Connect with us

Op-Ed

Beyond the Rhetoric: In Defense of ALEC

Published

on

Harry Alford

By Harry C. Alford
NNPA Columnist

 

We all know of the recent horror of a North Charleston, S.C. police officer deciding to murder an unarmed Black citizen by firing eight rounds at his back as he tried to flee and then tried to cover it up. There was a consensus across America that this was a senseless and terrible act. As we mourn the death of 50-year-old Walter Scott, a father of five children, there appears to be an attempt by the liberal left to take political advantage of this tragedy.

MSNBC television news invited the Congressman James Clyburn (D-S.C.) to comment about the matter. What he said was absolutely shocking. He claimed that this murder happened because organizations like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) caused this. That they set up the atmosphere for this to happen with vicious laws like the Stand Your Ground legislation.

This was totally incorrect and it became obvious that he had been prepped with talking points that were misleading and total propaganda. He took the bait even as he had trouble stating the name of the organization. What we had here was a technique coming out of the liberal left to deceive the general populace into believing that there is an evil empire, known as conservatives, that will murder Black men, hurt Black society in general. The main “whipping boy” has become ALEC.

When Republican Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed a bill promoting religious civil rights, the leftists claimed this was anti-gay and began massive protests (on streets, written and televised media). In the end, they claimed it to be the fault of ALEC.

Why is this technique happening all of a sudden? ALEC, a partner organization of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, has a mission that is solid and pro-Americana. It is effective as state legislatures around the nation are becoming more and more pro-business and conservative in their legislative product. ALEC’s success is putting fear into the liberal left and they have begun creating “boogey men”. It reminds me of the unsuccessful Environmental Racism movement during the Clinton Administrations that ended in a big dud. It was a lie and in the end the world realized it was a lie.

ALEC is genuine when it claims itself to be: “The nation’s largest nonpartisan, voluntary membership organization of state legislators in the United States. Members work in a unique, public-private partnership to advance limited government and free market policy. ALEC works on issues of efficiency, effectiveness, accountability and transparency in government to reduce the cost of everyday life and provide real solutions for economic security. ALEC works on economic issues alone, clearly verifiable at ALEC.org and in myriad public statements – and for years has not discussed or acted on any firearms, elections or social-related policy.” I truly believe that the spreading of false and misleading information via the mainstream press and nationally televised news shows is a big disservice to our nation.

The hate being leveled at ALEC and other conservative entities is more than immense. I recently read a five page story written by a British publication, UK Progressive, which was one big diatribe of hatred and false accusations of the organization. Can you believe that, a magazine from England stepping up and trying to degrade an American organization whose mission is clear and actually beyond reproach?

It gets worse. The liberals have even put up a website which dedicates its entire being to spouting unjustified filth and lies about this mainstream organization. It is hard for me to imagine such a campaign of lies with the intent of forming unjustified hatred on a group of people with a mission that is American as “Apple Pie.”

ALEC is a friend of mine and I will debate and go face-to-face with anyone trying to spew such hatred. I and the National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) are prepared to check them for what they are trying to do in such a wicked fashion. I tried to ignore them but when they slip a “game” on Congressman Clyburn, I must draw the line.

The NBCC is going to start working more closely with state legislatures. I am writing this article two blocks away from the Illinois State Capitol Building where we are advocating for better government in Illinois. Our Illinois chapters have been very successful in developing a great relationship with the state representatives and senators here. We will emulate this and our partnership with ALEC will remain firm. Great legislation as well as the development of future elected officials with a solid pro-business agenda will be the products of our efforts.

We, as well as ALEC, will continue to grow and whoa to the evil minds who try to play evil tricks on the American people.
Harry C. Alford is the co-founder, President/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce®. Website: www.nationalbcc.org. Email: halford@nationalbcc.org.

###

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Op-Ed

Compassion in Oakland on Display in “This Is Life With Lisa Ling” Episode on Vincent Chin

The show focused on the Vincent Chin case, the famous Asian American hate crime that took place in Detroit in 1982.

Published

on

photo courtesy of broadway world

African Americans and Asian Americans working together in the past and the present? There were some good examples on last Sunday’s premier episode of CNN’s “This is Life with Lisa Ling.”

The show focused on the Vincent Chin case, the famous Asian American hate crime that took place in Detroit in 1982.

