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President Obama Talks With Tom Joyner & Sybil Wilkes About Dr. MLK’s Legacy, ‘The Butler’ & More

President Obama Sybil and Tom photo courtesy of

Aug 27, 2013 

By NewsOne Staff

Radio legend Tom Joyner and co-host Sybil Wilkes of the Tom Joyner Morning Show were invited to the White House for an exclusive one-on-one interview with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office!

President Obama opened up to the syndicated radio hosts about Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy, commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington, the Affordable Care Act, Lee Daniels’ “The Butler” and more.

Read the entire interview below.

TOM JOYNER: Okay. We’re in the Oval Office of the –

SYBIL WILKES: We’re in — wait, wait, wait. Take that in. Can you take that in? We’re in the Oval Office.

TOM JOYNER: We are in the Oval Office with the President on the day before he does his speech for the — commemorating the I Have A Dream speech. Is it ready?

THE PRESIDENT: Not quite yet. Still working on it. But let me just say for the record right now, it won’t be as good as the speech 50 years ago. (Laughter.) I just want to get that out there early. Because when you are talking about Dr. King’s speech at the March on Washington, you’re talking about one of the maybe five greatest speeches in American history. And the words that he spoke at that particular moment, with so much at stake, and the way in which he captured the hopes and dreams of an entire generation I think is unmatched.

And so all I can do on an occasion like this is just to celebrate the accomplishments of all of those folks whose shoulders we stand on and then remind people that the work is still out there for us to do, and that we honor his speech but also, more importantly in many ways, the organization of the ordinary people who came out for that speech. We honor them not by giving another speech ourselves — because it won’t be as good — but instead by just doing the day-to-day work to make sure this is a more equal and more just society.

TOM JOYNER: Fifty years later, what do you think Dr. King would have said about our progress and his dream?

THE PRESIDENT: I think that Dr. King would be amazed in many ways about the progress that we’ve made. I don’t think that he would look and say nothing has changed. He would say, the fact that we have equal rights before the law; the fact that the judicial system and the courts are accessible; and that African-Americans serve on juries; and that we have thousands of African-American elected officials all across the country; and that we’ve got African-American CEOs of Fortune 100 companies; and we have a large thriving congressional black caucus, and that, as a consequence of some of the doors that he and others helped kick down, Latinos and women and Asians and the disabled and gays and lesbians, that they all also suddenly found a seat at the table — I think he would say it was a glorious thing.

What he would also say, though, is that the March on Washington was about jobs and justice. And that when it comes to the economy, when it comes to inequality, when it comes to wealth, when it comes to the challenges that inner cities experience, he would say that we have not made as much progress as the civil and social progress that we’ve made, and that it’s not enough just to have a black President, it’s not enough just to have a black syndicated radio show host. The question is, does the ordinary person, day-to-day, can they succeed. And we have not made as much progress as we need to on that, and that is something that I spend all my time thinking about, is how do we give opportunity to everybody so if they work hard they can make it in this country.

TOM JOYNER: What do you think he would say about Obamacare?

THE PRESIDENT: Oh, he would like that. Well, because I think he understood that health care, health security is not a privilege; it’s something that in a country as wealthy as ours, everybody should have access to.

And starting on October 1st, because of the Affordable Care Act — Obamacare — anybody who doesn’t have health insurance in this country is going to be able to get it at an affordable rate. And we were just talking with some folks earlier about the fact that, for a lot of people, it will be cheaper than your cell phone bill, and as a consequence you’ll be getting free prevention, free checkups. And, if heaven forbid you get sick or some family member gets sick, even if you have a preexisting condition, you know that you’re going to have the security — you’re not going to lose your house, you’re not going to suddenly go bankrupt, and you’re going to be able to get the treatment that you need.

So the key is going to be just signing folks up. And one of the things that we’re really going to be emphasizing in the month of September, October and then all the way through March of next year, is letting people know it’s simple to sign up. You go to You find out exactly what plan is right for you. It’s going to be affordable. You’re going to be able to get a subsidy, help in terms of paying for it. And we’re really counting on everybody out there to get informed. If you know what it’s about and you screen out all the misinformation, you’ll discover this is something that really is going to help millions of people.

