This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
from information to understanding
1 27 www.minorityreporter.net | may 27 - june 2 | 2013 www. minorityreporter .net may - june 2 2013
Democrats and Republicans
Battle for Monroe County
2 www.minorityreporter.net | may 27 - june 2| 2013
In This Issue:
vol. 6 no. 22
from information to understanding
1 27 www.minorityreporter.net | may 27 - june 2 | 2013 www. minorityreporter .net may - june 2 2013
attend. 30 Rec on the Move at Baden Park TIme: 3:30pm- 6:30pm Location: Baden Park The City of Rochester’s Recreation on the Move van is rolling into your neighborhood! On board these mobile receation centers you’ll find: healthy snacks, homework help, outdoor games and sports, information on health and nutrition, activities and crafts and daily giveaways. June 1 19th Ward Square Fair Time: 8:00am-4:00pm Location: Abardeen Square PArk - 300 Post Ave. City’s 19th Ward Community Association’s annual neighborhood parade, pancake breakfast, lunch grills and booths. Fun for the entire family! Contact: 19th Ward Community Associaton 585-328-6571. 4 Rec on the Move at Farmington Park Time: 3:30pm-6:30pm Location: Farmington Park The City of Rochester’s Recreation on the Move van is rolling into your neighborhood! On board these mobile receation centers you’ll find: healthy snacks, homework help, outdoor games and sports, information on health and nutrition, activities and crafts and daily giveaways. 4 Rec on the Move at Jefferson Terrace Park Time: 3:30pm-6:30pm Location: Jefferson Terrace Park The City of Rochester’s Recreation on the Move van is rolling into your neighborhood! On board these mobile receation centers you’ll find: healthy snacks, homework help, outdoor games and sports, information on health and nutrition, activities and crafts and daily giveaways.
282 Hollenbeck Street, Rochester, NY 14621 P.O. Box 26352, Rochester, NY 14626
Democrats and Republicans
Battle for Monroe County
To include your event on this calendar email us at
• Support Growing for Wheel-ChairBound Man Beaten by Police
28 The Circles God Draws: Memoirs of Ruth Holland Scott Time: 12:12pm Location: Kate Gleason Auditorium, Central Library, 115 South Ave. The Honorable Ruth Scott will share highlights from her recently published memoir, The Circles God Draws. Ms. Scott was the first woman and African American to head the 19th Ward Neighborhood Association and was the first African American woman elected to the Rochester City Council. ADMISSION: Free and open to the public, seating up to 120, wheelchair accessible 29 CANDICE LUCAS PRESS CONFERENCE Time: 2:00 p.m. Location: 971 South Avenue We are asking all team members, volunteers, and community friends to
PH: 585-301-4199 Toll-free: 1-888-792-9303 FX: 1-888-796-6292 EMAIL:email@example.com
Dave McCleary firstname.lastname@example.org Pauline McCleary email@example.com Gary McLendon Editor@minorityreporter.net Catie Fiscus ArtDirector@minorityreporter.net Lisa Dumas Delani Weaver
Business Manager copy editor
editorial staff EDITORIAL ASSISTANT
• New Book Focuses on ‘State of Black Rochester’ • Democrats Put a Hold on Construction Funds to Focus Attention Infant Mortality • 2 Men Convicted in Rochester Teen’s Fatal Shooting • Deal to Sell Baush + Lomb in the Making
Start Your Career With ConServe!
Dave McCleary Yahya Abdullah Lucy Smith-Fulmore firstname.lastname@example.org Temple Boggs, Jr. Todd Elliott
• NY Consumers Eligible for $11.7 million from Penguin Group Inc. E-Book Price Fixing Settlement • NY Officials Urge Preparation for Hurricane Season
PG 12, 13
Paid Onside Training Uncapped Bonus Earning Potential Generous Vacation Plan 100% Paid Single Medical 100% Paid Family Vision/Dental
Gloria Winston Al-Sarag C. Michael Tillman Rev. Michael Vaughn Vincent Felder Diane Watkins Mike Dulaney Davy Vara Ayesha Kreutz
• Obama Approval Ratings Rise Amidst Scandals • The ‘Four Little Girls’ Honored as American Heroes • Advocates Outrages Over $21 Billion Cut to Food Stamps Program
Click the “ConServe Careers” tab to apply
• Apologize? To Whom? For What? By Gloria winston Al-sarag
200 Cross Keys Office Park, Fairport, 14450 ConServe is an EOE and a Drug-Free Workplace
Minority Reporter, Inc. is 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, Minority Reporter, Inc. seeks to present a balanced view of relevant issues, utilizing its resources to build bridges among diverse populations; taking them from information to understanding. Minority Reporter reserves the right to edit or reject content submitted. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher. Minority Reporter does not assume responsibility concerning advertisers, their positions, practices, services or products; nor does the publication of advertisements constitute or imply endorsement. Minority Reporter invites news and story suggestions from readers. Deadline for all copy is Tuesday at noon.
• How the Obamas Can Earn the Right to Yell at Black People By Boyce watkins
SEND US YOUR
Call 585-301-4199 or email email@example.com.
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.
3 www.minorityreporter.net | may 27 - june 2 | 2013
Are you 30 days or more behind on your mortgage payment?
WE CAN HELP AT NO COST
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.
*USE REFERENCE CODE: LH/COP
BY TEMPLE BOGGS, JR
CAPTURE THE MOMENT
FUNDRAISING FREELANCE PHOTOGRAPHY SPECIAL EVENTS
When you text a driver, you take their eyes off the road for as long as it takes to drive the length of a football field at 55 mph; F.Y.I. that’s
to see how you can help end distracted driving.
