediately available for comment.

YWCA Receives Van Donated by Ford Dealers
The YWCA has joined a list of more than a dozen nonprofit organizations that have received new Ford passenger vans, compliments of the Rochester Area Ford dealers and the Ford Friendship Express program. The announcement was made Thursday at the 2013 Rochester International Auto Show. “There are a number of local organizations that lack reliable transportation for their daily services,” said Randy Henderson, representative of the Ford Friendship Express selection committee. “This is what the Ford Friendship Express Program is all about, offering a hand, and in this case a van, too those in need.” “The YWCA of Rochester and Monroe County is very grateful for the donation of the Ford Friendship Express van from the Rochester Area Ford Dealers,” said Jean Carroll, President and CEO, YWCA. “The vehicle will help support our mission of empowering women and girls in our community. We will use this van to transport women and their children to appointments in the community, pick up food donations and help families move into their new homes after they leave the shelter.” Last year, ABVI-Goodwill received a new Ford Transit Connect van. The two runner-up organizations, Camp Good Days and Special Times and Catholic Family Center, will receive a cash donation each of $2,500 each to support their daily operations. Past recipients include: Boys and Girls Club of Rochester, Foodlink, Rochester St. Martin’s Boxing Club, Wilson Commencement Park and more. Applications for the 2014 Ford Friendship Express Program will be available next fall at www. rochesterareaforddealers.com.

Rochester Wins Approval to Form Land Bank
Mayor Thomas S. Richard announced Wednesday that Rochester has been approved by the Empire State Development (ESD) to establish a not-for-profit land bank Richards says would facilitate the return of vacant, abandoned, and tax-delinquent properties to productive uses through the HOME Rochester Program. “A land bank in Rochester is another tool we can use to strengthen our neighborhoods across the city,” Richards noted. “The creation of the Rochester Land Bank Corporation will help turn blighted properties into owner-occupied homes that will in turn promote neighborhood and community revitalization.” The Rochester Land Bank will work with the HOME Rochester Program administered by the Greater Rochester Housing Partnership to rehab vacant, single family homes and sell them to first-time homebuyers. Jean Lowe, President of the Greater Rochester Housing Partnership says Home Rochester has been successfully rehabilitating homes this since 1992 and has sold more than 610 renovated homes. “Land banks are a powerful tool in many communities for taking control of vacant and abandoned properties,” says Lowe. The Rochester Land Bank Corporation will start acquiring properties as early as this summer. Plans for the Land Bank are to take tile to an average of 25 properties during the first two years of operation and supply them to the HOME Rochester Program for renovation and sale.

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Bill introduced--again--to honor Harriet Tubman and Underground Railroad
Several NY and Md Senators have introduced a bill to establish two National Parks to honor Harriet Ross Tubman and the Underground Railroad. U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, both D-N.Y. and U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski, both D-Md, introduced Senate Bill 247 to the 113th Congress. The bill, if passed, would authorize funding “as such sums as necessary” to acquire “land” or “interests in land” to establish the Harriet Tubman National Historical and the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Park, one in New York and one in Maryland. This is the fourth time the bill has been presented. The legislation was originally introduced in the 110th Congress and was re-introduced in the 111 and 112th Congresses. to the Tubman’s legacy because March 10 is the 100th anniversary of Tubman’s death, at the age of 93 in the Auburn, N.Y., rest home that bears her name and that she established specifically for the care of aging former slaves with no family to support them. “February is Black History Month and it’s most fitting that we celebrate it by working to honor the legacy Harriet Tubman, a true American patriot for whom liberty and freedom were principles in which she believed and risked her life to achieve,” Cardin said. “Her life was defined by helping others achieve freedom, and these two parks will make it possible for Marylanders, New Yorkers and all Americans to trace her life’s work and remember her tremendous contribution to our nation’s history,” he said. In Maryland, The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park would include historically important landscapes in Dorchester, Caroline and Talbot counties that are evocative of Tubman’s life. In New York, The Harriet Tubman National Historical Park would include important historical structures in Auburn, including Tubman’s home, the Home for the Aged that she established, the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Zion Church and Fort Hill Cemetery, where she is buried. Last Wednesday, Senators Schumer and Cardin held a press conference in the Senate Visitors Center of the U.S. Capitol to encourage passage of the legislation. Others joining the Senators in support of the bill included Maryland Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md.-4, Maffei, Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio-11, Hilary O. Shelton of the NAACP, Allendra Letsome of the National Organization for Women, Marc Morial of the National Urban League and Dr. Thelma Daley of the National Council of Negro Women.

STATE

U.S. Congressman Dan Maffei (D-N.Y.-24) plans to introduce a companion bill in the House of Representatives. Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md. -1) has also introduced a companion bill in the House, H.R. 213, which he says is identical to legislation (H.R. 4007) which he introduced during the 112th Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md. -1) has also introduced a companion bill in the House, H.R. 213, which he says is identical to legislation (H.R. 4007) A former slave, Harriet Tubman was which he introduced during the an abolitionist and humanitarian 112th Congress. That legislation who escaped slavery and encouraged establishment of the subsequently made more than two National Historical Parks to thirteen missions to rescue more honor Tubman but provided no than 70 slaves using a network additional federal funding for the of antislavery activists and safe project. houses known as the Underground Railroad. This year is particularly significant

