Mrs. Wilma Lee Roach Hunt Fuller

Mrs. Wilma Lee Roach Hunt Fuller

Mrs. Wilma Lee Roach Hunt Fuller

Funeral services for Mrs. Wilma Lee Roach Hunt Fuller will be held Saturday, August 22, 2015 at 11:00 A.M. at the Zion Hope Baptist Church with Pastor George F. Monts officiating. Burial will follow at the Eastview Cemetery.

Mrs. Wilma Lee Roach Hunt Fuller was born December 4, 1941 in Sumter County, Georgia to Willie and Earnest Roach. Wilma was known and loved by her many friends and relatives in the Brooklyn Heights Neighborhood of Americus, Georgia. After graduating high school, Wilma moved to Hartford, Connecticut where she met and married James “Jimmy” Howard Hunt. They were blessed with three children La Toria, Lea “Michelle” and James, Jr. By the early 70’s Wilma returned to Americus to rear her children. Wilma worked at Magnolia Manor and later as at T G &Y and several other local retail stores. Wilma enjoyed family, friends and gathering everyone at her home. In 1981, Wilma married Tommie Fuller and lived briefly in Cleveland, Ohio only to return to Americus once again. After several years of illness, Wilma relocated to Richmond, Virginia to be near her daughters. Though far away from home, Americus was always near and dear to Wilma’s heart.

On Sunday morning August 16, 2015 Wilma went home to be with the Lord at the age of 73. She is preceded in death by her parents and sister Earnestine “Dot” Taylor. She is survived by her children: La Toria H. Tookes (Timothy) of Chester, VA, Lea H. McCormick (Ricky) of Richmond, VA, and James H. Hunt, Jr.; stepson, Craig S. Garrett (Roslyn); four grandchildren: Edward, Lee, Christopher and Olivia; and step-grandchildren Jocelyn Raymond (Ivan) and Jordan.

Bernice Davis

Bernice Davis

Bernice Davis

Bernice Davis, age 65, 105 Peachtree Street, Americus, Georgia passed Monday, September 7, 2015 at Phoebe Sumter Medical Center, Americus, Georgia.

The funeral service will be conducted at 11:00 A.M., Saturday, September 12, 2015 at Union Tabernacle Baptist Church, 900 Adderton Street Americus, Georgia, where Reverend Larry Sims is pastor. Elder Benford Stokes will officiate. Interment will follow in the Staley Memorial Gardens, corner of Mayo Street and Southerfield Road, Americus, Georgia.

On August 23, 1950, a very special baby girl, Bernice Davis, was born in Americus, Georgia to Ms. Myrtice Nell Davis, who preceded her in death.  Bernice was reared by her grandparents, Eugene and Lucy Mae Davis, who also preceded her in death.

She held a special place in the lives and hearts of her three sisters and four cousins with whom she was reared. All of them at some time and place had a role in helping take care of her.  After Bernice’s grandmother, Lucy Mae, passed, she went to live in Hartford, Connecticut with her mother and stepfather, Walter Lee Thomas.  After her mother, Myrtice, passed, her youngest sister, Carolyn Brown, became her guardian and took care of her until her death.

Bernice is survived by six sisters, Ernestine (George) Maddox, Albany, Georgia, Ruby (Mike) Harris and Carolyn Brown, Americus, Georgia, Irene Thomas, Dendia Spence, and Donna (Ronald), Holley, Hartford, Connecticut; stepfather, Walter Lee Thomas, Bloomfield, Connecticut; and one aunt, Hattie Bess, Americus, Georgia.  She is also fondly remembered by her nieces and nephews, three of which was reared in the home with her and provided extra support – Crystal (Elder Benford) Stokes, Calvesa Davis, Americus, Georgia and Corey Davis, Atlanta, Georgia.   Other nieces and nephews include Tavis (Juana) Maddox, Latundra (Rodrick) Gaskins, Keith Spence, Loran Spence, Brandon Holley, and Raven Harris. Bernice is also survived by many cousins, four of whom were reared with her, Hattie Simpson and Teresa Davis, East Hartford, Connecticut, Lola (Jerry) Dent, Atlanta, Georgia, Freddie (Juanita) Davis, Orlando, Florida. Fond memories will forever remain in the hearts of those who knew and loved her.

Mrs. Ceolia T. Roberts

Mrs. Ceolia T. Roberts

Mrs. Ceolia T. Roberts

Mrs. Ceolia T. Roberts, age 81, 109 Lexington Circle, Americus, Georgia passed Thursday, August 27, 2015.

The funeral service will be conducted at 11:00 A.M., Tuesday, September 1, 2015, Inspirational Church By Faith, 714 Adderton Street, Americus, Georgia, Elder Larry Taylor, Pastor, will officiate. Burial will follow in the Old Corinth Baptist Church Cemetery, Hwy 26, Leslie, Georgia.

Mrs. Ceolia T. Roberts was born in Webster County on December 29, 1933 to the parents of the late Mr. Stout Taylor and the late Mrs. Celia Shelton Taylor.

She received her education in Webster County school system. She was preceded in death by her husband, Mr. John W. Roberts; a son Nickey Roberts; seven sisters, Mrs. Elma Culliver, Mrs. Thelma Hurley, Mrs. Georgia Lee Broner, Mrs. Rossie Lee Young, Mrs. Essie Johnson, Mrs. Annie Colbert, Mrs. Tommie Brown; and one brother Bishop John T. Taylor.

She leaves to mourn her passing: a daughter, Mrs. Julia Lynn (Thomas) Reagan; three grandsons, Mr. James Terell (Michelle) Davis, LaKendrick Tovoski (Keia) Taylor, Mr. Tovaris Davis (Jay Williams); one aunt Lois Shelton; three sisters, Mrs. Liille Mae Cladd, Mrs. Lady B. Sims, Mrs. Elnora Girvin, five sisters–in-law, Mrs. Lois Taylor, Mrs. Lois McWhorter, Mrs. Daisy Miller, Mrs. Ozene Laster, Mrs. Carylon Roberts; four brothers-in-law, Mr. Cooper Roberts, Mr. Charles Roberts, Mr. James Roberts, and Mr. Alex Brown; 15 devoted great grandchildren, Kell, Kierra, Tierra, Te’ Yunda, Jamari, Peaches, T.J., NyNa, Carter, Kya, Asia, and Jordon; her special helpers, Zierra Davis, James, J.D., Davis, Parrish; one devoted niece, Shirley Cook; a devoted stepdaughter Donna Cladd; devoted nephews, Jeffery Roberts, Terell Roberts, Johnnie B. Thomas, Javin Dee, Jamaica Colbert, Jamica Baisden, NiNI; a very devoted friend of the family, Theresa Robinson, other relatives, and friends.

Deacon Freddie B. Harris

Deacon Freddie B. Harris

Deacon Freddie B. Harris

Deacon Freddie B. Harris, age 60, 1321 Lafayette Street, Americus, Georgia passed Saturday, August 29, 2015 at the Phoebe Sumter Medical Center, Americus, Georgia.

The funeral service will be conducted at 3:00 P.M., Tuesday, September 1, 2015 at the Mt. Olive Baptist Church, 420 East Jefferson Street, Americus, Georgia, where Rev. H.C. Wilson is pastor. Interment will follow in the Staley Cemetery, Corner of Souther Field & Mayo Street, Americus, Georgia.

Freddie was born February 20, 1955 to the late Sam Harris and the late Mildred Melvin Harris in Ellaville, Schley County, Georgia. Two brothers, Robert Latimore and Samuel L. Harris, and one niece, Yolanda Collier Pinkston, preceded him in death. He was a graduate of John Lewis High School.