Read and listen to the full interview on Black America Web.

For Alvarez Fight, Mayweather Said To Be In Top Form

August 27, 2013 By Associated Press

Mayweather vs. Alvarez

LAS VEGAS — A rare series of storms had cooled the summer air to an almost tolerable level, though it was steamy as ever inside Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s (pictured left) gym just a few miles from the Vegas Strip. With a couple of sparring partners in front of him late Monday afternoon, Mayweather turned up the heat even more. “Right there, right there,” he yelled at the first hapless pugilist to feel his wrath. “You can’t get away. I’ll hit you when I want to.” It didn’t take Mayweather long to do just that. As the third of four rounds stretched to the 10-minute mark he connected with a rapid volley of punches, finishing it off with a left hook that rocked his opponent for the day, sending him stumbling across the ring. All in a day’s work, but there was still work to be done. Always is when it’s Mayweather in training and especially now, less than three weeks before his fight with undefeated Mexican star Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (pictured). It’s a big fight, but all Mayweather fights are big. He’s the undisputed pay-per-view king and the Sept. 14 matchup is so attractive that the pay-per-view price is a whopping $74.95 for those watching in high definition. Though Mayweather’s last fight in May against Robert Guerrero — for which he earned $32 million — wasn’t a huge box office smash, this one should make executives at Showtime and CBS feel better about the money they laid out for boxing’s biggest draw. Better yet, he’s fighting for the second time in four months after not fighting more than once a year since 2007. “I’m ready to perform and entertain, that’s what it’s all about,” Mayweather said. “I’m a lot older now so the last five fights I have I want to go out with a bang.” The fight is the second in his six-fight deal with Showtime, which lured him from HBO to help sell cable subscriptions and build the network’s boxing brand. He says the bouts will be the last of his career, though at the age of 36 he doesn’t seem to have lost any of the reflexes or speed that have helped him win all 44 of his fights in a professional career that began following the 1996 Olympics. What has changed is how Mayweather sells himself, even if he claims he hasn’t changed. Ever since his release from a Las Vegas jail after serving 64 days on domestic abuse charges last year Mayweather has been the model of politeness and civility — in sharp contrast to the bad boy persona that made him such a big attraction over the years. That’s one reason why Showtime’s All Access show on Mayweather-Alvarez seemed to fall a bit flat in the first episode. There were the requisite shots, of course, of Mayweather and Alvarez in face-offs and together on a tour promoting the bout, but there wasn’t the drama of Mayweather’s earlier fights when he could be seen yelling at his father or counting stacks of $100 bills with his former buddy, 50 Cent.

That sold pay-per-views to people who spent their money hoping to either see Mayweather win or get knocked out. But Mayweather seems to either have outgrown the part or simply doesn’t want to play it anymore.

“What do you mean by image? My image has always been as an entertainer, but at home I’m a great father,” Mayweather said. “There’s no bad guy, that’s an image the critics picked. My image is to make sure my kids get the best education and provide a comfortable life for my family.”

If the new Mayweather is a kinder and gentler sort outside the ring, he’s changed some inside, too. His fights sometimes tended to become tedious affairs as he sought to win without getting hit, but in recent years he has changed his style somewhat and has become more aggressive and flat-footed.

It showed on Monday as he walked two sparring partners across the ring, banging away with left hooks and right hands while keeping up a steady stream of chatter. The short time between fights should be beneficial to Mayweather at his age, and he’s already inside the 152-pound catch weight for the fight.

“I got back into it so quick that I’m still sharp,” he said. “I feel good, real good.”

Boxing fans should feel good, too, that Mayweather is taking on Alvarez, a 23-year-old who is unbeaten in 42 fights and holds a piece of the 154-pound title. Mayweather has been criticized in the past for hand picking his opponents and refusing to fight Manny Pacquiao, but Alvarez is about as dangerous a fight as any he could take on at this stage of his career.

