Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
DETROIT (WWJ) – A big success for the Detroit Historical Museum’s grand re-opening weekend.
Thousands of people checked out the newly-renovated museum during its grand re-opening over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The celebration was the culmination of six months of construction and the completion of its first major renovation project since the 1960s.
“We were open 55 and a half consecutive hours from 9:30 a.m. on Friday morning all the way through til 5 p.m. Sunday,” said Bob Sadler, the museum’s public relations director. “And in that time, we welcomed just under 15,000 visitors to the Detroit Historical Museum for our grand reopening weekend.”
The Detroit Historical Society spent $12 million building five new exhibits and giving a facelift to many of its galleries. The museum is no longer charging an admission fee, however, it is accepting donations at the door.
Last Updated on Monday, 26 November 2012 09:12
Category: Breaking News Written by Keli Goff, The Root
(The Root) -- President Barack Obama has been a target of endless criticism since taking office, most notably from conservative corners, as well as from some blatant racists. But despite the nearly universal support he enjoyed among African Americans in both the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, some of his most impassioned critics have come from within the black community, and some of their most passionate criticism has focused on the concern that the first black president has not focused on addressing issues of particular importance to the black community or on successfully tackling a black agenda. The Congressional Black Caucus was especially critical of the Obama administration's silence on black unemployment, for instance.
The question now emerging since the president's decisive re-election is whether we'll see greater focus on issues of particular importance to the black community in the second Obama term, and if so, which issues.
Frustration in Some Corners
After the 2012 election Yvette Carnell wrote in the Black Agenda Report, "Now we are all left hoping and wishing that, for the sake of his legacy, President Obama doesn't forget about us during his second term. The smart thing to do would've been to secure something, such as legislation to reduce black unemployment or mass incarceration, before the election, but we weren't smart. We were tribal."
In a piece for the L.A. Progressive titled "Black America Calling for a 'Black Agenda,' " Anthony Asadullah Samad wrote, "Of course, we know he's President of all the people. We got that, but what is the real significance of laying claim to the first African American president if a core constituency cannot ask for anything?"
He then continued, "What are 'black issues'? Historically, they are jobs, education, health care, prison re-entry and economic development of deprived communities -- all issues listed in Smiley's covenant." Samad was referring to PBS host Tavis Smiley, whose relentless criticism of the president's leadership on poverty and issues important to the black community has made him a target of criticism.
For instance, during one of his shows Smiley pointedly challenged Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee on whether President Obama would ever get away with exhorting other communities to "stop complaining, stop grumbling, stop crying," as he said to the Congressional Black Caucus during a speech last year. "Would the president ever say to an audience of our Jewish brothers and sisters, concerned about the crisis in the Middle East, 'stop complaining, stop grumbling, stop crying'?" Smiley posed to Jackson Lee. "[Would he say] to our Hispanic brothers and sisters on immigration and their concerns, 'stop grumbling, stop complaining, stop crying'? Did he say to gays and lesbians, 'stop grumbling, stop complaining, stop crying'? How does he get away with saying this to black folk when he would never, ever form his lips to say that to any other constituency?"
Hopefulness in Other Quarters
Among those who have disagreed with Smiley's criticisms of the president is civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton. The host of MSNBC's PoliticsNation has previously criticized those who have condemned President Obama's commitment to issues central to black Americans, while celebrating white presidents who have done less.
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Last Updated on Monday, 26 November 2012 09:03
Category: Breaking News Written by Hillary Crosley , The Root
Civil rights activist and lawyer Lawrence Guyot, who worked beside Fannie Lou Hamer and Medgar Evers, passed away on Nov. 23 at his home in Mount Rainier, Md., reports the Washington Post.
Born in Pass Christian, Miss., Guyot graduated from Tougaloo College and began working for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in 1962. He was the founding chairman of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, which worked to include African-American delegates at the Democratic National Convention. He graduated from Rutgers University law school in 1971 and moved to Washington, D.C. There he was an informal adviser to former Mayor Marion Barry and a program monitor for the D.C. Department of Human Services' Office of Early Childhood Development until his retirement seven years ago.
In one of the bloodiest chapters of the civil rights movement in Mississippi, Mr. Guyot and others, including Fannie Lou Hamer, were arrested by law enforcement officials in 1963. They were severely beaten in a Winona, Miss., jail.
