Insight News

Mar 26th


Who among us is getting paid?

Most candidates don't seek high elected or appointed government posts with the sole intention of becoming rich from government job salaries.  Compensation for such offices as the U.S. president and other post is very generous when compared with the average American's salary.

The current salary for United States President is $400,000.  But, being President has done wonders for Barack Obama’s personal wealth. Even though his official salary - pro-rated to reflect earnings from his first 345 days in office - amounted to $374,460, Mr. Obama declared a total income for 2009 of more than $5.5 million.  Obama’s tax returns showed an adjusted gross income of $5,505,409 in 2009 – mostly from best-selling book sales. The Obamas owed $1,792,414 on that.

Of flags and Cinco de Mayo

Last week, Americans of all nationalities celebrated Cinco de Mayo; some, like me, acknowledged the day by partaking of margaritas and carne asada. 

Others, like the Mexican students at Live Oak high school in Northern California, observe the day by wearing the Mexican colors of red, white, and green.  In a gesture meant to display American pride, five Live Oak students--Daniel Galli, Austin Carvalho, Matt Dariano, Dominic Maciel, and Clayton Howard--decided to wear American flag t-shirts and bandannas. After receiving complaints from some Mexican students, Assistant Principal Miguel Rodriguez asked the boys to turn their shirts inside out.  The boys refused, were threatened with suspension, and were asked to leave the campus.

Legislature got high marks for Green Jobs leadership

Payday loans a civil right issue

Jermaine Toney is the Principal researcher at the Organizing Apprenticeship Project, which recently released its ‘Annual Minnesota Legislative Report Card on Racial Equity’. Batala McFarlane, publisher of ‘Insight News’ and producer of Conversations with Al McFarlane, joined host Al McFarlane in conducting the Toney interview.

Al McFarlane: The Report Card says, “Despite declarations that an economic recovery is underway; more than a 132,000 Minnesotans have lost their jobs since December 2007 and in particular the unemployment and wealth crises has worsened for American Indians, Communities of color and new Minnesotans who were facing desperate poverty and unemployment rates even before this recession and to make matters worse the report says Minnesota’s safety net for child care, for housing and education has been nearly dismantled by a decade of public disinvestment. Predatory lending practices from home ownership to pay-day lending have undermined income and wealth opportunity making it nearly impossible for Minnesotans of color and poor Minnesotans to earn and lean on assets in hard times. Our economic recovery must be equitable fueled by policy that upholds fair treatment, family supporting wages, a vibrant safety net, culturally appropriate financial services and that build on economic contributions of Communities of Color.” The report summarizes, “Our future prosperity relies on eliminating barriers economic opportunity. Minnesota’s younger workers are more racially diverse than older workers. We do see today’s barriers will ensure that our younger workers of color are successful future investors, law makers, farmers and business owners of Minnesota”.

So Jermaine, why it is important to insure equity and to reduce inequity in the area of economic and wealth equity?

Has Wal-Mart discriminated?

The federal appeals court, in a split decision, has ruled 6-5 that a sexual discrimination case against Wal-Mart can move forward as a class action suit. The case began in 2001 when six women claimed Wal-Mart paid women less than men, awarded smaller raises to women and provided fewer opportunities for promotions for women. Later, more than one million women signed on to become claimants in the case which is the largest employment discrimination case in this nation’s history.

The plaintiffs point out that, although 65-percent of Wal-Mart hourly employees are women, only 33-percent of its managers are women. Obviously, Wal-Mart does not want the case to proceed and has announced it will appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States. Additionally, Wal-Mart maintains that the discrimination claims are based on individual decision making, not corporate.

The playground jail

(NNPA) - Adults often start conversations with children by asking them what they want to be when they grow up. We tell them to dream big, and encourage them by giving them pretend doctor’s kits, fancy dress-up clothes, and other toys that let them imitate adult life.

Now, imagine you’re a parent, and in the middle of your neighborhood, there is a playground. Of course you’d want that playground to be a joyful, creative space. If your neighborhood were a crowded public housing development in the middle of a city, the chance to bring your children to a small outdoor sanctuary where they could stretch their bodies and imaginations would be even more precious. You might hope the jungle gym would include a pretend steering wheel, storefront, or spaceship, like the equipment in thousands of playgrounds across the country. Imagine, then, if instead the “sanctuary” the city provided for your children featured a pretend jail.


Run, Princella, run!

Some voters in Arkansas’ 1st Congressional District will believe Princella Smith is just too young to be a congresswoman.  Doing business on Capital Hill requires wisdom and life experience; at 26-years-old, Smith is a baby.  Of course, age was not an issue for Edward Rutledge, who at 26 signed the Declaration of Independence.  Nor was age an issue for Amelia Earhart, who at 25 set an altitude record for female aviators. 

Would you want your child to grow up to be like?

Are Black role models different than white ones?  General use of the term means a "person who serves as an example, whose behavior is emulated by others".  The image of the “First Black” in a position in the mainstream is usually made as a reference to social roles to which all should aspire.  Taking an evaluation of some “first Blacks” brings questions of their competence and whether they’ve shown qualities other Blacks should imitate.
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