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COVER STORY

North Korea’s young leader has riled the U.S. with recent nuclear tests, but Kim Jong Un doesn’t really want war with the superpower, just a call from President Barack Obama to chat about their shared love of basketball, according to ersatz diplomat Dennis Rodman, the ex-NBA star just back from an improbable visit to the reclusive communist country. “He loves basketball. ... I said Obama loves basketball. Let’s start there” as a way to warm up relations between U.S. and North Korea, Rodman told ABC’s “This Week.” “He asked me to give Obama something to say and do one thing. He wants Obama to do one thing, call him,” said Rodman, who called the authoritarian leader an “awesome guy” during his trip. The State Department criticized North Korea last week for “wining and dining’ Rodman while its own people go hungry. Rodman also said Kim told him, “I don’t want to do war. I don’t want to do war.” Yet in January, after the U.N. Security Council voted to condemn the North’s successful rocket launch in December and expand penalties against Kim’s government, his National Defense Commission said in a statement that “settling accounts with the U.S. needs to be done with force, not with words.” The statement also promised “a new phase of the anti-U.S. struggle that has lasted century after century.” North Korea and the U.S. fought on opposite sides of the three-year Korean War, which ended in a truce in 1953. The foes technically remain at war. They never signed a peace treaty and do not have diplomatic relations. Rodman was the highest-profile American to meet Kim since Kim inherited power from father Kim Jong Il in 2011. He traveled to the secretive state with the Harlem Globetrotters team for a

new HBO series produced by New York-based VICE television. The visit took place amid rising tensions between the countries. North Korea conducted an underground nuclear test two weeks ago, making clear the provocative act was a warning to the United States to drop what it considers a “hostile” policy toward the North. Rodman said he was aware of North Korea’s human rights record, which the State Department has characterized as one of the worst in the world, but said he wasn’t apologizing for Kim. “He’s a good guy to me,” Rodman said, adding,

that “as a person to person, he’s my friend. I don’t condone what he does.” Basketball is popular in North Korea, and Thursday’s exhibition game with two Americans playing on each team alongside North Koreans ended in a 110-110 tie. Following the game Kim threw an “epic feast” for the group, plying them with food and drinks and making round after round of toasts. Rodman’s trip was the second attention-grabbing American visit this year to North Korea. Google’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, made a fourday trip in January, but did not meet Kim. Rodman said he planned to go back to North Korea to “find out more what’s really going on.”

as a person to person, he’s my friend. I don’t condone what he does.
-- dennis rodman on kim Jong un

9 www.minorityreporter.net | march 4 -10 | 2013

FEATURE STORY
Rosa Parks Statue Unveiled at Capitol
By SUZANNE GAMBOA (AP) President Barack Obama and congressional leaders unveiled a full-length statue of civil rights icon Rosa Parks in the Capitol Wednesday, paying tribute to a figure whose name became synonymous with courage in the face of injustice. Parks becomes the first black woman to be honored with a full-length statue in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall. A bust of another black woman, abolitionist Sojourner Truth, sits in the Capitol Visitors Center. Obama said that with the installation of the statue, Parks, who died in 2005, has taken her rightful place among those who have shaped the course of U.S. history. He said her presence in Capitol would serve to “remind us no matter how humble or lofty our positions, just what it is that leadership requires.” Obama and House Speaker John Boehner jointly led the unveiling, standing with the statue between them as they grasped and pulled in opposite directions on the braided cord that held the covering. Congressional leaders in the House and Senate joined Parks’ niece in tugging on the cord. “We do well by placing a statue of her here,” Obama said, “but we can do no greater honor to her memory than to carry forward the power of her principle and a courage born of conviction.” The statue portrays Parks seated, wearing a hat and clutching her trademark purse — “a permanent reminder of the cause she embodied,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. The several hundred lawmakers, family and congressional staff who gathered for the ceremony in the vaulted hall rose to their feet and whooped as Boehner opened the ceremony. “Here in the hall, she casts an unlikely silhouette — unassuming in a lineup of proud stares, challenging all of us once more to look up and to draw strength from stillness,” said Boehner, R-Ohio. Parks is famous for her 1955 refusal to give up her seat on a city bus in Alabama to a white man, but there’s plenty about the rest of her experiences that she deliberately withheld from her family. While Parks and her husband, Raymond, were childless, her brother, the late Sylvester McCauley, had 13 children. They decided Parks’ nieces and nephews didn’t need to know the horrible details surrounding her civil rights activism, said Rhea McCauley, Parks’ niece. “They didn’t talk about the lynchings and the Jim Crow laws,” said McCauley, 61, of Orlando, Fla. “They didn’t talk about that stuff to us kids. Everyone wanted to forget about it and sweep it under the rug.” He said more than 50 of Parks’ relatives traveled to Washington for the ceremony. In a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a city bus in segregated Montgomery, Ala. She was arrested, touching off a bus boycott that stretched over a year. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Parks had “moved the world when she refused to move her seat.” Jeanne Theoharis, author of the new biography “The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks,” said Parks was very much a full-fledged civil rights activist, yet her contributions have not been treated like those of other movement leaders, such as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. “Rosa Parks is typically honored as a woman of courage, but that honor focuses on the one act she made on the bus on Dec. 5, 1955,” said Theoharis, a political science professor at Brooklyn College-City University of New York. “That courage, that night was the product of decades of political work before that and continued ... decades after” in Detroit, she said. Parks died Oct. 24, 2005, at age 92. The U.S. Postal Service issued a stamp in her honor on Feb. 4, which would have been her 100th birthday. Parks was raised by her mother and grandparents who taught her that part of being respected was to demand respect, said Theoharis, who spent six years researching and writing the Parks biography. She was an educated woman who recalled seeing her grandfather sitting on the porch steps with a gun during the height of white violence against blacks in post-World War I Alabama. After she married Raymond Parks, she joined him in his work in trying to help nine young black men, ages 12 to 19, who were accused of raping two white women in 1931. The nine were later convicted by an all-white jury in Scottsboro, Ala., part of a long legal odyssey for the so-called Scottsboro Boys. In the 1940s, Parks joined the NAACP and was elected secretary of its Montgomery, Ala., branch, working with civil rights activist Edgar Nixon to fight barriers to voting for blacks and investigate sexual violence against women, Theoharis said. Just five months before refusing to give up her seat, Parks attended Highlander Folk School, which trained community organizers on issues of poverty but had begun turning its attention to civil rights. After the bus boycott, Parks and her husband lost their jobs and were threatened. They left for Detroit, where Parks was an activist against the war in Vietnam and worked on poverty, housing and racial justice issues, Theoharis said. Theoharis said that while she considers the 9-foot-statue of Parks in the Capitol an “incredible honor” for Parks, “I worry about putting this history in the past when the actual Rosa Parks was working on and calling on us to continue to work on racial injustice.” Parks has been honored previously in Washington with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1996 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 1999, both during the Clinton administration. But McCauley said the Statuary Hall honor is different. “The medal you could take it, put it on a mantel,” McCauley said. “But her being in the hall itself is permanent and children will be able to tour the (Capitol) and look up and see my aunt’s face.” ----Associated Press writer Mark S. Smith contributed to this report.