In testimony after the beating, Mr. Guyot said he had gashes on his head, was bleeding from his nose and mouth, and was bruised from his chest to his lower legs. Later, he recalled in a 2007 interview with The Washington Post, he was taken from his cell and shown to a group of white men gathered behind the jail.
"Now you know what he looks like," he said the jailer told the crowd. "You can take care of him whenever you find him" ...
Dorie Ladner, a D.C. resident who was a civil rights activist in Mississippi at the time, saw Mr. Guyot soon after he, Hamer and others had been released from jail.
"His face looked like a piece of raw steak," Ladner said. "He was convinced that they were going to kill him, but Medgar Evers had been killed that night, and they let him and four women go."
Last Updated on Monday, 26 November 2012 08:57
Category: Breaking News Written by thegrio
Rev. Al Sharpton joined the roundtable on Meet the Press on Sunday to discuss the “fiscal cliff,” and the anticipated second term agenda for President Barack Obama.
Sharpton, along with fellow guests MSNBC anchor and senior Washington correspondent Andrea Mitchell, New York Times columnist David Brooks, documentary filmmaker Ken Burns and former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina discussed what Americans can expect in a second Obama term, and in upcoming fiscal cliff negotiations.
Sharpton said there is no question “we are gonna have to deal with the question of where the tax rates go,” and noted that during a meeting the president held with progressive leaders including himself, Obama pledged to uphold his campaign pledge to raise taxes on the rich. After that, Sharpton said the priorities of jobs and unemployment “will be dealt with.”
Brooks said that if the U.S. can prove that it is “governable” in the coming months, “we have the potential to be the hotspot of the world,” noting that Europe, the Middle East and other regions around the globe are stagnating.
Burns, who said he recently emerged from “witness protection, along with Big Bird,” joking about the threats to cut PBS by the Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, said that people understand that the pain of budget cuts will be felt by everyone.
And Mitchell added that the president will need to show a different brand of leadership in the second term than he did in the first.
The roundtable was joined by Honeywell CEO David Cote, who concurred with Brooks on the idea that the U.S. needs to prove it is “governable,” in order for business leaders to invest.
And the group discussed the leadership lessons to be learned from the movie, “Lincoln,” and the ongoing role race plays in our politics.
Last Updated on Monday, 26 November 2012 08:47
Category: Breaking News Written by CNN
Tensions erupted at the home of actress Halle Berry on Thanksgiving Day.
People reports the Los Angeles Police Department has confirmed to their publication that a physical confrontation took place between Berry's fiancé, Olivier Martinez, and her ex-boyfriend, Gabriel Aubry.
Aubry was said to be at the home to drop off the couple's 4-year-old daughter, Nahla.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Aubrey was arrested following the incident and taken to the hospital, where the model was treated for injuries to his face. The paper reported that Aubrey was released on $20,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on December 13.
Berry and Aubrey have reportedly battled over the actress seeking to relocate their daughter to France, a request that E! online said was denied by a judge in November. In January, the child's nanny sought a restraining order claiming that she feared Aubrey.
Last Updated on Friday, 23 November 2012 10:43
Category: Breaking News Written by Chris Morgan, Examiner
The Lions headed into this years' Thanksgiving Day Classic having not won on this holiday since 2003. They were playing the 9-1 Houston Texans, which did not bode well. Both teams were banged up, as are many teams in the NFL at this point, but the Lions were getting back Louis Delmas, which was good, because Texans quarterback Matt Schaub was coming off a game where he had thrown for over 500 yards. Could the Lions pull off the upset they almost managed last week against the Packers? Or would they fall to 4-7 and become right and truly and afterthought this season?
Both teams took a little while to get going, but the Lions got on the board first with a 2-yard Mikel Leshoure touchdown. However, the Texans tied things up in the second quarter with a 6-yard run from Arian Foster. This was followed by Mike Thomas' first touchdown as a Detroit Lion, as he caught a 5-yard pass from Matthew Stafford. Houston countered with a 9-yard pass from Schaub to Owen Daniels. Shortly thereafter, Stafford and Calvin Johnson connected for a 22-yard score. At the half, it was 21-14. I imagine it was quite exciting for the neutral fan, and Lions fans had to be pretty pleased as well. They were beating the favorites at the half by a full touchdown, and their offense was looking good even without Jeff Backus and Titus Young, not to mention Jahvid Best and Nate Burleson.
