Our Black News – Critical Thinking for the Advancement of Colored People
Friday August 7th 2020

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Federal Judge Susan J. Dlott Subpoenas National NAACP President

NAACP leadership will have to talk now.

NAACP leadership will have to talk now.

Our Black News – Breaking News

Federal Judge Susan J. Dlott has subpoenaed the National NAACP President Cornell William Brooks and the National NAACP Legal Counsel.  The hearing is tomorrow at 10:00 AM in Federal Court.  “The local NAACP election has been hijacked.  It is sad that the National NAACP has added to the chaos by not following their own constitution,” said Councilman Christopher Smitherman.

A Child’s success is a Contract with Mom: Killing the Achievement Gap

Recorded results have shown that Collective Impact Groups have stalled in helping children of color achieve and maintain success in the public school system. A new delivery tool is here and today I introduce the foundation and rationale on why “Mom” is so important in making sure we pay attention to doing first-things-first and bringing the private sector along for this history-making ride to success.

By Don Allen, Publisher-Educator

I want to help superintendents and minority leaders see that the dependent event systems stack early real requirements on parents and mentors concerned with the at risk child’s success. Even the collective impact model has real first things first required in the sense of a generic process of cascading the results of dependent events to the final event of graduation ready to succeed. There is a logical physics and mathematical property to be seen that limits throughput to what was previously throughput and no more but possibly even less. Once this impact on throughput is seen, the concepts of first things first right the first time for highest quality and lowest cost becomes the direct substantive content to the goal, objective and out of box solution. It is out of the box innovative attention during the years of age 0-6 to a required result that will increase the positive expectation of graduation from high school, at the early age of 6. We call this the PVofPE-Prek. Duplicating the children not at risk to drop out.

Every system of dependent events needs to see its elements as:

  1. The dependent events and the capacity constraints they create
  2. Variation
  3. Time
  4. Balanced effort must be made unbalanced at critical points to keep up or catch up because:
  • The ability to go fast is limited to the slowest effort
  • Throughput is not an average in reality—there are real limits to doing faster or catching up but there are no limits to doing slower and falling behind or further behind.
  • As an example, a balanced effort with variation of 1,2,3,4,5,6 has an average effort of 3.5 over 10 steps expecting a logical throughput yield of 35. But, this will demonstrate only 20 consistently because of variation. The bottleneck makes it even worse.
  • Systems of dependent events prone to bottlenecks cannot make up for lost learning not achieved and the time/effort spent not successfully learning within the balanced efforts.
  • Throughput is only less once a student falls behind. The only solution to that is to stop the process and have the child learn what was missed in an unbalanced way.

If you do not recognize the above in your plan for your area you cannot get gift funding from the private sector because the private sector knows all about First Things First Right The First Time One Size Fits One (FTFRTFT) and the gift givers (banks) are good at suspecting when the commitment is missing. USA VALUES, LLC is counting on – The private sector being compelled to – give a gift – if they can see that -FTFRTFT understanding – in what goes on in the – public sector led by the Public School District – led by a superintendent – joined with minority leaders – who are willing to call itself a – Cause-Effect-Cause district – of high quality change for the minority and poor cultures – by moving cultural attention – to real readiness. The move has to be to age 0-6 children before they get in this position. Let’s look at the facts as measured by 3 districts.

Children Children of Parents
St. Paul School District 3rd Grade Proficiency % # Not Who will accept the gift
2013 2014 2015 Proficient 2200
Total from MDE 37.2 41.1 36.4 2957 1881 63.6
American Indian/Alaskan Native 30.4 38.2 28.8 73 52 71.2
Asian/Pacific Islander 24.5 26.8 27.6 784 568 72.4
Hispanic 25.1 29.3 31.8 424 289 68.2
Black, not of Hispanic Origin 28 30.7 23.3 935 717 76.7
White, not of Hispanic Origin 68.9 76.1 65.7 741 254 34.3
All Students 2957 1880
Children Children of Parents
Minneapolis School District 3rd Grade Proficiency % Not Who will accept the gift
2013 2014 2015 Proficient 2000
Total from MDE 42 41 41.1 2962 1745 58.9
American Indian/Alaskan Native 21.1 16.5 19.6 112 90 80.4
Asian/Pacific Islander 37.6 36.7 35.8 179 115 64.2
Hispanic 16.5 22.3 21.2 566 446 78.8
Black, not of Hispanic Origin 22.8 21.5 20.6 1027 815 79.4
White, not of Hispanic Origin 77.6 74.8 74.3 1076 277 25.7
All Students 2960 1743
Children Children of Parents
Rochester School District 3rd Grade Proficiency % Not Who will accept the gift
2013 2014 2015 # Proficient used 650
Total from MDE 57.1 56.3 59.3 1298 528 40.7
American Indian/Alaskan Native 46.2 13 7 53.8
Asian/Pacific Islander 62 49.4 55.1 158 71 44.9
Hispanic 33.9 34.2 25 124 93 75
Black, not of Hispanic Origin 37.3 36.6 45 200 110 55
White, not of Hispanic Origin 64.8 65.3 69.2 803 247 30.8
All Students 1298 528

