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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Blacks Missing from U.S.-Africa Business Forum

By Raynard Jackson



President Obama hosted the first ever U.S.-Africa Business forum last week here in Washington, DC.  Leading up to the conference, the U.S. Commerce Department announced:, “On August 5, 2014, Bloomberg Philanthropies and the U.S. Department of Commerce will co-host the first-ever U.S.-Africa Business Forum, a day focused on trade and investment opportunities on the continent. The U.S.-Africa Business Forum will be part of President Obama’s U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, the first summit of its kind, and the largest event that any U.S. president has ever convened with African heads of state or government.”

I must admit that the various panels consisted of executives who all had a track record of great achievement. Panelists included Americans, Indians, Africans, and women.  But, I couldn’t help but notice that there was not one Black American on any of the panels.

Not only has the first Black president continued to ignore his most loyal voting block, the Black community, but by his actions he has made it perfectly clear to African leaders that Black business leaders are totally irrelevant within the U.S.

There was not shortage of Blacks who could have fit the bill: Ken Chenault, CEO of American Express; Dick Parson, former CEO of Time Warner; Dave Steward, CEO of World Wide Technology ($ 6 billion in annual revenue); Junior Bridgeman, owner of 195 Wendys (doing more than  $ 500 million in annual revenue); Bob Johnson, CEO of RLJ Holdings, who has already invested money in hotels in Liberia.

There was one panel that had five African presidents:  Macky Sall (Senegal), Paul Kagame (Rwanda), Jacob Zuma (South Africa), Jakaya Kikwete ( Tanzania), and Moncef Marzouki (Tunisia).  The panel was moderated by Charlie Rose.  I guess the White House has never heard of Black interviewers such as Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Michelle Norris, or Gwen Ifill.

The first question Rose asked was about the ebola virus.  The presidents seemed to have been quite offended by the question and pushed back that America only views Africa in terms of the negative.

The blame is totally Africa’s fault for the negative portrayal they receive in U.S. media. African presidents come to the U.S. and rarely, if ever, engage with the American media and definitely not with the Black media.

Kagame admitted as much when he told Rose, “We [must be] able to own up to our weaknesses, our mistakes and own up to our solutions and contribute to our solutions. We can’t even tell our story.  We even depend on others to tell our stories which leads to distortions.”

When the president of Cameroon landed in the U.S. on his presidential jet at Andrews Air Force Base (where Obama’s presidential jet is stored), there was a huge story written about his arrival in the Washington Post. No, no it was not on the front page. No, not in the business section, But on the gossip page.  There was not one mention of the president’s name.  The full page story was all about the president’s wife hair.  Yes, you heard right, her hair; and the author of the story was a Black female.

This is how irrelevant Africa is viewed by the U.S. media.  This is what happens when African presidents and their U.S. based ambassadors have no meaningful engagement with the media.

African can’t continue to demand to be a player on the world’s stage in the 21 st. century and yet govern and lead with a 20th century mentality.  In many ways, having a media strategy is just as important as having a military strategy.

Controlling how you are perceived in the global market place has a direct impact on the investment community throughout the world.  One needs to look no further than Equatorial Guinea to prove my point.  It is one of the most corrupt countries on the planet; and outside of the oil industry, it’s almost impossible for them to get investment in their country.

I didn’t see or hear one media interview with any of the presidents during their stay in the U.S.  The daily media coverage was focused on all the traffic problems being created by the street closures because of the various presidential motorcades.

Obama spent more time discussing the unemployment rate in Africa than he has the unemployment rate within the Black community here in the U.S.  He talked about targeted incentives for investment and job creation on the continent of Africa; but can’t find the time to create opportunities for Blacks here at home.

Obama even created the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders.  According to the White House, “through this initiative, young African leaders are gaining the skills and connections they need to accelerate their own career trajectories and contribute more robustly to strengthening democratic institutions, spurring economic growth, and enhancing peace and security in Africa.”

How about a similar program for Blacks in the U.S.?

Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a Washington, D.C.-based public relations/government affairs firm. He can be reached through his Web site,  www.raynardjackson.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @raynard1223.

http://www.blackpressusa.com/2014/08/blacks-missing-from-u-s-africa-business-forum/#sthash.lR85pCz6.aqI1apcI.dpbs

 

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Making History is not Enough

 
 
By Raynard Jackson
 
In many ways Obama’s presidency has been historic.
 
On June 19, 2008, Obama became the first major-party presidential candidate to turn down public financing in the general election since the system was created in 1976.
 
On Thursday, August 28, 2008, Obama became the first Black to be nominated by a major U.S. party.
 
On November 4, 2008, Obama won the presidency with 365 electoral votes to 173 for Sen. John McCain, becoming the first Black to be elected president of the United States. Earlier, Obama won 52.9 percent of the popular vote to McCain’s 45.7 percent.
 
Sonia Sotomayor, nominated by Obama on May 26, 2009, to replace retiring Associate Justice David Souter, was confirmed on August 6, 2009, making her the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice.
 
On October 9, 2009, the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced that Obama had won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”
 
On November 6, 2012, Obama won 332 electoral votes, exceeding the 270 required for him to be re-elected as president. With 51.1 percent of the popular vote, Obama became the first Democratic president since Franklin D. Roosevelt to twice win the majority of the popular vote.
 
During his second inaugural address on January 21, 2013, Obama called for full equality for gay Americans: “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.” This, too, was a historic moment. It was the first time that a president mentioned gay rights or the word “gay” in an inaugural address.
 
But for all of Obama’s firsts, at the same time, he has left people scratching their heads, especially Blacks.
 
How could the first Black president not even interview a Black female for either of the two Supreme Court openings he had to fill? After all, Black women were the largest voting bloc for both of his presidential elections (96 percent in 2012).
 
Obama promised during his 2008 campaign that his administration would be the “most transparent in history.”  According to a recently released report by the Associated Press, nothing could be further from the truth.  The AP calls the Obama administration “the most secretive presidency in American history.”
 
The AP analyzed 99 federal agencies over six years.  According to their report, “the Obama administration censored more documents and delayed or denied access to more government files than ever before.  In 2013, the administration cited national security concerns a record 8,496 times as an excuse for withholding information from the public. That’s a 57% increase over the year before and more than double the number in Obama’s first year in office.
 
According to several media accounts, Obama has launched more than 390 drone attacks in his almost six years in the White House, eight times as many as the Bush administration; and there have been more than 2,400 people killed in these air strikes, many of them civilians.
 
Obama has signed at least three executive orders giving entitlements to homosexuals, at least two giving entitlements to those in the country illegally, and zero specifically for Blacks.  Obama will go down in history as the first U.S. president to totally ignore his largest voting bloc and be allowed to get away with it.
 
Obama will also go down in history as one of the most lawless presidents in history (Benghazi, I.R.S., NSA, etc.).  He has done more damage to the U.S.’s standing in the world than any other president in history.  No one fears Obama.
 
Russian President Vadimir Putin thumbs his nose at Obama and marches into the Ukraine. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has total disdain, publically and privately, for Obama.  Foreign leaders – including the presidents of Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador – are not afraid to chastise Obama while standing on White House grounds when they disagree with his policies.
 
Obama seems to think our sovereignty should be sublimated to other countries or their people, i.e., illegals in the country telling America they have a right to be in the U.S., feeling entitled to be in the U.S. even though they crossed our borders illegally or overstaying their visas.
 
Obama thinks he is the president of the world, not just the U.S.  This is one possible explanation for why he is so hell-bent on trying to give amnesty to those in the country illegally or unilaterally trying to make homosexuality a universal entitlement.  He and the Democrats really believe that we are responsible for the plight of the world, even at the expense of ignoring our own citizens who are in dire need of jobs, food, housing, education, and a crime free environment.
 
So, indeed Obama’s presidency is historic, but not for all the right reasons. 
 
