Category Archives: boyce watkins
- One of the primary slogans being used by the White House to express President Barack Obama’s most … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Jun 26th 2010 8:13AM | Comments (0)
- Singer Mariah Carey is reportedly being sued for $30,000 in vet bills. The singer, like quite a few … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Jun 26th 2010 8:08AM | Comments (0)
- A teen was kicked off a jury this week for wearing a Kanye West T-shirt that the judge found to … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Jun 26th 2010 7:34AM | Comments (17)
- Twitter recently settled charges with the government that it "deceived customers" and didn’t … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Jun 25th 2010 11:11AM | Comments (2)
- Democratic Congressman Paul Kanjorski is getting heat from Republicans for making comments that … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Jun 25th 2010 8:50AM | Comments (63)
by Dr. Boyce Watkins – The Institute for Black Public Policy
Father’s Day usually occurs on my birthday, which is both exciting and a little bit sad. With each birthday, I feel like I’m on a slow ship to an unforeseen destination, with each birthday reminding me that I’ve passed another landmark. I keep wondering why birthdays show up around the same time every year, and I’m still hopeful that the trend will discontinue at some point. Wait, let me rephrase that…..if my birthdays stop coming then I’ll be, well….. you know.
At any rate, when my birthday hits, doubled-up with Father’s Day, I am led to evaluate my life and myself. I evaluate my life to see if I am the same man this year that I was last year; the truth is that I should have grown in some meaningful way or achieved something positive. I also evaluate myself as a father to see if I am getting at least a little bit better at making myself the kind of man that my kids need me to be.
by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University
I met spoken-word hip hop artist Shanelle Walker when I went to give a speech atKentucky State University. Shanelle sent me a video of a rhyme she recited in honor of President Barack Obama. I was instantly floored by the performance, since I found her to be an incredibly powerful artist.
But Shanelle’s performance led me to consider broader concerns, such as why there are so few women in the hip-hop industry. I remain confused that women are not given a chance to shine in a field dominated by men. While hip-hop has historically been the channel designed to give a voice to urban America, women have been effectively left out. While I’ve certainly spoken my piece on how hip hop needs to change, here are some reasons I believe women are missing:
1) The hypermasculinity of hip-hop: By becoming so masculine and sexualized, the music doesn’t give women opportunities that don’t involve a G-string. I look forward to the day when the culture is not driven by who gets shot the most and who does the best job of proving that he’s a goon. That might actually lead to better music, since right now, many hip-hop artists come off like World Wrestling Entertainment characters. It’s O.K. for an artist to also be a human-being.
by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University
Forgive me for saying this, but part me of is getting sick of hearing about Arizona. Most states only get a few days in the news cycle, but since the politicians in Arizona were crazy enough to pass a law to stifle illegal immigration in their state, our news has been seemingly flooded with one story after another about Arizona: A politician in Arizona has links to the KKK, Arizona changes its textbooks to downplay people of color, brown faces are lightened up on a mural in Arizona. It never seems to stop.
OK, I think I get the point: Arizona is a state with racist policies, at least more racist than most. Can we try to move onto something else now?
This isn’t to say that there is not a level of seriousness to the illegal immigration situation in Arizona. We’ve figured that out. The federal government has long refused to properly enforce immigration laws, and the residents of Arizona came up with their own response, one that threatens to undermine the civil rights of every black and brown person in the state. Got it.
To some extent, the national attack on the state of Arizona smells a bit like political narcissism. The collective outrage that some have expressed over the civil liberties issues in the Arizona immigration law has been hardly present during other more serious racial atrocities that have occurred over the past 20 years.