Not that Mayweather will acknowledge any such thing. Icing his sometimes brittle hands while sitting in a dressing room after his workout he questioned the quality of Alvarez’s opponents, and said it was just another fight to him.

Another fight and another $40-50 million payout that will cement his reign this year as the highest paid athlete in the world.

As for Pacquiao and the fight that will likely now never happen?

“I don’t even know who that is,” Mayweather said.

Sound off!


Dr. Clenard H.Childress Jr.

By Rev. Dr. Clenard H. Childress, Jr.

The hijacking of the Civil Rights Movement by homosexual activists took a quantum leap with the barring of Donnie McClurkin from the Martin Luther King Concert celebration. Such a strategic strike by the LBGT could not have happened without the compliance of the normal House Negroes of the Democrat Party, who also profit from the plight of African-Americans. This has become typical of Democrat administrations. African-Americans must take complete notice of the fact that the voice of the Black Community was completely disregarded for a few disgruntled homosexual activists. Mayor Vincent Gray, of Washington, DC due to pressure from the Lesbian Bisexual Gay Transgender lobby requested internationally known gospel singer, and Senior Pastor of Perfecting Faith Church, of Freeport, New York, be banned from performing. Mayor Vincent Grey, and undoubtedly the White House, all agreed.

It is a sad day for the church, especially for the Black Church, for let us realize, this move was executed after careful consideration of the possible repercussions. Their assessment? The Black Church will remain complacent, will more than likely abandon their brother, and go away, with little objection. Such assessments can be made due to the Black Church, and most of its members’ ungodly alliance with the Democrat Party, who now dictates to them who can perform at concerts, and who cannot. Please for one minute don’t think that Mayor Gray didn’t receive a call from the oval office affirming the request of the LGBT insisting that Donnie McClurkin not perform. I might also add, we should not think for a second that Barack Obama, who will be speaking at the Lincoln Memorial next Wednesday, could not have intervened on the behalf of Donnie McClurkin, but refused. The president could have mirrored Martin Luther king’s response to the insistence of the gay agenda being in the platform, by Bayard Rustin in 1963, which resulted in Rustin leaving the movement. When Martin L. King spoke at the Lincoln Memorial, he stood strong to his moral convictions; the President doesn’t have the same moral convictions as Martin, and in comparison, they are miles apart, and thus you have the expulsion of Donnie McClurkin from the performance. It is clear to one and all, the homosexual agenda trumps the Black Church in urban communities. Regina Griggs of PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays) made a very valid and crucial observation stating

“Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy cited public ‘animus’ against gays as a reason to strike down part of the Defense of Marriage Act, yet gay rights groups promote hatred against former homosexuals,” said Griggs. “As shown with Donnie McClurkin, ex-gays are the most powerless and discriminated against minority in America today. At the behest of gay activists, the black mayor of a major urban city removed an African-American from a civil rights event despite the protests of local black ministers. Respecting the lives of people like Donnie, who have decided to change, and including them in the conversation, is part of building a tolerant society.”

The Machiavellian tactics of the homosexual activists is clearly seen here. They speak tolerance and acceptance, yet they attack, bully, and punish those with whom they disagree.

We all need to recognize that Donnie McClurkin is the worst nightmare of the Gay agenda. The insistence of the gay agenda to ignore psychiatrists, and even the liberal American Psychiatric Association, who factually state, there is no homosexual or lesbian gene, thus those who are trapped in the lifestyle, is due to a flawed orientation, not genealogy. I have repeatedly said, “you don’t give civil rights to sexual orientation because the orientation might be flawed.” There are thousands of people such as Donnie McClurkin that have been freed from the homosexual lifestyle, and it is directly due to that freedom, he was barred from performing at a Martin L. King Gospel Celebration. Oh the irony! Remember, the request of the Black Church was ignored. Despite numerous calls from Pastors, they were basically told, ‘you don’t have enough clout… your influence is insignificant… and above all, you will vote for us anyway, so why should we listen…?’

