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SEVERAL MAJOR CASES TO BE DECIDED BY SUPREME COURT IN JUNE
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In This Issue:
vol. 4 no. 8
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regarding the war and abolition starring Daniel Day-Lewis as United States President Abraham Lincoln and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln. 2012; Rated PG-13, FREE. 15 Happy Father’s Day Craft Time: 10:30 am Location: 1620 W. Genesee St. Make a gift for someone you love! Ages 5 and up. 17 TASTE OF SYRACUSE Time: 11:00amSat, June 8, 11pm Location: Clinton Square Bring your friends and your appetites to the AmeriCU Credit Union Taste of Syracuse, presented by Tops, returns to downtown, featuring live music, fabulous food, and of course $1 samples. For more information, visit www.tasteofsyracuse.com.. Sat, June 8, 11pm 26 Hoopnotica! Time: 2:00 pm Location: 1620 W. Genesee St. Hoop dancing is a fun, playful, and expressive way to get fit. Join us for this introduction to hooping taught by Certified Hoopnotica Instructor, Dena Beratta of Mandala Moon Yoga. Dena will supply the hoops for use during the class. Casual, comfortable dress is recommended. Ages 13 and up. 27 Summer Reading Kickoff: “The Twin Magicians” Time: 11:00 am Location: Betts Branch Library Register for Summer Reading and sit back and enjoy the magic entertainment of Paul and David Jackman, “The Twin Magicians.”
2331 South Salina Street Syracuse, NY 13205 PH: 315-849-2461
TO BE DECIDED BY SUPREME COURT IN JUNE
SEVERAL MAJOR CASES
1, 8, 15, 22 and 29 Sankofa Piecemakers Quilting Group Time: 10:00 am Beauchamp Branch Library is the home of Sankofa Piecemakers where they meet every Saturday in a friendly supportive atmosphere to learn new quilting techniques and to practice traditional ones. 3 GED Classes Time: 9:30am – Noon Location: Beauchamp Branch Library Free study sessions designed to help those who are interested in obtaining their GED. Must Sign-Up. Contact Pat Booker ( 435-6376). Monday-Thursday 4, 11, 18 and 25 Job Resource Assistance Drop-in Time: 1:00-3:00 pm Location: 447 South Salina St. Receive help with online job searching, resumes, creating profiles and more. No appointment necessary. Space is limited and available on a first come, first seated basis. Call 315.435.1900 with any questions 11 Downtown Farmer’s Market Location: Clinton Square Open-air market with fresh, seasonal vegetables, fruit, nuts, eggs, cheese, baked goods, flowers, plants, handcrafted items for sale. Visit www.down townsyracuse.com for more information or call 422-8284 15 Movie - Lincoln Time: 1:30 pm Location: The Galleries of Syracuse This biographical saga reveals the conflicts within Lincoln’s cabinet
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• Affirmative Action, Voting Rights and Same Sex Marriage Among Cases to be Decided by Supreme Court in June
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• Black Students Flock to Stem Fields, Yet Business Lobby Pushes for More Temporary Workers
Dave McCleary Lucy Smith firstname.lastname@example.org
Lisa Dumas George Kilpatrick Gary McLendon Rasheeda Alford
• Former SU Professor Says University Made a “Serious Mistake” in the Handling of 2008 Sex Abuse Case
Kofi Quaye James Haywood Rolling Earl Ofari Hutchinson Boyce Watkins
• Commemorating 100 Years of the Legacy of Harriet Tubman
• Obama Approval Ratings Rise Amidst Scandals
• Dillar President Asks Dr. Dre Why he Gave $35M to USC and not a Black College By Dr. Boyce Watkins
CNY Vision is a publication of Minority Reporter, Inc. We are a family of publications and other media formats committed to fostering self awareness, building community and empowering people of color to reach their greatest potential. Further, CNY Vision seeks to present a balanced view of relevant issues, utilizing its resources to build bridges among diverse populations; taking them from information to understanding. CNY Vision reserves the right to edit or reject content submitted. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher. CNY Vision does not assume responsibility concerning advertisers, their positions, practices, services or products; nor does the publication of advertisements constitute or imply endorsement. Deadline for all copy is Tuesday at noon. CNY Vision invites news and story suggestions from readers. Call 315-849-2461 or email email@example.com