4 www.minorityreporter.net | may 27 - june 2| 2013
New Book focuses on “State of Black Rochester”
A new book primarily focused on a synopsis of the racial and ethnic disparities in the Rochester community is now available by the African American Giving Initiative of Rochester Area Community Foundation. “It is extremely helpful to know where we have been and what continuing challenges we face as the Giving Initiative and the entire community decides what to support in order to make the greatest impact,” says Dana K. Miller, vice president for advancement at the Community Foundation Miller, also a member of the Rochester City Council, wrote the preface and a summary chapter for the book. He writes, “the challenges preventing people from taking advantage of opportunities can be described in four words: availability, access, awareness, and ability. …Our mission should be maintaining or increasing the availability and access to opportunities while also finding ways to significantly improve awareness and ability.” The State of Black Rochester 2013: Education + Employment = Equity, a 140-page paperback, is a compilation of essays from prominent community leaders and experts and includes current data compiled by ACT Rochester. Proceeds from sales of the book will be used for the Giving Initiative’s future grants in our community. The book, published earlier this month, is modeled on the National Urban League’s State of Black America, includes essays written on economic development, education, health in our region, criminal justice, philanthropy, and structural inequality from several different officials, businessmen and community members of Rochester including Bolgen Vargas, superintendent of Rochester city schools, Rochester Police Chief James M. Sheppard and a data overview by Ann M. Johnson, director of ACT Rochester and ACTRochester.org. The hope of the Giving Initiative is that the community will use information in The State of Black Rochester 2013 to guide decisions on budgets, spending, philanthropy and development opportunities, Miller says. The African American Giving Initiative, formed in 2011, provides an opportunity for people in the community to combine financial resources and have a say in how the available grant money should be distributed. A group of nearly two dozen people aligned with the Initiative’s mission to make a positive change in problem areas experienced most strongly within the African American community have been regularly meeting to discuss ongoing issues, recruitment of new members and plans for the book. Membership levels start at $1,000 a year. The group voted to award one grant of $5,200 to Gateways Music Festival, a biennial event held in Rochester since 1995 that celebrates the contributions of classical instrumentalists of African descent. “This grant will help support an enhanced focus on youth during the festival,” says William Lewis, president of the Gateways board. Plans are to have festival musicians, who come from all over the country, perform one night for youth at Wilson Academy Foundation on Genesee
Street. The festival will be held August 14-18 in a variety of locations, including schools, houses of worship, theaters and Rochester City Hall
Democrats Put A Hold on Construction Funds to Focus Attention Infant Mortality Rate
By Delani Weaver Democrats are trying to shift the focus of County Executive Maggie Brooks and the rest of the legislature. Two major construction projects, the Jetview extension in Chili and the Twin Bridge in Wheatland, have been on a financial hold by the Democrats in order to focus attention on the infant mortality rate. Democratic Leader Carrie M. Andrews (D-Rochester) said: “In blocking the additional bonding for these two projects, we hoped to spur a discussion with our colleagues across the aisle about how we can address the infant mortality problem we face, but it appears no one in this Republican majority or administration wants to get to work to tackle this difficult issue.” Tuesday Brooks said that despite the total amount of funding not being readily available, both projects will move forward. Traveling safety, local jobs and federal funding for both projects were in danger if the green light to begin construction was not given, according to Brooks. Andrews said she’s glad both projects have started and the funds that have not been allocated as of yet are detrimental to these projects. “From day one we have said that these projects could proceed without any additional borrowing,” Andrews said. “The legislature has already approved $6.1 million for these two projects, more than enough to bring them to completion. We are pleased that we have saved taxpayers money by preventing this needless borrowing.” In a recent interview Brooks said the Democrats are trying to exchange votes on projects for individual favors. Brooks believes that political power should not be a factor when it comes to improving the county’s infrastructure projects. “…We are deeply troubled that the county executive has characterized raising awareness of infant mortality as a ‘political favor’ to the Democrats. The infant mortality rate in parts of our county is worse than in some third world countries; clearly, this is an issue that needs more attention,” Andrews said. “…It is quite ironic that the county executive is claiming ‘roads and bridges should be off-limits when it comes to leveraging power.’ After all, it was legislature Republicans, then in the minority, who at one time decided to block an entire year’s worth of road and bridge projects because they wanted an increase in their office budget. Apparently, the county executive only thinks it is wrong when Democrats are in the minority and decide to scrutinize what is clearly unneeded borrowing.” Democrats want to launch an infant mortality prevention campaign that would cost approximately $5,000. According to local non-profit organization The Children’s Agenda, Monroe County’s infant mortality rate is higher than other counties in upstate New York and higher than the overall rate in New York State. “Our community deserves a government that is willing to work together in good faith to make our county a good place to work, live and raise a family,” Andrews said. “…She (Maggie Brooks) and the current legislative leadership are not willing to work with us on any issue. This is disappointing and our community deserves better.”