He was employed with the former Metalux, Cooper Lighting Company, which is now known as Eaton, for 26 years. He was a member of the Oak Grove Baptist Church of Ellaville, Georgia. He was married to the former Linda Settles.

He leaves to cherish his memories: a wife, Linda Harris, Americus, Georgia; two children, Deondra C. Harris, Valdosta, Georgia and Desmond S. Harris, Columbus, Georgia; two sisters, Doris Harris, Fairburn, Georgia, Brenda Kimbrough (Alexander), Americus, Georgia; mother-in-law, Rosa Crockett, Augusta, Georgia; brothers-in-law, Walter Crockett (Sue), Korea, and Patrick Crockett, St. Petersburg, Florida; two aunts, Beulah Mae Harris and Missouri Harris, both of Americus, Georgia; and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends, including his extended family, Pamela Angry, Lydia Walker, Luneda Brown, Tracy Wilson, and many other caring friends. A very special thank you to Dr. Jani,  the Phoebe Sumter Oncology Center and the Phoebe Sumter Medical Center.

Lavonne Hamilton

Lavonne Hamilton

Lavonne Hamilton

Lavonne Hamilton, age 67, 1015 Park Row Ext., Americus, Georgia passed Friday morning, August 28, 2015 at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, Albany, Georgia.

The funeral service will be conducted at 2:00 P.M., Thursday, September 3, 2015 at Bethesda Baptist Church, Forrest Street, Americus, Georgia. Interment will follow in Eastview Cemetery, Ashby Street, Americus, Georgia.

Lavonne Hamilton was born April 3, 1948 to the late John Henry Hamilton and Susie Mae Hamilton in Americus, Sumter County, Georgia. One son, Thomas Valentine, preceded her in death. One brother, John Wright, preceded her in death. She was educated in the public school system of Sumter County. She was a 1966 graduate of Staley High School. At a very early age, she joined the band of Christian believers at Bethesda Baptist Church where she remained until her demise. She was a member of the Culinary Ministry, Usher Board Ministry, Women Christian Fellowship Ministry, The Senior Citizens Bible Study Group and the Noon Day Bible Study Ministry.

After 30 dedicated years of service, she retired from Davison Bumper Company.

She leaves to cherish memories: a loving companion, Anthony Smith, Americus, Georgia; two loving and devoted children, Charalisa Valentine (Gregory Hubbard),  Americus, Georgia and Torey Smith (Kenyada), Americus, Georgia; four loving grandchildren, ZyKeria Smith, Torey D. Smith, Kingston Smith and Antavious Hawkins; one sister, Johnnie Mae Burrell, Browns Mill, New Jersey; a host of beloved nieces and nephews, John Wright (Ursula), Americus, Georgia, Charles Burrell (Vickie), Texas and Beatrice McDaniel Jackson, Americus, Georgia; a host of other relatives and friends.


image10471Mr. Henry Clarence Poole, Jr. was born on January 23, 1926 in Americus, Georgia, Sumter County to the parentage of the late Mr. Clarence Poole, Sr. and the late Mrs. Minnie Ross Poole.  He received his education in Americus, Georgia, Sumter County.  He was a generous man that loved his family.  He enjoyed listening to music and a man of many trades.  He worked for Dade County Park & Recreation until he retired. He was a dedicated member of True Vine Fellowship in Miami, Florida before his health declined.

Clarence was united in Holy Matrimony to Ms. Inez Carter, Americus, GA and later moved to Miami, Florida where they raised three sons.  He is preceded in death by four siblings, Mr. Willie D. Poole, Mr. Leonard Poole, Mr. Oscar Poole, and Ms. Julia B. Ellis.

He leaves a legacy of golden memories to his beloved wife Mrs. Inez Carter Poole, Miami, Florida; three sons, Mr. Julius C. Poole Sr. (Rosetta) Tallahassee, FL; Mr. Issac Poole, Miami, FL; and Mr. Bivin Poole, Japan. He is survived by one brother: Mr. Robert Poole, Atlanta, GA and two sisters: Ms. Frankie B. Harris, Atlanta, GA and Ms. Rosa Lee Dean, Americus, GA.  A devoted cousin, Mr. Willie James Wade (Mary), Dothan, AL. He has 10 grands, 14 great-grands, 6 great-great grands, and a host of in-laws, nieces and nephews, and cousins, relatives, and friends.

Mrs. Dora Mae Johnson Greene



Mrs. Dora Mae Johnson Greene was born in Webster County, Georgia on April 25, 1938 to the parentage of the late Mr. R. B. Johnson and the late Mrs. Lennie Lee Thomas Johnson. She received her education in the public schools of Webster and Sumter Counties. At an early age, she joined the Mt. Zion (Webster) Baptist Church. Later she moved her membership to the St. Luke Baptist Church, where she served faithfully until her health failed. While at St. Luke she worked with the Usher’s Board, she was the Church Reporter and a dedicated church member. The beautiful Dora Mae Greene loved talking to people. She was a very happy person and always had a smile. She worked at the Lighthouse Restaurant and Staley Middle School as a cook, later she worked for James Gatewood as a housekeeper. She was married to the late Mr. Jimmy Greene and to their union eight children were born. She is preceded in death by a son, Jimmy Greene, Jr.

She leaves to cherish her memories; two sons, Mr. Daniel Glenn (Niki) Greene, Durham, NC and Mr. Robert Lee (Diana) Greene, Albany, GA; five daughters, Ms. Dorothy G. Tullis, Ms. Phyllis D. Green, Ms. Janice Faye Greene all of Americus, GA, Ms. Melissa A. (Eric) Holland, Tifton, GA and Ms. Stephanie R. Green, Columbus, GA; four brothers, Mr. Jimmy Lee Johnson, Mr. R. B. (Rachel) Johnson, Jr., Mr. Charles Johnson and Mr. Alvin Johnson all of Orlando, FL; four sisters, Mrs. Annie B. (James) Allen, Mrs. Willie Pearl (Arthur) Murphy, Ms. Lillian Johnson and Ms. Margie Hodge all of Orlando, FL; thirteen grandchildren, Mr. Clyde Tullis, Jr., Mr. Darnell Ingram, Mr. Shaquiel Greene, Mr. Daniel Greene, Mr. Eric Holland, Jr., Mr. Ayden Holland, Mr. Robbie Greene, Ms. McKinley Gemwright, Mr. James Davis, Ms. Jaidan Daniels, Ms. Jayla Watson, Ms. Akiel Lincoln and Mr. Hakeem Davis; two great grandchildren, Cydney Tullis and Jace Ingram; one uncle, Mr. Bennie (Naomi) Thomas, Americus, GA; a sister-in-law, Ms. Hazel Cook, New York, NY; and a host of nieces, including a devoted niece, Mrs. Rosa (Eugene) Jackson, Buena Vista, GA, nephews, cousins other relatives and friends also survive.

Master Chandler O Marion Mann



Master Chandler O Marion Mann was a blessing born to Ms. Tara Mann and Mr. Willie (Rosheenia) Woods, III, his siblings and godmother, Pamela Davis on January 12, 2005. chandler was educated in the Sumter County School System and was currently a charming, spirited and funny 5th grader. Chandler never met a stranger. Chandler was an avid fan of WWE and on July 13, 2015, he had a chance to meet Stephanie McMahon, Chief Brand Officer of the WWE. She presented Chandler with his own official WWE Championship Belt. According to Chandler, he was an “accomplished” drummer, and “official” historian of the WWE and “the Lego King”. To his grandparents, Florence Moore, Sammy Mann and Lorene Davis, he was their heart. To his uncle Ulrick Mann, Chandler was his Lil Buddy. To his cousin, Catherine Kendrick-Andrews, he was a special child she loved as her own. To his grandparents, Charlie Mae and Willie Woods, II, he was a ray of sunshine. To nurse, Meg Bendik, Chandler was her boyfriend.

