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Black News Stories
« on: May 05, 2005, 11:36:42 AM »
Here is the thread to talk about all things going on in the black community...other other communities.
http://www.newpittsburghcourier.com/?article=10052

Quote
Mfume admits personal relationship with NAACP staffer

Tue May 3

by Makebra Anderson
For New Pittsburgh Courier

WASHINGTON (NNPA) – When the NAACP’s Board of Directors declined to renew the contract of President and CEO Kweisi Mfume last fall, some speculated that it was because of the internal conflicts between Mfume and Board Chairman Julian Bond. However, published reports have now disclosed that there were also concerns over Mfume’s personal relationship with one female staff member, possibly more.

“I don’t think this has anything to do with personality conflicts. What people have been talking about is why Mfume left and in that context they were talking about the problems with Bond, but as it turns out, that might not have been the issue at all. This may have been the issue,” said University of Maryland professor Ron Walters.

It was recently disclosed that last summer, a female employee of the NAACP, Michele Speaks, accused Mfume of unfair treatment. The NAACP’s executive committee requested that an outside lawyer review her allegations and assess the organization’s liability. One month after the lawyer presented the memo to the committee, Mfume resigned.

Mfume states that his resignation had nothing to do with Speaks’ charges.

“My contract was up there [at the NAACP] on October 24. It was really time for me to move on and do something else,” he said on the National Public Radio program, “News & Notes with Ed Gordon.” He explained, “What that something else was, as I said at my press conference, could have been business, it could have involved politics, it could involve writing or it could have involved spending more time with my youngest son, but it was time for me to move on. I’m the kind of person that is motivated by challenge and I needed a new challenge.”

According to the Washington Post, which broke the story, the memo stated, “The impression [was] created that a woman must provide sexual favors to Mr. Mfume or his associates in order to receive favorable treatment in the workplace.”

In the NPR interview, Mfume told Ed Gordon, “These are all unproven and unsubstantiated accusations. That’s the interesting thing about all of this, and why someone would take that information to the Washington Post in the middle of the night and leave it in the very early stages of this campaign is very interesting and I can’t really react to that. I believe however that it’s clearly an effort to kill the campaign, to discredit me, to dry up donations and to put questions in the mind of potential voters here in Maryland and that’s unfortunate.”

Mfume, who is unmarried, served as president and CEO of the NAACP for nine years. He acknowledges that he dated one female employee of the NAACP. He says he adopted that woman’s young son.

“I did date someone there for about three months back in 1997, although nothing came of that. It was a very short series of lunches and dinners. I fell in love with her son who was fatherless, very withdrawn, four years of age and just the kind of child that for me, as a member of Big Brothers/Big Sisters for the last 25 years, it was the right thing to do,” he said on the broadcast.

This is not the first time an NAACP executive has come under fire for having personal relationships with female employees. Former Executive Director, Ben Chavis, who was replaced by Mfume, left the organization tarnished and several million dollars in debt after the NAACP made a secret $350,000 settlement with a female staffer. Chavis, who was married, was sued by the woman and that led to the out-of-court settlement.

“I am a little bit surprised that the organization did not lay down some rules of etiquette after the Ben Chavis affair,” says Walters, the political science professor. “From my understanding, once something like that happens, it is the board’s responsibility to delegate a set of rules or procedures that establishes the way the office ought to be managed. They didn’t do that apparently. The person coming in should know what the boards expectations are in terms of dating personnel. Some of this really is on the NAACP.”

Attempts to reach Board Chairman, Julian Bond were unsuccessful.
Mfume says he is confident that this will not hurt his run for the U.S. Senate. “People here in Maryland will make decisions based on facts and what they believe and you can look someone in the eye and tell when they’re lying to you and when they’re telling the truth and it will be interesting to see what happens as we go through this campaign,” he said.

Walters isn’t convinced the matter will go away.

“If these charges are credible, I think it’s going to damage his campaign because we’re in an environment where the whole question of morality is linked to politics and I wouldn’t for example, put it past Republicans to comment on this from that standpoint to try to damage whoever the Democratic nominee is going to be.

