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"I do not expect the white media to create a positive black-male image." -
Huey P. Newton
The NorthStar News & Analysis -
October 20, 2011
Proposed Medicaid Cuts Would Leave Blacks In Need Of A Big Band Aid
Frederick H. Lowe
Proposed cuts in Medicaid funding would affect disproportionately African Americans, who depend on the program for regular treatment of chronic diseases, according to a study by Families USA and endorsed by several groups, including the NAACP, The Urban League Policy Institute, National Medical Association and the Joint Center for Political Economic Studies.
Medicaid, which was created on July 30, 1965, is a state- and federally funded program administered by the states. It is the largest source of funding for medical and health-related services for adults, their children and individuals with disabilities who live on modest fixed incomes. Each participating state matches the federal government's contribution. The federal government gives more funds to poorer states and fewer dollars to wealthier ones.
President Barack Obama in September proposed $320 billion in cuts to Medicaid and Medicare, a social insurance social program administered by the federal government that provides health insurance coverage to people who are 65 and older, to reduce the federal budget deficit by $3 trillion over the next 10 years.
The White House has proposed cutting Medicaid by $73 billion, but a study found that if such cuts were enacted they would have a devastating effect on African Americans and Latinos who depend heavily on Medicaid.
"While Medicaid covers many more white people, because black and Latinos tend to have lower incomes than whites, they are more than twice as likely to rely on Medicaid for health coverage," reported the study "Medicaid: A Lifeline for Blacks and Latinos With Serious Health Care Needs." " In both black and Latino communities, a little more than one in four people relies on Medicaid for their health care; in contrast, Medicaid covers fewer than one in eight whites."
Statistics support these findings.
More than one in five African Americans, or an estimated 141,000 individuals nationally, rely on Medicaid for the ongoing treatment of cancer. Nearly 24.4 percent or 778,000 diabetics and 37 percent or 1.4 million chronic lung disease sufferers rely on Medicaid. Some 21.6 percent or 1.9 million African Americans who suffer from heart disease or have had a stroke also rely Medicaid.
"As policymakers consider sharp cutbacks in the Medicaid program, this report brings an important potential consequence of the of their actions to the table—cutting Medicaid will likely hit hardest at communities of color and, in particular, those who depend on the program to manage and treat their chronic illnesses," said Ralph B. Everett, president and CEO of the Joint Center, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank for black-elected officials.
Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, called Medicaid a vital lifeline in protecting the health and well-being of lower-income Americans.
The Lewin Group, a Falls Church, Va.-based health care consulting firm, compiled the report for Families USA, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization dedicated to affordable health care.
Heart Disease Declines Among All Segments Of U.S. Population, Except Among Blacks
Taylor Media Services
--Although it remains the nation’s number one killer, the prevalence of coronary heart disease is declining throughout the United States--with one exception, African Americans. This is according to a report released last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), based in Atlanta.The report, titled "Prevalence of Coronary Heart Disease--United States, 2006-2010," included extensive data based on age, sex, race/ethnicity, education and state of residence.
Here are some of the findings. The greatest declines in heart disease occurred among whites. Their heart disease rates dropped from 6.4 percent in 2006 to 5.8 percent in 2010. Hispanics also realized a significant decline during the same period as their rates of heart disease dropped from 6.9 percent to 6.1 percent.
However, heart disease actually increased among blacks, if only slightly, rising from 6.4 percent to 6.5 percent during the period cited. In addition, those worst off were American Indians/Alaska natives. Their heart coronary heart rate was a whopping 11.6 percent. Women in all groups tended to have lower heart disease rates than men, 4.6 percent compared to 7.8 percent for men.
There are a number of factors associated with high rates of heart disease. These factors include genetics and lifestyle habits, such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, a history of diabetes and indulging in a high fat diet. Both high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels have been confirmed as risk factors for heart disease.