10 www.minorityreporter.net | march 4 -10 | 2013

GUEST WRITER

“Truth must be dug up from the past and presented to the circle of scholastics in scientific form then through stories and dramatizations that will permeate our educational systems”
By Dr. Carter G. Woodson, American historian and educator. In 1926, Negro History Week was started by Carter G. Woodson. Now 86 years later, what was once a week in the year to study and highlight black achievement has expanded, since 1976 to include the whole month of February. To appreciate the sacredness of this month and its founder, this time needs to be filled with serious, prudent and reflective study of self, race and community. The early days of Negro History Week developed through serious study, research and review of the accomplishments, achievements and challenges faced by black people. It is noteworthy that, through dedicating one full week a year, this methodology brought about race improvement and empowerment to many. Woodson believed, and all of his undertakings proved, that by informing people of the accomplishments of black people in the United States and Africa, he would not only build selfesteem in black people, but lessen prejudice among whites. Woodson’s insightful and critical analysis of our educational malaise can be found in his 1933 ground breaking book The Mis-Education of the Negro. With this valued historical work as a reference on how to improve our collective lot, today there is hardly any critical pedagogy by African Americans about our heritage. We are hard pressed to find this in public schools, religious communities and our homes. The value of dialogue and discussion are missing and was a key to Dr. Woodson success engaging the race through teachings and information forums on this subject. Dr. Woodson believed that, without a recorded history, the contributions of our race would be forgotten and this would lead to our demise, with us just imitating others in the dominant society. He believed that knowledge of history (self) could change society for all people. The improvement of the race –not complaining about the race – drove his spirit. So driven, in 1915 Dr. Woodson launched The Association for the Study of Negro Life. The Associations’ mission was to promote research, preserve, interpret, and disseminate information about Black life, history and culture to the global community. His altruistic pursuit to develop excellence in black people inspired him to produce The Journal of Negro History, a curriculum and research guide covering a wide range of topic devoted to Negro empowerment. The Journal inspired and led to a shift in the focus of historians from the master’s perspective to that of the former slave and his descendant. Dr. Woodson trained other scholars and researchers to investigate the black past using census data, birth and death certificates, marriage registers, letters, diaries and oral history. This method of research has been widely adopted and disseminated by historians all over the world. Maybe the question for us is; where are these efforts working to improve life of black people by study, research, writing and discussion today? The directions practiced daily by default in the life of many of young black people are low expectations, satisfaction with the best of mediocrity, low graduation rates in public education. The described afflictions we suffer are the direct result of not having associations that influence positive affirmation and contribution in the race like the associations produced by Woodson, Douglass, Washington, and Du Bois and et al. The aforementioned giants developed in us the courage to use independent thought that laid the groundwork for truth freedom justice and equality. Lacking the functions of independent analysis and thought has caused us to lose ground on the very thing that led us to overcome insurmountable odds – struggle through our own efforts. When we come together as a devoted people to study and discuss our collective shortcomings along with our accomplishments, an informed factual history will give us an empowered perspective that will improve our standing and standards in the society. Let us in the spirit of Dr. Carter G. Woodson work on our “mis-education” and dedicate ourselves to renew his mission of Black History month as a sacred month for study and reflection to understand and improve the sociology of black people.

