Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Democrats Defy Logic

By Raynard Jackson


The closer Election Day gets, the more confused I am by the behavior of Democrats. For the past several years, there has been this false obsession with the importance of the Hispanic vote. All you hear in the media and from the political pundits is “the Hispanic vote, the Hispanic vote, the Hispanic vote.”


Democrats have been throwing amnesty at illegals, giving away Supreme Court seats to Hispanics (Sotomayor), and making it easy for illegals to take American jobs.


It’s almost as though the Black vote doesn’t exist and doesn’t matter.  It seems as though Democrats are saying why pay attention or pander to Blacks; they know Blacks will always give them their vote and not expect or demand anything in return.


The Hispanic vote is only influential in a few states:  California, New Mexico, or Nevada to name a few. They tend to congregate in large numbers in a small number of states. The Black vote is wide and deep, especially in the South and Northeast.


Hispanics are approximately 16 percent of the nation’s population, but only 10 percent of eligible voters. Even worse, only 7 percent vote. The Hispanic population of eligible voter is smaller than any other group (voting age population or VAP). The VAP for Whites is more than 77 percent, for Blacks 67 percent, and for Asians 52 percent.


As they do every two years, the Democrats have their biennial epiphany about the Black vote because they need Blacks to save them at the ballot box come next week.


Before I get into the Democrat’s latest epiphany and what it looks like; let me remind you of what Obama said about Black people in 2012 during an interview with Black Enterprise (BE) magazine.  They asked him about the criticism he had received about ignoring Blacks and Black businesses.  His response was, “I’m not the president of black America. I’m the president of the United States of America.”  In other words, he will not engage in targeted solutions to problems that are unique to the Black community like the double digit unemployment rate (11.6 percent).  He continued by saying, “a rising tide lifts all boats.”


Hmm, interesting.


So Obama is saying what’s good for America is good for Blacks and vice versa.


If this is the case, then can someone explain to me why Obama and the Democrats, fearing defeat in the Senate, are suddenly are spending $ 1 million dollars “specifically” targeting Blacks on radio and newspapers?  Why are they not taking the same advertisements they are running in White media and use the same for Black radio and newspapers?


In other words, Democrats will “target” Blacks for purposes of an election; but won’t do the same thing in the area of legislation and public policy. If Obama is “president of all of America,” why is he “targeting” Blacks regarding the upcoming elections?  Won’t people “think” he is Black?  Won’t people “think” he is being partial to Black media?  Of course he is and it’s the smart thing to do.  So, if Obama and Democrats can “target” Blacks for political ads, for political purposes; could they not also “target” Blacks with specific legislation and executive orders to deal with the double digit unemployment rate?  The answer is a resounding yes.  But Obama and Democrats don’t value the Black vote; they only “use” the Black vote.


But yet, this is the same president and party that refuse specific actions for Blacks, while showering homosexuals and illegals with every political favor under the sun; and they are now targeting Black radio and newspapers in the last 30 days of the election because they are desperate.


According to the nonpartisan research group, Center for Responsive Politics, Democrats are expected to spend upwards of $ 1.76 billion for this year’s elections; yet they only allocate $ 1 million for Black media in the last 30 days of the campaign.  You do the math.  This shows how little value they place on the Black vote – until it’s too late.


These ads are being run on radio shows hosted by Tom Joyner, D.L. Hughley, Ricky Smiley, Al Sharpton, and Joe Madison.  There are 24 months in an elections cycle, but Democrats only spend money with these Blacks for 30 days of that cycle.


The question is also where they spend this money. Do they actually think comedians and buffoons can influence the Black vote.  But, then again, how appropriate that the Democrats think that comedians can get Blacks to vote because the past six years have been one big joke played on the Black community.



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, October 27, 2014

Confirmed: Sharyl Attkisson's Computer Was Hacked, Heavily Monitored By The Federal Government

By Katie Pavlich



Last year Former CBS News investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson, who is known for incredible work on Operation Fast and Furious, Benghazi and other White House scandals, noticed her computers at work and at home were acting strange. She suspected someone had hacked into her computer, specifically into a desktop in her home due to the machine turning on and off by itself at all hours of the night. An initial review of the hard drive revealed that her computer had in fact been compromised, but it wasn't known at the time who did it. The intruder into her system didn't take any financial information and it was clear they were looking for something else. 