President Barack Obama
Report: Press Is Running A Negative Media Campaign Against Obama
Frederick H. Lowe
President Barack Obama lately has been battered in public opinion polls, and it could be because the media has published more negative stories about him than any other candidate for president, according to report released by Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism.
Pew Research tracked more than 10,000 news outlets, and hundreds of thousands of blogs during the first five months of the 2012 presidential race, and the study found that President Obama received "the most unrelentingly negative treatment of the all the candidates."
"Negative assessments of Obama have outweighed the positive by a ratio of almost 4-1. Those assessments of the president have also been substantially more negative than positive every one of the 23 weeks studied. And in no week during these five months was more than 10 percent of the coverage about the president positive in tone, according to the report titled, "How News Media and Blogs Have Eyed the Presidential Contenders During the First Phase of the 2012 Race."
The study found that 9 percent of the news coverage of the president was positive compared with 34 percent, which was negative. Fifty-seven percent was neutral. But most of the news coverage was negative. Negative assertions were those that contained clearly negative evaluations about the candidate, their chances or raised concerns about their fitness for office in some way, Pew Research said.
"In each of the 23 weeks studied, his [President Obama's] negative coverage exceeded his positive coverage by more than 20 percentage points," the study found. "And in none of those weeks did his negative coverage fall below 30 percent. The tone of Obama's coverage on blogs, while still overwhelmingly negative, was slightly better—14 percent positive and 36 percent negative."
On the other hand, Texas Gov. Rick Perry received the most coverage and the most-positive coverage by the news media, the study found. "Positive coverage about his candidacy in the news media outweighed negative 32 percent to 20 percent, and the remaining assessments were neutral."
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney received mixed treatment. Some 26 percent of the coverage was positive compared with 27 percent, which was negative. Businessman and radio talk show host Herman Cain received more positive coverage than negative. U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R., Minn.) coverage was more positive than negative coverage as did former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, although she often complained about treatment by media.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty both endured negative coverage virtually every week. Pawlenty dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination. Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorium, former Utah Gov. John Huntsman and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R., Texas), generated modest amounts of news coverage, which was both positive and negative.
Pew's Project for Research in Excellence in Journalism analyzed coverage from 52 news outlets, including newspapers, cable news, broadcast television, the 12 most-popular news websites in the country, radio news and three talk show personalities.
U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr.
House Committee Resumes Investigation Of U. S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr.
The U. S. House Ethics Committee announced Tuesday that it will resume its investigation of U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D., IL) for allegedly agreeing to raise campaign funds for Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich in exchange for Blagojevich appointing Jackson to fill President Barack Obama's vacant U.S. Senate seat.
The committee, which is chaired by U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner (R., Ala.) had deferred its investigation of Rep. Jackson at the request of the U.S. Justice Department. But the Justice Department has since withdrawn its request, and on Oct. 13, 2011, the committee voted to end the deferral period.
"The chairman and ranking member, Linda Sanchez (D., Calif.), have jointly decided to extend the matter regarding Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr., which was transmitted to the committee by the Office of Congressional Ethnics on Aug. 6, 2009, and deferred," Ethics Committee members said in a statement.
Committee members have investigated whether Jackson or someone acting for him agreed to raise campaign funds for then-Gov. Blagojevich. The former governor has since been convicted of corruption charges and is scheduled to be sentenced to prison.
Jackson has admitted that he was one several candidates Blagojevich was considering for President Obama's U. S. Senate seat. Jackson, however, has denied that he agreed to raise $1.5 million for Blagojevich if he picked him for the job.
Two years ago, Jackson said, "As I've said from the beginning, I have done nothing wrong, nor have I been accused of doing anything wrong." The committee will announce its course of action on the matter before Dec. 2, 2011, committee members said in a statement.
Jackson is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and the son of Jesse Jackson, Sr. Voters in Illinois' Second Congressional District first elected Jackson to Congress in 1995.
