Month: June 2015

Our Problem

Kendl Gordy“George Bush does not care about black people.”  Kanye West famously stated his opinion during a concert that raised money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.  While Bush’s actions and policies have led many to agree with Kanye’s sentiment, whether or not George Bush hates black people is a matter of opinion and not fact.  However, that statement was not just aimed at Bush; his target, at least from my vantage point, was the entire United States government who continues to ignore the plight of not only blacks but minorities in America.

Although Bush is no longer President, Kanye’s remarks still ring true within this country today.  We reside in a place that worries more about ISIS than taking care of its own citizens.    Kalief Browder recently committed suicide after spending three years on Rikers Island for allegedly stealing a backpack, a crime that he was never convicted of.  The war on drugs has successfully incarcerated minorities at a high rate due to mandatory sentences that began during the 1980s. Decades later the same laws, which have done nothing but help put money into the pockets of those who own private prisons, are still in effect. Meanwhile, minority communities continue to suffer due to the lack of jobs and felony charges that haunt the convicted years after they are released and homes that are fractured because of the high incarcerations.  The cycle has continued and it will continue until the government garners the gumption to cease this travesty.

ISIS and similar terror groups do pose a threat and they should not be disregarded, but is the threat imminent? Surely they do not pose more of direct threat than the police do in minority communities.  The actions of the government continue to prove Kanye’s point, they do not care about minorities but they do care about the profits that both oil and high incarceration rates generate.

So, does George Bush care about black people? Who knows? Better yet, who cares? However, we know for certain that this country does not care about black people or minorities.  The problem is systemic and minorities are going to have to fix it, not the government.

Kendl Gordy graduated from St. John’s University with a B.S. in journalism. He is now continuing his writing career with our organization as a contributing writer on current events and cultural issues.

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Should We Have a Problem With Rachel Dolezal?

Kendl GordyBy now I’m sure we have all heard the name Rachel Dolezal, the white woman who has been perpetrating as a black woman for the past decade.  According to Dolezal’s parents, they noticed a shift in her image after her divorce in 2004.  The effort she put into this farce is astounding: her appearance has been completely altered from her childhood, she posted a photo standing next to a black man who she claimed was her father and she even told her adopted brothers, who are black, not to mention her past life as a white woman to anyone.  Ezra Dolezal, one of the four adopted siblings, went to live with Rachel and said he began to notice her physical alterations around 2011.  Her skin was suffused with color and she even modified her hairstyle.

Clearly she was suffering from an identity crisis and maybe she was dealing with demons internally that we cannot begin to fathom, however, should we disregard all of the work that she has done for the black community because of this one mistake?

Her profile on the Eastern Washington University website, where she is a professor in the Africana Studies program, details the work that she has done advocating for the African-American community.  She spent years in Mississippi advocating for equal rights while simultaneously participating in community development projects.   She was the director of the Human Rights Education Institute in which she developed programs that expanded the national audience from 3,000 per year to 23,000 annually.  She orchestrated a myriad of exhibits and panel discussions, scheduled keynote speakers and commenced the Young Advocates for Human Rights program among a multitude of other projects.  All of her aforementioned accomplishments shared the common goals of garnering attention to the plight of blacks and empowering our youth to help continue the evolution of the black community.

Rachel’s work was met with opposition by the Ku Klux Klan, Neo Nazis and the Aryan Brotherhood.  Multiple threats have been made against her and her family, although the legitimacy of those allegations has come into question over the past few days.

Twitter has emerged as a popular apparatus to lampoon Dolezal via the hashtag #AskRachel, while others feel that her actions should be dealt with on a serious platform.  She resigned her position on June 15th amid pressure from the public and possibly her colleagues at the NAACP.

So, again I ask should we disregard all of the tremendous work that she has done advocating for blacks because of this one mistake?  Sure she shouldn’t have lied about her race.  She could have successfully advocated for blacks and accomplished the same goals within the confines of her white pigment.  Yet, she made a mistake and opted for the alternative, which many juxtapose with blackface.  What she did should not be ignored; in fact her actions do deserve some scrutiny.   However, it should not erase all of the amazing work that she has done to help the black community prosper.

Kendl Gordy graduated from St. John’s University with a B.S. in journalism.  He has covered multiple Division I sporting events, the U.S. Open and the New York City Marathon.  The relationship between Kendl and MCSR manifested itself during his time at Benjamin Banneker High School in Washington D.C.  as a MOST Club member. He is now continuing his writing career with our organization as a contributing writer on current events and cultural issues.

Senior Spotlight 2015: MOST Club

Meet our 2015 MOST Senior Spotlight! Selected by facilitator Dontue for his school performance and devotion to MOST Club we want to celebrate this amazing young man with you all!

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Kweku Sumbry, Duke Ellington School of the Arts:

Kweku has been a MOST Club member for 3 years. As a sophomore, he showed leadership and maturity. Now, as a senior, he continues to be a role model for his peers.

“After graduation I will attend The New School  (Manhattan, New York) for jazz and contemporary music in the fall. I was awarded a full scholarship to attend the institution thanks to my 3.48 GPA. “

“During my time in MOST Club I’ve learned so much. We addressed critical issues that young men face daily. We talked about healthy relationships, about how to treat women, how to be allies to women and tactics we can use to prevent rape. MOST club has kept me focused in school and eager in achieving my goals . It’s been a wonderful 3 years with this program and I hope other young men can get thee same benefits as I have.”

Senior Spotlight 2015: WISE Club

WISE spotlight

Meet our 2015 WISE Senior Spotlight! Selected by facilitator Ebony for her hard work and devotion to WISE Club and her community we would like to share and celebrate this amazing young woman with you all!

Briana Mulcare is 18 years old and will be attending North Carolina A&T in the fall. In high school she was apart of the Future Business Leaders of America,  YMCA Youth and Government, College Bound, WISE Club, the Poetry Slam Team and the Hip Hop Club.  She has completed over 150 community service hours with the Girl Scouts and various town hall meetings and youth outreach. She aspires to join the Peace Corps after college.  In high school Briana was on honor roll every year.