Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Acid-In-Face Woman Pleads Not Guilty

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Bethany Storro made national news when she claimed she was the victim of a random attack. Storro told police that an African American woman walked up to her and suddenly decided to throw acid in her face. Storro received the sympathy (and financial contributions) of people all around the world. Even Oprah cleared a slot for her on her show.
It turned out that Storro was lying, making herself the latest in a long list of people who've falsely claimed that a black person attacked them. Her face is now blotched and red, where police say she allegedly put acid onto her own face, perhaps in a quest for attention. The story is quite sad, actually.


Click to read.

Eddie Long Accused of Having Sex with Men on Church Grounds

by Dr. Boyce WatkinsSyracuse University 

Most of you may have read the story about Jamal Parris, the latest and most vocal ofBishop Eddie Long's accusers. Parris and three others have stepped forward to file a lawsuit against Long in state court for allegedly coercing them into having sex. Well, another bombshell has hit the room, and this one was also delivered by Parris.
Parris told WAGA-TV in Atlanta that he and Long engaged in numerous sex acts on church grounds, both before and after morning services. He also said that they would perform numerous sex acts in Long's home, car and office at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church.
The four accusers claim that Long traded sex acts for cars, clothes and other material possessions. The sex scandal against Bishop Eddie Long seems to get just a bit deeper every single day. At this point, Long doesn't just have to worry about the ethical implications of committing adultery and being accused of engaging in homosexual sex. He also has to deal with accusations of pedophilia, since the public is not yet aware of how old the young men where when the alleged sex acts occurred.

Click to read.

Tavis Smiley and Cornel West Do National Radio

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityBlack Scholarship in Action 

Cornel West and Tavis Smiley are two of the coolest brothers on the intellectual block. They've served as public road maps for the empowerment of black men everywhere, and their work does not get the recognition it deserves.
Well, Public Radio International is working to help change that by granting Smiley and West their own radio show. In fact, the show is going to be called "Smiley & West."
The announcement for the new show was made during the Public Radio Programming Conference, held in Denver, Colorado. When asked about the show, Smiley had this to say:


Click to read.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Black Leadership Doesn’t Have Much to Say about Eddie Long

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Trying to get various black public figures to speak out for or against Bishop Eddie Long has been harder than getting four year-olds to go to the dentist. No one is talking, but everyone is noticing. They are all watching CNN and seeing that Long is on after every other commercial break. They are reading the newspapers where Long's face is plastered in every section other than Sports and Classifieds. They are seeing the websites that produce one Eddie Long article after another. The man is omnipresent.
Black leaders are also noticing the spandex outfit Long sported in those racy bathroom pictures. They remember the odd-looking wig Long wore when appearing before the church this past Sunday. Most significantly, they've noticed the long line of young men, in different states, who don't seem to know one another, who are saying that Eddie Long had sex with them.

Click to read.

Friday, September 24, 2010

What to Do with the Black Church Now?

Video thumbnail. Click to play

What do we do about gays in the church?  Are there other pastors who spend their time engaging in questionable sexual activity?  Dr. Boyce discusses these issues on MSNBC.

Please click here to watch.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dr. Boyce Watkins on Twitter – 9/22/10

  1. A young black female politician named Natasha Pettigrew was killed this week - very sad: 9 hours ago via web
    • OK - the article I wrote on AOL Black Voices about Bishop Eddie Long's sex scandal has gotten 3,500 readers in the past 45 minutes...hmmmabout 14 hours ago via web
      • Bishop Eddie Long accused of coercing young men into sex: 16 hours ago via web
        • Black woman says she's tired of defending Obama: 20 hours ago via web
          • Black celebs can learn a lot from Lady Gaga: 21 hours ago via web
            • Broncos player Kenny McKinley found dead: PM Sep 20th via web
              • Are Americans responsible for making our politician's dishonest? PM Sep 20th via web
                • CNN's Black in America gets it completely wrong when it comes to the black white wealth gap: PM Sep 20th via web
                  • Jamilah B. Creekmur's book, Raised by the Mistress: AM Sep 20th via web
                    • Today Show guest Robert Plant refers to blues as "Spook Music"? PM Sep 19th via web
                      • Former coach says Reggie Bush looks like an idiot: PM Sep 18th via web
                        • Police confirm that woman blamed black woman, but actually threw acid on her own face: PM Sep 16th via web
                          • A 14-year old boy in Chicago was killed in a drive-by shooting: PM Sep 16th via web
                            • NFL lockout is on the horizon - black athletes beware! AM Sep 16th via web
                              • Did this woman throw acid on her own face and say a black woman did it? PM Sep 15th via web
                                • "Raised by the Mistress" is a book about a woman who was raised by a woman in a relationship with a married man: PM Sep 15th via web
                                  • What's wrong with hip hop? This panel helps us to figure that out: AM Sep 15th via web
                                    • Varnette Honeywood, artist for the Cosby Show, dies at 59: AM Sep 15th via web
                                      • I am glad to see that Reggie Bush gave back the Heisman Trophy: AM Sep 15th via web
                                        • Dr. Christopher Metzler and I on CNBC: PM Sep 14th via web


