Saviours' Day Gift 2013 Drive

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Associated Press Blacks are most obese group, study finds

Blacks are most obese group, study finds

ATLANTA — Nearly 36 percent of black Americans are obese — much more than other major racial or ethnic groups — and that gap exists in most states, a new federal study finds.

About 29 percent of Hispanics and 24 percent of whites are obese, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday. Overall, about 26 percent of U.S. adults are obese.

Racial differences in obesity rates have been reported before, and health officials were not surprised to see larger proportions of blacks tipping the scales.

But the new CDC report is the first to look at the gap state-by-state, finding blacks had significantly higher obesity rates in 21 states and somewhat higher rates in many others.

Experts believe there are several reasons for the differences. People with lower incomes often have less access to medical care, exercise facilities and more expensive, healthier food. In many places, minorities are disproportionately poor.

"Poverty is a very strong driver of obesity," said Kelly Brownell, director of Yale University's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity.

Attitudes about weight also are believed to be a factor, said Dr. Liping Pan, a CDC epidemiologist. Researchers cited a 2008 study that found black and Hispanic women had significantly lower odds of being dissatisfied with their body size than white women.

"Black and Hispanics are more accepting of high weight," Pan said, adding that heavy people who are satisfied with their size are not likely to diet or exercise.

However, it could be that over time as people struggle with poverty and environment "they come to accept the higher weights," Brownell said.

Obesity is based on the body mass index, a calculation using height and weight. A 5-foot-7-inch adult who weighs 190 pounds would have a BMI of 30, which is considered the threshold for obesity.

The data comes from a national telephone survey of more than 1 million Americans over the years 2006 through 2008.

For blacks, the highest obesity rate was in Maine, where 45 percent were obese. Tennessee was the state where Hispanic obesity was most common. And West Virginia was the fattest state for whites.

But generally, obesity was most common for both blacks and whites in the South and Midwest.

The study also broke down the groups by gender, and found black women were the heaviest, with 39 percent counted as obese. Black men were next, at 32 percent, then Hispanic women, 29 percent, Hispanic men, 28 percent, white men, 25 percent and white women, 22 percent.

The study is being published this week in a CDC publication, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

"What Is A True Friend?"

Staff writer of the Final Call Newspaper gives his view of what a true friend is.

Let me introduce you to Brother Jesse Muhammad

Thursday, July 16, 2009

AFP Ex-astronaut Bolden confirmed as new NASA head

Ex-astronaut Bolden confirmed as new NASA head
WASHINGTON — The US Senate has confirmed former astronaut and Marines general Charles Bolden as the new administrator of NASA, making him the US space agency's first African-American chief.
The unanimous late Wednesday vote came shortly after the space shuttle Endeavour successfully blasted off toward the International Space Station (ISS) after five scuttled launch attempts in a month.
It also coincided with the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing on July 20, 1969.
The 12th NASA administrator since the agency was created in 1958, Bolden succeeds engineer and scientist Michael Griffin.
Lori Garver, 48, who was the lead civil space policy advisor to President Barack Obama's presidential campaign, was confirmed to take up the agency's number two job as deputy administrator. It will be her second stint at NASA, where she served as associate administrator from 1998 to 2001.
Bolden, 62, has flown on four space missions -- including two he commanded -- and previously served for 14 years as a member of the NASA's Astronaut Office.
"Today, we have to choose. Either we can invest in building on our hard-earned world technological leadership or we can abandon this commitment, ceding it to other nations who are working diligently to push the frontiers of space," he said in a statement.
"If we choose to lead, we must build on our investment in the International Space Station, accelerate development of our next generation launch systems to enable expansion of human exploration, enhance NASA's capability to study Earth's environment."
Bolden also called for NASA to "lead space science to new achievements, continue cutting-edge aeronautics research, support the innovation of American entrepreneurs, and inspire a rising generation of boys and girls to seek careers in science, technology, engineering and math."
As a Marine Corps fighter pilot, Bolden flew combat missions over North and South Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos during the Vietnam War.
He graduated from the US Naval Test Pilot School at Patuxent River, Maryland in 1979 and the following year was selected as an astronaut by NASA, where he held several technical and administrative posts, including assistant deputy administrator at the agency's headquarters in Washington.
His first space flight was as a pilot on board the space shuttle Columbia.
Bolden piloted the Discovery shuttle that deployed the Hubble space telescope in 1990, and commanded two further shuttle missions, including a historic first joint US-Russian mission on Discovery in 1994.
That same year, he left NASA to return to active duty in the Marines, rising to the rank of major general and deputy commander of US forces in Japan before his retirement in 2003.
Bolden's confirmation came as a White House panel is reviewing the controversial Constellation space program launched by former president George W. Bush in 2004 after he decided to phase out shuttle flights by 2010.
Constellation aims to take Americans back to the moon by 2020 and to serve as a launch pad for manned voyages to Mars and beyond.
But NASA's budget is not big enough to cover the cost of Constellation's Orion capsule, a more advanced and spacious version of the Apollo lunar module, and the Ares I and Ares V launchers needed to put it in orbit.
Obama's commission of experts, led by former Lockheed Martin chief executive Norman Augustine, is scheduled to make its recommendations by the end of August.