 
Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a Washington, D.C.-based public relations/government affairs firm. He can be reached through his Web site,  www.raynardjackson.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @raynard1223.
 
 

Monday, June 09, 2014

Black Americans Are Worse Off Under Obama

Yet they still support him almost unanimously.

By Deroy Murdock

According to a Fox News survey released on Wednesday, Obama’s approval rating stands at 45 percent among all registered voters. However, among black voters, Obama’s job approval soars to 86 percent.

Given Obama’s devastating impact on black Americans, this is even more confounding than the whereabouts of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

Obama’s election, no doubt, generated considerable ethnic pride. Seeing a black man (or, precisely, a half-black man) inaugurated was a truly exceptional milestone for all Americans — black and otherwise.

But Obama reached the Oval Office nearly five years and four months ago. Since then, his performance should have dimmed his halo among blacks, especially considering how much they have suffered on his watch.

• When Obama entered office on January 20, 2009, U.S. unemployment stood at 7.8 percent. By April 2014, that Bureau of Labor Statistics figure had fallen to 6.3 percent — a modest improvement. Among blacks overall, joblessness dropped, though less significantly — from 12.7 to 11.6 percent. But for blacks aged 16 to 19, unemployment grew from 35.3 to 36.8 percent.

• Obama’s somewhat more sanguine unemployment numbers, such as they are, seem less about job growth and more about people simply abandoning the workforce — whereupon they conveniently exit the unemployment rate. The more revealing labor-force-participation rate thus fell from 65.7 percent in January 2009 to 62.8 percent last month, a portrait of disengagement last witnessed in March 1978. For black adults, that number slipped from 63.2 to 60.9 percent. While 29.6 percent of blacks aged 16 to 19 were working when Obama took power, only 27.9 percent were employed last month.

• Poverty has increased under Obama. Overall, 14.3 percent of Americans were below the poverty line in January 2009, versus 15.0 percent in 2012, according to the latest available data from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey. Similarly, the share of black Americans living in poverty expanded from 25.8 to 27.2 percent.

• Inflation-adjusted median household income fell across America, from $53,285 in 2009 to $51,017 in 2012, the most recent Census Bureau data indicate. Blacks slid, too, from $34,880 to $33,321 — and at a much lower income level.

• America’s population of food-stamp recipients soared overall from 32,889,000 in 2009 to 46,022,000 in 2012, the latest Agriculture Department statistics show. For blacks, the analogous numbers are 7,393,000 when Obama arrived to 10,955,000 in 2012.

• In spite of $275 billion in housing-market bailouts that Obama unveiled in his first month in office, home ownership actually has waned. In the first quarter of 2009, 67.3 percent of Americans owned homes. By 1Q 2014, that Census Bureau figure was 64.8 percent. Meanwhile, black home ownership during this interval sagged from 46.1 to 43.3 percent.

In light of this dismal record, about the best that Obama can say to black Americans is, “Nothing personal.” Obama’s focus on resentment and redistribution — rather than robust growth — has failed the entire country, not just black folks.

Also, these sad statistics do not capture the intangible humiliation of watching America’s first black president expose himself as a lazy, incompetent liar. This inescapable truth is confirmed by Obama’s eerily detached demeanor, his 169 rounds of golf in office, his scores of skipped intelligence briefings, his unforgivable absence from the Situation Room during the Benghazi massacre, and his burgeoning scandals — from Fast and Furious to the IRS’s persecution of conservative groups to the 40 or more war heroes who died without medical care while languishing on secret Veterans Affairs wait lists. And remember, Obama’s oft-repeated “If you like your health-care plan, you can keep it” promise was PolitiFact’s 2013 Lie of the Year.

Save for Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky.), who frequently addresses black audiences, few Republicans bother to share these facts with black voters. Republicans should — early and often. These data are toxic, and the GOP’s growth-and-prosperity antidote is just what black Americans need.

Republicans should ask black voters this question: What has Obama done for you lately?

— Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/378087/black-americans-are-worse-under-obama-deroy-murdock

 

Sunday, April 06, 2014

The Czar of Black Hollywood Documentary Premiere

Bayer Mack's film "The Czar of Black Hollywood" will premiere on Comcast Channel 8 in Cambridge, MA, see below schedule.

It will also stream Live at the same time(s) at the following link: tttp://www.cctvcambridge.org/channel08

Micheaux Documentary Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/oscarmicheauxdocumentary

State of Black America: Growing Income Inequality

National Urban League

By George E. Curry

National Urban League President Marc Morial  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The wealth gap between African Americans and Whites has expanded in recent years and is not likely to narrow without significant reductions in Black unemployment and changes in a system that favors the wealthy over poor and middle class Americans, according the National Urban League’s 38th annual State of Black America report entitled “One Nation Underemployed: Jobs Rebuild America.”

The report was scheduled to be released April 3. In a statement, Marc H. Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League, said: “The 2014 State of Black America and corresponding Equality Index indicate that while each state and city has its own economic recovery story to tell, the consistent refrain is that there is an urgent and growing disparity between the few who are reaping the rewards of economic recovery and the majority who are still reeling from aftershocks of the Great Recession.”

Morial added, “While ‘too big to fail’ corporations went into the bail-out emergency room and recovered to break earnings and stock market records, most Americans have been left in ICU with multiple diagnoses of unemployment, underemployment, home losses and foreclosures, low or no savings and retirement accounts, credit denials, and cuts in education and school funding.”

The 2014 Equality Index is a yardstick used to measure how well African Americans are doing relative to Whites. In computing the Equality Index, 30 percent of the final score is based on economics, while health and education each gets 25 percent and social justice and civic engagement each receives 10 percent on a 100 percent scale.

“That means rather than having a whole pie (100 percent), which would mean full equality with Whites in 2014, African Americans [with an index of 71.2 percent] are missing about 29 percent of the pie,” the authors said, explaining the Equality Index.

In other words, the larger the Equality Index, the closer Blacks are to reaching parity with Whites.

The Equality Index has declined from 73 percent in 2006, to 72.1 percent in 2010 to 71.2 percent in 2014. However, authors caution that the overall figure might reflect progress in some areas and retrenchment in others.

Relative to last year’s Black Equality Index: the civic engagement index improved from 99.9 percent to 104.7 percent; economics dipped from 56.3 percent to 55.5 percent; social justice declined from 56.9 percent to 56.8 percent; and health (76.8 percent) and education (76.8 percent) remained unchanged.

The report also found: Black median household income ($33,764) is about 60 percent of Whites ($56,565), down from 62 percent before the recession; and 28.1 percent of Blacks live in poverty vs. 11 percent of Whites.

Unlike African Americans, Hispanics saw their Equality Index with Whites increase slightly, from 74.6 percent in 2013 to 75.8 percent in 2014, which was 4.6 percent higher than African Americans.

In a chapter titled “Policies of Exclusion Perpetuate the Racial Wealth Gap,” Thomas M. Shapiro wrote: “The dramatic and widening gap in household wealth along racial lines in the United States reflects policies and institutional practices that create different opportunities for whites and African Americans. Personal ambition and behavioral choices are but a small part of the equation.”

Shapiro wrote, “In gross terms, the difference in median wealth between America’s white and African American households has grown stunningly large.

The wealth gap almost tripled from 1984 to 2009, increasing from $85,000 to $236,500. The median net worth of white households in the study grew to $265,000 over the 25-year period compared with just $28,500 for the Black households.”

He said five factors account for two-thirds of the proportional increase in the racial wealth gap: number of years of home ownership, average family income, employment stability, college education and financial support and inheritance.

According to Shapiro, home ownership accounts for 27 percent of the growth in the racial wealth gap. He said reasons home equity rises dramatically faster for Whites include: White families buy homes and start acquiring equity eight years earlier than Black families because they are more likely to receive family assistance or an inheritance for down payments; a larger up-front payment by White homeowners lower interest rates; residential segregation places an artificial ceiling on home equity in non-White neighborhoods; and the home ownership rate for White families is 28 percent higher than rates for Blacks.

