Memorial services are rarely festive events, but the recent celebration of the life of Barbara Clark Elam seemed to be especially solemn. Even though she had been incapacitated for some time by the throes of Alzheimer’s, her death seemed to mark the end of times when the role of community elders was significant. As Rev. Julien Cook preached allegorically in his sermon, “with the loss of an elder we lose the book.”
There seems to be confusion among some Americans about what constitutes freedom of speech in the nation. The issue arose because at least 10 students who had been admitted to Harvard University have had their acceptance revoked. They had apparently authored racially or sexually offensive memes on a social media site. The Harvard administration decided that such conduct disqualified them for admission.
It is time to find the strategy for better attendance of blacks in prep classes rather than to pursue a remedy to improve diversity at Boston Latin School that would denigrate the value of one of Boston’s treasures.
The country’s racial conflict has provided countless opportunities for individuals, both black and white, to step up. A recent obituary of Barbara Smith Conrad in the New York Times tells a tale of a conflict at the University of Texas in Austin as the college began efforts to desegregate after the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown vs. the Board of Education in 1954.
There is little doubt that Republicans will continue to use gerrymandering to minimize the impact of the black vote. The U.S. Supreme Court will probably determine in its fall session the limits on political redistricting. It appears that the battle to maximize the impact of the black vote is not yet over.
While Mystic Valley Charter School was undoubtedly well intentioned, it was advisable to suspend the school’s dress code which now violates the U.S. Department of Justice guidelines by imposing a restriction on black students that will not apply to others.
Many people believe that Keith Motley’s reputation took a fall to benefit those who were more responsible for the UMass Boston problems.
From the black perspective monuments to Confederate generals stand for white supremacy. It is absurd for white protesters to expect that blacks, who are in the majority, would continue to tolerate the existence of the symbols of their oppression and disenfranchisement.
Boston has to work to change its culture. The “City on a Hill” must have a metropolitan demeanor in order to sustain its lofty reputation. But there must be some considerable effort to identify the causes of the mindless white racism.
Patriot’s Day is a major holiday in Massachusetts. It is a celebration of the beginning of America’s Revolutionary War against Britain. Every year a rider impersonating William Dawes rides a horse from Eliot Square in Roxbury to warn the residents of the western suburbs that “the British are coming.” Minutemen reenactors confront the British Redcoats in Concord and Lexington and once again fire “the shot heard around the world.” The performance of the colonial militia generated a strong interest among early Americans in maintaining the right to bear arms in the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
What manner of conversation will modify unpleasant attitudes that have become part of the American culture? The problems facing the nation cannot be overcome with mild pleasantries. If whites learn to understand that black lives matter, perhaps they can also then move on to love one another. Mere conversations will not get us there.
Now the Banner has developed an efficient digital system that will simplify the efforts of human resource executives to recruit needed staff. And the system is cost-effective. What is more, a digital help wanted Banner ad will reach a youthful, more highly-educated and metropolitan-oriented audience on the Banner website.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Sen. Bernie Sanders pledged to provide free tuition at public colleges and universities. This was attacked by conservatives as unrealistically expensive. However, public colleges in California and City College of New York had once been tuition free. Now Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has proposed free tuition at community colleges for Boston public school graduates.
At no time in recent memory have the principles of democracy that are the nation’s foundation been more threatened. It is critical for citizens to provide the volunteers and financial resources to enable MassVOTE to accelerate its efforts.
America’s racism is complex and confusing. Toni Morrison, the prize winning author, in an interview with Charlie Rose some years ago, stated its nature quite simply: “Don’t you understand that people who do this thing, who practice racism, are bereft? There is something distorted about the psyche. It’s a huge waste and it’s a corruption, and it’s a distortion.”
American politicians enhanced their get tough on crime reputations with laws that required imprisonment for violators, but the rising cost of incarceration is forcing social policy planners to consider the impact on government budgets.
