by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Your Black World
Tag Archives: dr boyce watkins
Dr. Wilmer Leon and Dr. Boyce Watkins ask whether or not African Americans were harmed disproportionately by the latest debt ceiling debate.
From Dr. Boyce Watkins – Scholarship in Action
“For the better part of a decade, a San Francisco Bay Area drug ring sold tons of cocaine to the Crips and Bloods street gangs of Los Angeles and funneled millions in drug profits to a Latin American guerrilla army run by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, a Mercury News investigation has found.
This drug network opened the first pipeline between Colombia’s cocaine cartels and the black neighborhoods of Los Angeles, a city now known as the "crack" capital of the world. The cocaine that flooded in helped spark a crack explosion in urban America . . . and provided the cash and connections needed for L.A.’s gangs to buy automatic weapons.” – San Jose Mercury News, 1996
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- In a very compelling article, The Economist magazine stepped away from its standard delivery of … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Jan 13th 2011 11:27AM | Comments (27)
- I’ve always had a special admiration and appreciate for Rev. Jesse Jackson. While most of us … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Jan 13th 2011 10:22PM | Comments (0)
- President Barack Obama has done it again. Like Michael Jordan in the Eastern Conference Finals … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Jan 13th 2011 9:46AM | Comments (37)
2:21 PM on 01/12/2011
OPINION – Palin reminds me of rappers who gladly use their public platforms for personal benefit, yet neglect any responsibility for the negative outcomes of their words…
- Yesterday, I rushed through the snow to do an interview with NPR’s ‘Talk of the Nation’ to … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Jan 12th 2011 12:09PM | Comments (69)
- Given that I’ve always been concerned about the breakdown of black families, I thought I would … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Jan 12th 2011 10:52AM | Comments (8)
- Credo Mobile is a wireless company that has no problem engaging in the political issues of the … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Jan 12th 2011 1:14AM | Comments (33)
- One of O.J. Simpson’s attorneys, F. Lee Bailey, says that there was strong evidence held back … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Jan 11th 2011 12:49PM | Comments (60)
Dr. Boyce Watkins Spotlight: News Anchor Cheryl Wills Teaches Empowerment Through Book, ‘Die Free: A Heroic Family Tale’
- What is your name and what do you do? My name is Cheryl Wills and I am an author and television … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Jan 11th 2011 6:33AM | Comments (6)
- I was shaking my head over and over again in preparation for a conversation we are going to have … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Jan 10th 2011 8:16PM | Comments (81)
- What is your name and what do you do? Keri Hilson and I’m a R&B/Pop Singer and also write … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Jan 10th 2011 4:15PM | Comments (5)
8:09 AM on 01/11/2011
OPINION – Guns plague black communities all across America, in large part due to those who make billions by allowing guns to hit the streets by any means necessary…
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.
- Kathleen Wells did a recent interview with Dr. Cornel West, a Professor of Religion and African … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Feb 25th 2010 9:02PM | Comments (0)
- Shamsid-Din Abdur-Raheem of New Jersey was charged Wednesday with murder for allegedly throwing … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Feb 25th 2010 9:38AM | Comments (2)
- Two years ago, I went to the Rainbow/Push Coalition Convention as a guest of Rev. Jesse Jackson. … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Feb 24th 2010 5:50PM | Comments (44)
- Robert Pattinson, the heartthrob from the ‘Twilight’ series, has upset a few people. I admit that … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Feb 24th 2010 10:17AM | Comments (119)
- Biurny Peguero, 27, was sentenced to three years after lying about a gang rape in 2005. She … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Feb 24th 2010 8:38AM | Comments (1)
- Nearly 18 months ago, a New York city police officer was accused of sodomizing a suspect in a … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Feb 23rd 2010 7:03AM | Comments (6)
- There’s an old saying that goes something like this: "If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Feb 23rd 2010 6:37AM | Comments (2)
- The Detroit Free Press is reporting that a contractor who pleaded guilty in the corruption probe … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Feb 22nd 2010 9:44PM | Comments (9)
- An allegedly racist comment by an elderly white man sparked a fight on an Oakland bus that has … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Feb 22nd 2010 8:40AM | Comments (181)
- Wesley Snipes, a man who has been most recently recognized for his problems with the IRS, had a … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Feb 20th 2010 8:56AM | Comments (20)
