Viewpoint

Dear Mr. President,

In the post George Zimmerman verdict the discussion has focused on racial profiling in America, but Representative Steve King, Republican-Iowa, does not seem to care – feeling the need to spew his hate against immigrants in the United States.

King’s diatribe was published on conservative news website Newsmax reacting to high-achieving young immigrants by stating: “For everyone who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”

The following is an edited version of a message from Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States Stephen Vasciannie marking his country’s 51st anniversary of Independence. Jamaica now moves from the symbolic 50th anniversary of Independence into the second half of the pathway towards the century.

In the last year, the nation took the opportunity to celebrate years of achievement: we noted the accomplishments of our sporting heroes, we recalled the efforts at nation-building undertaken by leaders in both the public and private sectors, we reveled in the music of our pioneers in mento, ska, rocksteady, reggae and the like, and we celebrated the other manifestations of Jamaica’s vibrant culture and cultural diversity.

drugs2The scuttlebutt is that Attorney General Eric Holder is poised to say what has long been obvious to anyone who has the faintest notion about how the wildly failed, flawed war on drugs has been waged for three decades. The obvious is that the war on drugs has been a ruthless, relentless and naked war on minorities, especially African-Americans.

In the coming weeks, Holder may tell exactly how he’ll wind that war down. It shouldn’t surprise if he does. President Obama and Holder have been hinting for a while that it’s time to rethink how the war is being fought and who its prime casualties have been. Their successful push a few years back to get Congress to finally wipe out a good deal of the blatantly racially skewed harsh drug sentencing for crack versus powder cocaine possession was the first hint. Another is the mixed signals that both have sent about federal marijuana prosecutions, sometimes tough, sometimes lax.

cerealSix-year-old Grace Colbert – the adorable little actress and star in the controversial Cheerios commercial that ran on television in the United States last month – must be wondering why some people have made such a fuss about her role, and the role of the people who played her parents, in the cereal commercial. In the 31-second video, Colbert plays a girl who goes to her “mother”, and asks her if what her “dad” said about Cheerios “being good for your heart” is true. Her mom says “Yes”. The girl smiles, and walks off camera with her box of Cheerios.

In the next shot, the “father”, who was lying on the couch, wakes up to find Cheerios poured all over the left side of his chest. The girl, it appears, wants to protect her dad’s heart by covering it with Cheerios. The message? Cheerios are good for you, and your heart. Share them with the people you love, so that they will be healthier.

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