by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University – Scholarship in Action
Many of you might remember the case of Kelley Williams-Bolar, the single black mother of two who was jailed for sending her children to a school that was outside their home district. Well, Dr. Phil McGraw has decided to do a show on Kelley’s situation, set to air in the coming week.
Shortly after AOL Black Voices brought Kelley’s case to the nation, I found that there were quite a few citizens around the country who were concerned about her situation. Millions of people around the world rallied to Kelley’s defense, and ColorofChange.org and Change.org did a wonderful job of gathering hundreds of thousands of signatures on petitions that were eventually delivered to the governor of Ohio.
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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.
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