The third grade minority children at age 9 are generally under 30% proficient in Minneapolis and St. Paul. This is a huge deficit that is impossible to make up in grades K-12 after the first 4 grades of effort. The concept that this could be made up using white non-cultural volunteers is insulting, unless the volunteer is the parent. If you cannot see the any choice reflection in the above your compassion is way overpowering your logic. More grades 4 and 5 tutoring will not get you to first things first.

So for the collective impact model to take a left turn to more tutoring in grades 4 and 5 is the wrong turn for the reasons stated. You cannot get a “35” for the effort once you fall this far behind. The result of extra volunteer effort if you are going to count on it as productive capacity is marginal for the balanced system and 20 cannot be worked to a “35” result. The children go on to missing the opportunity of the USA. This conclusion cannot be altered; it is part of reality.  (See appendix 2 — Theory of Constraints — page 129 by Eliyahu M. Goldratt published in 1990.)

Leaders have no choice but to deal with reading proficiency before the age of 6 and never let the child become not proficient. That means three things must become first things first in each community that has 3rd grade measures similar to the above (every urban community).   The pacing plan has been written for those communities. The unique plans crafted locally would automatically be a way forward that includes the direct influence of mom and culture.

  1. Influence on mother to help the child create him or herself as an individual with positive expectations for self and community
  2. Delivery of Early Reading and Counting Skills along with an understanding of positive expectations in connection with the change in influence (ERSD-RA)
  3. Importance and justice of NewOldMoney existing from the private sector as a gift to be able to deliver the most direct skills and the first influence to individual growth of child and mother.

If a school district becomes cause-effect-cause influenced by first things first right the first time it should expect the gift of early reading skills delivered before kindergarten from the private sector (Federal Reserve Bank and Board of Governors proposed micro monetary policy). That money of 20 billion dollars per year, for the whole nation’s 2,000,000 at risk children going into kindergarten each year should prompt out of the box change efforts and expectations from at least 5-10% of the urban districts in the next 5 years. Expect a 25-year turnaround that would cover the most rewarding locations.

You understand of course that the collective impact models do not focus on age 0-6 children with the intensity to never allow them to fall behind the best performances before kindergarten. They do not have a prayer of really closing the gap. Having a child screened at age 3 is never going to cut to the real requirement that is emerging in the private sector to be ready to read before kindergarten. As a minority leader standing for the governor or the mayor the no choice position must be taken. It is not complicated and it is extremely rewarding. http://www.usavaluescoupons.com/absorbent-mind-maria-montessori/ If the no choice position is not taken — due to politics or status quo — now — someone else will need to position it later. First things first solutions never go away. That is why this solution has stood the test of time in the private sector. And its attributes are now being called for by Chester E. Finn Jr. in his short book titled — ​Reroute the Preschool Juggernaut. This is a simple commitment for compassion with requirements and the proof is found wherever at risk children are addressed most early in life. The cause-effect-cause concept is part of FTFRTFT that can only help each and every school district deals with the capacity constraints in a win-win effort.

Black Lives Matter the movement does not matter

"I have watch too many black men grow old fighting for civil rights and equity in Minneapolis to let a group of self-serving nobodies just make noise and get on the television news." ~Don Allen

“I have watch too many black men grow old fighting for civil rights and equity in Minneapolis to let a group of self-serving nobodies just make noise and get on the television news.” ~Don Allen

Enough is enough. The organizers of the Twin Cities Black Lives Matter movement are planning a protest, march and rally focused on the Minnesota State Fair. I cannot comprehend the strategic planning, if any, by the high-fee paid leadership of the group. As a black man with a vision, I can see a hundred other missions that would be meaningful that help black Minnesotans live a piece of the American Dream. The motivation behind this of a secret agenda, one that puts the Twin Cities Black Lives Matter group one-step, one confrontation  from being shut down permanently.

by Don Allen, Veteran-Publisher-Conservative-Educator

I once took a solemn oath to defend the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. Be advised that no one has ever relieved me of my duties under this oath. Also, please be advised I understand the senseless killing of unarmed black men women must stop; but also, be advised, I understand that ALL life created by God in heaven matters and to take offense to that statement makes you and the movement you cherish so dearly an enemy of the state.

