Friday, July 30, 2010


     I know i'm late on this but rumors are surrounding singer, Wycef Jean, and his possible run for Presidency of his hometown country of Haiti. Jean was born in Haiti and probably the most visible contributor to the Haiti relief fund. He was also a tremendous supporter of his country years before the 2009 earthquake. Jean also established the Yele Haiti Foundation in 2005. He has until August 7th to announce his candidacy! I think he would make a great President if he can truely commit all his time and energy. Although, it is clear that Haiti has remained a high priority throughout his life. Elections are Novemeber 28th. Wishing him the best.      
      Shirley Sherrod, as mentioned in a previous post, still remains a headline topic. Just recently she decided to file suit against conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart. Speaking Thursday at the National Association of Black Journalists convention she exclaimed, "I have not recieved an apology from Breitbart and no longer want one." She also announced that she would be suing him for the video he posted of her on his blog, where he portrayed her as racist towards Whites. Will she win in court? What is the precedent she is basing the suit on? There are countless questions swarming her decision. I personally think she has every right to sue him, and hope she wins. However the biggest question may be whether it was his freedom of speech to post the video in any form, edited or not. He is a "journalist" after all. Her stance is that he published the video with "actual malice" and targeted her specifically; leading to her ultimately being fired from her job. I do not believe her lawsuit is specifically attempting to dismiss the First Amendement, as Breitbart is using to his defense. We'll see what happens within the upcoming weeks.
      (Sorry I haven't posted lately I've been in DC, and no wifi >:[ )

Monday, July 26, 2010

Americans with Disabilities Act

  Today, July 26 2010 marks the 20th anniversary of the Disabilities Act signed by President George H. Bush in 1990. The Act prohibits discrimination based on disability, addresses access to the workplace, and requires instructions to Federal agencies that enforce the law. The Act prohibits any employer from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities along with providing equal opportunity in public accomodations and transportation. However, like every piece of legislation, there is an opposition with some critical reviews. Some believe that the ADA does not consider groups of individuals disabled until a case is brought to court, or that big companies still don't comply with federal regulations. Well, I believe the Act has done a lot of good for millions of people. Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa saluted the people who helped bring the Americans with Disabilities Act into law, "Twenty years ago, we heard testimony from Americans who had to crawl on their hands and knees to go up a flight of stairs; who couldn't ride on a bus because there wasn't a lift; who couldn't even cross the street in their wheelchairs because there were no curb cuts." Harkin was an original sponsor of the legislation and added, "The ADA has broken down barriers, created opportunities and transformed lives." With regards to employment, Obama explained, "We’re going to boost recruitment, we’re going to boost training, we’re going to boost retention." He went on to say, “We’ll better train hiring managers. Each agency will have a senior official who’s accountable for achieving the goals we’ve set. And I expect regular reports."

Americans with Disabilities Facts:
  • According to the 2010 Census Bureau, 54 million Americans have a disability. (1 in 5 people)
  • More than three million people, 15 yrs +, use a wheelchair.
  • Michigan was among the first states to to have laws protecting disabled people.
  • 21% of disabled working-age Americans had a job in the past year, versus 59% for those without disabilities.
  • Disabled people does not only apply to the physically impaired, but the deaf, blind, those unable to function independently, the crippled, and those mentally/cognitively impaired.
Although the statistics towards the Act are not always looking upwards, the real impact is that the youth truely embrace the law, and the acceptance of disabled people is far greater than in past decades.

"Equal access. Equal opportunity. The freedom to make our lives what we will. These aren’t principles that belong to any one group or any one political party. They are common principles. They are American principles." -Barack Obama

