Monday, September 28, 2015

Black Children, Class War Collateral Damaage

                                                  From The Ramparts
                                                  Junious Ricardo Stanton
                                Black Children, Class War Collateral  Damage

            "Overall, 20% of children in the U.S., or 14.7 million, lived in poverty in 2013 – down from 22%, or 16.3 million, in 2010. (Poverty in 2013 was defined as living in a household with an annual income below $23,624 for a family of four with two related children.) During this period, the poverty rate declined for Hispanic, white and Asian children. Among black children, however, the rate held steady at about 38%. Black children were almost four times as likely as white or Asian children to be living in poverty in 2013, and significantly more likely than Hispanic children." Pew Research

            A recent report published by the Pew Research Foundation based upon Census Bureau data revealed Black children in the United States are more likely to live in poverty than any other ethnic group. Analyzing 2010 census data the researchers concluded the poverty rate declined for Whites, Hispanics and Asians but held steady for Blacks. Hispanics have the largest number living in poverty because their population is younger and so high.
            The sad reality is that children under 18 make up the bulk of people living in poverty, they represent the largest demographic of poor people in this country. The United States has the highest rate of child poverty of any industrialized nation in the world!  This fact speaks volumes about this nation's values and priorities and how it perceives its most vulnerable citizens. "Children make up a larger share of America’s impoverished than of the population as a whole – those younger than 18 make up about a quarter of the total population, but make up about a third of all Americans in poverty. Black and Hispanic children in particular are overrepresented: Children make up 27% of the black population, but 38% of blacks in poverty. And children account for 33% of all Hispanics, but 42% of impoverished Hispanics. By contrast, children make up roughly equal shares of the white and Asian populations and of whites and Asians living in poverty."
            What are the social and public policy implications of this data? How can a nation as materially well off as this allow their most defenseless citizens to wallow in poverty and not take substantive action to ameliorate the situation? What are the short and long term effects of poverty in the so called land of plenty? What grass roots political adjustments or social movements should evolve to address this crime against humanity?
            Poverty means privation and disadvantage; poor people generally experience poorer health because of their economic situation and its concomitant circumstances. "Research finds that experiencing poverty during the first three years of life is related to substandard nutritional status and poor motor skills.  Childhood poverty is also related to “age-normed growth stunting” (low height-for-age) and 'wasting' (low weight-for-age), common indicators of poor nutritional status.67 At the other extreme, poverty is also associated with obesity among children.  As they get older, poor children are more likely than other children to have chronic health problems such as asthma and anemia.  Low-income children and adolescents are also more likely than higher income youth to have a physical impairment that restricts their activities. Adolescents living in poverty are more likely than their higher income peers to get involved in risky and health-compromising behaviors, such as smoking or engaging in early sexual activity. Health problems associated with poverty during early childhood become risk factors themselves for developmental problems in later life, including problems in the achievement, cognitive, language, social-emotional, and physical domains... Researchers note that there are many possible pathways by which poverty can affect health. For instance, poor children are disproportionately exposed to risk factors, including environmental toxins, inadequate nutrition, maternal depression, parental substance abuse, trauma and abuse, violent crime, divorce, and low quality child care. Poor families are more likely to live in substandard housing that may have lead paint and other health hazards. They are also more likely to live in disadvantaged neighborhoods that are not safe, that provide fewer positive models of people who exhibit healthy behaviors, and that have fewer stores that sell healthy foods. Also, living in households that sometimes don’t have enough nutritious food may explain why some children’s growth is stunted." Trends Child research Brief Publication 2009-11
