Sunday Open Thread

Hav a Blessed Sunday, Everyone. Mr. B.B. King sings Spirituals.

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67 Responses to Sunday Open Thread

  1. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    note the nazi/ white supremacist "SS" ink & patch on 2 of the bikers in #waco— Occupy Bawl Street (@OccupyBawlStree) May 17, 2015

    100 guns recovered from white supremacists who killed 9 people. Chilling. This man refused to get on sidewalk.— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) May 18, 2015

    Jeff Gauvin @JeffersonObama · 58m 58 minutes ago
    No plastic hog tied suspects, no tear gas, no paddy wagons, no beatings. …OH WAIT…white bad guys

    Shaun King @ShaunKing · 2h 2 hours ago
    Did the police use pepper spray or tear gas on the bikers Waco today?

    Did they injure anyone during any arrests?

    Shaun King @ShaunKing · 2h 2 hours ago
    Will the National Guard be sent to Waco?

    Will they have a curfew there tonight?

    Shaun King @ShaunKing · 3h 3 hours ago
    How many dead men from the biker gangs in Waco had absentee fathers? What are the backgrounds of their parents? Not hearing these questions

  2. rikyrah says:

    Mr. NFTG @Kennymack1971
    So we basically have a real life Sons of Anarchy that jumps off in Waco and the MSM appears to be uninterested….

  3. rikyrah says:

    Many HBCUs Are on the Brink of Financial Death: Here’s Why


    April V. Taylor

    Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have been a part of the American high education landscape for more than 150 years. Many of the 300,000 students that attend one of the country’s 105 HBCUs would not be able to attend college if not for HBCUs. Two pieces of legislation are largely responsible for the creaiton of HBCUs, the Higher Education Act of 1965 and the Morrill Act. Ironically, it is new legislation that has served to undermine HBCUs at a time when they are already vulnerable.

    Sharp drops in enrollment and revenue have many HBCUs facing an unprecedented fiscal crisis that is threatening the very existence of the schools. When these factors are coupled with cuts in government financial aid, leadership controversies and increased oversight. The impact of these issues is not limited with many of the factors impacting both public and private HBCUs.

    The Business Insider reports that more than one in ten Black students attend a HBCU. HBCUs represent only 3 percent of American colleges and universities, so the fact that so many Black students attend HBCUs means that Black students have a lot to lose should HBCUs no longer exist. Another statistic that highlights how integral of a role HBCUs play in educating Black people is that, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, HBCUs are responsible for awarding 20 percent of the undergraduate degrees earned in the United States.

    Even as HBCUs have begun to admit an increasing number of non-Black students, many of them are still struggling keep enrollment numbers up and to stay afloat financially. Federal legislation from 2011 made HBCU financial matters worse by limiting the number of semesters a student could receive the Pell grant, a piece of financial aid that many HBCU students relied heavily on. Students essentially qualified for a year less of Pell grant assistance, with the number of semesters covered dropping from 18 to 12.

    As if Black families and students were not already struggling enough when it comes to paying for college, the federal government also recently tightened eligibility criteria for Parent PLUS loans. The loans were used by many students to fill the gap between the cost to attend college and what grants and scholarships were unable to cover. Compounding what was already a financial nightmare for schools, students and their families, many of them were not made aware of the changes until after they had enrolled, and in some cases paid a deposit, meaning they had to withdraw from school in the middle of their degree program, at a financial loss for many.

    Hampton University President William Harvey reports, “We are not consulted when it comes to policy changes and decisions impacting – in a major way – the institutions on whose behalf we are to advocate.” The United Negro College Fund estimates that some 28,000 HBCU students were forced to drop out of school during the 2012-2013 as a result of their families not being able to secure loans to help pay for their education. The lending criteria will reportedly be relaxed beginning in July, but the change does little to replace the $150 million in revenue that HBCU administrators say is missing.

    University of Pennsylvania education professor Marybeth Gasman describes the financial plight of HBCUs, stating, “With majority institutions, when a recession hits, they might go from brie to eating cheddar cheese. HBCUs go from cheddar to nothing.” Gasman does point out that there is no immediate plan for HBCUs to close, but their long-term viability is certainly being tested.

    Even prominent HBCU Howard University is forced to deal with a sobering reality, one in which a trustee pointed out, “will not be here in three years if we don’t make some crucial decisions now.” Even well known HBCU Spelman College, considered by many to be one of the strongest Black colleges in the country, has had to admit that they do not have access to the same types of financial resources that white institutions, such as Wellesley and Bryn Mawr, receive.

    One of the uphill battles fought by many HBCUs is that, in most cases, they receive less federal and state funding than other schools. In a 2013 article, education professor Donald Mitchell Jr. states, “One may argue that these flagship institutions deserve a lion’s share of the funding because of their higher enrollments. Yet, when one compares the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill’s $15,700 in state funding per student to North Carolina A&T University’s $7,800 in state funding per student, inequities in funding per student are revealed.”

    Another point Gasman makes that too many people seem to be overlooking is the fact that, not only do HBCUs welcome Black students who may struggle at other academic institutions, they also welcome a “diverse range of students.” Gasman goes on to say, “HBCUs provide an environment for students who need to feel empowered and need to feel nurtured in their learning environment.”

    HBCUs are also filling a gap by, “doing the work a lot of institutions aren’t willing to do.’ Sadly, Gasman believes that if HBCUs were to fold, there would not be an institution to come along and get. Many HBCU advocates are disappointed with the way the Obama administration has turned a blind eye to the plight of HBCUs, essentially ignoring them.

    Obama recently unveiled an ambitious new plan to cover tuition for community college students across the country, but HBCU advocates are disappointed that Obama did not consider the similar risk taken by HBCU students in terms of educating a significant number of underprepared and disadvantaged students. Many HBCU advocates see Obama’s plan to offer free community college as a threat to HBCU’s because they believe students will choose to attend a school that costs nothing instead of attending an HBCU, despite HBCUs having higher graduation rates.

    As Obama increases pressure on colleges and universities to ensure that students complete their degrees, HBCUs are put in a precarious predicament. Black students face a job market that has not fully recovered, disproportionately making it hard for Black college graduates to find work and putting them at increased risk for defaulting on their student loans. Schools that have a default rate higher than 30 percent could potentially lose federal aid dollars.