News Analysis: Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 Tax Plan May Mean 6-6-6 For The Poor
Taylor Media Services
--Since he has been doing surprisingly well in the debates and in recent public opinion polls, black candidate for the Republican presidential nomination Herman Cain’s tax plan warrants closer scrutiny. Cain claims his “9-9-9” tax proposal is simple and is a “bold plan to grow this economy.”
The plan is indeed simple. It calls for a flat 9 percent individual income tax rate, a 9 percent corporate tax rate and a 9 percent national sales tax. It is also bad news for the average working American as well as the nation’s poor. It clearly reveals that Cain is a typical look-out-for-the-interests-of-the-rich corporate Republican. His “9-9-9” plan would lessen even further the tax burden on the wealthy while shifting an undue share of responsibility onto the backs of the middle class and the poor.
The wealthiest Americans would be the immediate beneficiaries of “9-9-9.” The top corporate tax rate would fall from the current 35 percent to 9 percent. Meanwhile, the 47 percent of Americans who currently pay no income tax because their earnings are too low would suddenly be faced with paying 9 percent of their income to the federal tax man. In addition, the 9 percent national sales tax proposal would also fall regressively to the middle class and the poor.
The plan is a dream come true for Ronald Reagan-style free market conservatives. Cain relied heavily on Wells Fargo investment advisor Rich Lowrie in developing the plan. Lowrie is a staunch “supply-side” economic conservative who worships at the feet of wealthy corporate America. He serves on the advisory board of the American Conservative Union and he is involved with the Ohio chapter of Americans for Prosperity, a group funded by the infamous conservative billionaires the Koch brothers.
Thus, there is little surprise that a plan influenced heavily by Lowrie would so clearly favor the rich at the expense of the middle class and the poor. In a recently published paper, University of Southern California law professor Edward D. Kleinbard explains that the plan operates by “drastically increasing taxes on the working poor and middle class and reducing income taxes going forward on the rich.”
The bottom line is that Cain’s “9-9-9” tax plan is not just simple; it is simplistic and unfair to average working people while catering to the already wealthy.
Employment-Population Ratio Improves Slightly For Black Men
The employment-population ratio for the black men 20 years old and older improved slightly in September compared with August, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in early October.
In September, the employment-population ratio for black men was 56.8 percent compared with 56.1 in August, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The employment-population ratio represents the percentage of the working age population that is employed and it can be interpreted as the probability that a member of the population is employed, according to the Labor Department.
The data captures employment prospects better than the unemployment rate since jobless individuals who are not in the labor force, such as discouraged workers, are not calculated in the unemployment rate. Some individuals might not be employed because they are full-time students, retirees, homemakers or disabled.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for black men 20 years old and older in September was 16.8 percent, down from 18 percent in August.
The employment-population ratio for black women 20 years old and older also improved in September compared with August. Black women's employment-population ratio was 54.9 percent in September compared with 54 percent in August.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for black women was 13.2 percent in September, down from 13.4 percent in August. Among black teens 16 years old and older, the employment ratio also improved to 52.1 percent in September from 51.2 percent in August, said the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Cherokee Chief Who Led Campaign To Oust Blacks From Tribe Loses Re-Election Bid
Black Cherokees Encouraged by Development
Taylor Media Services
--After successfully leading a campaign to oust blacks from the Cherokee Nation, controversial Cherokee chief Chad “Corntassel” Smith last week lost his re-election bid to continue heading the 300,000-member Indian nation. He was defeated by Bill John Baker, a man many black Cherokee consider more sympathetic to their cause. Baker received 10,633 votes to Smith's 9,099 votes, according to the Cherokee Nation, which is based in Tahlequah, Okla. The nation certified the election results on Sept. 19.
The blacks in question are the descendants of African Americans who either escaped slavery and found refuge with the Cherokee tribes of the South or were actually held as slaves by the Cherokee. An 1866 treaty between the Cherokee and the federal government allowed the blacks to become citizens of the Cherokee nation giving them “all the rights of native Cherokee.”