Well Church, I am reminded of an awesome sermon and later title of a book, by Martin Luther King, and I must interject its title here by asking this salient question: “Where Do We Go From Here? What will the Black Church do? How will the Black Pastors of Washington, DC respond? I would say: if there is no response, than the lack of one will do far more damage than the offense itself. Then we will we be reminded of another sermon of Martin’s called…

“Unfulfilled Dreams?”

Rev. Dr. Clenard H. Childress, Jr. is the founder of – (photo credit) a website designed to reach the Afro-American community with the truth about abortion.

Michael Brandon Hill Charged McNair Elementary School Shooting Suspect


school hero


DECATUR, Ga. — A man with an assault rifle and other weapons exchanged gunfire with officers Tuesday at an Atlanta-area elementary school before surrendering, a police chief said, with dramatic overhead television footage capturing the young students racing out of the building, being escorted by teachers and police to safety. No one was injured.

Just a week into the new school year, more than 800 students in pre-kindergarten to fifth grade were evacuated from Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, a few miles east of Atlanta. They sat outside along a fence in a field for a time until school buses came to take them to their waiting parents and other relatives at a nearby Wal-Mart.

When the first bus arrived about three hours after the shooting, cheers erupted in the store parking lot from relieved relatives, several of them sobbing.

The suspect, identified later as 20-year-old Michael Brandon Hill, fired at least a half-dozen shots from the rifle from inside McNair at officers who were swarming the campus outside, the chief said. Officers returned fire when the man was alone and they had a clear shot, DeKalb County Police Chief Cedric L. Alexander said at a news conference. Hill surrendered shortly after and several weapons were found, though it wasn’t clear how many, Alexander said. Police had no motive.

Though the school has a system where visitors must be buzzed in by staff, the gunman may have slipped inside behind someone authorized to be there, Alexander said. The suspect, who had no clear ties to the school, never got past the front office, where he held one or two employees captive for a time, the chief said. Hill, who had address listed about three miles from the school, is charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, terroristic threats and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. There was no information on a possible court date.

A woman in the office called WSB-TV to say the gunman asked her to contact the Atlanta station and police. WSB said during the call, shots were heard in the background. Assignment editor Lacey Lecroy said she spoke with the woman who said she was alone with the man and his gun was visible.

“It didn’t take long to know that this woman was serious,” Lecroy said. “Shots were one of the last things I heard. I was so worried for her.”

School clerk Antoinette Tuff in an interview on ABC’s “World News with Diane Sawyer” said she worked to convince the gunman to put down his weapons and ammunition.

“He told me he was sorry for what he was doing. He was willing to die,” Tuff told ABC.


She told him her life story, about how her marriage fell apart after 33 years and the “roller coaster” of opening her own business.

“I told him, `OK, we all have situations in our lives,” she said. “It was going to be OK. If I could recover, he could, too.”

Then Tuff said she asked the suspect to put his weapons down, empty his pockets and backpack on the floor.

“I told the police he was giving himself up. I just talked him through it,” she said.

A woman answering the phone at a number listed for Hill in court records said she was his mother but said it wasn’t a good time and rushed off the phone.

DeKalb County Schools Superintendent Michael Thurmond praised faculty and authorities who got the young students to safety, staying calm and following plans in place. All teachers and students made it out of the school unharmed.

“It’s a blessed day, all of our children are safe,” Thurmond said at the news conference. “This was a highly professional response on the ground by DeKalb County employees assisted by law enforcement.”

School volunteer Debra Hayes said she encountered the suspect without knowing it.

She stopped by the office at the end of her shift and saw a man talking to a secretary but she did not see a gun.

“I heard him say, `I’m not here to harm any staff or any parents or students. He said he wanted to speak to a police officer.”

“By the time I got to 2nd Avenue, I heard gunshots,” she said.

Complicating the rescue, bomb-sniffing dogs alerted officers to something in the suspect’s trunk and investigators believe the man may have been carrying explosives, Alexander said. Officials cut a hole in a fence to make sure students running from the building could get even farther away to a nearby street, he said. SWAT teams then went from classroom to classroom to make sure people were out.

