Blog: Here's what Tom says about that!

“About time we get a first lady… that looks like a first lady”

Posted August 30th, 2012 by Tom

Racism in politics is nothing new. But over the past half century it has been pushed more and more into the closet, so to speak. Now, with a black man in the white house, racism is on full display. Sure, a lot of racist statements are still couched in coded language that allows the speaker to deny being in any way racist. But more and more often we see blatant racism peeking out from behind that closet door.

Yesterday, Mitt Romney flew to Indianapolis to speak at an American Legion convention. NPR interviewed Bobbie Lucier from Manassas, Virginia regarding the upcoming election. Approximately one minute into this recording, you can hear her say,

I don’t like him. Can’t stand to look at him. I don’t like his wife. She’s far from the first lady. It’s about time we get a first lady in there that acts like a first lady and looks like a first lady.

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Modern Day Slavery in New Jersey (wait… WHAT?!)

Posted December 6th, 2010 by Tom

When I [saw] teenagers going around, going to the movies and just being a teen … I just couldn’t understand why my life has to be this way …  –”Nicole,” human trafficking victim

Whenever I discuss modern-day slavery with audiences–no matter where in the world I do so–the vast majority of people are stunned to learn that there are more people enslaved today than at any other time in history.

In my most recent post I highlighted the work of journalist Nicholas Kristof, including the book he co-wrote with his wife Sheryl Wudunn: Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. The stories in Half the Sky demonstrate clearly that the abuse and enslavement of women and girls is the most outrageous expression of terrorism of our time.

Now comes the story of two young girls from West Africa–one from a small village in Ghana, the other from Togo–who, rather than receive the education their parents were promised, were forced to work in a hair braiding shop in Newark, New Jersey. Against their will they worked, on their feet for 12 hours a day. At night they slept on the floor with groups of other enslaved girls. Their enslavement was enforced through beatings, the withholding of food, sexual abuse, and isolation.

A woman who heads a clinic to help young women after they are freed from such conditions said,

Sadly, the work of our clinic is necessary in every community in America. Human trafficking, also known as modern-day slavery, exists in big cities, in small towns, in rural areas with no towns, exists in restaurants, in hair salons, in hotels and in farm work.

Learn about another aspect of this tragedy on December 6 and 7 when NPR’s All Things Considered airs a two-part series. “Trafficked” is produced by Youth Radio and discloses the system of enslavement of young girls in Oakland, California. The FBI says that more than 100,000 children and youth are forced into prostitution each year.

At our website we maintain a list of organizations dedicated to eradicating modern day slavery. Please check it out. Become informed. Take action. You can make a difference.

Black America Study

Posted August 8th, 2008 by Tom

Who are African Americans? Do they want to be called “black” or “African American?” Are they tech-savvy? Do they want friends of other races? Are they as religious as they are often portrayed? These questions and many more have been asked and answered as part of the most comprehensive study of Black America ever done.

Radio One, the largest radio broadcasting company that primarily targets African American and urban listeners, commissioned this sweeping study. The NPR radio show “Tell Me More” recently interviewed Radio One’s Chairperson and Founder, Catherine L. Hughes about Black America Study.

Copyright 2012 by Thomas Norman DeWolf | Website: James DeW. Perry