Chandler leaves to celebrate his life, his siblings, Sinyea Sullins, Zorria Mann, Shaquille Woods, Jarrious Woods, Aaliyah Woods, Asia Woods, Zidarrious Woods and Kentravious Waters; his aunts & uncles,  Ulrick (Tomeka) Mann, Erica (Bernard) Anthony, Felicia (Steve) Railey, Sherri Trice, Octavius (Brittany) Billups, Tina (Tony) Maddox, Anthony (Helen) Davis, Angela Davis, Beshea (Keith) Terry, Sherronda Ross, Ti’Erra (Loni) Floyd, Crystal Payne, Stacie Moore, Henry Moore, Jr., Victor (Tonia) Woods, Wayne (Tameka) Woods, Connie Cooper, Robert Robinson, Rev. Henry “Sandy” (Alice) Parks, Bessie Jackson, George (Julia) Sims, Santrina Woods, Jessica (Chris) Heights, Christopher Ross, Henry (JoAnn) Moore, Mildred (Willie) Kendrick, Hattie (Arthur) Waters, Tracy (Caprecia) Lamar, Stacy (Kyle) Walters, Shalisa Lamar, Garrett Lamar, Edward Volley, Aldean Baker, Fannie Flowers, Joi Thomas and his very best friend and cousin Kemuel Terry; and a host of cousins other relatives and devoted friend and teachers also survive.

Ms. Rosa Lee Banks



Ms. Rosa Lee Banks was born in Americus Georgia on July 7, 1922 to the parents of the late Mr. Gus Banks and the late Mrs. Rhoda Gary Banks. At the early age, she joined the Union Tabernacle Baptist Church. She received her education in the public schools of Sumter County. Rosa is preceded in death by her siblings, Lewis Banks, Eugene Davis, T.J. David, Bee Dowdell, Willie Lou Thomas and Rusha Menison, a son Joseph Banks and great great grandson, Roderic Barnard McDowell Jr.

Rosa was loved and well known by many for her acts of kindness to her family and friends. She loved to smile and laugh all the time. As a young woman she worked to support her parents and children.

Many loved ones are left to cherish her memories, a loving and devoted son, Mr. Charles Banks, Americus GA; 5 grandchildren- Christopher (Melanie) Banks Marietta GA, Virginia Rentz, Sherry Banks-McDowell, Latacia (Arthur} Davis and Charles Banks Jr., all of West Palm Beach, FL, 11 great-grandchildren, 10 great great grandchildren and 1 great great great- grandchild; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins other relatives and friends also survive.

Dwyane Wade Talks Brand Innovation and Product Development

NBA star turns entrepreneur with new product that enhances athletic performance

dwyane-wade-2by Roz A Gee,

MISSION was founded in 2009 by an elite core of athletes looking to create an innovation-led brand focused on solving performance problems for athletes. Pioneering a new product category, dubbed AthleteCare, MISSION uses science and real life insight from the world’s greatest athletes to create disruptive sports technologies that elevate performance, according to the company’s website, “We’re not just passionate about performance. We’re perseverance pioneers. Because like you—we find a way. A way to push a little harder. To move a little quicker. To feel a little stronger.”

[RELATED: On Eve of NBA Season, Stephen Curry Steps Into the Spotlight With Under Armour] had an opportunity to catch up with one of the most revered athletes in the world, Dwyane Wade, to have him share highlights of his contribution and experience with the MISSION brand. As an ambassador and partner, what makes the MISSION brand different from your perspective? Why did you choose to partner with MISSION?

Wade: MISSION’s commitment to involve their partners in the product development and overall business was one of the most important factors in my decision. They listened to my needs and then matched new technology to ensure that I didn’t need to compromise in my training and competition.

What solution does your product provide and why are you so passionate about it?

Court slippage had been an issue my entire career. I remember all the games and frustration I had in high school and in college. I tried everything and nothing worked. As I evolved, my game is all about cuts and dynamic play. I needed a product that could ensure that court conditions would not affect my game. Court Grip™ is the answer.

Briefly share what the experience was like in the product development of Court Grip™?

I tested the final formulas throughout the 2011 season and was heavily involved in the final applicator design and functionality. It needed to be effective, easy-to-use, and give instant results. We nailed it. I’ve also been helping over the last two years on the marketing side with unveiling it to ballers everywhere and, of course, using it whenever and wherever I play. It has been rewarding to see the unbelievable adoption of the product throughout the NBA and at all levels of play over such a short period of time.

How does Court Grip™ contribute to the overall experience and performance of your game—pre, during, and post?

When I first put on Court Grip™ it cleans off the dust from my sneakers and helps reduce the build-up of dust while I play. This gives me better traction and grip on the court. I can cut and move without slipping, and that’s what I want.

What are the top three benefits that you endorse about your Mission product?

For Court Grip™ that’s easy: improved traction so you have the confidence to play your game, scientific testing that validates its impact on quickness, and its ease of use.

Regarding athleticism and entrepreneurship—how do you manage and balance being a successful business/enterprise owner and world-class athlete?

Balancing athleticism and entrepreneurship require teamwork from not only me, but from all my business partners. I can’t do this alone and it’s always great to be surrounded with people who have a shared vision for success. That brings results for me and my partners. I also take the lessons learned on the court into account as an entrepreneur. I approach every business decision or move like a play on the court.

How important do you think entrepreneurship is in strengthening the U.S. economy?

Entrepreneurship inspires and drives me. It keeps me motivated to step out of my box more and make a difference by contributing something brand new.

Credit Card Fraud: What Minority Small Businesses Need to Know Before Oct. 1

credit_cardsby Carolyn M. Brown,

U.S. minority-owned firms as reported by the Minority Business Development Agency generate $1 trillion to the U.S. economy and add roughly 5.8 million jobs on a yearly basis. Top industry sectors represented include agriculture, utilities, manufacturing, wholesale, information, finance and  insurance, accommodation and food services, healthcare, social assistance, and more.

[RELATED: Small Businesses Unaware of Credit Card Liability Changes]

However, minority-owned firms, which play an integral part in the country’s economic growth, could be among the vast majority of owners not aware of the approaching EMV liability shift and its implications. EMV is short for Europay, Mastercard and Visa standards, which is a global standard for cards equipped with computer chips and the technology used to authenticate chip-card transactions.

According to, over 70% of data security breaches are targeted at small businesses, and it’s rare that the affected business discovers the breach. These fraudulent activities are typically detected by a third party (banks or card associations) or law enforcement agencies. What follows after the breach of payment data are a string of costly and inescapable actions which can permanently cripple a business.

Wells Fargo/Gallup conducted a survey that revealed that small business owners are generally not ready for the EMV card conversion. The survey also contains important, need-to-know items for small business owners to help them avoid credit card fraud.

As of October 1, credit card companies will no longer be liable for credit and debit card fraud on card-present transactions. The card issuer or merchant, who does not support EMV, will assume liability for counterfeit card transactions that occur. This can have a huge impact, as reported by First, on the bottom line and reputation of a small business, and leads to lost time and money disputing fraudulent claims.