Does Racism still exist

See what President Obama encounters while visiting Russia

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

GOP, Holder battle over New Black Panthers

GOP, Holder battle over New Black Panthers
Posted: 07/12/09 10:01 PM [ET]
Key House Republicans are charging Attorney General Eric Holder of playing politics at the Justice Department.

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) said Holder has ignored at least three letters sent over the past month from Republicans demanding to know why Justice dismissed charges of voter intimidation filed against two members of the “New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense” (NBPP).

NBPP National Chairman Milik Zulu Shabazz and party member Jerry Jackson both faces charges for violating the Voting Rights Act for engaging in coercion, threats and intimidation and attempted coercion, threats, and intimidation of voters and those aiding voters at a Philadelphia polling station on November 4th, 2008.

Charges against the Black Panthers were originally filed when President George W. Bush was in power.

A spokeswoman for Justice said facts did not back up the charges, and that career officials at Justice, not political appointees, decided to drop the charges.

“Following a thorough review, a career attorney in the Civil Rights Division determined that the facts and the law did not support pursuing the claims against three of the defendants,” spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler said. “As a result, the Department dismissed those claims.”

Committee sources said they expected Justice to send a letter on Monday to Wolf and other members, and to brief Republicans on why the charges were dropped.

Holder let stand one of the four original charges though. The leader of the black nationalist group’s Philadelphia chapter, Minister King Samir Shabazz, is charged with brandishing a “deadly weapon,” a nightstick, outside of the polls.

As a result, he was punished with not being able to brandish a weapon within 100 ft. of a polling station in Philadelphia until after the 2012 elections.

Wolf, ranking member of the House Judiciary subcommittee that funds Justice, has called on Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.) to hold a hearing into the matter. He said one of the Black Panther members was allegedly carrying a local Democratic committee card.

In a letter to Conyers, Wolf wrote that Justice’s inaction ‘merits congressional attention, if only to force the department to explain its decision to dismiss this case.”

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), the ranking Republican on Judiciary, also said the dismissal raises questions about politicization at Justice.

The American people need to know that the Justice Department takes seriously cases of voter intimidation, regardless of the political party of the defendants,” Smith said.

He noted that Conyers held 70-hearings on the political firings of several U.S. Attorneys under former Bush.

Conyers has not ruled out holding an investigative hearing but wants to take the situation “one-step at a time,” Democratic committee sources said.

These sources said Conyers told Holder to respond to the GOP request for answers after speaking with Wolf about the matter on Thursday.

Shabazz and Jackson were captured on widely circulated video of the incident standing 10-15 feet from the polling station. The two men are seen standing shoulder to shoulder, dressed in black military-style uniforms, black berets and combat boots; Shabazz tapped and pointed the nightstick in his hands at individuals.