    The factors leading to the precarious predicament HBCUs now find themselves in are varied and complex, playing out differently at different campuses across the country. While there are no easy answers, something must be done to help ensure that HBCUs continue to exist as a beacon of hope for disadvantaged Black students

  4. rikyrah says:

    HBCU Drops 5 Percent of Student Body Due to Lack of Financial Aid
    Reported by Evette Champion

    Thirty-five students of Paine College have been dropped from the roster due to non-payment of their tuition. The college claims that “tough decisions” needed to be made in order to reduce the school’s debt and also help Paine get off the probation sanction with the accrediting body. The college released a statement on Wednesday via interim President Samuel Sullivan. The students in question had balances that reached $12,000 and stretched beyond 18 months. It was up to the administrators to take extreme measures. Some administrators visited the student’s dorms, making phone calls and even sending emails—all in the effort to get the students to pay up.

    “Although this is unfortunate, we must protect the college’s financial future and work to be in compliance with the guidelines that were set forth by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges,” Sullivan said in the statement. “This is the last thing we want to do, but we must be held accountable.”

    Although 35 students were let go, they only make up 5 percent of the student body, which is 699 students. The administrators continue to have aggressive fundraising campaigns in order to strengthen the school’s financial base and correct the failures of previous management which led to the financial predicament the college is facing with the accreditation board. A commission was placed on Paine in June which led to the school being on probation due to 10 accreditation standards which range from management of federal issued student financial aid to hiring qualified financial officers. The probation is the highest sanction that can be given before the accreditation is revoked.

    It is not unusual for colleges to drop students who do not pay their tuition— some schools will automatically drop students after a particular date if their accounts are not up to date and paid. In fact, many institutions will not allow students to register for a new semester if they have an outstanding debt from the previous semester.

    Some institutions will allow their students to remain enrolled in school even though they may be a semester or two behind in payments. Mike Reilly, the executive director of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, believes this practice can hurt the financial base of a school and can help cause the students to fall even further into debt. “Institutions think they’re doing students a favor by extending some opportunities to get financially together, but most people discover that just doesn’t help,” he said. “You fall behind several terms, suddenly you owe the institution with no real means to generate the money to pay it back.”

  5. rikyrah says:

    uh uh uh

    uh uh uh


    Women In African Countries Spending Millions On Indian Hair; Indian Suppliers Love It

    By Victor Ochieng

    The demand for Indian hair in African countries is so high that several Indian companies have switched their focus to the continent. The companies work to either partner with other companies basedin Africa countries or simply expand their businesses to Africa to take advantage of the demand.

    The multimillion dollar enterprise is estimated at $393.5 million annually. The business is growing at a rate between 10-30 percent every year, something that accounts for the increased investment in the market.

    Because of the booming business, an Indian company called Godrej Consumer Products India is set to acquire a South African based hair beauty company, Friska, to expand its operations within the country.

    “This acquisition reflects our continued commitment to providing African consumers with a wide range of superior quality products at affordable prices,” Godrej’s managing director Vivek Gambhir said in a statement. “We remain very excited by the tremendous potential of the African market.”

    According to Adi Godrej, chairman of the $3.3-billion Godrej Industries, African hair is known for fragility and roughness, forcing “African women to spend a higher proportion of their money on hair care than women in other parts of the world.”

    Besides Godrej, several other Indian companies such as VLCC, Dabur and Marico have also extended their businesses in Africa.

    The two types of hair coming from India are Remy and Non-Remy. Remy is of a higher grade and is often collected from temples. On the other hand, Non-Remy is of a lower grade since it has cuticles that face different directions. Non-Remy hair is treated using hydrochloric acid to get rid of the cuticles. The treatment process reduces its quality.

  6. rikyrah says:

    stories like this just make me mad


    This man sold a song for $750, but it was worth hundreds of millions of dollars

    Reported by Victor O.

    Dubbed the most recorded rock song in history, the song, “Louie Louie,” could best be described as an all-time favorite, having been recorded more than 1,600 times since it was first written. But what many do not know is that Richard Berry, the brain behind the song, did not benefit significantly from the commercial success of the song until decades after he wrote it.


    After separating from The Flairs, one of the music groups that Berry worked with was Rick Rillera and the Rhythm Rockers. He derived inspiration from the Latin/R&B group’s version of “El Loco Cha Cha” by Rene Touzet to write the song, “Louie Louie,” in 1955. Berry was said to be waiting backstage for a performance when he started to write the lyrics of the song — on toilet paper. The song was recorded with the Pharaohs and released as the B-side to Berry’s cover of “You Are My Sunshine” in 1957, going on to sell 130,000 copies.

    Soon, other bands started to cover the song. But the original version and several other tunes by Berry failed to attain big-hit status. He was forced to sell songwriting and publishing rights to a good number of his songs to Flip Records — on which “Louie Louie” was released — for only $750, which Celebrity Net Worth estimates to be around $6,000 today, adjusting for inflation. He needed the money for his wedding.

    The Kingsmen, who paid just $35 for studio time, re-recorded the song, making it an instant hit. The song has gone on to be recorded numerous times since then by many artists and groups, including notable names like Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen and The Sonics.

    Berry never gained royalty benefits for his song until he was located and helped by a lawyer when the drinks company, California Cooler, wanted to use the song for a commercial in the 80s. In a matter of months, Berry was paid an estimated $20-$25 million in an out-of-court settlement.

    Berry died of heart failure in 1997 at 61-years-old.

  7. rikyrah says:

    so true.

    so true.


    Black people love Empire, they hate Fox News, but Murdoch gets paid either way

    Reported by Liku Zelleke

    Can a television channel’s viewership demographic breakdown say anything about its content and how it is perceived by a nation’s racial makeup? Well, decide for yourself

    Last year, Nielsen’s annual report on the nation’s cable news viewership showed that there was a huge gap between the demographics of the audiences for the top three networks: MSNBC, CNN and Fox News.