A 2007 special vote changed that. Black Cherokee, known as Freemen, have deemed the vote akin to “racism and apartheid.” The vote also denied blacks any claim to the $36 million in gambling receipts and a share in the aid received by the tribe from the federal government. Technically, the 300,000 Cherokee are a separate nation within the United States with the right to determine who is allowed into the tribe as a citizen.
The action came on the heels of the recent upholding by the Cherokee Supreme Court of a 2007 special vote, amending the Cherokee constitution. That vote, in effect, denied citizenship to anyone who could not prove his or her Cherokee ancestry.
President Obama and daughter, Malia,
at the dedication ceremony.
Thousands Attend Delayed Dedication Of National Memorial To Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Issues of “Blackness” and Racism Create Some Discord
Taylor Media Services
--Thousands of people, including President Barack Obama, attended Sunday’s dedication of a national monument to civil rights movement leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Organizers estimated that 50,000 people were present at the dedication.
Those gathered heard from President Obama, who credited King with helping pave his way to becoming America’s first black president, saying “He pushed the nation forward. He had faith in us. And that is why he belongs on the national mall---because he saw what we might become.”
During the ceremony, there were presentations from of host of veteran civil rights activists, including Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., and Rev. Al Sharpton. Aretha Franklin sang and Nikki Giovanni read her poem, “In the Spirit of King.” Also present were several members of King’s family, including his older sister, Christine King Farris, and two of his children, Rev. Denise King and Martin Luther King, III.
In his remarks, Martin III chose to emphasize his father’s concern about economic injustice, saying “The Dream has not yet been realized” and charging that the nation “has lost its soul when it tolerates vast disparities between the rich and the poor.”
The speeches were followed by applause and cheers. The president was received most enthusiastically. There was, however, a note of discord regarding the monument itself. The monument bears 14 quotes from Dr. King, carved in stone. But none of them uses the words “black” or “racism.”
Social commentator Dr. Boyce Watkins wrote in his blog that he was specifically told that the organizers did not want race to be a factor in the dedication ceremony and that they wanted the monument “to go beyond race.”
The dedication was held last weekend because an earlier scheduled ceremony was postponed in August because of
Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Luke J. Weathers, Jr.
Tuskegee Airmen And Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Luke J. Weathers, Jr., Dies
Funeral services will be held on Oct. 29 in Memphis, Tenn., for Tuskegee Airmen and Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Luke J. Weathers, Jr., who was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for shooting down two German fighters that attacked the Army Air Force bombers Weathers was escorting during World War II.
Lt. Col. Weathers died Oct. 15 in Tucson, Ariz. He was 90 years old, and he will be buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.
The Tuskegee Airmen is the popular name of a group of black pilots who fought in World War II. They were the first blacks in the U.S. military to pilot planes, and they were known as 332nd Fighter Group and 447th Bombardment Group of the U. S. Army Air Corps. The Tuskegee Program officially began in June 1941 at the Tuskegee Institute, a Historically Black College in Tuskegee, Ala. In addition to pilots, the Tuskegee Airmen included navigators, bombardiers, maintenance and support staff, instructors and all personnel who supported the planes in the air.
A native of Memphis, Lt. Col. Weathers graduated from high school in 1939. He attempted to enlist in the U.S. Army as a cadet, but a sergeant, who worked at one of the city's enlistment offices refused to accept his application, telling Weathers that "Negroes cannot fly."
Weathers eventually found his way to the mayor's office, and he asked the mayor for help. The mayor was initially reluctant to do anything for the lad, but the city's top elected official read an article about the Tuskegee Airmen that Weathers had brought with him during their meeting. The mayor made several calls to Washington, D.C., and Weathers was on his way.
"I wanted to fight, but fight with dignity," he told Pinnacle Airlines Corp., a Memphis-based regional carrier, in 2004. After graduating from flight training, Weathers was commissioned a lieutenant and deployed to Italy with the 332nd Fighter Group, also known as the Red Tails because the tails of the P-47 fighter planes were painted red.