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Black Students Flock to STEM Fields, Yet Business Lobby Pushes for More Temporary Workers
Over last w e e k e n d , young people watched or read about President Obama speaking at Morehouse College and first lady Michelle Obama addressing the graduates of WILLIAM SPRINGS Bowie State University. Hopefully they were inspired by seeing so many young and gifted people finishing the course they chose to follow. Well, here is a little known set of facts. Those colleges are both historically Black colleges-known as HBCUs-and they graduate a disproportionate share of the nation’s Black science, technical, engineering and math majors-the very majors everyone points to as the skills America will need to succeed. And, it turns out, HBCUs are important because those fields are the backbone of the new Black middle class. More Blacks work in computer-related occupations than are employed as elementary and middle school teachers or postal workers. And, like those students at Morehouse and Bowie State, Black college students are more likely to choose computer science as a major than White students. In part because of the high share of blacks who major in computer science and because of the large number of Black college students, there are more baccalaureate degrees awarded to African- Americans than to Asian-Americans in computer science. Now, a great challenge lies ahead. Having found a path to the middle class through education and training, business interests are pushing hard in Congress to import temporary workers to do computer-based jobs. This while there are still 20,000-plus fewer Blacks employed as computer programmers and systems analysts since their employment peaked in 2008. But, while those workers continue to search to get back to the high-tech jobs they trained for, we have seen businesses increase requests for H-1B visas (visas for high-tech workers). And now the Senate Judiciary Committee adopted ludicrous amendments, introduced by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) in the immigration bill, that refuse to give America’s workers a first shot at these jobs. These amendments would even allow businesses to fire American workers and replace them with temporary workers. The AFL-CIO is fighting to restore some reason here. We need to protect American workers’ huge investment in college loans to get trained in computer and science skills the country needs, while providing a road map to citizenship for all aspiring Americans. So, the AFL-CIO is challenging Sen. Hatch and the business lobby to make sure there are safeguards to keep a path to the middle class open. William Spriggs serves as Chief Economist to the AFL-CIO and is a professor in, and former chair of the Department of Economics at Howard University. Bill is also former assistant secretary for the Office of Policy at the United States Department of Labor.
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Choices today create tomorrow!
Your future is filled with many possibilities. It’s important to take care of yourself so that you’ll be ready to take on the world. What can you do? Eat a healthy diet and get physically active! Take folic acid every day Don’t smoke, use street drugs, or drink to excess
Get screened and tested for possible medical conditions like diabetes or infections Get regular check-ups and talk with your health care provider to manage your health Make sure your vaccinations are up-to-date
For more information on how to improve your health now, visit: www.reachcny.org
Use an effective method of contraception correctly and consistently to prevent unplanned pregnancy
Funding provided by the NYS Dept. of Health, Div. of Family Health, and Health Research Incorporated (HRI) through grant funds from the US Dept. of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), First Time Motherhood/New Parents Initiative, grant # H5MMC202770203. Contents are solely the responsibility of REACH CNY, Inc. and do not necessarily represent the official views of NYSDOH, HRI or HRSA.