5 www.minorityreporter.net | may 27 - june 2 | 2013
6 www.minorityreporter.net | may 27 - june 2| 2013
2 men convicted in Rochester teen’s fatal shooting
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — Two men have been convicted of manslaughter in the shooting death of a Rochester teenager last year. A Monroe County Court jury convicted Darius Bursey and Van Cotton of firstdegree manslaughter in the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Lamar Shahid, a high school senior. The two men, both 23, were acquitted of second-degree murder charges. Authorities say Bursey and cotton attacked Shahid and his cousin inside a home in January 2012. Police say Bursey first shocked the cousins with a stun gun before Cotton shot Shahid in the back with a handgun. Bursey and Cotton are scheduled for sentencing June 20. Lamar Shahid
Deal to Sell Bausch + Lomb in the Making
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Canadian drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals has agreed to pay $8.7 billion to buy Bausch + Lomb, one of the world’s best-known makers of contact lenses, in a massive expansion of Valeant’s smaller ophthalmology business. Valeant said Monday that the cash deal will help it capitalize on increasing demand for contact lenses and other products because of aging populations, growing demand in emerging markets and increasing rates of diabetes. Complications of the complex blood sugar disorder can damage the eyes over time. Investment firm Warburg Pincus, which leads an investment group that owns Bausch + Lomb, will receive $4.5 billion in cash. The remaining $4.2 billion will be used to repay Bausch + Lomb’s debt. Reports that the purchase was in the works surfaced late last week, driving up shares of Valeant on Friday by 13.1 percent, to $84.47. The deal, which requires approval from regulators and other standard closing conditions, is expected to be completed in the third quarter. It will be financed with debt and about $1.5 billion to $2 billion in new stock. Valeant expects to achieve at least $800 million in annual cost savings by the end of next year, and said the acquisition will add to its profits immediately. Rochester, N.Y.-based Bausch + Lomb Holdings Inc. makes contact lenses, eye drugs and ophthalmic surgical devices. It will keep its name and become a division of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc., which is based in Laval, Quebec. “I am confident that under their stewardship, the Bausch + Lomb brand will continue to stand for excellence and innovation in eye health,” Brent Saunders, CEO of Bausch + Lomb, said in a statement. “Bausch + Lomb has undergone a profound transformation over the last few years,” Saunders said. “We introduced innovative new products for patients, built a robust pipeline, expanded into new markets and strengthened our relationships with eye care professionals around the world.” Valeant’s ophthalmology business will be folded into the new Bausch + Lomb division. The combined global business would have 2013 revenue topping $3.5 billion on a pro forma basis, meaning the total of sales from both companies’ eye care businesses for the full year. Much of that will come from Bausch + Lomb, which anticipates it will have revenue of about $3.3 billion this year. Bausch + Lomb expects adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of about $720 million. The deal cements the combined business as one of the global leaders in eye care. Switzerland’s Novartis AG had about $5 billion in combined 2012 revenue from its sales of Lucentis, a pricey biologic drug for treating the eye condition macular degeneration, and from its Alcon division. Alcon sells contact lenses and solutions, lenses implanted in the eye to treat near-sightedness and cataracts, ophthalmology drugs and surgical equipment. New Brunswick, N.J.-based Johnson & Johnson’s Vistakon eye care division had 2012 revenue of about $3 billion. It sells Acuvue contact lenses, which the company claims are the world’s most widely used brand. Allergan, based in Irvine, Calif., had about $2.7 billion in revenue last year, from its Refresh artificial tears and prescription drugs including Restasis for dry eyes and two medicines for treating glaucoma and excessive fluid pressure within the eye. After the deal closes, Saunders will become an adviser to Valeant to help with integrating Bausch + Lomb. Other senior Bausch + Lomb executives will join Valeant as well. The $8.7 billion purchase price is about 2 1/2 times the 2012 revenue of $3.55 billion reported by Valeant, which specializes in dermatology medicines. It also sells a range of brand-name and generic drugs, as well as nonprescription medicines. Valeant’s CEO, J. Michael Pearson, said in a statement that the deal will make his company a world leader in both eye health and dermatology. “Bausch + Lomb’s world-renowned brand, comprehensive portfolio of leading eye care products and promising late-stage pipeline are an ideal strategic fit for our current ophthalmology business,” Pearson said. Bausch + Lomb had been taken private in 2007, when New York-based Warburg Pincus bought the struggling company for $3.67 billion. That happened after Bausch + Lomb had to recall its ReNu with MoistureLoc contact lens solution because it had been linked to dangerous fungal infections. Bausch + Lomb then paid out about $250 million to settle more than 600 lawsuits blaming the MoistureLoc solution for a potentially blinding infection of the cornea, the clear membrane over the pupil and the colored part of the eye. Bausch + Lomb has since worked to rebuild, most recently with a series of acquisitions. Last year, it narrowed its net loss to $68.3 million from $123.9 million in 2011. Revenue rose to $3.04 billion in 2012 from $2.85 billion. Two months ago, the company said it expected to go public again. Valeant has about 7,500 employees worldwide, while Bausch + Lomb has more than 11,000. The companies did not indicate whether the combination will result in job cuts.
Download our mobile app.
Take a picture.
Deposit your check.
How easy is this?
Now, there’s no waiting in teller lines or at an ATM to deposit your check. With VISIONS’ Mobile Express Deposit you can use your mobile device to deposit your check from anywhere. Just take a picture. Download the FREE Visions Mobile App from your device’s app store. It’s that easy!
1130 East Main Street • Rochester, NY visionsfcu.org
Your Loan Arranger
Federally Insured by NCUA.
7 www.minorityreporter.net | may 27 - june 2 | 2013
Do you work for a company? Belong to an organization or association?
If so, you may qualify for special group discounts on your insurance.
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
*Answers on page 13
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
You could potentially save up to 10% on your auto and home insurance. Contact me today to see if you qualify!
Rosa Edwards Property & Casualty Specialist MetLife Auto & Home 1350 Buffalo Road, Suite 14 Rochester, NY 14624 (585) 247-6393 firstname.lastname@example.org
Who do you work for?®
MetLife Auto & Home is a brand of Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Company and its affiliates: Metropolitan Casualty Insurance Company, Metropolitan Direct Property and Casualty Insurance Company, Metropolitan General Insurance Company, Metropolitan Group Property and Casualty Insurance Company, and Metropolitan Lloyds Insurance Company of Texas, all with administrative home offices in Warwick, RI. Coverage, rates, and discounts are available in most states to those who qualify. ©2011 MetLife Auto & Home L1111217862(exp0313)(All States)(DC) © 2011 PNTS 1110-3929
780 Joseph Avenue
8 www.minorityreporter.net | may 27 - june 2| 2013
Democrats and Republicans
Battle for Monroe County
