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Op-Ed

Hip Hop Corner: Planning for our Own Success

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Jineea Butler
By Jineea Butler
NNPA Columnist

 

Are we living in the last days? If so, what are we doing about it? It seems the world is coming apart at the seams. The Muslims are attacking the Christians, the Christians are attacking the Muslims; Africa is under siege, the Earth is shaking, the United States is waging war on its African American citizens, but why are you surprised? Yes, we live in the land of the free and home of the brave and are still not equal. Now what? Do you think we can make people care about us before we can care about ourselves? I am proud to see our people finally coming together and standing as one unit. Now what?

Now that we all agree that we are not going to let anyone come into our communities and kill our people without a fight, we need to use the moment to improve who we are and how we are perceived. Our action plan has to include more than threatening a march, pointing a finger and waiting to see if the Department of Justice is going to convict officers for their crimes. That is a distraction. It’s more than tearing up buildings, throwing rocks and dancing in the street for minor victories. It’s not about being interviewed for your perspective on the problem of police brutality. It’s succeeding out loud. It’s about making our money speak for us.

It’s about going back to the drawing board to see what part we play in making America a better place for ourselves. The generation before us changed their status by getting educated, by changing their style of dress and their manner of communication. They outsmarted their opponent.

We have to change how we are living. Point blank. Stop fronting like these killings are not exposing a bigger problem. We can’t expect to be treated fairly when we don’t even treat each other fairly. We turn up our noses and look down on our own people the same way these cops and the rest of America does. We just don’t kill people in the exchange. We have become complacent with a part of the community that is underperforming.

Everybody is toting signs saying “Black Lives Matter,”  but who are we trying to convince? The world around us or ourselves? My beef is while we are rallying for justice we are leaving out a few key factors that are necessary for growth and development. How are we jumping out in the streets fighting the establishment, but not changing how we spend our money? Why is that not #1 on the agenda?

Furthermore, if we are asking them to grow then we have to grow. We can’t spit in the face of our oppressor and then ask them to help us in the same breath. We have to have a plan for our own success.

We have to be real about the problem, because the same reason you are not marching through the hood and telling every drug dealer, murderer and criminal that they can’t occupy the hood and kill the babies, is the same reason these cops are on edge and quick to pull the trigger. Because there is a problem. I call it the Hip Hop Dilemma. You know that intense feeling you get when someone of the urban persuasion walks into your circumference. The feeling you get when you wait to see if they are a troublemaker, a fool or a Hip Hop musician. The feeling you get when you don’t want to confront this person because you don’t know if the response is going to be negative or lead to an altercation. This is the symptom of those suffering from the Hip Hop Dilemma. The cops are on the front lines dealing directly with this traumatizing experience and it is affecting their work performance.

If we work to change the narrative of who we are, what we stand for and how we live. The cops will have to change how they are policing our communities, because they won’t know who to profile, they won’t know who to arrest, because we all look like success. Sometimes we give the underperforming members of our community an excuse not to be the best they can be by leaning on white supremacy. It’s deeper than officers abusing the law, the war been going on and we have known it.

Our response looks like a horse and pony show because as soon as the cameras arrive everybody throws their capes on and swoops in for the rescue, but the community has been burning for years. Why does everything become more important when the TV camera arrives? I’m fighting for our everyone in our community to step up and be better. We have to eliminate the reasons they are stopping us in the first place. Change the game.

 

Jineea Butler, founder of the Social Services of Hip Hop and the Hip Hop Union, can be reached at jineea@gmail.com or Tweet her at @flygirlladyjay.

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COMMENTARY: Do Americans believe the polls?

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “In 2016, the poll numbers were wrong and many of the political experts don’t believe President Donald Trump is 13 per cent behind the Democrats in the numbers in 2019. White people love President Trump and when he speaks the place is sold out. The economy is good, and the president can blow his horn.”

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According to the Quinnipiac University polls, Mr. Trump trailed Mr. Biden – the clear frontrunner thus far in the Democratic primaries – by a whopping 13 per cent, while Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and others also hold strong advantages. (Photo: iStockphoto / NNPA)
According to the Quinnipiac University polls, Mr. Trump trailed Mr. Biden – the clear frontrunner thus far in the Democratic primaries – by a whopping 13 per cent, while Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and others also hold strong advantages. (Photo: iStockphoto / NNPA)

Are the Democrats leading or is President Trump?

