Friday, July 30, 2010

Dr. Boyce Watkins: Did the Police Cover Up the Murder of Raymond Robair?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Your Black World 

Raymond Robair died nearly five years ago. It appeared for years that the officers who arrived on the scene tried to help him. Now, some are wondering if they made the entire story up.
Officers Melvin Williams and Matthew Dean Moore stated that while they were patrolling the streets, they saw a man who was "stumbling and holding his upper chest area." They then said that Robair collapsed and that they drove him to the hospital, where he died. A pair of broken ribs punctured his spleen and liver, and the officers were cleared by an internal police investigation, partially substantiated by the coroner's report.
The greater problem though is that there are several residents in the area who dispute the account of the police officers. Several witnesses say they saw the officers punch and kick Robair. Also, an independent autopsy requested by the family ruled the death a homicide.


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Dr Boyce: 13-Year Olds Should Not be Homicide Targets

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Your Black World

Theresa Lumpkin was, until yesterday, the mother of 13-year old Robert Freeman Jr. of Chicago. Her tenure as his parent ended with the young boy was shot and killed on the South Side of Chicago in what many believe to be a case of mistaken identity.
Witnesses say that the murder was deliberate, as the gunman shot the young boy multiple times.
"My baby was just lying there,'' said Lumpkin. "He tried to get up. He tried to fight for his mama. He tried to fight for his life.''
Neighbors who saw the incident did not want their names to be published.
"I was running out [of] the door to say, 'Stop shooting that baby,'" one neighbor said.
Robert had 22 bullet holes in his body, according to doctors. The people of the community say that he was apparently targeted because he had the same complexion, height and hairstyle of another boy who was the actual target. Police are investigating whether the shooting was due to a dispute over drugs or money.
This was the fourth teen shooting in the area this week.


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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Dr. Boyce Watkins and Harvard Prof. Charles Ogletree Talk with Al Sharpton about President Obama’s Policies

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Boyce Watkins and Charles Ogletree Appear on Al Sharpton's Hour of Power

Rev. Jesse Jackson Issues Statement to Dr. Boyce about the Settlement in the Sean Bell Shooting


To hear what other black public figures had to say, please click here.


The family of Sean Bell has stood tall during this tragic and difficult ordeal and for that they should be commended.  Rev. Sharpton and the National Action Network should also be commended as well for their continuous pursuit to seek justice.  I continue to pray for the families of Sean Bell, Joseph Guzmen and Trent Benefield.

The pattern of police shooting unarmed innocent black men is becoming all too common.  However, it magnifies symptoms of a deeper problem of insensitivity and detachment within police departments across the country.   

Today it is clearer than ever that we need vigorous action by local and state authorities and the U.S. Department of Justice to enforce civil rights laws, EEOC, contract compliance and affirmative action. I hope the President and his administration will address these issues head-on to deal with issues surrounding equal protection under the law for all Americans.

Dr. Boyce Watkins: Prominent Black Leaders Speak on the Sean Bell Settlement

From Dr. Boyce Watkins:  Most of you know what I think about the Sean Bell shooting and subsequent settlement.  But I reached out to a few of my friends to get their takes on the situations.  You can read their comments below:


Dr. Michael Eric Dyson:  I am glad that the City of New York will pay the family of Mr. Bell – and Mr. Guzman and Mr. Benefield – for the egregious injustice of Bell’s death and the shootings of Guzman and Benefield by undercover cops.  The Bell murder highlights the need for the end to racial profiling of minorities and police brutality against blacks.  While the condition of the settlement precludes admission of wrongdoing, we all know that vicious racist practices often have lethal consequences for minority citizens.  I pray this settlement helps the families and reminds us of the need for true justice.


Rev. Al Sharpton: National Action Network and I have said from the moment we were called the day Sean Bell was killed and Joseph Guzman and Trent Benefield were wounded that we would stand by the family no matter what. Nicole Paultre Bell has to labor to raise two children with no father and to provide for them and Joseph Guzman still carries bullets in his body and may never be able to work a regular job. Trent Benefield carries scars for life.

The settlement must all provide for their families but this in no way mitigates or repairs the permanent damage done to them and the pain it has caused them forever nor does it diminish the outrage in the community. We will always pursue justice for the family of Sean Bell, Joseph Guzman and Trent Benefield."