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Shirley Sherrod

     Racism not only remains am ugly stamp stuck on our nation's history but it will continue to be evident despite any or all progress made. My last blog post as well is this one will hopefully illuminate the ignorance and hatred that still lives throughout our society. Shirley Sherrod was an official working with the U.S Department of Agriculture. Sherrod made a speech at an NAACP meeting ( Mar27) and when her words were twisted into a reverse racism claim, she was forced to resign; uncovering the dangers of the media, FOX news, and ignorant bloggers. Her father was killed by a white man when she was a child, and some of the comments in her speech regarded not helping a White farmer as much as she could have; although she was discussing a dilemma faced 24 years ago. Later in the speech she goes on to explain that she eventually did help the White farmer, and came to acknowledge that she wanted to help all people in need, regardless of race. Right wing blogger, Andrew Breitbart released an edited video of her speech, leaving out the whole second half where she explained how she brought the White farmer back on his feet. He then posted this video on his blog describing Sherrod and the Obama Whitehouse as supporting reverse racism and having only the interest of Black America. Before long, the video began to appear on FOX news what seemed to be on repeat.  The release of this video and lack of investigation led to her being fired from the USDA and the NAACP publicly critizing her on behalf of these "racist remarks." But, as usual, the truth emerged and the full length, un-edited version appeared. Within the last couple days, the apologies began flowing in. Tom Vilsac, the Sec. of Agriculture offered her a higher position in the USDA and the NAACP President Banjamin Jealous explains "Having reviewed the full tape, spoken to Ms. Sherrod, and most importantly heard the testimony of the white farmers mentioned in this story, we now believe the organization that edited the documents did so with the intention of deceiving millions of Americans." President Obama goes on to say, “He jumped the gun, partly because we now live in this media culture where something goes up on YouTube or a blog and everybody scrambles,” in response to Sherrod's forced resignation. This entire story goes on to portray the media take-over and lack of investigation in today's politics. I believe the NAACP and the USDA were both entirely wrong in garnishing her reputation for believing a video a RIGHT wing blogger and FOX news put out. This story also goes on to show how conservatives are dying to blame race for everything wrong in America. Although racism will continue to remain evident, it is up to the younger generation to be more tolerant of eachother and embrace diversity as the only source to improving society as we know it.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tea Party Racism

     There has been A LOT of buzz lately surrounding the NAACP, racism, and the Tea Party. The 'Tea Party' is a fairly new term so I'll define that first. The Tea Party is a socio-political movement that aims to protest several economic Federal bills including health care and taxes. TEA stands for Taxed Enough Already and also refers to the Boston Tea Party of 1773. The Tea Party is a "Grass-Roots Movement" and a mainly conservative party. It has several groups, one being the Tea Party Express. The racism claims began last week after the NAACP wrote a resolution that asked, "all people of good will to repudiate the racism of the Tea Parties, and to stand in opposition to its drive to push our country back to the pre-civil rights era"; along with exclaiming several heads of the Tea Party as portraying racist elements. These claims drove Mark Williams, leader of the Tea Party Express to write an extremely outlandish and bigoted blog entry. The entry was in the form of a letter to Abraham Lincoln accusing the NAACP as racist and reffered to blacks as "colored". A little after the blog entry, he removed it saying, "It's time to move on." The same day Mark Williams and the Tea Party Express were "expelled" from the Tea Party Federation. It's not like he was being paid or in an actual position so I'm not exactly sure how he was expelled...but alright. Mark Williams along with other Tea Party spokesmen have since made various talk show appearances to rebute the claims of racism. However, if the Tea Party promotes children holding signs that compare Obama to Hitler, I do feel the Party as a whole is racist. Although i'd rather not make generalitzations about the entire movement, they have not done a good job of convincing me otherwise. Also, it is never okay to call the NAACP as "making money off of race," as seen in the video below. The debate between who is really racist will continue to be heated and shows no end especially with November elections ahead.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Nelson Mandela

Thanks for the birthday wishes everyone! But, in other birthday announcements, Nelson Mandela turns 92 today! CLICK HERE to see the card signed by over 27,000 ONE members from all across the world.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Sorry I haven't posted today or yesterday but I've been getting ready for my 17th birthday, which is today! Oh and apparently the oil spill was capped, but for how long? BP will forever have making up to do! More posting to come;  had an amazing day though =D

