- Created on 01 April 2013
(YourBlackWorld.com)--A man who once ran the NAACP in Steubenville, Ohio made some comments that have drawn a sharp reaction from women’s rights advocates across the country.
In an interview with the International Business Times, Royal Mayo noted that the victim in the rape case in Steubenville wanted to leave with her attackers, indicating that she may not have been raped. Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond, two local high school football stars, were both convicted of raping the woman while she was too drunk to make her own decisions.
“They’re alleging she got raped; she’s acknowledging that she wanted to leave with Trent,” Mayo said. “Her friends say she pushed them away as she went and got into the car, twice telling them, ‘I know what I’m doing; I’m going with Trent.’”
Mayo also referred to the woman as an “alleged victim” drawing the ire of those who feel that the word “alleged” cannot be used for someone after a guilty verdict has been delivered.
“She said her mother brought her to the party, at 3 o’clock, with a bottle of vodka,” Mayo said. “Where did you get it, young lady? You brought it from home? Where’d you get it? You came to the party with your mother.”
Salon’s Mary Elizabeth Williams took issue with Mayo’s remarks. But there are some across the nation who hear at least some of what Mayo is trying to say. A poster circulating on Facebook says, “Apparently, a teen girl is not responsible for what she does while she’s drunk, but a teen boy is.”
Ms. Williams says that this is no matter, and that Mayo should be ashamed for blaming the victim.
“Apparently in Mayo’s mind, if you leave a party with a boy, you’ve signed off for whatever he may then do to you, even if you’re unconscious,” Williams wrote. “Got vodka in your house? Asking for it.”
Three boys who taped the alleged assault were given immunity in exchange for their testimony. They say that the girl was so drunk that she didn’t know what she was doing. The victim also says that she doesn’t remember what happened that night.
“They kept telling me I was a hassle and they took care of me,” she testified. “I thought I could trust him (Mays) until I saw the pictures and video.”
The NAACP got involved and issued these remarks in response to the statement by Mayo:
“The NAACP abhors the remarks attributed to Royal Mayo regarding the rape victim in the Steubenville. The remarks are Mayo’s own, and do not reflect the position of the NAACP and its membership. Rape is a despicable crime of violence. The NAACP understands that comments that blame victims for the actions of their attackers contribute to and perpetuate a culture of acquiescence to rape. The NAACP advocates strongly for a society where victims of rape and sexual assault can come forward and seek legal redress without further retribution from the community, media or society at large.”
- Created on 01 April 2013
August 2013 represents the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington. Publicly associated with Dr. King’s famous “I have a Dream” speech, this march brought more than 250,000 people to Washington, D.C. to demand freedom and jobs. Initiated by Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters President A. Philip Randolph, this became a joint project with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and went down in history as a powerful show of force against Jim Crow segregation.
It is barely remembered that the March was for freedom and jobs. The demand for jobs was not a throwaway line in order to get trade union support but instead reflected the growing economic crisis affecting the Black worker.
Over time this great march has risen to levels of near mythology. The powerful speech by Dr. King, replayed—in part—for us every King Day has eclipsed all else, so much so that too many people believe—incorrectly—that the March was King’s march rather than that he was a major player in a project that was much larger than himself.
As August 2013 approaches, it has been noticeable that there has been very limited public discussion regarding an anniversary march to commemorate the 1963 event. What has, apparently, been taking place are a series of closed door discussions regarding some sort of celebratory action. What has been particularly disturbing are the suggestions that any one person, organization, or family can claim the legacy of the March. But, should any one constituency claim that legacy it is a group that does not appear to be at the table: Black labor.
Randolph and other Black labor leaders, particularly those grouped around the Negro American Labor Council, responded to the fact that the Black worker was largely being ignored in the discussions about civil rights. Additionally, the economic situation was becoming complicated terrain for Black workers. As writer Nancy Maclean has pointed out, the elements of what came to be known as “de-industrialization” (which was really part of a reorganization of global capitalism) were beginning to have its effect in the U.S.A., even by 1963. As with most other disasters, it started with a particular and stark impact on Black America.
In 2013 the Black worker has been largely abandoned in most discussions about race, civil rights, etc. As National Black Worker Center Project founder Steven Pitts has repeatedly pointed out, with the economic restructuring that has destroyed key centers of the Black working class strength, much of the economic development that has emerged has either avoided the Black worker altogether or limited the role of the Black worker to the most menial of positions. Thus, unemployment for Black workers remains more than double that of Whites and hovers around Depression levels in many communities.