- Since being released from prison four month’s ago, the rapper shyne has been working hard to get … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Feb 19th 2010 8:16AM | Comments (0)
- Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Patricia M. Schnegg praised singer Chris Brown for staying on … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Feb 19th 2010 7:21AM | Comments (7)
- Michelle Bisutti is a 41-year old family practitioner in Columbus, Oh. She finished medical school … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Feb 18th 2010 6:46AM | Comments (3)
- Update: 2/19/10: Man Pleads Not guilty on charges A New Jersey man snatched his infant daughter … Read More
- By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Feb 18th 2010 5:53AM | Comments (46)
- 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)
By Dr. Boyce Watkins December 29, 2009 10:30 am
Read more about OPINION: Black Males Plagued by Wrongful Convictions
By Dr. Boyce Watkins December 28, 2009 2:15 pm
Read more about OPINION: Police Who Shot Unarmed Man Must Be Held Accountable
TAGS: Police brutality
By Dr. Boyce Watkins December 22, 2009 11:30 am
Read more about OPINION: Tiger’s Wife Wants Half? That Would Be Insane
By Dr. Boyce Watkins December 21, 2009 10:32 am
Read more about OPINION: Florida State, NCAA Steal Education from Black Athletes
By Dr. Boyce Watkins December 18, 2009 10:45 am
Read more about OPINION: Man Exonerated after 35-Years Should Be Given Recourse
By Dr. Boyce Watkins December 16, 2009 5:18 pm
Read more about OPINION: Tavis Smiley Should Not Be Working With R. Kelly
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."
I received a call the today from CNN for an appearance on Headline News with the amazing Richelle Carey. The story happened a couple of weeks ago, but it took me aback and I thought I would quickly share it with the AOL BV family. During a field trip to a former plantation in Charlotte, NC, the tour guide wanted to show the kids what slavery was like. So, he asked the black children to pick cotton while their white classmates stood around and watched. When the CNN producer (a nice woman named Ebony) told me about the story, I had to do a Gary Coleman imitation: "What choo talking bout Ebony?"
Beyond the obvious, this case is disturbing on a multitude of levels. But CNN has asked me to help make this case into a teachable moment. I love finding life lessons in everything, so here are some quick thoughts:
1) The tour guide who did this clearly wasn’t thinking: If you want the children to empathize with slavery, why not have them ALL pretend to be slaves? If you have the black children pretending to be slaves and the white kids pretending to be their masters, you are only teaching the white kids to be slave masters and the black kids to be their property.
2) Look at this through the mind of a child: I remember a child in elementary school saying to me, "I wish slavery was still around, because I could then tell you what to do." Those were the same words that Walter Currie’s classmate said to him beforespraying him with gasoline and setting him on fire. Those were also the words that one child said to another on the bus ride home from the plantation that day in North Carolina. Do you see a trend here? While we as adults might see the educational value in our remarks, children might see it in an entirely different way.
- Jury selection for Heather Ellis continues
- Heather Ellis case one in a long line of Missouri’s racial injustices
This Nov. 4, 2009 file photo shows Heather Ellis, left, arm-in-arm with her mother, Hester Ellis, exiting the Stoddard County Justice Center in Bloomfield, Mo. (AP Photo/Corey Noles, Dexter Daily Statesman, File)
This week, for the first time, I had the chance to speak with Heather Ellis.
Heather was not previously allowed to speak, since her attorney told her to remain silent. I can tell you that after speaking with Heather for nearly two hours, she is a fine young woman. She is NOT the kind of person who needed to spend any time in prison, and I am glad she took the plea deal from the prosecution. Let me explain a few facts about the case that you may not know:
1) Heather is not admitting guilt: Anyone familiar with the criminal justice system in America should understand that there are times when you have to plead in order to make something go away. There was no smoking gun implicating Heather Ellis; there was only the risk that the jury (which her high powered attorney, Scott Rosenblum, considered to be the worst jury he’d seen in 26 years of practice) was going to send her to prison or jail.
Like most of us, Heather is not a person who wants to go to jail for any significant period of time. I personally worried that she would be abused if left in the presence of the very officers who’d attacked her on the night of her arrest, not to mention the criminals she would be incarcerated with. If she were my daughter, I would have told her to take the plea.
The good thing was that her fight led the entire nation to talk about issues that we would never have discussed otherwise. Anyone who doesn’t agree with her decision needs to go put their own child on trial with up to 15 possible years in prison and see how much yapping you do then.