11 www.minorityreporter.net | march 4 -10 | 2013
ADVERTISEMENT FOR BIDS
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HELP WANTED Monroe County Sheriff - Deputy Sheriff Jailor
Candidates must:
• Be at least 18 years of age • Possess a High School Diploma or GED •Have no felony convictions •Pass a physical agility and medical test •Pass a psychological and background investigation •Be in good physical condition •Be of good moral character • Show genuine interest in this rewarding career •Salary $41,103 - $64, 269 Annually Applications available online at monroecounty.gov or in person at County Office Building, 39 West Main Street, Room 210, Rochester, NY 14614 From January 28, 2013 - February 27, 2013 Exam date is April 13, 2013 Equal Opportunity Employer

ADVERTISEMENT FOR BIDS
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, that sealed proposals, for the following Contract, are sought and requested for the Contract for the Village of Nunda Water Treatment Plant SPDES Permit Compliance Outfall Sewer A pre-bid conference will be held at 11:00 a.m. (local time) on the 28th day of March, 2013, at the Village of Nunda Village Hall, 4 Massachusetts Street, Nunda, NY 14517. The sealed proposals will be received by the Village Clerk, Nunda Village Hall, P.O. Box 537, 4 Massachusetts Street, Nunda, NY 14517 until 11:00 a.m. (local time) on the 4th day of April, 2013, and then at said office publicly opened and read aloud. The Contract Documents may be examined at the following locations: Nunda Village Hall, 4 Massachusetts Street, Nunda, NY 14517 Chatfield Engineers, P.C., 2800 Dewey Avenue, Rochester, NY 14616 Copies of the Contract Documents may be obtained at Nunda Village Hall, 4 Massachusetts Street, Nunda, NY 14517 Upon payment of $75.00 for each set. Checks for Contract Documents shall be made out to Village of Nunda. Each bid must be accompanied by cash, a certified check, or a bid bond in an amount not less than 5% of the bid in the form, and subject to the conditions set forth in the Contract Documents and Instruction to Bidders. Upon acceptance of the bid, if the successful bidder falls to enter into a contract pursuant to the requirements of said agency, then the sum deposited as aforesaid shall be forfeited to the Village of Nunda and liquidated damages, or the payment of the bond enforced for the benefit of the Village of Nunda. BIDDERS ON THIS WORK WILL BE REQUIRED TO COMPLY WITH THE PRESIDENT’S EXECUTIVE ORDER NO.S 11,246 AND 11,375 WHICH PROHIBIT DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT REGARDING RACE, CREED, COLOR, SEX OR NATIONAL ORIGIN. The Village of Nunda strongly encourages participation of Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises and Section 3 businesses in the bidding process for this federally-funded project. The Village is and Equal Opportunity Employer. The successful bidder must be an equal opportunity employer, must meet all appropriate State and Federal standards, and comply with all relevant governmental regulations. No bidder may withdraw his bid for a period of sixty (60) days after the date set forth for the opening thereof and may not withdraw it at any time prior to the opening of bids, except in accordance with the “Instruction to Bidders” Document 00200. The successful bidder must furnish 100% Performance Bond and 100% Payment Bond, and shall comply with the requirements of Chapter 617 of the Laws of New York State for 1974 as specified under Item 50.01 of the Standard General Conditions. The Village of Nunda is exempt under Section 1116 of the Tax Law, and, therefore, no sales tax shall be included in the bid. No bids shall be accepted from, or any contract awarded to any person or corporation who is in arrears to the Village of Nunda upon any debt of contract, or is a defaulter as surety or otherwise upon any obligation to the Village. The Village of Nunda also reserves the right to waive any informality in or to reject any and all bids. By order of the Village Clerk, of the Village of Nunda

ADVERTISEMENT FOR BIDS
Sealed bids will be received by the Rochester City School District, Department of Purchasing, First Floor, Central Administrative Offices, 131 West Broad Street, Rochester, New York 14614, at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at which time and place said bids will be publicly opened and read for: SWIMMING POOL CHEMICALS -ANDGLASS FOR GLAZING PURPOSES -ANDATHLETIC UNIFORMS Specifications and official bid forms may be secured from www.govbids.com. Click on the Empire State Purchasing Group link. The Board of Education reserves the right to reject any and all bids as may be in the best interests of education in the City of Rochester. GARY B. SMITH DIRECTOR OF PROCUREMENT AND SUPPLY

NOTICE TO BIDDERS
Economy Paving Company, Inc will be preparing quotations for the NYS Parks & recreation boat launch rehabilitation project at the Seneca Lake State Park in Geneva that bids 3/6/13. We encourage certified MWBE firms to send quotes for services and/or supplies. Obtain plans from Taughannock Falls State Park 607-3877041 or call our office at 607-756-2819. Please fax quotes to 607-756-4742 or email to jjump@economypaving.com.