Police had strung yellow tape up blocking intersections near the school while children waited to be taken to Wal-Mart where hundreds of people were anticipating their arrival. The crowd waved from behind yellow police tape as buses packed with children started pulling up along the road at the store. The smiling children waved back.

Regional superintendent Rachel Zeigler used a megaphone to say children were organized on the buses by grade level and that each bus would also be carrying an administrator, a teacher and a Georgia Bureau of Investigation officer. Relatives had to show ID, sign each child out and have their photo taken.

The school has about 870 children enrolled. The academy is named after McNair, an astronaut who died when the space shuttle Challenger exploded on Jan. 28, 1986, according to the school’s website.

Jonessia White, the mother of a kindergartner, said the school’s doors are normally locked.

“I took (my son) to school this morning and had to be buzzed in,” she said. “So I’m wondering how the guy got in the door.”

Jackie Zamora, 61, of Decatur, was at the Wal-Mart waiting and said her 6-year-old grandson was inside the school when the shooting was reported and she panicked for more than an hour because she hadn’t heard whether or not anyone had been injured.

Since shootings in classrooms all over the country, the massacre at Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary being the freshest in people’s minds, schools have implemented security from metal detectors to armed guards. McNair had its own safety precautions.

White said the school has a set of double doors where visitors must be buzzed in and show identification to a camera to be allowed in.

“I don’t know how this could happen at this school,” Zamora said. “There’s so much security.”


Associated Press writers Christina A. Cassidy and Phillip Lucas in Atlanta contributed to this report.

Who’s Coming to the March on Washington?

Some will come to celebrate and commemorate. Many will arrive with hopes of reinvigorating a movement.

by Janell Ross, the Root

Protesters in favor of the Voting Rights Act at the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

(The Root) — With just 11 days left on the calendar before the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, thousands, if not tens of thousands, of Americans are busy readying themselves to converge on the nation’s capital.

Kim Moore, 28, is a consultant who lives in the San Diego area. She said she’s reached a phase in her life where she’s ready to move beyond “talking and the marching.” She wants to turn to direct and strategic action that will force some of the changes she feels are critical to the country’s social and economic health.

At the top of Moore’s list of concerns: the sky-high 13 percent black unemployment rate, policies such as Florida’s “Stand your ground” and New York’s stop and frisk and the litany of voting changes in states such as North Carolina that imperil the ability of people of color to shape the nation’s laws.

“There are several reasons I wanted to be sure that I was at the March on Washington,” said Moore. She added that unfair school discipline practices that contribute to the school-to-prison pipeline are also high on her list of issues she’s interested in solving. “But the main reason, the primary reason, is really the state of black America today.”

In the decades since the August 1963 day that hundreds of thousands of men and women gathered on the National Mall and listened to Martin Luther King Jr. offer an extemporaneous butelegant speech that would establish the civil rights struggle in the firmament of righteous American struggles, racial progress has ebbed and flowed. This month — a point in time when many people planning to attend say the country has receded to familiar and disturbingly unjust terrain — some will come to Washington, D.C., with plans to do nothing more than celebrate and commemorate the events of August 1963. But many will arrive with hopes of reinvigorating a movement.

Moore, for instance, will fly to D.C. several days before the Aug. 28 anniversary of the original march. She will divide her time among as many events, speeches, panel discussions and gatherings of activists as possible. She hasn’t left California yet but admits to already feeling pulled in a number of directions and unsure when she will sleep.

Taking on a Conservative Legislative Force

One of the central protest activities that marchers will attend is a rally at the D.C. offices of the American Legislative Exchange Council, the think tank and lobbying organization that is behind some of the most conservative public policies of the last decade. Activists across the country have discussed their plans over Twitter in the weeks and months leading up to the march.

Indeed, ALEC counts some of the nation’s largest corporations among its current and former members. The organization encouraged its members to draft so-called model legislation to create what it says are conditions advantageous to its members, then lobby state legislators around the country to introduce the bills and move them toward becoming actual state policy. ALEC was the driving force behind the spread of Florida-style “Stand your ground” legislation to nearly three dozen states and the proliferation of voter-ID laws expected to make it difficult, if not impossible, for hundreds of thousands of Americans to vote.

