Prince Sefa-Boakye attends Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts Forum: “Why Are We Fighting?” (50 years later)


CRA 50th
The Urban League Of Eastern Massachusetts hosted a Panel Forum “50 Years Later: Why Are We Still Fighting” to discuss Post-Civil Rights Era and Current Events. Guests including Mimi Ford, Civil Rights Activist and Wendy Wilson, Managing Editor of Ebony Magazine.

 

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Mimi Ford, was fortunate to tell her first-hand experience with us of having acid poured on her and others in a pool during the height of the Civil Rights Movement. Unfortunately, she told us that the man who committed shameful crime was not brought to justice, even till his death which was two years ago.

Here is video footage of the Panel Discussion

A big thank you to Suffolk University Law School and fellow 1L student Nehemie Cange for making this event possible.

To learn about this event and others hosted by the Urban League go to www.ulem.org. Also go to their Facebook page at facebook.com/UrbanLeagueofMassachusetts

To follow Wendy Wilson and Ebony Magazine go to www.ebonymagazine.com

For more of my photos, go to my Flickr Album: Urban League of Massachusetts CRA 50th

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Weekly Political Report: Race “Does” Matter in America (Ferguson Edition)


Each week I write a political issue that affects you and the world around you.

This week’s “Weekly Political Report”: Race “Does” Matter in America (The Ferguson Edition)

This post was inspired by my mentor Dr. Cornel West

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(Photo credit: Flickr User Joe Topichak)

mike-brown-headshot-smallerOn Aug, 9th 2014, America and the world witnessed yet again the death of another unarmed African American teenager by the hands of a law enforcer. Michael Brown, a 18 year old, was fatally shot by 28 year old police officer Darren Wilson, and has started an uproar in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri. Now in its 11th day, there has been no sign of peaceful resolution, to either curb the violence between Ferguson citizens and police officials or reduce the armory and weapons of the police force (military tanks, tear gas, etc.)

While its still unclear of what really happened between the teenager and the police officer, Americans are stilled faced with this divisive status quo:

An unarmed black male shot (multiple times) by an armed white police officer–no sugar coating.

Rather than talk about the evidence of this case or the witnesses’ accounts of what actually happened, I will instead talk about why “Race ‘Does’ Matter in America” from a political stand point and what must be done in Ferguson, Missouri (and across America) to prevent this from happening again–using concrete facts and examples.

Why Does Race Matter in America?

From a political standpoint, we are a nation of immigrants and “Race” implicitly drives the day in America–whether it be socioeconomic status, jobs, voting rights, immigration, foreign policy, the justice system, etc.. We come from different walks of life in different shapes, sizes, faiths, and shades of color. And what Americans (and citizens around the world) need to have is “perspective.” To recognize that each race has a history of discrimination, and not be so quick to “brush it off”.

This incident of Michael Brown is a tragedy and comes from a long history racial discrimination which young black men and women in America have been wrongfully targeted by law enforcement or the justice system for no reason except for the color of their skin–dating back to the Civil Rights and Segregation era. And it is because of the unwillingness of people (like the law enforcement) to not recognize this history, that we see “Race and Police Brutality” again and again in American Television–whether it be the post-Civil Rights era (like Rodney King) or today’s era (like Trayvon MartinEric Garner). The history is there, and will repeat itself until it is recognized. Brown University and other sources have published this report:

  • St. Louis. situated just below of Ferguson (where the shooting took place) is the 9th most segregated metro area in America, as of 2010. (Brown University)
  • In a town that’s over 60% black, Ferguson has: a police chief and a mayor that is white, only one city council that is black, one school board member is black, and just 3 out of 53 police officers are black. (US Census; City of Ferguson; Ferguson)
  • In 2013, Ferguson police officials have arrested 483 black people while 36 white people were arrested–and when Ferguson police officers arrest and search black people for contraband, only 1 in 5 are caught with them verses white people in Ferguson which is much higher, 1 in 3 (Missouri Attorney General)

These are the facts and they are not sugar coated–you cannot deny them. Many Americans, who will read this, won’t view it as a big issue (versus what is going on now in Ferguson, Missouri). But, politically speaking,

“If you have a body of government that is disproportionate to the size and views of one minority population (a minority classified by gender, race, or religion) in one particular region, the results are catastrophic!