If Black Lives Matter, they would turn back to local agencies (city of Minneapolis/St. Paul,  State of Minnesota, etc.) and focus their protest in a meaningful way on those who continue to keep the proverbial boot on our head. The movement has enough members in Minnesota to look at and engage elected officials, department heads and corporations who don’t see the value of a black life. But, this is too right.

The Black Lives Matter movement in Minnesota led by Dr. Nekima Levy-Pounds, who happens to be the president of the Minneapolis NAACP is nothing more than an elaborate cover for alleged speaking engagement fees in excess of $5000.00.

If Black Lives Matter, Minnesota would have a History Museum full of artifacts of the many wonderful accomplishments of black people in the state. If Black Lives Matter, Minnesota would have a fair and balanced workforce being trained in all disciplines via a firm like Summit Academy and Louis J King. If Black Lives Matter, our public school system would have a contract with mothers of pre-k children who pick up books and understand the curriculum to ensure their children are ready-to-read by kindergarten. If Black Lives Matter our third-graders would not be 45 percent under proficiency in reading, math, science, gym and social studies; If Black Lives Matter, black Minnesotans would not let the public school system continue to create functional illiterates.

If Black Lives Matter, the city of Minneapolis’ Civil Rights department would not be led my a director whose main purpose is to protect the interests of business, especially white owned and operated while dismissing the obvious missteps of contract compliance in the city of Minneapolis where less than 1 percent of of SAOIC graduates have been employed by local and out-state prime contractors working inside the city of Minneapolis.

If Black Lives Matter, the governor of Minnesota, Mark Dayton would understand that generational obstructions of wealth and economic development is taking the black community deeper into debt with no chance of living just a piece of the American Dream. Therefore the governor should honor well-laid-plans to grant funds to partnerships that focus and complete engagements inside the black community.

If Black Lives Matter, it, the movement would not be looked on a lie to give a few black talking heads a platform for television and newspaper interviews. If Black Lives Matter, they would see that Martin, Malcolm, Huey and Nelson are turning in their graves watching the despicable hypocrisy.

If Black Lives Matter, then a #APlanMatters.

Why Collective Impact Organizations continue to fail minority children in education

At this point in the Twin Cities, the only stakeholder that really matters is the slayer holding the hammer and wooden stake above the hearts of poor and black learners while intellectuals continue to meet, socialize and one-up each other.

By Don Allen, Publisher – Our Black News

Collective Impact should be a commitment of a group of intellectuals from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a specific social problem, using a structured form of collaboration. Collective impact should bring people together, in a structured way, to achieve social change. Collective impact initiatives have, and are currently, being employed for a wide variety issues, including education, health and healthcare, animal welfare, homelessness, poverty reduction, and youth and community development. In the Twin Cities, collective impact models have been compared to social cabals connected, one-sided to a liberal agenda and a political party of “friends,” who would never be held accountable for any failure of public school children; especially children of color. If local collective impact groups are promoting such great successes in their commitment to the education of minority learners, especially African American boys, then why is the proficiency for black students in third grade less than 70 percent? Numbers from the Minnesota Department of Education for St. Paul Public Schools (black children) shows third-grade proficiency in 2013: 37.2; 2014: 41.1; and in 2015: 36.4 percent…this number represents 2957 students of which 1881 are not proficient (63.3 percent).

Another group of upsetting numbers are from Minnesota’s First People (Native Americans) in the third grade (St. Paul Public Schools): 2013: 30.4; 2014: 38.2; and in 2015: 28.8, which represents 73 students with 52 not proficient (71.2 percent).

Do any of these names look familiar to you? Look very closely.

Do any of these names look familiar to you? Look very closely.

While these organizations might be committed to education, they are not working, staff and management for free; most of these organizations are supported by local philanthropic groups who have staff to  sit on the boards to ensure these “pet projects,” and their friends are financially supported. (See Figure A)

Maybe you are familiar with some of the Twin Cities collective impact organizations and models; Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ); Generation Next, Minnesota Minority Education Partnership (MnEEP); African American Leadership Forum (AALF) and many more who have yet to change the trend of students of color in Minneapolis and St. Paul’s public school systems…but hell, they’re working on solutions…(sarcasm font).

Some of these CIO miss the point all together. For example, 100 percent of children at age two are ready-to-read, the absorbent-mind this there naturally. So where is the CIO that is contracting with Mom, parents and caregivers to develop a seamless flow to make sure at-risk, poor, minority and white pre-kindergarten learners are developing the skills to be read-to-read?

Why all of a sudden is CIO’s a spectacle to be part of the intellectual social talking points? Emmett D. Carson, CEO of Silicon Valley Community Foundation, in a story for the Huffington Post wrote, “The concept of collective impact appears to be at a fever pitch throughout the nonprofit sector. Collective impact is center stage at nonprofit and foundation conferences and there are now webinars, seminars and trainings about how to implement this approach. Unfortunately, a close examination of the concept suggests that even under ideal conditions it appears difficult to achieve and, in some cases, may undermine key values of the nonprofit sector.”