Thursday, July 15, 2010


     Today, Argentina became the first Latin American country to legalize gay marriage. There was a 16 hour debate prior to the vote, which resulted in 33 for and 27 against. The law declares that, "marriage provides for the same requisites and effects independent of whether the contracting parties are of the same or different sex." As most know, Latin American countries tend to follow the Roman Catholic Church. The Catholic Church does not support gay marriage so naturallly there will be opposition to such a bill. "They want to convert this city into the gay capital of the world," said a teacher, Morales of San Luis province. No, they just believe in equal marriage rights for all their citizens and improving the diversity of their country. President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is currently traveling but will make sure to sign the bill into law immediately when she returns.The Catholic Church along with 60,000 protesters marched along Congress this week to rally against the bill. However, Argentina is paving the way for other Latino countries and hopefully the United States as well. "What defines us is our humanity, and what runs against humanity is intolerance," said Sen. Norma Morandini. "Argentina, from today forward, is a more just country for all families" added Maria Rachid, President of the Argentine Federation of LGBT. I follow the Catholic religion but do support gay rights. Not everything in the bible is to be meant literally, and I believe in equality for all. So, power to the people!

Picture Credit: Juan Mabromata, AFP/Getty Images / July 14, 2010

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Family Scandals

     Leave it to the Palin family for more scandals and surprises. Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston reported their engagement in an US Weekly interview, yet her parents were the last to know. On the cover of US Weekly 19 yr old Bristol is wearing an engagement ring while holding her 18 month son, Tripp. Bristol's mom, Sarah Palin, was not fond of the father of her grandchild, Levi, and was less than thrilled when she heard the announcement. The family had a falling out when he and Bristol broke up this March. "Bristol at 19 is now a young adult. We obviously want what's best for our children. Bristol believes in redemption and forgiveness to a degree most of us struggle to put in practice in our daily lives," said parents Sarah and Todd when they heard the news. Clearly Bristol is only marrying Levi to rebel against her parents or more specifically her mom. Sorry, but marrying the father of your baby does not erase the fact you had a baby at 18. Levi is no catch and already hated by the rest of her family. It is funny that her mom was the last to find out though, so props for that.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Strategy Against HIV/AIDS

     Today, President Obama announced a new strategy for combating HIV/AIDS along with optimistic views on its effects. "The strategy sets a goal of reducing new infections by 25 percent over the next five years; getting treatment for 85 percent of patients within three months of their diagnosis; and increasing education about the virus, even in communities with low rates of infection" (Associated Press). The strategy finally comes after years of discussion and requires cooperation from the federal gov. down to the smallest parts of society. Thirty million dollars of the health care overhaul passed just this year will be allocated towards implementation of the new plan. Obama has made combating HIV/AIDS a priority as well as focusing public attention towards the growing epidemic.
The three primary goals of the strategy:
•Reducing the number of new infections;
•Increasing access to care and optimizing health outcomes for people living with HIV;
•Reducing HIV-related health disparities.

  • Black men and women account for 46% of people living with HIV, though they represent just 13% of the population.
  • An estimated 20% of people infected with HIV do not know it.
  • There is a new HIV infection every 9 1/2 minutes in the U.S.
  • AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome and is caused by HIV.
  • An estimated 56,300 Americans are newly infected with HIV each year.
  • There are approximately 1.2 million Americans who are living with HIV/AIDS.
  • There is still no cure.
For more information on the strategy check or

Monday, July 12, 2010

Grizzly Bears

I am not sure how many people "like" Sarah Palin on Facebook, but this video was recently released on her  FB page. The caption reads, "Enjoy the video and please support commonsense conservative candidates who will work with you and for you to take back our country!" The video was created by her political action committee, Sarah PAC and is titled, "Mama Grizzlies". What is the purpose? She is not endorsing any candidates nor does the video solicit contributions (like a typical PAC commercial would do). The theme is to 'empower young women' or 'inspire people to join to movement' but I feel the video is just a sly move hinting towards a run in 2012. This slow-motion montage is no different than the other over-played campaign commercials we see every election year. She is not presenting anything we didn't know about her; merely unsubstantial Palin rhetoric. Packed with allusions, images, and metaphor, she does a clever job at displaying her 'feminism'. One blogger, Michael Stone said it best, "Palin's feminism is no feminism at all. Palin's faux feminism represents an attempt to turn back the clock on women's rights and to send American families back to the dark ages." I disagree with everything Sarah Palin stands for and this video is just comedic, as it is whenever she opens her mouth. Miachel Stone adds "In the end intelligent women voters will choose progress over Palin. A vain glorious sentimental video full of silly self promotion will not fool American women." Exactly!! This was enough Palin I can handle. Also, last week her daughter Bristol made a special appearance on the ABC Family hit show, 'The Secret Life of the American Teenage'. Ironic that Bristol Palin had a baby as a teen while her mom strictly campaigns for abstinence and pro-life. Hmm....