The news of Attkisson's computer problems came shortly after we found out the phones and emails of Fox News reporters James Rosen (and his parents) and William LaJeunesse were monitored. Rosen's movements were also monitored by government officials and he was named as a criminal co-conspirator in an affidavit from the Department of Justice to a judge. All three reporters, LaJeunesse, Rosen and Attkisson work on stories typically unfavorable to the administration (and all three have also scrutinized former administrations, including those headed by a Republican). 


Now, Attkisson is revealing in her new book Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington that it was in fact the government that hacked into her computer, even installing software to track her information and every key she pushed. More from the New York Post:


In her new memoir, Sharyl Attkisson says a source who arranged to have her laptop checked for spyware in 2013 was “shocked” and “flabbergasted” at what the analysis revealed.

“This is outrageous. Worse than anything Nixon ever did. I wouldn’t have believed something like this could happen in the United States of America,” Attkisson quotes the source saying.

Attkisson says the source, who’s “connected to government three-letter agencies,” told her the computer was hacked into by “a sophisticated entity that used commercial, nonattributable spyware that’s proprietary to a government agency: either the CIA, FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency or the National Security Agency.”

The breach was accomplished through an “otherwise innocuous e-mail” that Attkisson says she got in February 2012, then twice “redone” and “refreshed” through a satellite hookup and a Wi-Fi connection at a Ritz-Carlton hotel.

The spyware included programs that Attkisson says monitored her every keystroke and gave the snoops access to all her e-mails and the passwords to her financial accounts.

“The intruders discovered my Skype account handle, stole the password, activated the audio, and made heavy use of it, presumably as a listening tool,” she wrote in “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.”


So what was the motive behind the hack? Attkisson believes the feds were trying to go after herself and her sources with legal charges. Keep in mind, President Obama has used the Espionage Act against more sources providing information to reporters, and ultimately the American public, than any other President in history. The fact that this administration gets away with these types of intrusions is incredibly alarming for all Americans, but particularly for reporters who shine a light on corruption. This news is incredibly unnerving for the pursuit of truth, in keeping trusted sources talking and in protecting the First Amendment. 



Sunday, October 26, 2014

Obama's Raw Deal

By Jack Kelly

If Republicans win control of both the House and Senate, “the interests of billionaires will come before the needs of the middle class,” President Barack Obama said at a $32,500-a-plate fundraiser at the $16 million Greenwich, Connecticut, estate of a billionaire named (I’m not making this up) Rich Richman.

You can’t top that remark for hypocrisy or the setting for irony. It isn’t the middle class who write $32,500 checks. Those who do expect something in return. They’ve been getting it.

The Obama administration “protected Wall Street. Not families who were losing their homes. Not people who lost their jobs. And it happened over and over and over,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., told the liberal webzine Salon. Ms. Fauxcahontas isn’t right about much, but she is about that. Administration policies have rewarded Wall Streeters whose reckless lending magnified the subprime mortgage crisis. “You’ve got Wall Street criminals walking free, sipping tea at the White House,” said left-wing academic Cornel West.

Supplying bupkes for most Americans, the $787 billion stimulus bill produced bonanzas for the politically connected. A disaster for consumers and taxpayers, Obamacare fattened the bottom line of insurance companies. Billionaire Tom Steyer figures to profit from Mr. Obama’s foot-dragging on the Keystone XL pipeline.

The top group of fundraisers for Mr. Obama raised $457,834 for his 2008 campaign – and were approved for federal grants and loans of $11.4 billion, according to the Government Accountability Institute. Selling access to the federal treasury has been a great way for Democrats to raise campaign funds. Since 1989, according to an analysis by Gateway Pundit, big donors have provided $416 million more in direct contributions to Democrats than Republicans.

Seven of the 10 wealthiest counties voted to re-elect the president. Democrats represent eight of the 10 wealthiest congressional districts. There are more Democrats than Republicans among the 268 millionaires in Congress.