The sense of urgency that President Obama had about the passage of the state’s new immigration law has never been matched when confronting the fact that the United States incarcerates over five times more black men than South Africa did during the height of apartheid. Attorney General Eric Holder’s investigation into the legality of Arizona’s political decisions was never preceded by a similar investigation into the civil rights abuses of unequal funding for inner city public schools. It seems that when civil liberties of a broad Latino base were attacked, the whole country went up in arms. But when black folks have been getting abused, our needs have been put at the bottom of the to-do list.
by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University
To the disappointment of the Black Women’s Roundtable, Elena Kagan was the latest white American to leapfrog in front of black women for a chance to serve on the Supreme Court. The second-class citizenship of African American women has been consistently enforced by our nation, going back 221 years to the date that the Supreme Court was founded. This nomination was especially disheartening for those who felt that the year of Dorothy Height’s death would be the perfect time for the nation’s first black President to do what should have been done long ago and nominate a black woman for the highest court in the land.
"Needless to say, we are disconcerted by the perceived lack of real consideration of any of the extremely qualified African American women as potential nominees," reads the statement released by the Black Women’s Roundtable.
After this is over, President Barack Obama will have serious trouble re-inspiring the millions of African American women who left the Hillary Clinton camp to back his "Hope and change" campaign. There was no logical reason for him to pass over a black woman for consideration for this post, only political reasons. Kagan was the nominee that could shore up the white female vote for mid-term elections and help the Obama Administration and the Democratic Party stop the bleeding set to occur in November. Roland Martin does a wonderful job of breaking down the losses within the black female demographic that are set to occur as a result of the Kagan snub on the Supreme Court.
by Dr. Boyce Watkins, The Institute for Black Public Policy
Former New York Giant Lawrence Taylor has had a life that has been shameful, exciting, devastating and amazing. He has seen the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, whether you are referring to his physical prowess or his battle with drug addiction. I can’t, for one second, pretend that I know how difficult it is to walk away from crack cocaine, but I believe thatLawrence Taylor had the strength to do it.
I was proud to see Taylor rebuild his life after spending quite a few years making one mistake after another. Just like on the football field, I wanted to see him succeed. And he was succeeding, at least for a while. Then came the rape allegations.
by Lola Adesioye, Huffington Post – www.LolaCreative.com
Should there be a "black agenda" in America? And if the answer to that question is ‘yes,’ what is the black agenda?
These are the questions that black leaders and black people have been discussing more and more since President Obama took office. Last week, Reverend Al Sharpton hosted a leadership summit addressing this very issue. Today a group of black leaders got together on an MSNBC special to talk about this issue in more detail. And many will remember the on-air argument that Tavis Smiley and Rev Sharpton had a few weeks ago about this topic.
Tavis believes that Obama isn’t doing enough. Sharpton believes that Obama need not ‘ballyhoo’ a black agenda. I think most agree, though, that something needs to be done.
With a 16.5% unemployment rate (compared to 9.7% for white Americans), an education system that is under serving black children, higher than average rates of death from diseases like breast cancer, and continued social issues, it is hard to disagree that there is need for some kind of targeted and focused approach to dealing with the issues that affect African-American. But many are divided on whether or not the president is doing enough for black people, whether or not it’s incumbent on him to do anything at all, and what should or shouldn’t be done.
Here is a form letter you can use to write your Congressman about the Democracy Restoration Act, an act sponsored by Russ Feingold and John Conyers. The act would restore voting rights to ex-convicts in federal elections. In case you are unaware, slavery in the United States was never fully abolished. Actually, it was only abolished for those who were not convicted of a crime. Therefore, many hundreds of thousands of African Americans are still victims of slavery and involuntary servitude. This has got to stop now. To read more on this issue, please click here.
Here is the sample letter you can cut and paste to send to your representative.
To whom it may concern,
I am a member of the Your Black World Coalition, as well as a concerned American. I would like to write to express my support for HR3335 – The Democracy Restoration Act, sponsored by Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Rep. John Conyers (D-MI).
I strongly believe that when felons have paid their debt to society, they deserve an opportunity and incentive to become a part of that society again. Voting and participating in federal elections is an important part of being an American, and would serve to reduce recidivism, which hurts us all. Additionally, it would ensure that these men and women receive the representation they deserve from elected officials, since most of us would agree that taxation without representation is fundamentally unfair and unAmerican.