In the third quarter, Jason Hanson kicked a 46-yard field goal to make it 24-14. The next score is deserving of its own paragraph or two, if not its own polemic directing at the clowns running the NFL (what a bunch of clowns).
Justin Forsett had a nice little run for the Texans. Then, he was tackled. His arm was down, his knee was down, but the whistle did not sound and the play was allowed to continue, to Forsett, wisely, scampered to the end zone where the play was called a touchdown. He was fairly clearly down, and surely one of the several refs on the field should have seen this, but they didn't. Not a huge deal, that's why we have replay. Furthermore, the NFL recently made it a rule that all scoring plays are automatically reviewed. This is a good rule the NFL has.
However, in the heat of the moment, Coach Schwartz still threw the challenge flag, even though it was not necessary. This is, evidently, a penalty. That's kind of odd, but in the abstract not unreasonable. It is a 15-yard penalty. That is a bit much, and in and of itself would be one of the dumber rules in the NFL. It also rendered the play non-reviewable, so a clear non-touchdown was allowed to stand. This was the dumbest thing I have ever seen in all my years watching professional sports.
A lot of folks, myself included admittedly, did not realize the NFL had adopted this completely idiotic rule. If we had, I imagine we would have been complaining about it before this. It is so incredibly stupid words escape me to describe it. How is throwing a challenge flag on a play that is automatically reviewed worthy of a 15-yard penalty and the lack of the ability to have the played reviewed. The NFL is genuinely saying they would rather have a play that everybody knows was ruled incorrectly stand than have a coach throw a flag when they aren't supposed to. It is so excessive, so moronic, I can't believe a professional sports league has a rule like this. Especially since these plays being automatically reviewed is still pretty new.
If you want to give a team a 5-yard delay of game penalty, I could see that. That would be sensible. This rule is unbelievably dumb, however. It's like handing out a life sentence for jaywalking. I really hope the league changes this rule. Good thing Roger Goodell hasn't shown himself to be a draconian, heavy handed buffoon as a commissioner. Anyway, Forsett got the most ridiculous 81-yard touchdown ever, and Coach Schwartz got a bum wrap for a minor mistake.
Anyway, later in the third quarter, the Texans kicked a field goal to tie the game at 24 all. Early in the fourth, Joique Bell broke off a 23-yard touchdown rush to give the Lions the lead. They held that lead late into the game. Of course, that was the case last week and they ended up losing it. Guess what happened this week? Yep, Foster rushed for a 1-yard score and the game was tied. We were headed to overtime.
Overtime was its own brand of absurd. The Lions got the ball, and they were driving, and Stafford hit Brandon Pettigrew with a pass. Then Pettigrew, with his awful hands, fumbled and the Texans recovered. They drove into scoring range, then, as coaches often do, got foolishly conservative, leaving their kicker with a long kick. He ended up barely missing it. The Lions had to punt, Schaub threw an interception. Then, the Lions were driving, and Coach Schwartz decided to pick up a trick from Houston's coach Gary Kubiak.
The Lions ran the ball to make it second and eight. So, they ran it again and lost yardage to make it third and 11. Then, inexplicably, Schwartz decided to have Hanson kick it, even though it was from 47 yards. That is far from a gimme, and they had a whole down to work with. It made no sense. Hanson ended up hitting the upright. If you want to disparage Schwartz for any of his decisions in this game, make it that one. Houston got the ball, they made some big plays, and then they kicked a field goal. The Lions lost 34-31 in overtime.
This is a tough loss. Some might want to point to that idiotic ruling, but there is no way of knowing how the game would have transpired if not for that call. Detroit had plenty of chances and they did not make the most of them. Stafford took multiple sacks that drove them out of field goal range. They could stop the Texans on key drives. Pettigrew fumbled. Then, there were Schwartz's coaching errors. The playcalling on that Hanson field goal miss was dumb. He wasted multiple time outs on icing the kicker, which is always pointless. Neither coach will want to put this game on their highlight reel. When Grantland's Bill Barnwell is writing up this week's games, I expect to see both Schwartz and Kubiak in the "Thank You For Not Coaching" section.