Wolf and Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) asked Justice Inspector General Glenn Fine to investigate the dismissal of charges, which the two said raises significant concerns about possible politicization of the law enforcement agency.

According to an affidavit filed by veteran voting rights activist Bartle Bull, who monitored elections in Mississippi at the height of the civil rights movement, the New Black Panther¹s directed racist comments towards white poll workers such as “you are about to be ruled by the black man, cracker.”

Rep. Robert Brady (D-Pa.) says those charges are “bull.”

The congressman, who also chairs the Philadelphia Democratic Party, said he went to the polling station on election day last year after hearing about reports of threatening behavior, but found no evidence.

“They weren¹t intimidating anybody, they didn¹t try to suppress any votes,”
said Brady.

That’s not enough for Wolf, a native Philadelphian, who has repeatedly asked to hear from Holder why the charges were dropped by Justice.

“This guy (Attorney General Eric) Holder is a jerk,” Wolf told the Hill on Thursday out of frustration that the AG had rebuffed each request for answers.

Information Researched By: Sister Anonymous

Monday, July 13, 2009

Black-White Gap in Jobless Rate Widens in New York City

Job Losses Show Wider Racial Gap in New York

Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times

Roger Richardson, 47, left his sales job at Home Depot in June to look for work after his hours were cut by more than half.