Dr. Julianne Malveaux:  What is the price of a life?  The $7 million settlement in the Sean Bell case offers relief to an aggrieved family and rights a wrong.  It also raises issues about the ways that law enforcement personnel interact with the African American community.  Bell was at the cusp of an exciting life, on the eve of his wedding day. He should not have died, and the life in this settlement caution for each of us to take care of all of us and to be cautious and careful about the meaning of life.  Both bullets and assumptions killed Sean Bell. Neither assault is acceptable

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dr. Boyce Watkins Talks about Black Farmers on AOL

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Scholarship in Action 

Black farmers across the United States have been the victims of systematic discrimination for several decades. This has been proven in court, and the United States Department of Agriculture has agreed to pay a $1.25 billion dollar settlement. What is saddest about the settlement, however, is that Congress has not yet approved the funds. This is another form of racism that the farmers must face, since their justice is being consistently denied by government officials who are insistent upon remaining stubborn.

The USDA came under increased scrutiny recently in the unjust firing of Shirley Sherrod. I am hopeful that the sloppy handling of the Sherrod incident is not indicative of the way the USDA does business. In fact, groups have been calling for the firing of the Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. At the very least, the way Ms. Sherrod has been treated should be a lightning rod to bring the plight of black farmers to the surface of our collective conscience.


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Dr. Boyce Watkins – The Football Player and the Felony

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

Nigel Carr was expected to start for the Florida State Seminoles at linebacker this season. Those plans are probably going to be altered, now that Carr faces a slew of felonies related to burglaries he allegedly committed this week.
According to Tallahassee police, Carr burglarized a parked SUV, stealing the victim's book bag that contained her purse and other valuables. Carr allegedly dumped the items into a nearby trash can and police say they found the victim's credit card on the floor board of a vehicle being driven by Carr.
Surprisingly, Carr is also a suspect in another car burglary on campus and faces charges from alleged marijuana possession. His career is in serious jeopardy and may likely be coming to an end.
I am not sure what the reasoning might be behind this alleged incident, assuming that the police version of the facts are accurate. Nearly any crime involving a college athlete on the weekend or at night makes me wonder if alcohol or drugs were involved. Carr's charges for marijuana possession lead me to suspect that this is a strong possibility. For some reason, we've fed our young people a set of beliefs that create a culture of substance abuse as a fundamental part of college life. As my daughter prepares for college, I make it clear to her that she should be strong enough to not follow the crowd. I am not one to tell her to refrain from alcohol consumption, but I let her know that college can be a blast without risking rape, illness, incarceration or death, which occurs each year in alcohol-related incidents across the country. While we can't say that substance abuse played a role in the Carr case, this point should be made nonetheless.

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Scholarship in Action – Dr. Boyce Watkins Keeps it Moving – 7/26/10

Brought to you by The Great Black Speakers Bureau, the #1 Black Speakers Bureau in the world.  To join the Your Black World Coalition, please visit

Hey peeps,

if you'd like to contribute to the cost of sending Asha Castleberry, one of our representatives, on a humanitarian mission to Haiti, please click here.  Any support would be greatly appreciated, and I really want to see Asha make this trip.  The world has forgotten about the suffering of Haiti since they are no longer in the media, but be clear - the suffering continues.

Beyond that, I just went to get a passport and driver's permit for my daughter the other day.  I believe that all of our children need passports so they can see the world and broaden their horizons.  One of my kids just got back from France, and I can see how her perspective has changed already.  My little girl is starting college this fall, so we are both excited.  The primary lessons I gave to her are the following: 

1) Avoid the culture of rampant alcoholism and irresponsible sexual choices that exist on many campuses. Everything must be done in moderation (although I make it clear that she has a right to make her own decisions - I am not a helicopter parent).

2) Study 4 - 6 hours per day, just like a part-time job. I am not sending my child to college to be average, and neither should any of us.  If kids can work 8 hours a day at McDonald's, they can study four hours a day.

3) Visit your professors at least once a week.  They need to know your face, since this influences your grades and also makes a difference in the quality of letters they write for you later on.

4) Study in a quiet place with no distractions so you can get your work done.  Studying in a dorm room with the TV on means that you'll waste time and not be able to have any fun because you'll need twice as much work to get half as much done.

5) Have a blast - college is the most fun you'll have in your life.  College is about much more than just studying. But by having a proper balance, the fun can really begin once your educated and doing well financially.  I didn't really start having fun until I had a little money in my pocket and saw the benefits of a good educational foundation.

