Race Together with USA Today and Starbucks

USA Today will expand on the initiative that Starbucks has taken to promote conversations and understanding on Race in America. What are your thoughts? Article Link

Thoughts on OU/SAE incident

Expulsion seems like the right thing to do, and seems to be a punishment that fits the bill for what these college students did and allowed to happen; however I disagree. It gives them the opportunity to bow out,  and off campus without having to face those who they offended and those that can teach them something about their actions and possibly challenge their thoughts and beliefs as well. A few days after the incident became widespread news, there was a community discussion regarding race relations within the OU community. Several people attended and it seems that a great dialogue took place, but this is not enough.

I have attended numerous panel discussions, community conversations, townhall meetings, open forums etc. related to race relations, diversity,  and inclusion,  and what I have noticed is that you see the same people on college campuses and within communities participating time and time again. Those who are already becoming part of the solution, are open-minded, wanting to bring about change, or are already change agents, show up and speak up.  Other people who truly NEED to attend do not, and so it becomes the same conversation with the same people who hear the same messages. No new action is taken, and not much changes.

Those young men expelled from OU should have been required to attend. They should have also been required to attend other cultural competence seminars, workshops, and they should have been forced to sit in a room among those who spoke out about their poor decisions and actions and felt offended  in the first place. If they shamed the OU community, make the face the OU community and learn how and why what they did was shameful.  More of these conversations and experiences are going to have to be forced in order for them to occur and for people to exchange more meaningful dialogue that is not one-sided. Young people today are still very frightened, apathetic, and unable to communicate effectively to build better interpersonal relations. It’s time to push people out of their comfort zones and get the learning and understanding process going before more incidents like this one occur and college campuses become further divided.

Want to improve schools?

Let the Teachers take over

This was an interesting article. But I think it comes down to the classic workers versus management debate. Administration has a set of parameters that they have to work with and teachers are trying to educate to the best of their ability with limited resources. Perhaps there is an issue with not allowing those who have the most contact with the student have the least amount of say so over what ultimately happens in the schools, but if all parties are supposedly in agreement with trying to educate children, why is there a schism?

Without taking into consideration the larger issues of school finance and administration, a school that fully supports its teachers in a way that is not solely monetary can only be to the benefit of the students.

2 OU Students Expelled

Update: 2 OU students have been expelled from the University by President Boren for playing a “leadership role” in the video that went viral over the weekend

OU's President, David Boren, expels two students after SAE video surfaces

OU’s President, David Boren, expels two students after SAE video surface

Geraldo Rivera on Hip Hop: Open Discussion

Geraldo Rivera recently said “hip hop has done more damage to Black and Brown people than racism in the last 10 years” What do you think?  Rivera on Hip Hop and Racism

Music and Black Youth: Open Discussion

This morning while watching News One Now with Roland Martin, Chuck D (Founder of Public Enemy, Artist/Musician, & Activist) commented on the connection between African Americans and music. He mentioned that taking away music programs in inner city schools is a detriment to Black Youth because Black people are gifted when it comes to musicianship and this limits the ability to pass on music education and the artistry to black youth. From what I understood, he did not directly say that this was a “conspiracy” to take away music from Black people, but it did make me wonder if there may be a hidden agenda behind the removal of important arts programs in public schools, especially those in urban education districts. So I will pose the question for open discussion: Is the removal of music programs in inner-city (or urban) K-12 schools a conspiracy that will have a negative impact on Black Youth?

Imagine America without Black People.

#BlackHistoryMonth

For everyone that comes across this post, I want you to really sit back and think about what life in this country would be like if Black people had never been chained and delivered to this country. I would great appreciate if you spent just a little bit of your mental time to consider exactly what it would be like if Blacks were never brought to North America, The Carribean, South America. This is not something that should be lightly considered.
If you would, please share with me your thoughts on the comments. I’m interested in knowing what you come up with.

I’ll start it off: If there were no Blacks, there would be not be a monopoloy on music by 6 record companies. There would be no allied victory in WWII and there surely would be internet for you to read this post on.

Student Loan Debt Hits a New High

1.2 Trillion dollars.

Let that sink in and after you get finished with that, this site will help you visualize what a trillion dollars actually is

In one way I reckon that large student debt is evidence that people are seeking their education, which is a wonderful thing. It enriches one’s life in numerous way, not just having the parchment that makes you acceptable to employers.
But on the other hand, I cannot help but ponder why an education is causing so many SO much financial burden. $1000+ student loan repayments, just 6 months after you’ve graduated? What kind of situation do the holders of these loans expect graduates to be in?
If you look at it from a business standpoint, opportunities are rarely richer or more guaranteed than loaning money to people who need to get an education in order to make money and hope to have a middle class lifestyle. It’s almost like ransoming education. School is so expensive, (or should I say the “better” schools)… it might be justified by the quality of education, but its also the weight that the degree holds, which allows for more opportunities for the holder, along with many other factors, but for loaners the more it costs for the learner the higher stream of income that one can expect. On $100,000 in student loans, one can expect a return of perhaps $125,000? Sweet! A college education is supposed to allow one to “make it”, but how can you make it when a mountain of student loan debt is weighing on you before you really have a chance to get started.
The first years of one’s career are the most lean, and they become even leaner when you have a $500 bill coming right along with it.

I propose that student loan debt be treated like a mortgage, because it is more akin to a lifelong investment than it is to a payday loan, which is what it seems like now. It should be structured at an interest rate that is no more that 1.25% and should be spread out over 30 years. That means a student borrowing $100,000 for the life of their education would be paying $105 a month. I think that is fair and solid. It would prevent predatory lending to students and allow them to not be burdened with a huge sum before they are able to establish themselves.

1.2 Trillion is a lot of money.