05 24 2016
  6:28 pm  
     •     
read latest

breaking news

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
  • On Tuesday, a judge ordered the 78-year-old Cosby to stand trial on sexual assault charges 
    Read More
  • The judge concluded Officer Edward Nero played little role in the arrest and wasn't responsible for the failure by police to buckle Gray in  
    Read More
  • Bill Cosby faces a preliminary hearing Tuesday to determine if his criminal sex-assault case in suburban Philadelphia goes to trial.Prosecutors had declined to charge the comedian-actor over the 2005 complaint, but arrested him in December after his explosive deposition in the woman's lawsuit became public. In the testimony given in that deposition, Cosby is grilled about giving drugs and alcohol to women before sex; making secret payments to ex-lovers; and hosting Andrea Constand at his home. They knew each other through Temple University, where he was a trustee and she managed the women's basketball team. Bill Cosby's wife refused to answer dozens of questions during a combative deposition in a defamation lawsuit filed by seven women who say the comedian branded them liars after they accused him of sexually assaulting them, according to a transcript released Friday. Camille Cosby was subjected to intense questioning by the women's lawyer, who repeatedly pressed her to say whether she believes her husband "acted with a lack of integrity" during their 52-year marriage. The lawyer also asked if her husband used his position and power "to manipulate young women." Camille Cosby didn't answer those questions and many others after her lawyer cited marital privilege, the legal protection given to communications between spouses. She repeatedly said she had "no opinion" when pressed on whether she viewed her husband's behavior as dishonest and a violation of their marriage vows. About 50 women have publicly accused Bill Cosby of forcing unwanted sexual contact on them decades ago. Cosby has denied the allegations. He faces a criminal case in Pennsylvania, where prosecutors have charged him with sexually violating a former Temple University employee, Andrea Constand. He has pleaded not guilty. Camille Cosby answered questions in the deposition Feb. 22 and again April 19 after her lawyers argued unsuccessfully to stop it. A judge ruled she would have to give a deposition but said she could refuse to answer questions about private communications between her and her husband. Camille Cosby's lawyer, Monique Pressley, repeatedly cited that privilege and advised her not to answer many questions asked by the women's lawyer, Joseph Cammarata. The exchanges between Cammarata and Cosby became testy at times, and she admonished him: "Don't lecture me. Just keep going with the questions." Using a transcript of a deposition Bill Cosby gave in a civil lawsuit filed by Constand in 2005 and a transcript of an interview she gave to Oprah Winfrey in 2000, Cammarata asked Camille Cosby about extramarital affairs her husband had. "Were you aware of your husband setting up trusts for the benefit of women that he had a sexual relationship with?" Cammarata asked. She didn't answer after her lawyer cited marital privilege. Cammarata asked her about Shawn Thompson, a woman who said Bill Cosby fathered her daughter, Autumn Jackson, in the 1970s. Jackson was convicted in 1997 of attempting to extort money from Bill Cosby to prevent her from telling a tabloid she's his daughter. He acknowledged he had an affair with her mother and had given her money. "Was it a big deal when this came up in the 1970s that your husband had — big deal to you that your husband had an extramarital affair and potentially had a daughter from that extramarital affair?" Cammarata asked. "It was a big deal then, yes," Camille Cosby replied. She said she had "no opinion" on whether her husband's admission he obtained quaaludes to give to women with whom he wanted to have sex violated their marriage vows. Her lawyer objected and instructed her not to answer when Cammarata asked her if she ever suspected she had been given any type of drug to alter her state of consciousness when she had sex with her husband. A spokesman for the Cosbys declined to comment on her deposition. The Cosbys have a home in Shelburne Falls, an hour's drive from Springfield, where the lawsuit, seeking unspecified damages, was filed. An attorney handling a separate lawsuit against Bill Cosby revealed Friday that Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner provided sworn testimony Wednesday. In the sexual battery lawsuit filed in Los Angeles, Judy Huth says Cosby forced her to perform a sex act on him at the Playboy Mansion around 1974, when she was 15. Bill Cosby's former lawyers have accused Huth of attempting to extort him before filing the case and have tried unsuccessfully to have it dismissed. Huth's attorney, Gloria Allred, said Hefner's testimony will remain under seal for now. Hefner also was named as a defendant in a case filed Monday by former model Chloe Goins, who accuses Bill Cosby of drugging and sexually abusing her at the Playboy Mansion in 2008.   The Associated Press generally doesn't identify people who say they're victims of sexual abuse, but the women accusing Cosby have come forward to tell their stories.___AP Entertainment Writer Anthony McCartney contributed to this report from Los Angeles.
    Read More
load morehold SHIFT key to load allload all

The Bible is filled with characters who started out on shaky ground – Paul, David and Solomon, among them – before being transformed into epic figures.  But it seems that Black leaders who dare to criticize President Obama don't get second chances.  Instead, they are the object of widespread ridicule and condemnation.