By Roger Caldwell, NNPA Newswire Contributor

There are more than 20 Democratic candidates running for President of the United States, and if you listen to them talk, they all believe they can win the nomination. Everyone knows that most of these candidates know they can’twin, but they canraise money. No individual or agency can keep up with how they spend the money, and the amount is in the billions.

This may not make much sense, but in the first debate spanned 2 nights with 20 candidates up on the stage.

President Donald Trump and the Republicans are laughing at this spectacle and the polls say the majority of leading Democratic candidates would win the election if it were held today. Quinnipiac University’s polls have been deemed “fake news” by the President.

“The Fake News has never been more dishonest than it is today. Thank goodness we can fight back on Social Media. Their new weapon of choice is Fake Polling. Sometimes referred to as Suppression Polls and they suppress the numbers. Had it in 2016, but this is worse,” says President Trump in a Tweet.

Many Americans say the President is wrong, but the Quinnipiac University poll numbers do appear to be incorrect, because 60% of White people support President Trump and that number could be higher. President Trump is always talking about how much he loves America, and it appears that most White Americans love him right back.

White Americans have been searching and looking for a savior, and President Trump is someone they can believe in. Almost their entire life, White folks have been looking for an individual they can put their trust in, and President Trump is their man. “Make America Great Again” is essentially a code slogan that means “Make America White Again,” and it is working under Trump’s administration. Most Americans are not looking for a minister to be the president, and most are comfortable if he does not tell the truth and breaks some rules.

Many politicians are lawyers and they go to school to learn how to bend, stretch, and change the laws, and there is nothing wrong with lying as long as you don’t get caught. President Trump has changed the rules, because he does not care if he is caught lying. In fact, the President will say one thing one day and say something totally different the next day.

Our president believes the system is set up for White men to rule, and when you are caught with your hand in the cookie jar, most of the time money has a way of fixing problems.

The Mass Media in America has awesome power and it can turn a criminal to a saint, and a saint into a criminal. Americans are lazy, and they wait for the news to give them information and it does not matter if it is right or wrong.

According to the Quinnipiac University polls, Mr. Trump trailed Mr. Biden – the clear frontrunner thus far in the Democratic primaries – by a whopping 13 per cent, while Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and others also hold strong advantages.

Trump says these are made up numbers that don’t exist.

In 2016, the poll numbers were wrong and many of the political experts don’t believe President Donald Trump is 13 per cent behind the Democrats in the numbers in 2019. White people love President Trump and when he speaks the place is sold out. The economy is good, and the president can toot his own horn.

The Democrats are all over the place, and the Republicans are in line and following their leader. It is hard to beat Trump especially since the economy is good. And don’t underestimate the love affair between the President and White America.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of BlackPressUSA.com or the National Newspaper Publishers Association.

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COMMENTARY: A national crisis: Surging hate crimes and white supremacists

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Now is also a time to remember that regardless of race or ethnicity, our history chronicles the range of hate crimes that have taken the lives of Latinos as well as Native Americans, Blacks, Jews, and the LGBTQ community. The terror now facing America’s Latinos resurrects these horrors, particularly how Blacks encountered racial hatred for more than a century during Jim Crow era and later during the civil rights struggles of the 1950s and 1960s.

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Charlene Crowell is the Center for Responsible Lending’s communications deputy director. She can be reached at Charlene.crowell@responsiblelending.org.
Charlene Crowell is the Center for Responsible Lending’s communications deputy director. She can be reached at Charlene.crowell@responsiblelending.org.

By Charlene Crowell, NNPA Newswire Contributor

A Saturday morning shooting rampage in El Paso, Texas on August 3 took the lives of 22 people, and seriously injured more than two dozen others. Reportedly, the alleged shooter wanted to kill as many Mexicans as he could. Armed with safety glasses, ear coverings and an assault-style rifle, the shooter entered a Walmart store during a back-to-school sale.

“Saturday’s attack on El Paso was an attack on the Mexican heritage of millions of Americans – and also part of a history of white supremacist and nativist acts in Texas across three centuries,” wrote Hector Tobar, in a recent New York Times op-ed. Tobar, an associate professor at the University of California at Irvine is also a published author.