Not to mention the undermined community of color that rarely participates at this level of engagement. In the Twin Cities, the majority of education organizations outside the district are led by either white men or women, or minorities who have been given a pass because they might deal with minorities other than black learners.

Carson says, “Equally troubling is the underlying belief that nonprofits have secret knowledge that magically eludes foundation boards and staff, many of whom were recruited from the very same nonprofits.” (See Figure A)

When looking at the leadership council list of Generation Next, ask yourself: “What challenges has any of these folks really fixed?” It is my assessment, unlike any business, or nonprofit, there are challenges that cannot be addressed because of the people who are “allowed” to come to the table. Not one person has the knowledge about how to solve any education gap; collectively, it is important for CIO to continue their “missions” regardless of outcomes; as seen in both the Minneapolis and St. Paul school districts.

I’m like everybody else…a sucker for a shiny brochure and PowerPoint presentation that says how great everything is going to be and how the numbers have increased .00001 percent (yeah, we are on the rise!). In reality, where I am based, the fact remains black boys and black girls, poor whites, Native Americans, Asian and Somali learners have not benefited from collective impact organizations or models in the Twin Cities.

In closing, I received an email from a local collective impact organization that said they would go to rural Minnesota to seek answers for the inner-city folks. Sounds like a fun field trip to me.

Forget about ‘fixing’ black kids: What If we fixed white liberals instead?

Lynnell Mickelsen is a long-time progressive activist who lives in Minneapolis and blogs about education at putkidsfirstmn.org.

By Lynnell Mickelsen | Originally published in MinnPost on 02/23/15

Here’s a modest education proposal for my fellow white people, especially my fellow lefties in Minneapolis: What if we stopped talking about how to fix African-American and Latino kids and worked on fixing white progressives instead?

I know. It sounds crazy. But stay with me, beige people.

We’ve spent years — nay, decades — bemoaning our achievement gap in which white kids in Minneapolis are mostly doing fine while less than 30 percent of black and Latino kids are working at grade level; less than 48 percent graduate on time, etc.

Children of color now make up 67 percent of our enrollment in Minneapolis. (Vocab reminder to the Greatest Generation: This why we can’t call them “minorities” any more.) So you’d think the mass failure of the majority of the city’s school children would be a moral emergency. As in something that demanded bold action.

After all, if white kids were failing at these rates, we’d have already redesigned the schools to work better for them. We’d have changed the teachers, administrators, length of the school day or year or curriculum and anything else. Because if white kids were failing en masse, we’d demand a big fix of the education system.

But when nonwhite kids are failing, we tend to instead discuss how to fix brown children and their allegedly … ahem … chaotic families, which is white code for screwed-up. This is an attractive discussion for us because:

a) We get to feel compassionate and superior at the same time, which is always a rush;

b) Poverty and chaotic families can indeed hurt academic achievement. (Note to Republicans: You’d have more credibility on education reform if you stopped trying to shred every social safety net.)

c) It plays into one of the oldest and most unexamined American beliefs — namely that When Bad Things Happens To People of Color, It’s Mostly Their Own Fault, (IMTOF) which runs from our early origins up to the present. Hence the idea that Africans were mentally inferior and thus fit for slavery. That Michael Brown shouldn’t have been walking in the middle of the street. And that brown kids fail because their chaotic, screwed-up parents don’t value education enough.

A rush into resignation

Unfortunately, when white people blame the achievement gap almost entirely on poverty and dysfunctional families, they don’t tend to rush into bold action. Instead, they rush into resignation. Which is understandable. Most of us don’t believe poverty will end in our lifetime. And we don’t know how to fix our own dysfunctional families, much less anyone else’s.

So with all of these assumptions, it’s easy to quietly conclude (consciously or not) that the academic failure of black and Latino kids is tragically … normal. Brown kids flunk out. They’ve been doing it forever. It seems to naturally happen, sort of like the law of gravity. And until the coming of Scandanavian-style socialism (which I’m all for), we can’t do much about it.

This is a classic white liberal approach to the achievement gap, which conveniently lets our public institutions, our political leaders and our own culpability as voters off the hook.

Let’s ponder this politically for a minute. In Minneapolis, we have a publicly funded school district with a $543 million annual operating budget that delivers starkly different outcomes based on race. As a lifelong DFLer, I’d expect my political tribe to be all over this issue. After all, we’re the ones who proudly march for voting rights and gay marriage and go to all those Martin Luther King Day breakfasts. Yet our DFL leaders continually defend, protect and enable a status quo whose results resemble those of the Jim Crow era.