In 1983, I participated in the 20th anniversary March on Washington. Although it attempted to raise the issues of the day, e.g., the threat of Reaganomics, what could also be seen was the canonization of Dr. King as a central feature for too many of the marchers. One of the worst ways to remember Dr. King, and for that matter the 1963 March, is by canonizing any individual. One of the best ways to remember Dr. King and the March is to use the inspiration from that great day in August 1963 as the energizing force for another round of struggle.
Bill Fletcher, Jr. is a Senior Scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies, the immediate past president of TransAfrica Forum, and the author of “They’re Bankrupting Us” – And Twenty Other Myths about Unions. Follow him at www.billfletcherjr.com.
- Created on 31 March 2013
On Its 107th Anniversary, Let’s Not Forget That the NCAA is the Single Most Despicable Organization Ever
Rick Reilly wrote a great piece for ESPN.com about a gambling addict at the start of the NCAA basketball tournament to remind his readers that this time of year isn’t fun for everyone. Reilly felt it was important that we not forget about the people who suffer while we dutifully bemuse over our busted brackets on Twitter.
I’d like to take this time to similarly bring public attention to something that could easily be forgotten during the jubilation of March Madness: the unrivaled, unmitigated, tyrannical evil of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. There is literally not a more reprehensible organization in this country.
The NCAA is a glorified slave trading conglomerate that operates with impunity under the guise of promoting academics and amateurism, and we would do well not to forget it.
This is an organization that portends to be “always there for student athletes” when, in truth, the NCAA is no more concerned about the wellbeing of its so-called student athletes than the slave master is concerned about the wellbeing of his chattel.
This supposedly nonprofit organization makes money hand over fist on the backs of its players who are prohibited from seeing a dime of it. March Madness is the most glaring example.
In 2010, CBS Sports and Turner Broadcasting paid $771 million to the NCAA for television rights to the 2011 men’s basketball tournament alone. That’s more than three-quarters of a billion dollars and the athletes who are making the shots, taking the charges and effectively doing all of the work will not now, nor ever, get even a sniff of it.
Television contracts are just the tip of the NCAA’s free-money iceberg. In 2011 the Atlantic reported that following the example set by schools like Ohio State, which in 2009 bundled all its promotional rights—souvenirs, stadium ads, shoe deals—and outsourced them to an international sports marketer for a guaranteed $11 million a year, the NCAA began to exploit its vault of college sports on film. For just $29.99, fans can now purchase DVDs and NCAA On Demand and own their favorite NCAA games. Even though they have since left college, the former athletes in the videos get nothing.
The NCAA also licenses its product through IMG College to video game manufacturer Electronic Arts (EA). In 2010 the company paid more than $35 million in royalties to the NFL players union to use the names and likenesses of players in its NFL Madden video game series. The NCAA players got nothing, despite EA selling a reported 2.5 million copies of its NCAA football game in 2008.
That’s by design. The NCAA makes athletes sign away their rights in Part IV of its “Student-Athlete Statement” for Division I, which states that athletes must give away “your name or picture … to promote NCAA championships or other NCAA events, activities or programs” in exchange for the right to play.
The so-called student athletes also get no remuneration for the injuries they sustain while playing in college. Former players who aren’t part of the lucky 1 percent to make it to the big time of the NFL or NBA don’t even get their medical bills paid by the institutions once they’ve left school and aren’t eligible for worker’s compensation as part of the code. After all, almost all of them are going pro in something other than sports.
And should these players attempt to receive any sort of compensation from their play, by, let’s say, selling their jerseys, signing memorabilia or even licensing their own name, the NCAA cartel punishes them and their academic institution with absurd sanctions for violating the supposed tenets of amateurism.
Some people think we need the NCAA to continue watching sports the way we do now, but nothing could be further from the truth.
The insignificance of the association was proven by the 1984 case “NCAA v. Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma” in which the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the NCAA’s football contracts with television as well as all future contracts as an illegal restraint of trade that harmed colleges and viewers. Since then schools and conferences have negotiated independently with TV networks and I’d say college football has far from fallen apart.
There’s a difference between corruption and unadulterated evil and when it comes to the latter the NCAA is it.
That’s not to say the schools themselves are any better. The institutions have pimped their players out for every dime they could, taking money for everything from the shoes their players are forced to wear to naming rights for the stadiums they play in (I’m looking at you Florida Atlantic University).