            Recent studies indicate poverty is a major factor in poor health, and cognitive underdevelopment in children.  "The National Longitudinal Study on Youth and the Infant Health and Development Project have followed children who are poor and children who are not poor over years and provide a rich data source to examine the impact of poverty on cognitive ability and educational attainment while controlling for a number of confounding factors such as family characteristics. Scores on IQ tests seem to vary with the level of poverty, whereas educational attainment seems to be related to poverty early in a child’s life and duration of family poverty. Poverty during a child’s early years has a more powerful influence on grade completed than poverty during school years. The high school dropout rate for central cities is 14% compared with 7% for adolescents in the suburbs. In areas with high poverty, graduation rates approach only 50% of those who started high school. It is estimated that an increase in mean family income of $10 000 during the child’s first 5 years of life results in almost 1 full year more of schooling." Effect of Child and Family Poverty on Child Health in the United States
David Wood, MD, MPH, FAAP
            Material lack is merely one of the problems facing children who live in poverty. You can be poor but if you have a supportive and nurturing social network you can overcome the disadvantages of poverty. But if you live in a dysfunctional social environment, with limited support, nurturing and cultivation your prospects for full development are further diminished. "Children who are poor have higher rates of hospital admissions, disability days, and death rates. They have inadequate access to preventive, curative, and emergency care and are affected more frequently by poor nutrition, single-parent families, dysfunctional families, and poor housing. Exposure to lead hazards is an example of how poverty directly impacts child health. Four to 5 million children, the vast majority of whom are poor, reside in older homes with lead levels exceeding the accepted threshold for safety. More than 1.5 million of these children (younger than 6 years) have elevated blood lead levels." ibid
            The United States is experiencing the greatest economic disparity, income inequality and class divide in its history. In short there is a class war going on in this country that very few people are talking about. Our babies are the collateral damage in this war! The politicians, many of whom are millionaires do not empathize with or relate to the poor. Why should they, the only thing they need poor people for is our vote! This reality does not bode well for the prospects of developing public policy genuinely designed to reduce poverty and economic apartheid in America. In fact Bernie Saunders is the only candidate with a history of talking about class warfare and income inequality in this country.
            Respect for Congress and government in general is at an all time low; rightly so. People are waking up to what's happening and are expressing their frustration and displeasure.  Politicians are not responsive to the needs of the masses, many are bought and sold their souls to the corporations and special interests. For example in 2011 The Occupy Wall Street movement  brought attention to the egregious income inequality in the US but Obama had the Occupy movement forcibly shut down lest it undermine his 2012 election bid by exposing just how one sided and corrupt the system really was.
             Not one politician spoke up in defense of the Occupy movement or the young people behind it; just as very few politicians support the Black Lives Matter campaign today. The only way this unconscionable situation is going to be turned around is through agitation and direct action such as massive strikes, slow downs, and serious well coordinated economic boycotts. The stakes are too high to passively sit back and allow our children and future generations to suffer at the hands of the politicians and their corporate puppeteers and benefactors. Since the class war is already on, we might as well get in it to win it!