By Delani Weaver There has always been a power struggle between the Democrats and Republicans, but none so like what’s been happening between the two parties recently. The Monroe County Hospital investigation results started the chain of events. The state health department issued a report faulting Monroe County Hospital Health Director Todd Springs for abusing a resident. Springs took the wheelchair away from now deceased resident Samuel Condello, who was an amputee, leaving him bedridden for four days after Condello had been allegedly smoking in the wrong area. This incident sparked a discussion amongst Democrat legislatures as to the oversight board which, according to Democrats, has been dormant since Maggie Brooks has been county executive. The county charter states there should be a 21-member board to oversee and advise the county on issues related to Monroe Community Hospital. The board membership is dictated by the charter, which requires that four of the members be patients at the hospital and that representatives be appointed from the University of Rochester School of Medicine, the United Way and Medical Society, among others. Over the past decade, Democrats have repeatedly sought information on why the board was inactive, but all of those efforts have been rebuffed. Democrats were pleased to welcome the surprising support of Republican Leader Anthony Daniele, who said the legislature’s role is to take a look at the situation at Monroe Community Hospital. On May 3, Democrats sent Daniele a letter requesting legislative hearings on these issues. In light of Daniele’s comments, Democrats reiterated that request and called on the legislature’s leadership to meet immediately to initiate hearing preparations. Democrats also pointed out that the Monroe Community Hospital oversight board is not optional, it is required under existing law. Brooks said the board was not active before she was the county executive. On May 10, Springs was fired by Brooks. Less than a week after Springs was fired, Anthony Daniele suddenly resigned from his position as majority leader in order to focus on his family business, according to him. Democrats in the County Legislature expressed serious reservations about whether the ouster was retaliation for Daniele’s recent public comments seemingly supporting Democratic efforts to restore the Monroe Community Hospital Board and hold hearings on the allegations of abuse and whistleblower retaliation under former Director Todd Spring. “We are deeply troubled by the appearance that former Majority Leader Daniele was punished by his party for speaking out against allegations of abuse and wanting to ensure legislative oversight of MCH,” Democratic Leader Carrie M. Andrews (D-Rochester) said. “This is exactly the type of behavior we’re trying to prevent at the Community Hospital and it is a chilling example for the employees in our workforce. We are obviously willing to work with whomever the Republican Caucus elects, but if this was retaliation then that would be completely unacceptable.” Brooks responded by saying Daniele’s resignation was his personal choice
and had nothing to do with retaliation and though Democrats may handle business in their party, Republicans do not. Third, the Republican majority voted Democrat Monroe County Legislature Willie Lightfoot to be removed from his position on the public authority board that oversees the Greater Rochester International Airport. Democrats see this as another jab thrown at their party. Assistant Democratic Leader Cindy Kaleh (D-Rochester) said, “In recent weeks, Republicans have been on a rampage of retaliation, ousting Majority Leader Anthony Daniele for speaking in favor of legislative oversight of Monroe Community Hospital, illegally stripping Democrat Legislator Willie Joe Lightfoot of his Airport Authority Board membership and instituting new rules to stifle debate and legislative oversight of County Government.” Brooks said that Lightfoot’s removal was due to several meetings he did not attend. Lastly, majority Republicans have introduced legislation that would cut the Democratic Minority Staff Budget by 10 percent effective July 1.
9 www.minorityreporter.net | may 27 - june 2 | 2013
“It’s no secret how Republicans in this county respond to criticism, we’ve seen them retaliate even against their own members when those folks dared to speak out,” Andrews said. “But to have the audacity to think it is okay to steal ten percent of our staff budget mid-way through the year is beyond the pale. We will not succumb to this bullying and we ask the decent residents of this County to stand with us against this act of aggression.” Kaleh said: “…They introduced legislation to change the longstanding rule that the staff budgets be reallocated only at the Organizational Meeting of the Legislature that follows a regular election of County Legislators. The next Organizational Meeting is scheduled to take place in January 2016 and that should be when the staff budgets are reallocated.” Democrats also noted that no other department in county government is being targeted for such a mid-year budget cut. Democrats have vowed to oppose this proposal and continue their push for oversight of county government.
10 www.minorityreporter.net | may 27 - june 2| 2013
NY Consumers Eligible for $11.7 million from Penguin Group Inc. E-Book Price Fixing Settlement
33 states including New York announced an antitrust settlement with Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Wednesday. The settlement requires Penguin to pay $75 million to resolve the states’ claims that Penguin colluded with other major publishers and Apple Inc. to fix the prices of electronic books (E-books). NY consumers are eligible for refunds of about 11.7 million from this and previous settlements. The agreement with Penguin must be approved by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Following court approval, consumers nationwide, including those represented by the attorneys general of the 33 states and territories and those represented by private counsel in a related class action will receive $75 million in compensation. In addition, injunctive provisions included in the settlement ensure that E-book retailers will have greater freedom to reduce prices of E-book titles going forward. “E-book consumers are protected by our laws and efforts to circumvent those protections will not be tolerated by my office. Today’s and earlier settlements provide restitution to consumers harmed by the price fixing of E-books orchestrated by the five publishers and Apple,” said New York Attorney General Schneiderman. “The settlements provide injunctive relief designed to prevent future anticompetitive conduct by E-book retailers and to restore competition to the E-book market. It was alleged by the states in the lawsuit that the 5 E-book publishers and Apple agreed in 2010 to go to any agency model for the sale of E-books. By using the agency model the publishers were able to set the prices of E-books and prevent discounting by E-book retailers like Amazon. Amazon had been selling many NY Times bestsellers at a $9.99 price point. The publishers and Apple-who entered the E-book business in 2010 wanted E-books sold at a higher more profitable price point. The states had previously settled with four other E-book publishers. The settlements reached with Hachette Book Group Inc., HarperCollins Publishers L.L.C., and Simon & Schuster Inc., in August 2012, required the payment of a total of $69 million in consumer compensation. An agreement reached with Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC d/b/a Macmillan earlier this year resulted in a payment of $20 million on behalf of consumers. As a result of these five settlements consumers nationwide will receive a total of $164 million. New York E-book purchasers will receive approximately $11.7 million in compensation from the settlements. On behalf of New York State Attorney General’s Office, this case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Linda J. Gargiulo and Robert Hubbard, under the supervision of Executive Deputy Attorney General for Economic Justice Karla G. Sanchez. The states’ antitrust action against Apple, Inc. based on the same allegations remains pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York with a trial scheduled in June 2013. For restitution purposes, most consumers will get a notice directly from their E-book retailers. In fact, as to the first 3 settlements-totaling $69 mill, these settlements have already been approved by the court and consumers have been notified that they are eligible for refunds from the first three settlements. States and territories participating in the settlement are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, DC, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
I made my home more energy-efficient for
NY officials urge preparation for hurricane season
Since I’m income-eligible*, EmPower New York improved my insulation, reduced drafts, and upgraded my lighting, appliances and heating—for free. I’m lowering my energy bills and keeping more money in my pocket. A no-brainer.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ State officials are urging New York residents to prepare for hurricane season. The season starts June 1 and lasts through November. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said last week there is a 70 percent chance that this year will be more active than an average hurricane season. Gov. Andrew Cuomo noted that New
Yorkers are continuing to recover from Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. His administration is asking New Yorkers to develop or review their household disaster plans. Among other steps, state officials say people should have an emergency phone list and enough non-perishable food and water on hand to last about 10 days.