2) There is no evidence of an assault on an officer and she was not convicted of these felonies: According to Heather (whom I believe and I’ll tell you why in a second), there was one police officer who was dead set on the idea of pursuing and harassing her. He followed her closely out of the store, referring to her as a b*tch and a ho. He then told her to "go back to the ghetto." That is when Heather turned and asked him why he was harassing her instead of chasing real criminals. That is when he said, "Because I want to harass your stupid a**." That is also the officer who, without warning, tackled Heather and dragged her to the police car.
The reason Heather’s story is credible is because this officer had been fired from another job for sexual harassment and had lied on the witness stand in the past. Her attorney’s research uncovered the officer’s dirty past, and Heather discussed this issue in more detail in our conversation.
3) This was not a jury of her peers: Heather’s father, Pastor Nathaniel Ellis, told me that he had wanted to push the trial to the very end. What changed his mind, he said, was seeing his daughter break down in tears over the idea of going to jail or prison.
- Megan Williams, left, and her mother Carmen Williams stand outside of the Logan County Courthouse Thursday, March 13, 2008, in Logan, W.Va. (AP Photo/Jeff Gentner)
Megan Williams, an African-American woman who was allegedly raped, tortured and kidnapped by a group of seven white men in West Virginia two years ago at the age of twenty is now claiming that she was playing with our minds. It is a shock to hear that Williams is now saying that the story is a lie, a complete fabrication. She is set to recant her story in a press conference today.
The stomach-turning story that involved drinking urine and eating human feces while being raped repeatedly and subjected to racial slurs was something she apparently made up for fun. If Williams were playing with our heads, I only wish she’d come up with a less disgusting way to do it. The problem is that the prosecutor, Brian Abraham, isn’t buying Williams’ new story, and neither am I.
The prosecutor’s position is that he did not convict the defendants based solely on Williams’ testimony. Abraham has stated in published reports that he learned early on that Williams tends to exaggerate and embellish details, perhaps due to the fact that Williams has been described as being "mentally slow."
Abraham also claims that he did what any good prosecutor should do: achieve a conviction based on physical evidence and the defendants’ statements. If there is evidence that a sexual assault occurred and proof that Williams endured kidnapping and torture, such evidence should certainly outweigh the significance of any statements made by Williams. There are also other possibilities in this case, such as the chance that Williams may be receiving threats that have pressured her to change her testimony.
Hip Hop Wired is reporting that the rapper Nas is having some serious financial problems. In addition to owing his wife Kelis $44,000 per month in child support, it turns out that the artist also owes the federal government another $2.5 million in taxes. Here are quick thoughts about Nas, love and money:
1) Nas has a complicated life. His decision to marry the "love of his life" is going to cost him for the rest of his life. The rapper’s tax situation could be due to irresponsibility (as appears to be the case with Method Man and Nicolas Cage), or it could simply be a matter of using write-offs that were not allowed by the IRS. We can’t assume that Nas’ tax trouble automatically makes him into a horrible citizen.
I had a lot of fun watching the new Vh-1 show, "Going for Broke," starring comedian Eddie Griffin. Griffin is one of the funniest comics in America, the comedian that Chris Tucker could have been (if he would simply stop disappearing between Jackie Chan movies).
On the show, Griffin gives insight into his personal life, which is both intriguing and disturbing. The show is called "Going for Broke" for a reason, because Eddie just might actually get there.
Here are some reasons that Eddie Griffin might actually become the broke celebrity that he is trying to become:
1) He spends like a damn fool. One of the easiest traps for an entertainer to fall into is the "infinite money trap." That’s when the person thinks that they’ve got an endless supply of cash, giving them ability to spend whatever they want on whatever they want. Apparently Eddie may have fallen into this trap, since his Bentley was being repossessed in an early episode of the show. Eddie’s conversation with his accountant was also revealing, as the words "all the accounts are empty" seemed to strike him hard. With all the success that Eddie Griffin has had, it is difficult to imagine that he would be completely broke. But the truth is that this kind of thing happens all the time.
If the link above doesn’t work, click here.
Demonstrators protest on Capitol Hill in Washington, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009, during a taxpayer rally. The Washington Monument is in the background. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
A few years ago, Dr. Cornel West wrote an outstanding book called "Race Matters." In the book, he explains why a post-racial America is not yet a reality. Race certainly matters in our nation, and we don’t need to look any further than the anti-Obama lynch mobs to find evidence of this fact.