He flew 71 missions throughout Europe in the 14 months he served there. A German fighter shot his plane down during a mission over Greece. Weathers parachuted out of the plane, landed safely and escaped capture by Germans with the help of Greek partisans. During the war, Lt. Col. Weathers is credited with destroying seven enemy aircraft.
After his overseas' tour ended, the Army Air Corps promoted him to captain, and he returned to Tuskegee as a flight instructor. He served as a Tuskegee Airmen from 1942 to 1945, and he remained in the Air Force 23 years before retiring. He also worked for the Federal Aviation Administration in an administrative job before retiring in 1985. In 2007, President George W. Bush awarded Weathers and 300 Tuskegee Airmen the Congressional Gold Medal.
A Hero In Memphis' Black Community, Which Raised More Than $1 Million For The War Effort
Memphis was proud of its native son. June 25 was called "Capt. Luke Weathers Day," and a parade was held in honor that went down Beale Street before ending in Handy Park.
Memphis' African-American community also played a strong role in the war effort. Lt. George Washington Lee, one of the few black military officers serving during World War I, and other African-American civic and business leaders organized a war bond drive, raising $303,000, the amount needed to build a B-24 Consolidated Liberator Bomber, which was named "The Spirit of Beale Street," according to research uncovered by Pinnacle.
In 2004, Pinnacle Airlines named its 100th Canadair Regional Jet the "Spirit Beale Street," and Lt. Col. Weathers christened the plane. In total, the Memphis' black community raised $1.5 million for the war effort.
Lt. Col. Weathers, who was born Dec. 16, 1920, in Grenada, Miss., is survived by his wife, Jacqueline, five children, 10 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
The NorthStar News & Analysis Briefs
Police Arrest Man For Slapping Chicago Bears Star
Des Plaines, IL, police on Friday arrested Daniel Rago for slapping star Chicago Bears kickoff returner and wide receiver Devin Hester on the back of the head for no reason. Hester was standing in the cashier's line at a casino located in the Chicago suburb when Rago hit him. A video camera recorded the incident, and police arrested the 52-year-old Rago, charging him with a misdemeanor count of battery. Rago later apologized, but he added insult to injury when he explained that he slapped Hester like he would slap his own son. Before the incident, the two men did not know each other. Rago is white and Hester is African American. Rago, who lives in Mt. Prospect, IL, said he hit Hester because the football player was crowding in the line, but there is no evidence showing that occurred. Rago also said he had been drinking.
Lawyers File Lawsuit, Opposing Florida's Voter Restriction Law
The Lawyers ' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and its partners have filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., challenging a new Florida law that erects barriers to voting and voter registration for African Americans and Hispanics. "We are joining this court action to oppose Florida's anti-voter law, which is a step backward for civil rights," said Deirdre Mcnab, president of the League of Women Voters of Florida."We want to ensure that the court understands that this law has very real and harmful impacts on Florida voters, and particularly on our state's minority voters." The National Council of La Raza, the Brennan Center for Justice and Bryan Cave LLP, an international law firm based in St. Louis, also have joined the lawsuit.
Clarence S. Green, MD.
(see Oct. 22, 1953)
This Week in Black History
October 22 to October 28
1906 – Three thousand blacks demonstrated and rioted in Philadelphia to protest a theatrical production of Thomas Dixon’s racist play, “The Clansman.” The play essentially praised the Ku Klux Klan while demeaning blacks.
1936 – Black Panther Party co-founder Bobby Seale is born in Dallas.
1953 – Clarence S. Green, MD., becomes the first African-American certified as a neurosurgeon surgeon in the United States.
2009 – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issues a devastating report, revealing the number of new HIV/AIDS infections was declining for all population groups except gay males. Of all groups of gay men, the highest infection rate was found among young black males aged 13 to 24.