Monday, September 21, 2015

Professor E. Sonny Harris

                                   Professor E. "Sonny" Harris
                                       Junious Ricardo Stanton

            "If a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

            The world suffered a great loss early Monday morning September 14, 2015 when Edgar "Sonny" Harris made transition to the spirit realm quietly in his sleep. Sonny as he was affectionately known was a born educator and motivator, a math teacher, a school administrator, a college mathematics professor, a mathematics teacher training instructor at Cheyney University and later an adjunct professor at Temple University.
            Sonny Harris was a fighter for social justice and Black people's rights. He was born in Atlantic City New Jersey on March 1,1934. He attended the Atlantic City publics schools then matriculated to Cheyney State Teachers College. There he began a life long love affair with Cheyney and education. He graduated from Cheyney in 1958.
            Sonny returned to Atlantic City and secured a teaching position there. He refused to acquiesce to the racial oppression and the virulent discrimination in Atlantic  City so he joined the NAACP. Sonny had a knack for organizing and he eventually led the largest NAACP Youth Organization in the nation and one of the most active. He challenged the racist policies and discriminatory hiring in Atlantic City and won major victories through direct action demonstrations, protests and legal redress.
            Sonny later earned additional degrees in mathematics, teacher instruction and administration then returned to Cheyney State in 1970 to begin a long and stellar career as a professor, mentor, activist and advocate for higher education. In 1980 Sonny along with Professor Will Tate and the officers of the Student Government Cooperative Association initiated a federal lawsuit against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania seeking redress and remedy from their egregious long standing racial discrimination against Cheyney State College, now Cheyney University.
            They were successful in their legal suit and the Commonwealth was forced to give Cheyney $15 million dollars, new facilities and new academic programs. Over the years the Commonwealth either dragged their feet or reneged on the court mandate thinking hey could get away with it because there was no judicial oversight or follow up included in the settlement.
            As the Commonwealth continued to underfund Cheyney and set it up for failure, Professor Sonny Harris was determined not to allow Cheyney to die on the vine. In March of 2013 Sonny contacted  activist attorney Michael Coard who he had worked with when Coard was a student at Cheyney and he and Jeffrey Hart were student plaintiffs in the 1980 lawsuit for help. Sonny called me because at the time I was the president of the Cheyney University National Alumni Association and he wanted the backing and support of the alumni association. Several other former students, current faculty and education activists joined what was to become known as Heeding Cheyney's Call and we have been working to save and enhance Cheyney University.
            While Michael Coard is our spokesperson and legal advisor, Sonny Harris was the driving force behind Heeding Cheyney'S Call. Sonny was the straw that stirred the drink. Sonny' energy level and intellect were boundless. His experience as the president of the campus faculty, the faculty union president for over thirty years and president of the retired faculty union were invaluable. His wisdom and insight in higher education, administration and his leadership provided us with the weapons we needed to confront the state and the federal government and hold them accountable for their willful neglect and  deliberate discrimination.
            Heeding Cheyney's Call issued an ultimatum to the Commonwealth taking advantage of the 2013 gubernatorial election to draw attention to Cheyney's plight. The Corbett administration responded in the press to our allegations but when we fired back, they offered to meet with us to discuss the issues we raised. Their motives proved to be disingenuous, after ten months of meetings with few if any results, Heeding Cheyney's Call filed a federal lawsuit on October 29, 2014 against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, PASSHE, the US Department of Education and its Secretary Arne Duncan.
             When we first started in March of 2013 we knew we would have to seek court intervention and the recalcitrance of the Corbett administration proved us right. Heeding Cheyney's Call just like higher education advocates in Mississippi, Alabama, and Maryland had to seek legal redress to overcome the ravages and vestiges of the US racial apartheid system and decades of premeditated racial discrimination.
             We enlisted the assistance of two of the prime movers behind  the Coalition for Educational Equity and Excellence the group that sued the state of Maryland on behalf of the four HBCUs there, Dr. Earl Richardson the former president of Morgan State University and Pace McConkie a civil rights attorney. They are our advisors.
             Sonny was constantly urging us on, pushing us to right the wrongs and improve conditions at Cheyney. Sonny had a sense of urgency and impatience that forced us to step up the pace.  He kept pressing on and was actively involved up to the end. When we went to Baltimore to meet with Dr Richardson and Pace McConkie a few weeks ago he was not feeling well but was determined to be there and make a contribution.
             On Sunday September 13th he and I texted back and forth beginning around 10:44 PM. I didn't call him because I thought he might be asleep. But he immediately got back to me. He answered the first question I asked. I followed it up with something else and he responded to that as well.
            When the phone rang the next morning I thought it was Sonny because his name came up on the my caller ID. It was his daughter Debra informing Sonny had made transition during the night. I was stunned and speechless; although looking back on it now I knew Sonny wasn't well he kept on keepin' on! His passing has been hard for me. He called me every morning and I miss that. His tenacity, relentlessness and intellect will be missed. We cannot replace Sonny Harris. Michael, myself and the Heeding Cheyney's Call Steering COmmittee are committed to carry on the fight. We will complete the task. Sonny Harris is now a venerated ancestor and as such his spirit and intercession will carry us through.
            Heeding Cheyney's Call is in this struggle to save Cheyney for the long haul. We are in it to win it. We will keep the legacy and vision of Professor E. Sonny Harris alive. For updates and  more information about Heeding Cheyney's Call visit our Website at, Instagram, Twitter and FaceBook.