Why do they do this?

Sure, the teachers unions play a big role. They are the biggest contributor to Democratic candidates and causes. They can act very much like the National Rifle Association when it comes to blocking even the most common-sense reforms. But I think the real problem goes far deeper than this.

Through the lens of history

“America was built on the preferential treatment of white people — 395 years of it,” wrote Atlantic Monthy editor TaNehesi Coates, in his recent award-winning article on reparations. “Vaguely endorsing a cuddly, feel-good diversity does very little to redress this.”

Let that first sentence sink in. Coates is not talking about individual, conscious racism. He’s talking about 400 years of discrimination baked so deeply into our collective DNA and public institutions we don’t even see itwhich is precisely how white privilege works. If Coates is right — and I think any serious reading of history backs him up — this preferential treatment also applies our public schools and their unions.

In Minnesota, our schools were basically created by white middle-class people, for white middle-class people and employ mostly white middle-class people. (Ninety-six percent of our state’s teachers are white, even as children of color now make up 28 percent of the enrollment. In Minneapolis, about 85 percent of our classroom teachers are white, even though 67 percent of their students are not.)

In addition, current school rules, policies and contracts are decided by … Lord, this is getting repetitious … mostly middle-class white people. Poor parents of color do not sit in our legislature, school boards or union negotiating committees. In Minneapolis, liberal white DFLers occupy almost all those seats

Unsurprisingly, white middle-class children and their families tend to thrive in a system designed around their needs. In Minneapolis, white middle-class kids tend to have the highest-paid teachers and the best access to advanced courses, performing arts and extracurricular activities. They are also far less likely than kids of color to be suspended, expelled or identified as emotionally disturbed or mentally disabled.

I am not arguing that public schools in Minneapolis were deliberatelyconsciously set up for the preferential treatment of middle-class white people. But pragmatically speaking, that’s how the system works on a daily basis.

Harder to justify

This was easier to ignore or justify back in the day when the vast majority of students were white and doing OK. But it’s harder to morally justify when the majority of students are now low-income kids of color and systematically failing. I mean, the whole system starts getting this antebellum vibe.

Anyhow, add it all up and it’s a little weird that we progressives spend so much time talking about fixing brown people as opposed to the public institutions we’ve created for them and still control.

In Minneapolis, we actually, honestly could change our schools to work better for our kids of color. But this would involve asking mostly white middle-class administrators, teachers and employees to change their work lives — i.e. their schedules, assignments, job locations and even pay — around the needs, comfort and convenience of low-income people of color and their children.

And OMG, This. Just. Isn’t. Done. It’s also precisely where most of our DFL legislators, labor allies and a whole lot of white progressives suddenly jump off the social-justice and racial-equity bus. I mean, we’re willing to sing “We Shall Overcome,” denounce racism and march against poverty. But to go against the preferential treatment of white people especially when that means people like us or our friends or allies!?

Beige people, we’ve got some fixing to do.



Why the United States’ Inequality Problem Is About a Lot More Than Money

 By David Cay Johnston, AlterNet | Op-Ed

Inequality is about much more than the growing chasm of income and wealth between those at the very top and everyone else in America. It’s also about education, environmental hazards, health and health care, incarceration, law enforcement, wage theft and policies that interfere with family life over multiple generations.

In its full dimensions, inequality shapes, distorts and destroys lives in ways that get little attention from politicians and major news organizations. How many of us know that every day 47 American babies die, who would live if only our nation had the much better infant mortality rates of Sweden?

“Poverty is not natural,” Nelson Mandela once said. “It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.”

The man-made disparities between the rich and the poor are a threat to the liberties of the people. Plutarch, the Greco-Roman historian, observed more than 2000 years ago that, “an imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics.”

For more than two decades I have been documenting the widening gaps in income and wealth in the US in articles, books and essays. My first few years of reports in theNew York Times drew complaints from some readers who asserted I had no idea what I was doing and skepticism from more than a few editors. But I felt confident because the trends I distilled from the official data were clear and because the fine print in government rules — which few journalists ever read — revealed that Congress was creating a system that takes from the many to give to the already rich few.

While the passage of time has shown that I was right, I must confess I paid scant attention to something else very important: disparities in wealth and income are primarily symptoms of an insidious social disease. This is a national ailment we can cure, but only if we first understand the broad dimensions of the problem. With knowledge comes insight, focus and the power to effect change.

To make up for my own shortcoming I spent a very useful, if unprofitable year putting together a collection of essays on the broad dimensions of inequality and the terrible toll it takes on human lives. From stacks of books, academic papers and blogs I created an anthology for a little nonprofit publisher called The New Press, founded by the late André Schiffrin, one of the most important book publishers ever.

