December 30, 2012
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was admitted to a New York hospital Sunday after the discovery of a blood clot stemming from the concussion she sustained earlier this month.
Clinton’s doctors discovered the clot Sunday while performing a follow-up exam, her spokesman, Philippe Reines, said. He would not elaborate on the location of the clot but said Clinton is being treated with anti-coagulants and would remain at New York-Presbyterian Hospital for at least the next 48 hours so doctors can monitor the medication.
“Her doctors will continue to assess her condition, including other issues associated with her concussion,” Reines said in a statement. “They will determine if any further action is required.”
Clinton, 65, fell and suffered a concussion while at home alone in mid-December as she recovered from a stomach virus that left her severely dehydrated. The concussion was diagnosed Dec. 13 and Clinton was forced to cancel a trip to North Africa and the Middle East that had been planned for the next week.
Clinton was also forced to cancel Dec. 20 testimony before Congress about a scathing report into the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. The report found that serious failures of leadership and management in two State Department bureaus were to blame for insufficient security at the facility. Clinton took responsibility for the incident before the report was released, but she was not blamed.
Some conservative commentators suggested Clinton was faking the seriousness of her illness and concussion to avoid testifying, although State Department officials vehemently denied that was the case.
Lawmakers at the hearings — including Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman who has been nominated by President Barack Obama to succeed Clinton — offered her their best wishes.
The former first lady and senator, who had always planned to step down as America’s top diplomat in January, is known for her grueling travel schedule. She is the most traveled secretary of state in history, having visited 112 countries while in the job. (AP)
December 30, 2012
The Republican Party isn’t the only political force that has a diversity problem.
Environmental activists say their own movement needs to step up its game if it wants to play much bigger in Washington.
The green movement dreams of pushing major bills through Congress on the scale of President Barack Obama’s health care reform law and the immigration overhaul expected to begin next year.
But those issues enjoy something the green movement does not: wide and deep support across key Democratic groups, including Latinos and African-Americans.
“You should fish where the fish are biting,” said Van Jones, the former green jobs adviser to Obama. “All causes that want longevity need to look to influence the emerging majority, which will be a nonwhite majority.”
December 29, 2012
Annmarie Desravines didn’t take phone calls from family, cried “at the drop of a dime,” and said she was barely getting up in time for the first of her two part-time jobs as a cook.
After she lost her health insurance and then was diagnosed with lupus, “I got to the point of where I would go to work, come home and get in my bed. I didn’t want to eat. I didn’t want to drink. I didn’t want to do anything,” said Desravines, 41, of Central Islip. “I knew I was depressed.”
Three months passed before Desravines, an African-American woman, sought a therapist.
“I think it starts with pride,” she said of cultural barriers to seeking mental health treatment. “We’re so strong that we are afraid for people to see the weak side of us.”
African-Americans’ access to mental health care can be affected by lack of financial resources, and their approach to such care is influenced by deep historical underpinnings, including stigma, suspicion of medical professionals and reliance on religion, experts say. (Newsday)
December 29, 2012
- While Django Unchained is stirring controversy, Steven Spielberg’s movie Lincoln, has unchained the Legend of Lincoln to new mythic heights, without due challenge. Just as organizations like the NAACP denounced conservative-revisionist textbooks in Texas in 2010, they should denounce liberal-bent historical accounts that either ignorantly or deliberately fail to concede that “Abraham Lincoln did the right thing for the wrong reasons.” Or as Lerone Bennett aptly conveyed in the title of his book, Lincoln was in effect – Forced Into Glory.
Nevertheless, the fictions of Lincoln enrich the commercial and moral value of Americana more than the facts of Lincoln. As Bennett writes, Lincoln “is a national industry involving hundreds of millions of dollars a year . . . and the thousands of people who profit materially and the millions who profit psychologically and culturally are not going to stop.”
So what really happened with Lincoln and the Civil War? Considering the racism that abounds today, it’s inconceivable that 3 million Whites would fight gung-ho and 600,000 would unselfishly die for a “Black cause” way-back 150 years ago. And if Lincoln factually wrote the Emancipation Proclamation to genuinely “free Africans” after 2½ centuries, its contents would seemingly be more etched into African-American minds. But if you ask around, it would be a near-miracle to find anyone (Black academics and leaders included) who can even paraphrase any portion of it, much less clarify its contents. Isn’t that strange?