I explained to her that most college professors automatically give you a "B" for simply doing what you are told.  To get an "A," you just have to do a little bit more.  The key word that she and I remember is "consistency."  Students who cram and wait to the last minute always end up stressed out with a poor performance.  Those who study consistently typically dominate the rest of the class.  That was the only reason I was able to do so well in college, since I was nobody's Rhodes Scholar in high school!
I thought I would share some of the info I give to my daughter so you can share it with your kids.  After teaching at the college level for the past 17 years, I've concluded that it's just a hustle with a simple formula.  If George Bush can graduate from Harvard, then all of our kids can be outstanding scholars.  Push your kids to be the best, and to take the word "me" out of "mediocrity." If you want to read more, please feel free to get the discounted version of my book, "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about College."


Dr. Boyce

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The Latest from Dr. Boyce Watkins on AOL Black Voices

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Alabama Coach Calls Sports Agents "Pimps": No, He's the Real Pimp

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Former NBA Player Lorenzen Wright Has Gone Missing

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Dr. Boyce Video -- S. Tia Brown and I Talk Financial Lovemaking

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Undocumented Workers Leaving Arizona: Good for Black Folks?

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Obama's Approval Rating on Economy Drops: Why Is That?

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Reggie Bush USC Debacle is About NCAA Exploitation

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Dr. Boyce Video -- Madam Prezident - The Dopest Black Poet in America

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President Obama Says Vilsack Jumped the Gun on Shirley Sherrod

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Dr. Boyce Video -- Black Filmmakers Dorian Chandler and Keisha Dutes

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Dr. Boyce Video -- Black Female Athletes Excel in the Ivy Leagues

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Barack Obama Celebrates Victory on Financial Reform

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CBC Gets Involved With Shirley Sherrod Firing

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Black Candidate Puts 'Not the White Man's B*tch' on Ballot Description

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"Boyce Watkins"

What Does It Mean to be a "Sellout"?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins

What does it mean to be a sellout?  Most of us grew up on this term, but I would be willing to bet that most of us don’t know what the word actually means.   Back in the 1980s, the term “sellout” applied to someone who was all too quick to give up his blackness in exchange for a seat at the white man’s table.  It could also relate to someone willing to do nearly anything to earn a buck.

Obviously, being a sellout means that you’ve sold something.  But that’s not an entirely accurate definition, since we all sell something at some point.  Most of us have been in situations where we wanted to take a stand on an issue, but simply decided to choose our battles in order to protect our opportunities.  That doesn’t necessarily make you weak, but there is a thin line between selling something and selling out completely.

So, perhaps the term “sellout” means selling something of tremendous value in exchange for greater opportunity or financial prosperity.  Can we agree on this definition?  Good, now lets’ get to the nitty-gritty.

Click to read.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Scholarship in Action: Dr. Boyce Responds to Nick Saban’s Remarks about Pimping College Athletes

by Dr. Boyce Watkins 

University of Alabama coach Nick Saban has made a serious mistake in terminology. During a recent press conference, Saban was asked to respond to NCAA investigations involving one of his players, Marcell Dareus. Dareus allegedly attended a party that was sponsored by a sports agent, which would be an NCAA violation.
Saban then referred to sports agents as "pimps," complaining about how they are determined to undermine the sanctity of college sports by giving the athletes money or expensive gifts. In light of the fact that Saban felt the need to use such harsh language, I thought I might help him to assess what it truly means to be a pimp.
A pimp is someone who does the following:


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Friday, July 23, 2010

Scholarship in Action: The Latest from Dr. Boyce Watkins on TheLoop21 – 7/22/10

Dr. Boyce Watkins: The Law-Abiding Black Man Has Gone Out of Style

by Dr. Boyce Watkins 

A lot of people make fun of the rapper Rick Ross. The sources of ridicule are numerous reports that Rick is not the drug dealer, king pin, or boss that he portrays in his music. In real life, he’s a regular, hard-working, law-abiding citizen. In fact, he was once a corrections officer.

The rapper 50 Cent has consistently taken Ross to task for allegedly defrauding the public by presenting an image that appears to be a figment of Ross’ powerful imagination. He often refers to Ross as “Officer Rick,” and seems set on ruining Ross’ highly successful career.