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Rima Fakih

    When Rima Fakih ريما فقيه was announced 2010 Miss USA she became the first Arab American and Muslim to win the contest. Rima was born in Lebanon but in 1993 her family moved to New York before finally settling down in Dearborn, Michigan. Dearborn, Michigan is known as the Arab capital of the United States. This is very evident as the buildings, signs, and shops are labeled mostly in Arabic. Exactly 20 years ago, Miss USA 1990, Carole Gist became the first African American title-holder. Carole Gist (my friend's mommy) was also Miss Michigan before going on to win the national contest. They both represent the diversity and culture that not only thrives within Southeast Michigan but within the entire state. Together they have broken racial and religious barriers to represent our entire country. I truely love calling Michigan my home. I was also delighted when our school (not very close to Dearborn) became the first MI school offering Arabic as a language for students to take.
    Today was the first time Rima returned to her hometown since the pageant; and I was so grateful to be a part of the event. She is an amazing person and a perfect role model for all young girls. The day began with several associations such as her alma mater's presenting her with awards, along with Arab and Chaldean foundations. Dearborn Mayor, John B. O’Reilly presented Rima with a key to the city as well as declaring July 10th, Rima Fakih Day. When the presenters had gone, Rima was alone to speak from her heart to her family, friends, and fans of her beloved hometown city. She stressed that education was the gateway to success and her secret weapon to winning the pageant. "Anyone who is rich can lose money. You can never lose a degree." Rima hopes to go on to lawschool after her rein is complete. "Love the haters," she exclaimed. "They made me push even harder to prove them wrong. The people that tried to get me disqualified only made me want to win even more." Rima also gave her dad credit for always instilling in her that "anything is possible"; and from what we have all seen, she has lived up to this quote. A Lebanese immigrant, Rima is the epitome of the "American Dream". "I want girls to look at me and say, she comes where I come from. We all have backgrounds. No one is only American." It is beautiful to see when an American can proudly represent all cultures or ethnicities he/she comes from. She is exactly right. Our stories are all unique and we all have another heritage in which we can be proud of. I am so glad Rima is representing the United States because she portrays the diversity each individual in our country beholds. Let me add she has a great fashion sense along with a personality out of this world.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Summer In the City

We all know that Detroit is an amazing city hidden within the destruction and dillapidated buildings. The people of Detroit are truely people of character and are never brought down despite the continuous drawbacks. Summer in the City is a non-profit organization designed to make community service fun and fulfilling for the volunteers while making a real impact on Detroit communities. Activities include youth enrichment with elementary school students, planting gardens, painting murals, and building parks.  You must  be 14 years old and HAVE to register here first! Volunteers meet up at 9 a.m at one of the six high school locations before being driven downtown by the designated drivers. You are driven back to these locations at aprox 3 p.m. At the end of the summer they will mail you your total hours=)  SITC runs Tuesday through Friday and ends August 13.

"Since 2002, 3,800 Summer in the City volunteers have contributed over 80,000 hours of service to projects that help make Detroit a safe, beautiful and sustainable place for everyone."