    It stated that during the primetime hours of 8-11 p.m., MSNBC had a 24 percent Black viewership, CNN had 16 percent, and Fox News had only a paltry 1 percent of Black viewers. Meanwhile, on the other side of the spectrum, MSNBC’s primetime audience was 67 percent White, CNN’s was 73 percent White, and Fox News’ viewers were 92 percent White.


    The ironic thing about the lack of black viewership of Fox News is that News Corp, the company that owns Fox News, still earns hundreds of millions of dollars each year from African American consumers. Rupert Murdoch, Executive Chairman of News Corp, also controls the rights to the television show, “Empire,” which has set records for the number of black viewers. So, while blacks may avoid Fox News for its allegedly racist content, black consumers have become a cash cow for Murdoch’s entertainment and media empire.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Chicago School Accused of Discouraging Students From Attending HBCUs

    Reported by Taylor Miller

    A local Chicago mother is calling out Chicago Bulls College Prep for discouraging her son to apply to the Historically Black College/University (HBCU) of his choice. Maiesha Rose, the mother of an attending student , was deeply disappointed when her son explained that he wasn’t encouraged with his choice of applying to an HBCU. Rose, who is a graduate of an HBCU, feels let down by the school, not only for discouraging her child from attending an HBCU and also for not understanding their reasoning for such behavior.

    “I am a graduate of an HBCU, and my son was told that he could not apply to an HBCU until he applied to other schools,” said Rose. When asked why, the school explained that HBCUs don’t give enough money to help with enrolled freshman. Chicago Bulls College Prep is a Noble Network Charter school in Chicago, which opened in 2009, with 572 seniors enrolled and only 40% applying to one HBCU. The schools Chief External Affairs Officer Constance Brewer explains that the staff of the school has no authority over whatever college a student chooses to enroll in.

    Students at Noble schools are encouraged to apply to a “match” school, one that matches their GPA and test scores, or a “safety” school that they are almost assured to get accepted to. They are also expected to apply to a “reach” school, a school that is just above a student’s test stats.

    With Rose and her son, she says that no HBCUs were listed in any categories for her child, and she had a difficult time receiving an official transcript for his applications to HBCUs. After making arrangements for her child to attend her alma mater, Langston University in Oklahoma. Fortunately, her son was accepted into Morehouse College in Atlanta. Rose feels that this is a terrible policy to keep in place if, in fact, the school is implicating such an approach on its students and their futures.

    “The students should have the freedom to apply wherever they want to apply if the parents and students make a choice to attend a certain school,” Rose said.

  9. rikyrah says:

    17-Year-Old Engineering Genius Turns Down $80K Scholarship at Chicago School Due to Fears of Chicago violence

    Reported by Victor Kam

    The reports of racist attacks by police have begun to affect Chicago as one student has declined to study in the city due to fears of being attacked by police, as well as some in his community. Lander Braggs (pictured), a 17-year-old American high school student who won a scholarship to study at the prestigious Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), has declined the $80,000 scholarship the school offered him due to fears of being attacked by police.

    Braggs specifically said “I’m just thinking, like, I don’t want that for me. I want to be able to just go through life and not have to worry about what’s going to happen to me tomorrow.” His words come at a time when the city is desperate for some positive words from the black community.

    Although he is aware that violence against him can happen at any time, Braggs wanted something different from Chicago. His intention was also to raise awareness about the violence against African American men.

    While many parents would be disappointed in their child declining a chance to get an advanced science degree, his mother has been supportive of him saying “If I have to pay something that’s fine. I don’t want to have to look at my watch and say its 3:30, 4:30 I haven’t heard from him and worry everyday if he’s safe.”

    Given all the stories of police shooting African American men in questionable circumstances, it’s understandable that a mother from the community would fear for the safety of her son. Also, lots of black men are shot by other black men as well.

    The most recent victim is Freddie Grey but includes, Trayvon Martin, Ramarley Graham, Tony Robinson, Tamir Rice, and many more. That on many occasions the courts have ruled in favor of the police such as with the George Zimmerman case is more reason that members of the African American community worry about their safety when interacting with law enforcement.

    For now Lander has yet to decide what direction he will steer towards. He could attempt to secure sponsorship at another institution or drop out of the university entirely.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Here’s what white teachers tend to do with gifted black students; it’s appalling

    By Marvin Dupree

    According to a new study, black students have an increased likelihood of being identified as gifted provided that they attend schools with higher proportions of black teachers. The same dynamic seems to function for Latino students, when they attend a school with more Latino teachers.

    The study’s research was presented recently at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association in Chicago. The data of the study was conducted within more than 2,000 schools in the academic years of 2003-4 and 2011-12.

    In the research it was determined that on average, at least 6 % of all students in a school are identified for gifted programs. According to the research, nearly 8% of Caucasian students are identified as gifted in comparison to only 3-4% of black and Latino children who are identified as gifted.

    However, the study does not explain this correlation, but it does add to the mounting debate regarding the fact why black and Latin children are less likely to be called “gifted” than their white and Asian peers.

    Speaking out about the outcome of the study, professor Jason A. Grissom, of Vanderbilt University, who led the study said: “The connection between teachers’ race and students likelihood of being gifted “should give us pause,”

    The connection between teachers’ race and students’ likelihood of being called gifted “should give us pause.” He added, “That does speak to something that fundamentally does not feel right.”

    Nonetheless, when there was a 10% increase in black teachers in the school environment, there proportion of black students who were identified as gifted increased by 3.2%.

    The trend was also quite similar when the situation for Latino students and teachers. When identifying students as gifted, teachers have a crucial role in determining which students are deemed highly intelligent and should be tested for gifted programs.

  11. rikyrah says:

    30-Year-Old Nigerian Tech Entrepreneur May Run Apple Out of Business In Africa

    Reported by Yhanick Scott

    A 30-year-old Nigerian phone entrepreneur by the name of Michael Akindele has been making great strides in the mobile device market — so much so, that he has been challenging tech giants such as Apple. The company, SOLO Phone, was started in 2012, and Akindele serves as director and co-founder. The company is aimed at delivering mobile solutions, services, and platforms to consumers all at a reasonable price.

    The company’s smartphones are priced at $150 and come with up to 20 million free songs licensed by Sony, Universal, and Warner. Its latest release is an app named Video-On-Demand, available to all Nigerians with an Android device and makes available Nollywood and Hollywood movies. SOLO Phone is making strides in the market and can definitely challenge other giants within the market, believes Akindele.