Later that day during evening hours and nearly 1,600 miles away in Dayton, Ohio, another gunman’s attack left 9 people dead and 27 injured in that city’s Oregon district. Like the Texas shooter, Ohio’s shooter was heavily armed but was shot by police before he could enter a nightclub where he could have killed far more. The victims of this shooting reflected the city’s diversity and included Blacks, Latinos, and whites.

How in a span of only 24-hours, could two cities in different states and regions suffer mass shootings – one in a city only a few miles from the nation’s southern border, and the other, a former Midwestern manufacturing hub?

Despite the shock of two unprovoked attacks, family and community members in both cities must somehow cope through their grief while preparing funeral arrangements. These two communities are also challenging governmental officials at both the state and federal levels to take actions to prevent further fatalities.

Nationally, a profusion of prayers and condolences from the nation together signaled that a tragic moment may yet be transformed into a groundswell movement that reckons with the American conscience. The profusion of assault weapons combined with easy access is a gripping issue that confronts us all.

In response to these and other tragedies, a rainbow coalition of leaders held a noon rally on August 6 in the nation’s capital. In a joint statement, the Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights was joined by key partners including but not limited to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Voto Latino, the Center for Community Self-Help and the Center for Responsible Lending.

“None of this is acceptable,” said the leaders in a written statement. “None of this is normal. Our organizations are united in saying that Members of Congress can no longer look away as communities of color are murdered with impunity. We must all unite and demand accountability.”

The NAACP is additionally calling for the passage of the bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019. Passed on a bipartisan House vote of 240-190 on February 27, the bill has yet to be taken up by the Senate. The bill would address both background check requirements for firearms, and firearm transfers between private individuals.

Beyond congressional actions, however, other spheres of influence can also take an active role in curbing violence. For example, corporate leaders could publicly condemn efforts to demonize immigrants, minorities or other groups targeted for hate crimes and violence. In pulpits across the country, pastors should preach about the moral dilemma the nation faces and call upon congregants to live their faith every day. Community-based organizations can call upon state and local officials to also speak out against senseless acts of violence and white supremacists.

Now is also a time to remember that regardless of race or ethnicity, our history chronicles the range of hate crimes that have taken the lives of Latinos as well as Native Americans, Blacks, Jews, and the LGBTQ community. The terror now facing America’s Latinos resurrects these horrors, particularly how Blacks encountered racial hatred for more than a century during Jim Crow era and later during the civil rights struggles of the 1950s and 1960s.

Too many times in recent years, our unique Black American experience we remain at risk as a people. In 1998 the body of James Byrd, a black, 49-year old Jasper, Texas man was ripped to pieces as it was drug over a mile and a half by whites driving a pick-up truck. Other and more recent heinous hate crimes remind us of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Tamir Rice – just to name a few.

According to Rutgers University, Black men today are 2.5 times more likely than white men to be victims of violence. From 2013 to 2017, 11,456 fatal encounters with police and members of the public were reported.

At the same time, the emergence of hate groups has been on the rise, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

“The total number of hate groups rose to 1,020 in 2018, up about 7 percent from 2017,” wrote Heidi Beirich, who leads SPLC’s Intelligence Project and its award-winning publication, The Intelligence Report.

Its report released this February found that white nationalist groups grew from 100 in 2017 to 148 the following year, 2018 – a 50% growth. Other hate groups – anti-Semitic, anti-LGBTQ, and anti-Muslim — also grew during these same years from 233 to 264. While the Ku Klux Klan dominated hate groups in the Jim Crow and civil rights eras, its presence across the country now appears to have been eclipsed by the growth of neo-Nazis, white nationalists, and skin head organizations.

SPLC’s Hate Map by State shows that the largest number of statewide hate groups are located in California (83), Florida (75), and Texas (73). At the local level, additional hate organizations currently operate in Dallas, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Tallahassee. Beyond these three states, hate groups can also be found in 45 other states and in more metropolitan areas such as Atlanta, Chicago, New York City, Sacramento, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

Just as the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. prompted the enactment of major civil rights legislation, now is another time for our nation to stand up to the many forms of domestic terrorism that plague the nation. People of conscience and principle have a duty to stand up, speak out for the fullness of our “inalienable rights.”