There were 9.63 million households last year with a net worth of $1 million or more, up from 6.7 million in 2008. The wealthiest 1 percent received 22.46 percent of the national income in 2012, up from 18.12 percent in 2009, calculated economist Emmanuel Saez. The income of the bottom 99 percent shrank 0.4 percent, Mr. Saez said. Adjusted for inflation, median household income was 8 percent lower in 2013 than before the Great Recession began.

The middle class (those who earn between the 30th and 70th percentiles) accounted for 53 percent of the national income in 1970, just 45 percent in 2012, according to demographer Joel Kotkin, who says “the biggest issue facing the American economy, and our political system, is the gradual descent of the middle class into proletarian status.”

The average compensation of federal employees last year was 74 percent higher than for workers in the private sector. Few would begrudge government workers higher pay and benefits if they earn it. But from the Centers for Disease Control to the Veterans Administration, incompetence, neglect and corruption seem more the rule than the exception. Little wonder, when the chief consequences for malfeasance are a lengthy paid vacation or retirement with generous benefits. By shielding bureaucrats from accountability, Democrats have made “public servant” an oxymoron.

The middle class is shrinking because policies designed to benefit those who feed at the public trough clobber economic growth. The chief difference between the New Oligarchs and the robber barons of yesteryear is that the robber barons had an interest in a vibrant middle class, Mr. Kotkin says in his new book, “The New Class Conflict.” “Gentry liberals” don’t.

In the past, Democrats “recognized broad-based economic growth was a necessary precursor to upward mobility and social justice,” Mr. Kotkin wrote. Now they adopt policies that restrict growth.

Truman Democrats stood up for working men and women. Obama Democrats provide the oligarchs with cheaper servants at the expense of working men and women. The rhetoric hasn’t changed much, but the gap between Harry Truman’s Fair Deal and Barack Obama’s Raw Deal couldn’t be wider.

Jack Kelly is a columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and The Blade of Toledo, Ohio.



Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Democratic Embrace of Al Sharpton - perhaps of interest

The man who embodied New York’s bad old days of the 1980s now wields influence as never before—at City Hall and in the White House.

By Heather Mac Donald

The Rev. Al Sharpton once epitomized New York’s bad old days of the 1980s, when the then-corpulent, gold-medallion-bedecked tub thumper inflamed racial hatred and courted violence. Today, against all expectations and at least 100 pounds lighter, he has been rehabilitated into the Democratic Party’s civil-rights leader of choice. Has Mr. Sharpton changed or simply outlasted his critics?

President Obama ’s embrace of Mr. Sharpton has been particularly intense this year. On Monday he called Mr. Sharpton’s radio show to discuss the Nov. 4 elections. In April the president appeared at a political rally organized by Mr. Sharpton’s National Action Network. Mr. Obama’s closest adviser, Valerie Jarrett, conferred with Mr. Sharpton in August about the police killing of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Mo., as Mr. Sharpton led protests against the Ferguson police.

The Democratic establishment is just as obsequious. It turned out in force earlier this month to celebrate Mr. Sharpton’s 60th birthday party at New York’s tony Four Seasons restaurant. Hillary Clinton phoned in with best wishes. Barack and Michelle Obama sent a congratulatory letter. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo gushed: “He’s the nation’s Rev. Sharpton—and the nation is better for it.” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman , Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand , and Reps. Charles Rangel and Jerry Nadler rushed to pay their respects.

Worrying as it might be for America to see Mr. Sharpton catapulted into the national limelight, that is nothing compared with the alarm felt by many New Yorkers now witnessing his emergence as a political power in their city.

When New Yorkers elected Bill de Blasio as mayor last year, they knew they were getting a self-styled “progressive” who pledged to soak the rich and shackle the New York Police Department. What they didn’t know was that they were also voting to bring Al Sharpton and his influence into the very heart of City Hall. The mayor’s alliance with the racial provocateur is now creating the biggest crisis of his mayoralty.