I spent some time last week with two such leaders – Cornel West and Jesse Jackson – at the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) national convention in Chicago.  Although their standing among African-Americans has slipped, their analysis of where Blacks have been and need to go is as incisive as ever.

Neither Jackson nor West should be viewed in isolation. The Black community does not want to hear anything bad about Barack Obama, even if it's true.  If a White president had been as dismissive of African-Americans' interests as Obama has been, Blacks would have been ready to march on the White House.  As Michael Eric Dyson says, "This president runs from race like a Black man runs from a cop."

Even so, Blacks treat him like royalty.

My friend Roland Martin is quick to insist that guests on his television program refer to the man who occupies the White House as President Obama.  I refuse to play this game. Obama – yes, I said it – is a president, not head of some monarchy.  I have called Carter, Reagan, Clinton and Bush by their last names.  I am not going to say President Obama every time I refer to him.  Sometimes he is President Obama, sometimes he is Obama.  I refuse to treat him like King Obama.

The problem with West and Jackson is their critiques, however valid, were wrapped in language that was offensive to many African-Americans. To call Obama the Black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs – a term most people hadn't heard since their last high school civics class – is over the edge in this instance.  Don't get me wrong: there are some Black Anglo-Saxons who deserve to be called mascots and worse – and I've called them that.  But Obama is not in that category.

When I gave Cornel West a chance to soften his description of the president during a discussion I moderated at the NNPA convention between him and Al Sharpton, he declined.  He could have said, "I stand by everything I said about the president but not how I said it."  That would have gone a long way toward refocusing the discussion on real issues, not the Al Sharpton-Cornel West sideshow.  

In Jesse Jackson's case, he has been largely excommunicated from the race for a comment that reeked of envy.  After an interview on Fox News in 2008, he told a fellow guest that he wanted to cut Obama's private parts off.  He also used the N-word in a conversation that he did not know was being picked up by the microphones.

Jackson later apologized, saying his comments were "hurtful and wrong."  By then, however, the damage had been done.  At the time, Obama was making a credible bid to become president of the United States.  And Blacks did not want to hear anything disparaging about the man who went on to win the nation's highest elected office.  Many, if not most, Blacks haven't forgiven Jackson for his crude remarks.

Notwithstanding Jackson's expressed desire to dismember Obama or West's deeply personal attack on the president, each made valid critiques of President Obama.  Jackson was correct to point out that sometimes Obama speaks down to African-Americans.  That is particularly true when he lectures Blacks on moral responsibility but does not make similar speeches to White audiences.  Cornel West is correct in stating that the administration does not pay enough attention to the needs of the poor and African-Americans.

Despite overwhelming evidence of disproportionate Black suffering during this recession, Obama refuses to target the specific needs of African-Americans.  His response is: "It's a mistake to start thinking in terms of particular ethnic segments of the United States rather than to think that we are all in this together and we are all going to get out of this together."

Yet, it was not a mistake to address the specific needs of Wall Street.  He can speak to the specific agenda of gays and Lesbians without it being considered a mistake.  It was not a mistake in Obama's mind to speak to the specific needs of the automobile industry.  It was not a mistake to speak to the special interests of banks.  But when it comes to the needs of African-Americans, we are supposed to wait for progress to trickle down to and upon us.

Yes, he is president of all of America.  But all of America includes Black America.

The sad reality is that most civil rights leaders have given Obama a pass.  If the unemployment rates and economic gap had widened under a White president, Al Sharpton would have been in the streets chanting, "No Justice, No Peace."  Instead, the ultimate outsider has become the ultimate insider, defending the administration with the vigor of a cabinet member.

As a group, today's collection of civil rights leaders are ineffectual and out of touch.  For example, with all of the problems facing us, the NAACP chose to spend part of its limited national, state and local resources to make sure Black motorcycle riders were not discriminated against on the Memorial Day weekend in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

We have far more serious issues facing Black America.  And we need the voices and analysis of all of our national leaders, even after they have put their foot in their mouth. 

George E. Curry, former editor-in-chief of Emerge magazine and the NNPA News Service, is a keynote speaker, moderator, and media coach. He can be reached through his Web site, www.georgecurry.com You can also follow him atwww.twitter.com/currygeorge.

Carpentry Professionals
Calendar

PHOTO GALLERY

Artists Rep Grand Concourse