Arne Duncan an “Absolute Disaster” for Black Children

President Obama’s Race to the Top “has been an extension of, and even worse than,” President Bush’s public schools program, said veteran Black educator Dr. Donald Smith, an organizer of the upcoming Summit on Saving the African Child, October 11 and 12, in Chicago. “People will discuss charter schools, unions and corporations that have, in many instances, taken over the curriculum and instruction of schools of children of color and other children of poverty,” said Smith, who will keynote the conference. Education Secretary Arne Duncan “has been an absolute disaster” for Black students in public schools.

School Discipline Bias Pushes Black Kids into Prison

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has filed complaints with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, charging public schools in Okaloosa, Florida, with disciplining Black students far more harshly than whites. Forty-seven percent of students suspended by the district are Black, although African Americans make up only 12 percent of the student body. There is a link between racially biased school discipline and the so-called school-to-prison pipeline, said Atty. Stephanie Langer, of the SPLC’s Florida office. “Once these kids get into the system, it’s very hard to get out of the system.”

GOP and Dems Much Alike

The two major corporate parties agree on much more than they disagree, said journalist Arun Gupta, co-founder of The Occupied Wall Street Journal and The Indypendent. That’s one reason why “there’s been no discussion of regulating Wall Street and almost no discussion of the continuing home foreclosure crisis,” said Gupa. “Both parties are attacking public education, and neither party has any sort of plan to create more jobs” aside from “the mysteries and magic of the ‘free market.’”

U.S. Labor Movement Can’t Move

Harry Kelber, the 98 year-old labor organizer and publisher of, says American trade unions “are not fighting, they’re not organizing, and they don’t have a plan to organize.” Too many union officials, said Kelber, are simply “biding their time, waiting to retire with a fat pension.” Labor spends tens of millions electing Democrats, but “What are they getting out of it?”

Rwanda's Kagame Commits Genocide

Opposition parties from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda have asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) to charge Rwandan strongman Paul Kagame with genocide and crimes against humanity. Kagame’s regime is responsible for many of the six million deaths in neighboring Congo since the mid-Nineties, and for killing hundreds of thousands of Hutus in Rwanda, said Sixbert Musangamfura, a spokesman for the United Democratic Front of Rwanda, one of the complainants to the ICC. Rwanda is one of Washington’s closest allies in Africa.

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