The Queen Visits UN

For the first time in over 50 years, Queen Elizabeth II arrived (even in the scorching July sun) to address the General Assembly in New York on July 6. Her speech praised the achievements of the United Nations, but noted that much more remains to be done to combat global issues like terrorism and global warming. She also discussed the changes she has seen within the UN since the last time she made an appearance in 1957, “Much of it for the better, particularly in science and technology and in social attitudes." Despite the unbearable heat, she finished her Manhattan trip with a visit to a special garden at Ground Zero dedicated to the 67 British victims who died September 11. She was met by NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg along with rescue workers and families of those who died. Although her total New York trip lasted less than 6 hours, this British Queen knows how to capture the hearts of an entire nation. She is also 84 years old but looking stylish as ever!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Finally!! Today, President Obama allowed the Justice Department to officially challenge Arizona's "legal racial profiling" immigration law. The effort to block this enforcement will take place on July 29th. Most politicians would agree that Arizona should not create their own immigration law; rather leave the laws and policies regarding the issue to the federal government. "Arizonans are understandably frustrated with illegal immigration, and the federal government has a responsibility to comprehensively address those concerns," Attorney General Eric Holder said in a written statement. This puts the conflict of state's rights on full blast and will only further divide the country. "In our constitutional system, the federal government has pre-eminent authority to regulate immigration matters," the lawsuit says. I feel the Governement should definitly take this action. There is no reason for the Govenor of Arizona to enforce this law. It makes people wonder what his motives are, ie) scaring people from coming to Arizona (Mexicans, other Hispanics). He is attempting to  intimidate Hispanics from coming over the border, and by doing so he is taking matters into his own hands when it is a federal issue! I hope this lawsuit will only propel the Obama Whitehouse into taking action on proposing a national immigration law ASAP.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence Day

What country did the United States win independence from? Believe it or not, many teens and even adults could not tell you. Britain! The U.S was part of Britain. On July 4th, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved and signed by the Continental Congress; thus leaving the 13 U.S colonies free from British rule. Back then the population was said to be 4 million; today, 309 million. Out of that 309 million, 32.5 mil are foreign born citizens (me), and more than 1 in 3 of these citizens became naturalized. A couple days ago Sienne College in Loudonville, NY, released their rankings of the best and worst U.S Presidents. Leading the list was F. Roosevelt followed by T. Roosevelt, Lincoln, Washington, and Jefferson. Clinton holds 13th place, with Obama making a debut at 15. No surprise, George W. Bush lands in the 39th position. As much as I love and honor our country, I used to be the most anti-patriot person in the world. While Bush was President, I was ashamed and embarassed to be part of a country that had totally opposite values and an agenda I felt was extremely destructive. I did not even want the flag or (red,white,&blue) anywhere near me. I did not want in any way to support the United States. However, after viewing the Obama campaign up-close and personal and experiencing true independence, I could never be more proud of my country. Presidents come and go, but the history and struggle our Founding Fathers overcame to guarantee our freedom, lasts forever. I had to realize that one President does not define our nation's values. The legacy of the United States and it being one of the only countries that guarantees all its citizens freedom is something to celebrate. Even if you do not support our current President, be proud of the progress our country has made. Happy 4th of July!!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Illegal to Text & Drive!

The Michigan texting ban was signed April 30 by Gov. Jennifer Granholm on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Many watched as Michigan became the 24th state to ban texting while driving. This ban is now law and takes effect today! Police are now allowed to pull a driver over if they notice unusual swerving, moving in and out of a lane, or just suspicious driving. The fines range from $100 for a first time offense up to $200 for a second offense. However, no points will be given regardless of the number of offenses. Driving down I-95 you may now notice billboards, advertisements, and public service announcements reminding MI drivers of the newly enforced law. The Office of Highway Safety Plan created this campaign and labeled it "Hands on the Wheel". Some wonder, 'How can they prove I was texting?' or 'What if I was dialing a number?' Well, these questions portray the sketchyness of this law. Police officers claim they won't "hunt" down texters...but we know how that story goes. The law is a good way to hopefully lower the accident statistics and I'm proud of our state. I would be a hypocrite if I said I have not checked my phone or texted at a red light, however this law will definitely make me more aware and cautious of doing these actions. Please be careful and don't put others' lives at danger because you didn't want to miss an "important" text.