DIVIDED: The Perils of Our Growing Inequality comes out in paperback this week. My hope is that college professors and even high school teachers will use it to introduce young people to the full nature of inequality and what we can do to reduce it.

“American inequality didn’t just happen – it was created,” wrote Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel Prize-winning economist who is among the 44 contributors. Their brief essays are intended to reduce a complex problem to easily digested pieces, all written in plain English.

Elizabeth Warren, Barack Obama, Barbara Ehrenreich, Paul Krugman, Steelworkers leader Leo Gerard, journalists Gary Rivlin and Neil deMause and scholars who are highly regarded in their fields like epidemiologist Ernest Drucker, education theorists Linda Darling-Hammond of Stanford and Mike Rose of UCLA, as well as physicians Olveen Carrasquillo, Mary E. O’Brien and Stephen Bezruchka are among the deeply informed who contributed chapters. Insights also come from the past: Plato, Adam Smith, Studs Terkel, the 19th-century reformer Henry George and the American president who called out “malefactors of great wealth,” Teddy Roosevelt.

Part of the problem with inequality is that our culture and our intellectual constructs obscure simple, verifiable facts. And those who benefit from inequality pay others to confuse us.

Biased to the Rich

Moshe Adler, who teaches economics at Columbia University, provided a chapter called “How Economics Is Biased Toward the Rich.”

Even people who have never taken an economics course can learn from Adler how neo-classical economics favors the haves over the have-not-enoughs.

What Adler shows certainly is not what I was taught between 1967 and 1975 when I studied economics and public policy at seven colleges including our most influential center for manufacturing economic policy, the University of Chicago. At best, suggestions of bias in economic theory got lip service.

The ways in which race impedes access to health care in America and the price of our “medical apartheid” are explained by Dr. Carrasquillo and by Jaime Torres, who founded Latinos for National Health Insurance, which advocates for a single-payer health care system.

Education is equally infected with discrimination, as Stanford University professor sean f. reardon (who does not use capital letters in his name) explains in a chapter called “No Rich Child Left Behind.”

In the last few decades, reardon shows, “differences in educational success between high-and lower-income students have grown substantially,” a disparity that those who are willfully blind to inequality try to explain away with clever arguments and by abusing the data.

Unable to find what I wanted about two issues, I wrote the chapters.

One asks why married men are not in the forefront of demanding equal pay for women, since most of them have working wives. Nonprofit tax filings show that gender discrimination in pay in the same position is not only verifiable, but gets progressively worse as organizations grow in size.

The other chapter puts in simple language the painful cost of our inefficient non-system of sick care versus a modern health care system.

America could have eliminated the federal income tax in 2010 if we had spent the same and much smaller share of our economy on health care as France and Germany. Those countries provide very different systems, but both provide universal care and are among the best in the world.

The next time you look at your paycheck, think about what could be if we had a universal, single-payer health care system providing top-quality care with little or no out-of-pocket expense. You could have kept all the income taxes you paid in 2012. Today we could end the income tax for all except the top 2 percent just from reducing health care costs.

Let’s Face the Music

The awful truth is this: Americans have chosen our extreme inequality and all of its awful consequences in the politicians we elected in the last 35 years. We can make better choices, not that it will be easy, but then nothing that really matters ever is.

Presidents John Adams and James Madison (the primary author of our Constitution) warned us that what would doom our experiment in democracy was not a foreign invader, but economic inequality and its consequences.

Adams, living in an agrarian age, feared that “monopolies of land” would destroy the nation. He foresaw a business aristocracy born of inequality and legions of workers with no assets who just lived on their wages. The business aristocrats, he predicted, would manipulate voters, creating “a system of subordination to all… [by] the capricious will of one or a very few.”

Adams also warned that “the rich and the proud” would wield such economic and political power that it “will destroy all the equality and liberty, with the consent and acclamations of the people themselves.”

Madison thought extreme inequality evil, saying government should prevent “an immoderate, and especially unmerited, accumulation of riches.” He favored “the silent operation of laws which, without violating the rights of property, reduce extreme wealth towards a state of mediocrity, and raise extreme indigents towards a state of comfort.”

Even Alexander Hamilton, who championed business while serving as the first Treasury secretary, said in 1782 that widespread ownership of assets was crucial because “whenever a discretionary power is lodged in any set of men over the property of their neighbors, they will abuse it.”

We live in the second American Republic under a Constitution adopted to ensure the power to tax and regulate commerce. It is based on six noble principles listed in the preamble including the duty of government to “promote the general Welfare.” (That capital W is in the original.)

We can choose better. Indeed, we can solve any problem we have if we choose to and do the work. We got rid of slavery (at a cost of at least 638,000 lives). Women got the right to vote after eight decades of struggle. More than a century ago we got child labor laws despite the clergymen who fought against them. We won, but are now losing, worker protection laws, a woman’s right to control her body and reliable pensions.