A majority of small business owners are simply unaware of the EMV card conversion. Less than half, or 48%, who accept point-of-sale payment (POS) know about the impending liability shift, and just 29% say they plan to upgrade their POS credit card terminals to accept EMV chip cards before the October 1 deadline.

How do you protect your small business from a costly risk involving both debit and credit cards? Attend webinars and presentations to industry groups and associations on EMV and EMV-related fraud topics, and read communications to business owners, including EMV newsletter articles.

Check out Wells Fargo’s website, which features educational articles, videos, and infographics that offer useful tips on the process and benefits of accepting EMV chip card payments, and the importance of EMV chip cards in reducing fraud. More importantly, contact your financial institutions. Banks are already issuing EMV chip-enabled credit and debit cards to prepare for the shift.

Why have so many men stopped working?

Richard Kessler (right) took time off to raise his son, Chris, and now he can't find a job.

Richard Kessler (right) took time off to raise his son, Chris, and now he can’t find a job.

By Tami Luhby, CNN Money

Fifty years ago, nearly every single working-age American man had a job or was looking for one.

That’s not the case anymore.

The labor force participation rate for men ages 25 to 54 stood at nearly 97% in 1965, but now hovers near a record low of 88%. That rate includes those who are working or have looked for a job in the past four weeks.

If the participation rate had held steady, more than five million additional men would be in the workforce.

Men are dropping out of the labor force in large part because they can’t find positions that pay decently or they don’t have the education and skills to land employment, experts say.

Richard Kessler is one of them.

Kessler, who worked as a research analyst and database manager at financial information firms, hasn’t held a job since he was laid off during the recession of the early 1990s. He was 37.

Unable to find a job, he became a stay-at-home dad to his son, Chris. Still, he looked for work and went through a retraining program, learning computer skills such as Word and Excel, in the mid-1990s. The positions he was offered, however, paid only $8 an hour.

“It didn’t make sense to give that to a babysitter,” said Kessler, now 60, who lives in Bernardsville, N.J., with his wife, a business analyst.

Kessler decided to start looking again when Chris hit his teen years. But that coincided with the Great Recession, when jobs were again scarce. He hasn’t sent out a resume in more than a year, saying he now lacks the technical skills and references needed to land employment.

“I don’t know what’s worse — the stress of not having a job or the stress of having a job,” he said. “I have a college degree. Now it’s totally worthless.”

Other men have different issues, most notably, criminal records. A growing number of men who should be working are in prison or have rap sheets that make it tough for them to get hired.

There were 5.6 million men in prison, on probation or on parole in 2013, according to the latest federal Bureau of Justice Statistics. About 34% of men age 25 to 54 without jobs have criminal records, according to a New York Times/CBS News/Kaiser Family Foundation poll from earlier this year.

Also, increasingly, men are opting to sign up for the Social Security Disability Insurance program, which exploded during the Great Recession. The number of disabled male workers doubled between 1993 and 2013 to 4.6 million, the latest figure available.

Dave Berkenbush
Dave Berkenbush would work if he could find a decent job.

Dave Berkenbush would work if given the chance, but he can’t find a job that pays enough for him to cover his medical bills. Berkenbush, who has cystic fibrosis, has been on disability since he was let go from his last payroll accounting post in 2006.

Last year, he looked into temp jobs in his field, but they only paid $15 to $18 an hour, less than half what he was making 15 years earlier. That won’t cover his medication, which costs close to $100,000 a year.

“It doesn’t pay to pursue these jobs,” said Berkenbush, 55, who lives in Pequannock, N.J., and recently had to dip into his retirement accounts for the first time.

Younger male workers, particularly those without college degrees, are also falling out of the labor force, said David Autor, economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. With declines in the manufacturing and construction industries, there are fewer opportunities for these men to find gainful employment. So many work off the grid, sign up for government assistance or turn to a life of crime.

College educated or not, those with gaps in their resumes can find it tougher to land an interview, much less a job. Even a six-month break can raise questions.

“If you are not in the game for a certain amount of time, you become unemployable,” said John Silvia, chief economist, Wells Fargo. “It’s a downward spiral.”

The declining participation rate isn’t only a problem for the men who can’t find jobs and their families. These men are not contributing to the economy or paying taxes.

And they are proving less attractive to women. Solid employment is the #1 priority women want in mate, according to a Pew Research Center report last year.

“Women are choosing not to marry men who won’t be economic partners,” Autor said.

Tennis Star James Blake Tackled By White Cops

james-blake-handcuffedby Blue Telusma |

In what appears to be a case of mistaken identity, former tennis great James Blake was slammed to the ground, handcuffed and detained by five plainclothes officers on Wednesday.

Blake tells the Daily News that he was outside his Manhattan hotel before heading out to the U.S. Open when the officers mistook him for someone they believed to be involved in an identity theft ring.

“It was definitely scary and definitely crazy,” said the player who was once ranked No. 4 in the world.

Given that he is African-American, some are speculating that this may have been a case of racial profiling. When asked his opinion on the matter, he responded,

I don’t know if it’s as simple as that. To me it’s as simple as unnecessary police force, no matter what my race is. In my mind there’s probably a race factor involved, but no matter what there’s no reason for anybody to do that to anybody.

You’d think they could say, ‘Hey, we want to talk to you. We are looking into something. I was just standing there. I wasn’t running. It’s not even close (to be okay). It’s blatantly unnecessary. You would think at some point they would get the memo that this isn’t okay, but it seems that there’s no stopping it.

The 35-year-old, who attended Harvard before going on tour, says that when he was approached, he initially didn’t realize what was going on.

“Maybe I’m naïve, but I just assumed it was someone I went to high school with or something who was running at me to give me a big hug, so I smiled at the guy,” Blake said.

However, he alleges that within moments, the officer had picked him up, thrown him down on the sidewalk, yelled at him to roll over on his face and said, “Don’t say a word.”

Blake said he responded, “I’m going to do whatever you say. I’m going to cooperate. But do you mind if I ask what this is all about?”

The officer replied, “We’ll tell you. You are in safe hands.”

Not surprisingly, Blake admits he didn’t feel very safe.

After being surrounded by four other members of law enforcement, and spending 15 minutes in handcuffs, Blake said the last officer on the scene realized they had the wrong person and apologized. The first officer chose not to.

Blake only suffered a cut to his left elbow and bruises to his left leg, and eventually got in a car and went to the Open. Yet he says he was still shaken by the incident several hours later.

“I have resources to get to the bottom of this. I have a voice,” he said, explaining his choice to share this publicly. “But what about someone who doesn’t have those resources and doesn’t have a voice? It’s hard to believe this can still be happening.”

That civic-minded approach is what Blake has been known for throughout his career. Just last week, he announced he was running the New York City Marathon to raise money for cancer research.

“For all the people this to happen to. James Blake is one of the nicest people you could ever want to meet,” said a source close to the tennis star.

Family Literacy Night at SCMS

LiteracyNight1 LiteracyNight2

Submitted Photo
Pictured above: Parents and students engaged in learning about using technology as well as Mrs.
Aisha Evans, 8th Grade ELA teacher and Department Chair, assisting with the night.

By Jill Cochran Media Specialist,
Sumter County Middle School Sumter County Middle School hosted its first Parent Night on Tuesday, September 1, 2015. Parents attended a session called Helping Your Child Learn with Technology. Parents were provided a wealth of information on the following topics: Parent Portal Infinite Campus – access to student grades, attendance, and behavior, Remind 101 – cell phone text messaging to inform parents of class activities, School Webpage/Teacher Pages – upcoming events, important information, homework calendars, notes, and resources, Education Websites – sites to help with math and reading , Google – google now provides alternatives for Word documents (Google Docs), PowerPoints (Google Slides), and space for saving information (Google Drive), and student accounts provided by the school.

