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Calabash at CAAM

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By John Coleman

From the Inland Empire, it's an easy drive on Sundays to the California African American Museum in Los Angeles, and especially worthwhile for the free programs provided by the museum on the first Sunday of every month. The program this past weekend, Sept 2, 2012 entitled "Bash, Bash, Calabash," celebrated the African American connection with the Caribbean, Central and South American music, dance, and cultural expression. On stage and in the audience were people from Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, and the US.

Dear Mr. James O'Keefe, "Town Spotlight"

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Why don't you people who would deny certain citizens the right to vote through devious means just take a hike?

I'm African American and I'm 78 years old. My generation was beaten with clubs, bitten by dogs, sprayed with high powered water hoses, friends and relatives killed and mocked by courts and juries not of their peers, in denying African Americans the right to vote. We endured those bitter oppositions and won our right to vote. We're not going to let you take that away from us in the name of ousting a non-traditional president. Non-traditional simply means he is not Euro-White. The Black press is educating its readership to counteract this tactic through voter education. Voter education means learning how to get around your devious practice and also to educate them as to who's trying to deny them the right to vote. As our awareness grows so will our voting power.

What I will do is ask Attorney General Eric Holder to require poll workers to wear identity badges so they can be sued immediately after denying a registered voter the right to vote.

As to the example cited, "30,000 dead people still registered to vote". If the 30,000 dead voters are still elgible to vote then it's the negligence of the Board of Elections, not the "would be" voter frauders. Death records are available to the board of elections and they can be reviewed and compared to the voter rolls at any time. They can purge the "dead" at will.

In Florida they are purging criminals from the voter rolls. Name and zipcode play a major role in the decision to purge. Walter Smith lives in Liberty City but has no criminal record. Another Walter Smith comes up who does have a criminal record. All Walter Smiths in known African American neighborhoods could be purged from the voter rolls. No Walter Smith from Star Island would be purged without a through investigation.

Your objective is clear and no one needs to be a rocket scientist to understand the process.

This voter purge and ID process is designed to close the voter gap that separated Barack Obama and John McCain in 2008. 53% Democrat to 47% Republican. Take away the vote from the African American and the elderly and you close the gap.

Will this close the wide gap in the electoral vote?

Certainly, you're not suggesting that Obama's margin of victory in NC in 2008 came from the illegal 30,000 "dead" voters.

This country is no longer just black and white. Those labels are no longer relevant. We are all americans struggling to eleminate poverty, war, crime, unemployment, and especially racism.

Racism alone will not get Barack Obama out of office. Your objective is obvious by your lamenting the 14,000 vote plurality he won North Carolina by in 2008. Let me assure you, it wasn't "Dead men voting". In order to get Obama out of office you simply have to promote someone to replace him that can do a better job. Right now you do not have that and therefore you will have to look to 2016. By that time we will have raised up another non-traditional candidate who will capture the imagination of the voting public and your voter suppression laws and tactics will have long vanished or struck down by a non-traditional system of justice.

It simply wasn't meant for one ruling class to rule forever. Its time for a change and Barack Obama, president of these United States of America began that change in 2008, and it will continue well past our lifetimes. Get over it and get with it!

I'm forwarding this email to my fellow media partners around the world hoping to put a "Spotlight" on this racially motivated travesty.

Sincerely, Walter Smith

September 5, 2012

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Dear:

The Black Voice News would like to invite you to join us in our exclusive coverage of the 2012 General Election. In the spirit of the Black Press of America, our mission and value-driven philosophy strives to give a voice to the voiceless. We have been consistent in our fight for social justice and equality within the communities of the Inland Empire.

To this end, the Black Voice News will be publishing a special edition on October 4, 2012 covering the importance of voting and highlighting candidates running in the November 8, 2012 general election. Since our special coverage date is on the 4th in order to accommodate the mail-in ballot voters, we have discounted the rates to allow you to continue to advertise, keeping your name and your campaign goals in the minds of our readers that will be visiting the polls.

Co-publishers, Cheryl and Hardy Brown extend this opportunity for you to let their readers know why they should vote for you, as well as provide a platform to highlight your goals in furthering the advancement of their communities. Please join us by publishing your campaign ad in this special issue through our special political ad rates. As you know, one vote can make a difference.

We anticipate your continued support and look forward to your participation in this election special edition of the Black Voice News. Please see attached flyer for discounted rates and deadlines. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me a 951.515.2613.

Anna Wenger, M.P.A. Public Administrator & Community Outreach Consultant

Proposition 37: Do-Gooder Proposition or Job Killing Nightmare?

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By Cleo Jenkins, Guest Columnist

Surveying the state ballot measures up for consideration in November, one might be struck by Proposition 37. It is a measure that would eliminate or make prohibitively expensive foods like collard greens that have various cleaning processes between being planted in the ground and making it to the table.

Because collards, like all foods, have pesticides that prevent bugs from killing the crop and are often cleaned before going to market they are “genetically modified.” This is a broad term that means any food that is touched by any substance, chemical or refined by any manufacturing process is altered from its natural state. Preservatives also genetically modify foods. Proposition 37 would make it a crime to have such foods without a label indicating so.