12 www.minorityreporter.net | march 4 -10 | 2013

NATIONAL
Jurors sought for Pa. abortion doc’s murder trial
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jury selection began Monday in the murder trial of a Philadelphia abortion provider, a potentially sensitive task since the case involves both abortion and the death penalty. Dr. Kermit Gosnell is charged with eight counts of murder. He’s charged with third-degree murder in a woman’s 2009 death during a botched abortion, and first-degree murder for allegedly killing seven viable babies after they were born alive. Gosnell faces the death penalty if convicted on the latter counts. He has pleaded not guilty, and insists that he helped many vulnerable women and teens get medical care, including second-term abortions not offered at many clinics. Pennsylvania abortion laws ban abortions after 24 weeks. Authorities believe at least some of the abortions performed at Gosnell’s clinic involved third-trimester pregnancies. The 2011 grand jury report details one case in which Gosnell allegedly joked the baby was so big it could walk to the bus stop. The nearly 300-page report described the clinic as filthy, blood-stained and macabre, with a collection of fetal body parts kept in jars. In court Monday, Gosnell defied that crude image, appearing poised, elegantly dressed and oddly relaxed. He warmly greeted a local TV reporter by name, as he has done in the past. Gosnell, the only child of a gas station operator and government clerk, had been a top student at the city’s prestigious Central High School. He became an early proponent of abortion rights in the 1960s and 1970s, and returned from a stint in New York City to open up a clinic in the impoverished Mantua neighborhood, near the working-class black neighborhood where he grew up. His Women’s Medical Center treated the poor, immigrants, teens and women with later-stage pregnancies who could not get abortions elsewhere. “I feel in the long term I will be vindicated,” Gosnell told the Philadelphia Daily News in a March 2010 interview. Gosnell’s third wife, Pearl, who has pleaded guilty to performing illegal abortions, and his adult children were not in court, although they had been last week when Gosnell apparently rejected efforts to negotiate a plea offer. A gag order prevents lawyers in the case from commenting, but Gosnell’s lawyer was seen dashing between prosecutors and his client, who had been brought to court from jail. Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Minehart expects the trial to last six to eight weeks. Opening statements are set for March 14. Dozens of jurors were summarily dismissed Monday when they said they could not return a death verdict. Others said the long trial would be an extreme hardship, and were excused. And one woman said she had already concluded that Gosnell was guilty, given media coverage of the case. Former clinic employee Eileen O’Neill is also on trial, charged with practicing medicine without a license. Eight others have pleaded guilty to murder or lesser charges. Some are expected to testify against their former boss. Associated Press/Philadelphia Daily News, Yong Kim - In this March 8, 2010 photo, Dr. Kermit Gosnell is seen during an interview with the Philadelphia Daily News at his attorney’s office in Philadelphia. Three years after drug agents stumbled upon a gruesome medical clinic in West Philadelphia, abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell is going on trial on eight counts of murder. Jury selection is set to start Monday, March 4, 2013 in the death penalty case.

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13 www.minorityreporter.net | march 4 -10 | 2013

NATIONAL
Top 10 Reasons Why People of Color Should Care About Sequestration
By Sophia Kerby (TriceEdneyWire.com) - Thanks to congressional Republicans putting the economy in jeopardy during the debt ceiling debacle in the summer of 2011 and again in 2012, a package of automatic across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration is set to go into effect on March 1, 2013. Senate Democrats have proposed a balanced approach to resolve this crisis, urging congressional Republicans to avoid the damaging sequester cuts by accepting a package of more tax revenue with targeted spending cuts. But once again Republicans are threatening the economy by risking massive and harmful spending cuts that will hurt the middle class, damage the economy, kill hundreds of thousands of jobs, and harm the most economically vulnerable among us. Sequestration will impact all Americans but will have a particularly harmful effect on communities of color, who were hit first and worst by the Great Recession and have yet to significantly feel the effects of the recovery. America’s demographics are changing, and communities of color are the fastest-growing group of Americans. It is important that we invest now in these communities, as we prepare for the nation’s economic future and upcoming workforce needs. The driving focus should be on averting crises that slow the nation’s economy and instead, promoting policies that help all Americans. Below are the top 10 reasons why communities of color should pay attention to sequestration and the impact it will have in these communities: 1. Deep cuts to long-term unemployment benefits will disproportionately affect people of color. Extended federal unemployment benefits remain vulnerable under sequestration, and the long-term unemployed—those out of work and searching for a new job for at least six months—could lose almost 10 percent of their weekly jobless benefits if the sequester cuts go into effect next week. These cuts will have a greater impact on people of color, as 10.5 percent of Latinos and a staggering 13.8 percent of blacks are unemployed, compared to only 7 percent of whites. What’s more, in 2011, 40 percent of unemployed Asians, 38 percent of unemployed blacks, and 28 percent of unemployed Latinos were unemployed for more than 52 weeks. 2. Workforce development programs that are vital to communities of color such as YouthBuild and Job Corps face significant cuts. YouthBuild, a program connecting low-income youth to education and training, could be cut by about 8 percent under sequestration. Coupled with previous federal appropriation cuts in fiscal year 2011 by 37 percent, the program could see about one-third of its federal funding cut between fiscal year 2010 and fiscal year 2013. In 2010, 54 percent of YouthBuild participants were African American and 20 percent were Latino. Job Corps, an education and training program geared toward young adults, faces about $83 million in cuts in FY 2013 under sequestration. In 2011, 72 percent of Job Corps participants were people of color. 3. Cuts to critical job-creating programs such as the Build America Bonds program are also on the chopping block. Build America Bonds, which were created in the 2009 stimulus bill, provides incentives for infrastructure investments through the tax code. Since its inception, the program has helped states and cities fund thousands of job-creating infrastructure projects at lower costs than traditional tax-exempt municipal bonds. Build America Bonds could see budget cuts of up to 7.6 percent, however, if sequestration goes through. Build America Bonds benefit all Americans, as more than $106 billion of Build America Bonds have been issued by state and local governments in 49 states and the District of Columbia since the program started. Infrastructure investments stimulate employment in sectors that employ disproportionately high rates of workers of color, such as construction and public transit. 4. Federal budget cuts under sequestration would quickly mean cuts to federal, state, and local publicsector jobs, which disproportionately employ women and African Americans. In 2011 employed African Americans comprised 20 percent of the federal, state, and local publicsector workforce, and women were nearly 50 percent more likely than men to work in the public sector. According to the Congressional Budget Office, scheduled cuts in federal spending were the primary driving force behind slow economic growth projected for this year, meaning thousands of lost jobs and cuts to federal contractors. 5. Early child care funding could be cut by more than $900 million, impacting the thousands of children of color who benefit from these programs. Such cuts will mean 70,000 children will be kicked out of Head Start, a federal program that promotes the school readiness of children from low-income families from birth through age 5. Sixty percent of program participants are children of color. 6. Programs that directly help the most vulnerable families and children— such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, or WIC—are threatened by sequestration. WIC serves as a supplemental food and nutrition program for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women and for children under age 5. The program could be cut by $543 million — a devastating loss to the more than 450,000 people of color who benefit from its services. 7. Federal education funding cuts will disproportionately hurt students of color. If the sequester goes into effect, nearly $3 billion would be cut in education alone, including cuts to financial aid for college students and to programs for the most vulnerable youth—English language learners and those attending high-poverty, struggling schools—impacting 9.3 million students. Such cuts will affect key programs that receive federally funded grants such as Education for Homeless Children and Youth and federal work study. The lack of access to financial aid for people of color will further exacerbate the student debt rates in these communities. In the 2007-08 academic year, 81 percent of African-Americans and 67 percent of Latinos with a bachelor’s degree graduated with student debt, compared to 64 percent of their white peers. Cutting access to these vital financial aid programs will curtail the higher education aspirations of tens of thousands of students of color. 8. Cuts to critical medical research put IN ACkNOWLEdGEmENT OF ThE NATIONAL WEEk OF pRAYER FOR ThE hEALING OF AIdS
mEmORIAL AmE ZION ChURCh, REV dR. kENNETh Q. JAmES, pASTOR pROUdLY pRESENTS A FREE COmmUNITY FILm SCREENING ANd dICUSSION FEATURING: REV. EDWIN C. SANDERS, II SENIOR pASTOR, mETROpOLITAN INTERdENOmINATIONAL ChURCh FIRST RESpONSE CENTER, NAShVILLE, TENNESSEE PAUL V. GRANT pROdUCER/dIRECTOR, ‘ThE GOSpEL OF hEALING: VOL 1’