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Former SU Professor Says University Made a “Serious Mistake” in the Handling of 2008 Sex Abuse Case
By Lisa Dumas After leaving his position at Syracuse University in the wake of helping to reopen a sexual assault case brought against three varsity basketball players by a female student in 2008, former Arts and Sciences Dean of Student Affairs David Potter said he still has no regrets. “I believe that when you’re involved in these things, as I was, you have to do the right thing,” he said. “I sleep perfectly well at night knowing that I’m doing the right thing in the circumstance.” Potter said he took part in petitioning SU’s Judicial Affairs panel to reopen the incident on behalf of the alleged victim after she told him the case was closed by the university without her consent, and was denied a hearing in front of the school’s judicial review board. “I said ‘If you decide that you want to let me know and you want something done about it, I will be at your side for whatever you want to do,’” he said. A few days later, Potter said he met with Chancellor Nancy Cantor regarding the matter and, although initially Cantor was open to the student’s request, in the end she was advised against it by the university’s general counsel. “I think the university’s behavior in this was a very, very serious mistake,” he said. “That’s why I fought it. When the university’s counsel joined me in the chancellor’s office and he was arguing for leaving things as they are, I remember telling them if we did not get a hearing, there would be a great deal of serious trouble.” Yet, instead of granting the student a hearing, Potter said SU prematurely closed the investigation that had been started by the school’s public safety office and, along with lawyers for the alleged victim and players involved, devised an ad-hoc outcome in its place. “The outcome was going to excuse the men from the most serious outcome,” Potter said. And, according to Potter, the student wasn’t happy with the agreement. “She’s advised to get a lawyer, and they will get together and all the lawyers would handle the case,” he stated. “She was told by public safety they were told to stay out of the case. The judicial affairs lawyer also told the student they were told to stay out of the case. I know that this is true because I talked to both of those people and they confirmed that this was true. So, I said to the student, ‘What do you want to do about this?’ She wanted a hearing in the normal way.” Additionally, Potter said the impromptu deal deviated from the university’s standard policy. “There’s no provision for that kind of arrangement,” he said. “It’s a very specific procedure. It’s what they made up.” According to the official SU Judicial System Handbook, “Victims of nonconsensual sexual activity are encouraged to file a complaint through any university office as soon as possible after the alleged incident. Complaints may also be filed by parties not directly related to the university when a significant relationship to the mission and interests of the university can be shown. Complaints against students will be forwarded to the Office of Judicial Affairs for resolution within the university judicial system.” And, in reference to recent claims made by Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick that, originally, the case was satisfactorily settled by an informal agreement between the attorneys, athletes and alleged victim until Potter became involved; Potter said that’s also false. “She never signed off on that,” he said. “That’s perfectly clear.” In fact, it was after the student petitioned the university to reopen the case because she was unsatisfied with the early agreement that Fitzpatrick came back into the picture and convened a grand jury, Potter said. Moreover, although ultimately the grand jury did not find enough evidence to warrant criminal charges against the athletes, the reason for that may be the curious circumstances under which her testimony was given, Potter stated. “Well, grand jury proceedings are private,” he said. “I can tell you that the lawyer representing the young woman, the second lawyer because the family fired the first lawyer, he described for me what normally happens when someone appears in front of a grand jury. Normally, the assistant district attorney meets in advance with the witness and explains what kinds of questions will come up and how the matter will be handled. I’m told that when this woman met with the assistant district attorney, that didn’t happen. She was kind of blind-sided.” In the end, after spending approximately 20 years as an administrator at the university, Potter said he came to realize that when it comes to Division 1A sports, basketball and football in particular, they are almost impossible to have without some element of corruption. “Things are being done which are not really part of what the institution is about,” he said. “At SU, for instance, we sometimes took players who passed the NCAA standard but not SU standards academically. This is not a very healthy situation. So I’m not at all sympathetic to 1A sports in that sense.” And, according to Potter, most of the decisions made regarding Division 1A sports are financially-based. “An enormous amount of money is involved,” Potter said. “Top coaches, such as at SU, make sometimes even more than the university president.” Consequently, Potter said the young woman was “devastated” by the outcome and “terribly emotionally affected by the process.” Still, he stood by her throughout the ordeal, he said, and he’s happy he did. “I was with her every step of the way,” he said. “Here’s this young woman, a freshman, and the university abandoned her. I believe that we teach our students not just in the classroom, but we teach them by how we lead our own lives as teachers and administrators.”
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Commemorating 100 years of the legacy of Harriet Tubman
During the weekend of May 17th in Auburn New York; at the Junior High School, a generous crow traveled as far as NYC to take part in the 39th Annual Pilgrimage to paid homage and tribute to the historic contributions of Harriet Tubman. The Tribute to her Legacy was expressed in song by the Dorothy Cottonwood Jubilee Singers and a theatrical Play entitled “Harriet Tubman-Reflections of Moses” which was presented by the Drama Ministry of Greater Centennial AME Zion Church of down state New York. The play depicted narratives of her story from birth to her escape to freedom and back; along with showcasing the recounts of the rescue of captured fugitive slave, Charles Nalle in Troy NY. Among the many persons in attendance where Harriet Tubman’s great Grand Nieces: Garaldine Copes-Daniels and Pauline Copes-Johnson.
