By Peter Kirsanow
That is what likely awaits low-skilled American workers upon passage of the “Gang of Eight” immigration reform bill. The assurances of the bill’s proponents that the bill will somehow help the economy obscure copious evidence that the bill will wreak enormous damage to the employment prospects of American workers who have already seen their wages and employment rates plummet over the last several years.
By Marian Wright Edelman
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.
By Rosaland Tyler
New Journal and Guide
The new National Urban League report shows many African Americans have made strides since the Civil Rights era began 50 years ago but the disparity gap may persist because blacks don’t help other blacks get jobs.
As the nation prepares to celebrate the 50th birthday of the Civil Rights era, recent research may explain why some disparities remain. Black education and homeownership rates have increased. But employment is still well, complicated.
By Leonard E. Colvin
New Journal and Guide
The Richmond City Council recently voted to remove the question from the city’s employment applications asking job seekers if they have a committed a felony. Richmond now joins Newport News as the only cities in Virginia to do so.
By Rosaland Tyler
New Journal and Guide
About three decades after W.E.B Du Bois defined the color line as the problem in 1930, a black and white couple walked out of the U.S. Supreme Court with a newly minted law that erased the line in their own lives.
By George E. Curry
The U.S. Census Bureau has released the following figures about Black America to coincide with African American History Month. I found them interesting enough to share.
Population: 43.9 million
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the following statement today about Congress’ failure to pass comprehensive, multi-year food, farm and jobs legislation before the current law expires on Sept. 30, 2012:
"In a year that has brought its share of challenges to America's farmers and ranchers, the House Republicans have added new uncertainty for rural America. Unfortunately, House Republicans left Washington without passing
By Paul Hirschbiel
I decided to run for Congress because I was frustrated by the inaction that I saw in Washington. In order to get our economy moving, we must guarantee we have a 21st century education system that runs from zero to career. We need a responsible solution to our deficit that helps America balance its checkbook, while at the same time making key investments in our future. We also need a comprehensive energy and transportation program that harnesses new technology and sets the stage for us to continue to lead the world in innovation. In order to make this a reality, we need a Congress that is willing to work together to tackle big issues.
However, when I see what is going on in Washington, all I see are people looking out for the best interests of themselves and their party. We must have leaders who will work together to develop common-sense solutions to our problems. Average Americans don’t care if Republicans get the credit or if Democrats get the credit, they care that their government is working for them to solve problems.
In my career, I have done more than just talk about working together; I have spent the last thirty years doing just that. I worked with companies across the country including right here in Hampton Roads to grow and create new jobs. One of the best known companies was Dell Computer. During my time at Dell we were able to grow the company from 700 employees and revenues of $80 million to over 36,000 employees and revenues in excess of $25 billion.
By Marc H. Morial
Last week, New Orleans was in the public policy and intellectual capital of America as host city for the National Urban League’s 2012 Annual Conference. I was personally thrilled to return to my hometown and the city I once served as mayor for this year’s conference.
And I am honored and proud that President Barack Obama delivered the opening address at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. As a non-partisan organization, the National Urban League has traditionally invited presidents and major party candidates to address the convention, not only to share their agenda for the nation, but also to hear ours. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney was also invited, but did not attend.
By Julianne Malveaux
If you don’t follow Olympic gymnastics, you may not have heard about Gabrielle Douglas before this year. But the amazing grace of this 16-year-old African American propelled her to Olympic gold last week, and she is the first African American to win an individual medal in gymnastics.
Indeed, her performance toppled the Russians, who have portrayed themselves as unbeatable. So unbeatable, as a matter of fact that the winner of the silver medal, Viktoria Komova, “sobbed uncontrollably,” because she so expected to win.
This calls for unqualified celebration. Sneaking into some of the celebratory comments, though, were snarky and rude comments that many reserve to tarnish African American accomplishment and victory. Channel surfing in the talk radio space, these comments came in two categories, equally objectionable.
First, there were comments about Gabrielle’s hair. As the young gymnast did her thing, there were many – including some self-hating African American women – who commented that her hair wasn’t up to par. Shades of the comments about Michelle Obama. I’m not sure what style would be appropriate for a gymnast, but let’s celebrate Gabrielle’s medal instead of railing on her hair. Are we still stuck on the Spike Lee version of “straight or nappy” as a contrast?
When Don Imus insultingly uses the word “nappy,” we Black Folks are up in arms, as we should be. But when sisters excoriate an accomplished young woman, there are those who nod their hair in agreement. When will we, Black women, get over this hair thing? And when will we stop playing into other people’s stereotypes? To be honest, hair was the last thing on my mind when I saw Gabrielle’s stunning performance. Why was anyone thinking of hair?