Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dr. Boyce Watkins: NCAA President Agrees that Athletes Should Be Paid a Little More

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Every now and then, some families get to experience “that intervention moment.” This is when the uncle who’s been getting high, drunk and abusive every single day finally admits that he might have a problem. Of course he still minimizes the significance of his issues, but he has at least opened the door to getting the help that he needs.

For the American justice and economic systems, the NCAA is the addicted uncle. But rather than being hooked on drugs, the NCAA is addicted to the highs of capitalism and corporate greed. By being able to skirt the legal and moral parameters of our society, this professional sports league has been able to extract wealth from student athletes and the African American community to the tune of several billion dollars.

The NCAA’s new president, Mark Emmert, shocked the world when he admitted that it might be time for student athletes and their families to share in the massive revenue streams being generated by their kids. Emmert has admitted that he would like to “explore” the issue of modestly increasing the scholarship limits of student athletes in revenue-generating sports, primarily football and basketball. While remaining far from admitting that there should be significant changes, Emmert has confessed to the fact that the financial asymmetries might be a bit uncomfortable.

Click to read.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Black Men in Prison: The New Jim Crow

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 


“More African American men are in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850, before the Civil War began,” according to Michelle Alexander, a law professor at The Ohio State University. Alexander is the author of an interesting new book called “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindedness.”

According to Professor Alexander, increases in crime rates do not explain the massive growth in black male incarceration that has taken place over the last 30 years.


Click to read.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Juan Williams Says that Young Black Men Make Him Nervous

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Juan Williams, the most peculiar black journalist in America, made yet another statement that had heads turning. Williams effectively made the argument that there's nothing wrong with people saying that young black men make them nervous. In a conversation with Dr. Caroline Helmand, a professor at Occidental College, Williams stood the Fox News line by basically refuting Helman's assertion that it would be bigoted for a person to say that they clutch their purse every time a black man walks by. The dialogue went like this:

Helmand: "I happen to agree with Schiller that your comments were bigoted. I think that if I were to say that I clutch my purse every time I walk by a black man that might resonate with a lot of Americans. It might be the truth but it's a bigoted statement. I certainly wouldn't have fired you but I do think there was some truth in that video that we don't get to talk about because we are afraid to have actual discourse in this country."

Click to read.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Seminars for Fathers on How to Succeed in Family Court





According to Eric Legette, President/Founder of Fathers With Voices (FWV), there are several major reasons that separated/divorced fathers would benefit from this seminar:

75% of fathers that contact FWV complain about the legal system and also state that they will not be successful within the legal system

40% of FWV cases involve visitation rights that have been violated

50% of FWV cases involve men who want to obtain their visitation rights

80-85% of FWV cases complain about their attorneys: they have spent thousands of dollars in legal fees and yet see no progress made in their cases

Since 1996, Fathers With Voices has accomplished its mission by assisting separated/divorced fathers throughout the United States to stay involved in their children’s lives. The success of Fathers With Voices has not diminished the fact that fifteen years later even more men are facing similar challenges related to their children. The most alarming concern is hearing men state over and over their belief that fathers cannot succeed within the legal system.

Click to read.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Black Male Incarceration Crisis


One of my very good friends, Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, speaks to a panel about the mass incarceration crisis that is affecting black males.  Take a look.

Alleged Gang Rape in Texas Reminds Us of the Importance of Sharing Important Information with Our Children

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

Eighteen men (thirteen adults, five juveniles) have been charged in the rape of a young girl in Texas, according to CNN. Darrell Broussard, the assistant police chief in Cleveland, Texas told CNN that "There have been leads during our investigation that have alerted us to other possible persons of interest.  The investigation is ongoing."

The men being charged are between 18 and 27 years old and the victim is age 11.  Many of the men are reportedly students at Cleveland High School.  The incident allegedly occurred last year and has led to a racial divide in the community.   Those who were arrested are being charged with first-degree felony sexual abuse of a child and face 25-to life if convicted.

I am not one to say whether or not these men are guilty of the crime for which they are being accused (seeing their joint mug shot makes me sick to my stomach, since I’m sure the racist Texas Republicans are having a field day with this), I’ll let the courts handle that.  I do worry about whether a state like Texas, which incarcerates and executes more black men than any state in America, has the ability to provide a fair trial.  At the same time, I feel an incredible amount of sympathy for the young girl if she was indeed harmed in this way.


Click to read.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Educated Black People and the National Black Law Student Association: What I think About Both


From Dr. Boyce Watkins 

In the video below, I talk about my upcoming appearance at the National Black Law Students Association conference, as well as ways that African Americans can learn the difference between going to school and being educated.  There is also a difference between being free and being INDEPENDENT, which many educated African Americans may want to consider. 

Click to read.

Did the CIA Help Cause Drug and Gang Violence in Black America?

From Dr. Boyce Watkins – Scholarship in Action 

“For the better part of a decade, a San Francisco Bay Area drug ring sold tons of cocaine to the Crips and Bloods street gangs of Los Angeles and funneled millions in drug profits to a Latin American guerrilla army run by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, a Mercury News investigation has found.