 “I am ready for direct action,” Moore said. “I want to put ALEC and the corporations behind it on notice that they have to stop advancing the interests of the rich white men who run corporations to the exclusion of everyone else, or prepare to pay the consequences. We are going to put them on blast.”

Moore is part of a group considering a boycott of ALEC members’ stores and products.

Sharpton: A Familiar Voice

The work that Moore describes is just the sort of activity that the Rev. Al Sharpton wants to see take over Washington, D.C., in the coming days. Sharpton — a vocal and, in some circles, maligned civil rights activist and television and radio host — is also the head of the National Action Network, an organization of like-minded social-justice workers and volunteers across the country.

“It’s my hope that when we stream into Washington, this would be more than a commemoration,” Sharpton said, “that what we will see is a continuation.”

The architects of the 1963 March on Washington drew what was then the largest-ever protest crowd to the nation’s capital as a physical demonstration of just how serious and committed some Americans were to making equality and justice a real and tangible part of everyone’s lives. The march’s organizers had identified a 10-point list (pdf) of demands.

Some of those demands remain unmet. Others, such as the Voting Rights Act, have been rolled back this year.

NAN has marshaled a fleet of 1,000 buses that will carry activists and those who just want to observe the action from cities around the country to D.C. in the days before the official march anniversary, Sharpton said. The organization saw a burst of interest in seats on its 50- and 55-person buses after the Supreme Court’s June decision to invalidate a key provision of the VRA, he said. Then, after a Florida jury acquitted George Zimmerman of all charges in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, interest in NAN’s seats exploded, Sharpton said.

Sharpton’s organization, along with at least two of King’s children, is planning a series of events, marches and protests in the days leading up to the an Aug. 28 March on Washington commemorative program on the National Mall, where President Barack Obama and others are scheduled to speak. 

A NAN rally and march, scheduled for Aug. 24, will also feature members of Trayvon Martin’s family and the family of Emmett Till.

“Almost 60 years ago, Emmett Till was the thing that shook black America,” Sharpton said. “Today it’s the death of Trayvon Martin and the justice system’s response that has shaken so many of us to our core.”

Sharpton is an outspoken advocate for civil rights who, since the 1990s, has been one of the more readily identifiable and consistent high-volume national voices when racially charged incidents such as Trayvon’s shooting death have occurred. So he has an answer ready when asked about criticisms that he and NAN are siphoning attention and people away from other events or are too cozy with government officials to hold the Obama administration accountable for its failures.

“Listen, the cynics are always going to talk. What they are not about is organizing and doing,” said Sharpton. “You know, they said the same things about the first march and the people who organized it.”

A Voice From the Grassroots

A few states away from Sharpton’s base in New York, Glenn Cassis, 61, is deacon at the politically active Union Baptist Church in Hartford, Conn., and executive director of the state’s African-American Affairs Commission. The commission works to create opportunities for cultural exchange and advises the Legislature about the impact of policy proposals on Connecticut’s African-American population.

This week Cassis has also been the voice on the other end of a telephone line set up for Hartford-area residents who want to join a caravan of buses headed to Washington, D.C., a few days before the Aug. 28 anniversary. The seats on one bus have already been claimed. A second is filling fast.

The group will remain in Washington for almost a week, with each individual free to attend or not attend events, protests, marches, rallies and commemorations as they please, said Cassis.

For Cassis, there is a range of animating issues that will draw him to Washington, D.C. His list of chief concerns includes the proliferation of “Stand your ground” laws, the voting policies that states have begun to employ since the Supreme Court’s VRA ruling, the bias that African Americans often experience in the nation’s criminal-justice system, still elevated black unemployment and immigration reform.

“Those are the civil rights issues of our time,” said Cassis. “Health, education and economic disparities are sadly consistent in this country. But if it weren’t for some of the things that happened this year, the march would probably have been more of a celebration, just a gathering. I’m going to Washington expecting the resurgence of a movement, and I suspect that I am not alone.”