                                          Tuesday, September 21, 2010

                                          Bishop Eddie Long Sued for Sexually Coercing Young Men: Could it Be True?

                                          by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 


                                          CNN is reporting that two men in Georgia are suing Bishop Eddie Long in Atlanta, alleging that the powerful pastor used his power to force them into having sex. In DeKalb County, the suits claim that Long used his position of authority at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church to influence young male employees into various forms of misconduct.One of the plaintiffs, Anthony Flagg, is a 21-year old man who claims that some of the misconduct occurred during overnight trips to various cities.
                                          "Long shared a bedroom and engaged in intimate sexual contact with plaintiff Flagg including kissing, massaging, masturbating of plaintiff Flagg by defendant Long and oral sexual contact," according to the lawsuit.


                                          Click to read.

                                          Obama’s Town Hall Meeting: Black Woman Says She’s Exhausted of Defending the President

                                          Black Woman Tells Obama I'm Exhausted of Defending You

                                          by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

                                          A black woman stood up in the Town Hall Meeting held by President Barack Obama yesterday and made a comment that got the attention of the world. She mentioned that she was "exhausted" from trying to defend the president to his critics:
                                          I am one of your middle class Americans and, quite frankly, I'm exhausted... I'm exhausted of defending you. I'm exhausted of defending your administration, defending the mantle of change that I voted for. And I'm deeply disappointed with where we are right now.
                                          I have been told that I voted for a man who said he was going to change things in a meaningful way for the middle class. I am one of those people and I'm waiting sir. I'm waiting. I don't feel it yet. And I thought, while it wouldn't be in great measure, I would feel it in some small measure... And quite frankly Mr. President, I need you to answer this honestly: Is this my new reality?


                                          Click to read.

                                          Lady Gaga Teaches Our Black Celebrities How to Make a Difference

                                          Lady Gaga leads while celebs of color sit on sidelines

                                          by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 


                                          When we use the word “intellect,” we don’t typically apply it to Lady Gaga.  I’m not sure what to make out of her, primarily because I don’t think about her very much.  But now, when I hear the name Lady Gaga, I’ll think of the terms “leader” and “role model.”

                                          Since her brilliant and impressive stand on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Lady Gaga is officially an important and historical figure in America.  In fact, she’s an icon.  She is becoming a symbol of her generation, one who transcends petty fashion trends and dance moves.  She has chosen to stand up for something she believes in, and as a result, has a whole legion of fans that she didn’t have before.  She’s getting respect from the likes of Wolf Blitzer, who acknowledged her on his show and even sang some of her lyrics.  She is using her power to change the world.

                                          Click to read.

                                          Syracuse/Onondaga County Sheriff’s Candidate Joe Price Hammered with Charges of Racism: Read the Email


                                          Email being passed through the Syracuse community – forwarded by Kathleen Rumpf, a human rights activist: 


                                          On Saturday last I received information that I took to John O'brien at Syracuse Newspapers;.
                                          The article will be out soon,  when Joe Price had to be vetted for the sheriff's race he gave the democratic committee his personal email...www.modman97@

                                          As you know, Toby Shelley was the candidate chosen by the democratic committee for Sheriff; however, Joe price (a sheriff's deputy in the jail) won the primary.  He campaigned extensively in the inner city.  please read the posts below:
                                          In a resume sent to the chairs of all democratic committees Joe Price listed his personal email as

                                          At there is also a " posts go back three years and can be found at  (click on "Comments" tab, then Click on "show oldest first."

