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Posted on: 12/11/06:

Of Our Spiritual Strivings

Category: General
Posted by: RBAFounderMM
Sprout in hand

DuBois wrote in The Souls of Black Folk, “Between me and the other world there is ever an unasked question: unasked by some through feelings of delicacy; by others through the difficulty of rightly framing it. All, nevertheless, flutter round it. They approach me in a half-hesitant sort of way, eye me curiously or compassionately, and then, instead of saying directly, How does it feel to be a problem? they say, I know an excellent colored man in my town; or, I fought at Mechanicsville; or, Do not these Southern outrages make your blood boil? At these I smile, or am interested, or reduce the boiling to a simmer, as the occasion may require. To the real question, How does it feel to be a problem? I answer seldom a word.”

The assault by some in evangelical circles to destroy the importance and influence of experience and emotional sense could have destroyed DuBois’ work in the eyes of many. He describes not a situation or circumstance only but conveys an insight and awareness of his very existence and presence. He is not caught up in a spiritual premonition or incumbered by black clouds of sorrow, but he is involved in something that is of his everyday experience. But what did it mean? What, if anything, did it point to? Is DuBois expressing some sort of dissatisfaction in human experience? Perhaps a continuing hunger or emptiness of existence explains his attitude. Or, maybe he is pronouncing a sort of human confession intended as a conscious reasoning about one’s existence.

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Posted on: 12/09/06:

Boondocks: Racial Categories

Category: Misc.
Posted by: RBAFounderX
Boondocks: Racial Categories

(Click the picture to enlarge)
Posted on: 12/06/06:

"Bank-Mart"

Category: Misc.
Posted by: RBAFounderX
What if I told you there was a place where you could buy toilet paper, clothing, groceries, gasoline, get an oil change and deposit a check or open a bank account? Well, there is such a place. It is just not in the US because "rebuffed in the United States, Wal-Mart gets the go-ahead for bank in Mexico." So would you want to bank at the same place where they sell Pringles and ground beef? Apparently, Mexico is open to the idea and for their sake, I hope things work out.

From the International Herald Tribune:
MEXICO CITY: Public opposition has all but killed a Wal-Mart plan to open its own bank in the United States. But in Mexico, the retailer's push for a bank is sailing through.

The Finance Ministry has given final approval for the bank, said Wal-Mart de México on Wednesday. The bank would begin operating during the second half of 2007. Julio Gómez Martínez, the former chief executive of Bank One in Mexico, will lead the independent unit, to be called Banco Wal-Mart de México Adelante.

One possible reason for the different receptions in the United States and Mexico is that, by most estimates, as many as 80 percent of Mexicans do not have bank accounts. Because Wal-Mart plans to offer such accounts, local groups apparently had difficulty trying to stir up public outrage.

Working-class Mexicans have been largely shut out of traditional banks by high fees, minimum balance requirements and intimidating paperwork. Community banks barely exist.

In this venture, Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, still might be the little guy, at least for now. Among Wal-Mart's competitors in the banking business are global banks like Citigroup and HSBC, which have made almost no effort to attract the vast bulk of working- class Mexicans.

The authorities, beginning with the governor of the Mexican central bank, Guillermo Ortiz, have blessed the entry of retailers into banking as a way to reach people without accounts.

In its statement last week announcing that Wal-Mart, along with four other banks, had received preliminary approval, the Finance Ministry said that it expected the new banks to create more competition and serve markets that the country's five dominant banks ignore.

In the United States, Wal-Mart's application for an industrial bank is frozen. The company said that it wanted the bank to process credit card transactions. But community banks in the United States and even larger banks joined the usual Wal-Mart foes like unions, labor activists, small merchants and community groups to oppose the bank.
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Posted on: 12/04/06:

"Why Bill Cosby Is Wrong"

Category: Culture
Posted by: RBAFounderX
by Algernon Austin and Jared Bernstein
For decades, scholars and opinion makers have been seduced by cultural explanations for economic problems. Recently, comedian Bill Cosby has caught the bug, leading him to inveigh against aspects of black culture he views as intimately linked to problems among African-Americans, from poverty to crime and incarceration.

Mr. Cosby is merely the latest and most visible in a long chain of cultural critics. Researcher Charles Murray (before turning to genetic explanations) and columnist Thomas Sowell have been making the "bad culture" argument about African-Americans for decades. David Brooks has a long-running column in The New York Times linking culture and economic outcomes.

This work is misguided at best and destructive at worst.

One key to the success of the cultural argument is the omission of inconvenient facts about social and economic trends. For example, people arguing that African-Americans are suffering from a culture of poverty stress that blacks are much more likely to be poor than whites. True, but this fact misses the most important development about black poverty in recent years: Its steep decline during the 1990s.

Black poverty fell 10.6 percentage points from 1993 to 2000 (from 33.1 to 22.5 percent) to reach its lowest level on record. Black child poverty fell an unprecedented 10.7 percentage points in five years (from 41.9 percent in 1995 to 31.2 percent in 2000).

The "culture of poverty" argument cannot explain these trends. Poor black people did not develop a "culture of success" in 1993 and then abandon it for a "culture of failure" in 2001.
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Any thoughts?
Category: Black
Posted by: RBAFounderMM
Climbing the Latter

Many in the larger culture have assumed, projected and imposed low expectations upon the very existence and nature of the Black American. And separate from such action, Blacks have created their own version of psychological dependence, victimization and inability in relation to wellbeing, performance and success. Soft bigotry is a ferocious pursuer but it is also the shameless woman in colorful garb.

Last year former education secretary and drug czar Bill Bennett stated in response to a caller suggesting that legal abortions had depleted the tax base for Social Security. "I do know that it's true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could—if that were your sole purpose—you could abort every Black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down," Bennett volunteered. "That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down. So, these far-out, these far-reaching, extensive extrapolations are, I think, tricky." In another instance, Paul Hornung the Pro Football Hall of Famer, NFL Green Bay Packers' star and Notre Dame Heisman trophy winner, on Detroit's WXYT-AM lamented about the poor play of his alma mater. Hornung's solution: "As far as Notre Dame is concerned ... we can't stay as strict as we are as far as the academic structure is concerned because we've got to get the Black athlete. We must get the Black athlete if we're going to compete ....” Despite the apparent irony of Hornung’s comments, in general Black America is more concerned about the Black athlete’s performance off the field than on it.

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