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A Board Of Confusion

A&T Chancellor Resigns

A&T Chancellor Resigns

N.C. A&T Chancellor Stanley Battle announced his resignation Tuesday, citing family and personal reasons.

His resignation is effective June 30. University officials denied rumors of his resignation throughout the day before issuing a statement confirming his resignation late Tuesday afternoon.

“It was a shock to me and a shock to the board,” Franklin McCain said. “But when he gave his reasons as family and personal, we have to respect that.”

Family and personal? Yeah, right! What’s going on at N.C. A&T State University? Why can’t they keep a chancellor? Further more why don’t they want to discuss Battle’s departure?

Franklin McCain along with David Richmond, Ezell Blair and Jospeh Mc Neil displayed moral strength to withstand the danger of bigotry by initiating the lunch counter sit-in at the Greensboro downtown Woolworths Five and Dime 49 years ago this month. It was a move that could have cost them their lives. Now Franklin declares that he would be lynched if he were to characterize Battles performance during his short tenure as the fourth chancellor since the retirement of Edward Forte in 1999.

Something seems to be rotten on campus and off. According to the Greensboro News and Record,many sources on campus said they had been told by university officials not to speak with the media. UNC system President Erskine Bowles declined comment. His staff referred questions to the system’s public affairs office who continued to stick with the brief statement of praise and best wishes to Battle.

Despite the political maneuvering around the media’s inquisition, it is speculated that Battle’s problems started soon after he arrived. Battle who was given his marching orders by a board of trustees led by Franklin McCain sought to increase admissions standards by seeking students with higher grade point averages and higher SAT scores. However he ran into opposition by those who believe A&T, as an historically black university, should accept and work to improve all students who want a college education.

There is also speculation about Battle’s hands-on management style. Some likened it to micromanagement.

Before coming to A&T, Battle was president of Coppin State University in Baltimore, vice chancellor for academic and multicultural affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and associate vice president of academic affairs at Eastern Connecticut State University.

The chancellor whom Battle replaced, James Renick, left in 2006 after seven years to take a job at the Washington-based American Council on Education. In 2007, a state auditor’s report found that the university inappropriately moved $380,000 from a campus vending contract to a discretionary fund for Renick from 2003-2005.

The financial discrepancies led the Guilford district attorney’s office to ask the State Bureau of Investigation to conduct a criminal investigation. This January, the district attorney announced that no charges would be filed and said neither Renick nor a project manager had violated any laws or enriched themselves.

Under Renick’s stable administration, the University grew by leaps and bounds in enrollment and physical plant.

“Stability is extremely important and I hope the next chancellor is able to work with the culture and the politics in Greensboro and Chapel Hill,” said Ralph Shelton, a former chairman of the A&T board. “I think the students deserve better.”
On November 4, 2008, this country voted for change in Washington D.C. by electing the first U.S. African American President. Perhaps the same is needed in Greensboro and Chapel Hill.

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    Posted 5 years, 1 month ago at 7:46 am. Add a comment

    Weighing Retribution Against Public Safety

    The following article was published in the St. Petersburg Times. What’s your thought on the death penalty? Register and/or login under comments and sound off.

    Execution Bed

    Execution Bed

    DEATH PENALTY:A PRICE TOO HIGH

    Published Wednesday, February 25, 2009

    As the Florida Legislature looks for ways to save money, the state’s public defenders have an idea worth considering: Suspend the death penalty. It would save the state a fortune.

    Debate about the state’s ultimate punishment usually centers on philosophical issues, not financial ones. But there’s no denying that the death penalty, per prisoner, is an expensive element of the criminal justice system. Once a prosecutor indicates he will seek the death penalty, the meter starts to run and costs escalate:

    • Defendants facing the death penalty must receive two experienced defense lawyers, both with special credentials, according to Howard (Rex) Dimmig, an assistant public defender and spokesman for the Florida Public Defender Association.

    • Trial judges must be specially trained to hear death penalty cases, and then, for every prisoner on death row convicted in their court, a hearing is held every 90 days, according to Pinellas-Pasco Chief Judge Robert Morris.

    • Florida also pays to represent death row inmates in a series of constitutionally prescribed postconviction appeals that often take years.

    • The Florida Supreme Court says it spends 50 percent of its time on death penalty cases.

    • The state spends $3.4 million more per year to house death row inmates than prisoners in the general prison population, according to Dimmig.

    State lawmakers in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and New Hampshire are making the financial argument to repeal the death penalty, the New York Times reports, and Maryland, Montana and New Mexico may actually do it. Don’t expect the pitch to get very far in Florida. But abolishing the death penalty, while still locking up murderers for life without parole, would save taxpayers millions without compromising their security. Vengeance and retribution, it turns out, are a lot more expensive than public safety.

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      Madea Character: Friend or Foe To Black Women

      Tyler Perry as Madea In His Box Office Hit Madea Goes To Jail

      Tyler Perry as Madea in his box office hit Madea Goes To Jail

      Washington Post Metro columnist Courtland Miloy sees nothing funny about Tyler Perry’s Madea character. Summarizing that although we laugh the joke is on us, Miloy’s column points out the negative connotation the character has on black women.

      Hey sisters, is the joke really on us? Read the article below then, register and/or sign in and sound off under comments.

      What’s So Funny About Madea? Nothing.

      By Courtland Miloy
      Wednesday, February 25, 2009; B01

      I went to see the Tyler Perry movie “Madea Goes to Jail,” in which Perry plays a wise-cracking black grandmother, Madea, short for “Mother Dear” and ebonically pronounced “muh deah.”

      With an extensive criminal past that includes “supersize stripper,” attempted murderer and check fraud artist, Madea is a near-cult figure among many African Americans, especially women. Thanks in large part to them, Perry’s comedic creation debuted as the No. 1 movie in America over the weekend, raking in $41 million and 34 percent of the weekend moviegoing audience, according to box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations.