Political unrest is bound to happen, example being today. This is a political issue as much as it is a racial one. However, the core reason why I think “Race ‘Does’ Matter in America” (which goes back to having “perspective”) is the current crises in Iraq.Image:

In July 2014, I did a radio talk at UR Business Network on the collapse of the Post-Iraqi War government. And what I said in that talk–as to “why the new Iraqi government collapsed?”–was this: the Shia government (the current Iraqi Government) marginalized their minority tribes the Sunnis and Kurds–especially the Sunnis– with their heavy armor military presence and force. This in return led to the growing opposition against the Shia government!

So it doesn’t matter where you are in the world. As long as you have a body of government that marginalizes one minority group by police or military force, you will always have political unrest in the streets.

The political disaster in Iraq is happening in the same fashion in Ferguson, Missouri. You can call the Mike Brown shooting “a freak accident” or “self-defense” all you want, but given the concrete facts from credible sources and the political perspective of having a disproportionate government overwhelm a minority population, the Michael Brown shooting incident cannot be brushed aside nor can “Race” in America.

Not to say that the government in Ferguson, Missouri will collapse, but the elements of political terror and unrest will continue unless there is a solid conversation on “Race” in Ferguson and a body of government that will represent all minorities–which is similar to what America is doing in Iraq today.

What must be done in Ferguson, Missouri (and across America) to prevent this from happening again?

First, bring Darren Wilson to trial and let the system work under Eric Holder’s watch. Second, Ferguson citizens and the police force must establish a truce of non-violence (during and after the Michael Brown trial) and start having a serious dialogue on racial disparity in their city–re-evaluate the current city government (and law enforcement) and find ways to discourage racial profiling and encourage racial diversity that will reflect the minority population of Ferguson, then, Third, have Perspective!

The sooner Americans, and citizens across the globe, have this perspective of not marginalizing a minority group, the better. The city government of Ferguson, Missouri, by all means, must not reflect the same intrusive acts done by the current “collapsed” government of Iraq–it cannot oppress or overwhelm any minority population by military tanks or force.

America

We are Americans and we treat Americans as our own–Michael Brown is an American! Like it or not!

Mistakes have been made in the Michael Brown incident, but Ferguson and the State of Missouri can still resolve this matter by reducing the huge racial disparity in the workforce and have a government (and police force) that is reflective of the African-American community.

The ultimate goal, in my opinion, is to set up a training course, for law enforcement and Americans, on “Racial Harassment” (like “Sexual Harassment”) that will teach people the existence of racial discrimination in America and learn how to conduct themselves in a professional manner to prevent acts of racial prejudice–and I call on President Obama to enact this legislation.

For more people and politics go to www.urbusinessnetwork.com

Here is a source where I pulled my facts from: Ferguson is 60% Black. Virtually All its Cops are White (Mother Jones)

DISCLAIMER: THIS IS MY OWN POLITICAL OPINION. FOR QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS PLEASE DIRECT THEM TO MY CONTACT PAGE

FYI: This will be my last Weekly Political Report for Fall 2014. For more of my political editorials go and click on “Weekly Political Report” located on the right hand side of this page below my profile pic. You can also go to Archives which is located above, next to Home Page, read more of political editorials

If you like this editorial, please send it to friends and family, so we can stop the violence in Ferguson, Missouri

Also here are two YouTube videos, that I found very helpful, to explain the war in Iraq and an idea of a training course on “racial harassment”.

This video is part 2 out of 5 videos of an documentary done by Bill Cosby. I recommend you watch all the parts.

Prince in The City w/ HBCU S.T.A.R.S at UCSD


Meet the next generation of African American doctors in the field of Biological Science and Engineering. Not too mention that these students are HBCU students; Morehouse College and Howard University.