You can do the same for your home or apartment.
» EmPower New York
A better life begins at home.
Learn more: 1-800-263-0960 Visit: nyserda.ny.gov/empower
Let your voice
Tell us what you think at:
* You may be eligible for EmPower if you are eligible for HEAP beneﬁts, participate in a utility payment assistance program, or have household income below 60% of the state median income.
11 www.minorityreporter.net | may 27 - june 2 | 2013
adoption ADOPT: Happily married, nature-loving couple wishes to adopt a baby. We promise love, laughter, education, and security. Expenses paid. www.DonaldAndEsther.com. (Se habla español.) 1-800-965-5617. ADOPT: The stork didn’t call. We hope you will. Loving family of 3 looking to adopt another little miracle. Contact Robin and Neil: 866303-0668, www.rnladopt. info ADOPT: A happily married couple promises cozy home, secure future, extended family, unconditional love for baby of any race. Expenses paid. Leslie/ Daniel TOLLFREE 1-855-767-2444. danielandleslieadopt@ gmail.com Auctions SULLIVAN COUNTY REAL PROPERTY TAX FORECLOSURE AUCTION: 300+/Properties June 13+14 @ 9:30AM. At “The Sullivan” Route 17 Exit 109. 800-2430061 AAR. & HAR, Inc. FREE brochure: www.NYSAuctions.com buying/ sellling BUYING/SELLING: Gold, gold coins, sterling silver, silver coins, silver plate, diamonds, fine watches (Rolex, Cartier, Patek), paintings, furs, estates. Call for appointment 917-696-2024 JAY
Collectables CASH BUYER, 1970 and Before, Comic Books, Toys, Sports, entire collections wanted. I travel to you and Buy EVERYTHING YOU have! Call Brian TODAY: 1-800-6173551 Health IF YOU USED THE MIRENA IUD between 2001-present and suffered perforation or embedment in the uterus requiring surgical removal, or had a child born with birth defects you may be entitled to compensation. Call Johnson Law and speak with female staff members 1-800-5355727 Help Wanted AIRLINES ARE HIRING –Train for hands on Aviation Career. FAA approved program. Financial aid if qualified -Job placement assistance. CALL Aviation Institute of Maintenance 866-296-7093 Land For Sale UPSTATE NY COUNTRYSIDE SPRING LAND SALE $5,000 Off Each Lot 6 AC w/ Trout Stream: $29,995 3 AC / So. Tier: $15,995 5.7 AC On the River: $39,995 Beautiful & All Guaranteed Buildable. Financing Available. Offer Ends 5/31/13. Call Now: 1-800229-7843 www.landandcamps.com
Land For Sale LAKE SALE: 6 acres Bass Lake $29,900. 7 acres 400’ waterfront $29,900 6 lake properties. Were $39,900 now $29,900. www.LandFirstNY. com Ends June 30th Call Now! 1888-683-2626. Lots & Acreage Waterfront Lots- Virginia’s Eastern Shore WAS 300K Now From $55k Large Lots, Community Pool, Pier and Recreational Center. Great for boating, fishing & kayaking. www.oldemillpointe. com 757-824-0808 Miscellaneous Attend College Online from Home. *Medical, *Business, *Criminal Justice, *Hospitality. Job placement assistance. Computer and Financial Aid if qualified. SCHEV authorized. Call 888-201-8657 www.CenturaOnline.com SAWMILLS from only $3997.00- MAKE & SAVE MONEY with your own bandmill- Cut lumber any dimension. In stock ready to ship. FREE Info/ DVD: www.NorwoodSawmills.com 1-800-578-1363 Ext.300N Vacation Rentals OCEAN CITY, MARYLAND. Best selection of affordable rentals. Full/ partial weeks. Call for FREE brochure. Open daily. Holiday Real Estate. 1-800-638-2102. Online reservations: www.holidayoc. com
United Way of Greater Rochester
Assistant to the President Assist in the execution of duties for the Office of the President; serve as lead staff person to all matters related to the organizational governance process. Provide assistance to the board chair. Provide counsel to the president. Requiremments: Bachelor Degree as well as 5 years of experience supporting at an executive level. Excellent oral and written communications; organizational skills; ability to work independently and exercise sound judgmnet; sensitivity to issues of confidence; comprehensive knowlwgede of Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point, and CRM products . EEO employer. Send resumes to: email@example.com
100 Dunn Tower Drive Rochester, NY 14606 (585)429-5520
Dunn Tower I Apartments
200 Dunn Tower Drive Rochester, NY 14606 (585)429-6840
Dunn Tower II Apartments
*Answer from puzzle on page 3
Save Money on DIY Aboveground and Inground Pool Kits & Supplies Financing Available! A Great Way to Spend Time Together! Excellent Service. Fast Shipping! Family Owned & Operated Since 1990!
12 www.minorityreporter.net | may 27 - june 2| 2013
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. “
Monday, June 10 @ 7 PM
The CineMa TheaTer // 957 ClinTon ave. S. all general admission tickets are $6
Emmy Award-winning producer and writer Chris Christopher will share her insights on the making of this film and the role Minister Florence played in Rochester’s history and in the civil rights movement.