                                          There are pages and pages of posts; I have printed out some of the most explosive  ones.  For instance:

                                          ...Too much is awarded/given/handed out to folks based solely on their race, creed or color.  Equality-Don't sing it, bring it!
                                                                                      Posted on Syracuse native gives $5.2 million to Cortland State on January 05, 2010, 3:44PM

                                          ....This state needs the effin' death penalty...and pronto!
                                                                      Posted on Graduate student charged in stabbing death of retired Binghamton professor 12/05, 2009, 10:43pm

                                          ....How much longer is this affirmative action/reverse discrimination thing going to go on anyway?
                                                                                                      Syracuse Orange women's basketball kicks off season Friday on 11/02/09, 8:48PM

                                          Game Over! Don't even try to sugar coat his legacy, he was a burden to taxpayers.
                                                                                              Posted on Syracuse man shot in weekend standoff was frequent parolee on 11/10, 2009, 6:26 PM

                                          Pita- I am actually enrolled as a Democrat still, due to my union stances. I Never blamed O'Bama for the attack, just his head in the sand as it relates to it.
                                          He is soft as baby poo and the terrosist know it. Our country has been ruined by those that push for political correctness.
                                                        Posted on Did officials ignore warning signs with Fort Hood suspect? on 11/10/2009. 11:38 AM

                                          This state and country needs to worry about protecting the good people first! -JP
                                                                            Posted on Group wants Onondaga County Sheriff's Office to stop selling arrest records on 11/01/09, 6:07 PM

                                          Weakfall- I wonder just how much taxpayer money has been spent on this family.  Most have grown up in the prison system and have contributed ablolutely nothing to society! May this punk rot in hell like his father.
                                          Posted on Syracuse teenager pleads guilty to murder in toddler's beating death on 10/30/09, 7:35 PM

                                          Hopefully this mope goes back to prison and spreads the work to his peers that it is now open season on low life scum bags in our society. Give this Trooper a plaque and a pat on the back.  Good job. Message sent!
                                                                        Posted on Trooper shoots inmate who escaped from Adirondacks prison on 08/26/2009, 8:44 AM

                                          I am getting very tired of this POS stiring turds of racism for his self promotion. How much longer do us Syracuse season ticket holders have to be affiliated in any way with this knuckle dragger?
                                                    Posted on Syracuse University professor: College athletes shoudl be pain on July 30, 2009, 5:03 PM

                                          Excuses, excuses, excuses!
                                          Our government has lsowly caused this. We have enabled these low-lifes to multiply through our welfare program. We provide health care to these animals, then let hard working blue collar Americans struggle to get by and go without. How many laborers do you know that went to work sick or hurt because they couldn't afford insurance? We have it backwards in this country!
                                                            Syraucse police say string of shootings possibleytied to hotter weather on 7/27, 2009, 7:10 AM

                                          Don't worry Tommy, the tax payers of this wonderful State of New York will provide for your illegitimate kids, and all those babies mommas.
                                                  Posted on Vigil held for man killed Wednesday night in Syracuse on 7/25/2009 8:23 AM

                                          They need to put that operation impact team togeyther again and roll through that part of the north side. Arrest every little prick that looks at them cross eyed and start kickin some azz.
                                          This is a war worth fighting for!
                                              Posted on Update: Sracuse man killed in fight on Butternut Street on 07/07/09, 7:41 PM

                                          I'd love to help out, but Patterson thinks any left over big faces I may have should go to welfare baby mommas. Make it rain at the social services office...know what I mean?
                                                  Posted on Budget for Habitat house in Madison County falls short on 08/17/09, 9:48 PM

                                          If we are doing the separation of church and state thing, then hell no.
                                          If Muslim countries are willing to recognize George Bush's birthday and give their people the dayoff for it, then we'll talk.
                                                    Posted on New York City Muslims push to add holidays to school year on 07/05, 2009

                                          expert- What would you know, you were at band camp with your rusty trombone. #%homosayswhat&%
                                          So these kids threw some food around, BFD. They were in school, not out hustling on the street corner or shooting and stabbing each other. Have them clean the mess up and move on.
                                          As far as third world countries starving, tell them to stop breeding!
                                                        Posted on Food fight in Oswego: School's almost out and it's time to chuck the nuggets on 06/03/09, 11:31 AM

