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Archive for April, 2010

Sex in the SEC City

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

In the past, we’ve had Watergate, Trooper gate, Iran gate and now, we’re having porn gate. During the past 2 ½ to  five years, male and female lawyers and senior level employees  at the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) have been using their work time to surf the Internet for pornographic web sites. Some have spent up to 8 hours  a day on the pornographic web sites.  Isn’t that the entire work day?  Others who are blocked from using the sites use their ingenuity to work around the problem to access the sex sites. Too bad the same type of ingenuity did not help to investigate investment firms from defrauding the public.

As the American economy flushed down the toilet, some SEC high level employees watched porn sites.   It seems that everyone from Bernie Madoff, banks, investment firms and now some lawyers at the SEC are having fun with our money.  Are any of us having fun yet?  Now we know why the SEC couldn’t uncover the Madoff scandal and other investment firm meltdowns.

The SEC says it is already dealing with the situation with resignations, reprimands and other forms of punishment.  Given the SEC’s track record in dealing with our financial issues, the public should demand to know the outcome of these 20 plus employees. Yes, there are legalities that must be followed in employment issues, but the harshest punishment should be given for these intolerable situations. The harshest punishment has already been given to the American public.

A Tribute to Dr. Dorothy I. Height

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

 

Dr. Dorothy I. Height, godmother of the civil rights movement, passed away  on Tuesday, April 20, 2010, at the age of 98.   Dr. Height rose from the Jim Crowe era and segregation to lobby for civil rights before Eleanor Roosevelt to live to see President Obama elected as the first African American president.   She was an integral part of American history, championing social justice, economic justice, women’s rights and civil rights.

One hundred words are too few to honor her and ten thousand are not enough.   Her legacy as founder and president of the National Council of Negro Women for over 40 years,  10th president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the Black Family Reunion are only a few of her accomplishments.

I first met Dr. Height in the 1990’s when she spoke as keynote speaker for the YWCA Annual meeting.  My last personal experience with Dr. Height was in November, 2009 during the 140th anniversary of Lincoln Temple UCC church, where we were honored to have her presence with us.

Despite being confined to a wheel chair in later years, she still maintained an active schedule.  In her presence, you knew you were in the presence of greatness.  Dr. Height will be greatly missed.  May she rest in peace for a life well lived.

Dr. Height’s funeral will be held on Thursday, April 29 at the Washington National Cathedral. Her Omega Omega Service open only to members of her family and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. will be held at Howard University on Wednesday, April 28.

Supreme Court Choices and- An Opportunity

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Here’s my recent blog posted in the Women’s Media Center.  Could our next Supreme Court justice be another woman?  Will President Obama pick our first African American female justice? To read more, see my blog post.

http://womensmediacenter.com/blog/author/debbie-hines/

Virginia Is Not For Lovers

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

February is recognized as Black History month. March is known as Women’s History month. Now, April is  being honored in Virginia as Confederate History month.  Virginia’s slogan  used to be Virginia is for lovers. Now, Virginia apparently prefers to be known for haters.  Virginia Republican Governor Robert McDonnell proclaimed April as the month for an understanding of the sacrifices of Confederate leaders, soldiers and citizens during the Civil War. As an African American, isn’t this Confederate recognition like Germany recognizing the sacrifices of the Nazi leadership during World War II?  Wouldn’t everyone think it was offensive to Jews?

So why was April selected?  April 17, 1861 is the day Virginia seceded from the Union. Richmond later became the capitol of the Confederacy.  Mississippi and Georgia have already acknowledged Confederate history month.  Yet, two wrongs don’t make it right.

Originally, Virginia’s proclamation failed to even make mention of slavery. At first, Governor McDonnell said he didn’t think it was significant. That’s like saying the Holocaust did  not exist or was not significant.  Worse yet, it’s ignorant on the part of Governor McDonnell.   Governor McDonnell later amended the proclamation to include mention of slavery as an evil and inhumane part of history. Why did anyone need to remind McDonnell about mentioning slavery? The whole idea is disrespectful to the  slaves and their descendants whose lives were beaten, stolen and lost in slavery, whose families were broken up and sold and whose family members were lynched in Virginia.

The Confederacy was a rebellion that tried unsuccessfully  to overthrow the US government to save the institution of slavery.  If some domestic extremist militia group today attempts an armed rebellion to  overthrow our government to advance their cause, will a future governor set aside a month to honor them? I hope the answer is no.

In Black History month and Women’s History month, we celebrate where we’ve come from.  Virginia’s Confederate History month celebrates the way we were.  The way we were  involved slavery, a cruel and inhumane treatment of black people. There is inherent racism in this way of thinking.  That’s the real problem I have with Confederate History month.  So, no Governor McConnell, I don’t agree with the Confederate party celebration.

Governor McDonnell says the reason behind the thinking was to encourage tourism. There are other ways for Virginia to encourage tourism without offending over 20% of its population. When I was growing up, my family visited Gettysburg, PA, a major battleground of the Civil War. President Lincoln delivered the famous Gettysburg address there.  At Gettysburg, President Lincoln declared we were a nation conceived in liberty and that all men are created equal. If Virginia wants to encourage tourism with its past history, there are positive non-offensive ways to do it.

I don’t advocate us ever forgetting about the Civil War and slavery. As an African American history major, I do not want us to ever forget the evil of slavery.  I just don’t see the reason to celebrate the Confederacy anymore than I see a reason to celebrate the Nazi regime.

Virginia is definitely not for lovers unless you are a Confederate lover.