What is most interesting is that the people who hate Obama for being black don’t even realize that this is the reason they hate him. That’s how the social sickness called "racism" sneaks into the very fabric of the social infrastructure on which our country operates.
President Obama’s recent experience is yet another reminder that the disease of racism has its greatest impact on those who think they’ve been cured. In spite of his continuous efforts to "just get along" with those on the right wing, they have insisted upon engaging in some of the most pathetic, thug-like behavior imaginable, creating a climate unlike anything our country has seen in the last 30 years.
If you think this has nothing to do with Obama being black, you need to open a history book. Lynch mobs rarely attacked a black man just for being black. They attacked him for being black and doing something that white people found to be unacceptable.
Were there any racial implications to the recent outbursts by Serena Williams and Kanye West? Yes, there were. In my latest conversation with Rev. Al Sharpton, we break down these interesting events, all of which occurred during the past week. We can agree, however, that there are certainly things more important than worrying about Serena Williams and Kanye West. But these situations, in light of the backdrop of Obama’s comments about Kanye, might provide true teachable moments regarding America’s tattered racial history.As I’ve written before, Serena and Kanye have a lot in common, but nothing in common, all at the same time. Serena’s actions were justifiable, given the intensity of the situation and the fact that the line judge made the wrong call. At the same time, most of us can agree that Serena went over the line by threatening to "shove the ball down the f**ing throat" of the line judge because of her mistake. Yes, Serena, you are from the hood. But you don’t need to take it back to the hood to make your point to a U.S. Open line judge.
8:30 AM on 08/26/2009
OPINION – In a multitude of areas including housing, income, and civil rights for African-Americans and all minorities, Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts has been on the front lines.
8:15 AM on 08/25/2009
OPINION – It was Dr. Conrad Murray’s cocktail of unethical behavior and extreme incompetence which ultimately killed the most well known entertainer in history…
8:30 AM on 08/20/2009
In an article for the Financial Times, Ferguson compared President Barack Obama to Felix the Cat, stating that Obama, like the cat, is "black and lucky."
6:40 AM on 08/14/2009
OPINION — I was as shocked as the rest of America to hear that Michael Vick has been signed by the Philadelphia Eagles. Although I’ve always supported Vick’s human right to fairness…
8:50 AM on 08/11/2009
The revolution has been televised. I always knew it would be, since African American athletes have always been center stage in the NCAA’s multi-billion dollar money machine…
(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, FILE)
Many of us once joked that Bill Clinton was the "first black president" (which he wasn’t). We had it wrong. If such a title were to be given to any white man, that should have to be the late Senator Ted Kennedy. He was never president of the United States, but he was certainly one of the kings of his generation.
As a member of the Senate since 1962, Senator Kennedy had a long career fighting for those forced to live in the underbelly of a capitalist society. Over the last 47 years, he has done it better than nearly any politician in American history. African-Americans were among the many beneficiaries of his passionate life’s work, and for that, we will always be appreciative.
In a multitude of areas including housing, income, civil liberties, and equality, Ted Kennedy has been on the front lines. His brother John introduced the Civil Rights Act of 1964, considered to be one of the most impactful pieces of legislation ever produced by our government. After John’s death, Ted and his brother Robert were instrumental in seeing that the bill was passed.
Senator Ted Kennedy then went on to help pass one law after another to support the rights of the elderly, the sick, the poor and the incarcerated. He introduced the Americans with Disabilities Act, The Civil Rights Act of 1991, The Civil Rights for Institutionalized Persons Act, among others. He also helped to amend the Fair Housing Act, and has fought relentlessly for those who’ve never known the comfort of attending an Ivy League University.
Senator Kennedy’s political compassion, as well as his complicated coping mechanisms, may be linked to the tragedy he experienced during his life. As a young child, he watched his sister Rosemary endure a failed lobotomy, saw his brother Joseph die in World War II and then witnessed his older sister Kathleen’s death in a plane crash. This tragedy was compounded by the assassinations of his two brothers, Robert and John during the 1960s. This kind of pain doesn’t heal easily, and few families endure such an amazing amount of personal tragedy. It is quite possible that the weight of his psychological pain gave Senator Kennedy the ability to empathize with the struggles of others, as well as the strength to fight through hurdles presented by his adversaries.