                                          AL- Unfortunately the homies on your block won't get any street cred until they start takin care of bit-news!
                                                    Posted on Syracuse man succumbs to head wound suffered in shooting on May 31, 2009, 7:21 AM

                                          Any way we can slow the flow of liberals into my country, im for it!
                                                Posted on Starting Monday, you'll need more paperwork to get into the U.S. from Canada on 05/23, 2009, 8:52 PM

                                          Imprd2bblk2- Why do you assume..."hooker of course is white?" Because she is working? That is both sterotyping and profiling. It is unacceptable in this day and age, or so Sharpton says.
                                          That is like saying that because Mr. Whittaker is clean cut and presentable,...he must have made good use of his United Negro College Fund Money and forced an employer to hire him via Affirmative Action mandates.
                                                      Posted on Syracuse police search for prosititute and stolen car on May 11, 2009, 4:25 PM

                                          The shelters and soup kitchens we pay for won't supply them with the crack and booze. It is the "do-gooders" who think they will guarantee themselves a spot in heavens job to shell out the money to feed their addictions. SUCKERS! Why these people feel the need to enable these pedophiles, rapists, perverts and prostitutes is beyond me. They are ot veterans, looking for work or crippled. They are lazy scammers and/or homeless for a reason.
                                                    Posted on Sean Kirst on cracking down on the "fliers" on May 23, 2009, 8:06 am

                                          I respect law enforcement and the difficult job it can be. (I wanted to be a State Trooper myself back in the day after completing college, but a 99% wasn't good enough due to affirmative action.)
                                          I just don't feel the punishment fits the crime here. Carncross had issues, but did the right thing by turning himself in. He was employed and came from a good family. He did deserve to do "some" state time, but 7 years was excessive in my opinion
                                          I remember seeing the crash site and thinking, wow, their are childrens toys laying all around where the truck came to rest. What if...?
                                          We are talking about a 3000 lb. bulley winding recklessly down wet roads at high speeds. I think the adrenaline rush got the best of both Craig and James.
                                                          Posted on Carncross case headed to Court of Appeals for review on May 23, 2009, 8:50 AM

                                          Yet another black eye for the foster parenting program. I say leave them in the ghetto.
                                            Posted on Tires slashed on 37 vehicles in Baldwinsville; arrests to be made next week, police say on 05/09/09, 10:47 AM

                                          Whats the over/under on homie having a few bastard kids?
                                                  Posted on, man, 18, walks in to University Hospital with two gunshot wounds on April 29, 2009, 7:18 AM

                                          We have a female County Executive, a black Governor and a black President. Its time to stop the bullshit. Wake up people!
                                                    posted on Assembly members want prevailing wage requirement for harbor project on April 23, 2009, 9:36 PM

                                          This is certainly an interesting thread.
                                          When I went to college (SUNY system) they had clubs for Blacks, Jews and Hispanics,. Money was given to these clubs for concerts, picnics, field trips and dances. Their were NO exclusive clubs for my race.
                                          When I graduated, I took the NYS Police exam. It was my dream job and all I ever wanted to be since childhood. I scored a near perfect, 99%
                                          I was a college athelete, and had a 4 yr. college degree in Criminal Justice
                                          I never even received an interview, because I was a white male. I was told by ranking officials that they were only going to hire minorities due to strict quotas. Was I didcriminated against?
                                          I had a dream too, but it was squashed because I was WHITE!
                                                        Posted on OCC plans Black History Month events on Februart 01, 2009, 11:09 pm

                                          I really cant believe some of the rediculous posts here. I have raced cars myself for many years. I know Rich personally and he is a great family man and person. Last I knew he was working at New Venture and racing was his hobby; like golf is to others.
                                          As for the redneck referrance, so be it. I have been a Law Enforcement professional for nearly 20 years, Have a 4 year degree, SU season tickets etc. Point is, the racers and fans are everyday people. Good Americans. You shouldt be so quick to judge others. God Speed Rich!
                                          -Joe Price
                                                  Posted on Serious crash injures Brewerton Speedway driver on May 31, 2008, 10:14 AM

                                          I am a firm believer in , You reap what you sew!
                                          If anything, our self-cleaning oven needs a gigher gear.
                                          Show me an innocent victim without a rapsheet, and I will show some compassion. I will save my prayers for sick children, American soldiers and the good productive people in our society.
                                                Posted on Syracuse man succumbs to head wound suffered in shooting on May 31, 2009, 10:23 AM

                                          Monday, September 20, 2010

                                          Broncos Receiver Allegedly Commits Suicide

                                          by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

                                          Denver Broncos Wide Receiver Kenny McKinley was only 23 years old this year. He was also found dead in his apartment. McKinley appears to have died from a suicide, according to initial reports.
                                          "Although the death of McKinley appears to be the result of a self inflicted gunshot, the investigation into this matter, conducted by the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office and the Arapahoe County Coroner's Office, is on-going, " Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said.