and may be purchased online at www.rCTv15.org //at the station located at 21 Gorham Street // at the box office one hour before the screening
13 www.minorityreporter.net | may 27 - june 2 | 2013
The ‘Four Little Girls’ Honored As American Heroes
By Hazel Trice Edney (TriceEdneyWire.com) - The four little girls who were killed by a bomb planted by the Ku Klux Klan at Alabama’s 16th Street Baptist Church nearly 50 years ago have been officially proclaimed as American heroes. President Barack Obama has signed into law, H. R. 360, “which provides for the presentation of a congressional gold medal to commemorate the lives of the four young African-American victims of the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church” in Birmingham, Ala. on September 15, 1963. It is one of the nation’s highest civilian awards. Addie Mae Collins, 14; Denise McNair, 11; Carole Robertson, 14; and Cynthia Wesley, 14 died inside their Sunday school classrooms when the dynamite, exploded by a timer. As victims of violence during the historic civil rights movement, they are among the youngest to ever receive the Congressional Gold Medal. They join other recipients such as Rosa Parks, Coretta Scott King, Jackie Robinson, the Tuskegee Airmen, Sen. Robert Kennedy, Gen. Colin Powell and South Africa President Nelson Mandela. Surrounded by their family during the signing ceremony in the Oval Office May 24, President Obama said, “That tragic loss, that heartbreak helped to trigger triumph and a more justice and equal and fair America. This is a great privilege for me.” Upon the unanimous passage of the bill on April 24, U. S. Rep. Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (D-Ga.), an original sponsor, described the girls as “bright stars in the constellation shining down now as beacons of light for freedom and justice” and “four young martyrs in the fight for freedom.” Twenty-two other people were injured in the blast that day. The historic church was a meeting place for civil rights activists, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in their work for voter registration of AfricanAmericans. The bombing happened just two weeks after the August 28, 1963 March on Washington; therefore is viewed as a catalyst for the escalation of the Civil Rights Movement. Giving their eulogy, Dr. King said, “These children – unoffending; innocent and beautiful- were the victims of one of the most vicious, heinous crimes ever perpetrated against humanity; yet they died nobly. They are martyred heroines of a holy crusade for freedom and human dignity.”
Posthumous recipents of the Congressional Gold Medal are, clockwise, Addie Mae Collins, 14; Cynthia Wesley, 14; Carole Robertson, 14 and Denise McNair, 11.
Advocates Outraged Over $21 Billion Cut to Food Stamps Program
By Zenitha Prince (TriceEdneyWire.com) - Congressional leaders and anti-hunger advocates expressed outrage over a U.S. House committee’s passage of a bill which includes a $21 billion slash in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, the nation’s largest nutrition assistance program. The bill, formally known as the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, passed out of committee by a vote of 36-10 on May 15. A day before, the Senate passed its version of the farm bill, including $4 billion in cuts to SNAP, by a vote of 15-5. “A vote for this level of cuts is shameless,” David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World, said in a statement. “Millions of people will lose food assistance and hundreds of thousands of households will see their benefits cut dramatically at a time when families across the country are struggling with longterm unemployment or reduced wages. Hungry and poor people do not deserve to bear the brunt of our deficit-reduction efforts.” Supporters of the bill say the cuts in SNAP, better known as the food stamp program, reflect savings from the elimination of errors and fraud—the first reform of the program since the Welfare Reform Act of 1996. “I am proud of the Committee’s effort to advance a farm bill with significant savings and reforms,” Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, said in a statement. “We achieve nearly $40 billion in savings by eliminating outdated government programs and reforming others. No other committee in Congress is voluntarily cutting money, in a bipartisan way, from its jurisdiction to reduce the size and scope of the federal government.” But detractors said SNAP has the lowest error rate among federal programs, and the budget cuts penalizes those who need the government’s help the most. On May 14, Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, a Democrat, urged his colleagues to consider the moral implications of allowing so many Americans to go hungry. The farm bill includes $20 billion in SNAP cuts “at a time when we have 50 million hungry Americans. At a time when we have 17 million hungry kids,” McGovern said. “We were elected to solve problems and help people; not make things worse. We were elected to help make lives better. We were elected to do the right thing. Cutting SNAP – making it harder for hungry Americans to put food on their tables – is the wrong thing.” The proposed measure would remove 2 million SNAP recipients from the program, reduce SNAP benefits by about $90 each month for 850,000 households, end free school meals for 210,000 children and cut international food aid by $2.5 billion over five years, the lawmaker said. Those measure are in addition to a $25 per month cut that every SNAP recipient will see this fall when the increase from the Recovery Act ends. During the bill’s markup on May 15, McGovern offered an amendment to restore the cuts which failed by a roll call vote of 17-27. The decision undermines the first line of defense against hunger and will impede the work of charitable and faith-based organizations such as Bread for the World, Catholic Charities USA, Feeding America and United Way Worldwide in feeding the hungry, especially with food demands going up and charitable giving on the decline, advocates said.
Feeding America estimates that these cuts would amount to over 8 billion lost meals for struggling families. “If divided evenly across Feeding America’s national network of food banks, every food bank would have to provide an additional 4 million meals each year for the next 10 years, and that is just not possible,” Bob Aiken, president and CEO of Feeding America, said in a statement. “There is no way that charity would be able to make up the difference. We are already stretched thin meeting sustained high need, and we simply do not have the resources to prevent hunger in all of the families who would be impacted by these cuts.” The groups say they will continue to lobby lawmakers to reverse course and restore SNAP’s funds as the bill moves to the House floor. And several lawmakers have vowed to do the same. “We must stand for the most vulnerable in our country,” McGovern said in his floor speech. “And we must End Hunger Now – not make it worse.”
14 www.minorityreporter.net | may 27 - june 2| 2013
Willie Joe Lightfoot, it is my understanding that the Monroe County executive has publicly called for you to apologize for telling your truth. I heard she wants you to apologize because you stated you would rather be home with your family than sit in a room full of crooks (and I paraphrase).
The views expressed on our opinion pages are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the position or viewpoint of Minority Reporter.
