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2010 Census: Time to Act Now

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African Americans in California will go undercounted based on the paid advertising program listed on a national 2010 Census Count web-site. The census has bought every language television station, radio station, newspaper, magazine, digital outlet, and billboard owned, operated or directed to the Asian and Hispanic population, while listing only KJLH, owned by Stevie Wonder, to reach the Black community.

Now they do list other white owned media to reach our people including billboards.

They list ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, BET (all corporate owned) as influencers’ of our community. They list the Los Angeles Times but not the Los Angeles Sentinel, LA Watts Times or the other 30 Black owned newspapers in California.

Now while we, watch, listen, read and look at billboards when it comes to action we read our Black newspapers for direction. Just to give some examples, when Arnold Schwarzenegger ran for re-election he garnered 31.9% of the Black vote by using the Black owned newspapers of California. When our people get abused by police: Tyisha Miller in Riverside, Barbershop owners in Moreno Valley, LA, Oakland or discriminated against by corporations they seek the Black press to tell their story. When churches want people to know where they are located they advertise in the Black press. When they want the community to know what they are doing they contact the Black press. When the NAACP conducts a membership drive they put it in the Black press. When community based organizations want the community to know what programs they offer, they seek out the Black press. When corporations promote African Americans to prominent positions they want us to put it in our papers. Everyday I get press releases from the White House, United States Senators, members of congress, governors, all government department heads, state, county and city elected officials. I even get them from a host of corporations that want it known in the Black community that they are our friend. Yes I even get press releases from the Census agency and all of them have one thing in common, they want it for free.

Why is this important? It is about money, elected representation, business, education, jobs, health care and other services. Our state gets money back from the federal government based on our population. We send so much to Washington with the expectation of getting a fair share back. Black people are expecting the same. Each political party wants political districts drawn up in a way that will give them political advantages. Blacks want the same. Currently we are at a disadvantage and with the newly formed Citizen Redistricting Commission we are looking a nightmare in the face. It is being reported now that 75% of the applications being received to serve and draw up our political lines are white. Now whites do not make up 75% of our population. The reason for so few Blacks or Hispanics applying is the confusing and narrowly drawn qualifications in addition to not reaching out to us.

So with the national census not significantly using the Black press we lose out on business, we lose out on money returning back to help us and we will lose out in Black political elected representation.

The time for us to act is now while other groups are angry over the possibility of an undercount and underrepresentation.

Hats off to Sandra Bullock for Donating $1 Million to Haiti Recovery

Two weeks ago I wrote about the NAACP Image Awards nominating Sandra Bullock for an outstanding actress award for her protrayal of Leigh Anne Tuohy, a White female helping a Black man that is now in the professional football league in “The Blind Side”. Unlike Tuohy, Bullock’s social contributions were unclear but since then I have learned that Sandra Bullock has donated one million dollars of her own money to help the people of Haiti. I am sure that Sandra did not give the money to receive any accolades from anyone but this kind of contribution cannot go un-noticed by me even when you think of the parable where the widow gave her last penny, known as the widows mite because that was all she had. Surely this is not all Sandra has but it is a very healthy sum that makes a loud splash in the lake of generosity. When you compare this kind of money to a country where the average citizen earns two dollars a day in the best of times think of what that means now to a people with nothing. Since two weeks ago Sandra has racked up the Golden Globe Best Actress award from the Foreign Press Association therefore making her the top contender on the Image Award nomination list.

Ms. Bullock thanks for putting your pocket book where others only give lip service.

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