We will continue to campaign on this matter, and hold our officials accountable. Please do the right thing and vote "yes" on the Democracy Restoration Act.
3:00 PM on 03/19/2010
OPINION – Marcelas Owens’ story can bring realism and relevance to a debate that has been about posturing, bickering and mid-term elections…
11:22 AM on 03/18/2010
OPINION – Republicans should realize that when they disrespect the presidency, they are disrespecting themselves…
9:20 AM on 03/16/2010
OPINION – When you sleep next to someone who openly states they want to undermine the president’s "hard left agenda" you can hardly call yourself impartial…
9:00 AM on 03/15/2010
OPINION – While some might call this political pragmatism, others might describe this outcome as the modern-day version of the Three-Fifths Compromise…
Founder and President of the National Action Network (NAN), Rev Sharpton is one of most-renowned civil rights leaders in the country. Pres Obama called him “the voice of the voiceless and a champion for the downtrodden."
The Bottom Line
Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University and author of the book, "Black American Money." For more information, please visit http://www.YourBlackWorld.com.
Novelist, screenwriter and edtor RK Byers has spent a career speaking his mind on all topics from sports to news. His work has appeared in consumer publications including The Source and GIANT.
This Week In Blackness
"This Week in Blackness" is a satirical look at race, politics and pop-culture in a so-called “post-racial” America.
Radio host Warren Ballentine, "The People’s Attorney," will provide you with all the legal and financial advice you need to keep up in today’s fast-paced world. Visit his website at www.thetruthfighters.com.
According to a recent survey by Experian, African-American consumption grew by over 50 percent from the year 2000 to 2008 ($590 billion to $913 billion), and it is expected to grow to over $1.2 trillion dollars by the year 2013. The study also shows that blacks are more economically optimistic than whites, with 36 percent of us stating that we expect our financial future to improve, as opposed to 31 percent for all adults.
The Experian study says a couple of things: First, it says that black people love to consume and that we are getting better at it. In fact, black people have historically been very good at buying things and working hard to get them, but we are not very good at production, investment and saving our money. We grab our tax refunds and run to the mall. We become highly paid corporate lawyers in order to purchase the house and car we really can’t afford. We are chubby kids in the economic candy store, accelerating our collective addiction to the monetary engines controlled by corporate greed.
The Bottom Line
Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University and author of the book, "Black American Money." For more information, please visit www.YourBlackWorld.com.
By Dr. Boyce Watkins February 24, 2010 12:17 pm
Read more about DR. BOYCE: Al Sharpton, Tavis Smiley Fight Is Post-Obama America
By Dr. Boyce Watkins February 22, 2010 2:59 pm
Read more about DR. BOYCE: Do Young Leaders Now Make the NAACP Relevant?
By Dr. Boyce Watkins February 19, 2010 12:47 pm
Read more about DR. BOYCE: The Guts Behind Tiger Woods’ Press Conference
- Jay-Z and Beyonce go beyond the definition of a power couple. They might as well be called "Super … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Jan 22nd 2010 12:21PM | Comments (3)
- The Haitian earthquake has killed thousands, and we have spent the week mourning loss with the … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Jan 22nd 2010 7:44AM | Comments (2)
- Beyonce and Madonna have been added to a long list of performers for the "Hope for Haiti Now" … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Jan 21st 2010 3:16PM | Comments (1)
- Wyclef Jean has been backpedaling faster than an NFL defensive back lately, defending allegations … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Jan 21st 2010 2:05PM | Comments (11)
- The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has written a scathing report about … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Jan 21st 2010 10:41AM | Comments (3)
- A former executive for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Jan 21st 2010 9:04AM | Comments (8)
- A new report says that men are now benefiting from marriage more than women. According to the Pew … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Jan 20th 2010 10:12AM | Comments (10)
- President Barack Obama ran one of the most amazing presidential campaigns in the history of the … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Jan 19th 2010 6:02AM | Comments (33)
- Relief workers are stating that pockets of violence in Haiti are making it difficult for aid to be … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Jan 19th 2010 5:44AM | Comments (1)
