President Obama

Recent Articles

Get mental illness out of the shadows

President Obama hosted a summit June 3 in which he called for mental illness to come out of the shadows. With the increased concerns about the role of mental illness in the perpetrators of mass violence, questions are being raised about the adequacy and availability of mental health resources. Over 54 million Americans experience symptoms of a mental health disorder in any given year, but current estimates are that only about 60 percent of those receive needed services. A variety of factors contribute to the low utilization of mental health services, including stigma, being uninsured or underinsured, and lack of awareness. President Obama has called for education and training about mental health. Continue Reading →

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Being ‘the Only One’ can render one invisible

 

 

 

The little boy in the 1974 movie Claudine told James Earl Jones’ character that he wanted to be invisible. When asked why, the frustrated youngest son of Diahann Carroll’s character simply replied that since his older siblings regularly ignore him, he might just as well be invisible. This reporter can easily relate to that boy, because I too am invisible — but not because I want to be. When I became a reporter in the mid-1970s, I reluctantly accepted the experience of being snubbed as some so-called rite of passage, of paying my media dues. However, five decades-plus later, I am still getting cold shoulders too often from persons who aren’t half my age or experience and who couldn’t spell “journalist” without help from a computerized spell check. Continue Reading →

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Honoring Emil Kapaun should reflect his commitment to nonviolent

 

 

Obama presented the nephew of the Rev. Emil Kapaun with the Medal of Honor, the highest military award for bravery. Rev. Kapaun died at the age of 35 in 1951, after spending six months in captivity during the Korean War. President Obama said, “This is the valor we honor today — an American soldier who didn’t fire a gun, but who wielded the mightiest weapon of all, a love for his brothers so pure that he was willing to die so that they might live.”

Is Obama talking about Kapaun’s love for his brothers on the North Korean team that was shooting at U.S. soldiers? Because that is what Kapaun was about; he loved and saw all men as his brothers, and that is why he would not pick up a gun. What Kapaun did is up there with Martin Luther King, Jr. and Henry David Thoreau, the great writer who refused to pay his taxes because of U.S. military violence and went to jail for it. Continue Reading →

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Judge orders mediation over McGee home foreclosure

 

 

 
Rep. Ellison joins rally to halt eviction
 
By Becky Dernbach

Contributing Writer

 

 

Last week more than 50 community members rallied in support of Rose McGee as she faced off against Fannie Mae in settlement court alleging wrongful foreclosure. When Fannie Mae still refused to offer what she considered a fair deal, the judge ordered the parties to return for further court mediation May 14. “The outcome of the court process today was very disappointing,” said Rose McGee. “The offer that Fannie has made is unreasonable. If they made a reasonable offer, I would gladly accept it. Continue Reading →

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Godfather of Black psychology identifies Black strengths needed to counter harmful impact of mass media

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

 

Black youth today “have a future of unknown opportunities…and need our support to get there,” said a longtime advocate for youth empowerment at a February 26 Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) Black History Month event held at the MPS Davis Center. Retired psychologist Dr. Joseph White spoke to nearly 150 people on the importance of young Blacks understanding their strengths. A pioneer of culturally relevant practices in education, youth development and psychology, White was in town last week and made several appearances for Black History Month sponsored by Minneapolis-based Youthprise and the Cultural Wellness Center. “When we talk about our youth, the last remaining challenge in America is taking charge of our destiny. That is the challenge now in the 21st century,” White proclaimed, adding that Blacks have survived “two periods of Black history” in this country. Continue Reading →

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The Good Wife Works – America in the Age of Obama

In a recent workshop held on the campus of Macalester College in St. Paul on the state and condition of America in the age of Obama, it was agreed that our president and the symbol that the presidency represents is its highest compliment, the ultimate achievement. He is credible. He qualifies to be president. Do the rest of us? Continue Reading →

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Fiscal cliff most threatening for Blacks, other communities of color

 
Effects would add more hurt to Great Recession’s impact 
 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Low- and moderate-income people will immediately be adversely affected if the country plunges over “the fiscal cliff” at the beginning of the year, predicts a former Obama administration member. Automatic tax hikes and spending cuts will take place unless Congress and the White House reach an agreement by December 31. Last week, on a New America Media-scheduled teleconference with reporters, including the MSR, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Senior Fellow Jared Bernstein said that “low-income people will feel [it] right away if we go over the fiscal cliff” on January 1.      

“Current conditions actually are very tough on low-income people,” said Bernstein. “Fifteen percent of the population are in poverty, and if you look at folk who are disproportionately low-income, African American poverty is closer to 28 percent [and] Hispanics at 25 percent. Continue Reading →

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United Theological Seminary seeks more diverse students, faculty

MSR speaks with United’s new president, Rev. Dr. Barbara Holmes
 

By Robin James

Contributing Writer

 

The United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities is currently celebrating 50 years of service. Since July of 2012, Reverend Dr. Barbara A. Holmes has been the first African American woman at its helm. Her artist’s sensibility, imaginative approach to ministry, and creative problem solving are already being viewed as both inspiring and what’s needed to move the institution forward. Well known as an outstanding leader in theological education and an inspiring lecturer and teacher, Dr. Holmes hails from Memphis Theological Seminary, where she was professor of ethics and African American religious studies and served for five years as vice president/dean of academic affairs. Raised in the Dixwell Avenue Congregational Church in New Haven, Connecticut, Dr. Holmes is an ordained minister recognized in the Disciples of Christ and also a member of Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis. Continue Reading →

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New music includes an early look at 2013 releases

 

Early next year, the legendary jazz label Blue Note Records is set to release two new albums from two legendary artists, Aaron Neville and Wayne Shorter. Now the label is busy promoting both artists and albums via touring and television. Shorter has even written a new piece composed for Esperanza Spalding, who recently won a 2012 Soul Train Music Award. Adding to the highly anticipated upcoming 2013 release schedule thus far, the Concord-Telarc division has released an impressive list of some new 2013 releases of their own. But wait: Helping to round out this year’s crop of new releases is one from ArtistShare featuring the Clayton brothers with friends. Continue Reading →

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Blacks: demand economic equity

 

By Marc Morial

Guest Commentator

 

 

President Obama’s decisive victory in this year’s presidential election signaled a shift in both demographics and attitude in America. While 93 percent of African American voters supported Obama, his victory reflected a cross-section of America, including substantial numbers of Whites and a growing number of Hispanics and Asian Americans. African Americans again made the difference in a number of key swing states. In fact, in hotly contested Ohio, the African American share of the electorate rose from 11 percent four years ago to 15 percent this year, with 96 percent of African Americans voting for Obama. Clearly, the president’s small margin of victory in Ohio was determined by an increase in the Black vote. Continue Reading →

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