    Akindele was born in the United States to Nigerian parents on Aug. 29, 1984. He returned to Nigeria at two-years-old but returned to the states ten years later. He was educated at Alexandria, Virginia and graduated from T.C. Williams High School, and then moved on to George Mason University in Fairfax. While at George Mason, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree with a focus on computer science and information technology. This gave him the ideal background, knowledge, and platform to building his company.

    His work as a technology consultant at Accenture also helped him to gain first-hand knowledge in his field. This is where he started working on “The Apprentice: Africa,” which was the American version of Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice.” He returned to Africa in 2007 to help produce, develop, and distribute the show, which gained a huge following in Nigeria, Uganda, Ghana and Kenya during the 18 weeks it was aired on the continent.

    Before SOLO Phone, he had a company called Fusion Mobile, but it did not last very long because of a lack of funding and persons not believing in an African manufacturing phone company. Adlevo Capita, however, changed all that in 2013 when they partnered with Akindele. This led to the birth of SOLO.

  12. A real gang shoot out in Texas leaves 9 ppl dead & 18 injured but I don’t see cops in riot gear,tear gas,snipers or dogs. Why is that? #Waco

  13. Will the media run a criminal background check on the dead in Waco shooting to let us know if they have criminal records?

    • rikyrah says:

      1. were the guns legal?
      2. did they have their conceal permits?
      3. what kind of home did they come from?
      4. where are their previous mugshots (not the killers – the victims, because of course, they HAD to do something to cause their own shootings.

  14. Biker gangs shooting it up in broad daylight…at a restaurant …on a Sunday..while families are out eating together. OMG!

  15. rikyrah says:

    uh huh

    uh huh


    Shanesha Taylor sentenced to 18 years probationSarah Jarvis, The Arizona Republic |

    2:20 p.m. MST May 15, 2015

    The job-seeking mom who was arrested last year after leaving her children in her car while she interviewed with a Scottsdale insurance company was sentenced Friday to 18 years supervised probation and allowed to apply for interstate travel.

    Shanesha Taylor had previously pleaded guilty to one count of child abuse in an effort to resolve a case that garnered national attention after her tearful mugshot was widely shared on the internet.

    Taylor’s defense argued at her sentencing that the mother of four did not mean to hurt her children, and had made a bad judgment call.

    The lengthy probation sentence was handed down to ensure that Taylor’s children would be adults when she completed the terms.

  16. rikyrah says:

    What Happens to Black Women Who Boldly Speak Truth About Racial Inequality

    The controversies surrounding Michelle Obama’s commencement speech at Tuskegee and incoming Boston University professor Saida Grundy’s tweets remind us of the ways in which intellectually provocative black women are forced to navigate the public sphere.

    Posted: May 14 2015 1:11 PM

    Two remarkable black women made news this week. Michelle Obama, the most scrutinized African-American woman in the 21st century, did so by acknowledging unspoken truths about race, class and gender in public during a landmark commencement speech at Tuskegee University in Alabama.

    The other, Saida Grundy, a newly minted Ph.D. from Michigan scheduled to begin a new job as an assistant professor of sociology and African-American studies at Boston University, did so through provocation, speaking loudly and impolitely about race, privilege and power in tweets that caused a national firestorm.

    The controversies surrounding the first lady’s speech and Professor Grundy’s tweets remind us of the way in which brilliant, intellectually provocative and bold black women are forced to navigate the public sphere.

    In her candid remarks, Michelle Obama discussed the major and minor assaults that she has endured since her husband, Barack Obama, ran for president. From being described as practicing a “terrorist fist bump” while celebrating a primary win with her husband and being depicted on the cover of the New Yorker in an Afro holding a machine gun, to being falsely accused of hating white people and America, Michelle Obama has emerged as the metaphorical black female body: under constant assault, surveillance and violence, but heroically able to transcend what tried to destroy her.

    Describing racism’s impact on President Obama and herself, she went into poignant detail: “We’ve both felt the sting of those daily slights throughout our entire lives—the folks who crossed the street in fear of their safety; the clerks who kept a close eye on us in all those department stores; the people at formal events who assumed we were the ‘help’—and those who have questioned our intelligence, our honesty, even our love of this country.”

  17. rikyrah says:

    For Black Scholars at PWIs, Speaking Truth to Power on Social Media Can Be ‘Professional Suicide’
    In the wake of Boston University condemning incoming professor Saida Grundy for her controversial tweets on race, black scholars are speaking out about the pressures they face not to “rock the boat” at their institutions and on social media.

    Posted: May 16 2015 3:00 AM

    African-American scholars at predominantly white institutions are faced with a challenge that resonates from the streets of Baltimore and Ferguson, Mo., all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.: Tiptoe lightly around white supremacy or face consequences.

    Saida Grundy, an incoming associate professor of sociology and African-American studies at Boston University, faced swift condemnation this week for her tweets about slavery and the generations of self-entitled white men that the peculiar institution spawned, proving that social media is riddled with land mines for young, black academics. Despite her widespread support, organized with the hashtag #IStandWithSaida, Robert A. Brown, president of Boston University, released a statement condemning Grundy’s tweets as racist and bigoted, followed by Grundy’s releasing a statement expressing regret that she expressed herself “indelicately,” while not walking back the substance of her critique.

    She has continued to face vicious backlash for her statement, mostly from white Twitter users directed to her page by various conservative news organizations, and sparks from the fire she inadvertently started have even burned other people. Chanda Hsu Prescod-Weinstein, an MLK postdoctoral fellow in physics at MIT, tells The Root that expressing support for Grundy has proved problematic for her over the past week.

    “I’ve been getting all sorts of grief on Twitter for talking about ‘white folks’ and ‘white supremacy’ in relation to Dr. Saida Grundy,” Prescod-Weinstein says. “Someone on Twitter tagged MIT to try and get me in trouble.

    “I don’t have a faculty position,” she continues, “so the public character assassination could have serious professional repercussions for me.”