- Millions across America have seen the attacks on Wyclef Jean’s "Yele Haiti" fund, designed to help … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Jan 18th 2010 8:49AM | Comments (21)
- The rapper Nas is having some trouble in child support court, as his ex-wife Kelis has held him in … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Jan 17th 2010 12:52PM | Comments (9)
- The devastation of the recent earthquake in Haiti is not only an emotional challenge for those … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Jan 14th 2010 9:05AM | Comments (1)
- Radio show host Rush Limbaugh is at it again. The other day, in response to the recent flap over … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Jan 14th 2010 12:50AM | Comments (145)
- At thirteen years of age, Stephen Stafford is causing quite a stir at Morehouse College. Stafford … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Jan 13th 2010 7:45PM | Comments (442)
- Bobby DeLaughter, a well-known former prosecutor and judge in Mississippi, is set to report to … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Jan 4th 2010 3:07PM | Comments (1)
- The prison industrial complex affects all of us. Most of us in the African-American community have … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Jan 4th 2010 1:15PM | Comments (5)
- Just a few weeks ago, actor Danny Glover weighed in heavy on Barack Obama’s work as President of … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Jan 4th 2010 11:35AM | Comments (4)
- Detention officer Wayne Kerschner admitted to being a member of the KKK and blogging for a KKK … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Jan 3rd 2010 5:33PM | Comments (9)
- I was in Memphis this weekend, bringing in the New Year with my assistant and her husband. As we … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Jan 2nd 2010 11:23AM | Comments (13)
- OK, it’s official: Diddy is married to Kim Porter. Well, maybe he’s not. All of this seems … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Jan 1st 2010 11:28AM | Comments (10)
- It appears that Tyra Banks may not be the most beloved figure in the eyes of her former employees. … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Jan 1st 2010 10:49AM | Comments (46)
- Update: It seems official: Diddy tweeted at 3:30 this morning that he is "juat [sic] married!" … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Dec 31st 2009 10:56PM | Comments (10)
- It turns out that Fox News may be taken off the air after the new year. Now, before you start … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Dec 31st 2009 6:13PM | Comments (15)
- People want to blame President Barack Obama for the recent terrorist attack on an airliner from … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Dec 31st 2009 5:36PM | Comments (13)
- Part of me feels sorry for Lil Weezy, also known as Lil Wayne. I am probably too old to understand … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Dec 30th 2009 11:45AM | Comments (38)
- I’m not one to tell anyone what to do, but I am about to do just that. Not because you should … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Dec 29th 2009 12:33PM | Comments (9)
- The Reverend Jesse Jackson has intervened in the case of Mark Anthony Barmore, the man who was … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Dec 27th 2009 12:38PM | Comments (12)
- I recently found out about the case of Mark Anthony Barmore, an unarmed African American male in … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Dec 26th 2009 10:27PM | Comments (71)
I write this letter with fond memories of interactions with the wonderful students at Syracuse University. While on your campus, I found the students to be both thoughtful and welcoming: perfect for a university campus.
I write to lend my full support for Dr. Boyce Watkins and his tenure application at Syracuse University. Dr. Watkins has raised the profile of Syracuse University as he informs our national community on money matters as well as matters of the conscience. And at this particular time in our country’s history, financial literacy must be viewed as an important life skill. Dr. Boyce is doing for America what he does in Syracuse University classrooms every class meeting period. So why would Syracuse University not want such a prolific and publicly appealing face as its representative?
Ultimately, Dr. Boyce must be judged by what he does in the classroom and in publications. Does Dr. Boyce elevate Syracuse University and does he elevate his field? Dr. Boyce demonstrates "academics in action" and makes scholarship relevant. Why should Dr. Boyce’s scholarship and activism (which elevates Syracuse University) not be rewarded by a grant of tenure from Syracuse University?