I’ve covered or written about the case most of my journalistic career. This CNN episode is a ‘must see,’ especially for younger people, or people who may still be wondering what the big deal is about Vincent Chin.

I’ve always admired Ling’s work. But what makes the episode stand out is her choice to tell Chin’s story through the life of author Helen Zia.

Helen and I are friends. And I will never forget all the kind words she’s said about me at times in my life when things were on the line. But I didn’t realize she worked in the auto industry before she made her mark as a journalist and author.

I’ve talked to Helen over the years about Chin, and you can hear our conversation on my 2017 podcast.

https://www.aaldef.org/blog/emil-guillermo-lessons-from-vincent-chin-murder-35-years-ago-podcast-helen-zia/

On last Sunday’s CNN show, I never saw Helen tell the Chin case so clearly and eloquently. Maybe that’s because in most stories about Chin, the devastating impact of Japan on the Detroit auto industry in the late ’70s and early ‘\’80s is usually covered in a paragraph. This Ling episode gives you a sense of that trade war through news clips of the times, and lets you see how easily it could have fueled the animus that erupted in the Chin case.

The violence was irrational as well, since Chin was Chinese, not Japanese. But that didn’t matter to auto worker Ronald Ebens, who murdered Chin.

The episode has Ebens in an old film clip saying he fully expected jail time for beating Chin to death. The fact that he didn’t serve time at all further shows the travesty in the case.

The episode also covers what Zia shared with me in 2017—that the ACLU and the National Lawyers Guild originally balked at supporting the efforts of Asian Americans to seek justice at the federal level.

“They said, ‘you know, this has nothing to do with race because Vincent Chin is not Black,’” Zia said in the episode. “So civil rights laws only protect Black people, and we said ‘No, Vincent Chin’s civil rights should be protected as well.’”

It’s an eye-opening realization that in 1982, less than 20 years after the Civil Rights Act, the nation was still in a Black/white paradigm that excluded Asian Americans.

But Zia’s advocacy group, American Citizens for Justice, got support from the Black community, notably the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

“We must redefine America,” Jackson said in a video clip. “So, everyone fits in the rainbow somewhere.”

It was the signal for a coalition to make its pitch to the Justice Department to take action in the Chin case.

“Every religion and walk of life came together,” said Zia. “Black, white, Latinx, LGBT, Jewish, Muslim saying ‘we are with you, we stand for you.’”

It’s the spirit of coalition we still need to this day. Sure enough, there’s a segment featuring a group, Compassion in Oakland, that reaches out to help escort Asian seniors in Oakland’s Chinatown.

“I grew up in this area,” says Kenyatta, 22, a volunteer, in the episode. “Seeing all the attacks on the news was breaking my heart.”

It’s a nice cap to the entire episode, which links Chin’s death, to Asian hate, to a community’s response. It shows how good things can happen when BIPOC communities work in the spirit of coalition and cooperation.

We can ease each other’s pain, if we care for one another first.

The Oakland Post’s coverage of local news in Alameda County is supported by the Ethnic Media Sustainability Initiative, a program created by California Black Media and Ethnic Media Services to support community newspapers across California.

Continue Reading

Black History

Ambassador Ruth A. Davis Pioneered Diversity in Foreign Service

UC Berkeley Grad Continues to Bring International Economic Empowerment for Women

Published

on

Ambassador Ruth A. Davis (left) is meeting with Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

Ambassador Ruth A. Davis was recently named as a distinguished alumna by the School of Social Welfare at the University of California, Berkeley. 

She also has been honored by the U.S. State Department when a conference room at the Foreign Service Institute in Virginia was named in honor of her service as director of the Institute. She was the first African American to serve in that position.

Davis, a graduate of Spelman College received a master’s degree from UC Berkeley in 1968.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee, also a graduate of the School of Social Welfare, now chairs the House Appropriations Committee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs. She praised Ambassador Davis as “a trailblazing leader and one of the great American diplomats of our time. Over her 40-year career, she had so many ‘firsts’ on her resume: the first Black director of the Foreign Service Institute, the first Black woman Director General of the Foreign Service, and the first Black woman to be named a Career Ambassador, to name just a few.

“She served all over the world, from Kinshasa to Tokyo to Barcelona, where she was consul general, and to Benin, where she served as ambassador,” Lee continued. “ I am so proud of her many accomplishments. She has represented the best of America around the world, and our world is a better place because of her service.”