      At the AMC Magic Johnson Capital Centre 12 in Landover, where Madea is being shown 14 times a day, I was hoping to get a clue as to why this man in drag is so popular. And with the movie featuring guest appearances by Whoopi Goldberg, Dr. Phil, Judge Mathis and Al Sharpton, perhaps I’d even get in a laugh or two.

      Boy, was I wrong — on both counts.

      All around me you could almost hear the funny bones cracking — deep guttural laughter coming not only from kids in the audience but from my peers in the AARP set, as well.

      And there I sat, silently ranting: There is nothing funny about this black man in pantyhose. And where is all of this cross-dressing-black-man stuff coming from, anyway? First, comedians Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence star in high-grossing movies as the fattest, ugliest black women that Hollywood makeup artists can conjure up, and now here’s Perry with his gussied-up version of the same butt of the joke.

      By the way, I don’t want to hear diddly about Robin Williams as Mrs. Doubtfire or Milton Berle in high heels. Having a black man play super mammy is not the same thing. Perhaps it would be were it not for America’s perverse, systemic and centuries-long efforts to humiliate African men and women and turn them into slaves.

      The only good a Madea movie could possibly do would be to remind us that the scars of oppression are deep and enduring, often operating below the level of consciousness, then breaking out in the most bizarre manifestation of self-hate and self-sabotage, including pathetic images on the big screen.

      Of course, Perry’s fans don’t see it that way. When I asked some women in the theater if they were at all uneasy about Perry in wigs, lipstick and rouge, they clucked tongues and rolled eyes in a manner that Madea her/himself would no doubt approve.

      “Oh, please,” snapped Darlene Johnson, 51. “It’s just comedy.”

      Yeah, and misogynistic gansta rap is just music.

      Said Sheena Young, also 51: “He’s just multitasking. His initial budget didn’t allow for him to hire all the people he needed so he played them himself. It’s awesome.”

      I’m not taking away anything from the 39-year-old Perry’s resourcefulness and ingenuity. He pulled himself up by the bootstraps from a low-income household in New Orleans, started writing and putting on stage plays about Madea (supposedly a composite of women in his life) and went on to become one of the most successful filmmakers in America.

      He has a beautiful home and his own studios in Atlanta. He hires lots of young black actors and production personnel and makes considerable contributions to worthy causes.

      He is awesome.

      It’s just that his movies are awful.

      Here’s a typical scene:

      Madea’s brother, Uncle Joe, also played by Perry, is a crusty old coot who breathes with the aid of an oxygen tank while smoking marijuana throughout the movie (he even wears a bong around his neck). Madea, ever the boss woman, scolds him mercilessly about the dangers of mixing fire and oxygen. And — here’s where the audience howls — as Madea waddles past, her behind wide as a doorway, Uncle Joe cracks: “King Kong ain’t got nothing on her.”

      How’d you like to see that on a movie marquee: Madea the black woman as King Kong? That’s about as funny, say, as a dead monkey cartoon from the New York Post?

      It’s not a sign of respect but one of disdain to portray black women as some updated Jemima (that’s what a white character in the movie calls her) from the antebellum South. Sure, all of Perry’s fans claim to know someone like Madea. But in truth, we know nothing — only that she is aging and irrationally angry, existing to clean up everybody’s else’s mess, a linebacker of a house servant whose unmet emotional needs remain a mystery even to the great Dr. Phil himself.

      We may laugh at her, but the joke is on us.

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        John Legend Takes A Stand Against New York Post


        Open Letter to the New York Post

        Dear Editor:

        I’m trying to understand what possible motivation you may have had for publishing that vile cartoon depicting the shooting of the chimpanzee that went crazy. I guess you thought it would be funny to suggest that whomever was responsible for writing the Economic Recovery legislation must have the intelligence and judgment of a deranged, violent chimpanzee, and should be shot to protect the larger community. Really? Did it occur to you that this suggestion would imply a connection between President Barack Obama and the deranged chimpanzee? Did it occur to you that our President has been receiving death threats since early in his candidacy? Did it occur to you that blacks have historically been compared to various apes as a way of racist insult and mockery? Did you intend to invoke these painful themes when you printed the cartoon?

        If that’s not what you intended, then it was stupid and willfully ignorant of you not to connect these easily connectable dots. If it is what you intended, then you obviously wanted to be grossly provocative, racist and offensive to the sensibilities of most reasonable Americans. Either way, you should not have printed this cartoon, and the fact that you did is truly reprehensible. I can’t imagine what possible justification you have for this. I’ve read your lame statement in response to the outrage you provoked. Shame on you for dodging the real issue and then using the letter as an opportunity to attack Rev. Sharpton. This is not about Rev. Sharpton. It’s about the cartoon being blatantly racist and offensive.

        I believe in freedom of speech, and you have every right to print what you want. But freedom of speech still comes with responsibilities and consequences. You are responsible for printing this cartoon, and I hope you experience some real consequences for it. I’m personally boycotting your paper and won’t do any interviews with any of your reporters, and I encourage all of my colleagues in the entertainment business to do so as well. I implore your advertisers to seriously reconsider their business relationships with you as well.

        You should print an apology in your paper acknowledging that this cartoon was ignorant, offensive and racist and should not have been printed.

        I’m well aware of our country’s history of racism and violence, but I truly believe we are better than this filth. As we attempt to rise above our difficult past and look toward a better future, we don’t need the New York Post to resurrect the images of Jim Crow to deride the new administration and put black folks in our place. Please feel free to criticize and honestly evaluate our new President, but do so without the incendiary images and rhetoric.

        Sincerely,
        John Legend

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