                                          Click to read.

                                          Dr. Boyce Watkins: CNN’s Big Mistake on the Black Wealth Gap: Black in America

                                          by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

                                          I was recently checking out some of CNN's special, "Black in America," the show they seem to do once a year. In the series, African Americans are analyzed like lab rats in a cage, with producers highlighting every dysfunction imaginable, as if we have a monopoly on counter productive behavior. Although I've always had a good relationship with CNN, I can barely stomach some of what I see. This is not to say that black folks are perfect: but the idea that we are somehow less perfect than whites is nothing short of paternalistic, White Supremacist thinking.
                                          The segment that threw me through the roof was one covering the wealth gap between blacks and whites. In this particular Black in America segment, CNN shows that the wealth gap between blacks and whites is $28,000 to $140,000, with whites being the leaders. They then go on to state that African Americans save and invest less than whites. I give a "check" on most of these numbers, I have no problem with the data.


                                          Click to read.

                                          What Defines a Black Relationship? Part 2

                                          by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 


                                          This is the second part of my interview with author Jamilah B. Creekmur. I enjoyed speaking with Jamilah and I found her book, "Raised by the Mistress," to be a compelling layout of what it might be like to be the child of "the other woman." I recommend taking a look at Jamilah's book and watching the interview. I think you'll enjoy what you see.

                                          Click to read.

                                          Sunday, September 19, 2010

                                          Dr. Boyce Video – The Latest from AOL Black Voices

                                          The Today Show Owes Black People an Apology: “Spook Music,” Really?

                                          by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

                                          I was in New York doing what I try to do best: show up for my little girls and support them in their endeavors. My daughter had a volleyball game at her university and I was pumped for the event. Although I do all I can to stay away from work when I am with my kids, I couldn't help but sneak away to appear on one of my favorite radio shows, "The Main Line" on 98.7 Kiss FM.
                                          During the show, we discussed all the usual topics for a hot blooded Sunday afternoon: Politics, news, African American issues, Obama and more. Toward the end of the show, someone made mention of Robert Plant's appearance on The Today Show. My first thought was, "Who in the heck is Robert Plant and why does he matter?" It only took me a couple of seconds to figure out the answer to both of those questions.


                                          Click to read.

                                          Friday, September 17, 2010

                                          Black Athletes, Charles Barkley and Agents Giving Players Money

                                          by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

                                          I'm not a huge fan of the "vast intellect" of Charles Barkley. In fact, I usually turn the volume down when he's talking. All the while, I have to admit that I am one of those people who sometimes finds myself admiring Barkley's candid nature. He's the man willing to say the things that other people wont' say, and he's usually pretty honest about it. As someone who monitors the status, actions and treatment of black athletes in America, I've paid careful attention to Sir Charles for quite a while.
                                          The world was fed a healthy dose of that Barkley honesty recently when Sir Charles decided to admit that he took money from sports agents in college. He didn't actually say that he took the money and kept it, he just said that he borrowed some money and paid it back when he got to the NBA.


                                          Click to read.

                                          Wednesday, September 15, 2010

                                          Did This Woman Throw Acid on Her Own Face and Say a Black Person Did It?

                                          by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

                                          Bethany Storro was once the target of the nation's sympathy. She is slowly becoming the target of the nation's suspicion. The 28-year old Storro, who is deaf, said that she was the victim of a random attack. According to Storro, a young black woman came up to her and said, "Hey, pretty girl," before throwing a cup of acid into her face.

                                          The attack on Storro, which allegedly took place on August 30, grabbed international headlines. She was even scheduled to appear on the Oprah Winfrey Show. That's when reporters started asking a lot of questions.