patients at risk. The National Institutes of Health would lose $1.5 billion in medical research funding, meaning fewer research projects would be aimed at finding treatments and cures for diseases such as cancer and diabetes—both of which are among the leading causes of death for African Americans. 9. Since 2010 funding for housing has been cut by $2.5 billion, meaning any additional cuts would significantly hurt low-income families and communities. Many housing programs such as Section 8 Housing Assistance provide vouchers to low-income families for affordable housing in the private market. In 2011 Section 8 aided more than 2 million low-income families across the country. Data from 2008 indicate that 44 percent and 23 percent of public housing recipients are African American and Latino, respectively. 10. As the nation continues to endure a cold winter, programs such as the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, which helps bring down the cost of heating for low-income households, are crucial. The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which helped about 23 million low-income people pay their winter heat bills, is in jeopardy of being cut in FY 2013. Lowincome communities, which tend to disproportionately comprise of people of color, depend on such programs to make ends meet during these tough economic times. In order to avoid significant damage to the U.S. economy—and particularly to communities of color across the country—congressional Republicans should agree to a balanced package to replace the sequester and its damaging cuts. Sophia Kerby is the Special Assistant for Progress 2050 at the Center for American Progress.

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14 www.minorityreporter.net | march 4 -10 | 2013

OpINION/EdITORIAL
The Rochester grapevine has been buzzing with the news that Mayor Richards has kicked off his re-election campaign with a powerful new ally: teachers’ CARRIE REMIS union boss Adam Urbanski. It began a month ago when an invitation to an exclusive fundraiser listing Urbanski on the Richards campaign committee “went viral” on Facebook. In a city where 85% of its teachers actually live in the suburbs, the Richards-Urbanski alliance is raising eyebrows and spurring a longoverdue conversation about the role that special interests have played in Rochester’s educational crisis. The Rochester Teachers Association is the local affiliate of the New York State United Teachers, which spent a staggering $5.9 million in 2011 lobbying to block reform that could have directly benefited Rochester’s students and protected its taxpayers. Make no mistake, Rochester’s students and taxpayers are desperate for relief. By any measure, Rochester has the lowest student outcomes and the highest education spending in the country. According to the latest state achievement data, only 18% of Rochester eighth-graders are proficient in Reading--the lowest in the state and among the lowest in the country. That means that more than 80% of eight-graders are functionally illiterate, destined to struggle with reading a newspaper, a job application or an election ballot. If that isn’t tragic enough, the data show that Rochester is actually losing ground: the number of students mastering Reading (a score of “4” on the state tests) is dropping across all student demographic groups. The state report cards show that fewer than 10 eighth-graders out of more than 2100 mastered Reading in 2011. Graduation rates tell a similar story. At 45.5%, Rochester has the lowest graduation rates in the state and was the only one of the “Big 5” urban districts that didn’t show any gains last year. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find more bad news. Rochester’s rate of students graduating with Advanced Distinction Regents diplomas—an indicator of college-readiness—is the lowest in the state and declining. Another metric showing decline is the graduation rate for black males, currently at an all-time low of 9%. According to the Schott Foundation,

The views expressed on our opinion pages are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the position or viewpoint of Minority Reporter.