1775 – The Continental Congress approves a resolution barring free blacks from the army fighting for American independence from England. The resolution was upheld even though many free blacks were already fighting in the war. The motive behind the resolution came from Southern slave colonies that feared that by fighting in the war for American independence, blacks would also demand an end to slavery.
1911 – The National Urban League is formed. The NAACP was founded in 1909, thus the National Urban League becomes the second oldest and second largest black self-help organization in America. It resulted from the merger of three organizations.
1947 – The NAACP files an “Appeal to the World” with the newly founded United Nations. The appeal condemned racial injustice in America. For its day, the filing was a bold move on the part of the NAACP and it angered many liberal and conservative whites.
1892 – Over 25,000 black workers are said to have joined a workers strike in New Orleans to protest working conditions, lynching and other social ills.
1935 – Fascist Italy invades Ethiopia. At the time, Ethiopia was one of only two independent countries in Africa. U.S. blacks were among thousands protesting worldwide. Powerful Harlem pastor Adam Clayton Powell, Sr., was among those seeking aid for Ethiopia. Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie spoke at his church.
1935 – “Mulatto” opens on Broadway in New York City. The play, written by famed black poet Langston Hughes, becomes the first long-run black play on Broadway.
1948 – Kweisi Mfume is born Frizzel Gray in Baltimore. He became a congressman and head of the NAACP, but later lost a bid for a seat in the U. S. Senate.
1964 – The African nation of Zambia becomes independent from white colonial rule.
1940 – Black newspaper owner’s group, the NNPA (Negro Newspaper Publishers Association), is founded.The group later changed its name to the National Newspaper Publishers Association.
1940 – Benjamin O. Davis, Sr. becomes the first black general in the U.S. Army.
1958 – An estimated 10,000 students led by Jackie Robinson, Harry Belafonte, and labor leader A. Phillip Randolph, participate in a youth march for integrated schools in Washington, D.C.
1976 – One-time racist Governor George Wallace grants a full pardon to Clarence “Willie” Norris, the last known survivor of the nine “Scottsboro Boys.” The group of black men had been framed in a 1931 conviction for allegedly raping two white women.
1994 - Apparently believing it would be easy to frame a black man for the crime, Susan Smith, a white woman from Union, S.C., claims that a black carjacker had driven off with her two sons. Her story became a national sensation but it later fell apart. She eventually confessed to drowning her children and was convicted of murder.
1749 - The British parliament legalizes slavery in the American colony that would become known as Georgia.
1806 - Benjamin Banneker dies at 74. He had become a recognized inventor and scientist. He also completed the design and layout of Washington, D.C. after L’Enfant returned to France.
1868 – B. F. Randolph, a prominent black politician in South Carolina after the Civil War, is assassinated. He was believed to have been killed by former Confederate soldiers seeking to re-establish white racist rule in the state via terrorist organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan.
1872 – Inventor Thomas J. Martin patents the fire extinguisher.
1911 – Famed gospel singer Mahalia Jackson is born in New Orleans. She is considered the greatest gospel singer who ever lived.
1891 – Inventor P. B. Downing patents the street letter mail box whose basic design remains in use today. Not much is known about Downing.
1960 – President John F. Kennedy intervenes to get Martin Luther King, Jr., released from the Georgia State Prison in Reidsville where he had been imprisoned because of his civil rights activities. The Kennedy action endeared him to black voters.
1981 – Former United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young is elected mayor of Atlanta, becoming the city’s second black mayor.
1798 - Levi Coffin, a white man, is born in the slave state of North Carolina but becomes a strong opponent of slavery. He and his wife Catherine are credited with being among the original founders of the “Underground Railroad,” the network of transports and safe houses that enabled blacks to escape slavery in the South to freedom in the North.
“This Week in Black History” is compiled by Robert N. Taylor. Subscribe to his free bi-weekly, “Black History Journal,” by writing to him at 1517 T Street, SE, Washington, D.C. 20020. Please enclose $3.00 to help defray postage costs.
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