Understanding is the first step toward change, toward moving closer to our ideals of liberty, equality and happiness. I created Divided so we could understand where we are and how we got here. That knowledge can then empower us to make a better America.


Poverty Is Not Inevitable: What We Can Do Now to Turn Things Around

By Dean Paton, YES! Magazine | Op-Ed

Inequality at Breaking Point: United Workers Calls for Fair Development and Reconciliation in Baltimore

By Staff, United Workers | Press Release

Poor in Pennsylvania? You’re Fracked

By Brian Bienkowski, Environmental Health News | Report

Legendary Star Trek Actress to Fly in NASA Mission at 82 Years Old

Boy's from all walks of life dreamed about Lt. Uhura (Nichelle Nichols). Fair use

Boy’s from all walks of life dreamed about Lt. Uhura (Nichelle Nichols). Fair use

Although she won’t be heading into the “Final Frontier,” Nichelle Nichols will be going on a NASA Observatory Mission this September. Nichols first starred as Lt. Uhura, Head of Communications for the USS Enterprise in Star Trek, almost 50 years ago.

 The 82-year old recently revealed the news on Reddit. “I was on a similar flight, the first air-born observatory, back in 1977,” Nichols explained on Reddit. “It’s an amazing experience. You get a totally different perspective than from earth.”

Nichols will be a passenger on the September 15 flight of NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). SOFIA is an aircraft equipped with a powerful telescope used to study the planet’s atmosphere and investigate comets. The surprising thing about all this is that she has only just recovered from a minor stroke in June.

Read more here on www.MaturallyMoi.com

Donald J. Trump with style and grace crushes the GOP presidential candidates in the first televised debate

Trump's White House...I bet you won't run a plane into that! (Photo: the new White House expansion.

Trump’s White House…I bet you won’t run a plane into that! (Photo: the new White House expansion.

Spoiler Alert: I just thought you should know. Don’t let pluralistic ignorance get in the way of supporting a winner.

By Donald Allen, Black Man, and Conservative – who does not drink the Republican establishment or Democrat Kool Aid

It was a massacre on national television. Matter of fact is was not fair in the least to the other unprepared candidates.

Mr. Donald J. Trump, billion-dollar businessman, entertainment mogul, star, father, husband and friend to NBA great Dennis “the Worm” Rodman trampled the Republican establishment LIVE on national television in the first GOP debate by putting waste to Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee, Rubio, Rand Paul, Christie, and Kasich.

Trump seemed to build an on-air coalition with the only black man running, Ben Carson; Ted Cruz and Trump sent signs and signals back and forth during the debate as if to tell American voters on the left and the right: The best is yet to come.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that Donald Trump is what Americans from all political parties and background have been waiting for…a man of high status, a businessman and someone that will say what needs to be said without biting his tongue. Already the dripping wet, bleeding left wing liberal media is trying to convince America television views that Trump’s candidacy is a farce, not worthy of any coverage. But we must ask, why did the mainstream media give Mr. Trump over a billion dollars in free advertising, marketing and public relations in an attempt to smear him on the six and ten? It didn’t work; Mr. Trump is way smarter than most major market media executives and sits at the top – by himself, like “someone at a Kennedy reunion” (Family Guy).

Americans should listen closely to the rhetoric by the mainstream media on Mr. Trump and finally figure out the media has never been a friend to poor, middle-class or wealthy; in most cases, the tube and the radio are just places to sell cars or talk about insurance…we all love Flo anyway.

The Republican Party of America, with their five black men and white-male patriarchal construct who never learned, nor wanted to learn about tearing the tent open will now see why someone like Mr. Trump; a man with the putz to do for America what she’s needed and wanted since the notorious Bill Clinton will have the support of whites, blacks, Hispanic, Asians, Somali’s, the poor, middle-class and those who want to work and be in the real America Dream.

The best part of this entertainment is watching the pretty blondes on Fox and other stations try to deconstruct something they never will touch or have in their lifetime…integrity.

Go Trump 2016!

Why all preschool children must be ready-to-read by Kindergarten

To succeed you must read. (photo: Henry's Freedom Box - Black History Month books for kids)

To succeed you must read. (photo: Henry’s Freedom Box – Black History Month books for kids)

Okay, I will play the central negative (devil’s advocate) and say if the Minneapolis /St. Paul Public Schools are spending over $20,000 per student in a classroom of 25, should parents and caregivers have their preschooler’s ready-to-read? If our young learners are not ready, should we (society) be looking at solving the constraints that stop our babies from being successful in their first public school engagement? It sounds easy, but the distractions in the Twin Cites are monumental.