Education Matters: The Richards, Urbanski Alliance
Rochester now ranks dead last in the nation for black male graduation rates. Rochester’s educational crisis is undeniable, and it’s worsening. Who, if not the mayor, should be sounding the alarm? Of course, former Mayor Robert Duffy did just that. Like “education mayors” across the country, he used the bully pulpit of the office to create a community-wide focus on the crisis. He convened a commission of education experts and community leaders to advise him on possible solutions to the system’s dysfunction. He took great political risk to propose a plan that put the interests of Rochester students first, even though it meant angering the powerful teachers’ union. Of course, this bold education agenda would have been impossible with Adam Urbanski on Duffy’s campaign committee. And so none of us should be surprised that Richards has abandoned the Duffy agenda or that he’s become the chief validator of the district’s new Don’t-Rock-the-Boat education reform plan. But for the 80% of eight-graders who are functionally illiterate and the 91% of black boys who won’t graduate, rocking the boat is precisely what the mayor should be doing. For this reason, the Parent Power Project has teamed up with the Faith Community Alliance and the New York Center for Educational Justice to make some waves of our own. This spring, we will kick-off a voter education initiative that includes a first-of-its kind mayoral candidate survey. Candidates will be asked to detail their education agendas, disclose relationships with special interests and state their positions on key policies. With this survey we hope to send a very clear message to mayoral candidates and voters alike: in a city with the worst educational outcomes in the state, the absence of an education agenda is the agenda of the status quo. Education Matters is a weekly column written by Allen K. Williams and Carrie Remis covering the impact of local, state and national education issues on the Rochester City School District. Allen is a former Rochester School Board member and founding president of the New York Center for Educational Justice. Remis is a former college administrator who currently serves as the Executive Director of the Parent Power Project and on Governor Cuomo’s New York State Education Reform Commission.

CNN Reportedly Getting Rid of Both Soledad O’Brien and Roland Martin
According to various s o u r c e s , including M i c h a e l Cottman at Black America Web, CNN is making some major moves this month. DR. BOYCE WATKINS The network is allegedly planning to part ways with Roland Martin, Soledad O’Brien and perhaps even the great Donna Brazile. Most ironic is that the network has given us the honor of cutting it’s black faces from the airwaves during Black History Month. The decision has confused observers who’d been somehow misled into believing that CNN was a network seeking to become friendly toward people of color. After all, the company has earned millions from black people with it’s “Black in America Series,” most of which I never watched largely because I instantly got the sense that their goal was to study black people like lab rats rather than respect us as human beings. There is a difference between being interested in a group of people and actually caring about them. Making matters even more peculiar is that the network also hired three new high profile journalists, all of whom are white: Jake Tapper, Chris Cuomo and Rachel Nichols. So, it’s out with the black and in with the white, according to what we’re seeing. At least Jeff Zucker, head of CNN Worldwide, isn’t being subtle with his racial exclusion. Usually people stab us in the back behind closed doors. Roland Martin’s contract with CNN ends on April 8. Believing that one high profile black face can be easily traded in for another, there is speculation that CNN may bring in other black commentators, such as Van Jones and Cornell Belcher. CNN and Jeff Zucker’s latest moves seem bold, odd and somewhat revealing. For years, I’ve always felt that both Roland and Soledad were qualified to hold their own in prime time slots, but the network never gave them an opportunity. Given that their decisions are designed to reflect the preferences of their target audience, they are effectively telling us that their audience just doesn’t want to see black people on the air during prime time. Additionally, the network seems to believe that there is no black journalist on the planet as qualified as less-than-capable anchors like Nancy Grace. Over at MSNBC, a preacher and civil rights leader by the name of Al Sharpton has a show that appears to be very successful. They’ve taken a black professor (Melissa HarrisPerry) and given her a chance to hold her own during the weekends. Even people like Steve Harvey, Michael Strahan and Wendy Williams are doing an amazing job competing in the landscape of daytime television. So, I’m admittedly stunned that CNN seems so determined to make hiring and firing decisions that look like they were decided upon in 1959. Perhaps Zucker has something else up his sleeve. The truth is that I don’t know and I really don’t care. As I expressed during an interview today with the Final Call (run by the Nation of Islam), the day must come when we become more focused on the creation and support of black-owned media outlets. These are places where black voices are appreciated as something other than a novelty, and people can’t toss us to the side when we’re no longer the hot new negro on TV. We can get angry at Zucker for making his decisions, but the truth is that CNN was never our network to begin with. You can’t move into someone else’s house and shift around the furniture, which is what makes me skeptical that true racial equality can EVER be achieved at CNN. Black people need to own their own stuff. -------------------------Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and author of the book, “Black American Money: How Black Power Can Thrive in a Capitalist Society.”