Dorothy Cottonwood Jubilee Singers
Harriet Tubman's Great Grand Niece Garaldine Copes-Daniels and Pauline Copes-Johnson
Across 1. Lived 4. One of the 7 dwarves 7. Friend of Frodo 10. Repetition 12. Freudian topic 13. Tree trunk 14. You (biblical) 15. Priestly garb 16. Middle of March 17. Back-to-school time: Abbr. 18. Drops on blades 19. Long cut 20. Mouse catcher 22. Drop 24. Way of cooking 27. South-east Asian country 31. Marble material 32. Writer Asimov 33. Formal headgear (2 words) 35. Food fish 36. Squeeze (out) 37. Coffee maker 38. __ backwards and forwards 41. Be off 43. Coast 47. Des Moines is its capital 48. “She Done ___ Wrong” 49. Gin flavoring 50. ___ Tim 51. Symbol on an Australian coin 52. Overpower 53. Some would say, too many in the day, abbr. 54. Literary always 55. Mature
Down 1. Dampens 2. Discomfort 3. Look around for best prices 4. Kind of sins 5. What Sally did to Harry 6. Spider’s creation 7. Kind of water 8. Guinness and porter 9. Go well together 11. Off the beaten track 13. Large corporations (2 words) 21. ____ havoc 23. Kind of pipe 24. Frisk, with “down” 25. Time long past 26. Afternoon sleep 28. Henpeck 29. Listening device 30. ___ T on Law and Order 34. Little giggle (2 words) 35. Speak softly 38. Friends and neighbors 39. Roulette color 40. Admits, with “up” 42. “The ___ of the Ancient Mariner” 44. Voice below soprano 45. Spirit as distinct from the mind and the body 46. Care for
Rev Kenneth Q James of Rochester NY and Pastor Daren C. Jaime of Syracuse NY
Jeanine Smith as Harriet Tubman
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Affirmative Action, Voting Rights and Same Sex Marriage Among Cases to be Decided by Supreme Court in June
By Bill Mears Here are summaries of five of the biggest cases awaiting rulings by the Supreme Court. Decisions will be released between now and the end of June. AFFIRMATIVE ACTION: Fisher University of Texas at Austin v.
approved ban on affirmative action is constitutional. VOTING RIGHTS: Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder; Nix v. Holder AT ISSUE: The continued use by the federal government of the key enforcement provision of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965. THE CASE: Section 5 gives federal authorities open-ended oversight of states and localities with a history of voter discrimination. Any changes in voting laws and procedures in the covered states must be “pre-cleared” with Washington. THE ARGUMENTS: The provision was reauthorized in 2006 for another quarter-century, and counties in Alabama and North Carolina subsequently filed suit, saying the monitoring was overly burdensome and unwarranted. All or parts of 16 states are currently covered under the provision. Other states are not covered by the pre-clearance provision even if they, too, might discriminate against minority voters. In a separate high court case from three years ago, the conservative majority suggested -- but never fully affirmed -- that the continued use of Section 5 may soon be nullified. “Things have changed in the South. Voter turnout and registration rates now approach parity,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in 2009. “Past success alone, however, is not adequate justification to retain the pre-clearance requirements. The Act imposes current burdens and must be justified by current needs.” THE OUTCOME: The conservative majority again appears to have the votes to strike down or severely gut Section 5. The court could then encourage Congress and the Obama administration to fashion a new enforcement policy that would meet constitutional scrutiny.