So far Mr. de Blasio is pretending not to notice. As the crisis escalated, involving a former Sharpton aide now working for the mayor’s wife, Mr. de Blasio ladled on the praise at the Four Seasons. “Al Sharpton has been a blessing for this city,” the mayor enthused. “He’s been a blessing for this nation. And the more people criticize him, the more I want to hang out with him. Because a lot of times, just look who’s doing the criticizing and the way they’re saying it—it makes you realize the Rev must be doing something right. You know, sometimes, your enemies are the best endorsers of the righteousness of your actions.”

Where to start in evaluating what a “blessing” Al Sharpton has been to New York and America? For those who have forgotten or are too young to recall, here is a brief history of the man now so warmly embraced by the mayor, the governor and the president.

There was Mr. Sharpton’s frenzied involvement in the Tawana Brawley case. In 1987 Ms. Brawley, a 15-year-old African-American, concocted a tale of being raped by six white males. The allegation was ultimately revealed as a hoax, but not before Mr. Sharpton had commandeered the racially incendiary story and poured fuel on it by accusing a white county prosecutor of having been among the attackers. The prosecutor, Steven Pagones, won a defamation suit in 1998 against Mr. Sharpton, Ms. Brawley and her lawyers. Mr. Sharpton refused to pay the judgment against him, which was eventually discharged by a group of supporters.

In 1991 a Hasidic driver in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights accidentally ran onto a sidewalk and killed a 7-year-old black child named Gavin Cato. Mr. Sharpton led protesters in angry cries of “No justice, no peace,” criticized Jewish diamond merchants in the neighborhood for selling goods from apartheid South Africa, and spoke at a rally where a banner said, “Hitler did not do the job.” During three days of violence following the accident, rioters beat to death an Australian rabbinical student named Yankel Rosenbaum.

In 1995 Mr. Sharpton led a protest in Harlem to stop a Jewish landlord—a “white interloper,” in Mr. Sharpton’s words—from evicting a black-operated record shop. One of the protesters would later set fire to the store, killing seven store employees.

Mr. Sharpton has never apologized for his involvement in the Brawley hoax. Nor has he taken responsibility for his agitation in Crown Heights.

In 2008 the Associated Press reported that Mr. Sharpton and his business entities owed nearly $1.5 million in taxes and penalties, as well as tens of thousands of dollars in fines for unpaid workers' compensation and unemployment insurance. By this year Mr. Sharpton’s tax liabilities had ballooned to $4.7 million, according to the New York Post. He still owes the Federal Election Commission $208,000 for the improper use of campaign money during his 2004 presidential bid.

Not relevant, apparently, to Mr. Sharpton’s increasing reach into Democratic circles. Mr. Sharpton believes that New York’s mayor owes him his job—a belief shared, it seems, by Mr. de Blasio himself. Mr. Sharpton pointedly declined to endorse the sole black candidate in the Democratic primary last year. That left the field open for a late-surging Mr. de Blasio, who had run a demagogic campaign against the New York Police Department, denouncing its stop-question-and-frisk policies as racist. Candidate de Blasio also pandered to black voters by prominently featuring his biracial son in campaign ads. “We won the election,” Mr. Sharpton later told CBS New York.

Mr. de Blasio’s first offering of thanks was to hire Mr. Sharpton’s longtime public-relations adviser as his wife’s $170,000-a-year chief of staff. Such a position was unprecedented, but the choice of Rachel Noerdlinger to fill it was even more startling. It put an Al Sharpton confidante at the center of city power.

Next, Mayor de Blasio implied that Mr. Sharpton was a major player in police affairs. In late July the mayor convened a meeting of “community advocates” to discuss the death of a black man following the man’s arrest for selling untaxed loose cigarettes. Mr. Sharpton’s inevitable protests against the NYPD had blamed the death on the enforcement of public-order laws, including the ban on selling loose cigarettes. Such enforcement is key to “broken windows” policing—stopping minor crimes as a way of preventing major ones.

Mr. Sharpton was led in to the mayor’s community meeting by his former aide, Ms. Noerdlinger, and seated on Mr. de Blasio’s left, with Police Commissioner William Bratton , serving his second tour as New York’s top law officer, on the mayor’s right. The symbolism was lost on no one, least of all police officers. The next day, a mock NYPD identification card circulated through police headquarters showing Mr. Sharpton as commissioner.

