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Africans in America should be aware that 2013 is a year of great significance. It will mark the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, signed by Abraham Lincoln, the 50th Anniversary of the Assassination of Medgar Evers and the 50th Anniversary of the historic March on Washington.  The question is whether 2013 will be a year of superfluous commemorations, ceremonies and celebrations, or will it be a year of destiny for Africans in America where we create new history?  The recent State of the Black World Conference III was organized around the theme – State of Emergency in Black America: Time to Heal Black Families and Communities.  We selected this theme to emphatically declare that we have yet to achieve the “dream” so brilliantly articulated by Martin Luther King, against the backdrop of the  Lincoln Memorial a half century ago. Hence, the choice is clear, it is imperative that 2013 be a year of historical reflection on the deeds and events of the past as the foundation for concerted action to fulfill our destiny as a fully free and self-determining people in the U.S. and the world.
The subject of our boys and young men in society who have been marginalized, left out in the cold, shown up by their female counterparts, not doing well in school, disenfranchised, spoilt, has been explored. We’ve heard it all about our boys and what should be done to help them, socially, academically and emotionally. Somehow though, I don’t think enough has been said about the state of many of our girls. Long gone are the days of pretty maids all in a row and of what little girls are made of - sugar and spice and everything nice. Well, happily, most still are, but there are some little terrors in our midst, pretty little cherubs with eyes of innocence, hearts of Sirens, lips of seduction and skin of velvet, who can teach adults a thing or two about life.
Dear Mr. President, For every immigration fraud scheme that is busted in the United States, there are undoubtedly many that go unnoticed, leaving the immigrants who fall prey to unscrupulous individuals more vulnerable and subject to deportation. Recently, 26 people in New York City were busted for allegedly participating in separate but overlapping immigration fraud schemes relating to the submission of hundreds of asylum applications on behalf of Chinese immigrants, which contained fabricated claims of persecution. Interestingly but not surprisingly, at least 10 New York City area law firms created and submitted these fraudulent applications on behalf of immigrant applicants and coached them on how to lie to immigration authorities, according to Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. Of the 26 defendants charged, six were attorneys and 21 worked at the various law firms, including as translators and at a church in Queens where the target was the Chinese community. There, in a church of God, this individual allegedly provided training in basic Christianity to asylum applicants and told them to falsely claim they were persecuted in China for their religious beliefs.
Dear Mr. President, Despite what some may claim, there is no fixing of the United States economy before immigration reform, for at the end of the day – immigration and economics go hand in hand. The Bush Center in Dallas, Texas got into the fray of this discourse last month with former U.S. President George W. Bush, making a rare appearance in front of the media to talk about an issue that was near and dear to his heart during his eight years in office. Immigration and economic growth were combined with the session choosing to look at the role immigrants continue to play in the U.S. economy, as well as their contributions to business growth.
Traffic stops by police in urban communities go bad far too frequently because of patrol policies that demean and rob minority residents of their dignity -- especially African American males. This writer experienced one such encounter on Dec. 22, 2012, on a cold, wet, drizzly Saturday night at approximately 8:25 p.m. My 16-year-old son and I were headed to a neighborhood market for dinner, when Inglewood police flashed their lights for me to pull over for a traffic infraction (expired registration). I nervously peered through my rear view mirror. Night stops are often accompanied by cops overstepping the bounds of authority in one way or another.
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