An unlikely but well-accredited vetting source of the Legend of Lincoln is President Obama himself, who as a senator in a 2005 Time interview remarked: “I cannot swallow whole the view of Lincoln as ‘The Great Emancipator’ . . . I am fully aware of his limited views on race. Anyone who actually reads the Emancipation Proclamation knows it was more a ‘Military Document’ than a clarion call for justice. Scholars tell us too that Lincoln wasn’t immune from political considerations and that his temperament could be indecisive and morose.”
Neither due justice nor the ambiguousness of the real Lincoln can be condensed here, but his “racism” or “limited views on race” as Obama diplomatically cites, is evidenced in a 1858 speech when he candidly said he was not “in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races . . . and I just as much as any other man am in favor of the superior position assigned to the white race.”
Examples of his “crudity” or not being “immune from political considerations” as Obama intimates, is found in his letter to New York Tribune editor, Horace Greely in August 1862 stating: “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union.”
The following month, the real Lincoln proposed a shrewd Preliminary Proclamation to emancipate Africans in Confederate areas. The caveat though was that Confederate states could retain slavery, providing they complied to return to the Union by January 1, 1863. However, should the war have ended beforehand, the deal would be rescinded and Confederates would lose both the war and slavery.
In terms of the Emancipation Proclamation being a “military document,” Obama is corroborating Lincoln’s strategy to employ the document as a war measure to disrupt the South’s stability and slave-economy ($4 billion in human capital alone in 1860’s dollars) and offset the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 (which federally mandated that fugitive Africans be returned or abettors faced treason). It only “theoretically” freed Africans in Confederate states where he lacked enforcement.
Lastly, the moral notion that Lincoln waged the Civil War “to end slavery” is negated by his swift removal of General John Fremont for “freeing Africans” in Missouri in 1861, expressing: “We didn’t go into the war to put down slavery, but to put the flag back . . . for I never should have had votes enough to send me here if the people had supposed I should try to use my power to upset slavery.”
In this microwave society with 10-second attention spans, fictional characters like Django are short-lived. But here to stay is the Legend of Lincoln, who like many of his predecessors was gigantic in ambition but miniature in morality. Obama was diplomatic, but the open masquerading of Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation that he insinuates, reflects a need for concerned Black people and institutions to converge and confront such distortions and profiteering that are unchained at our historical and ancestral expense.
Ezrah Aharone is an adjunct associate professor at Delaware State University, and author of two acclaimed political books: Sovereign Evolution: Manifest Destiny from Civil Rights to Sovereign Rights (2009) and Pawned Sovereignty: Sharpened Black Perspectives on Americanization, Africa, War and Reparations (2003). He can be reached at Ezrah@EzrahSpeaks.com.
December 28, 2012
Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) has joined forces with Sigma Gamma Rho, one of the nation’s largest African American sororities, to help build awareness of career possibilities in science, technology, and engineering among girls and parents in the African American community.
Working with local Girl Scout councils around the country, Sigma Gamma Rho’s alumnae chapters have made GSUSA’s Imagine Engineering program, funded by the National Science Foundation, a focus of the sorority’s annual National Youth Symposium.
“Girl Scouting and Sigma Gamma Rho have the same goal: to build the nation’s future leaders by helping girls dream big and accomplish much today,” said GSUSA Chief Executive Officer Anna Maria Chavez. “We are delighted to be part of this partnership to help girls do great things in critical fields such as science, technology, engineering and math.”
“Response to Imagine Engineering has been terrific,” said Sigma Gamma Rho National President Bonita Herring. “We surveyed 250 girls who took part in the program, and more than two thirds of them said they now understood how ‘someone like me’ could become an engineer.”
For more informationon GSUSA’s Imagine Engineering program, visit:www.girlscouts.org/imagineengineering/
“We will not only expand our efforts with this program, but we will reach out to girls nationwide in our communities with a combination of our own healthy living program, Project Reassurance, and the Girl Scouts’ program for middle-school girls on healthy relationships and bullying,” Herring said. “Through this continued partnership, we are going to do great things together for girls.”