By the time of the Four Seasons birthday blowout, the mayor’s Noerdlinger-Sharpton connection was turning toxic. As the local press reported, the 43-year-old single mother had failed to disclose in her City Hall background check that she was living with an unemployed ex-convict who had served time for fatally shooting a man over a jacket and for drug dealing. The boyfriend, Hassaun McFarlan, had referred to the police as “pigs” on his now-vanished Facebook page.

Ms. Noerdlinger had received a waiver of the city’s residency requirement by citing her teenage son’s need to continue a physical-therapy regime in New Jersey following a traffic accident. She didn’t mention that he was fit enough to play linebacker on his high-school football team. Like Mr. McFarlan, that son has referred to the police as “pigs” on social media, and he has tweeted: “I’m convinced all white people are the devil.”

Ms. Noerdlinger has a federal tax lien against her, typical of the Sharpton inner circle, but failed to report it to the city’s conflict of interest board. She has been involved to varying degrees in McFarlan-related dust-ups with the law, including hundreds of dollars in unpaid traffic tickets issued to her Mercedes-Benz since her City Hall job began.

Mayor de Blasio has refused to discuss the implications for his administration of these and other revelations. Nor has he disciplined Ms. Noerdlinger for her multiple omissions on city background checks.

Police morale is plummeting, given the mayor’s stubborn allegiance to a former Sharpton aide and the seeming elevation of Mr. Sharpton to near-parity with Police Commissioner Bratton. Cops in certain high-crime precincts have all but abandoned pedestrian stops, which candidate de Blasio had so fiercely criticized.

As for Mr. Sharpton, he portrays the Noerdlinger fiasco as a conspiracy to bring down the de Blasio mayoralty and Mr. Sharpton’s connection to it. After leading a few rounds of “no justice, no peace” on a recent Saturday at his National Action Network headquarters—still little more than a shabby storefront despite the millions shoveled into it by supplicant corporate donors—Mr. Sharpton told his supporters: “They will keep trying to prevent [the mayor] from transforming this city, whether it’s Rachel”—Ms. Noerdlinger—“or it’s someone else. When Mayor de Blasio and his wife reached out and said they wanted Rachel to come, I said: ‘Don’t think that they won’t put a target on your back. They’ll find something. They gonna think I cut some deal.’ ”

The longer Mayor de Blasio sticks by Ms. Noerdlinger, the more it will appear that the mayor did cut a deal. But firing her would invite Mr. Sharpton’s wrath, jeopardizing Mr. de Blasio’s hopes for a second term. Worse, Mr. Sharpton is demanding an end to broken-windows policing, while Commissioner Bratton has vowed to continue it. Mayor de Blasio cannot satisfy both men.

Despite Mr. Sharpton’s current mainstream patina, his stock-in-trade has changed little from his Tawana Brawley-Crown Heights days, as the disintegration of his inflammatory narrative about the police shooting in Ferguson, Mo., demonstrates. Apart from rare forays into the rhetoric of personal responsibility, he still peddles the dangerous lie that police officers are the greatest threat facing young black men and that racial discrimination is the main force holding blacks back.

In fact, it is other young black men who are responsible for the high homicide risk faced by black teens, and it is proactive policing that has dramatically reduced that risk, saving thousands of young lives in places like New York City. Mr. Sharpton’s longevity as a public figure rests on the enduring power of racial grievance to elevate those politicians who accede to it, while distracting attention from the family and social breakdown afflicting the black community. Mayor de Blasio’s Sharpton predicament is nevertheless a cautionary tale about the risks of getting too close to the Reverend Al.

Ms. Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute.



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Obama Turns Back on Blacks, Fails Test of Loyalty

by Raynard Jackson

Winston Churchill once said: “To every man there comes a time in his life when he is figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a great and mighty thing; unique to him and fitted to his talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds him unprepared or unqualified for the moment that could be his finest hour.”