Sunday, September 06, 2015

Failing the 9-11 Smell test

 From the Ramparts
                                                 Junious Ricardo Stanton
                                              Failing the 9-11 Smell Test

            "Military aircraft had more than enough time - nearly three quarters of an hour -- to respond to and intercept the 9-11 Pentagon plane after all key decision makers were 100% certain the Twin Tower hits had been terrorist attacks and that Flight 77 had also been hijacked, but didn't do so 'in time'. This is beyond comprehension over the nation's capital unless some previous piece of information or mental set led them to assume the Pentagon plane could not be a terrorist vehicle, or at least confuse them as to whether it was or not. If those looking on from inside the Pentagon as 9-11 unfolded believed flight 77 was, or might be, part of a "Red Team" counter- terror exercise set for that very morning, it would explain the otherwise incomprehensible delay, almost to the point of paralysis, in effectively scrambling interceptors."  The U.S. Government, Not the Hijackers, 'Chose' the Date of the 9-11 Attacks  by Barbara Honegger

            Here we are fourteen years after 9-11 and by now most thinking people realize the "official" narrative of nineteen "religious fanatics" supposedly led and directed by a guy suffering from renal failure living in a cave in Afghanistan who planned and executing 9-11 is totally absurd and impossible. Even the 9-11 Commission Report was a white wash and a sham and the co-chairs admit they were underfunded, denied access to personnel and information to do an adequate job. Thomas Keene the Vice Chair of the 9-11 Commission said at a press conference on September 11, 2006 , "Lee and I write in our book that in many ways the Commission was set up to fail because we had not enough money, we didn't have time and we were appointed by the most partisan people in Washington the leaders of the House and Senate." The objective of the Commission was to create a narrative that exonerated the government from any culpability for the massive failures and malfeasance surrounding 9-11.
            As I sat watching the events unfold the morning of 9-11, I said to myself "The FBI, CIA and military are in big trouble,". I knew it was their job to protect the country and they were totally missing in action. From that day forward I was suspicious of anything the Bu$h administration said. I went on record as being skeptical about their story about 9-11 and I  searched for reasons to prove my theories.
             I knew NORAD the agency tasked with defending the skies of America had failed dismally that day and wondered why? Using the Internet I discovered many additional anomalies had happened that day which reinforced my skepticism about the government and media's story. I discovered the US told it's European allies in early 2011 it was planning to invade Afghanistan to topple the Taliban later that year.  I discovered the CIA station chief allegedly visited Osama bin-Laden in an American hospital in Dubai in July of 2001 while he was being treated for kidney failure.  The CIA official did not apprehend bin-Laden even though he was wanted for allegedly bombing the USS Cole and bin-Laden was allowed to leave the hospital and go on his merry way. I learned the US intelligence agencies were given warnings from other governments about a pending attack but chose to do nothing! I learned Bu$h and his cabinet lied about not having foreknowledge of the attacks yet they vilified and marginalized anyone like Cynthia McKinney who suggested this was true.
             In 2002 I had Catherine Austin Fitts on my Internet radio program and she raised some intriguing issues and questions. She subsequently invited me to attend a conference in Washington D.C. called 9-11 Unanswered Questions  which was held in June of 2002 at the National Press Club. There was only one other person of color there and he was a former CIA officer who I met and have maintained contact with over the years.  I also met investigative reporters, former government workers and heard reports about how the supposed 9-11 "hijackers" were fast tracked for visas into the US  by the CIA. I heard people like Mike Ruppert  speak about the failures of the US military to follow long established protocols, the proposed oil trans Afghanistan pipelines, unusual and unexplainable (other than foreknowledge)  stock transactions on United and American airline stock, the failure of the FBI, CIA and NSA to prevent 9-11 and other critical pieces to the puzzle. I left with even more questions but with numerous resources and contact information from several investigative reporters like Tom Flocco I subsequently had on my Internet radio program over the years.
