Are Young Black Men Broken?

Have we been brainwashed into believing there is a “black male problem” that needs to be fixed? What kind of message is this sending to young black men? Are they broken and in need of repair?

I’ve been asking myself these questions lately. For years we have been exposed to “plight of the black man” messaging.… [Read more]

My Wish for 2014

As I look back at 2013, the posts I’ve written in the Marketplace, the articles we’ve shared on our Facebook page, and our Twitter messages, I’ve come to appreciate the power of social media. I am convinced now more than ever that our vision of leveraging social media to effect change is one worthy of continuing, one we must push forward.… [Read more]

The Elections Are Over, Now What?

We all know the cliche: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  If we know this and believe it to be true, then when it comes to the election cycle we’re definitely insane.

Every year we’re bombarded with advertising that’s mostly negative. We get our full share of speculation from the various media pundits and, because we’re special, we get to hear the candidates debate issues that someone else decided were important for us to listen to.… [Read more]

From Marcy to Madison Square

A few weeks ago many folks in New York City were in an uproar. First because a young man, who lives with his mom in Corona, Queens, is studying engineering at the New York City College of Technology, and has a work-study job was detained by law enforcement stemming from the purchase of a $349 Ferragamo belt at Barneys.… [Read more]

Stop and Frisk, the Aftermath

Earlier this week I had a conversation with a friend, a very conservative Republican, about the Stop and Frisk ruling. His comment to me was “I can’t understand how you and other liberals can applaud the ruling. Don’t you realize that you have condemned the youth you supposedly support to an uncertain future? Don’t you realize how many African-American and Latino youth are going to be killed because this ruling handcuffs the police and does not allow them to do their job?”

I’ve known this person for years and would be one of the first to say that he doesn’t have racist bone in his body.… [Read more]

Do Politicians Care About Our Youth?

I question the commitment of our politicians when it comes to the education of our young people.

Educating young minds takes more than classroom instruction and standardized exams. It requires a commitment to nurture students and expose them to a myriad of educational and cultural opportunities. How can this happen if one of the first things on the chopping block during budget discussions is funding for after-school programs and the arts?… [Read more]

Spinning Hate: The New KKK

On April 24, 1867, the Ku Klux Klan held its first national meeting in a bid to organize and build structure among their many disparate often groups. In 2013, one hundred forty six years later, the klan still exists.

On Wednesday I spent the entire evening surfing through Ku Klux Klan affiliated websites. I read their literature, watched videos, and scanned through a ton of pictures.  … [Read more]

Rigging the Presidential Election

Let me start by saying I think the entire Electoral College process stinks. It’s antiquated and subject to manipulation. Although I don’t think that it will happen in my lifetime, I believe that it’s time to move to a popular vote process.

If Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act and the need for affirmative action can be argued as outdated, why can’t the Electoral College process?… [Read more]

The Battle Against Stop and Frisk

One rationale for continuing stop and frisk practices is that it is a viable, proactive and productive way for law enforcement to combat crime. Personally, I beg to differ; in my opinion it’s like using a sledgehammer on a nail. You may get the desired result but what else are you smashing?

That’s how I feel about “Stop and Frisk.” We are well aware of the controversy surrounding the stop and frisk practices in New York City.… [Read more]

A Little Story About Criminal Justice Reform

We have to ask, why the sudden push for criminal justice reform? Is there a new concern for those being incarcerated? Please forgive the cynicism but I think not. Maybe it’s because prison business is no longer profitable.

Imagine that a group entrepreneurs got together to come up with the next “big” business idea.  Imagine the conversation goes as follows:

Entrepreneur # 1: “We need to build something that’s going to last and has a constant supply of free resources. … [Read more]