“[Mfume] is going to have to put this to rest in order to satisfy the public. He’s gong to have to do more than just say it didn’t’ happen. He’s gong to have to prove it to somebody. Again, you talk about credibility of the document/charges. He’s gong to have to dismiss these charges in some credible way.”

Mfume says there are limitations on how he can react.

“I can’t stop people from making unproven allegations, but I can state the facts. The fact is, I really believe in and have all my life worked for the hiring and promotion of qualified women as a goal organizations and business should take serious and my record reflects that. I believe that too many women in this society are prejudged everyday by the assumption that they only got where they were because of their body and not their brain. And that kind of thinking is an insult to all women, but as a man, I can tell you that it’s despicable,” he told Gordon.

He added, “As I’ve said all along, that’s not the kind of ship I run and most people that know me, know that’s not the case. If I was doing all this after 10 years at the NAACP, 10 years in Congress and seven years in the city council, it’s interesting that this would only come about now as an accusation while I’m running for the United States Senate in Maryland.”

Re: Black News Stories
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2005, 11:50:11 AM »
10-Year-Old Boy’s Handcuffing Renews Debate Over Appropriate Restraint 

It has happened again.

A 10-year-old student in Allentown, Pa. was arrested and placed in handcuffs by local police officers attempting to end a fight on a school bus, according to a report by WPVI-TV of Philadelphia.

The incident comes two weeks after the nation became riveted with the news of an arrest and handcuffing of a five-year-old Florida girl. In the case of the Allentown student, police reports state the boy was behaving in such a manner that police involvement was necessary. An unnamed officer said when a child “is unruly and a danger to himself or others,” law enforcement officers have the discretion to use handcuffs.

Ralph Daubert, executive director of Community and Student Services for the Allentown School District, issued a written statement briefly explaining why the boy was arrested.

“In situations regarding safety threats or extenuating transportation needs, Allentown School District administrators and principals are authorized to contact the Allentown Police Department for assistance,” the statement reads. “The safety of all of our students is of paramount concern to our staff. When student incidents become violent, and may jeopardize the safety of other students, staff or the individual involved in the act, security measures become necessary, and may require police assistance.”

C.K. Hoffler, a Florida-based attorney, told BlackAmericaWeb.com that she believes there are other options to take when trying to control an unruly child.

“This is about our children,” said Hoffler, an attorney with famed legal star Willie Gary’s South Florida law firm of Gary, Williams, Parenti, Finney, Lewis, McManus, Watson and Sperando. “We should not allow any child to be treated in such an inexcusable manner.”

Hoffler is now the lead attorney for Ja’eisha Scott, the St. Petersburg kindergarten student who made headlines when a videotape showed her throwing a tantrum at Fairmount Park Elementary School. After her rant, in which is she is shown flailing her arms at teachers, pulling papers off a bulletin board, climbing on top of a table and breaking a ceramic object, Ja’eisha was carted off in handcuffs by four armed St. Petersburg police officers.

According to Hoffler, Ja’eisha was not only handcuffed, but had shackles placed on her feet and left in the backseat of a police vehicle for hours, even though she was calm at the time of her arrest. Her mother, Inga Akins, had also arrived at the scene after the arrest, but police would not immediately release Ja’eisha. They sought to press assault charges, which the Florida state attorney denied, Hoffler said, adding that St. Petersburg police requested that Ja’eisha be committed to a mental ward and asked that she be taken from her mother’s custody when the institutionalization request went nowhere.

“You’ve got to emphasize that this is a five-year-old kindergartener,” Hoffler said. “It’s just horrific.”

While unfamiliar with the Allentown case, Hoffler said she has received several calls from across the country of complaints of similar cases involving young children.

“We’re trying to ensure that this will not become the norm,” Hoffler said of handcuffing schoolchildren. “I have absolutely no idea why schools would take this action.”

Allentown police would not offer comment on the matter, but reports claim that the boy is mentally-challenged and quote his mother as saying that the boy often exhibits aggressive behavior, a condition police officers and school personnel were aware of.