“Hard evidence shows in stark terms that it is not just the last recession and implosion of the housing market that contributed to the widening racial wealth disparities,” Shapiro wrote. “Past policies of exclusion, such as discriminatory mortgage lending, which continues today, ensure that certain groups reap a greater share of what America has to offer while others are left out.”

No one expects the wealth gap to narrow without some reduction in unemployment.

Valerie Rawlston Wilson, an economist in the National Urban League’s Washington bureau, noted in her introduction that “More than one-third of unemployed workers have been out of work for six months or longer and one in four has been jobless for a year or longer. Though the unemployment rate declined by 1.2 percentage points from January to December 2013—the largest decline over a single year since the recovery began—labor force participation also reached a 35-year low in December. This downward trend in labor force participation raises concerns about underutilization of America’s labor capacity, or underemployment.”

She explained, “If we factored in the number of people who want and are available for work (but are not actively looking for a job) along with the number of unemployed workers actively looking for a job, and those who are working part-time out of necessity (but would prefer full-time work), the actual rate of underemployment was 13.1 percent at the end of 2013, nearly double the official unemployment rate.”

And things are even worse for African Americans.

“For African Americans, these challenges are even greater,” she wrote. “Though the Black unemployment rate briefly and narrowly dipped below 12 percent for the first time since 2008 at the end of last year, 42 percent of Black unemployed workers are long-term unemployed and 28 percent have been jobless for at least a year. The rate of underemployment for African Americans was 20.5 percent, compared to 11.8 percent for white workers and 18.4 percent for Hispanic workers.”

For the first time, the State of Black America provides an Equality Index for 77 major metropolitan areas. The report provided charts for Black-White income equality and unemployment equality.

 

http://www.afro.com/sections/news/afro_briefs/story.htm?storyid=82155

 

 

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Diversity of thought is an imperative, not an option

By Tara Wall
CNN Op-Ed
 
 
(CNN) -- I can't remember exactly when I began reading Ebony. I've been flipping -- now scrolling -- its pages as long as I can remember. Like family, it's just always been there and helped form my perspective.
 
That's why it was so troubling for me when a senior editor of the esteemed magazine, Jamilah Lemieux, recently went on a Twitter tirade against black Republicans, failing to uphold the standards that I'd come to expect from Ebony.
 
"I care about NOTHING you have to say," she wrote while disparaging conservatives and Republicans in general.
 
This was not the Ebony I'd grown up with, I thought, the Ebony I'd worked with, that encouraged political discourse and diversity of opinion. To my relief, the next day, Ebony issued an apology for its editor's actions after receiving a letter from Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.
 
"EBONY strongly believes in the marketplace of ideas," the editors wrote in their response. And we all should. Any good publication allows for diversity of thought. Any good journalist should be able to listen to all sides of an issue. She should not resort to the virtual equivalent of putting her fingers in her ears.
 
As a conservative black woman, I understand I'm in the minority of a minority. But I challenge all of those who disagree with me to listen to what my party has to say. Are your opinions based on hasty assumptions? Or were they formed after reasoned debate?
 
We don't have to agree on every issue. We shouldn't. But we can't claim to be informed citizens if we refuse even to hear another perspective.
 
And it's never been more important for us to be informed than at a time when our political clout as black Americans, especially black women, is growing. In last year's gubernatorial race in Virginia, where I live, black women turned out to vote at a rate higher than other demographic groups, according to exit polls, just as we did in the past two presidential elections. It's in our interest to understand the full spectrum of political ideas.
 
Most black Americans only need to ask a parent or grandparent to hear stories of when the opinions, views and voices of blacks were silenced, not because of what they said but because of who we are.
 
Some of us have experienced that bigotry firsthand. How can any one of us, then, be so quick to refuse to listen to others?
 
If you take the time to listen, you might be surprised at what you hear. Ask a Republican about education policy, and you might learn that she is fighting to ensure school choice is the right of parents to choose the school that's right for their kids, regardless of their ZIP code.
 