So what’s in a label? A tiny sticker added to each food item that is cleaned, manufactured or preserved adds cost to every item of food that makes it to the farmer’s market and the grocery. Each added cost is passed on to the consumer. Each consumer has to make a decision if the group of groceries (produce, bread, beverages) is affordable enough to still be purchased. Working families and small grocers appear to be facing an overpriced future should Proposition 37 pass. The measure is drafted by a group of trial attorneys who have a reputation for using consumer protection rules to advance their own bottom line: large monetary judgments. The facts of this measure have led groups across the spectrum, including the State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Bay Area News Group, and the Oakland Tribune to announce opposition to the proposal.

Aubry Stone, President and Chief Executive Officer of the California Black Chamber of Commerce is concerned that Proposition 37 is an attack on businesses in a fragile economy and will hurt consumers, particularly low income ones. Various stakeholders have asked “will this ban specially prepared ethnic foods?” Will Soul Food establishments that market “natural” and “organic” products be forced to label their items or otherwise face litigation?

NAACP President Alice Huffman openly questions the need for such law, motives behind the initiative, and whether ethnic businesses (particularly small grocers and independent restaurants) will be injured by such arbitrary and non-scientific regulations. Equally of concern to Ms. Huffman are the cost impacts on poor and working families as the cost of foods rise for this new set of laws. Environmental groups argue that the labeling of foods that have been modified genetically is essential. The standard for the definition of genetic modification includes any chemical process employed in any part of the food production process, including cleaning, coloring, and altering sizes of foods grown from the ground. Even more impacted will be grain and seed producers. The cost of planting a private garden or industrial crops would appear to rise because of the added cost of requiring labels with specific notifications that all people who buy produce every week know personally.

This proposition appears to be a cost busting measure that will hurt farmers, working families, businesses and thus jobs. Respected health organizations have often noted that labeling foods that have had genetic modification have no basis in science because the definition of genetically modified is vague at best. Ethnic communities are likely to begin paying greater attention to this measure and researching the positions of venerable organizations like the NAACP.

All Labor Has Dignity

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By Cheryl R. Brown

As we reflect on the meaning and purpose of Labor Day it’s fitting to think on the modern day labor movement. After decades of success in securing the growth of the middle class in the private sector, public sector labor unions are now equally if not more dominant in policy arguments and political affairs. Private sector growth will help the Inland Empire sustain manageable public sector services. We know that a good economy is one with a robust middle class and a well-trained workforce. The American Labor Movement has been instrumental in building both.

In challenging times, Inland residents do well to look toward dedicating ourselves to a future where business and labor collaborate for solutions that benefit all communities. Despite what over-heated rhetoric might suggest, most people want to live in quality environments, have enough to make ends meet, and leave the next generation in a better position than where we started. Longtime small business owners like my husband Hardy and I have seen the evolution of this region’s economy from a hub of citrus and grape farming to a manufacturing base with Kaiser Steel (where Hardy worked for a number of years) to a bedroom community and now the emergent health and service industries.

When we bought a small newspaper in 1980, we organized a union shop through the Hod Carriers; the same was true of printing and book publishing businesses we owned for a time. As a planner at the San Bernardino County Planning Department I served as an employee representative to the San Bernardino County Employees Association. The right to organize is fundamental to democracy as is the right to bargain for wages and benefits.

It is my hope that the Inland region of California is reaching the end of its economic troubles and beginning a resurgence led by the health, construction, service, manufacturing, and transportation industries.

Such a rebound is possible with a focused conversation on private sector economic growth and ways we can partner to encourage positive efforts. We are in a prime position to bring businesses back from other places because we have leading institutions of higher education, solid weather, improved transportation routes that can be bettered with continued investment, and a will to win the jobs race in California. Unlike other regions, we Inland people are prepared to lead on the question of jobs right now.

I am a daughter and niece of domestic workers. I myself cleaned desert motels in Palm Springs in the 1960s and can tell you that all labor has dignity because human beings endeavor to perform a service with which they can be proud and useful to employers and customers. Domestic work is challenging and wages for hard labor have never been high.

I learned a great deal from my mother and aunts who worked in other people’s homes so that their children might be homeowners themselves one day. I was personally inspired to pursue my education so I could further myself and my family by having the opportunity to run a business from production, to cleaning my building, making payroll, and hiring employees.

With a sustainable economic turnaround, the status of all workers and their families will be improved. On this Labor Day, may we celebrate the gains of the past, the security of the present, and the opportunities for a future of jobs, growth, strong businesses, and a healthy economy.

Cheryl Brown is a San Bernardino small business owner and civic leader. She is also a candidate for the 47th Assembly District (Fontana, San Bernardino, Rialto, Colton, Grand Terrace, Bloomington & Muscoy) 1580 N. WATERMAN AVENUE Page PAGE 1 of NUMPAGES 2 SAN BERNARDINO, CA 92404

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