As a former Member of Congress and Green Party candidate for President of the United States, I realize that political complexities can play a role in the decision to grant tenure to faculty on most American campuses. As I have just concluded successful organizing against war that brought together four 2008 Presidential candidates, I am reminded of the clean break that Dr. King had to make with his friends of the civil rights movement when he decided to speak out against the Vietnam War. But Dr. King intoned that he had been fighting segregation too long to segregate his moral concerns. Your decision with respect to Dr. Boyce is both political and moral. And so, I will end with one very famous Dr. King quote and hope that the leadership of Syracuse University will do in this decision what is right:
"Cowardice asks the question – is it safe?
Expediency asks the question – is it politic?
Vanity asks the question – is it popular?
But conscience asks the question – is it right?
And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it because it is right."
Elliot Millner brought it to my attention that Attorney General Eric Holder has been apparently spending a lot of time with Bill Cosby these days. In a recent speech at a black church in Queens, NY, Holder took a page out of the Barack Obama Campaign Catalog and chose to win favors with the black middle class by recklessly bashing away at absentee fathers and returning to the whole "ya’ll just need to grow up and be more responsible" argument that allows any politician to explain away a blatant disregard for meaningful public policy. Rather than talking about things that we can do as a society to take our collective foot off the necks of black men, he chose to say that black men are choosing to put the foot on their own necks.
Elliot Millner, who is also in the legal profession, intelligently said the things that I am sure Eric Holder wanted to say. But unlike Holder, Millner is not constrained by the political shackles that come with being an appointed leader in a society that makes a habit of oppressing, destroying and marginalizing black men.
In his speech, Holder said that, "It should simply be unacceptable for a man to have a child and then not play an integral part in the raising and nurturing of the child."
That quote is a nice way of reflecting on the obvious. It’s sort of like saying, "It should be unacceptable for a black man to become the Attorney General of the United States and not play an integral part in helping other black men overcome the blatantly racist and destructive justice system over which you preside."
Tiger Woods is a black athlete. He isn’t "Caublinasian," mixed or any other ethnicity. He is, officially, a black man – especially after being reduced to being an adulterer who sleeps with porn stars. At least that’s what guests on the Joy Behar Show seem to think.
During a recent episode, a guest on the show, Karith Foster, was asked what she thought about Tiger’s recent indiscretions. In response to the question, the comedian said (without cracking a smile) that Tiger is "acting like a black athlete now."
I was shocked to hear these words come out of the mouth of any person, let alone an African-American woman. Dr. Deborah Stroman of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was the first person to bring the comments to my attention. She and I both agreed that the statement was an outrageous, irresponsible choice of words, and the host should have challenged her immediately. But Foster’s comments might be telling, given that she once relegated herself to being the token black sidekick of a man (Don Imus) famous for referring to black women as "nappy headed hoes." Foster was fired not too long after being hired, which reminds us of the complications that come from making deals with the devil just to keep a job in media.
Needless to say, I was disappointed with Ms. Foster’s remarks. I also found it quite ironic that no one went out of their way to compare Woods with other black men when he was the clean cut soldier boy with the billion dollar smile. At that time, he was considered the exception to the rule, something that all of America could easily embrace. Some have decided to associate the "black male" side of Tiger with the seedy character who has emerged over the past two weeks. Such comparisons are insulting to good black men everywhere. At the same time, it should be acknowledged that not every American shares the opinion of Karith Foster.
Let’s be clear, Tiger Woods is not seedy, nor is he perfect. In reality, he is simply human. The problem is that we were all led to believe that he was super human, so the Tiger we are seeing today appears sub-human. Tiger Woods was the original Barack Obama, a man who injected hope into the psyches of sports fans everywhere, as we were all inspired to see a man with a brown face whipping the greatest golfers in history. Even to this day, Tiger is usually the only man of color on the golf course, and he is almost always the most dominant.
It will be interesting to see how the world processes Tiger’s recent mistakes. It is not inconceivable that Tiger could be "OJ Simpsonized" by this incident, especially if additional dirt is leaked to the public. If you recall, OJ was also an athlete who’d been given permission to spend a significant amount of time with white women before the murder took place. After his trial, however, he was considered to be the most morally depleted man in America.