Charlene Crowell is the Center for Responsible Lending’s communications deputy director. She can be reached at Charlene.crowell@responsiblelending.org

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COMMENTARY: Who Cares About Fair Elections?

NNPA NEWSWIRE — … people are organizing and attempting to overcome interference by mobilizing the Democratic base of voters. Barbara Arnwine, who founded and leads the Transformative Justice Coalition (www.tjcoalition.org) gathered dozens of activists to participate in a day-long strategy session on voting rights on August 7, fifty-four years after the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965. Arnwine’s organization is among the many planning to ensure both voter turnout and election fairness in the upcoming elections.

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Julianne Malveaux is an author and economist. Her latest project MALVEAUX! On UDCTV is available on youtube.com. For booking, wholesale inquiries or for more info visit www.juliannemalveaux.com.

By Julianne Malveaux, NNPA Newswire Contributor

The US House of Representatives passed the Securing America’s Fair Elections (SAFE) Act in June by a nearly totally partisan vote of 225-184 in late June. Only one Republican voted for legislation that would mandate paper ballots, increase election security, and create safeguards to prevent foreign interference in our elections. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) opposes the legislation and won’t even allow it to be introduced or voted on in the Senate.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was eloquently angry when she raised a series of questions, “I just would really like to know from my Republican friends, what’s wrong with replacing outdated, vulnerable voting equipment? What is wrong with requiring paper ballot voting systems to ensure the integrity of our elections? What is wrong with enacting strong cybersecurity requirements for elections technology vendors and voting systems? We must be relentless in the defense of our democracy, fighting on all fronts to keep America safe.”

Republicans don’t seem to want to defend democracy, though. They simply want to win. And McConnell, who behaves like the 45th President’s handmaiden, has abandoned his duty as Senate leader in favor of partisan shenanigans. Former special counsel Robert Mueller III testified that Russian election interference was happening even as he testified, too many Republicans chose to ignore his warning because it does not serve them. McConnell is among those who seem to hope that Russian interference aids Republicans and perhaps ensures the reelection of the most odious human being ever to occupy the Oval Office.

Meanwhile, people are organizing and attempting to overcome interference by mobilizing the Democratic base of voters. Barbara Arnwine, who founded and leads the Transformative Justice Coalition (www.tjcoalition.org) gathered dozens of activists to participate in a day-long strategy session on voting rights on August 7, fifty-four years after the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965. Arnwine’s organization is among the many planning to ensure both voter turnout and election fairness in the upcoming elections. With so many focused on the 2020 election, and appropriately so, it is essential to note that 2019 elections are also significant.  Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi will elect governors, New Jersey, and Virginia are among those who will elect state legislators, and some cities will elect mayors.

Activists can use these elections to test our broken system, and as practice, perhaps for 2020. But activists must also be clear that Republicans don’t seem to want fair elections. If they did, McConnell would schedule a vote on the SAFE Act, which provides dollars for better, safer, voting technology.

Both houses of Congress are on recess this August month, and won’t reconvene until after Labor Day. Most members of Congress will say that they aren’t taking a six-week vacation because they are also working in their districts. Citizens need to meet with them, organize town hall meetings, and get input from those recalcitrant Republicans (all of the Democrats voted for the SAFE Act) on why they eschew fair elections.

Some of them use a “state’s right” argument, suggesting that states can manage their own elections on their own terms. African Americans understand states’ rights all too well. States’ rights made it necessary for our nation to pass a Voting Rights Act, despite the guarantees included in the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments. The question to ask is the questions Speaker Pelosi asked when the legislation came up for a vote on June 27. What’s wrong with election fairness?

It is indisputable that Russia interfered in the 2016 elections to aid the 45th President. It is undeniable that millions of voters have been purged from the polls since 2016 with Secretaries of State eager to influence elections, as they did in both Georgia and Florida in 2018. It is indisputable that while Florida voters attempted to restore votes to former felons, the legislature undermined that vote by requiring people to pay all fines and fees before they are allowed to vote.

