Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Dr Boyce Watkins: The NCAA Destroys Black Families


by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Black Planet 

I am not a fan of the NCAA, a sports league that earns money on the par of the NFL and NBA, but has somehow decided that they don’t have to properly compensate their employees or give them standard rights to negotiation. What’s worse is that the NCAA does tremendous harm to the African American community, sucking up kids with hoop dreams and destroying their futures with inferior educations.

When I recently read that the NCAA may be hiring a black president (Dr. Bernard Franklin), the only thing I could say is “whoopty-damn-doo.” While some of us might be tempted to applaud such an achievement, we must fully understand that the disease of racism is sometimes delivered through the hands of a black overseer.

RELATED: OPINION: Ivy League Can Teach NCAA About Coach Diversity

Dr. Franklin, while running around the country applauding his organization for giving one opportunity to one black person, should probably think of the thousands of African American families being used up by the very system he has been trained to manage. The NCAA is, without question, one of the most exploitative regimes in the history of America, right next to slavery and the prison system. Billions are earned each year off the backs of African American families, while the league has worked together with Congress to create a nexus of regulations that keep the athlete and his/her family from getting a piece of the economic pie.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Black News: Steps in on the Heather Ellis, KKK Case

Racial injustice rears its ugly head again, this time in rural Missouri, where heavy-handed prosecutor Stephen Sokoloff is threatening to impose a lengthy prison sentence on a woman after an altercation at a local Wal-Mart almost three years ago.

In January 2007, 20-year-old Heather Ellis, then a student at Xavier University, and her cousin David went to a Wal-Mart in Kennett, Missouri, near the Tennessee border, in an area commonly known as the Missouri Bootheel.  Kennett, in rural and conservative Dunklin County, which boasts that it seceded from the Union during the Civil War, is overwhelmingly white.

At the check-out line, the pair split up in order to find the shortest line.  When Ellis left her line to join her cousin at a shorter line, customers complained and a store employee accused her of cutting, at which point an argument ensued and a manager notified a security guard, an off-duty Kennett Police officer.  The situation escalated from there:

In the Ellis version, she was shoved by another customer, had her items pushed aside by the clerk and then was short-changed when she finally was checked out. The police affidavit contends, at numerous times, Ellis became belligerent, loud, abusive and cursing when she was told to leave by the store's assistant manager. Summoned by a frantic phone call from her son, as the pair walked out to the parking lot, [Ellis' aunt] Blackmon says she arrived in time to witness her niece being brutalized by police during attempts to place her in a squad car.


Ellis was charged with disturbing the peace, trespassing, resisting arrest and two counts of assaulting a police officer. Yet, curiously after being described in the police affidavit as "completely out of control" during her arrest, she was released to the custody of her parents to receive medical attention only 45 minutes after being jailed. However, her arrest triggered a whole series of problems. Although she returned to school in Louisiana, two months later, an attorney hired by the family tried to talk Heather into taking a plea deal offered by powerful Dunklin County Prosecutor, Stephen Sokoloff.


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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Dr Boyce on Eddie Griffin, Vh-1 and “Going for Broke”

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University, Your Black World, MSNBC’s 

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.

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