By Don Allen, Publisher – Our Black News

Reading is one of the most important skills a person learns during its life, because it gives us the possibility to learn and interact with the world in a much more profound and personal way. Reading is an outstanding way to develop creativityand critical thinking abilities, while opening the eyes of the person to different types of ideas and cultures. Technology may change and the way get information may vary somehow, but reading has always been there and one way or another, it will still be there throughout the future. Since reading is such a primary way to understand the world, it is essential that our kids learn how to read and comprehend the texts as soon as they can in order to develop a higher cognitive development and a well-established love for reading.

Reading by Kindergarten offers advantages in almost every possible way you can think: It gives kids an ability that will develop their information processing skills and will open their eyes to appreciate things they couldn’t before. If kids learn how to read since they are really young, they have a much better chance to become regular readers and a much better disposition to enjoy this activity, which sometimes may seem like a pesky chore for many kids and teenagers in their formative years. Reading is also a part of learning a language and it is a very well-known fact how the sooner the child has contact with the language the better he/she will learn it, especially when considering a foreign language, so reading from an early age will provide them with a good advantage to become more proficient in any language learning process. As you can see, Kindergarten kids who know how to read will have many positive advantages and will make the best of their formal education.

Some people claim that learning how to read at such an early age isn’t actually the best option for children because they might still not be ready to perform such advance tasks and it might in fact interrupt their normal development. They point out how children, and particularly very young children, learn better through play-based experiences in language-rich environments that develop their ideas about symbols, oral language and the printed word, so reading represents a very unattractive idea to them and in way, it would be like forcing them to do something they might not like or they are not ready for at the moment, which is not positive in any way. In any case, there isn’t a conclusive argument to this, since there hasn’t been a formal study or research about it, but the idea here is not to disregard these remarks from many specialists and actually integrate them in a constructive way that will benefit the learning process of our children.

Teaching how to read at an early age can be done in many ways that don’t have to go in detriment of the children’s development process and our goal should be to prepare our professionals to perform these tasks effectively. Getting ready for kindergarten is a process that begins long before kindergarten starts. By initiating early and learning new skills along the way, children will have a stronger start to the exciting year of learning that lies ahead. Parents and educators that work with very young kids should focus in learning more about what activities excite and frustrate your child, because this will give them the right perspective and ideas to implement activities that are better suited for each child. This represents the key element that will provide us with the right tools to undertake the challenge of teaching kids how to read by kindergarten, because it means we are going to adapt the educational process to the needs and the particularities of each child, and this adaptation is a natural one, so it doesn’t disrupt their cognitive development at all, because it works around them.

Of course many children are not developmentally ready to read by kindergarten and you will find many disparities, since every child is a different world, but if we focus the right educational experiences geared around their mental development level by also being in tune with their learning needs and cultures, we could be able to achieve it successfully and this is a game changer element because it would mean we could find a way to make sure almost every child learns how to read at such an early stage. Just imagine the learning progression children could have through their lives if they dominate this essential skill before kindergarten: we are talking about the possibility to create better students with superior comprehension capabilities, as well as improved data and idea processing, which will give them an edge in almost every aspect in their life and improve our society as a whole.

More targeting of black residents by Minneapolis City Council

The Minneapolis City Council is attacking baseball hats, doo-rags, Bowler hats and anything covering your head. Murder, crime, education and jobs sit on the back burner. In our opinion, this is just the start of cleaning up downtown Minneapolis in preparation for the Super Bowl and other events related to the 2016 opening of the U.S. Bank Stadium (formally, The People’s Stadium).

Posted by Don Allen (Source: Email via Chuck Turchick)

Minneapolis, Minn – To add injury to insult, the City Council has repealed the lurking ordinance and the spitting ordinance; Council Member Andrew Johnson is going for the hat trick. He wants to repeal the ordinance prohibiting the wearing of hats or any headgear in theaters, auditoriums and places of amusement. A public hearing is going to be set for August 12.

Repealing obsolete ordinances and statutes is old hat for politicians on the rise, so don’t be surprised if Mr. Johnson is about to throw his hat into the ring for some higher office.

But hold onto your hats, folks. Maybe I’m talking through my hat, but it seems to me the current ordinance really isn’t all that clear as to whether it prohibits all hats or just hats that interfere with another person’s view.

And if City Council hearings — in particular, hearings on stadiums — could be characterized as “places of amusement,” I’ll eat my hat if anyone wearing Vikings headgear at such a hearing is ever told to take his or her horns off, or face a charge under the current ordinance. Some people I know were mad as a hatter at that blatant — in fact, televised — flouting of the ordinance.

All in all, though, with hat in hand, I say, “Hat’s off to Council Member Andrew Johnson.”


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