Apologize? To Whom? For What?
local development corporation that caused you to refer to some as “crooks,” including UTC, M3S, Monroe Newpower and the Civic Center. Where is the apology for all of that? Who apologizes for the criminal investigation into M3S, or the outrageous fiasco that led to the termination of the director from Monroe Community Hospital? And what about the “pay to play” accusations that plague COMIDA? Perhaps you also remembered that the executive director’s husband was allegedly employed by the Monroe County Water Authority for three years, but I guess no one was supposed to notice because they do not share the same last name. Is that not called “nepotism” in some circles? The Monroe County Water Authority, now the activities there might be worth re-examination. And you, Willie, might find yourself in jail if you were involved in any of the aforementioned. Oh, I forgot, they already tried to discredit you by locking you up on trumped up charges. And what about the Right Reverend Ronald House, a former county employee, who has been charged with allegedly extorting money from convicted felons and has cases pending in federal court? Has she apologized for that? Speaking of being locked up, when is the county executive going to apologize for sitting in a back room at the county building while our distinguished New York State Assemblyman David F. Gantt, Minister Raymond Scott, and community icon Minister Franklin Florence were handcuffed and hauled off to jail for protesting the selection process for the public defender’s office? Does she share any responsibility to the citizens locked out of the county building, the night a vote was to be taken on the public defender issue? She more than needs to apologize for remaining silent and letting that atrocity occur. Obviously you are not the only one who perceives there are “crooks” in that administration. Apparently the voters think so too. Perhaps her inability to apologize, or recognize that “crook” may be the operative word in her administration, cost her the race she ran in an attempt to unseat Congresswoman Louise Slaughter. How dare the county executive demand an apology from you on live T.V. and in writing? How dare she attempt to voice her concerns about your remarks in writing? How pompous is it to act like her administration has been so squeaky clean? It is crystal clear to me, and others, that the reason you were replaced on the Airport Authority Board had more to do with the heat you brought to bear at Monroe County Hospital than anything else. Your attendance is what she claims was the issue, but she is probably the only one who believes that. Willie Joe Lightfoot, you just need to keep doing you. The fact that you are being a truth-teller who seeks to do what is right, as opposed to what is wrong, is the really issue. You have truly not only stepped on toes or rocked some boats, you have tipped a few over, and I love it. It is what your constituents expect you to do in looking out for this community’s best interest. When the big guns come out demanding apologies, she is only trying to appease those who may be afraid they are the next ones to be investigated. Honest people are not appreciated, or welcomed, by “crooks.” Though the executive director chose to try to publicly humiliate you, don’t take it personally. Consider it a compliment. Truth-tellers are usually the first to be offered up as a sacrifice. Your community is proud of you and has your back. Who cares what the “crooks” think? Apologize? To Whom? For what? I think not, Willie.
---------------------------------Gloria Winston Al-Sarag is a Community Activist, Writer, Communicator, Political Activist. She is a native Rochesterian and has been involved with numerous community orgainzations in Rochester. Contact Gloria at: JazzyG4202@ aol.com
GLORIA WINSTON AL-SARAG
I am not clear on what she wants you to apologize for, but if you perceive there are crooks in the county administration, it certainly could be, because recent history has proven there are. If you do apologize, I will personally find the biggest belt in my closet and come spank your butt myself. The county executive should be the one apologizing to this community for being at the helm of such a scandal-ridden administration. Perhaps, Willie, your reference to folks being alleged “crooks” could be because you recall the Robutrad scandal. That was the discovery of $1 million being stolen after an investigation had been launched in 2008 into 14 contractors working exclusively on behalf of county government for more than a decade. The state comptroller’s office, the district attorney, U.S. attorney and F.B.I. were all involved in the investigation, weren’t they? Perhaps an apology is due to our community for the “quid pro quo” environment that was revealed. Or perhaps she should be apologizing for the indictment of Deputy Executive Director Jim Smith. There were also, of course, the cigars and strippers at the airport which resulted in the termination of one director. Maybe you also recalled how another airport director was ousted because of alcohol issues that resulted in D.W.I. charges. Then again, it could be the audits of the county’s
FROM THE BOYCE BLOG…
How the Obamas Can Earn the Right to Yell at Black People
Recently, when I expressed my concerns about the speech given by President Barack Obama at Morehouse College, I was met with both resistance and applause. The article received resistance from those who felt that I was being too hard on the president and that black men are certainly in need of a good verbal lashing for all the dr. boyce watkins misbehaving being reported in the media. Apparently, black men possess inferior values, are more prone to criminal behavior, and love their kids less than white people do. At least that’s the story I’m hearing to justify disparate treatment. The article received applause from those who’ve noticed a consistent trend in Obama speeches that shows that he speaks differently to black audience than he does to white ones. When I attended my daughter’s graduation at Barnard College (the women’s side of Columbia University) last year, I didn’t hear the white women in the audience being chastised in any way or being told that they were making excuses. I only heard the kind of typical political pandering that you would expect from any president. The women walked away believing that their president is working hard on their behalf and that they were respected. When the president spoke at Morehouse College, the speech could be defined as a call to action at best, and intensely degrading at worst. There are some who don’t mind when the president panders to whites and ignores blacks. But it’s another thing when he panders to whites even more by publicly humiliating black people. When Bill Clinton came to Morehouse, the tone was entirely different: He could never get away with such a thing. The easy argument in all of this is to remember that much of what the president says is true: Too many black men aren’t stepping up to the plate, nobody cares if you’re discriminated against, being black means you have to work twice as hard. I’ve known these things to be true for my entire life. But what the president and first lady lack when making these arguments is the kind of balance necessary to make their comments credible and not entirely one-sided. The best way to help people understand where I’m coming from is with an example. Imagine a household where the father and daughter are having communication problems: The daughter won’t go to college, she sometimes uses drugs, she got pregnant at an early age and her father just found out that she’s a prostitute. Out of concern for their daughter’s behavior, the family calls in Dr. Phil for counseling. After giving the father a firm handshake, he sits down with the family at the dinner table. Dr. Phil then goes into a tirade against the daughter, telling her that she needs to stop making excuses for missing school, that she got pregnant because she was being irresponsible, and that prostitution is a morally reprehensible profession. The father smiles as Dr. Phil speaks, since the good doctor is repeating everything that he’s told his daughter in private conversation. Even the mother is glad to see that someone is telling her daughter what she needs to hear. However, the mother is concerned. So, she takes the psychologist to the side and whispers, “Did you not read the part of the report that says that she was molested?” The mother then reminds Dr. Phil that not only has her daughter been raped repeatedly by her father since the age of three, she has also been verbally