Pennsylvania state law does allow police to arrest and handcuff suspects 10 years of age and over, but some are wondering if this was necessary in this particular case.

“Corporal punishment is much less acceptable today than it was years ago,” said Dr. Joseph Rosenfeld, a school psychology professor at Temple University in Philadelphia. “Pennsylvania law still allows it, but different school districts have policies against it. Most of them have laws against it.

“In some case, yes, it’s needed, and in others, the answer would be no,” Rosenfeld said. “If a child is out of control, you have to do something to restrain them. Usually the school has somebody in the school who can handle it. If they can’t handle it, then they call a parent. But it should be handled by school personnel.”

Given the boy’s mental state, it may be safe to assume that the arrest and handcuffing could have a lasting effect. In the case of Ja’eisha Scott, there’s no doubt, Hoffler said.

“She’s coping the best way that a five-year-old can cope,” Hoffler said. “Obviously, she’s traumatized for life, but we’re seeking to get her help that will best serve her in the long-term.”

Hoffler said the case was referred to her firm by Rev. Jesse Jackson, who visited with Ja’eisha’s mother and spoke with members of the community in an attempt to help them deal with the matter. According to Hoffler, this is just one of many social problems taking its toll on the community.

Ja’eisha’s arrest and handcuffing made news worldwide, and Hoffler wants to be clear that, while acting out by children is unacceptable, so too, she said, is excessive force from adults in authority.

“There’s no question that she was misbehaving, and we don’t condone that. But that’s not the issue,” Hoffler said. “The issue is whether or not to use excessive force, and there’s no question that the conduct of the police is not fitting the conduct of the child. We don’t use four armed police to arrest drug dealers. She is a five-year-old baby who was calm when they came to get her. That’s not fair.”

Hoffler said correspondence has been sent to the St. Petersburg Police Department and the Pinellas School District notifying them of the firm’s intent to file a lawsuit on behalf of Akins and Scott. A formal suit could be filed within the next six months.

This is being done, said Hoffler, to send a message that using disproportionate restraint is inappropriate, not just in Ja’eisha’s case, but for children throughout the nation.

“Ja’eisha,” she said, “is not the only child in America who has a disciplinary problem"

Muse

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Re: Black News Stories
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2005, 06:40:47 PM »
http://www.forbes.com/careers/2005/05/05/cx_sr_0505bizbasics.html 
Quote
Business Basics
Good Looks, Good Pay?
Scott Reeves, 05.05.05, 6:00 AM ET


 
Good Looks, Good Pay? 
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How To Ruin Your Career In Ten Easy Steps 
Video: Ethics And Your Career 

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NEW YORK - "Beauty and the Beast" is the fable of a young woman who frees her prince from the body of a beast with love.

But a similar tale--call it "Beauty and the Labor Market"--finds pay differentials based on looks and doesn't have a happy ending for just plain folks.

Two university researchers say the penalty for plainness is 5% to 10% lower pay in all occupations, or slightly larger than the premium for good looks.

Daniel S. Hamermesh, an economist at the University of Texas, Austin, and Jeff Biddle, an economist at Michigan State University, held demographic and job types constant and concluded that looks are a key element in earning power.

"Better-looking people sort into occupations where beauty is likely to be more productive," the researchers conclude. "But the impact of individuals' looks on their earnings is mostly independent of occupation."

Rule of thumb for all of us who aren't fashion plates: Play to your strengths.

"I suggest that you rely on characteristics that make you productive," Hamermesh says from his office in Texas. "If you're smart, rely on brain power; if you're strong, rely on muscle; and if you're personable, rely on your personality."

The researchers controlled for variables such as experience and education. Surprisingly, looks are more important for men than women.

In the mid-1990s when the study was completed, the ugly penalty for men holding full-time jobs totaled about $2,600 in reduced pay per year, and the pretty-boy premium came to about $1,400. For women, the penalty for bad looks was $2,000, and the premium for good looks was $1,100 per year.

Unattractive women are less likely than their average or good-looking counterparts to hold jobs and are more likely to be married to men with what the researchers call "unexpectedly low human capital." That's a polite way of saying little talent, drive or prospect of success.