Parents were able to interact with the technology by using laptops to navigate to the sites. Parents were also given opportunities to meet with their child’s teachers and receive progress reports. Refreshment were served as well as prizes for participation. The night was a success and SCMS will host its next parent night during
the month of October.

Americus-Sumter High School Receives $10,000 grant from the Monsanto Corporation

Pictured from left to right: Pushpa Rajan, Science Department Chair; Marnie Dutcher, Science Academic Coach; Alicia Green, CTAE Department Chair; Sharon Jackson, CTAE Director; Donnie Smith, Superintendent; Kimothy Hadley, Principal; Quenton Jackson, Monsanto; Victoria Harris, Associate Superintendent; Walter Knighton, Director for Professional Learning.

Pictured from left to right: Pushpa Rajan, Science Department Chair; Marnie Dutcher, Science Academic Coach; Alicia Green, CTAE Department Chair; Sharon Jackson, CTAE Director; Donnie Smith, Superintendent; Kimothy Hadley, Principal; Quenton Jackson, Monsanto; Victoria Harris, Associate Superintendent; Walter Knighton, Director for Professional Learning.

By Cheryl Fletcher, Media Specialist
Americus-Sumter High School South Campus Americus-Sumter High School has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Monsanto Corporation to enhance the Career, Technical and Agricultural Education (CTAE) and the science departments. The grant is meant to strengthen student’s problem solving skills by providing them experiences in applying what has been learned through innovation and research.

“Over recent years, we have felt the need to involve our CTAE teachers in collaborative planning with core academic teachers,” said Sumter County Schools CTAE Director Sharon Jackson. “There is a need for groups of teachers from varying academic backgrounds and expertise to come together and realize opportunities to establish how common content may be aligned to design activities and serve as a purpose for prescribed professional learning.
It’s a “win-win” situation where core academic teachers may enhance their ability to offer more contextual teaching
examples within the classroom and the CTAE teachers may enhance academic content correlation and delivery within their classrooms. CTAE teachers are then better equipped to have students apply academic knowledge to real world situations.”

The grant was made possible when local farmer and Sumter County School board member, Jim Reid, nominated the
school to apply. “We are truly thankful that a local farmer thought of nominating and introducing us to this possibility. We express our gratitude and anticipate a wealth of benefits to our students and teachers,” stated Mr. Donnie Smith, Sumter Schools Superintendent.

Mr. Kimothy Hadley said, “The major focus of this project is to ensure that students become more astute critical thinkers, problem solvers and communicators. Enhancing these skills is vital for their future success and ultimately may lead to more rewarding career options.”

Dr. Jackson had been a judge at science fairs in the past and saw how good ideas were often undermined by a
lack of resources to execute those ideas. This grant will help solve that problem. “I wanted the students to have the supplies and materials that would allow their presentations to be more presentable and competitive,” said Dr.
Jackson. “I would like to see more of our students advancing to competitions outside of the region. We want to ensure that our graduates are college and career ready as they transition to institutions of higher learning or the world of work.”

The grant also allows for teacher collaboration and instruction to help teachers integrate core educational content
with CTAE programs which focuses on real world skills such as agriculture, automotive, and health care. This grant will allow teachers the opportunity to figure out ways that core science knowledge may be integrated into the instruction of practical vocations.

September Student of the Month Breakfast

Submitted Photo

Submitted Photo







By Jill Cochran
Sumter County Middle School Sumter County Middle School celebrated its September Student of the Month Breakfast on September 3, 2015. Approximately 25 students and their parents and guardians were invited to the ceremony in which a full breakfast of sausage, bacon, eggs, grits, and biscuits was served. During the breakfast, Mrs. Stacy Favors, principal, greeted parents and students, Mrs. Sherri Nance, counselor, spoke to parents about the Parent Portal, counseling services, and upcoming events including Grandparents’ luncheon and Title I input meeting, and each child was honored with a certificate, and the positive comments from their nominating teachers were read aloud by Mr. Greg Aplin.

Obama Pushes ‘college promise’ Plan For Free Community College

2015-08-05-obama-speech-american-university-iran-nuclear-deal-reuters-640-668x501by Nancy Benac, Associated Press

WARREN, Mich. (AP) — Unable to have his way with Congress, President Barack Obama reached back to his roots as a community organizer and sought Wednesday to spark a national movement in support of his idea for free community college.

Congress has shown next-to-no interest in Obama’s $60 billion community college proposal, so he’s taking his case to the people.

“It’s an idea whose time has come,” Obama told an audience at Macomb Community College. “It’s an idea that makes sense.”

Obama said six states and communities have created programs similar to what he proposed during his State of the Union address earlier this year, including one announced by Milwaukee on Wednesday. Lawmakers in more than 10 other states have introduced legislation providing for free community college, he said.

Getting an education is the best investment anyone can make for their and the country’s future, Obama said.

“Education has always been the secret sauce, the secret to America’s success,” he said.

Obama announced that a new, independent “college promise” advisory board will work with various organizations to build momentum for the idea by highlighting programs that already provide free community college, and recruiting more states and communities to do likewise. It will be headed by a woman who Obama said is his “favorite community college instructor,” Jill Biden, the wife of Vice President Joe Biden, and former Wyoming Gov. Jim Geringer, a Republican.

Biden, who teaches English at a community college near Washington, D.C., traveled to Michigan with the president.

“It’s important that you give your friends, your families, your classmates, a heads-up to join the movement to make two years of community college free because education is the key to America’s future,” she said while introducing Obama.

Obama also announced $175 million in Labor Department grants to help create 34,000 apprenticeship slots around the country.

Before delving into the substance of his remarks, Obama said he was “a little freaked out” that his older daughter, 17-year-old Malia, started her senior year of high school this week and would be heading off to college soon.

The trip also offered a closer look at Jill Biden as her husband considers a run for president. She is said to share her husband’s concern about the family’s emotional readiness for another campaign following the recent death of their son, Beau, although her spokesman has said she supports the vice president in his career.

Jill Biden flew aboard Air Force One with Obama, exited the airplane with him after they arrived and rode with him in the limousine to campus, where they toured a technical education center and watched robots in action before they delivered remarks.

The audience of about 1,000 people groaned at her mispronunciations of the school’s name. “You’re correcting the teacher,” she said after the audience helped her out.

Matt Damon Tries To Explain Diversity To A Black Woman Filmmaker

Matt Damon and Effie Brown, an experienced black filmmaker

Matt Damon and Effie Brown, an experienced black filmmaker

by Blue Telusma

Sunday night, HBO kicked off the fourth season of Project Greenlight, their reality series centered around the filmmaking process.

However, the return of the show has been overshadowed by a moment that many viewers found at best awkward and at worst a glaring example of how white privilege manifests itself in Hollywood.

In the season premiere, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck gather a team of producers (several white men and one white woman) to find a director for the new comedy Not Another Pretty Woman.

The finalists in the competition were then flown to Los Angeles to meet with the team to discuss next steps. At one of these face to face interviews is Effie Brown, an experienced black filmmaker who has produced seventeen feature films, including Dear White People. 