  18. rikyrah says:

    Why I’ve Returned to the Black Salon When Folks Are Leaving in Droves

    I hate rude, chronically late, double-booking stylists, but could it be that I hate doing my own hair even more? Or maybe, just maybe, I could have a good black stylist and be free of doing my own do?

    Posted: May 15 2015 3:00 AM

    The long waits. The double-booking. The general “unprofessionalism.” The cost. I had a lot of reasons to give up on hair salons, specifically black ones, more than 10 years ago.

    In the early years of the recession, there was story after story of black salons struggling as more and more black women moved away from the shop, citing every reason I listed above, to do their own hair or go to Dominican stylists who easily could “blow-fry” their scalps for half the cost and time.

    And who could blame anyone for leaving or me for leaving? How many Saturdays of my youth did I lose to the creamy crack? Me and a roomful of women, waiting the length of The Godfather II to get a perm, reading old Jet magazines and eating Chinese takeout while sitting in a gossipy, dingy salon that hadn’t been remodeled since the 1980s.

    And yet, three years ago, I, the prodigal scalp, returned to the black hair salon.

    Like many women, I left the salon to go back to my roots—literally. I went natural and started doing my own hair in the kitchen as my mother had done for me when I was a child. It was much better than enduring snide remarks about how my hair seemed “hard” or “matted” simply because some perm-addicted stylist had no clue how to handle nonchemically-induced curls.

    “I’ll do it myself!” I said, feeling empowered.

    Unfortunately, though, since I had gone natural, I, too, had little clue as to what to do with my own hair. I’d had a perm from age 13 to age 21. Meaning, I spent about a decade experimenting on my own head trying to re-create curly looks to which my natural hair had no interest in conforming.

    My hair went through a brittle phase, a dry phase, a brittle and dry phase. (Thank you, clear hair gel!) I cut it off a few times to start all over. I didn’t figure out how to do my own hair reliably and consistently until about 2009 and the results were awesome, but as has been documented on this site before, the only person who hates doing my hair more than rude, overcharging stylists is me. But at least my own personal dislike of doing hair came free. The only thing I lost turning my hair from dull to Chaka Khan-dazzling was time.

    But it was time I didn’t want to spend.

    So I began the journey back. Back to black stylists. Back to black salons.

    I went back to the salon for a lot of reasons, but all of those reasons amounted to two things: time and skill, two quantities I did not have an abundance of when it came to me and my hair. I wanted to relax, relate and release while someone else blissfully did all the work. I wanted professional looks! I wanted salon quality!

  19. rikyrah says:

    Sunday, May 17, 2015
    The Coming Clown Car Catastrophe
    Posted by Zandar
    As the Washington Post notes, the combination of Tea Party primary voters, the 24/7 news cycle, a weak “frontrunner” in Jeb Bush, and the gut of Clown Car Crazy candidates is a recipe for a massive disaster heading into 2016, and the odds of an explosion are ridiculously high.

    Party officials are growing worried about a wide-open nominating contest likely to feature a historically large and diverse field. At best, they say, the Republican primaries will be a lively showcase of political talent — especially compared with the relative coronation taking shape on the Democratic side. But officials also acknowledge just how risky their circumstance is for a party that hasn’t put on a good show in a long time.

    With no clear front-runner and Bush so far unable to consolidate his path to the nomination — his fumbles over the Iraq war and his brother’s legacy further exposed his vulnerabilities — the GOP’s internecine battle could stretch well into the spring of 2016.

    This could cost presidential aspirants tens of millions of dollars; pull them far to the right ideologically, from hot-button social issues to foreign policy; and jeopardize their general-election chances. And in such a muddled lineup — officials are planning to squeeze 10 or more contenders onto the debate stage — candidates will be rewarded for finding creative ways to gain notice.

    “We’re in a danger zone,” said Doug Gross, a top Republican establishment figure in Iowa. “When the party poobahs put this process together, they thought they could telescope this to get us a nominee who could appeal to a broad cross-section of people. What we’ve got instead is a confederation of a lot of candidates who aren’t standing out — and in order to stand out, you need to scream the loudest.”

    Looming above the GOP show is Hillary Rodham Clinton, the dominant Democratic candidate whom Republican officials brashly dismiss as a scandal-plagued, out-of-touch relic of the past but whose early strength and political durability is nevertheless giving them a serious scare.

    Republican officials are dismayed that months of relentless, negative press coverage of her use of private e-mail servers, foreign donations to her family’s charitable foundation and her six-figure paid speeches have done minimal damage to her favorability ratings.

    At last week’s Republican National Committee meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz., party leaders plotted their path back to power and confronted the demographic changes that have made the Electoral College more challenging for Republicans, with their heavily male, overwhelmingly white base.

    “To win in a presidential election year, the Democrats have to be good,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said. “As Republicans, we need to be about perfect in order to win.”

    And nobody among the GOP faithful can handle that kind of pressure. There’s just going to be too many Todd Akin moments over a protracted primary mess with too many debates and too many opportunities to let the mask slip and to remind the American people that Republicans are pretty much insane.

    But it’ll be fun to watch.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Sunday, May 17, 2015
    Obama and Warren: A Contrast in Analysis
    Andrew Sprung has written a fascinating article in which he lays out the different ways President Obama and Senator Warren talk about the roots of income inequality. He does so by contrasting a speech the President gave in December 2013 on the topic and one Senator Warren gave recently (which he taped and transcribed). Sprung sees a difference in rhetorical styles.
    She sees the forests; he knows the trees — and perhaps sees more overlapping, interlocking forests. Whatever your preference, the contrast is striking.
    I think his comparison shows that the differences between the two of them go a bit deeper than rhetoric and might help us explain why they disagree on things like TPP.
    Where Obama acknowledges multiple causes of our current economic malaise, from global competition and technology to racism as well as Republican tax, regulatory and labor policy, Warren hews to a three-part indictment of Reaganomics: deregulation, tax cuts for the wealthy, and consequent defunding of investments in shared prosperity.
    The difference rhetorically is that Warren’s analysis is simpler and cleaner. Obama’s is more complex. What I would add is that Warren breaks down a scenario where it is easier to identify the villains and the victims. While Obama points to Republican policies as a contributor, he includes factors that don’t easily point to who the “bad guys” are (i.e., global competition and technology).