We like to think the meritocracy is immune to high cheekbones, button schnozzes and a good head of hair, but the researchers found that looks count even in law, a competitive, performance-based field.

In another research project, Hamermesh and Biddle reviewed the earning power of law students graduating from the same law school from 1971 to 1978 and 1981 to 1988. A panel of four people reviewed pictures of each law student, including one person younger than 35 and at least one older than 35 from each sex. The law students were ranked on a scale of one to five, with five as the best looks score. The four ratings were averaged to create a student's overall rank on the looker scale. There was no objective standard for determining good looks, but participants knew it when they saw it.

The researchers found that, five years after graduation, males who ranked one notch above average earned about 10% more than fellow students who ranked one notch below average. Fifteen years after graduation, the premium for good looks grew to 12%. The researchers say the pay differential held for lawyers working in both the private and public sectors.

In a another study, the researchers found that spending great gobs of money on makeup, haircuts and fancy duds does little to improve the perception of people with so-so looks and doesn't increase their earning power. Other researchers, using pictures of the same people as children and in middle age, found that people with a mug that could wreck a freight train in their youth didn't become better looking over the years.

However, it may be that customers prefer to work with people who are easy on the eyes. If higher earning power comes from customer taste--not employer discrimination--that would appear to undercut the premise of much employment discrimination law.

Other researchers found that young obese women earn 17% less than women within the recommended Body Mass Index range. But women who gained a significant amount of weight during the 1981 to 1988 study period earned only slightly less than women within the average weight range.

Some research has found that there's a premium for height, and that taller men generally earn higher pay than their average or short counterparts, including men in top management positions such as that of chief executive officer.

But even if you look like a toad, the key to your low pay and diminished prospects could be that you act like a toad.

In a research paper for the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, researchers Kristie M. Engermann and Michael T. Owyang said, "Certain characteristics, such as appearance, might affect productivity in ways that are not as easily measured (or as obvious) as are other characteristics, like education or experience. Appearance, for example, can affect confidence and communication, thereby influencing productivity."

Height and weight might also influence productivity through health or self-esteem. Some researchers have theorized that height may increase the participation of high school students in social activities, giving them the opportunity to develop the interpersonal skills that boost productivity in the workplace. If so, it's not hard to see why such people are prized--and rewarded--by a range of companies such as General Motors (nyse: GM - news - people ), Wal-Mart (nyse: WMT - news - people ) or Wells Fargo (nyse: WFC - news - people ).

Still, pay differentials could be the result of raw discrimination. Maybe employers and co-workers simply don't like being around fat, ugly people. But if fat, ugly people develop a bad attitude over time, discrimination apparently based on looks may not tell the full story.

So, remember your grandmother's wisdom: Beauty is only skin deep, but true ugliness cuts right to the bone.

Translation: A good attitude and hard work can do a lot to overcome that rutabaga nose, but nasty people are just foul.

Re: Black News Stories
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2005, 02:23:22 PM »
The police are having too much fun putting handcuffs on little children

I don’t have much to say about the first story, but in the second that is a big little boy  :) but the police did not need the handcuffs.