Both teams had big games on offense, putting up over 500 yards of total offense each. Stafford threw for 441 yards and two touchdowns, but he only completed 31 of his 61 passes. That is barely over 50 percent, and that is not good. The Lions didn't do much running the ball, while Foster rushed for over 100 yards for the Texans. Johnson had a big game for Detroit, catching eight passes for 140 yards. Ryan Broyles had a big game as well with six receptions for 126 yards. Meanwhile, Andre Johnson had nine catches for 188 yards. On defense, J.J. Watt had three sacks, four tackles for loss, and two passes defensed for Houston. He is very good. Cliff Avril had two sacks.
So now, the Lions are 4-7, and nobody will mention them in the playoff race again. This is not a bad team, however. They certainly have talent, even though they've had a lot of injuries. They have been competitive in every game. Look at some of the teams they've lost to. The Texans, the Bears, the Packers, the 49ers, the Titans. OK, so that last team isn't good, but Detroit has faced a tough schedule thus far. The only real issue has been they blew that Titans game and the Vikings turned out to be tougher than many thought. If the Lions had merely won in Tennessee and won that home game against Minnesota with the two return touchdowns, they'd be 6-5 and in the thick of things. They didn't of course, just like the NFL didn't decide to make sure all their rules made sense, and just like Coach Schwartz didn't make good decisions in overtime. Detroit suffered a bitter loss on Thanksgiving. I, for one, will give thanks once the NFL decides to rework their rulebook a bit.
Last Updated on Friday, 23 November 2012 09:01
Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
DETROIT (WWJ) - If a new survey is any indication, retailers in Michigan could see a profitable holiday shopping season.
A survey commissioned by Deloitte found that almost 64 percent of the Michiganders who responded say their financial position is the same or better than last year, and half think the economy will improve in 2013 — their most positive outlook since 2010. Their response is a significant increase from last year when only 31 percent felt similarly.
As for holiday spending, state shoppers expect to spend an average of $950, which is about the same as last year. Consumers plan to spend an average of $383 on gifts, which is comparable to consumers nationally. More than two-thirds will use debit cards, cash or checks to play for the majority of their gifts, compared with 29 percent who will charge their credit cards.
Shoppers in Michigan said they expect to buy the same number of gifts as last year and plan to spend about the same amount per gift as last year. Clothing (52 percent) and gift cards (47 percent) top shopping lists for the second consecutive year. Books (37 percent), electronics (34 percent) and games, toys and dolls (33 percent) also are expected to be popular.
Nearly half of survey participants in Michigan said they plan to shop online this year. Eighteen percent indicated they will make most of their purchases via the Internet, with almost 70 percent of respondents saying they expect to spend more or the same online as last year.
This appears to align with Deloitte’s forecast for a 15 to 17 percent rise in non-store sales nationally, nearly three-quarters of which results from the online channel. More than two-thirds of consumers surveyed say they are more likely to shop from online retailers who offer free shipping and more than one half prefer sites that offer free returns.
A new trend this year is the use of smartphones, with almost 66 percent saying they plan to use them in their shopping adventures. Of that group, more 83 percent said they would use their smartphones when visiting a brick-and-mortar store.
Despite the stress of the holidays, 54 percent of survey respondents say the season is among the happiest times of the year for them.
The survey was commissioned by Deloitte and conducted online by an independent research company between September 14 and 24, 2012. The survey polled a sample of 5,089 consumers nationally with a Michigan sample of 500.
Last Updated on Friday, 23 November 2012 08:43
Category: Breaking News Written by Minehaha Forman
DETROIT—At a press conference Wednesday afternoon Mayor Dave Bing announced that the city would institute unpaid furloughs for city workers if City Council does not approve two key contracts designed to move the city towards financial solvency.
Council members voted to table a vote on the contracts Tuesday afternoon citing a number of concerns, namely a conflict of interest involving a contract with law firm Miller Canfield. Approval of the contracts is necessary for the city to receive $30 million in much-needed funds that the state is holding in escrow.
Last week the State Treasurer’s Office and the Bing Administration agreed on key “milestones” necessary for the city to receive all bond sale funds being withheld. One of them was the approval of key restructuring contracts.
“Due to the failure to meet the first milestone in our agreement with the State — and with the second milestone now at risk — I have directed my Administration to begin planning to offset an anticipated $30 million cash shortfall,” Bing told reporters at Wednesday’s press conference. “In order to compensate for the deficit, the City will begin to institute unpaid furloughs and other cost-saving actions, effective January first.”