An aroused and committed public opposition of citizens successfully defeated the president and other politicians who attempted to revoke deserved public entitlements by artifice. The people should remain alert because other Trumpian frauds are likely to be revealed.
One thing is clear: The continued failure of blacks and Latinos to qualify for Boston Latin School is not acceptable.
What they call patriotism now is a pale reflection of the love for America that abounded in the 1940s.
The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study recently sponsored a well-attended conference entitled “Universities and Slavery: Bound by History,” to discuss the complicity of academia with slavery in America. When considering slavery, one’s first thought is the Civil War and plantation owners growing rich from forced labor. The nation’s exalted institutions were considered to be far removed from such a depraved practice. However, with the growing recognition of the involvement of esteemed universities in slavery, it is becoming more apparent that slavery was more extensive than was generally believed. Ironically, academia has become a major battleground for opposition to affirmative action.
Felix Arroyo, the first person of color elected to be register of the Suffolk Probate Court has been suspended from office, pending an investigation of the dysfunctional operation of the office.
As the annual Black History Month draws to a close, it is well to remember George Santayana’s aphorism, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” After Barack Obama’s ascension to the presidency, there is a strong desire to conclude that a non-racial America has evolved. Indeed, the great legacy of black achievements for the benefit of the nation warrants the status of equality for black citizens. Every February African Americans note their contributions, but it is painful to recollect in detail the infliction suffered in generations of racial abuse.
An Obama rule requires investment advisors to consider the best interests of their customers in making decisions in retirement accounts was upheld.
The highest paid city employee in 2016 was a Boston police detective who was paid $403,000. In fact, 98 of the top 100 highest earners were employees of the police department.
Americans believe that the president of the United States is due the greatest show of respect. Political commentators and the media have been trying to be deferential despite Donald Trump’s bizarre views and inappropriate conduct. But finally the lid is off. Sen. Bernie Sanders declared that Trump is a fraud. This statement by a highly regarded senator enables the public to criticize the president without being attacked for impropriety.
David Jacobs decided to appropriate the Boston Guardian name when he found it inadvisable to continue publication of his Boston Courant under that legend. Any copyright protection of the Boston Guardian had expired, but Jacobs was nonetheless informed that the Guardian had special historical significance. Now every week there will be another desecration of the special status of Trotter’s Boston Guardian. Certainly Trotter’s protest against racial defamation ranks up there with other early Boston oppositions to injustice.
Despite great public awareness of the violence between the police and unarmed blacks, the incidents continue. President Trump seems to have great sympathy for the police as does his attorney general designate, Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama. Chances of blacks prevailing in criminal prosecutions against offending police officers are slim.
For many citizens, the issue of Russian hacking has not been satisfactorily resolved. Congress has agreed to investigate the matter further. Lewis has established a reputation for courage and integrity. Just as he stood tall on the Edmund Pettis Bridge on Bloody Sunday (March 7, 1965), Congressman Lewis stood alone to preserve the integrity of American democracy.
During the recent campaign for president, critics often expressed concern that Donald Trump was not presidential enough. For many people a certain dignity and decorum were required for the job. Nonetheless, Trump understood the necessity of appealing to the “ignored” and “overlooked.” He did not want to be identified as one of the “elite” who looked down upon the working class folks. Unfortunately, many of Trump’s constituents tolerate a laxity in the requirements for president that could damage democracy.
In a great move for the citizens of Boston, the directors of Eastern Bank have voted to elevate Robert Rivers, the former Eastern Bank president, to chairman and CEO. The move had been anticipated for a year with the expectation that Quincy Miller would be available to assume Rivers’ former duties as president. Miller was formerly the Massachusetts state president of Citizens Bank.
Political pundits have not yet offered an acceptable explanation of why many of those who had voted for Barack Obama would years later vote for Donald Trump. Perhaps the answer lies in the failure of white privilege to function as expected. There is a mistaken assumption that white privilege must always involve racial discrimination.
