Cornel West’s ‘Prophetic Fightback’

first_imgIn August, Cornel West stood arm-in-arm with clergy members in Charlottesville, Va., singing “This Little Light of Mine” while white supremacist groups spat at them and shouted racial epithets.Just weeks later, the Harvard Divinity School Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy recalled the courage he witnessed there, and how courage alone is not enough in the fight against hate.“I saw great courage in the eyes of my neo-Nazi brothers and sisters in Charlottesville when they stood in front of us and spat, and called names and racial epithets. I saw a lot of courage blazing in their eyes; unbelievable determination; a willingness to live and die,” West said. “But we need more than just courage. We need spiritual and moral dimensions that are tied to that courage. We need fortitude. We need greatness of character. We need magnanimity.”On Aug. 29, West delivered Harvard Divinity School’s Convocation address to the newest students to enter HDS, as well as hundreds of other people from the School, University community, and public who gathered on campus to hear him speak.Titled “Spiritual Blackout, Imperial Meltdown, Prophetic Fightback,” West’s speech protested the normalizing of mendacity, the naturalizing of criminality, and rewarding of indifference.“In this moment of spiritual blackout and imperial meltdown, begin with a critical historical inventory. Who are you really? How do you situate yourself in relation to traditions,” he said. Read Full Storylast_img read more

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Equels honored for heroism

first_imgFor service in Vietnam September 15, 2003 Regular News Equels honored for heroism Florida litigator Thomas K. Equels, an Army aviator who was honored seven times for heroism in Vietnam, has been inducted in the Distinguished Flying Cross Society, comprised exclusively of war heroes who received the highest honor for military flying.During his service in Vietnam, Equels was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, 15 air medals including three with “V” devise for valor, and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry.“I was a helicopter gunship pilot facing combat almost every day,” said Equels, managing director of the law firm Holtzman Equels. “The war taught me to be totally calm and clear in highly challenging situations.”Equels will be recognized during an annual ceremony in San Diego this fall.Equels’ first Distinguished Flying Cross was awarded for a rescue mission during the first days of the 1972 “Spring Offensive” when five divisions of the North Vietnamese Army invaded the south. Equels was the co-pilot of a Cobra helicopter gunship conducting aerial reconnaissance when Camp Carroll, an allied firebase, was being overrun by several thousand North Vietnamese troops. While the allied troops sought emergency shelter in a bunker at the center of the firebase, Equels provided suppressive gunfire, driving back the enemy forces. A Chinook helicopter then landed and rescued the surviving allied soldiers as Equels’ Cobra took over 50 hits from enemy fire while covering the evacuation.Equels earned a second Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery during a battle near the town of Tian Phuoc. As a heavily armed brigade of North Vietnamese attacked this outpost of allied troops, Equels engaged the enemy, providing close fire support and slowed the approaching attack. Two enemy tanks then joined the attack. Unfortunately, bad weather prevented U.S. Air Force fighter jets, typically used to destroy such tanks, from joining the battle. Assisted by a second Cobra, Equels attacked and not only wiped out the two tanks, but inflicted massive casualties on the enemy.“I was a 19-year-old who believed in creating a world of free people living in democratic institutions,” Equels said. “When I returned from Vietnam, I became a lawyer, determined to devote a part of my practice to social justice. I still think that we can change the world for the better, a little bit at a time, by dealing with everyday matters that are within our power and abilities. No matter how difficult things become, the willingness of brave citizens to serve is what counts. Whether serving as a helicopter pilot in combat or serving food at a church soup kitchen for the homeless, our country and our communities depend on such service. It is vital to the preservation of liberty and our democratic institutions.”Among his professional achievements, Equels, obtained a $44-million judgment against Manuel Noriega for money he misappropriated from the Republic of Panama.As a community leader, Equels received the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Community Service Award in 1995, the Guild of Catholic Lawyers’ St. Thomas Moore Award in 1991, as well as The Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award, and the Federal Bar Association’s Public Service Award in 1987. Equels honored for heroismlast_img read more

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It’s time to promote Hispanic MBLs

first_img continue reading » Credit union interest is growing in offering member business loans, or MBLS, even though strict regulatory limitations still exist. The lending rules are clear, but the amount of MBL dollars available differs based on a credit union’s size and the makeup and performance of its overall loan portfolio.With fewer MBLs available compared to other loans, the ones credit unions do issue should be given to well-performing entrepreneurs with the greatest need, and who can do the greatest good with those funds for their community. In our minds, Hispanic-owned businesses should be top contenders when credit unions make their MBL decisions.Does that surprise you? It shouldn’t. Hispanics are one of the country’s fastest-growing population segments, and also one of its most entrepreneurial. Moreover, loans to Hispanic-owned businesses are being increasingly targeted by banking industry competitors in a way that is frictionless and culturally relevant.A 2018 Gfk Social and Strategic Research study surveyed Hispanic and non-Hispanic business owners about their beliefs and practices. These results may surprise you. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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New York cuts police budget amid ‘defund’ calls

first_img“The budget being voted on tonight does NOT cut $1B from the NYPD,” he tweeted.The NYPD has approximately 36,000 police officers, more than any other force in the United States.It faces criticism for using force against largely peaceful protesters who demonstrated against the death of Floyd on May 25. De Blasio defended the heavy-handed tactics.Activists outside city hall said they did not believe the cuts were genuine. “I feel like this City Council is making a mockery of our demands. They say that they’re going to defund the police but they’re just finding sneakier ways to fund them,” 17-year-old Mary-Kate Mahaney, told AFP.The annual budget for New York has been slashed from $93 billion last year to $88 billion due to the COVID-19 outbreak that has crippled the Big Apple’s economy.De Blasio recently estimated that the epidemic, which has killed approximately 22,000 NYC residents, has cost the city $9 billion in lost revenues.The mayor says that another $1 billion in labor savings needs to be found in the budget or 22,000 employees face being laid off in the fall. Topics : New York City lawmakers have approved a disputed budget that purports to slash $1 billion from the NYPD’s annual budget as calls by anti-racism protesters to defund law enforcement sweep the United States.”Defund the police” has become a rallying cry of the Black Lives Matter demonstrations that erupted following the killing in custody of African-American George Floyd in Minneapolis in May.Protesters have camped outside New York’s city hall the past week demanding that money be shifted from America’s largest police force to social services to help fight racial injustice. Late Tuesday, members of New York’s city council approved the government’s budget for the new fiscal year starting Wednesday that New York Mayor Bill de Blasio says cuts the NYPD’s operating budget from about $6 billion to roughly $5 billion. The cuts include scrapping the planned hiring of about 1,160 new police officers, as well as reducing overtime costs and redeploying administrative staff.But some council members accused the government of just moving money around, arguing that around $400 million of the cuts come from shifting responsibility for protecting public schools from the police to the education department.Brooklyn councillor Brad Lander said he was voting no to the budget because it did not propose “real, meaningful cuts,” including a hiring freeze on cops.last_img read more

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