THE IMPACT: The high court’s decision to accept these appeals for a full review came in a presidential election year that incorporated newly redrawn voting boundaries, based on the updated census. This ruling would likely impact next year’s mid-term elections. SAME-SEX MARRIAGE (Two separate issues) Defense of Marriage Act: Windsor v. U.S. AT ISSUE: Whether the federal Defense of Marriage Act violates equal protection guarantees in the Fifth Amendment’s due process clause as applied to same-sex couples legally married under the laws of their states. THE CASES: Edith “Edie” Windsor was forced to assume an estate tax bill much larger than those other married couples would have to pay. Because her partner was a woman, the federal government did not recognize the same-sex marriage legally, even though their home state of New York did. The law known as DOMA defines marriage for federal purposes as a union between a man and woman only. The legal issue is whether the federal government can deny tax, health and pension benefits to same-sex couples in states where they can legally marry. Federal appeals courts in New York and Boston struck the benefits provision, with judges in one case saying, “If we are right in thinking that disparate impact on minority interests and federalism concerns both require somewhat more in this case than almost automatic deference to Congress’ will, this statute fails that test.” THE ARGUMENTS: Federal courts have not yet addressed the federal law’s other key provision: states that
do not allow same-sex marriages cannot be forced to recognize such unions performed in other states. Traditionally, marriages in one jurisdiction are considered valid across the country. THE OUTCOME: There are many options. The simplest solution would be for the court to dismiss the appeal on standing grounds, or who has a right to bring a case before the court. That would leave the lower courts or the other branches to decide who would defend DOMA. But if the court strikes down the benefits provision -the only part of DOMA at issue here -that would create many unanswered questions, especially in those states that currently ban gay marriage. THE IMPACT: The Obama administration, in a rare move, has refused to defend a federal law in court. That left the GOP-controlled House of Representatives to file the legal appeals to the high court, creating unusual questions about standing. California ballot measure (Proposition 8): Hollingsworth v. Perry AT ISSUE: Whether the Constitution’s 14th Amendment guarantee of “equal protection” prevents states from defining marriage as being only between one man and one woman. THE CASE: The “Prop 8” case, as it has become known, has been down a complicated legal road. California’s Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriages were legal in 2008. After the statewide ballot measure banning them passed with 52% of the vote later that year, gay and lesbian marriages were put on hold. Then a federal appeals court in San Francisco ruled the measure unconstitutional. In its split decision, the panel found Proposition 8 “works a meaningful harm to gays and lesbians” by denying their right to civil marriage.
AT ISSUE: A challenge to the school’s race-conscious admissions policies. THE CASE: Abigail Fisher individually sued the flagship state university after her college application was rejected in 2008 when she was a high school senior in Sugar Land, Texas. THE ARGUMENTS: Fisher claims she was turned away in part because she is white, despite being more qualified than some minority applicants. The school defends its policy of considering race as one of many factors -- such as test scores, community service, leadership and work experience -- to ensure a diverse campus. THE OUTCOME: It appears the conservative majority has the votes to strike down the school’s policy in some form, and it’s a good bet Justice Anthony Kennedy is writing the opinion. His moderate-conservative outlook could mean a limited ruling: striking down this university’s efforts but allowing affirmative action to continue in some circumstances. THE IMPACT: The appeal raises anew thorny, unresolved questions over race and remedies. Justice Elena Kagan did not hear this case because she had dealt with the issue while she was President Barack Obama’s solicitor general. That would make a 4-4 tie possible, meaning the university would prevail, but no important precedent would be established. The high court will revisit the issue this fall in a separate appeal on whether Michigan’s voter-
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THE ARGUMENTS: California is the only state that accepted, then revoked, same-sex marriage as a legal right. The measure’s supporters asked the justices to preserve the will of the voters in this politically charged social issue. Opponents of Prop 8 seek a court-ordered expansion of the “traditional” views of marriage. THE OUTCOME: With so many options, the simplest one would be to “DIG” it -- dismiss the case as “improvidently granted,” meaning the larger constitutional issues would not be settled, at least now. That could throw the case back to the lower courts to sort out the jurisdictional issues and perhaps allow another voter referendum next year on gay marriage. A sweeping ruling on whether same-sex marriage is a fundamental constitutional right seems unlikely. THE IMPACT: Currently, same-sex marriage is allowed in 10 states and the District of Columbia. Delaware and Minnesota’s recently passed laws take effect this summer. It is estimated about 120,000 legally married samesex couples live in the United States. Another seven or so states recognize civil unions or broad domestic partnerships, providing state-level spousal rights to same-sex couples. Obama, who previously opposed same-sex marriage, said he now supports