If the Congressional vote on the SAFE Act is any indication, Republicans don’t want election fairness. They want to win by whatever means necessary. We’ve invaded foreign countries to “ensure democracy,” but our Congress does not have the decency to ensure democracy at home.  Since the government won’t do its work, civil society organizations will have to. Kudos to Barbara Arnwine and the Transformative Justice Coalition for their work on voter fairness!

Julianne Malveaux is an author and economist. Her latest project MALVEAUX! On UDCTV is available on youtube.com. For booking, wholesale inquiries or for more info visit www.juliannemalveaux.com.

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Op-Ed

OP-ED: “It City” Still Has a Lot of Hate to Cleanse

THE TENNESSEE TRIBUNE — For over 25 years the Tennessee Tribune has proudly chronicled the good things happening in North Nashville and across our city, region and state. Over that time we’ve not ignored or tried to pretend that ugly, vile things weren’t also occurring, and when necessary we stood up and identified them. But we’ve always spent a lot more time emphasizing the good things, celebrating the accomplishments, and noting the firsts and breakthroughs than we have reporting about the negative and backward elements that remain in our midst.

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Nashville, Tennessee Skyline (Photo by: tntribune.com)

By Rosetta Miller Perry

For over 25 years the Tennessee Tribune has proudly chronicled the good things happening in North Nashville and across our city, region and state. Over that time we’ve not ignored or tried to pretend that ugly, vile things weren’t also occurring, and when necessary we stood up and identified them. But we’ve always spent a lot more time emphasizing the good things, celebrating the accomplishments, and noting the firsts and breakthroughs than we have reporting about the negative and backward elements that remain in our midst.

But sometimes we have to stand up and say there are certain things that must be eradicated and eliminated if Nashville is ever going to truly be the kind of place that deserves to be branded the “It City.” It has be the kind of place where people both in and out of power publicly let it be known certain views are not welcome in our midst, and that any and all forms of bigotry and hatred will not be tolerated. Whatever you may think as a private citizen is your business, but if you espouse hatred, racism, sexism, any form of religious bigotry or homophobia, you speak for yourself, and do not represent the Nashville that we want to see and celebrate.

Some of the reaction last week to Zulfat Suara’s candidacy for Metro Council should be an embarrassment to any and all Nashville citizens who claim they believe in human dignity, equal justice and Civil Rights. The fact that a Nigerian woman who also happens to be a Muslim has decided to run for public office is apparently too much for the bigots, racists, and just plain morons to handle. Never mind she has the perfect legal right to run for public office,. or that she’s entitled to do so as a citizen of this city. The bigots are out in force, with comments like “You will never, ever be on Metro Nashville Council. I am on a personal mission to stop it and make sure it does not happen. I will make sure of it.  I’ve got your picture. I’ve got your face. and everyone is going to know to not vote for you.”

Or this piece of brilliant advocacy from another enlightened soul who says “Just like Christian’s (sic) in your home country, Muslims are not welcome here.” Suara’s home nation of Nigeria has more Christians than any other African nation, but of course this idiot either doesn’t know or doesn’t care about that fact. Suara is also dealing with people stealing or damaging her campaign signs. While she’s alerted law enforcement about these threats, she’s  going to continue her campaign, and the Tennessee Tribune says to her “don’t let the racists and bigots drive you out.”

We agree with her when she says “I hope people will stand up and say this is not our Nashville.” Yes, everyone including her opponents and people of good will across the city irregardless of race, faith, gender or sexual orientation should stand up and say there’s no place in our city for the kind of garbage that has surfaced online, and especially on the websites and walls of bigots who thrive on stirring up hate and negativity, especially in places like Twitter where they can hide behind phony names and fake identities.

Stephanie Teatro, who co-directs the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition and its political arm — TIRRC Votes, which recently endorsed Suara — said in a Nashville Scene article that Muslims, immigrants and Black women face a backlash when they decide to step up and run for public office. “Zulfat happens to be all three,” she said. So she wasn’t surprised that Suara is facing major harassment as she seeks one of five at-large Metro Council seats.  “The only way we’re going to get to the other side of this political moment where people feel emboldened to be so hateful is to have effective and capable leaders like Zulfat,” Teatro added. “The most powerful rebuke to any of these xenophobic activists is for her to win a countywide election.”