How the Obamas Can...FROM PREVIOUS PAGE
abused and beaten. Also, her father has abandoned the home for several months at a time and even introduced his daughter to alcohol. Making matters even worse, he still abuses both the mother and the daughter on a regular basis, though not as much as he did in the past. Finally, she tells Dr. Phil that her daughter isn’t always misbehaving: In spite of her setbacks, she has shown tremendous progress in her life, overcome significant hurdles, and has even confronted her father about his contributions to her traumatic experience in the household. The question at this point is: What does Dr. Phil do with this information? He could take the easy way out. That would be to remind the concerned mother that her husband is the one who is paying his fee. He could then sit down with the young girl and give rudimentary acknowledgement of her troubled past, without pointing fingers. He could say things like: “I know you’ve gone through difficult experiences, but a lot of people go through tough times.” “I’m sorry sweetie, but nobody cares that you were abused. Complaining will get you nowhere.” “You may want to blame your father for your behavior, and some things may go wrong even today. But most of that’s in the past, and there’s nothing we can do about that.” Responses like this show a few things: First, it shows that the psychologist is afraid of confronting the girl’s father about the role that he played in creating the conditions that the family faces today. By only focusing on the daughter’s behavior, he’s not truly seeking a solution to the problem. Instead, he is simply catering to the man who paid him so that he can collect his fee. His solution is a static one, which says that “I can’t speak about what your father is doing to you, I can only tell you how to overcome it. Your side of the story isn’t relevant. ” Secondly, such a speech would fail to acknowledge all of the good things that the young woman has done to deal with her circumstances. Rather than seeing this as an opportunity to help her get further over the hump, the psychologist has used this as a chance to join with her dad in piling up on his daughter even further. He may pretend to be an objective outsider, but the truth is that Dr. Phil has inadvertently aligned himself with the man who is paying him. This makes his advice effectively null and void because it’s not coming with a credible set of incentives. A more effective approach to this situation would be for Dr. Phil to ensure true equality. That means being as firm and as nasty with the girl’s father as he is with the daughter. As he tells the daughter that prostitution is not an acceptable profession, he must stand up to the girl’s father and tell him that the abuse has to stop right now. Additionally, he should tell the father that he owes his daughter an apology and perhaps even compensation for the damage that he did to her in the past. By speaking firmly to the girl’s father, he then gains the trust and credibility that will allow him to engage in tough love with the daughter. If the psychologist is afraid to speak up to the girl’s father in the same way that he speaks harshly to the daughter, Dr. Phil is not a psychologist and family healer: He is nothing more than a bully. But his misguided words are protected because a) everything he says is true, and b) he can claim that his words are actually tough love. We all agree that prostitution is wrong, and even someone who loves the daughter dearly would tell her that she needs to stop using drugs. The analogy here should be clear: White America represents the father in the household, poor black
15 www.minorityreporter.net | may 27 - june 2 | 2013
racial obstacles that might keep these men from fulfilling their potential. It’s certainly not a day to tell them that “nobody cares if you were discriminated against.” Even the strongest supporters of our president know that if Obama had made such a remark to the white women at Barnard last year, he would have been attacked till the end of time. Third, the president and first lady should speak to African Americans with as much respect as they speak to everyone else. When the president speaks to white audiences, he implies that he works for them. He mentions legislation he is supporting that is specific to their needs and reminds them that he is fighting on their behalf. When he speaks with black audiences, he mentions legislation that only coincidentally affects the black community and speaks to us as if we are the sole reason for our collective demise. This rhetoric gets nowhere when people return home to communities that are littered with drugs and guns and it’s easier for a black man to die than to get an education. Of course there are those who feel that the Obamas can do no wrong, and even the most logical arguments need not apply. This is one of the pitfalls of allowing irrational infatuation with a heroic public figure to throw off your ability to engage in sound judgment. The political players that the White House tends to respect the most are those who support the Obamas, but also expect that their support is going to be reciprocated. Those who sign off on everything the Obamas do don’t have a place at the political table. The bottom line is that no one wants a handout, they only want fairness. But in this day and age, even asking for equity can make you into a pariah. However, those who believe in truth must continue to lead the way, for healing the American family of the disease of racism is going to require tough love across the board, not bullying, pandering, and selective memory. We can certainly do better than that. Dr. Boyce Watkins is the author of the lecture series, “The 8 Principles of Black Male Empowerment.”
America represents the abused step child. Now, both the daughter and father are adults, but for many years, the father’s actions almost solely determined the trajectory and condition of the household. The mother represents those of us in the black middle and upper class, who’ve also endured the abuse, though not as harshly as other members of the family. Like that mother, we have the choice of either catering to the abusive father and biased psychologist, or standing up for our family member who has been mistreated. If President and Mrs. Obama want to sit in front of black audiences and give their standard tough love speeches, they must do at least a few things. First, they can’t be afraid of white people. The speeches they give to white audiences should acknowledge the undeniable 400-year legacy of racism and economic abuse that white America has thrust upon the black community, thus creating the conditions that we see all around us today. They must also be unafraid to speak up about the abuses that continue to occur, such as racial profiling and biased drug laws that lead to the mass incarceration epidemic. To speak about black fatherlessness without discussing mass incarceration is like talking about the devastation in Oklahoma without mentioning the weather. This week, I was told a story about how my great great grandfather owned a profitable cab company during the Prohibition era in the early 1920s. But his wealth was obliterated by whites when they planted liquor in his car and took away his company. Many of us know about how Black Wall Street was burned to the ground when whites in the town became upset about black prosperity. To talk about economic inequality today as merely a function of inadequacy on the part of African Americans is insulting, racist and incorrect. The second thing the president and first lady need to do is give credit where it’s due. When you speak to a group of Morehouse graduates, you’re talking to a group of men who’ve made sacrifices that are every bit as meaningful as those made by the students at Barnard/Columbia. A commencement ceremony is the time to celebrate those achievements, and to re-affirm your commitment to helping eliminate
Red carpet treatment
16 www.minorityreporter.net | may 27 - june 2| 2013
SUBSCRIBE TO MINORITY REPORTER FOR ONLY
CALL US @ 585.301.4199
OR VISIT OUR WEBSITE:
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.