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Mayor_Kevin_Johnson

The education of Blacks has reached a state of crisis that demands a strong response from all African-Americans, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson told members of the National Newspaper Publishers Association at its annual convention here.

“We have a crisis when it comes to public education in this country,” Johnson said at a luncheon on Friday. “Only 52 percent of our third- and fourth-graders are reading at grade level. If you’re Black, only 16 percent of our kids in the third and fourth grade are reading at grade level – only 16 percent. To make matters worse, if you’re not reading at grade level by the time you leave the third grade, 75 percent of the kids never catch up.”

Johnson continued, “So, essentially if you can’t read by the time you leave the third grade, the chances of you ever reading is very slim. This should be enough to outrage every single person in this room when 84 percent of the kids who look like us cannot read.”

Johnson, a former star point guard for the Phoenix Suns, is president of the National Conference of Black Mayors and is slated to become president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors next year. He is passionate about education, setting up his own private school in Sacramento prior to becoming Sacramento’s first Black mayor.

Buzz

The Issue: In a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court has recently ruled DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, as unconstitutional. What does this mean for same sex couples? They are being granted federal benefits in states that recognize their marriages. This ruling is relevant in states who acknowledge same sex marriages, but unfortunately does not extend to all 50 states. President Barack Obama is currently working to expand these rights across state lines.

 

Buzz

The Issue: There is a lot of talk surrounding popular R&B singer Miguel's possible lawsuit. During the live performance of his hit single "Adorn," at the Billboard Awards on May 19, Miguel leaped from one platform to another landing on several unsuspecting fans.   As seen after the show, Miguel appeared backstage with one of the fans who Miguel’s leg had fallen on, to issue her an apology and an interview. A month after the incident, that fan, 21-year old Khyati Shah, claims to have been experiencing cognitive difficulties and is considering a lawsuit. Miguel's representative says, "A number of attempts were made to reach Khyati and her lawyer after the performance to see how she was doing and whether any assistance could be offered.”  However, there appears that there was never any communication.

Sources state that Miguel rehearsed the leap before the show, and the producers gave him to right away to proceed with the action.

 

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Action

Many observers have been on pins and needles, wondering what ruling the United States Supreme Court would make concerning the issue of affirmative action here in the United States.

 On Monday, everyone got their wish, and an answer; sort of. Sidestepping any major ruling on the hot button issue of affirmative action, and deciding whether or not a University of Texas admissions plan that allows the limited consideration of race is unconstitutional, the Supreme Court voted to send the case, Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, for further review.

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Weekly_Address

What do we do when school teachers, organization leaders, church members, and adults around the community disrespect us as youth?

For example, a teacher once called me a “jerk” and a “waste of space.” Was it my responsibility to raise my voice and cause a scene for what he said to me? No!

Many times, a teenager may start an argument out of hate, but what if an adult says something that causes the teenager to lose their temper? Do we as teenagers have the right to put an adult “in their place,” or should we just let the situation go?

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Flag

With the deepening polarization of our country, I have been reflecting on the cause of this polarization.

One of the major issues confronting the U.S. is what it means to be an American. This may sound a bit trite, but this is at the heart of a lot of the intractable problems we are facing as a country. Everyone wants to carve out their own identity, with individuality being the motivating force behind the move, not the betterment of America.

There was a time when we were simply all Americans. Then we became Irish-Americans, Jewish-Americans, African-Americans, Homosexual-Americans, Illegal-Americans, etc.

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Voting_Rights_Act

The Supreme Court upheld the legality of the 1965 Voting Rights Act on Tuesday, but said it can’t be enforced until Congress updates the way it determines which jurisdictions are covered under Section 5, the provision that requires pre-clearance by the Justice Department or a federal court before changes to local voting laws can be implemented.

The 5-4 decision by the conservative majority effectively guts the strongest section of the Voting Rights Act until Congress passes new legislation to meet the objections raised in latest ruling, which grew out of a challenge filed by Shelby County, Ala.

“In 1965, the states could be divided into two groups: those with a recent history of voting tests and low voter registration and turnout, and those without those characteristics,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote for the majority. “Congress based its coverage formula on that distinction. Today the nation is no longer divided along those lines, yet the Voting Rights Act continues to treat it as if it were.”

FALLBROOK CHURCH - CHRISTMAS IN JULY

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