During Davis’ 40-year career in the Foreign Service, she also served as chief of staff in the Africa Bureau, and as distinguished advisor for international affairs at Howard University. She retired in 2009 as a Career Ambassador, the highest-level rank in Foreign Service.

Since her retirement, Ambassador Davis has served as the chair (and a founding member) of the International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge (IWEC), an organization devoted to promoting women’s economic empowerment by creating an international network of businesswomen.

She also chairs the selection committee for the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship at Howard University’s Ralph Bunche International Affairs Center, where she helps to oversee the annual selection process. Finally, as vice president of the Association of Black American Ambassadors, she participates in activities involving the recruitment, preparation, hiring, retention, mentoring and promotion of minority Foreign Service employees.

Gay Plair Cobb, former Regional Administrator of the Women’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor in the Atlanta, and San Francisco offices, was Ambassador Davis’ roommate at UC Berkeley. Cobb said, “Ruth always exhibited outstanding leadership and a determined commitment to fairness, equal opportunity and activism, which we engaged in on a regular basis.”

Davis has received the Department of State’s Superior Honor Award, Arnold L. Raphel Memorial Award and Equal Employment Opportunity Award; the Secretary of State’s Achievement Award (including from Gen. Colin Powell); the Director General’s Foreign Service Cup; two Presidential Distinguished Service Awards; and Honorary Doctor of Laws from Middlebury and Spelman Colleges.

A native of Atlanta, Davis was recently named to the Economist’s 2015 Global Diversity List as one of the Top 50 Diversity Figures in Public Life and is the recipient of the American Foreign Service Association’s Lifetime Contributions to American Diplomacy Award.

 

The Oakland Post’s coverage of local news in Alameda County is supported by the Ethnic Media Sustainability Initiative, a program created by California Black Media and Ethnic Media Services to support community newspapers across California.

Continue Reading

Business

City Must Pay Contractors, Businesses, Non-Profits Promptly

By restoring the Prompt Payment Ordinance, local organizations working for Oaklanders will be compensated in a timely manner and can do more work for Oakland as a result.

Published

on

Sheng Thao

I have introduced legislation to restore the City of Oakland’s Prompt Payment Ordinance and it will be heard at 1:30 p.m. by the City Council on October 19 because local contractors and local businesses need to be compensated in a timely manner for work they do on behalf of the City.

It’s unacceptable that the city is using the COVID-19 pandemic to delay payment to these local non-profit organizations.  By restoring the Prompt Payment Ordinance, local organizations working for Oaklanders will be compensated in a timely manner and can do more work for Oakland as a result.

In March 2020, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, then-Interim City Administrator, Steven Falk issued an Emergency Order suspending parts of the City’s codes to give the City the flexibility to navigate the uncertain times.  Few would have guessed then that the world would still be navigating the COVID-19 Pandemic nearly 18 months later. One of the ordinances suspended by the Emergency Order was the Prompt Payment Ordinance.

Oakland’s Prompt Payment Ordinance requires the City to compensate local businesses and contractors executing City grants or contracts within 20 days of receiving an invoice.  This allows local organizations providing services on behalf of the City of Oakland to be compensated in a timely manner and builds trust between these organizations and the city.  Local contractors and businesses provide a diverse set of services to the City, covering areas ranging from trash removal and paving to public safety.

Almost 18 months since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Oakland’s Prompt Payment Ordinance is still suspended.  Even as City staff have adjusted to working remotely and the City has adjusted to operating during the pandemic, there is no requirement that the City compensate its contractors or local businesses in a timely manner.

Oaklanders can comment at the meeting by joining the Zoom meeting via this link https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88527652491 or calling 1-669-900-6833 and using the Meeting ID 885 2765 2491 and raising their hand during the public comment period at the beginning of the Council meeting.

 

The Oakland Post’s coverage of local news in Alameda County is supported by the Ethnic Media Sustainability Initiative, a program created by California Black Media and Ethnic Media Services to support community newspapers across California.

Continue Reading

CHECK OUT THE LATEST ISSUE OF THE OAKLAND POST

ADVERTISEMENT

WORK FROM HOME

Home-based business with potential monthly income of $10K+ per month. A proven training system and website provided to maximize business effectiveness. Perfect job to earn side and primary income. Contact Lynne for more details: Lynne4npusa@gmail.com 800-334-0540

Facebook

Trending