Written by Freddie Allen NNPA Washington Correspondent
The failure to invest in Black males threatens America’s real-world economic future and national security, experts say.
“We have to realize that we are moving backwards and the country has to realize that the greatest national security and economic security threat is not from some outside enemy, it is from our failure to invest in these children and spending all this money on prisons instead of schools,” said Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children’s Defense Fund, a nonprofit organization that advocates for children with a focus on poor and minority children. “The Black community has to raise a ruckus; nobody is going to do it for us.”
In its latest affirmative action ruling, Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, the Supreme Court, ruled the same way it had in its Bakke decision in 1978 and a pair of University of Michigan affirmative action rulings in 2003 – one upholding the law school admissions program (Grutter v. Bollinger) and one striking down the undergraduate admissions process (Gratz v. Bollinger). In each case, the court declared that state universities have a compelling interest that could justify the consideration of race in college admissions because of the benefits that flow to all students from having a diverse student body.
However, all of the court’s decision on affirmative action in higher education were consistent with Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion in Fisher, when he wrote for the 7-1 majority: “…Strict scrutiny imposes on the university the ultimate burden of demonstrating before turning to racial classifications, that available, workable race-neutral alternatives do not suffice.”
Did you know that the official African-American holidays are: Kwanzaa, Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Juneteenth? What do you, and your family, do to celebrate Juneteenth? Also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, the Juneteenth holiday is an abbreviated form of “June Nineteenth.”
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reported that nearly 140,000 low-income families could lose rental assistance and “thousands of other low-income families using vouchers could face sharp rent increases because of sequestration.”
Frederick Douglass’ words – “Power concedes nothing without a demand” – have been haunting me lately, because of the pressing issues we face in today’s political world, the dire economic straits in which many of our families find themselves, and the ever-present social problems Black people deal with every day. The key word in that admonishment is demand.
It will strike many of you as counter-intuitive, but there has been a rising phenomenon of unemployed workers suffering discrimination when they have sought work because…they have been unemployed. This is not an exaggeration.
When a Baltimore grocery store employee fingered 26-year-old Michael Austin for the murder of a security guard in the spring of 1974, Austin didn’t even match the police sketch. The wanted suspect was less than 6 feet tall and Austin was the size of a small forward in the NBA. The only other evidence linking him to the crime was a business card with the name of an alleged accomplice, a man who was never found.
Anyone despairing that Congress can’t get anything done should note last week’s swift vote to get furloughed air traffic controllers back to work. Congress can move very quickly and efficiently when it wants to and when its own comfort and that of constituents well-off enough to fly was affected.
Although the dictionary calls it archaic, the “management of a household” is one of the definitions listed for the word “economy.” Another definition is “a saving or attempt to reduce expenditures.” Yet another is “a system of interacting elements, especially when seen as being harmonious.” And still another definition for economy has to do with “the production and consumption of goods and services of a community regarded as a whole.” As I look at those descriptions of an economy, only the last one partially applies to Black Americans collectively, and that’s the “consumption” part.