Considering the plot of Not Another Pretty Woman is cheekily described as a classic “girl leaves boy at the altar, boy falls in love with a black prostitute” story, Brown suggests it would be wise to include diverse directors in the pool of potentials. She also points out that having the only black person in themovie be a prostitute who is slapped by her white pimp could be viewed as racist, sexist and just overall problematic.

Given the current social climate in this country, her advice is not only thoughtful but timely. However, Damon very adamantly disagrees and “whitesplaines” to her: “When we’re talking about diversity, you do it in the casting of the film, not in the casting of the show.” To which a clearly taken aback Brown responds with, “Wow. Ok.”

During the encounter, the thing that many viewers found particularly disturbing was the way Damon talked over Brown and tried to silence her. One can only imagine why the editors of the show decided to include this exchange in the final cut.

Twitter, as usual, was quick to point out the misstep.

Matt Damon supporters better hope this is some secret intentional ploy to get America to talk about diversity and that the actor will come out and say “See, I told you,” pretty soon.

If not, it could get ugly.

NBA Great Moses Malone Dies at 60

Former Philadelphia 76ers star Moses Malone talks to reporters before the start of the 76ers' game against the Portland Trail Blazers, Friday, March 14, 2003, in Philadelphia. The 76ers' 1982-83 NBA championship team was to be honored at halftime. (AP Photo/George Widman)

Former Philadelphia 76ers star Moses Malone talks to reporters before the start of the 76ers’ game against the Portland Trail Blazers, Friday, March 14, 2003, in Philadelphia. The 76ers’ 1982-83 NBA championship team was to be honored at halftime. (AP Photo/George Widman)

— Moses Malone devoured rebounds so easily it sometimes seemed he missed shots on purpose to pad his total before scoring.

All those points and rebounds made Malone an NBA great.

A few words, and one championship, made him a Philadelphia sports icon.

Malone, a three-time NBA MVP and one of basketball’s most ferocious rebounders, died Sunday in Norfolk, Virginia, where he was scheduled to appear at a charity golf event. He was 60.

Malone had just attended this weekend’s enshrinement ceremonies at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. Nicknamed the “Chairman of the Boards,” Malone was inducted himself in 2001 and remains in the NBA’s top 10 in career scoring and rebounding.

“With three MVPs and an NBA championship, he was among the most dominant centers ever to play the game and one of the best players in the history of the NBA and the ABA,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said.

Norfolk police said Malone was found unresponsive and not breathing in his room by hotel staff shortly before 8 a.m. Norfolk Fire Rescue responded and pronounced Malone dead at the scene. A cause of death has not been determined.

Dr. William Grier, co-author of ‘Black Rage,’ dies at 89

William Grier (Screenshot of KRON news footage from 1968 via Young Broadcasting of San Francisco, Inc.)

William Grier (Screenshot of KRON news footage from 1968 via Young Broadcasting of San Francisco, Inc.)

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Dr. William Grier, a psychiatrist who co-authored the groundbreaking 1968 book, “Black Rage,” which offered the first psychological examination of black life in the United States, has died at age 89.

Grier’s eldest son, Geoffrey Grier, said Wednesday that his father died Sept. 3 at a hospice care facility in Carlsbad, a coastal city north of San Diego, after suffering a brain lesion.

Grier and Price M. Cobbs, both black psychiatrists working in San Francisco in the 1960s, co-authored “Black Rage” to explain the anger that triggered the riots after the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The authors argued how the heritage of slavery contributed to the unrest decades after the end of segregation and continued to affect society as well as the personal lives of African Americans. In 1969, ABC produced a TV special about the book called “To Be Black.”

Grier had an insatiable appetite for knowledge and was driven by his need to expose the long-lasting effects of social oppression, his friends and colleagues said.

“I think that desire to acquire information coupled with his social conscience formed a force that was hard to be reckoned with,” Geoffrey Grier said. ” ‘Black Rage’ was required reading in schools, colleges for a long period of time. It allowed all people to be able read, understand, comprehend, draw conclusions, and make connections. It had a much larger impact than we think.”

His father died believing his book was as relevant today as it was when it set off a firestorm of debate in the 1960s, he said.

“You can try to come up with another name, call it Black Lives Matter,” Grier said. “Whatever you want to say, at the end of day, there is black rage. The relevance of what they were saying is really, really on point now.”

Corrie Ort said her husband closely followed the news, including the police shootings of young black men in Missouri, New York and Baltimore. The couple lived in the beach community of Leucadia, north of San Diego.

“We really need to start listening,” Ort said.

Born in 1926 in Birmingham, Alabama, Grier saw racial injustice from a young age when his father was unfairly fired from his job as a postman, forcing the family to move in with relatives in Detroit when Grier was 12 years old, Ort said. He attended Howard University and later medical school at the University of Michigan and became trained as a psychoanalyst in Detroit.

Cobbs said his lifelong friend reframed the way people look at anger among African Americans.

Geoffrey Grier said he also opened the door for blacks to seek the help of a therapist, which was unheard of before the book’s release.

His family said Grier loved classical music, jazz, was a history buff and wrote poetry. Grier is the also the father of actor and comedian David Alan Grier, known for his role on the Emmy Award-winning TV show “In Living Color” and for his work on Broadway.

Grier is survived by his wife, and children, Geoffrey, David Alan, Elizabeth and stepson Derrek Karmoen, and stepdaughter Saminah Karmoen, and two grandchildren.

‘Nina’ Biopic Starring Zoe Saldana Gets December Theatrical Release Date

David Oyelowo and Zoe Saldana in 'Nina.'

David Oyelowo and Zoe Saldana in ‘Nina.’

by theGrio,

RLJ Entertainment has acquired the rights to the upcoming biopic Nina, which explores the life and career of Nina Simone and will star Zoe Saldana and David Oyelowo.

Robert L. Johnson, RLJE Chairman and Founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET), said in a press release that he was looking forward to the film’s December 2015 premiere.

“I am very excited that RLJ Entertainment will be distributing Nina Simone’s biopic with the tremendous talent involved including Zoe Saldana and David Oyelowo,” said Johnson.  “I had the special privilege early in my career of working with Ms. Simone while coordinating a performance for former D.C. Delegate Walter E. Fauntroy and knowing first-hand of her major contribution to the soul and emotion of the Civil Rights Movement.  I look forward as I am sure many others will, to her story and legacy being made available by RLJ Entertainment to consumers on various media platforms in the coming months.”

In a June interview with InStyle magazine, Zoe Saldana addressed concerns that she was too light-skinned to play the part of Nina Simone in the upcoming biopic Nina.

“I didn’t think I was right for the part, and I know a lot of people will agree, but then again, I don’t think Elizabeth Taylor was right for Cleopatra either,” she said in the interview.

“An artist is colorless, genderless… It’s more complex than just ‘Oh, you chose the Halle Berry look-alike to play a dark, strikingly beautiful, iconic black woman.’ The truth is, they chose an artist who was willing to sacrifice herself. We needed to tell her story because she deserves it.”

Nina Simone, a 15-time Grammy winner, became famous not only for her musical career but her work with the Civil Rights movement, and many of her songs reflected that work, most notably “To Be Young Gifted and Black.” The film covers her search for hope and redemption and the meaning hermusic brought into the lives of those that heard it.

Antibiotic-resistant Superbugs Found Lurking in 1 in 5 Conventional Ground Beef Samples

(Credit: Constantine Pankin/Shutterstock)

(Credit: Constantine Pankin/Shutterstock)


If that raw hamburger meat you bought to cook for dinner hasn’t given you a stomach ache yet, this might: according to a Consumer Reports investigation, store-bought ground beef is teeming with dangerous bacteria, including “superbugs” resistant to three or more classes of antibiotics, as well as a whole lot of poop.