Bing said that no revenue-generating departments or public safety workers would be affected by the furloughs.
The pay cuts are necessary to keep the City from “falling into further financial distress” according to Bing.
The Mayor said that the he did not understand why city council members thought any vote on the Miller Canfield contract would unlock funds from the state.
“The state made it very clear that they needed not only to vote on [the contract] but to pass it in order to release the money. So when people say all we had to do is vote that is not correct,” Bing said. “I’m hopeful that this could be worked out.”
While Bing said he is open to suggestions from city council on how to tweak the contracts, he said ultimately those decisions are up to the State.
“I’m open minded but by the same token, the State is holding the cards at this point,” he said.
Detroit Program Management Director Kriss Andrews said he thought all issues concerning the Miller Canfield contract had been cleared up before the council’s vote. “If there was any confusion, that’s regrettable,” said Andrews, appearing with Bing at Wednesdays conference.
Council members said they were concerned about a conflict of interest with the Miller Canfield contract since the law firm played a part in drafting contacts for both the financial stability agreement and the new milestone agreement with the State.
“I negotiated the milestones with the State Treasurer’s office. Miller Canfield was not involved in that process. I don’t see the conflict there,” Andrews said.
Andrews said he did turn in his draft of the Milestone agreement to Miller Canfield to turn it into a legal document.
Detroit Chief Financial Officer Jack Martin said the furloughs would be enough to hold the city over stating that there will be “absolutely no payless paydays and no missed debt payments”.
Bing said bankruptcy is not an option for the City of Detroit. “We’re not dealing with bankruptcy whatsoever,” he said.
Details of the furlough plan have not been worked out city officials said, but more structure will be given to the plan next week if no agreements are reached between the city council and the mayor’s office on the contracts.
Bing said he was “hopeful” that the council would approve the contracts before any unpaid furloughs are necessary.
“I’m very much frustrated,” he said regarding the city council’s delayed vote on the contracts. “It keeps us from moving forward. And every time we loose time it makes things that much more difficult.”
Last Updated on Friday, 23 November 2012 08:41
Category: Breaking News Written by Tonyaa Weathersbee
Writing at BlackAmericaWeb, Tonyaa Weathersbee explains the importance of the civil rights issue currently before the Supreme Court.
If nothing else, the election of the nation's first black president has ushered in its share of contradictions. President Obama's 2008 victory, for example, was initially billed as a post-racial beginning for this country.
Unfortunately, it wound up being a wake-up call for racists. The first to rise were the limited-government, no taxes Tea Party people – people who had no problem with government as long as it was headed by white guys and as long as it was used to restrict the freedoms and opportunities of black and brown people they'd have to compete with. They became the base of the Republican Party.
And one of the first things that a number of Tea Party-backed GOP governors and lawmakers did was use government to thwart the power of minorities in having a say in who ran it. So a number of states passed restrictive election laws based on the flimsy claim of trying to prevent voter fraud.
Read Tonyaa Weathersbee's entire piece at BlackAmericaWeb.
Last Updated on Friday, 23 November 2012 08:31
Category: Breaking News Written by The Grio
An African-American family enjoying Thanksgiving dinner. (Photo: © Monkey Business - Fotolia.com)
From Ebony.com: The holidays are upon us. For some that means spending time catching up with friends and enjoying family. For quite a few others, it is the most miserable time of the year. Employment issues, personal tragedies and loneliness are among the many factors finding people dreading the holiday season. And this year, on top of potentially stressful gatherings and heart-breaking reminders of lost loved ones that can creep up around this time, there are also many people who are still recovering from the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Nearly three weeks after this natural disaster ravished the entire east coast, there are more than 16,000 people who still do not have power, not to mention the 209 people who died in seven different countries and the $50 billion worth of damage to houses and businesses the storm caused.
Needless to say, 2012 has been a rough year for many people, and you might be one of them.
So if you are one of those people having a rough time and not looking forward to this season of “gratitude,” what do you do? Many people would tell you to “think of the less fortunate” during times of sadness, but why would comparing your situation with someone with even more problems than you have make you feel any better? It doesn’t make your pain or problems any less real or valid because someone else has it worse. But what might actually make you feel better is not just to think but to do something for someone else who needs your help.
Read the rest of the story here.
Last Updated on Friday, 23 November 2012 08:25
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