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Joe's Editorial

Easter Reminds Us That Through the Storm There’s Strength From Above

African American news from Pasadena - Editorial - Easter from a Black perspectiveIn Haiti the music continues to fill the air with sounds of celebration and hope. A chocolate colored boy flirts with a pretty brown skinned girl amidst the rubble of the earthquake. She's still beautiful.

In America, African Americans shout that a President named Barack proves that "he, indeed, is the one" as he delivers the health care bill over the power and purchase of the Republican Party by the powerful Insurance Industry. He's still standing tall and still beautiful.  I can imagine someone somewhere is saying he won because the Bible says, "If God be with you who (in the whole world) can be against you." In my ear, I hear an old Saint sings to herself the spiritual tribute, "I shall not, I shall not be moved." Barack won't be moved.



Showing Off The Good Side

Black news from Pasadena - Editorial - showing off the good sideAny photographer taking a portrait of a woman will look for her "good side" before publishing the picture. Giving an Oscar to Mo'nique sets off bells of disgust in me, as it gives another excuse for the world to think that that's the way Black women are. Well I prefer to show off the good side of Black women.

The good side is the mother who found her way to church on Sunday to expose herself and her children to the teachings of Jesus. I note: she uses a mix of love, and force if necessary, to get them to church and enforce biblical ways of acting, like Harriet Tubman did for those traveling on her Underground Railroad.



What Happens When the Leaders Eat All the Fish?

African American news from Pasadena - Editorial - When leaders eat all the fishThree events this week reminded me of the bible story about the little boy who gave Jesus his five loaves of bread and two little fish to feed the masses (5,000) who had come to hear him. I wondered what would have happened if Jesus had taken the food and ate it all himself. It reminded me of those times when my mother had the preacher over for dinner and we kids could only eat what they left, if any. What would have happened if Jesus had left the masses to starve and fend for themselves, as it seems some institutions are doing these days?

One incident was the meeting that warned the schools here and across the country that there was not enough money to maintain the existing education system. Americans are accustomed to free education and the more students, the merrier. The theory is that since the more educated people we have, the more we can lead the world in accomplishments whether it is in science, music, technology, space exploration, health, or commerce.



A Recipe For Success In School . . .

. . . Get Your Education Up Front

Black news from Pasadena - Editorial - success in schoolAs schools begin the descent into budget cuts, mediocrity will become king. As I write this the high school graduation rate for Black and Brown children is already below 50%. The fact that it is below 50% should be a basis for alarm. Instead, it is an accepted fact of life. The assumption being that they aren't as smart as White and Asian students anyway. Nothing could be farther than the truth.

The problem is simply a lack of exposure to their potential for greatness. The absence of achievement simply means that the unemployment rate and prison population for Blacks and Browns will continue to rise. And so once again what do we do about it on massive scale? Yes there are plans and programs that guarantee that a few will always achieve. There are schools that are set out as examples where Black and Brown students at particular schools will attend college at high rates, like 90%. Besides proving the lie that they can't achieve, they say that if everybody in the mix did better then the success rate could be higher. Here, I suggest five things that parents can do, starting today, to make their child a success.



Liberated, Rather Than Blind Followers

African American news from Pasadena - Editorial - liberated or blindThe recent letter to the editor regarding Ruthie's Blog [2/18/10] has given rise to some interesting discussions in the community. Of course I think discussions are healthy for the growth of the community. I would like to think that something in The Journal gives rise to discussions each Thursday when it hits the streets.

There was a letter from a South Pasadena woman [2/11/10] who indicated that members should hold the pastors harmless for anything they do. She seemed to say that as long as the members submit and obey the pastors everything will be Ok. As an African American man, the words "submit" and "obey" are words that carry with it great responsibility to the one being obeyed and submitted to.



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