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The Cost of Not Doing Business

African American news from Pasadena - Commentary - Cost of NOT doing business - powerOver the past few decades Black people have been led to believe that we have "power" because we earn and spend so much money in the marketplace, now having eclipsed the $1 trillion mark. As the most studied consumer segment in the world, Black Americans are touted by dozens of studies as the most brand loyal and the biggest spenders, especially on specific goods and services such as fast foods, movies, cellphones, hair and skin care, and sweetened drinks, just to name a few. Is that power? Well, it is for those on the receiving end of those dollars, but not so for Black consumers. It's more akin to a weakness.

You have heard the term, "The cost of doing business," which means that folks in business have certain costs that come with the territory. Some characterize it by saying, "It takes money to make money." Agreed, of course; but how much money does it take for businesses that Black consumers support to make more money? What is their cost of doing business within the Black consumer segment? The answer: little or nothing. They get our money with little effort or reciprocity.

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The High Cost of Child Poverty in America

African American news from Pasadena - Commentary - Child poverty resultsJust released U.S. Census Bureau data reveal 45.3 million people were poor in America in 2013. One in three of those who are poor is a child. Children remain our poorest age group and children of color and those under five are the poorest. More than one in five infants, toddlers, and preschoolers were poor during their years of greatest brain development and vulnerability.

Black children saw no decrease and continue to have the highest child poverty rates in the nation. In 20 states more than 40 percent of Black children were poor and nearly one in five Black children were living in extreme poverty with an annual income of less than half of the poverty level or $33 a day for a family of four.

Although the percentage of poor children dropped in 2013 for the first time since 2000, from 21.8 percent (16.1 million) in 2012 to 19.9 percent (14.7 million), there were still 1.3 million more poor children than in 2007 before the recession began.

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The Real Terrorists in the U.S.

I wouAfrican American news from Pasadena - Commentary - Terrorists in Americald wager that you have had this experience. It has happened to me on more than one occasion. I am going through security at an airport, standing behind a White person. They go through screening, and perhaps they are pulled over for an extra inspection. Frustrated by the situation, they either say – explicitly or implicitly – that this whole process is ridiculous because they – the passenger – does not look like a terrorist.

Actually, the situation is a bit more complicated and the truth is that they actually might look more like a terrorist than they believe. The New America Foundation, for instance, determined that 34 people have been killed by (White) right-wing violence in the U.S. since September 11, 2001 compared to 21 killed here by Muslim extremist groups. The Southern Poverty Law Center, in a 2011 publication on right-wing violence, found that since the Oklahoma City terrorist attack by Timothy McVeigh, et. al., there have been 32 law enforcement officers killed by right-wing terrorists. They also went on to identify 688 right-wing terror groups in the U.S., including those associated with the Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazi, White Nationalist, Racist Skinheads, Christian Identity, and Neo-Confederate movements.

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NFL Still Dropping the Ball

African American news from Pasadena - Commentary - More NFL on domestic violenceNFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has finally emerged from his self-imposed witness protection program, held a press conference, and even attended a football game Sunday. Now that Goodell has come out of hiding, it is not clear that the NFL is any closer to getting it right, as he keeps putting it, than it was when it dropped the ball in handling Ray Rice's indefinite suspension from the league.

Goodell's long overdue news conference proved only that he had his talking points down and would repeat them at every opportunity.

"I'm not satisfied with the way we've handled it from the get-go. As I told you, and this statement indicates, I made a mistake . . ."

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Bill Cosby, Oprah Winfrey and Shonda Rhimes Changed the World

African American news from Pasadena - Editorial - Black television iconsWhen Bill Cosby hit the television scene in about 1965, in the thriller, "I Spy", he was an instant star, and when he later created the Huxtables, he was a super star. His role as Dr. Huxtable married to a Black female lawyer, quietly influenced thousands of Black youth with the realization that they could be anything they wanted to be.

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