it. PATENTS - Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics AT ISSUE: Whether human genes are patentable. Can “products of nature” be treated the same as “human-made” inventions and held as the exclusive intellectual property of individuals and companies? THE CASE: A Utah-based company was sued over its claim of patents on two human genes. Myriad Genetics isolated and identified related types of biological material, BRCA-1 and BRCA-2, whose mutations are linked to increased hereditary risk for breast and ovarian cancer. With its development of synthesized gene clones, Myriad is the only company that can perform tests for potential abnormalities. THE ARGUMENTS: On one side, many scientists and companies argue that patents encourage medical innovation and investment that save lives. On the other, patient rights groups and civil libertarians counter that the patent holders are “holding hostage” the diagnostic care and access to information available to high-risk patients. The patent system was created more than two centuries ago with a dual purpose: offering temporary financial incentives for those at the ground floor of innovative products and ensuring that one company does not hold a lifetime monopoly that might stifle competition and consumer affordability. THE OUTCOME: The court signaled during oral arguments it might strike a middle ground by blocking companies from patenting “natural” genes themselves but allowing them to patent the discovery of something valuable about the gene, such as a test to detect breast cancer. The high court has long allowed patent protection for the creation of a new process or use for natural products. Whether “isolating” or “extracting” genes themselves qualifies for such protection is now the issue. THE IMPACT: The issue gained greater public attention when actress Angelina Jolie announced this month she had undergone a double mastectomy after taking the BRCA tests from Myriad. In what could be a guide to the justices in Myriad, the high court last term rejected a patent claim on a doctor’s medical diagnosis of a patient’s reaction to a drug. Source: CNN.com
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Obama Approval Ratings Rise Amidst Scandals
By Hazel Trice Edney TriceEdneyWire.com) - The 2013 Morehouse College Commencement theme, “Keeping Our Focus,” defined by the university’s President John Wilson as attending to important matters “to the exclusion of distractions” appears to also describe the strategy employed by its graduation speaker – President Barack Obama. With Washington scandals raging in the background, Obama focused keenly on the crucial challenges of the economy and jobs in America. In Sunday’s speech, he told the graduates at the Atlanta-based university that his job is to push for domestic policies that will make life better for them and everyone else. “There’re places where jobs are still too scarce and wages are still too low; where schools are underfunded and violence is pervasive; where too many of our men spend their youth not behind a desk in a classroom, but hanging out on the streets or brooding behind a jail cell,” he told the class of all males. He continued, “My job, as President, is to advocate for policies that generate more opportunity for everybody policies that strengthen the middle class and give more people the chance to climb their way into the middle class; policies that create more good jobs and reduce poverty, and educate more children, and give more families the security of health care, and protect more of our children from the horrors of gun violence. That’s my job. Those are matters of public policy, and it is important for all of us - black, white and brown - to advocate for an America where everybody has got a fair shot in life. Not just some. Not just a few,” he said to rousing applause. Those applause appear to reflect rising approval of the way the President is doing his job. A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation International survey, conducted over the weekend, showed his job performance disapproval at 45 percent, but performance approval at 53 percent, rising from 51 percent just last month. The poll was in sync with a Gallop poll conducted about the same time, which also showed rising approval for the way the President is handling his job. In his fifth year, President Obama is facing the biggest scandals of his administration, drawing wide spread scrutiny and Congressional hearings. Those controversies include the targeting by the Internal Revenue Service of Tea Party and other conservative groups as they applied for tax exempt status; continuing questions about how the Obama administration handled the September 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed a U.S ambassador and three other Americans; and - most recently - scrutiny over the secret collection of Associated Press phone records as part of a government probe into leaks of classified information. The President has not ignored the scandals, but he appears to be keeping his distance and only addressing the issues as necessary while allowing investigating agencies, including Congressional committees, to do their jobs. Though the IRS and Associate Press controversies appear to have drawn bi-partisan outrage, Republican law makers and pundits made rounds on Sunday talk shows with specific criticism of the Obama Administration. Meanwhile, at Morehouse’s rainy graduation, his second spring commencement address after Ohio State earlier this month, the President appeared to enjoy a love fest of support in a comfortable home base of African-Americans at the alma mater of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He welcomed the opportunity to hit home his domestic policy agenda and encourage the graduates to change their communities for the better. “I love you!” a