The Tribune commends Suara for trying to remain positive. “For every bad comment, there’s 1,000 positive comments,: she has said. “For every nasty encounter — someone looking at me funny — there’s 100 more that have embraced me.” “I truly want to give back to this city, and I believe I have the means to do that. Nashville has been very welcoming. I hope that those that have never met me will not let a few people make them unwelcoming. I hope people will stand up and say, ‘This is not our Nashville.’ ”

We stand solidly behind her, and defend her right to run for Metro Council, and we also ask where is the public condemnation of these actions by those in power? Silence by implication is agreement, and while we don’t think the vast majority of people in power in Nashville back this type of vicious hatred, there should be unanimous and widespread response to it. Don’t let the voices of hatred and bigotry seem to be consensus by not responding. You don’t have to be a supporter of Suara to condemn the ignorant and bigoted response she’s gotten from that segment of the population that hates anyone who isn’t white, male, and fits their definition of an American. 

The Tribune doesn’t think those comments represent the Nashville we know and love. But they represent voices in Nashville we’ve been battling against throughout our existence. These are people who repeatedly try to  marginalize the voices of women, of Blacks and other people of color as well as the poor. They want to keep things the way they were centuries ago. These people know that in 2019 their views aren’t considered tolerable, so they mostly keep them to themselves, at least until something or someone comes along that brings them out of the sewers where they normally reside. This time it’s the Metro Council candidacy of Zulfat Suara. Tomorrow it may be something else.

But we say enough, and we also say let everyone who’s sick of this kind of bigoted nonsense speak out against it, and let these people know they not only don’t run anything, but they can’t decide who can run for political office based on their bigoted reading of the law. It’s just a matter of simple justice and fairness. Best wishes to Zulfat Suara, and be strong. There are lots of good people out here behind you.

This article originally appeared in The Tennessee Tribune.

Rosetta Miller Perry

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OP-ED: Reform Alternative Business Lending Practices to Protect Small-Business Owners

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Lenders have been requiring their small business borrowers, as a condition of receiving any short-term loans from them, to sign confessions of judgement that waive borrowers’ legal rights in any dispute with the lenders. Small business borrowers in other states have no right of notice if their assets are seized in New York under confessions of judgement and may not even realize if a New York judgement has been entered against them until their banks have seized their assets.

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Rep. Edolphus Towns is a board member of World Business Lenders. He represented the 10th and 11th congressional districts in New York from 1983-2013.
Rep. Edolphus Towns is a board member of World Business Lenders. He represented the 10th and 11th congressional districts in New York from 1983-2013.

By Rep. Edolphus Towns

In my three decades representing parts of New York City in the House of Representatives, expanding economic opportunities for underserved communities was a top priority. That’s why, after I retired from public service, I joined the Board of World Business Lenders, an alternative business lender that provides desperately needed financing for businesses who want to grow or expand, leading to so many ancillary benefits to their local communities.

Unfortunately, not all alternative business lenders are created equal. In an industry that is not regulated, many of them are engaged in predatory practices, preying on the very customers they are committed to serving. Unlike World Business Lenders, which has voluntarily self-regulated by implementing a “best practices” lending program committed to offering fair and transparent loan terms to its borrowers, other alternative business lenders engage in opaque and occasionally destructive behavior that can lead to bankruptcy or worse for their own customers.

A critical tool for these predatory lenders has been the use of our state’s court system to seize the assets of small businesses whether located in New York or in any other state by employing legal instruments called “confessions of judgement.” These lenders have been requiring their small business borrowers, as a condition of receiving any short-term loans from them, to sign confessions of judgement that waive borrowers’ legal rights in any dispute with the lenders. Small business borrowers in other states have no right of notice if their assets are seized in New York under confessions of judgement and may not even realize if a New York judgement has been entered against them until their banks have seized their assets.

Alternative business lenders should make every loan transparent for their borrowers by clearly disclosing repayment terms, including interest rates, prepayment charges and by outlining clear payment schedules. Borrowers must be made aware of all fees and costs associated with their loans. Brokers and employees of alternative business lenders should be subject to background checks and continuing education requirements. Importantly, alternative business lenders should be required to offer each borrower terms not worse than the most favorable loan product for which he or she qualifies.