Barack Obama was tapped on the shoulder and given the chance to be the first black president of these United States. When President Obama assumed office 6 years ago, he faced a collapsing economy, a world with seemingly endless conflicts, a citizenry very unsure of their future. After years of war and chaos, America wanted someone who would inspire the nation to return to greatness, someone who would reassure the nation that everything would be alright.

Job seekers wait in line at a 2011 Congressional Black Caucus job fair. President Obama neglected stubbornly high black unemployment, says Raynard Jackson. (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal & Constitution, Bob Andres)

Mr. Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign was indeed very inspirational and historic. He is the gold standard for presidential campaigns. He ran the closest thing to a perfect campaign, twice — 2008 and 2012. He is the best campaigner in the country’s history — yes, even better than Bill Clinton. It is unheard of not to have turnover at the highest levels of a presidential campaign. This never happened in the Obama campaigns.

How can such a master campaigner be such a horrible president?  How can such a campaigner be such a totally inept manager of the federal government?  

As president, Mr. Obama shows none of the passion he showed as a candidate; as president, he shows none of the discipline that helped him run a near-perfect campaign; as president, he seems neither willing nor able to build coalitions to move America forward. 

Mr. Obama’s campaign theme was “Hope and Change.” Now, after six years, people, especially blacks, are saying they hope he changes. Mr. Obama is the first president in the history of the U.S. to deliberately ignore his largest voting bloc — the black community.

We are 13 percent of the population and gave Mr. Obama 96 percent  and 94 percent of our vote in 2008 and 2012, respectively. In 2012, the black voter participation rate (66.2 percent ) was higher than overall turnout (58 percent) and, for the first time in the history of the U.S., higher than the white rate (64.1 percent).

If Mr. Obama was a corporation, his largest shareholders would be: blacks, whites, Latinos and Asians. In capital markets, dividend payouts are distributed according to percentage of ownership, from the highest to the lowest. On this principle, blacks should be the largest recipient of Mr. Obama’s largesse. But in typical Democratic fashion, blacks don’t even get crumbs from the table. The biggest beneficiaries of Mr. Obama’s presidency are: homosexuals (an estimated 2 percent of the population), illegals and whites. I challenge my readers to name one thing Mr. Obama has done “specifically” to benefit the black community — the largest shareholder in “Obama Inc.” If black voters were shareholders in “Obama Inc.,” they could have gone to court and sued for fraud and breach of contract — and prevailed. 

The black community had every expectation that Mr. Obama would provide “targeted” remedies to address seemingly intractably high unemployment within our community. Instead, the black unemployment rate remains at double digit levels (11.6 percent ) — and not a word from this president. 

Blacks had every right to expect Mr. Obama to be supportive of historically black colleges and universities (HBCU). Instead, the HBCU community and its students have been devastated under this president; so much so that several black educational groups are in the process of filing a lawsuit against the Obama administration.

A recent Associated Press-GfK poll indicated that even Democrats have lost faith in Mr. Obama and his ability to govern. According to this poll, only 27 percent of Democrats are confident the government can keep them safe from terrorist attacks.

Mr. Obama used to be able to make Americans feel good simply by giving one of his patented rousing speeches; but by now, most Americans have tuned him out because they don’t believe anything he or his government has to say.

Mr. Obama said Ebola would never reach our shores, now it’s here. He said the border was secure, but you have illegals streaming across the border with all kinds of diseases that they refuse to disclose to the American people. He said the Benghazi attack was a spontaneous, popular reaction to an anti-Muslim video, but of course everyone now knows it was a terrorist attack. He said you could keep your own doctor, yet he admitted that he willfully lied.

The handwriting is on the wall, Mr. Obama’s presidency is over! As it is written in the Bible in the Book of Daniel 5:25-27: “Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin. This is the interpretation of the thing: Mene; God hath numbered thy kingdom and finished it. Tekel; Thou art weighed in the balances and art found wanting.”

In what could have been his and America’s finest hour, Mr. Obama has been found “unprepared and unqualified for the moment.”