The University of California, San Diego Summer Training Academy for Research in the Sciences (STARS) program is an eight week summer research academy for undergraduate students, recent graduates, and masters students. STARS offers an exciting research internship for students by participating in an ongoing UCSD research project and experience the rigors and challenges of graduate study at a top rated research institution. (ucsd.org)

Everyone in this group is doing one type of STEM research, while learning and preparing for their graduate entrance exam to pursue a doctorate if they so choose. One student from Morehouse College, Julian Pilate–Hutcherson, tells me that he is studying nano-particles, and is learning how they function so that they can be used as a model to make synthetic lungs! Another type of research is social networking which Taylor Facen, from Howard University, is studying what key factors that an individual has to lead a group of people based on who they are connected to!

“This program is really tailored to you and what you want to study in the future,”

–Taylor Facen

If you are an undergraduate and are thinking about pursuing a doctorate degree, and/or a graduate degree, then I highly suggest you participate in the STARS program in San Diego, Ca at UCSD!

When I asked Julian “why should students, from across the country, come here and participate in STARS?” he said that the weather is great and that UCSD is one of the top rated research institutions in the country.

For more information on the STARS program, contact Elisa Maldonado
858-822-3536
emmaldonado@mail.ucsd

Here are the next rising African American scholars in this year’s program!

Howard University:
Kayla Bishop, Jeremy Blackstone, Taylor Facen, Deborah Fadoju, Rajae Gayle, Erin Manaigo, Robert Neblett, Armisha Roberts, Betelehem Sheferaw, & Kevin White.

Morehouse College:
Christian Aganze, Jeremy Ariche, Jarrhett Butler, Saidou Ngaide,
& Julian Pilate-Hutcherson.

Week In Review


Prince in The City (YouTube Interview): Dr. Aaron Bruce (Chief Diversity Officer at SDSU); Johnathan Burns (Longtime Friend); Jon Medel (Photographer & Filmmaker);

Networking: Testimonial from Matt Rinkey; 2nd Annual African American Heritage Night at Petco Park

Throwback Thursdays: USA Does Not Need Putin Leadership

Uncategorized: Have A Great Day! (From: Elizabeth Sefa-Boakye)

Sunday Praise: Joint Worship

Weekly Spiritual Digest: God’s Creation

WHAT’S HAPPENING THIS WEEK…

This week I’ll be doing more YouTube interviews, with more interesting people.

And be sure to check out my radio talks at www.urbusinessnetwork.com

The 2nd Annual African American Heritage Night at Petco


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On July 19th 2014, I had the utmost pleasure to attend the 2nd Annual African American Heritage night at Petco Park–a night of celebration and baseball. But what really made this night unforgettable was the story behind it.

The African American Heritage Night began with a simple promise: to recognize the unsung heroes and trailblazers of the San Diego Black Community. But what San Diegans fail to realize is the fact that African American Heritage night is the first of its kind since forever–meaning the African American community was the last ethnic community (out of all ethnic communities) to hear an event at Petco Park which recognizes ethnic diversity and history.

Clara Carter, Founder and CEO of the Multi-Cultural Convention Services Network (MCCSN), created this event one year ago because of this known fact. And to make it sound more noble, she didn’t receive a penny from these events which she has hosted for the past two years. Instead all proceeds go to a charitable organization, and this year it was Eleanor’s place–an organization which aims help single mothers and women who are suffering from domestic violence, drug addiction, and social ills.

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To name a few of the Trailblazers that were honored at the Petco Park stadium: Walter McCoy (Negro League Legend), Beverly Monroe, Makeda Dread, Kadir Nelson (Award Winning American artist), Dajahns Blevins, Dr. Richard Butcher; Dr. Dorothy Smith, Harwell W. “Skipper” Ragsdale, III, Mark Jenkins, Eric Davis, Joyce Henderson, Willie Morrow, Council Member Myrtle Cole, Neale “Bobo” Henderson (Negro Legend and The First Professional Black Quarterback in the State of California)

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But none would be made possible without these hard working ladies (the Backbone of the San Diego Black Community): Cheryl Morrow, Clara Carter, Makena Hayes-Gargonnu, & Rachel Evans

Thank you guys and I look forward to next year’s African American Heritage Night

To see pictures of this event go to my Flickr account: https://flic.kr/s/aHsjZo2gH1

To contact Clara for more information on the Multi-Cultural Convention Services Network go to www.mccsn.com

For more press coverage on this special event go to Twitter @TSDMNews

Throwback Thursdays: The IRS, A New Face to Jim Crow


Every Thursday I post a miscellaneous blog/article/post that I’ve written in the past or an interview of an extraordinary individual.

