Barack Obama

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Keith Ellison deserves his own Fox ‘News’ program

By Isaac Peterson

Guest Commentator 

[Editor’s note: The MSR welcomes back its former staff writer with timely observations on Congressman Ellison’s controversial run-in with talk-show host Sean Hannity.]

 

If you don’t keep up with political Internet blogs, you might have missed a huge story that had left-leaning bloggers laughing and cheering and many bloggers on the right clutching their pearls and looking for a fainting couch. For the amount of handwringing and gnashing of teeth on the right, you would think Barack Obama had just declared himself president for life and outlawed the Republican Party. It turned out that, for them, it was something almost as horrifying: Congressman Keith Ellison had appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox ”News” Network program. And he was mean to Sean. Hannity was doing his usual fact-free smearing of Obama, playing a montage of edited, out-of-context clips of Obama blaming the sequester on Republicans. Continue Reading →

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Inaugural evoked spirit of ‘We the people’ joined in common cause

 

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Barack Obama, who became the third consecutive U.S. president to deliver a second Inauguration Address, told the nation Monday that it is up to all of us to “act in our time” to move this country forward. “We cannot afford delay and substitute spectacle for politics, and use name calling as reasonable debate,” he said during his nearly 15-minute “mini” address. America must be the leader for a peaceful world “from Africa to Asia…and in the Middle East,” pledged the president. After paying homage to “the forbearers, and all those men and women, sung and unsung,” President Obama declared, “It is now our generation’s task to carry on where those pioneers began.”

Obama, who was officially sworn in January 20 as constitutionally required, strongly urged that equality — especially in income, employment, and acceptance of all people regardless of race, gender and sexual orientation — should exist in all facets of American life. He warned against voter suppression and briefly touched upon immigration reform and climate change. Continue Reading →

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St. Cloud: Desperate need to maintain racism has its costs

 

By Merle Cooper

Guest Commentator

 

Recession recovery has been difficult for the most egalitarian, innovative and progressive communities. St. Cloud’s recovery is thwarted as much by area economic conditions and failures as by addiction to racism as low self-image compensation. After 159 years of bigotry carefully driven and exploited by local leaders assuming there’s no tomorrow, St. Cloud has been forced to launch its leaking public relations (PR) lifeboats. Continue Reading →

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A post-election mobilization agenda

 

 

 

 

 

By Julianne Malveaux

Guest Commentator

 

Before the president takes the oath of office for a second time, African Americans should mobilize around these issues:

 

Sequestration

Unless the Democrats and Republicans can cut a deal during the lame-duck session of Congress, our budget will be cut automatically. While House Speaker John Boehner has softened his tone just a bit and indicated his willingness to compromise, he still has to herd his Tea Party colleagues into also agreeing on ways to avoid sequestration. The notion of cutting expenditures at a time of slow economic growth makes no sense. Neither does sequestration, a desperate move to avoid a compromise. What do we need to address the deficit? Continue Reading →

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Obama serves a second term

What can Black communities expect from him over the next  four years? By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

History repeated itself Tuesday as Barack Obama won reelection as U.S. president, making him only the first Black man to twice win the presidency in this country’s history. “It has been a fairly harsh campaign,” noted local Republican activist Carleton Crawford, who added that both President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney “have done a particularly good job of presenting their side, primarily based on issues. I think the [three] debates have been substantive… They [gave] people a chance to actually analyze…the perspective and the intention of the candidates.”

Crawford says that President Obama “is going to have a decent mandate” from the American electorate. Throughout his first term, the president was oft-criticized that he didn’t speak out or didn’t put specific issues affecting the Black community on the front burner. Continue Reading →

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Could voter suppression win this election?

 

By Renee J. Turner

Guest Commentator

 

With the discreet, systemized, and methodical implementation of voter ID and restrictive voting laws pillaging voters of their right to vote, a call to action has not been loud enough. It’s hasn’t really been an alarm to all voting citizens as it should be. The purging of voters from voting rolls throughout the country is really an assault on America. We should not be so focused on the presidential debates that we forget that the GOP has designed and engineered this faulty voter fraud program to prevent American citizens from voting. The structure of these laws was designed to sway the election of not only the presidential race, but also candidates running for offices throughout the United States. Continue Reading →

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What has President Obama done for Blacks?

 
Affordable Care Act, HBCU investment top some advocates’ lists

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Since Barack Obama took office four years ago as the first Black president in U.S. history, he has been criticized by many Blacks for not doing enough for the Black community. The MSRspoke with an author and political leaders who say the political sound bites that list the president’s accomplishments are not being captured. “I think much of the criticism on the president is unfair, and I think part of my job is that we get the information out there in the community on what the president has done. He doesn’t get enough credit on things he has done, and [for things that] have directly benefited the African American community,” states Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, who also is U.S. Conference of Mayors president. “This president has put more money in Historically Black Colleges than other presidents before him have,” says National Congress of Black Women, Inc. President E. Faye Williams on the Obama administration’s investment in HBCUs. Continue Reading →

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Greatest political shows on earth come and go again

 
We’re suckers for the same old promises
 

The Republican and Democratic conventions were little more than a show. And like most shows, when it’s all over you realize it was a lot of “sound and fury” yet “signifying nothing.”

Every four years, this show makes promise after promise. The “Republicrats” promise rain, and when a few raindrops hit a few of our kind (the poor, the colored, the immigrant, wage workers), we run around singing their praises as if our socio-economic drought has ended. Incredibly, the plot is not difficult to figure out; it’s the same one all the time. It goes something like this: Let’s figure out how to keep what we the rich and powerful have, and convince them, the working class, that they have a stake in our success. Continue Reading →

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Hip hop classes nurture creative expression

 

By Dwight Hobbes
Contributing Writer

 

Arriving at renowned Watershed High School in South Minneapolis and walking to the “Hip Hop, History and the Arts” classroom to speak with curriculum founder-instructor Chadwick “Niles” Phillips is, to say the least, an interesting experience. The students have wrapped up rehearsal for the day, and he’s prepping them for the following evening’s premier of their artistic outing, “The Youth Performance Series (Act 4).”

This is, it’s clear, not simply a gathering reminiscent of Fame. These “at-risk” adolescents of color are taking advantage of the vital opportunity to pursue an alternative to the street life that more and more often sees minority youth ending up either victims or perpetrators of violent crime. The class is a viable alternative to having idle time on their hands and unwittingly following a dead-end path to a trouble-laden future. It’s a chance to begin realizing an ambition to do something positive with themselves and enjoy having their dreams nurtured to the fullest extent possible. Continue Reading →

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