                                          According to Storro, the injuries to her nose and face did not affect her eyesight because she was wearing sunglasses. But one reporter asked her why she was wearing sunglasses when it was nearly sunset. The reporter also asked how Storro could hear what the woman was saying when she is deaf.
                                          The suspicions of the reporter were accelerated by the fact that many of the homeless people in the park on the night Storro was attacked said that she was all alone when she fell to the ground screaming. While the incident is still under investigation, it is known that Storro did cancel her scheduled appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show without giving producers a reason for her decision.


                                          Click to read.

                                          How Are Children Affected When Their Mother is the “Other Woman”?

                                          by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University

                                          One of the most interesting things about black people is that we are able to build love in some of the strangest situations. I had a friend who introduced me to her "grandmother." Now, although I thought this woman was actually a relative, she was not. She never married or had a child with my friend's actual grandfather. Instead, she'd had a long-term affair with my friend's grandfather and simply took care of his kids as her own. The man had a relationship with his wife and an even more meaningful relationship with the mistress, and everyone accepted this as a default state of being.

                                          While the adults might be comfortable with what some would define to be an uncomfortable situation, no one ever really asks the kids what they think. The parents do their dirt for years, thinking that the kids are too young to understand what's going on, then two decades later, the questions start coming. That's when parents either find out that their kids understood more than they were letting on, or that their children's perception of reality was quite different from that of either parent.


                                          Click to read.

                                          African American Scholars Boyce Watkins and Christopher Metzler Debate Bush Tax Cuts on MSNBC

                                           Video thumbnail. Click to play

                                          Click to Play

                                          Black Scholars Dr. Boyce Watkins and Dr. Christopher Metzler Discuss "Keeping The Bush Tax Cuts" on CNBC

                                          Dr. Boyce Panel Explores Problems with Hip Hop Music


                                          by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

                                          I'm a huge fan of hip hop music. In fact, I didn't even start to like music until hip hop came along. I will continue to be a fan of hip hop music, but as a black scholar, I feel that part of my job is to ask questions that we may need to answer as a society.
                                          The question for today is, "What's wrong with hip hop music?" Perhaps the question I've asked is presumptuous, since many of us don't see a problem at all. I've sat in the car for hours with my teenage daughters, listening to one song after another, each of them returning to basically the same themes: Money, sex, weapons or drugs.



                                          Click to read.

                                          Varnette Honeywood, Artist for The Cosby Show, Dies


                                          by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 


                                          Varnette Honeywood was the artist who gave life to The Cosby Show. Her paintings covered the walls of the Huxtable home, adding flare to those colorful sweaters Cliff seemed to love. While not everyone is in agreement on their love for Cliff's sweaters, there's no denying that Honeywood's art was anything less than "tha bomb."
                                          Sadly, Honeywood's life has ended at the young age of 59 years old. She'd been battling cancer for the last two years, finally succumbing to the disease. Now, the world is just a little less colorful than it was before.


                                          Click to read.

                                          Reggie Bush Sends the Heisman Trophy Back – I’m glad he did it

                                          by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

                                          I am not sure if Reggie Bush has ever read a word I've written. But after I mentioned last week that I felt Bush should give the Heisman trophy back, I was proud to see that he gave it away. Again, I am not one to say that he gives a you-know-what about anything I might say in public, but I can certainly say that I am proud.
                                          Bush gave the Heisman trophy back this week after rampant speculation regarding whether or not he received inappropriate benefits during his time at USC. The speculation was bothersome to me, primarily because Reggie Bush was a human highlight film who earned millions for the NCAA and the university. The idea that they would even consider taking his Heisman Trophy after he'd given the NCAA so much was nothing short of offensive. If a man earns millions of dollars for you and you get angry because he took a few thousand to give his mother a place to live, then you've clearly got a problem with your value system.
                                          Bush's statement about giving the Heisman back is below:


                                          Click to read.

                                          Tuesday, September 14, 2010

                                          Black Relationships Don’t Work, Why is That?

                                          by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

                                          One consistent topic of conversation within the African American community is the state of our relationships. We see scores of people choosing to get together, but they don't always want to stay together. Many of our children don't have mothers and fathers, but are granted a pile of baby's mamas and baby daddies. Some of the men aren't paying child support, and some of the women aren't making good choices when deciding who to sleep with. What's the problem?

                                          Click to read more.