Published: July 12, 2009
Unemployment among blacks in New York City has increased much faster than for whites, and the gap appears to be widening at an accelerating pace, new studies of jobless data have found.
While unemployment rose steadily for white New Yorkers from the first quarter of 2008 through the first three months of this year, the number of unemployed blacks in the city rose four times as fast, according to a report to be released on Monday by the city comptroller’s office. By the end of March, there were about 80,000 more unemployed blacks than whites, according to the report, even though there are roughly 1.5 million more whites than blacks here.
Across the nation, the surge in unemployment has cut across all demographic lines, and the gap between blacks and whites has risen, but at a much slower rate than in New York.
Economists said they were not certain why so many more blacks were losing their jobs in New York, especially when a large share of the layoffs in the city have been in fields where they are not well represented, like finance and professional services. But in those sectors, the economists suggested that blacks may have had less seniority when layoffs occurred. And black workers hold an outsize share of the jobs in retailing and other service industries that have been shrinking as consumers curtail their spending.
“African-Americans have been hit disproportionately hard,” said Frank Braconi, the chief economist in the comptroller’s office. “The usual pattern is that the unemployment rate among African-Americans tends to be about twice as high as for non-Hispanic whites, but the gap has widened substantially in the city during the past year.”
Historically, the unemployment rate for blacks has always been higher than for whites. But since the start of the recession, in December 2007, the overall rate has risen by 4.6 percentage points — driving the black unemployment rate as high as 15 percent in April. The jobless figures among blacks became enough of a national issue that at a White House news conference last month, President Obama was asked what he could do to “stop the bloodletting in the black unemployment rate.”
The president said that to help any community, whether it be blacks, Latinos or Asians, he needed to “get the economy as a whole moving.”
“If I don’t do that, then I’m not going to be able to help anybody,” the president added.
In the first quarter of 2008, the rate of joblessness among blacks nationwide was 8.9 percent, compared with 4.8 percent for whites; in the first quarter of 2009, the rate for blacks had risen to 13.6 percent, while the rate for whites had gone to 8.2 percent.
But policy experts and public officials expressed concern over the much sharper trend in New York, where the city’s overall unemployment rate hit a 12-year high of 9 percent in May. The jobless rate for all blacks in the city rose to 14.7 percent in the first quarter, up from 5.7 percent in the first quarter of 2008. During the same period, the unemployment rate for white New Yorkers rose only moderately, to 3.7 percent from 3 percent, suggesting that black residents of the city were four times as likely as whites to be out of work, he said.
At a work force center in the Bronx on Friday, Ahmadi Scruggs, 32, said he was dismissed in April from his job in customer service at a New York bank that cut its payroll after many of the mortgages it made went sour. Mr. Scruggs, who is black and lives in Soundview, in the Bronx, said he did not think that the layoff, which followed a hiring freeze, was racially motivated, but said that it appeared to have a disparate effect on whites and minority workers.
“My department was mostly black and Hispanic,” Mr. Scruggs said. “Management was mostly white and they didn’t get let go. You would think they would trim the fat from the top, not the bottom, because it’s the lower-wage workers that do the bulk of the work.”
Mr. Scruggs, who is married and has three children, said his three-month severance package had run out. Mr. Scruggs said he was trying to have his unemployment benefits extended so that he could begin studying to become a surgical technician.
“I might as well invest in myself for the next year and then get back in the work force,” he said.
Last month, Roger Richardson, who lives in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx, left his sales job at a Home Depot store after his hours were cut by more than half. “I had to find something else because my bills surpassed my salary,” said Mr. Richardson, who is black.
The recession has also worsened the unemployment rate in New York among other ethnic groups, although none as sharply as blacks. Among Hispanics, the rate rose to 9.3 percent in the first quarter of 2009 from 6.4 percent in the first quarter of 2008; among Asians and other ethnic classifications, the rate rose to 7.1 percent from 5.5 percent.
David R. Jones, president and chief executive of the Community Service Society, which lobbies on behalf of low-income workers, said he did not “think this recession has gone out equally.”
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“Low-wage workers and workers who lack skills are really getting hit hard,” he said. “These are the workers who are sort of fungible. They lose their jobs very quickly, particularly in retail, the people who move boxes and do unskilled work. There are large numbers of African-Americans in that sector.”
Manufacturing, which has shed more jobs than any other sector of the city’s economy, had become a mainstay for black workers, Mr. Jones said. Government jobs had also become a prime source of solid, stable work for many blacks in the city, he added. But lately there have been cutbacks there, too, as falling tax revenue has forced the paring back of budgets.
James Parrott, the chief economist for the Fiscal Policy Institute, a liberal research group, pointed out that employment with the Postal Service in the city has declined by about 2,000 jobs, many of which were held by blacks. City officials have been wringing their hands about the mass firings that have occurred in high-paying industries like financial and legal services, consulting and publishing, but those cutbacks account for less than half of the 108,000-job decline since employment in the city peaked in August.
In comparing jobs data for the 12 months through April 30 with the previous one-year period, Mr. Parrott found that white New Yorkers had gained jobs while blacks and other minority residents had lost them. He was seeking to compare the recession with the end of the hiring boom that preceded it, though employment did not begin to fall in the city until after the Lehman Brothers investment bank collapsed in September, a full nine months after the recession began to take its toll in other parts of the country.
Still, Mr. Parrott’s analysis painted a stark picture of how uneven the effects have been for whites, blacks and members of other minorities. His figures show that whites gained about 130,000 jobs in the year that ended April 30 over the previous 12 months, but blacks, Hispanics and Asians all lost jobs during that period. Employment fell by about 17,000 jobs for blacks, 26,000 jobs for Hispanics and 18,000 for Asians and other ethnic groups, the data show.
“That’s a black-and-white employment picture,” Mr. Parrott said. “It’s like night and day over the 12 months. “There’s a real racial shift taking place in the city’s labor market in the past year.”
Aldumen Gomez said he had firsthand experience with the trend. Mr. Gomez, 25, was a nursing assistant in a Bronx nursing home for more than a year until it closed in January, he said.
“These were the jobs you used to rely on, but now because of all the cuts, it’s not like that,” said Mr. Gomez, who is part Haitian and part Dominican. “At the company I worked for, the ones who did get to keep their jobs were people at management levels who were mostly white. They were transferred to other nursing homes.”
Mr. Gomez has been studying political science at night at Baruch College, hoping to go on to law school. But he said he feared that he might not be able to keep paying for school — and living in student housing in Manhattan — unless he finds another job soon.