This week’s Throwback Thursday edition: The IRS, A New Face to Jim Crow

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I wrote this political report exactly one year ago today in lieu of the IRS scandal, which the IRS discriminated against multiple tea party groups in their struggle to gain “tax exemption” status. The purpose behind this was to educate my audience on how the same tactics used by the IRS (to discriminate against the Tea Party) also resembled the same tactics used against African Americans in their struggle to gain a crucial right from the U.S. Constitution: The Right To Vote. And how it took 100 years to gain this right, versus 2-4 years to gain “tax exemption” status from the IRS. We may come from different walks of life, but we all experience the same hardships

To read this post, click on the link below

Weekly Political Report: A New Face to Jim Crow–The IRS

The 50th Anniversary of Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” Speech


Today marks an historic monument in our generation’s history. 50 years ago,  a preacher, by the name of Dr. Martin Luther King, gave a memorizing speech that did not only change the face of America, but gave Blacks in America First Class Citizenship. Here is a video of Dr. King’s “I Have Dream Speech.”

Please Watch and Share with family and friends; and remember his Dream.

Thank you Dr. King for I am still living the ‘Dream’ today. Cheers!

–Prince

 

 

Epiphany Moments Through A Lense (Me At the Lincoln Memorial)

Weekly Political Report: Trayvon Martin


Each week I write an issue that affects YOU and the WORLD around you.

This week’s political issue(s): Trayvon Martin–Race and Justice in America

On July 13, 2013, after more than 16 hours of deliberation, a jury of six women declared Mr. George Zimmerman, the killer of Ms. Sabrina Fulton’s son [Trayvon Martin] “Not Guilty”–acquitting him of all murder charges both second degree murder and manslaughter.

This verdict has not only divided our nation in race and politics, but it has left many Americans confused and discontent in our American criminal justice system—whether you are OJ Simpson or George Zimmerman you can still get away with murder and still be proven innocent under the criminal justice system.

While we may never know what really happened that night the lead to the death of 17 year old Trayvon Martin, all of must know this:

“We will respect the rule of law. And we won’t do what George Zimmerman did when he got out of his car, profiled and pursued Trayvon and took the law in his own hands. We won’t resort to vigilante justice. We will let vengeance be onto God.”

These words that were espoused by Martin’s family lawyer Benjamin Crump after the verdict of George Zimmerman, should have been the focal argument to the trial case of George Zimmerman. Zimmerman may not be a racist, but he did show poor judgment: to profile a young man who he claims to be a criminal—that is prejudice. Furthermore, if somebody is profiling you and has the raging eyes of a bull to attack you, then you would run away as self-defense. Rather than approaching young Trayvon Martin with rational conversation to dispel conflicts like any sensible police official—“Are you lost?” “Do you need help?” “Where is your house?”—Zimmerman targeted Trayvon’s attire, which he used disdain language to describe him, and essentially attacked him which led to death of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman can claim that he shot Trayvon Martin out of self-defense, but the State of Florida should have punished Zimmerman for his poor his actions.

While both sides of the justice system—prosecution and defense—have advocated that this is not racial issue, they have made it one when they selected a nearly all white jury, which historically has been crux to many criminal cases where African Americans have been wrongly accused.

As an African American, I must say that I am somewhat affected by this because I cannot even put on hoodie to protect myself from the rain—not to make a political statement. I cold heartedly believe that we all must dress appropriately regardless of race, but it should not serve as an excuse to not show common courtesy towards fellow man, even if that man, woman, or teenager is homeless or has menacing clothes.