Make no mistake, what these kids do is a job. Players at even the lesser known athletic programs put in at least 40-50 hours of work each week to do what’s required of them as so-called student athletes. Sure, they are awarded a free dormitory and a meal plan, but then so were slaves. And as for the supposedly free education they get, it might mean something if the athletes were actually getting it.
A report for the Boston Globe found that for the third straight year in the 68-team field, 21 teams had Black graduation rates below 50 percent. Some schools, like the University of Florida, graduated 0 percent of their Black players.
This doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Colleges promote, through financial incentives and payments to coaches, the athletic success of programs while offering an embarrassingly paltry sum for academic accomplishment.
A recent article by former NBA player and former U.S. Representative Tom McMillen and Education Secretary Arne Duncan reviewed the contracts of more than 50 football and basketball coaches in major conferences and noted that athletic performance incentives in the contracts average $600,000, compared to $52,000 for incentives promoting academic performance.
This was precisely the culture of disservice and malfeasance the NCAA was created to prevent when it was established on March 31, 1906 as the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States. Today, rather than looking out for student athletes, the organization seems solely consumed with making sure none of them see a dime for their troubles and that any who do are summarily and publicly punished.
The cartel was encapsulated best by one of its own. In a note of hypocritical perfection, former NCAA President Walter Byers summed up the state of the organization in his book “Unsportsmanlike Conduct: Exploiting College Athletes,” by writing "Today the NCAA Presidents Commission is preoccupied with tightening a few loose bolts in a worn machine, firmly committed to the neo-plantation belief that the enormous proceeds from college games belong to the overseers (administrators) and supervisors (coaches). The plantation workers performing in the arena may only receive those benefits authorized by the overseers."
Sounds about right.
- Created on 01 April 2013
If a new poll commissioned by BET founder and business magnate Robert Johnson is any indication, the myth of a monolithic Black America has been shattered and one-size-fits-all Black leadership has gone the way of the cowboy — just replace rodeos with rallies.
The Zogby Analytics poll, aptly titled, “Black Opinions in the Age of Obama,” compiled...
- Created on 29 March 2013
Here is an idea that will work.
Based upon my experience and involvement with Black businesses and the Black community, I recommend that city leaders and others making decisions about the new retractable dome deal consider using Black businesses as an economic engine and as a capable creator/stimulator of jobs in the Vine City area of Atlanta.
My recommendation is built around two economically sound points, according to renowned economist Dr. Danny Boston, president of Euquant and a Ga. Tech professor.
1) Approximately 2/3 of the employees of a Black small business will reflect the ownership of the business. In other words, most of the employees of a Black business will be Black.
2) Also, 44 percent of Black businesses are located in high-risk areas.
Couple those facts with the knowledge that Black small businesses are more likely to employ the "unemployable" and under-employed.
The upshot is that the utilization of Black businesses and locally-developed non-profits as primary contractors, concessionaires, designers, service providers, or support organizations, will result in the almost automatic employment of persons from Vine City and other inner-city communities, while satisfying business development goals.
My proposition is that the project utilize a "Return on Investment" approach instead of one based upon entitlement or affirmative action. With the ROI approach, the contracting opportunities associated with the Dome would be considered "Contracting Investments" with an expected "Economic Return." The Value Proposition of an economic return will be met through the natural creation of jobs, local taxes and turning over the dollar in the community by companies most likely to hire the residents and keep them employed.
The probability of the Black businesses hiring residents from the Vine City community when developing their labor force is potentially strong. The ability to meet Equal Business Opportunity challenges is also simply met. Further, this approach can be easily monitored and measured for compliance.
This approach addresses two problems at the same time and shares the responsibility for solutions with those most affected. It also provides a mechanism to turn the dollar over in the community, creating an economic stimulus supportive of larger community development.
With support, this approach could bring even greater benefits to Vine City and the City of Atlanta, while supporting the Dome's requirements for quality contractors and residential job development. The Black businesses could be vetted to meet requirements with the expectation that their utilization will bring about an economic return to Vine City greater than outside of Atlanta contractors, etc.
This is simple and will work. Additionally, it removes the stench of entitlement or affirmative action from the discussions, replacing it with the mutual outcome benefit of an economic return on the contracting investment in Black business.
I am sharing this approach with as many persons, organizations and media as I can. And, I am available for further discussion or idea refinement.
Joseph R. Hudson, an entrepreneur, is an "unabashed Black business and inner-city commerce advocate" and is the former president of the Interracial Council for Business Opportunity, the Georgia Minority Supplier Diversity Council, and the Atlanta Business League.