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Joe's Editorial

So Many Things to Talk About, So Little Space

The two things that are probably the most important unnatural elements in life. They are economics and education, and they are interdependent on one another. Show me an uneducated person and I will show you a hungry person. Put another way, learn a trade or starve.

The BLACK PRESS USA is alive and well!

This past weekend I attended the Annual Conference of the Black Press known as the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA). It is always inspirational to be part of the giants in the newspaper business who historically have had a double duty. The Black Press of America has had to balance fighting racism, discrimination, and segregation, while trying to build and run a profitable business. This is a balancing act that still goes on today.



Summertime and Youth

Summer is a time for young people to explore and prepare for the next chapter in their educational lives on the road toward adulthood. There is lots of talk of there being few summer jobs and even fewer summer programs for youth. With that in mind, it falls on parents to plan for all of the above, at home. Why can't there be Summer School at home in the form of reading projects and math projects like teaching the kids the family budget? Give them jobs at home or go out and find them a job or internship, even if they have to volunteer with you giving them a stipend.

There is always the lawn to cut which can end up being a year round job with the possibility of expanding into doing the neighbors' lawn. There is probably a room in the house that could use some painting or the garage needing clean up or organization. Any work experience can help young people prepare for the real world of work. I was taught that "if you don't work, you will steal." Too many young people, especially the boys, don't understand the relationship between work and money. Too many children grow up learning "ask and it shall be given." Then the real world hits them in the face as an adult, and lo and behold, the rules change to "no work, no pay." Then you're back to "if you don't work, you don't eat."



Father’s Day Duty is Every Day

Being a father, as I grew up to understand it, is a dying art. I was reminded of that this past weekend when I went to a Birthday party for one of my seven grandchildren. (Kumar turned 5) When I was a child, fathers took care of their families needs whether they were food, shelter, health care, or education. Fathers were a source of self esteem, pride and security. Fathers in those old days worked at whatever job they could get as long as it was legal and provided a paycheck, even if it was a small paycheck. Looking at the results that prescription works



Discrimination… It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over

I saw an argument on CNN this past weekend. Although they called it a debate, the stated issue being debated was, "Is Affirmative Action Racist? The underlying, unstated question was since an African American, Barack Obama, is President and a Latina, Sonia Sotomayor, is being pushed to be on the Supreme Court, does America still need Affirmative Action? Put another way, is everything equal, and is there no more need for programs to even the economic playing field left from 400 years of slavery and discrimination?

I was reminded of a letter to an editor I read years ago that responded to the same question with a statement that simply said, "I saw a Black man driving a Mercedes, so there is equality now."

This whole notion that we live in a post-racial period and every thing is now Ok is being promoted by the conservatives since Obama is now the President. First of all the word, POST-RACIAL is a new, strange and dangerous word; kind of like the word COLORBLIND. If we said that Black is Beautiful and African Americans are the colors of the rainbow, Black, Brown, Beige, and varying shades of all of the above, why would we want them to be invisible as you would if you were colorblind? What we want is for all individuals to be appreciated for their achievements, their talents and their character.




Give Your Kid a New Friend This Summer

It is a proven fact that students who take music lessons and play a musical instrument do very well in school. This would be a good time to get your child a musical instrument as a new friend this summer. When I was a young person I spent hours and hours learning to play the piano and the saxophone. The experience of spending so many hours studying and practicing helped me develop study habits that eventually got me through high school, college and law school.

Music became a friend that alleviated the need to be always running with other guys that often lead young people to trouble. Yes, I still play the piano a bit. The saxophone is a skill I lost long ago. The friend of musical instruments with music lessons was provided to my three sons also and kept them at home, in school, and out of trouble. They all took piano, and/or saxophone lessons.



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