During 2016, the spirit of entrepreneurship seemed to blossom in Boston’s black community. The Bay State Banner helped to fertilize this growth with publication of a business magazine entitled Banner Biz. The year before the Banner sponsored two “Pitch in the City” events to induce young entrepreneurs to develop the ability to present their ideas in an effective manner. Even many of those with no plans to start a business are now aware of the importance of the development of wealth by blacks.
In the past, Americans have been casual about their involvement in political matters unless an election is underway. This year, during the coming period of dynamic change, your New Year’s resolution must be to remain politically active in order to preserve the democratic culture.
As leader of the “birthers” who challenged Barack Obama’s legitimacy, Donald Trump rose to prominence among white nationalists who hailed his election as president. The alt-right are conservatives who alternatively oppose racial diversity. It is critical for other citizens to confront the racial views that will divide the nation.
There is a strong sense that American culture is becoming increasingly more predatory, a proposition that is at odds with the spirit of Christmas.
There seems to be no limit on the price that some whites are willing to pay for the delusion of white supremacy. And Trump, the consummate conman, knew just how to pick their pockets.
The election of Donald Trump seems to have revived the hopes of white supremacists for their political reemergence. Congregants of Charleston’s Emmanuel AME Church maintain a more compassionate state of mind.
Housing decisions depend primarily on income. While racial discrimination often affects housing opportunities, it is probably more informative to review housing issues from the perspective of constraints imposed by family income.
In every major political campaign citizens encourage their friends and neighbors to vote. Those with an unclear understanding of the significance of the electorate in a democracy are often less committed to show up at the polls.
Political conflict still persists between those supporting Donald Trump and those who voted for Hillary Clinton. After a heated election for U.S. president, the ideal conclusion is for the spirit of national unity to prevail, but with so many unresolved conflicts, political solidarity now seems to be quite distant.
Trump wants to reduce the U.S. to a banana republic with family members employed in the government and business meetings held in the Oval Office. So far there has been little public protest.
Thanksgiving is a good time to consider the obstacles Americans have overcome to preserve the sanctity of family.
The right to expand for charter schools in Massachusetts has been defeated at the polls. Black residents in Boston have been deceived when considering Question 2 into believing that although charter schools have elevated the level of academic achievement of black students, it would be harmful to continue this strategy for success.
The Great Recession has eroded the middle class and induced whites without a college education and with little future to vote for Trump, 67-28 percent. They wanted to “Make America Great Again,” as Trump implored with his slogan. That alone was enough to tilt the final result. Even though they were the primary victims of government inaction, blacks could not support someone like Trump, who got only 8 percent of the vote compared with 88 percent for Hillary Clinton. Now the whole nation faces a problem created by white fecklessness.
Americans have just elected a new president, yet many citizens are skeptical about the nation’s future. The problems that have plagued the country for decades still persist. Racial conflicts and income disparities are in the forefront of issues adversely affecting the lives of countless citizens. Discrimination against blacks, Latinos and women places them at an economic disadvantage.
At this time just before the presidential election, there is a hue and cry to get out the black vote.
WBUR opinion polls indicate that 52 percent of Massachusetts citizens will vote “no” on Question 2, the right of 12 new charter schools to be established in the state each year. However, 53 percent of non-white voters support the measure. With 66 percent of charter school students non-white, a greater “yes” vote from blacks and Latinos should be expected.
Slavery, segregation and blatant racial discrimination have not succeeded in destroying the ingenuity and creativity of African Americans. Indeed, today’s more supportive circumstances should open the door to greater entrepreneurial opportunities for those who are skilled and determined.
The quest for racial equality in America now confronts the most demanding obstacle — equitable economic attainment. That does not mean that African Americans and Latinos must suddenly become wealthy. The objective is that their income and wealth statistics become comparable to the data of other racial groups. The Banner’s recent financial literacy conference, “Money Talk,” held at Roxbury Community College provided advice and information on how to build black wealth.
Under Trump, America would become a rogue nation that plunders the natural resources of weaker countries. Trump supports theft on a grand scale. Is that how Trump plans to “Make America Great Again”?