15 www.minorityreporter.net | march 4 -10 | 2013

Former Rochester, Mayor Bill Johnson to Run Marlowe Washington’s City Council Campaign
He lied to voters with his “Blueprint for Change” plan he ran on in 1994. He turned his back on his own AfricanAmerican DAVY VARA c o m m u n i t y, the very same voters who put him in office. He called the Rochester Police Department’s execution of a 14-yearold unarmed African-American teen, justified, before the young man’s body was even cold. He condoned Rochester police officers racially profiling, abusing, and executing innocent African-Americans and Latinos. He screwed Rochester taxpayers out of millions of dollars with his failed Fast Ferry. He was one of the worst mayors Rochester has had. And he’s back. Disgraced former Mayor William Johnson will be heading Rev. Marlowe Washington’s campaign for Rochester City Council. In a recent news conference, Washington, who came to Rochester from Newark, New Jersey in 2005, announced he would be running for City Council in what he calls his “For the People” campaign. And Bill Johnson will be chairing the campaign. As a Latino father of three beautiful children, including two boys who are African-American and Latino – and as someone who has spent the past 17-plus years denouncing and exposing the corrupt Rochester Police Department – and their long history of abusing and in some cases even killing unarmed, innocent AfricanAmericans and Latinos, I ask the Rochester community, especially African-Americans: What has Marlowe Washington done to speak up, call out, or denounce racist, rogue, triggerhappy RPD cops? Nothing. In fact the “Reverend” Marlowe Washington, has never stood up to police misconduct in my hometown. Instead, Marlowe Washington has served as the Rochester Police Department’s tool helping the RPD with their goal of dividing the AfricanAmerican community even further by getting them to snitch on one another, with his “You Bet I Told” campaign. I don’t know about you, but I have a problem with another black “Reverend” who is quick to get in front of a few television cameras with a smile, and pitch some “For the People” ticket – especially when former Mayor Bill Johnson is involved.

OpINION/EdITORIAL

The views expressed on our opinion pages are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the position or viewpoint of Minority Reporter.

Martin Luther King, Jr.
BY HANIF ABDUL-WAHID

Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think. Martin Luther King, Jr. The paradox of gun violence in our country unfortunately is epic and has taken on different proportions. This impasse is so complex that the discussion of guns and the effect it has on different populaces and more importantly culture in America is a topic most will not have the courage or understanding to discuss or come within reach of. The arguments to solve gun violence usually are expedient “one size fits all” legislation motivated by guilt and grief to match the enormity that the violence has inflicted. To not fully understand the culture in America with gun violence keeps this a topic to ponder. Recent gun violence that has resulted in mass slayings, and the examples of Sandy Hook, Casas Adobes, Virginia Tech, and Columbine, all have common themes. All of these atrocities have the common thread of suburban logistics: In most instances a white perpetrator, mental illness, isolation and easy access to legal weapons - especially assault weapons. It should be unproblematic to work from this vantage point of knowing what is wrong here and how we correct this.

The demographics and logistics are clear. The commonalities are closely tied and there may be more resources and will to solve this because of these explanations. The mere way this alignment is presented and how it draws upon analytical data being developed may mean some movement towards a solution. This analysis seems to paint a clearer picture for many people who are now crusading for prompt action. Now there are rumblings for a ban on assault weapons, universal background checks, and mental illness tracking. On the other hand, urban gun violence in America has attached to its pervasive plague, a history of poverty, discrimination, sequestered racial and ethnic populaces, apathy, sinister culture, and neighborhood containment. This gun violence has a greater history of being unsolvable. Urban gun violence has had mass loss of life over longer periods of time and contributes to keeping neighborhoods unstable, hopeless, and undesirable as a community for those raising families. The recent killing of an honor student in Chicago reflects this stark reality. When pondering the strategies to this problem historically one can deduce this is accepted more as a tradition to continue rather than a problem to be solved. A view to consider is Chicago, Illinois last year, had 500 murders; a very high percentage took place in minority neighborhoods. We can trace this tradition of gun violence in Chicago back to the days

of Gangland Chicago and prohibition when urban citizens then were confronted with the same afflictions that people of color and poor populations face today in Chicago. The earlier citizens were recent immigrants in Chicago they lived in neighborhoods and those same neighborhoods experienced murders, being isolated and families left grieving and reeling (in the same manner today) by gun violence disproportionately. Faulty and not so well thoughtout plans by urban planners are indoctrinated to retain neighborhoods through isolation, blight and concentrate poverty. This is still the preference and still the plan. The proof is this quasi-strategy for 100 years in major urban communities has morphed down as routine in other smaller urban centers across America. God forbid we have sunk this low but all the evidence points this way and the hopeless have fastened their soul to this as reality and unsolvable. This appears to be the compelling predicament of President Obama who lives and is from Chicago. Had he expressed outrage at the gun violence in his hometown I doubt seriously he would be president today. This 100-year urban categorization with urban gun violence has damaging social, educational, financial and moral consequences that cause this to remain one of the worst injustices endured by a subjugated populace since the sin of slavery in America. Until recently, mass slayings in suburban America has given the president a voice on this subject; prior

to this he was muffled. This scourge presents a contrast that has more working against it than a gun; it has tradition and acceptance an insufferable affront to sensibilities and sensitivities. A widespread media and a grieving public have taken over the public sentiment of gun violence with pervasive coverage of mass killings in suburban neighborhoods across America. This has pushed gun violence in urban communities to become further isolated and obscured. While one is a recent phenomenon, the other has continued to transmogrify for a century and remain a tradition not to be solved. A great number in American society has fostered the notion and idea that gun violence in urban America is a fait accompli. For sure, it is a money pit growing grossly out of control. The default plan for it to continue with political will and taxes to manage it, formulates this to persist. With America being at the crossroads with gun violence our only hope is that the protectors of human excellence are dedicated to work for justice and fair dealings to eradicate this. We as a nation and our nation’s leaders run the continuum and recent events attest to – if you allow cultivating a tradition of violence for one demographic – it will spread where it was not intended, not reasoned and not planned.

16 www.minorityreporter.net | march 4 -10 | 2013

1 :: www.Minorityreporter.net - week of March 19-25, 2011

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