Alternative business lenders have nothing to fear from additional regulation. World Business Lenders is a successful company that profits even as we voluntarily abide by these terms, which protect customers. Unfortunately, in the political environment in Washington, it is unlikely that Congress will act to prevent predatory lenders from driving small business owners into bankruptcy. In the absence of leadership in Washington, it is time for Albany to act.

Rep. Edolphus Towns is a board member of World Business Lenders. He represented the 10th and 11th congressional districts in New York from 1983-2013.

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COMMENTARY: There is Not a Racist Bone in My Body

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Send her back is a turning point, “With Trump’s naked hatred and cruelty captured on live television, and along with it, so was the seething anger of the hard-core Trump base. The whole nation saw in dramatic fashion that Trump voters understood his meaning perfectly well and watched them not just agree with it but also amplify it, with as ugly and hate-curdled a chant as one could imagine.”

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Racism in 2019 is out in the open, with the election of President Trump leading the way. It is easy to argue what constitutes the act, and whether someone is a racist sometimes. But President Trump does not care what Blacks and people of color think. (Photo: iStockphoto / NNPA)
Racism in 2019 is out in the open, with the election of President Trump leading the way. It is easy to argue what constitutes the act, and whether someone is a racist sometimes. But President Trump does not care what Blacks and people of color think. (Photo: iStockphoto / NNPA)

By Roger Caldwell, NNPA Newswire Contributor

In 2019, most Blacks and people of color would like to believe that, “There is Not a Racist Bone in My Body” was an accurate statement in America. With the first African American President, Black businesses in every major city, and Black political officials in federal, state, and local municipalities, diversity is a reality. With all these achievements in one of the greatest countries in the world, there is a major divide.

This major divide is based on the color of an individuals’ skin, which makes no sense, until you study economics, politics, and business. Power is based on what you own and control, and if you close your eyes, power may also be based on what you take by force.

Last week, President Trump attacked four freshmen federal Congresswomen by claiming they are un-American, they should go back to their country, and everyone is asking the question, “why?”

This started as a tweet-storm on that weekend, and it has turned into a nasty battle of words, where the majority of the media is calling President Trump a “racist.” This tweet-storm appeared to be racist and personal, very little was discussed by the president about the ladies’ policies.

“In America, if you hate our Country, you are free to leave. The simple fact of the matter is, the four Congresswomen think America is even more wicked now, that we are all racist and evil. They’re entitled to their opinion, they’re Americans. Now I’m entitled to my opinion, & I just think they’re left wing cranks,” says President Trump.

It is obvious, that the first thing the President thinks comes out of his mouth, and it does not matter if it makes any sense. The president is not fit or mentally stable to manage America as Commander-in chief, but over 40% think he is doing a good job.

As this new social media and campaign rally from the President attacked the four Congresswomen escalates to a higher level of insanity, everyone in America is picking a side. The four Congresswomen at the beginning of the week called a press conference to denounce the President and asked for a draft to be drawn up to condemn President Trump’s racist language and tweets. The resolution was passed in the House last week to condemn the President.

The amazing issue about this battle is that over 40% of Americans believe that the President is correct, and at a campaign rally during the week, a packed house with the majority being White Republicans chanted, “Send her back.”

With the media claiming that President Trump initiated and supported the yelling, the President is being forced by the Vice President and some of his consultants to distance himself from the chant. “After smearing Rep. IIhan Omar (D-MN) as anti-Semitic – and letting the crowd at his Greenville, North Carolina rally roar “send her back” for more than 10 seconds – President Trump has falsely claimed he continued his speech immediately after the crowd started yelling,” says Tana Ganervo –reporter at Raw Story.

Send her back is a turning point, “With Trump’s naked hatred and cruelty captured on live television, and along with it, so was the seething anger of the hard-core Trump base. The whole nation saw in dramatic fashion that Trump voters understood his meaning perfectly well and watched them not just agree with it but also amplify it, with as ugly and hate-curdled a chant as one could imagine.”

Racism in 2019 is out in the open, with the election of President Trump leading the way. It is easy to argue what constitutes the act, and whether someone is a racist sometimes. But President Trump does not care what Blacks and people of color think.

He is only concerned with his base, and he feeds them red meat on a daily basis. There is something fundamentally wrong when the president does not care about values and inappropriate statements, because his goal is to only make America White again.

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