I fear that this will put a hindrance upon the development of many young African American males who want opportunities [or justice] from their home country but can’t; because of what happened to Trayvon Martin. However, we must remember to use civil protest and not result violence or even hate speech to address this issue.  While the media and lawmakers want to label this as a “Black issue” and that it has nothing to do with the American agenda, I say to them that this is an American issue. When one American has been deprived of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, then all Americans have been deprived of these freedoms. I hope lawmakers will adamantly address this issue as they did with the four Americans who have died protecting our freedoms in Libya.

 

Weekly Political Report: A New Face to “Jim Crow”–The IRS


Every week I write a political issue that affects YOU and the WORLD AROUND YOU.

This week: The IRS–A New Face to “Jim Crow”

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On a cold Friday evening, May 10, 2013, the Internal Revenue Service admitted that it made “mistakes” in the last few years by targeting multiple tea party groups in their quest to obtain 501(c)(4) status or “tax-exemption” status. This is, by far, the biggest shock to have ever shook Washington and America.

It has been reported that approximately 75 groups were singled out because of their use of words like “tea party” or “patriot” in their tax documents. This information came to life when Lois Lerner, the woman responsible for overseeing tax-exempt groups, had a conference call with an unnamed source about certain complaints. And as a result, members of the Tea Party and conservatives alike were outraged–demanding explanations and justice from the both the White House and the Department of Justice.

The biggest demand came from House Speaker, John Boehner, who said “Who’s going to jail?” However, the biggest criticism came from Florida Senator Marco Rubio who called the President’s actions as “Third World tactics” in three different scandals: Benghazi, Department of Justice probe in the phone records of journalists, and this one (the IRS)–for targeting political opponents.

So, the reason why I titled this WPR (Weekly Political Report) as “A New Face to Jim Crow–The IRS” is that the same tactics used against the Tea Party resembles the same tactics used against African Americans in their struggle to gain a crucial right in the U.S. constitution: The Right to Vote. (which is still under attack today)

For those of you who may not know what is “Jim Crow,” it is a political maneuver used by politicians, after the Civil War, to disenfranchise African-Americans in the South (and in the North) from voting. Famous names such “The Grandfather Clause,” “English Proficiency Test,” etc. were used to prevent African-Americans from voting. It would not be until 1965, (100 years later) that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 would grant African-Americans the right to vote.

Now in contrast to the “Jim Crow” scandal back in the 1860s, the IRS wanted names of donors, print outs of Facebook posts, minutes of board meetings, and ironically enough lists of books read, from tea party groups, in order to grant them “tax-exemption” status. But it would only take 2-4 years to gain “tax exemption” status versus 100 years to gain “the right to vote” status.

The point of issue in this “IRS scandal” as well as the “Voting Rights scandal” in the 1860s is this:

A group (or institution) intentionally targeted 2nd class citizens and denied them equal access to certain rights through means of harsh scrutiny.

I do not want to speculate that the IRS did this for financial gain or some political motive, but the fact of the matter is that the IRS did scrutinize a particular group based on their political affiliation.

Jay Carney, who is the White House Press Secretary, says that “The IRS is an independent agency with only two political appointees under the division of the Treasury Department.” And its job (defined by Rick Hansen, law professor at University of Ca–Irvine) is “to ensure that these groups (or any donor groups) are not primarily involved with any campaign-related activities.”

So not only has this scandal brought to light on what measures the IRS uses to approve “tax exemption” status but a forgotten history of the African American struggle–the fight for voting rights–which all U.S. citizens should recognize.

We may come from different walks of life, but we all experience the same hardships.

Political Implications after the “IRS scandal”:

1.) Heavy partisanship in the next budget talks,

2.) Furloughs in the federal sector

3.) 2014 election cycle

4.) Job training, after total makeover of IRS Procedures

“The IRS wants you to share everything” (Politico)

“IRS apologizes for targeting conservative groups” (Politico)

“Following Tea Party Complaints, IRS Admits Mistakes” (CNN)