Yes, Republicans agree with the majority of black parents.
 
If a black female entrepreneur asked a conservative about economic policy, she might learn that Republicans at every level of government are fighting to streamline regulations so that she can grow her business faster, hire more workers and keep more of what she earns.
 
Yes, Republicans are fighting for her, too.
 
If the young black millennial who's looking for work asked a Republican congressman what he'd done for him lately, he'd hear about the 40 jobs bills that the Republican-led House of Representatives has passed but the Democrat-run Senate has refused to consider.
 
Yes, you might be surprised.
 
In the course of my career, I've worked as a journalist and held editorial management positions at a number of media outlets. Objectivity and balanced coverage were demanded; personal views could not and did not interfere with a reporter's duty to tell the full story.
 
That's because journalism and political discourse must make room for a diversity of opinions. The "marketplace of ideas" can sort out what's right, wrong, persuasive and not. And it won't be the same for every person.
 
But for me and many others, conservative policy solutions offer more financial freedom, greater religious freedom and more economic opportunities.
 
And if you can't understand why, well, that's all the more reason why we need to engage in meaningful political discussion.
 
Tara Wall is senior strategist for media and engagement at the Republican National Committee and founder of the PTP Foundation for Media Arts. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.
 
 
 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Hottest Free Weekly Online Magazine For Black Conservatives

Please join me as a charter subscriber to the hottest free weekly online magazine for America’s new generation of black conservative leaders.

Dear Friend,

America is the land of dreams, and it has fulfilled the dreams of so many people from so many places. As a child, I dreamed of becoming a doctor. And by working hard, embracing my mother's values and seizing opportunity, I was able to become a neurosurgeon. But I worry that today's generations have been lulled into a complacency that is destroying the promise of The Dream.

The ruling elite has convinced too many young adults that it's OK to stay at home and live in your parents' basements playing video games or aimlessly roaming the streets with friends. After all, you can get a monthly check, a free cell phone and health insurance from Uncle Sam for doing nothing. Opportunity has been replaced by despair. Embracing character, values, marriage and family has been ridiculed. Government dependence has been substituted for self-reliance. And mediocrity has replaced excellence.

I want you to join me today in demolishing this culture of failure and standing up to the media elite, who for too long have treated black Americans as a monolithic bloc addicted to a single political dogma. We need a new media source that embraces hard work, moral character, family values, good education and self-reliance and inspires the next generation with role models who have cast off the chains of mediocre expectations and proven that the American dream is alive and well.

That's why I have joined friends like Armstrong Williams, Rev. A.R. Bernard, Juan Williams and others to create American CurrentSee, a new type of digital magazine that gets delivered every Sunday to your email inbox and works on your computer, smart phone or tablet. It will arm you for this fight by boldly addressing wrongheaded entitlement dependency and chronicling how big government's well-intentioned nanny state has created lasting pathologies like broken families, overtaxed businesses, under-performing schools and crime-ridden neighborhoods. Mostly importantly, it will inspire you to embrace a new agenda of economic opportunity, moral leadership and freedom from suffocating government.

I love the last stanza of our national anthem. But I also know that in order to be free, first you must be brave. Be brave. Sign up today for American CurrentSee and together let's demolish the tired old dogmas, free today's generations from dependency and mediocrity and build a better America.

Your friend,

Dr. Ben Carson

http://americancurrentsee.com/ac/twt-treesaver/section/cover

 

NBRA Chairman Frances Rice

About Me

Lieutenant Colonel Frances Rice, United States Army, Retired is a native of Atlanta, Georgia and retired from the Army in 1984 after 20 years of active service. She received a Bachelor of Science degree from Drury College in 1973, a Masters of Business Administration from Golden Gate University in 1976, and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of California, Hastings College of Law in 1977. In 2005, she became a co-founder and Chairman of the National Black Republican Association, an organization that is committed to returning African Americans to their Republican Party roots.