That’s a big problem, the report warns, because of Americans’ penchant for under-cooked meat. But the study, which analyzed 300 packages of meat purchased from grocery, big-box, and natural food stores across 26 U.S. cities, found some important differences dependent on how the beef was raised: either conventionally — in grain and soy feedlots where food is supplemented with antibiotics and other growth-promoting drugs — or what the report terms “sustainably”: meaning, in this case, that no antibiotics were used, and which also could include organic or grass-fed cattle.

According to the researchers, conventionally raised samples turned out to have more bacteria, in general. And 18 percent contained at least one strain of bacteria resistant to the drugs most commonly used in human medicine, compared to just 9 percent of more sustainably raised samples, and 6 percent of grass-fed.


The use of low-level antibiotics on feedlots — including some that are important to human medicine — may be responsible for the discrepancy. Consumer Reports suggests that overall higher amount of bacteria in conventional beef, meanwhile, may be a function of the conditions in which the animals are raised, in cramped, feces-ridden, stress-producing spaces; fed, with diets can include “candy, chicken coop waste and the slaughterhouse remains of pigs and chickens; and slaughtered, in a rapid manner that can increase the odds of contamination occurring.

It’s all reason, per Consumer Reports, to look at labels, and strive to purchase sustainably raised beef “whenever possible.”

Doing so won’t ensure a safe meal, however. Because while a higher proportion of conventional beef tested positive for superbugs, each and every sample tested by Consumer Reports was found to contain either enterococcus and/or nontoxin-producing E. coli, which signify fecal contamination. And 10 percent of all samples contained a strain of S. aureus that can make you sick even if you fully cook your meat.


Anyone else craving a veggie burger?

Heart Attack and Conditions That Mimic Heart Attack: Learn About Chest Pain

Young-man-having-heart-attack-or-chest-painThere are many medical conditions that can mimic a heart attack. Some of these are a sign of something urgent, and others are not. Remember, if you are experiencingsymptoms of a heart attack, dial 911. A few possible non-heart-attack causes of chest pain are described below. Your physician can help you identify the cause of any chest pain. There are other causes of chest pain that relate to the heart as well as non-heart-related causes of chest pain. You can learn about many of the causes of chest pain here, but first it is important to learn about heart attack and conditions that mimic it.

What Is a Heart Attack?

A heart attack happens when a complete blockage suddenly forms in an artery that supplies blood to your heart (a coronary artery). Blockages are caused by a disease process throughout the arteries in your body called atherosclerosis, in which plaque(a fatty substance) builds up in the arteries. This plaque narrows the arteries, leaving less room for blood to flow. A plaque can be topped with a thin, fibrous cap that ruptures. With rupture, exposure of atherosclerotic debris to the bloodstream can causeplatelets (a component of blood that assists with clotting) and red blood cells to collect at the site of the rupture, cutting off blood flow to the artery. Alternatively, part of the plaque may break off and flow downstream in the blood. This piece of plaque can then lodge in a narrowed portion of the artery and blood will begin to clot around it. This blood clot (thrombosis) can partially or completely cut off blood flow through the artery. When blood flow is cut off, this is called ischemia.

A heart attack is an emergency that requires immediate medical attention. Here’s why:

Your heart is a muscle. Blood carries vital oxygen and nutrients to the heart muscle, and without blood, the heart muscle begins to die. That is why every second counts when it comes to heart attack treatment. An extensive blockage, especially in a major blood vessel, such as the left anterior descending artery, can cause a large heart attack. Large heart attacks that are not treated early and aggressively can lead to heart failure. The risk of death within five years of being diagnosed with certain types of heart failure can be 50 percent or more, worse than many forms of cancer.

It is better to go to the hospital and learn that you are not having a heart attack than to stay home and have one. That’s because the consequences of an untreated heart attack are so great. If your symptoms persist for more than 15 minutes, you are at more risk that heart muscle cells will die. It is critical for you and your heart that you receive immediate medical attention. To receive the best care, you have about 90 minutes from the onset of the heart attack for an interventional cardiologist or surgeon to restore the flow of blood to the heart before critical heart tissue dies or is damaged.

Know that today your chances of surviving a heart attack – and surviving it well – are greater than ever, and that patients and physicians are a team working together for heart health. Recognition of the symptoms of a heart attack and seeking prompt medical attention are crucial in improving one’s odds of surviving a heart attack, so the first and probably most important link in the battle against CAD is seeking PROMPT medical attention when there is any suspicion of a heart attack.

Symptoms of Heart Attack

Many heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts longer than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like –

  • Uncomfortable pressure,
  • Squeezing,
  • Fullness, or
  • Stabbing pain.


 Heart attack symptoms include –

  • Chest discomfort
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body:  one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort
  • Pounding heart or changes in heart rhythm
  • Heartburn, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

Heart Attack Symptoms May Be Different in Women

These heart attack symptoms are more common in women.They may occur without chest pain.  

  • Sudden onset of weakness,
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea, vomiting, indigestion
  • Body aches
  • Overall feeling of illness
  • Unusual feeling or mild discomfort in the back, chest, arm, neck or jaw (Remember, these may occur without chest pain and still be a heart attack)
  • Sleep disturbance

People who have diabetes or are elderly may also experience atypical heart attack symptoms.

If you or someone you are with experiences any of the symptoms above, get help immediately. Don’t delay.

In a heart attack, every second counts. Dial 911 to get to the hospital as soon as possible.

If you can, chew an uncoated aspirin tablet. This can help slow blood clot formation while you wait for emergency medical technicians (EMTs) to arrive in an ambulance.

Unstable Angina

Angina is chest pain caused by a lack of blood flow to the heart due to narrowed or blocked heart arteries. Most commonly it is the result of coronary artery disease (CAD). Angina occurs when the heart is not getting as much blood and oxygen as it needs to pump. Angina that occurs with increasing frequency, with decreasing levels of physical activity, at rest or that is not relieved with rest is called unstable angina. Unstable angina requires immediate attention because it can be the first sign of a heart attack. In unstable angina, blood work that assesses for damage to the heart muscle is negative, indicating no heart attack (yet). Generally, at rest, there is still some blood flow beyond a severe blockage, and so there has not been damage to the heart.

Stable Angina

Angina that occurs with exercise and is relieved with rest is called stable angina. In stable angina, the stimulus that causes the chest pain is relatively stable and reproducible. For instance, a patient with stable angina may report that he or she gets chest pressure with walking ten minutes on the treadmill, that the chest pressure is relieved with rest, and that the symptoms have been relatively stable for the past several months. Additionally, the patient may report that he or she can easily do some activities at home, such as walking one mile slowly, but that increasing the level of exercise by walking faster brings on chest pain.

The chest pain is a sign that blood flow to the heart is being restricted by build-up of plaque (a fatty substance) in the coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart. While a patient with stable angina is not likely to be at immediate risk for a heart attack, the condition does need to be treated. Medications and lifestyle changes will be part of treatment. If the angina is very painful, the patient may consider angioplasty to reopen the narrowed arteries or cardiac bypass graft surgery to reroute blood flow around the blocked blood vessels.

Broken Heart Syndrome (Takotsubo Syndrome)

(A) Schematic representation of takotsubo cardiomyopathy
(B) Compared to the situation in a normal
person (B)
The Japanese octopus traps after which Takotsubo Syndrome is named.