    Behind those differences are differing views of how the world works and how you go about analyzing problems. One view is focused on a linear cause/effect analysis. The other focuses on a feedback loop with systems of interconnectivity.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Business InsiderVerified account
    Some Upper East Side stay-at-home moms get ‘wife bonuses’ determined by banker husbands:

  22. rikyrah says:

    if we trusted her to begin with, the right couldn’t do anything.

    stop pretending that folks don’t already have doubts about her.

    and, stop pretending that we don’t have the right to have serious doubts about her.


    The Right Baits the Left to Turn Against Hillary Clinton


    MAY 16, 2015

    WASHINGTON — A Twitter post recently caught the eye of Bill McKibben, the environmental advocate and godfather of the Keystone XL pipeline protests. It included an image from “The Simpsons” showing Homer and his family basking in mountains of cash in their living room, followed by a report on Hillary Rodham Clinton’s appearing at a fund-raiser with a lobbyist from the Keystone fight.

    Mr. McKibben’s environmental organization,, has been trying to raise awareness about the ties it sees between lobbyists for the oil pipeline and former aides to Mrs. Clinton. He promptly shared the post with his 150,000 Twitter followers, and the reaction was immediate.

    “You expect different from a Clinton?” one person responded on Twitter. And from another: “Did you need another reason not to vote for Hillary Clinton?” Lost in the response was the source of the offending tweet. It was not another environmental organization or even a liberal challenger to Mrs. Clinton. Instead, it was a conservative group called America Rising PAC, which is trying, with laserlike focus, to weaken the woman who almost everyone believes will be the Democratic Party’s candidate for president in 2016.

    • eliihass says:

      Of for goodness sake!

      We aren’t dumb. We know the difference between right-wing propaganda and our own firsthand observations and remembrances of the Clintons and their shenanigans through the years. What we want is a robust primary with as many viable candidates and a dialog and healthy exchange of policy ideas. And then, may the best person win. We don’t want a coronation, and we don’t want to be strong-armed. What’s so wrong with that?

      Actually, this write-up feels like just another attempt to manipulate us and to force us to rally for Hillary.

      And my answer is still, NO.

  23. rikyrah says:

    The 20 best ‘Mad Men’ episodes ever


    Why it’s great: Matthew Weiner spent years trying to get the “Mad Men” pilot made. His patience was worth it. This is a fantastic introduction to Don Draper and the world he inhabits — including his present mistress, his future one, his wife, his new secretary (and future protege) and many of his co-workers — even as it’s also giving us young Peggy’s very different perspective on life at Sterling Cooper. We get our first improvised Don Draper pitch, as he coins “It’s Toasted” in a meeting with the Lucky Strike execs, the start of the Peggy/Pete affair (as well as the first signs of Pete’s jealousy towards Don), and our first sense of the show’s deep artistic ambitions. That Don has a wife waiting for him at home felt like more of a cliche than it might have had someone produced the script when Weiner originally wrote it, but everything else is perfect.

    Best line: Don tells Rachel Menken, “What you call ‘love’ was invented by guys like me to sell nylons.”

  24. rikyrah says:

    Media Alert

    Series finale of Mad Men is tonight.

    • Ametia says:

      I’m still catching up with season 6 episode 7.

      • rikyrah says:

        outside of a couple of episodes, the final season comes as close to the quality of the first 3 seasons as he could get. the first half of the final season – utter perfection. if they had ended the show midpoint, I would have been overjoyed, because it was brilliant.

  25. rikyrah says:

    I read stories like this, and ask, where are the churches to step up and help those who are trying to do the right thing? to give these folks a support system?


    A father’s initiative

    Paul Gayle had no job, no money, a new baby and 16 lessons from the Obama administration to teach him what to do next

    The last student to arrive for fatherhood class was the only one holding a baby, and a dozen men looked up from their desks to stare. Paul Gayle, 19, had a pink diaper bag hanging off a shoulder decorated with tattoos of marijuana leaves, and a crying 7-month-old in his arms. “Come on, girl, chill out,” Paul said, carrying the baby to a seat in the corner. He offered her a rattle, and she swatted it away. He gave her a bottle, and she only cried louder. Finally, he reached into the diaper bag and took out a pacifier for her and a shot of Goody’s Headache Relief for himself.

    “Sorry for the noise, y’all,” he said. “We’re both a little mad at the world today.”

    “No problem,” the teacher said. “I’m up here talking about being a dad, and you’re doing it.”

    “I’m trying,” Paul said. “But damn.”

    He had pushed a creaky stroller through one of Milwaukee’s worst neighborhoods and ridden a bus across the city not because he wanted to attend a class called Fragile Families and Responsible Fatherhood, but because, like everyone else in the room, he saw no other choice. Some of the men had been told to take the class as a condition of visiting their estranged children. Others had been lured by the promise of job referrals or reduced child-support payments. Paul had come mostly because of the promise of free baby supplies, and lately he had been purchasing his Pampers one at a time, repeating the same transaction so often at a corner store that a clerk had dubbed it the Daddy Paul Special, 75 cents for a single cigarette and a size-3 diaper.

    Paul and his daughter head home after attending a fatherhood development class at Next Door Foundation. Lately Paul had had been purchasing his Pampers one at a time, repeating the same transaction so often at a corner store that a clerk had dubbed it the Daddy Paul Special, 75 cents for a single cigarette and a size-3 diaper.

    Here in one of America’s most segregated cities, the biweekly fatherhood class has become President Obama’s preferred antidote to so many of the problems facing black men. His administration approved the 16-course curriculum and devoted more than $500 million to funding hundreds of fatherhood classes around the country. One of the biggest grants went to North Milwaukee, where, according to studies of census data, black children face disadvantages that accumulate from birth: three times as likely as white children to die in their first year; five times as likely to live with a single parent; nine times as likely to attend failing schools; 15 times as likely to live in poverty; 18 times as likely to go to prison. “Strong fathers can be the first and best step toward fixing these communities and helping our children reach their goals,” Obama said last year while promoting the classes.

    Paul had written down his goals as part an exercise on the first day of class: “Brush Sapphire’s teeth every night.” “Stay calm.” “Find a stable apartment.” “Get a job — any.”