This drug network opened the first pipeline between Colombia's cocaine cartels and the black neighborhoods of Los Angeles, a city now known as the "crack" capital of the world. The cocaine that flooded in helped spark a crack explosion in urban America . . . and provided the cash and connections needed for L.A.'s gangs to buy automatic weapons.” – San Jose Mercury News, 1996

Click to read.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Man’s Comment Compares Emanuel’s White Privilege to Barack Obama: Very Interesting


White House Photo

A reader on the Black Agenda Report said this about Rahm Emanuel as Mayor of Chicago, comparing him to President Barack Obama.  What do you think?

While I cannot predict exactly what Rahm will do in while he holds office, I can predict what he will NOT do. He will NOT appear in front of a Black audience and brag about how much he upset some members of the Jewish community by paying too much attention to "Black" interests. He will NOT repeat over and over and over again that he is not the "Jewish" or "White" mayor of Chicago. He will NOT make a grand show of avoiding being seen around or with Jewish people or with other White people.

Click to read more.

Friday, March 4, 2011

President Obama’s Speech at Miami Central High School





Miami Central High School

Miami, Florida

4:00 P.M. EST

     THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, Rockets!  (Applause.)  Thank you!  (Applause.)  Thank you, everybody.  (Applause.)  Everybody, have a seat, have a seat.  Have a seat.  It is good to be here today! (Applause.)  I'm excited!  I am thrilled to be here, Rockets.  Bonswa.  It is good to see all of you.

     I want to, first of all, thank somebody who I think is going to end up being one of the best Education Secretaries that we’ve ever had, Arne Duncan, for being here.  (Applause.)  We also have -- your congresswoman, Frederica Wilson, is here.  Give her a big round of applause.  (Applause.)


Click to read.

Dr. Phil Interviews Kelley Williams-Bolar: Why I Just Don’t Like It

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Many of you might remember the case of Kelley Williams-Bolar, the single black mother of two who was jailed for sending her children to a school that was outside their home district. Well, Dr. Phil McGraw has decided to do a show on Kelley's situation, set to air in the coming week.

Shortly after AOL Black Voices brought Kelley's case to the nation, I found that there were quite a few citizens around the country who were concerned about her situation. Millions of people around the world rallied to Kelley's defense, and and did a wonderful job of gathering hundreds of thousands of signatures on petitions that were eventually delivered to the governor of Ohio.

Click to read.

Fifth Grader Made into a “Slave” in Classroom Slave Auction

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

A black fifth grader in Gahanna, Ohio was used as a slave in a social studies class in order to teach a lesson to the children.  Since that time, the mother of the boy, Aneka Burton, has demanded an apology, citing the psychological damage that was being done to her child.  The principal at the school, Scott Schmidt of Chapelfield Elementary, called the mother to offer his most sincere apologies for the incident, stating that no harm was intended. 

According to 10-year old Nikko Burton, the students were divided into two groups:  “Slaves” and “masters,” with the other black student in class being made into a master.  The teacher then had the audacity to do a simulated slave auction, which the boy refused to be a part of.   At that point, he was sent back to his desk.

Click to read.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Ivy League Bound Black Student Dealt Drugs for Her Boyfriend: Blame it On Hip-Hop?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

I spoke this weekend to a group of aspiring college students in a group called "Black Achievers." The group invited me to speak because I talk regularly about the value of education, as well as confronting the structural obstacles that make it difficult for our kids to find success. But one thing I brought to the table that the students and their parents might not have expected is the need for us to confront the destructive elements of hip-hop culture, which teach our good kids that "keeping it real" is something that should be done at all costs, even when it causes them to lose their lives.

The reason I brought this issue to the forefront of the discussion was because of young women like Afrika Owes. Afrika is a 17-year old who was once headed to an Ivy League school. But rather than going to anyone's university, she will be spending most of her adult life in prison. Afrika was recently arrested for being part of a drug ring run by her boyfriend in prison. "Head shots only," he would tell her from behind bars, as he detailed how he wanted people to be executed.

Click to read.

ESPN Writer Says Domestic Assault Arrest was Racially-Motivated

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

ESPN baseball writer Howard Bryant's arrest has now taken a very interesting turn. Buz Eisenberg, the attorney for Bryant, claims that race was a factor in his arrest.
''Mr. Bryant was the victim of excessive force,'' Eisenberg said, according to ''Police responded to the scene and rather than do an investigation they made an arrest of a black man with a white wife."

Bryant, who is 42-years old, was charged with domestic assault and battery, as well as battery on a police officer. Five witnesses claim that they saw the writer choke his wife and force her into a car. He was freed on $5,000 bail on the same day.
Since the arrest, some things have changed. Bryant's wife, Veronique Bryant, is now claiming that Mr. Bryant never assaulted her. Thus far, ESPN has declined to comment.

Click to read.