Raynard Jackson is a Republican political consultant, syndicated columnist and author of the book “Writing Wrongs: My Political Journey in Black and Write.” Web: www.raynardjackson.com



Saturday, October 18, 2014

How the Obama Administration Failed to Support HBCUs

The Obama Administration and his Department of Education just appropriated more than $171 million in federal funding to increase S.T.E.M. professional development at colleges and universities nationwide for the sake of equity for low-income and minority students. But just three historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) were given this same grant.

Fayetteville State University, Hampton University and Prairie View A&M University, respectfully, received over $3 million total in federal support–Hampton’s grant accounted for $3.5 million, while FSU and PVAMU received less than $250,000 each.

The appropriation calls for some major questions: Why were the grants, intended to support students of minorities, only given to 3 HBCUs? Were the rest of the 103 HBCUs not qualified for this funding? What was the intention of giving this federal funding to white institutions who serve minorities in a far lesser capacity than HBCUs?

 “HBCUs were serving first generation, minority and low-income students when some of these institutions [PWIs] were denying their entry or were not in existence,” said Hampton University President Dr. William Harvey, blasting the federal government for the lack of support of Black colleges.

PWIs are in the business of reproducing privilege for the elite while HBCUs are in the business of educating the majority of poor and underserved minorities. If governmental funding for minorities was really important, the government would have given far more to historically black colleges.

The Obama Administration has failed to financially support HBCUs with government funding like it does to PWIs–PWI’s never have to worry about the lack of governmental funding.

However, the more perplexing issue is that the White House Initiative on HBCUs task is to primarily  “…overcome the effects of discriminatory treatment and to strengthen and expand the capacity of historically black colleges and universities to provide quality education.”

Marybeth Gasman, an Associate Professor at University of Pennsylvania, wrote in, “Comprehensive Funding Approaches Historically Black Colleges and Universities” that Black colleges have a “proven track record of successfully educating African American students, especially those from low-income and underprepared backgrounds.”

“Given President Barack Obama’s push to increase the percentage of citizens with higher education—and given the country’s changing demographics (we will soon be a country with a majority of minorities)—it is essential that HBCUs thrive. They must be out in front demonstrating for the rest of higher education how to provide a sound education to African Americans and other students of color. Equal and consistent federal, state, and private funding will make HBCUs stronger and more viable institutions.”

It is evident that HBCUs are not treated fairly, and one of the potent variables of HBCUs success, especially today, is receiving government funding fairly.

Furthermore, President Obama and the entire White House Initiative on HBCUs should both think about how to solve this issue. And fast.






Thursday, October 16, 2014

Black Voters in Ferguson Turn Against the Democratic Party

By Leah Barkoukis

It’s been two months since Michael Brown was shot by police officer Darren Wilson, and while protests continue, some in the African American community are now channeling their anger into political action—and not for the usual party.

“Just because they’ve got the D next to their name, that don’t mean nothing,” Darren Seals told the Washington Post. “The world is watching us right now. It’s time to send a message of our power.”

Many African Americans in Ferguson and across St. Louis County, angered over their leaders’ response to the fatal shooting, say they will be taking their outrage to the ballot box and voting against a Democratic Party that has long been their automatic choice.

They are focusing on the St. Louis county executive’s race, which typically centers on matters such as the budget and sanitation but this year has become caught up in the unrest.

Earlier this month, a coalition of some 20 African American Democratic leaders called a news conference to endorse the GOP candidate, state Rep. Rick Stream. Armed with voter registration forms, activists like Seals have been roaming black neighborhoods urging people to vote for anyone but the Democrat.

The plan is not only to beat back a local candidate they view as particularly unfriendly to black residents, but also to present a show of force to Democratic leaders all the way up to Sen. Claire McCaskill and Gov. Jay Nixon. By switching their allegiance in this election, these African Americans hope to demonstrate that their votes should not be taken for granted.

“This is about the total disrespect white Democrats have demonstrated against the black community,” Ted Hoskins, mayor of nearby Berkeley, told the Post. “This time, we are going to show them.”

But putting a Republican in the St. Louis county executive’s position will be an uphill battle, to be sure. After all, a member of the GOP has not held the position in 25 years.



Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Obama's Nightmare Presidency

By Raynard Jackson

To many people, especially Blacks, Obama’s election as president in 2008 was a dream come true.  According to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, “dreams are successions of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations that occur involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep.”  Dreams tend to last longer as the night progresses.