    Now it was his 15th class, nearing the end, and despite the hopeful language in a course guide — “End the cycle of intergenerational poverty!” “Help turn your child turn into a success story in 16 lessons.” — so much about his life remained unstable. He had moved nine times in seven months. He had been offered two jobs but failed the drug tests. It had been several days since he had seen the baby’s mother, a former longtime girlfriend who was no longer living with them. “Sapphire misses you. Are you coming over to see her??” he had texted once, and the silence that followed made him think Sapphire might become another black child whose long odds depended on a single parent, and that parent was him.

    In the first fatherhood class he had recited 20 strategies for managing anger. In the fifth he had role-played effective methods of child discipline; “Say ‘no’ firmly and repeat as necessary,” the course book read. Now the teacher asked the students to stand for a group exercise, so Paul grabbed the baby and joined his classmates in the center of the room. The teacher said he would read a series of “value statements,” and students would go to the right side of the room if they agreed with the statement, the left side if they disagreed or stay in the center if they were unsure. “Men and women are equally capable of caring for children,” the teacher said, and all at once the men began to move, half to the right and half to the left, jarring at each other as they went. “Oh, hell, no,” one said. “Damn right I’m capable,” said another. Paul stood alone in the center of the room, unsure.

  26. rikyrah says:

    10 states with the least affordable homes

    In most parts of the country, a family with a median household income should — ideally — be able to afford a median-priced home in that area. In fact, an analysis of county-level data from RealtyTrac showed that a monthly payment on a median-priced home was more affordable than fair-market rent on a three-bedroom unit in 76% of counties studied, making buying a home the more economical choice for many Americans.

    Of course, there’s a lot more at play when determining if you can afford a house than looking at your paycheck and the rental market — buying a house often requires a home loan, which can be tougher to come by if you don’t have good credit. At the same time, a good credit score will only get you so far in the home-buying process, because if housing in your area is exceptionally expensive, even a median household income may not get you much house.

    To determine the states where housing is least affordable, the Corporation for Enterprise Development divided the state’s median housing value by the median family income in that state, according to 2013 Census data. A breakdown of all 50 states and the District of Columbia is available through its Assets & Opportunity Scorecard tool. Here are the states with the least affordable homes.

  27. rikyrah says:

    Saturday, May 16, 2015 11:14PM

    DURHAM (WTVD) –Duke University and its students are taking strong stance on a professor’s controversial comments regarding race in a national publication.

    Students feel Professor Jerry Hough was disrespectful and insensitive when he left a comment on a New York Times editorial when he made references to “the blacks” and “the Asians.” The Times piece was about racism and the Baltimore Riots.

    “He represents the whole school in that one comment and that’s not a good image for the school,” said Duke student Virginue Marchand. “It’s really inappropriate.”

    “You kind of want to be cautious, to make sure you don’t offend anyone,” said Duke student Xavi Ramos.

    Hough, who is listed as a political science professor on Duke’s website, also made comparisons to minority groups in America.

    In one paragraph he wrote, “Every Asian student has a very simple old American first name that symbolizes their desire for integration. Virtually every black has a strange new name that symbolizes their lack of desire for integration.”

    The University is responding and issued a statement.

    “The comments were noxious, offensive, and have no place in civil discourse,” said Duke Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Affairs Michael Schoenfeld. “Duke University has a deeply-held commitment to inclusiveness grounded in respect for all, and we encourage our community to speak out when they feel that those ideals are challenged or undermined, as they were in this case.”

    In April, the university vowed they wouldn’t allow racial intolerance. A noose was found hanging in a tree. An unmade undergraduate student was sanctioned.

    “Especially with everything that happened recently, you have to make sure you’re very careful with everything,” said Ramos.

    “Given the big deal that it made, it’s probably not the best idea to write that not even a month later,” said Marchand.

    ABC11 tried to speak with Hough in person about the comments, but he would only correspond through email, in which he said the following:

    “Martin Luther King was my hero and I was a big proponent of all the measures taken at the time, including Affirmative Action. But the degree of integration is not what I expected, and it is time to ask why and to change our approach. I am, of course, strongly against the toleration of racial discrimination. I do not know what racial intolerance means in modern code words and hesitate to comment on that specific comment.

    “The issue is whether my comments were largely accurate. In writing me, no one has said I was wrong, just racist. The question is whether I was right or what the nuanced story is since anything in a paragraph is too simple.

    “I am strongly against the obsession with “sensitivity.” The more we have emphasized sensitivity in recent years, the worse race relations have become. I think that is not an accident. I know that the 60 years since the Montgomery bus boycott is a long time, and things must be changed. The Japanese and other Asians did not obsess with the concentration camps and the fact they were linked with blacks as “colored.” They pushed ahead and achieved. Coach K did not obsess with all the Polish jokes about Polish stupidity. He pushed ahead and achieved. And by his achievement and visibility, he has played a huge role in destroying stereotypes about Poles. Many blacks have done that too, but no one says they have done as well on the average as the Asians. In my opinion, the time has come to stop talking incessantly about race relations in general terms as the President and activists have advocated, but talk about how the Asians and Poles got ahead–and to copy their approach. I don’t see why that is insensitive or racist.”

    Hough also told ABC11 that he is on leave now.

    The university would not comment on the professor’s future at the school. A spokesperson said they will not comment on personnel matters.

    Hough’s Full Comments in the New York Times

    This editorial is what is wrong. The Democrats are an alliance of Westchester and Harlem, of Montgomery County and intercity Baltimore. Westchester and Montgomery get a Citigroup asset stimulus policy that triples the market. The blacks get a decline in wages after inflation.

    But the blacks get symbolic recognition in an utterly incompetent mayor who handled this so badly from beginning to end that her resignation would be demanded if she were white. The blacks get awful editorials like this that tell them to feel sorry for themselves.

    In 1965 the Asians were discriminated against as least as badly as blacks. That was reflected in the word “colored.” The racism against what even Eleanor Roosevelt called the yellow races was at least as bad.

    So where are the editorials that say racism doomed the Asian-Americans. They didn’t feel sorry for themselves, but worked doubly hard.