            In 2003 on a trip to the National Black Theater Festival in Winston-Salem North Carolina I met Brother Mamadou Chinyelu who was an author selling his book Harlem Aint Nothing But a Third World Country  in the vendors hall and I interviewed him on the spot. In 2005 I received a note from him telling me he had written and published a book entitled Motive Means and Opportunity Probable Cause for Indicting George W Bush His Sponsors and Aides for the Attack of September 11, 2001. I ordered the book read it and was able to get him as a guest on my radio program.  His book provides immense insight and information not only about 9-11 itself but the geopolitical intrigue and global significance surrounding it. In 2005 I had a delightful and informative conversation and interview with him. Unfortunately he made transition  on April 4, 2009. He was a fighter for African redemption and liberation. His intellect, keen insight and fearlessness is missed.
            Researchers and analysts like Chinyelu and the late Del Jones were kindred spirits. I could speak with, share notes and ideas with who helped me come to grips with the real deal about 9-11. They helped me put 9-11 in an historical and current geopolitical  context. A clear pattern emerged, it showed the US used 9-11 like Adolf Hitler used the burning of the Reichstag Building in 1933 to go on a rampage to promote a fascist agenda in Germany to do the same thing here. Like Hitler, Bu$h and Co. used 9-11 which at the very least they knew about in advance and allowed to happen to launch their campaign of perpetual war  and their phony "War on Terror". Most people myself included feel they were involved in the execution and cover up of 9-11. Notice how no one was fired, demoted or held accountable for the failures that day!?
             Unlike Hitler who was a dictator, the US model of fascism is different. It is two headed; both the Republicans and Democrats are in on it because they are funded and controlled by the 1%! The Bu$h and Obama administrations use Hitler as their role model to dismantle the "democratic process", to usher in a domestic police state and bully and bum rush the world under the guise of fighting terrorism and humanitarianism.
            Today we know more about 9-11 than we did in 2001. What we know should raise even more questions and demand answers.  I never did and do not now believe for one minute the government or media's narrative about what happened that day. Michael Ruppert's book Crossing The Rubicon his newsletter From The Wilderness and his experience as an LA police officer connected the dots on numerous issues. He was a passionate crusader for truth and his passion cost him a great deal. Going up against the CIA exposing their global drug running and money laundering operations, revealing the numerous real time exercises that took place on 9-11 simulating hijackings, terrorist attacks and his theory about Peak Oil made him persona non grata.
            Ruppert was hounded and demonized just like Gay Webb the courageous reporter who broke the story about CIA drug trafficking and crack cocaine. Remember how the Bu$h administration Fox News and the media in general vilified anyone who didn't toe the line about going after "terrorists" or not going along with the bogus Global War on Terror? Both Ruppert and Webb were targeted and Webb's career was ruined. Both supposedly committed suicide; Ruppert on April 13, 2014 and Webb on December 10, 2004. Webb was the subject of the film Kill The Messenger and many suspect he was "suicided"  by the powers that be.
            Nothing about 9-11 passes the smell test. Something always seemed fishy. The more I researched the more things looked like it was an inside job. Many may find this statement hard to fathom but we should not forget since its founding the United States has been lying, making justifications for its policies of imperial expansion, theft, pillage, plunder and domination.  All US presidents lied to foment war mostly to enrich a few. If you don't believe me go to to see for yourself.  Don't forget Operation Northwoods and the lies about the Vietnamese attacking a US gunboat in the Gulf of Tonkin or the final report on the USS Maine
             All these lies were used to go to war for territory, to gain access to resources, economic "markets" and to enrich the ruling oligarchs and their cronies.  The American Empire like all empires is currently in decline. Its economy is on the brink of collapse, the US dollar is being aggressively challenged by Russia and China as the global reserve currency in their checkmate to US unipolar hegemony. The US is economically bankrupt as are its Western partners (with the exception of Germany). In this situation the psychopaths and megalomaniacs who rule this system may, rather than see it unravel go to war to smash their rivals to try to keep the empire going.
            As the nation observes another year post 9-11 by beating the drums for more war, invasions and bombings; let us not go passively and deeper into the moral abyss. We cannot allow the warmongers and the military industrial complex to compel us to acquiesce to even more wars that threaten the very existence of  all life on this planet. It is time we stand up and assert the moral prerogative, say no to imperialism and war.
            As Martin Luther King Jr said, "Cowardice asks the question - is it safe? Expediency asks the question - is it politic? Vanity asks the question - is it popular? But conscience asks the question - is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it because it is right." We cannot count on the government to do the right thing so we must be the ones  who take the initiative for TRUTH, PEACE and JUSTICE.