voice rose from the audience as the President settled at the podium. “I love you back. That’s why I’m here,” he responded. President Barack Obama is reflected in a mirror talking with Chief of Staff Denis McDonough before speaking at the commencement ceremony at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga. May 19. A painting of the President stands in the foreground. PHOTO: Pete Souza/The White House He continued in a light moment, drawing laughter from the audience: “I see some moms and grandmas here, aunts, in their Sunday best - although they are upset about their hair getting messed up. Michelle would not be sitting in the rain. She has taught me about hair.” He concluded, “It will not be sufficient for Morehouse College, for any college, for that matter, to produce clever graduates… but rather honest men, men who can be trusted in public and private life - men who are sensitive to the wrongs, the sufferings, and the injustices of society and who are willing to accept responsibility for correcting [those] ills.” He named great men who graduated from Morehouse and went on to become powerful and impactful leaders. Most are household names including Dr. King, abolitionist Frederick Douglass, entrepreneurial leader and educator Booker T. Washington, political scientist Ralph Bunche, writer Langston Hughes, inventor George Washington Carver, civil rights icon Ralph Abernathy, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson and film maker Spike Lee. “These men were many things to many people. And they knew full well the role that racism played in their lives. But when it came to their own accomplishments and sense of purpose, they had no time for excuses,” the President said. “That’s what we’ve come to expect from you, Morehouse - a legacy of leaders - not just in our Black community, but for the entire American community. “
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10 www.cnyvision.com | may 23 - 29| 2013
FROM THE BOYCE BLOG…
ex-slaves who pooled their money to buy four acres of land so they could educate future generations. Without sacrifices like these, the school would not be giving so much to the community today. The school’s extraordinary president, Dr. Kevin Cosby, has not taken a paycheck for his work for the last eight years and readily speaks of how the school is located in one of the poorest districts in America. He sees his contribution as a chance to lift up the community around him, rather than simply milk the community’s resources. If I could transplant Dr. Cosby’s brain into Dr. Dre’s body, black America would be changed forever. Also, had those ex-slaves been naive enough to give all of their money to the big white university down the street, the impact of their contribution would be minimal at best. One of the reasons that black Americans struggle economically is because we’ve been locked out of economic opportunities, while massive institutions like USC hoard the wealth to protect their own (take a look at the very low percentage of African Americans they hire or admit as students). Simultaneously, when we do have access to the resources necessary to begin our building process, we don’t feel inclined to support those who look like us. That’s the difference between the black and the Jewish communities: They teach their children to generously target their resources to
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
Dillard President Asks Dr. Dre Why He Gave $35 Million to USC and Not a Black College
Dr. Dre is one of the most successful entertainers in history, earning hundreds of millions of dollars by making great music. Much of this music moves because he has been able to successfully package urban/black culture, selling it to audiences around the world. One of the questions some have about those who readily use their blackness for dr. boyce watkins profit is the following: What are you giving back to those who gave you so much? It’s hard to know exactly what Dr. Dre is doing for the black community, but we all know where he made his greatest gift. Dr. Dre and music producer Jimmy Lovine recently announced a whopping $70 million dollar donation to USC to create a new degree. The program is one that pulls together liberal arts, graphic arts, business, music and technology. Dr. Dre’s donation is the largest ever given by any African American in history, and oddly enough, the money is going into the hands of rich white people. As I prepared to give the commencement address at Simmons College, a growing HBCU in Kentucky with a very rich history, I heard a story about a group of protect them against oppression. Some may argue that Dr. Dre can do whatever he wants with his money, and this point is valid: No one has the right to tell any of us what to do – a child has no obligation to care about his mother, a husband has no real obligation to provide for his wife, the list goes on and on. But the truth is that if you choose not to care about your community, then don’t expect your community to care about you. Black people have always been incredibly loyal and supportive of Dr. Dre, particularly those who made him the defacto King of Compton and Long Beach. It would seem that his greatest economic gift should go to them instead. Another person who had something to say about the gift is Dillard University president, Walter M. Kimbrough. Dr. Kimbrough was once the youngest president of any HBCU in the country and proudly considers himself to be a part of the hip-hop generation. In an op-ed in the LA Times, Kimbrough openly asks Dre why he chose to give so much money to USC, as opposed to one of the struggling HBCUs that really could have used those resources: I understood their need to build a pool of skilled talent. But why at USC? Iovine’s daughter is an alum, sure. And he just gave its commencement address.