Story 1: http://www.news-register.net/news/story/0426202005_new02.asp
 Story 2 : 2 cops on desk duty in boy's handcuffing
Inquiry starts after suit filed
By Jane Prendergast
Enquirer staff writer
Two Cincinnati police officers who handcuffed a 5-year-old after a school bus fight in January were suspended with pay and reassigned to desk duty while the Police Department investigates the incident.
Chief Tom Streicher suspended the police powers Tuesday of Officers Douglas Snider and Kaneshia Howell. The move included taking their guns away.
Streicher notified City Manager Valerie Lemmie that an internal investigation had begun into allegations outlined in a lawsuit filed Friday.
In the suit, Mekel Finch alleges that the city, officers and a private bus company violated the rights of her son, Izell, by improperly restraining him after another child hit him while getting off the bus.
The suit also claims Izell was falsely imprisoned and assaulted. The suit seeks more than $50,000 in damages, plus attorney's fees.
Izell has nightmares and is afraid when he hears sirens or sees the police station near their house, his mother said.
"He's only been in this world five years. He's just really going through a lot right now," Mekel Finch said Wednesday.
The officers could not be reached for comment. Streicher, who was out of town giving a speech Wednesday, does not generally discuss pending internal investigations.
According to the lawsuit, the incident started Jan. 13 when the unnamed driver for Petermann Ltd. stopped to let children off on Considine Avenue in Price Hill. As Izell - then an all-day kindergarten student at the International College Preparatory Academy, a charter school in Mount Auburn - was getting off the bus, he was hit by another boy. That prompted the bus driver to keep Izell from getting off the bus until police arrived, the lawsuit alleges.
It is not clear in the lawsuit where the other student involved in the fight was before police arrived. But according to the suit, the driver restrained Izell, refused to open the door until officers arrived and "threatened other minor passengers on the bus with physical violence."
Izell was hiding under a bus seat when officers got there, the lawsuit says. He was taken off the bus, handcuffed but never arrested or charged with a crime. The suit claims that Officer Snider told the boy that if the bus driver called the police again, he would handcuff the boy to a stop sign until he felt like letting him go.
Fanon Rucker, the lawyer representing Izell and his mother, said the other boy involved in the fight with Izell was not handcuffed, and he said he did not think the other boy was disciplined.
A spokesman for the bus company said he was confident in the driver's actions, the lawsuit was frivolous and the boy was dangerous and unruly. The company has a videotape of the incident, Rucker said, but has not shown it to him.
Izell's mother said she heard about the incident later that January evening from Izell's older sisters, ages 9 and 12, who also were on the bus. She said she went to District 3 that night and talked with Officer Howell, who told her that the bus driver called because Izell had kicked her.
Finch said she filed a complaint the next day with the Citizens Complaint Authority. She said the CCA then referred her complaint back to the district, which prompted a sergeant to come to her house and interview her children.
The CCA, established as part of the city's 2002 agreements with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Collaborative Agreement, investigates complaints of serious interventions by police officers. The CCA can refer more minor complaints back to the district level for investigation.
The District 3 sergeant called Finch recently, she said, and told her that he sustained a finding of inappropriate behavior on the officers' part and that he would put notations to that effect in their personnel files. At the time of the incident, Snider had been an officer less than two years, and Howell less than a year, the suit said.
The officers' personnel files were not available Wednesday.
Leaders of the Fraternal Order of Police, who learned about the investigation and suspensions Tuesday night, urged the public to withhold judgment until the investigation concludes.
The local lawsuit came a week after the videotaped case of a handcuffed 5-year-old girl in St. Petersburg, Fla., played repeatedly on national news. In that case, the girl's school videotaped a 30-minute confrontation with an assistant principal that ended with the girl crying as officers handcuffed her.
According to Cincinnati police procedure, people can be handcuffed without being arrested if the officer thinks that a person is indicating that he or she might run from officers or if an officer thinks that he or she is under threat of being attacked. Suspects are handcuffed when they are under arrest.
Under Ohio law, children under 7 are considered unable to form the intent necessary to face a criminal charge. Because of that, 5-year-olds generally are not arrested or charged with crimes, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said.
No one had brought the case to Deters' attention as of Wednesday afternoon, he said, so he was not in a position to say whether the handcuffing was appropriate or not. He said it's possible the officers handcuffed the boy to protect him.
Rucker, the Finches' lawyer, said, "If you can't charge that young, you can't handcuff and detain that young,"
Some members of City Council demanded to know Wednesday why they weren't told of the allegations sooner. Streicher said he didn't know about the incident until Monday.
"I'm not happy with the way it was handled, and I'm very disappointed that no one at the top was told," Vice Mayor Alicia Reece said.
Mayor Charlie Luken agreed that police supervisors should have passed the report up the chain of command.


Mekel Finch, mother of 5-year-old Izell, has filed a lawsuit accusing Cincinnati police of handcuffing her son in January. Two officers have been suspended.