Ross has even been sued by the real “Freeway” Ricky Ross, a notorious drug dealer from the 1980s. Freeway Ricky has made what appears to be a plausible claim that the rapper stole his name and brand, using it to make millions. Had Freeway Ricky been born with a different name, Rick Ross the rapper may never have come into existence.


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Monday, July 19, 2010

Dr Boyce Watkins on AOL Black Voices – 7/19/10

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The Obama Deception Video Creates Claim Censorship

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Tea Party Express Spokesperson Expelled for Racist Remarks

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Mel Gibson: What You Probably Don't Know About His Money

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Dr. Boyce Video -- Sherri Shepherd Stops by for a Conversation

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Rush Limbaugh Insults Black People With 'Cracker' Remark

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Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton Downplay Tea Party Racism

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How to Financially Destroy Your Children Right Before You Die

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Major Legal Problems for AKAs

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Dr. Boyce Watkins: Why Americans are Losing Faith in President Obama


by Dr. Boyce Watkins, The Institute for Black Public Policy

Recent polls are showing that 6 out of 10 Americans are losing faith in President Obama’s ability to run our nation.  This decline in the president’s numbers is in stark contrast to where the numbers were at the start of his presidency.  They are also reflective of the general fact that Americans are losing faith in government.  While 60% of Americans polled say they have little belief in President Obama, 68% said the same thing about Democrats, and 72% said the same about Republicans.

I don’t agree with these assessments, since President Obama has proven time and time again that he is the most qualified candidate for the job.  The broader challenge for the American people is that there are almost never enough good candidates available.  The elitism that leads our officials to only consider Harvard and Yale graduates for the White House or Supreme Court nominations is disturbing, and such a limited set of selections is what causes us to choose incompetent individuals like George W. Bush or Clarence Thomas to run our country.

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Friday, July 9, 2010

Black News: NAACP Marijuana Controversy


by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University

Over 20 African American leaders in the state of California are calling for the resignation of Alice Huffman, President of the California State Conference for theNAACP. Huffman drew the ire of some leaders when she publicly backed the effort to legalize marijuana in the state of California.
Bishop Ron Allen was among the members of the International Faith-Based Coalition stating that Proposition 19 on the November ballot would be harmful to African Americans. "Why would the state NAACP advocate for blacks to stay high?" Allen said. "It’s going to cause crime to go up. There will be more drug babies."
Huffman has stood firm, stating that she is not going to resign. She also cited a number of African American leaders across the country who support her position.
"Prop. 19 is about eliminating enforcement practices that are targeting and creating a permanent underclass of citizens, of African Americans, caught in a criminal justice system while other people, a more privileged class, go free,” Huffman said.

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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Legally Insane? Woman Eats Her Child's Brain - Did the Legal System Fail this Family?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins

This week, a woman in Texas cut off the head of her three week old baby and ate part of his brain. What’s even more shocking about this terrible story is that she won’t get any jail time for it.

Otty Sanchez, a 34-year old, was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the death of her child, Scott Wesley Buchholz-Sanchez. Prosecutors accepted the plea deal after learning that the woman thought that the devil made her kill her child.

The baby was found in a bedroom with three of his toes chewed off, his head severed and his brain ripped out. Police are saying that the child’s mother ate the boy’s toes and a piece of the brain before stabbing herself in the chest and throat. In the 911 call made by her sister, Sanchez can be heard in the background screaming, “I didn't wanna do it! He told me to!"

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Saturday, July 3, 2010

Dr. Boyce on Dave Chappelle's Odd Behavior

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, AOL Black Voices

What's the deal with Dave Chappelle? According to TMZ, Chapelle was reportingly acting strange on a private jet, so much so that the jet had to make an emergency landing in Pittsburgh. Their source is stating that the flight was headed from New Jersey to Ohio and that Chappelle "freaked out" refusing to put on his seatbelt.

The source also says that Chappelle repeatedly walked into the cockpit, asking the pilot how much longer the flight would be, and even grabbed the pilot's arms. That is when it was allegedly determined that Chappelle was a safety risk, and the flight was grounded.
TMZ then claims that after landing, Chappelle checked into a hotel. However, sources at the hotel are claiming that Dave told the employees that he wanted to rent a car to go back to Ohio, but that he didn't remember where he lived.

I'm not sure what the deal is with Dave Chappelle, one of the most talented and privileged comedians in America. He had the world at his feet, with a hit show and a $50 million contract to do what he does best. It does appear, however, that there is something inside Chappelle that simply can't handle fame.


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