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
up the party after noise complaints. All the while, the white kids were partying up in their fraternity houses without so much as a peep from the police. Additionally, for Dr. Dre, his $35 million dollar donation (half of the $70 million he is sharing with Levin) is merely a drop in the bucket for a school like USC that is sitting on an amount of money that no HBCU will have for at least another 100 years. USC shed no tears when Dr. Dre’s baby brother was murdered in the violence that has poisoned the black community. They did nothing when his son died from an overdose on the drugs that were dropped into black communities in the 1980s. HBCUs have scholars working to solve these problems, and thousands of students who will graduate to fight for black America. USC does NOT. Dr. Kimbrough goes even further to explain why USC was a questionable donation target for someone who grew up as a struggling black kid in South Central Los Angeles. USC is a great institution, no question. But it has a $3.5-billion endowment, the 21st largest in the nation and much more than every black college — combined. Less than 20% of USC’s student body qualifies for federal Pell Grants, given to students from low-income families, compared with two-thirds of those enrolled at black colleges. USC has also seen a steady decrease in black student enrollment, which is now below 5%. A new report on black male athletes and racial inequities shows that only 2.2% of USC undergrads are black men, compared with 56% of its football and basketball teams, one of the largest disparities in the nation. And given USC’s $45,602 tuition next year, I’m confident Dre could have sponsored multiple full-ride scholarships to private black colleges for the cost of one at USC.
11 www.cnyvision.com | may 23 - 29| 2013
Dillard President Asks Dr. Dre...from previous page
Andre Young — before he was Dr. Dre — grew up in nearby Compton, where he rose to fame as part of the rap group N.W.A. The Beats headquarters are on L.A.’s Westside. Still, what if Dre had given $35 million — his half of the USC gift and about 10% of his wealth, according to a Forbes estimate — to an institution that enrolls the very people who supported his career from the beginning? An institution where the majority of students are low-income? A place where $35 million would represent a truly transformational gift? Dr. Kimbrough is absolutely correct. USC’s endowment is over $3.5 billion, which gives this school more money than every single HBCU in America combined. Even more stunning is that the school’s endowment isn’t even in the top 20 in the nation. The point here, and I hope Dr. Dre understands this, is that white people have plenty of money and they aren’t going to use that money to help people who look like you. They don’t exactly need black people making donations, since they’ve already earned over a billion dollars from their African American athletes, many of whom have mothers who can’t even pay the rent. Even worse is that much of this wealth was accumulated on the backs of slaves and black people who were locked out of the economic system. Schools like USC make it diffcult for black students to gain admission and even more difficult for black faculty to get jobs. The university sits down the street from South Central Los Angeles, a virtual war zone where prisons and funeral homes get rich from all the young black men being fed into the prison industrial complex. USC doesn’t use many of its resources to help these individuals, it simply uses Dr. Dre’s money to build higher walls so they can protect the rich white kids from the scary black ones. I wonder if Dr. Dre knows that not only does USC admit very few black students, but the ones who are there are subject to serious racism and racial profiling. During a recent campus party, the LAPD sent over 70 police officers in riot gear with a helicopter to break Dr. Kimbrough made a courageous decision to write this article. There are some who might criticize him as a “hater” or argue with his right to question what Dr. Dre does with his money. But I’m not talking to those people right now. Instead, we must look at the facts: Dr. Dre, a man who has made hundreds of millions of dollars selling back urban culture to the world has made his largest donation to a predominately white university that doesn’t need the money and rarely admits black students unless they can play a sport. I love Dr. Dre’s music, but I am dying to ask my good brother, “What were you thinking?” By the way, as schools like USC have gotten rich from black athletes, HBCUs can barely pay the bills. All the while, almost none of this money is returned to the black community, and multi-million dollar USC athletes like Reggie Bush have their integrity questioned for receiving a few hundred dollars under the table. The fact is that these schools rob black people blind, don’t give hardly anything to the black community, and laugh at the fact that we are ridiculous enough to turn around and give money back. If I were the president of USC, I’d be giggling under my breath and wondering how a group of people can have such little respect for themselves. I think this is what some in the dotcom era might call an “SMH moment.” Dr. Dre is a brilliant producer, but this move just doesn’t make any sense. I hope he has something to say. --------------------Dr. Boyce Watkins co-stars in the Janks Morton Film “Hoodwinked,” starring Dr. Steve Perry, Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu and Dr. Ivory Toldson.
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