Sigmund Freud, the Austrian neurologist who became known as the founding father of psychoanalysis, wrote extensively about dream theories and their interpretations in the early 1900s.  He described dreams as the “manifestations of our deepest desires and anxieties.”

To our parents and grandparents, having a Black president was a dream long before it was a reality.  Who could ever imagine after surviving slavery, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and the Civil Rights Movement, that America would ever be ready to elect a Black president?  During our sleep was the only realm in which we thought this would ever be possible. And certainly not twice.

Then along came little known Barack Hussein Obama.  He became the empty vessel in which  America could funnel all of its dreams into.  As Freud said about dreams, Obama became the “manifestation of our deepest desires and anxieties.”

America wanted to prove that ideology trumped race; that vision trumped party affiliation; and that competence trumped cynicism.  In 2008, Obama received 96 percent of the Black vote, 67 percent of the Hispanic vote, 62 percent of the Asian vote, and 43 percent of the White vote.  He was able to put together a broad based coalition to win the White House. America was beginning to prove that it could truly live out the true meaning of its creed that “all men are created equal.”

Unfortunately, this dream has turned into a nightmare.

According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), “a nightmare is an unpleasant dream that can cause a strong emotional response from the mind, typically fear or horror, but also despair, anxiety, and great sadness.  The dream may contain situations of danger, discomfort, psychological or physical terror.  Sufferers often awaken in a state of distress and may be unable to return to sleep for a prolonged period.”

In 2008, Obama claimed he had a dream of uniting America; fixing the economy; creating additional jobs; having America become respected globally again.

Under Obama, America has become the laughingstock of the world.  Syria crossed Obama’s self-imposed “red line,” and Obama gave Syria’s president, Hafez al-Assad a terse lecture as he continued to kill his own citizens with chemical gas.  Obama continues to allow Latin leaders to berate him on U.S. soil because of American’s insistence that we enforce our immigration laws like they do in their own countries.  Russian and Israeli leaders show public disdain for Obama, with no consequence.

Obama and his administration never seem to know about anything that is going on in the very government they control. They claimed to have known nothing about the non-functioning HealthCare.gov website; they knew nothing about Benghazi; they knew nothing about all the problems within the Veterans Administration (VA); they knew nothing about the mess in the Secret Service; they knew nothing about the scandals permeating the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and they knew nothing about ISIS and all their gruesome beheadings until they read about it in the media.

Blacks went from “Hope and Change” to we hope Obama changes. Obama has turned the dreams of Blacks into a nightmare. If nothing else, at least we know they are no longer sleeping.  Now that Blacks have awakened out of their slumber, as the APA stated, they are greeted with “despair, anxiety, and great sadness.”

Obama sold Blacks folks a bill of goods. Blacks have been euphorically defending Obama at every turn.  Yet, Black unemployment is still double digits (11.6 percent).  Black students are dropping out of Black universities at alarming rates as a result of the policies of Obama.  Government contracting has all but dried up for Black businesses. He told Blacks in 2011 to “get out of bed, put on their marching shoes, and stop complaining.” And we said, “yessa massa.”

Homosexuals threaten to withhold their support and money from Obama unless he became their “water boy.”  He says, “yessem, boss.”  They are only 2 percent of the population, but Obama has bent over backwards to accommodate their demands.

Illegals have “demanded” U.S. citizenship from Obama, free education, and free healthcare; Obama signs executive orders to accommodate their demands, even though they can’t legally vote for him.

Yet , he tells Blacks that he can’t target any programs for them because he doesn’t want Whites to think he is being partial to Blacks.

Despite Blacks finally awakening from their slumber, they are now forced to deal with the resulting effects of the nightmare created by Obama. It’s time to judge Obama on his actions; no longer on his rhetoric. Everyone should want our president to be successful, but after six years in the White House, what is the evidence of positive changes with Obama?

By almost every measurable indices, Blacks are worse off today than when Obama became president. We started off with a dream that turned into a fantasy that is ending in a nightmare.


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.