    I am a professor at Duke University. Every Asian student has a very simple old American first name that symbolizes their desire for integration. Virtually every black has a strange new name that symbolizes their lack of desire for integration. The amount of Asian-white dating is enormous and so surely will be the intermarriage. Black-white dating is almost non-existent because of the ostracism by blacks of anyone who dates a white.

    It was appropriate that a Chinese design won the competition for the Martin Luther King state. King helped them overcome. The blacks followed Malcolm X.

    • Kathleen says:

      I will have to check this out. After all, my last name is “O’Neill” (different spelling) and I was raised Irish Catholic in the 50’s and 60’s (Catholic school from kindergarten through college) so this hits home (except for the siblings, who were born and raised while I was in college). Whoever wrote it captured the nuances and neuroses of being raised Irish Catholic very well.

      • Ametia says:

        Hi Kathleen. Hope you’ll find the series enjoyable.

        The TV networks seems to have gotten the message.

        America is DIVERSE!
        ‘Fresh off the Boat, ‘Black-ish’, Modern Family,’ and the Nigerian series.

  28. sunshine616 says:

    Well this is just rich. You can molest children in the Catholic Church and quietly get moved to another church. Preach tolerance and acceptance, lose your job. Why I no longer identify as catholic after 15 years in the Catholic school system. The hypocrisy and intolerance is too damn much. It’s just like politics!!

    • Kathleen says:

      The Catholic Diocese here in Cincinnati fired a teacher from a Catholic school because he was gay. I agree about the hypocrisy and intolerance, while at the same time there are Catholics who are doing great work to alleviate injustice and poverty (Nuns on the Bus). I have not supported the Church for many years.

  29. rikyrah says:

    The Talking Cure
    The poorer parents are, the less they talk with their children. The mayor of Providence is trying to close the “word gap.”


    One morning in September, Lissette Castrillón, a caseworker in Providence, Rhode Island, drove to an apartment on the western edge of town to visit Annie Rodriguez, a young mother, and her two-year-old daughter, Eilen. Castrillón and Rodriguez sat down on a worn rug and spoke about the importance of talking to very young children. They discussed ways to cajole a toddler into an extended conversation, and identified moments in the day when Rodriguez could be chatting more with Eilen, an ebullient little girl who was wearing polka-dot leggings.

    “Whenever she’s saying a few new words, it’s important to tell her yes, and add to it,” Castrillón told Rodriguez. “So if she sees a car you can say, ‘Yes, that’s a car. It’s a big car. It’s a blue car.’ ”

    Eilen suddenly said, “Boo ca!”

    Castrillón looked at her and said, “Right! Blue car! Good job!”

    Rodriguez noted that Eilen had recently become so enthralled by an animated show, “Bubble Guppies,” that she had become “stuck on that word ‘guppy.’ ” She went on, “Everything’s ‘guppy, guppy, guppy.’ So when she refers to something as ‘guppy’ I try to correct it—like, ‘No, that’s not a guppy. That’s a doll.’ ”

    “Guppy?” Eilen said, hopefully.

    Castrillón said, “Well, I think right now the important thing won’t be so much telling her no but just adding words and repeating them, so she’ll start repeating them on her own.”

    Rodriguez is enrolled in a program called Providence Talks, the most ingenious of several new programs across the country that encourage low-income parents to talk more frequently with their kids. Once a month, Eilen wears a small recording device for the day, and the recording is then analyzed. An algorithm tallies all the words spoken by adults in her vicinity, all the vocalizations Eilen makes, and all the “conversational turns”—exchanges in which Eilen says something and an adult replies, or vice versa. The caseworker who visits Rodriguez’s home gives her a progress report, which shows in graph form how many words Eilen has been hearing, and how they peak and dip throughout the day.

    Castrillón presented Rodriguez with the month’s report. She leaned over her shoulder and said, “See, this shows the percentage of adult words. There were over fifteen thousand words spoken in that day.”

    “Wow!” Rodriguez said.

    Castrillón noted that significantly more conversation took place when the TV was off, and that it had been off more that month than the previous one. “There was pretty high electronic sound last time,” she said. “This time, there was very little.” Rodriguez nodded, studying the printout.

  30. sunshine616 says:

    Good morning!!!!!!

  31. rikyrah says:

    The Forgotten Girls Who Left the South and Changed History
    Marcia Chatelain @DrMChatelain May 15, 2015

    The girls of the Great Migration shaped regions, cities and even the White House

    A “Northern Invasion” was coming, the Chicago Defender declared in early 1917: that spring, specifically May 15, would begin the Great Northern Drive. Southern blacks would abandon Jim Crow’s regime and seek their economic and social freedoms in the North. And Chicago was waiting for them. The Defender, which was founded 110 years ago this month, was the most influential African American newspaper of the 20th century, not least because its entrepreneurial founder and editor, Robert Sengstacke Abbott, used it as a catalyst for the Great Migration, a movement that would change the color and composition of American cities.

    Some of the littlest members of this invasion were girls and teenage women, whose stories have yet to be fully told. Reaching across a century, their tale draws a direct line from the desperate denizens of the Jim Crow South to the striving residents of Northern cities—and all the way to the White House.

    Luckily, their stories have been preserved, and in their own words. In response to Abbott’s call, thousands of letters poured into the Defender’s South Side Chicago office. Would-be migrants sought employment connections, train tickets, and any form of confirmation that ‘up North’ would be everything Abbott promised and more. Among these dream-seekers who put pen to paper to plan their great escapes were scores of girls and teenage women. These letters, printed in the pages of the Defender, and other reflections from African American girls who settled on Chicago’s South Side, fueled my scholarly search to understand how girls experienced, shaped and understood the mass exodus that roughly spanned 1917 to 1970, during which an estimated 7 million blacks settled in urban corridors.

    Girls’ letters to Abbott spoke volumes of the struggles of everyday life. Girls revealed the poignancy of being a child while confronting the very adult economic pressures families endured. Girls labored as sharecroppers, domestics and low-wage workers in the post-Reconstruction South, and they hoped Chicago could provide better paying jobs. Older teenage girls shouldered the responsibility of supporting families at the expense of their education. Girls also hoped that they could use the beauty products or attend the dance venues that the Defender advertised. They wanted to remake themselves into city girls—modern, stylish and in control of their futures.

  32. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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