                                          Monday, September 13, 2010

                                          Police Caught beating a Black Man on Tape

                                          by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

                                          A video showing Philadelphia police officers beating a man for nearly two minutes has taken the Internet by storm. The incident is so shocking that the video has received thousands of views, and has also sparked an internal investigation by Philadelphia police.

                                          The incident occurred in West Philadelphia and is two and a half minutes long. The officers are accused of attacking 29-year old Askia Sabur outside a takeout restaurant in the area on Friday. What is also interesting is that most of the officers appearing in the video are African American, reminding us that the power of the state is not just a white and black thing.

                                          Allegedly, officers asked Sabur and his cousin to clear the corner, but they refused, stating that they were waiting for their food. Lt. Frank Vanore, a police spokesman, claims that Sabur knocked one of the officers down. But he alleges that this occurred before the Youtube video was recorded.


                                          Click to read.

                                          HBCU To Have Its Art Collection Taken by the State?

                                          Saturday, September 11, 2010

                                          Famous Black Scholar Ronald Walters Dies

                                          by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

                                          I woke up today to find that the sun would shine a little bit less brightly than it did the day before. The first email I read was one telling me that Ronald Walters, a noted black Political Scientist at The University of Maryland, had died. He was 72 years old.

                                          Dr. Walters was the director of the African American Leadership Institute. He was also the Campaign Manager for the presidential run of Rev. Jesse Jackson in 1984. I knew Ron as a mentor and friend. He was also on the faculty here at Syracuse University at one point in his career, long before my own. He was one of the most respectable and accomplished black scholars I've ever met, and he was appreciated by nearly everyone. His advice on leadership, activism and black empowerment was second to none.

                                          I reached out to a few friends to get their takes on Professor Walters and many of them were very happy to reply. They were saddened to see the end of Ron's life and career, but most of them understood the urgency of continuing his meaningful work. I haven't been able to catch up with Rev. Jesse Jackson yet, but I'll be on his show Sunday morning. Ron and I have been on Rev. Jackson's show together in the past, and few people were impacted more by Dr. Walters than Rev. Jackson himself.


                                          Click to read.

                                          Friday, September 10, 2010

                                          Venus, Serena and Tiger Have No Black Successors: What’s the Problem?

                                          by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

                                          Most of us can appreciate, on one level or another, the tremendous achievements of Tiger Woods, Venus Williams and her little sister, Serena. They have all been, in one way or another, a tremendous source of pride for the African American community. Much of the reason we are so proud of them is because they've dominated like no other in sports that are not typically played by "us." I am personally more impressed with the Williams sisters than with Tiger, in large part because they've made it into a family affair, and seem to more directly embrace the idea of making their success into a "black thing." Tiger, on the other hand, seems to want to make his success into a "Caublinasian thing." I admittedly can't get with that.


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                                          Dr. Boyce Scholarship in Action: Panel of Experts Discusses Black Relationships and Marriages

                                          by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

                                          I have a theory that I've wondered would hold up to empirical scrutiny. My theory is that there are quite a few women who might be willing to settle for part of a good man rather than having 100% of a mediocre man. For example, men like Tiger Woods might have more girlfriends than most of us can count, and some would wonder if any of those women expect him to be committed to just one person. Not to say that I condone one lifestyle over another, but we all know how things go down in the real world.


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                                          Thursday, September 9, 2010

                                          Black Marriage and the Dwight Howard Divorce: What This Tells Us About How We Raise Our Kids

                                          by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

                                          One of my favorite films of all-time was "War of the Roses," starring Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner. In the film, a divorced couple starts down a dangerous and hilarious path of mutual destruction, where the goal of each is to make the other person's life miserable. At the end of the movie, both parties find that while it was their goal to destroy the other person, they actually ended up destroying themselves. Just for the record, each character dies at the end.

                                          I think about "War of the Roses" when I see the custody battle between NBA star Dwight Howard and his ex-wife, Royce Reed. Of course I don't expect anyone to end up dead, but it's already clear that Royce and Dwight have made each other's lives as miserable as possible. Royce recently called the cops after Dwight picked up her son from daycare at a time when he was not scheduled to do so. Before that, Dwight had filed a lawsuit against Royce for referring to him as a "douchebag" on the TV show, "Basketball Wives.

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                                          Tuesday, September 7, 2010

                                          Open Letter to Emmy Committee by Actress Regina King

                                          Since the Emmy ceremony, I have been going back and forth about whether or not I should compose this letter. I try hard in my daily life not to engage in uncomfortable situations regarding race. But sometimes it's very difficult to find other reasons that better explain why certain events play out the way they do. It is impossible for me to ignore the published statistics regarding the number of people of color mentioned, celebrated or honored in the history of the televised Emmys. Up to and including this year, there have been only 53 non-white actorsnominated for Emmys out of nearly 1,000 possible nominations in the top four acting categories for drama and comedy.

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                                          Monday, September 6, 2010

                                          Black Unemployment Skyrockets in August

                                          by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

                                          This weekend, I was on the radio with Rev. Jesse Jackson. He'd just completed a march in Detroit, for jobs, peace and justice, only to find that his SUV was stolen upon arrival. But when I asked him if he was OK, his response was quite telling of the leader that he is: He simply said that the car doesn't matter at all when there are so many people suffering across America.
                                          Well, the nation-wide suffering for African Americans has just intensified with the recent unemployment data delivered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It's most recent report showed that while white unemployment only went up from 8.6 percent to 8.7 percent, black unemployment went up from 15.6 percent to 16.3 percent. This increase of seven percent is at a rate that is 700 percent of the increase of white Americans.


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                                          Friday, September 3, 2010

                                          African American Athletes, Hip Hop and Handguns: What Up with That?

                                          by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

                                          Shaun Rogers, a Defensive Tackle for the Cleveland Browns, was fined $400,000 by the league for violating its personal conduct policy. Rogers was caught carrying a loaded gun inside an airport. The fine represents approximately 1/17th of his $6.9 million salary.
                                          Some would say that Rogers got off easy, since it would have been no surprise to see him either suspended or sent to jail. The player was caught carrying a loaded semi-automatic handgun in his carry-on bag at Hopkins International Airport. There's no indication regarding whether or not he realized that TSA agents actually have the ability to see inside of someone's luggage with their x-ray machine. It's hard to imagine what he might have been thinking.

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                                          Thursday, September 2, 2010

                                          The Economic Suffering of Detroit – Julianne Malveaux Featured in AOL Black Voices

                                          by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Scholarship in Action 

                                          This week, Bennett College President and prominent black scholar Dr. Julianne Malveaux wrote a strongly-worded article about the economic suffering taking place in the city of Detroit. In the article, Malveaux describes Detroit as Ground Zero for the black economic experience over the past two years.
                                          "Only one in four young black men graduates from high school in Detroit. The rest are lost and left out, swallowed by a city where urban blight, industrial desertion, and educational failure define daily life. Detroit is ground zero, exemplifying the absolute worst of urban life."
                                          Dr. Malveaux goes on to highlight the problems that are caused in our communities by decaying schools and poor investment in urban infrastructure. She mentions that President Obama was quick to support the automakers in Detroit, yet there are quite a few urban citizens of the city who have yet to feel relief.

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                                          Wednesday, September 1, 2010

                                          Crack Vs. Powder – Why Don’t States Make the Change?

                                          by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University  - Scholarship in Action 

                                          Years ago when the federal government produced disparities in sentencing of crack vs. powder cocaine, many states followed suit. As a result, the black community was devastated with Draconian prison sentences, in which individuals with barely enough crack to weigh were given dozens of years in prison.
                                          The federal government finally came to its senses and changed the law, making it marginally more equitable than it was before. The problem is that many states have not yet made the same change.
                                          The arguments used to justify longer sentences are that the crack trade creates more crime and that the drug is more addictive than powder. Also, the tougher sentences were imposed in 1986, when basketball star Len Bias died from an overdose. It was originally reported that Bias had smoked crack, but a teammate later testified that Bias had snorted powder cocaine instead.

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                                          Explaining Money to Kids – Why This is Very Important

                                          by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

                                          Given that our children are likely our greatest expense and greatest love, perhaps it might be helpful to discuss how we teach them about money.  If you raise your kids to be financially responsible, they can be assets to you during retirement.  If they are taught about money in the wrong way, they become horrible economic liabilities that leave you riddled with guilt.  So, although I don’t claim to know everything about child rearing, I thought I’d share some guidelines you might want to consider when it comes to teaching your kids about money.


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