Physicians know that there is something behind the folk idea of a broken heart. Occasionally, a person may arrive in the emergency room with the symptoms of a heart attack, including the presence of cardiac enzymes in the blood that indicate damage to the heart muscle, as well as abnormalities on an electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG). However, no blockages will be discovered in the arteries that supply blood to the heart. Instead, in these patients, the heart’s main pumping chamber, the left ventricle, contracts in an unusual pattern. With contraction, this ventricle will be shaped like a fishing pot used to trap octopuses, the tako-tsubo pot – an observation made by the Japanese physicians who were the first to identify the syndrome. In other words, the bottom of the heart does not squeeze well (akin to the base of the pot) while the top part of the heart does squeeze well (akin to the neck of the pot).

While takotsubo syndrome is not well understood, researchers think the left ventricle may be “stunned” and unable to function because of a surge of stress hormones after the patient experiences a severe emotional or physical trauma, such as a death of a loved one or an automobile accident. The syndrome usually resolves quickly and without lasting damage to the heart, but it can, in very rare cases, be fatal. If you experience signs of a heart attack, dial 911 right away.

You can learn more about Broken Heart Syndrome here.

Esophageal Spasm, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition in which you have chronic heartburn. Esophageal spasm is when your esophagus, the pipe that carries food from your mouth to your stomach, strongly contracts. Either of these conditions can cause chest pain and can be hard to distinguish from a heart attack since the esophagus runs directly behind the heart within the chest. If the symptoms you experience are unusual for you, sudden, and severe, don’t be embarrassed to seek immediate medical attention. It is better to seek treatment and find out you have heartburn than to ignore a potentially fatal heart attack.

Pulmonary Embolism (blood clot in the lung)

Some forms of chest pain may originate from your lungs, rather than your heart. One lung problem, pulmonary embolism, can mimic a heart attack and is equally serious. A pulmonary embolism is a blood clot in an artery in the lungs. This clot cuts off blood flow, and the lung tissue begins to die. A pulmonary embolism is a life-threatening medical emergency that requires immediate treatment.

Aortic Dissection (tear in the wall of the aorta)

The aorta is the main artery that brings blood from the heart to the rest of the body. The wall of the aorta is made of three different layers. If there is a tear in the innermost layer, blood pumped from the heart may push under this flap and separate one layer from another. This separation causes a tearing chest pain that sometimes goes to the back. This tear in the aorta can extend up to the carotid arteries to the brain, back to the coronary arteries of the heart, or down to the arteries of the legs. Aortic dissection may cause stroke, heart attack and death. It is a life-threatening medical emergency that requires immediate treatment.

Musculoskeletal Pain

Sometimes chest pain may be something as simple as a pulled chest muscle. Inflammation in the cartilage that connects the ribs to the breastbone can also feel like a heart attack. If you have sudden chest pain that is causing you concern, you should seek immediate medical treatment to rule out a serious condition.

Psychological Disorders That Can Cause Chest Pain

Panic disorders, anxiety, depression, emotional stress or other psychological disordersmay also cause chest pain. In these psychological disorders, the chest pain is not related to angina or digestive causes but instead seems to be triggered by the emotional stress. Emotional stress is a relatively common cause of chest pain, but it is extremely important that you see your doctor to rule out coronary artery disease (CAD) before attributing your chest pain to psychological disorders, even if you do not have a history of coronary artery disease.

Marketing aggravates obesity in Black children

(mcd_obesity/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0)

(mcd_obesity/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0)

By Jazelle Hunt NNPA Washington Correspondent

WASHINGTON (NNPA) – Today, close to one in four Black children – as young as 2 years old – is obese. And the $161 million spent on advertising unhealthy foods to Black and Latino youth at most recent count is not helping. “We see more of this [marketing] in our community in general…in the placement of billboards in our community, [and] the fact that there’s less of the healthier products in our community,” said Vikki Lassiter, executive director of the African American Collaborative Obesity Network at the University of Pennsylvania. “By consequence, there are a lot of cheap things that are easily accessible. So you have a mix of products that are available, and are seen more often in your community – it’s a continuous stream of seeing the unhealthy more than the healthy.” A new report from the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut details how this aggressive advertising is magnifying the obesity epidemic. And although companies are pursuing Latino children and teens most aggressively (in terms of dollar amount), Black children and teens have the highest levels of exposure to ads for processed foods. Candy and gum brands in particular increased their Black-targeted advertising spending by 39 percent, amounting to approximately $140 million. The report examines all restaurant, food, and beverage companies with $100 million or more in advertising spending in 2013 – a total of 26 companies, representing a few hundred brands. It also includes all of the companies participating in the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI), which pledges to only advertise their healthier choices in child-targeted media. These companies represented 75 percent of all food-related advertising on Black networks – and less than 1 percent of it was for healthy products. In addition, Black children are getting a “double-dose” of these ads. “The double-dose relates to the fact that mainstream media is something that Black and Latino children are definitely watching, but then there’s targeted advertising/marketing to Black TV networks,” Lassiter said. “So you have…candy and fast food and soda companies investing to promote in Black targeted TV. But while they’re watching BET, they’re also watching things on NBC and getting all this marketing.” Even without the double-dose, Black children have the highest levels of exposure to ads for processed and junk food, viewing 70 percent more food-related TV ads than their White peers. The nation’s demographic changes are a primary reason for the level of this targeted marketing. There’s also the general marketing technique of exposing people to the product when they are young to create lifelong preference and loyalty spending. But Black kids have their own particular appeal. “Then you have the other piece of it, in terms of, urban communities and Black youth being trendsetters,” Lassiter explained. “Marketers…want to test things out first with Black youth to see how that might trend out.” The researchers point out that completely stopping brands from marketing is neither reasonable nor preferable. Many of these companies use a part of ad revenue to support Black communities in meaningful ways. Still, among the 267 most-advertised brands of these 26 companies, only one healthy brand– Yoplait Light – was advertised to Black people. “There’s this disconnect…when you look at how some of these companies will support athletic events, or concerts to bring community togetherness, yet in the same regard they have more of their products that are unhealthy throughout that same community,” Lassiter pointed out. “So there’s definitely this huge disconnect with what do these companies really stand for and value, especially because there’s research to show that it is possible to be profitable and largely healthy.” Brands will always need to market and advertise their products, but Lassiter said that helping children understand what they are seeing is a good way to combat the effects. “One thing that’s important is for children to have an understanding of what marketing is – the fact that this message is purposely meant to influence you, that not everything is meant to be taken at face value. That if you drink soda, you’re not going to be living the life,” she explained. She also recommends that parents talk about nutrition and their purchase choices while grocery shopping, to help young people understand what they are putting in their bodies. “We still have a lot of work to do – in terms of community advocates and public health practitioners – in making this information shared and understood,” Lassiter said, adding that this is one of the report’s goals. “We need to be really vocal about it. We don’t like what we’re seeing, and we deserve and need better.” – See more at:

Want To Build Lean Muscle? Eat These Foods

Eat pumpkin seeds after you work out

Eat pumpkin seeds after you work out

By Alina Gonzalez, Byrdie (TNS)

Lean muscle: It’s what we all want, right? Long, toned muscles that look elegant — not “bulky.” We talked to Jenn Randazzo, a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition and dietetics, for the best foods to eat for muscles, as well as some general background on building the body you want.

First, let’s start with a little lesson on lean muscles. What does that even mean?

“Something I hear time and time again is, ‘I don’t want to build muscle; I just want to become more toned,’ but guess what? Building muscle and toning muscle are the exact same thing.” Randazzo said.

“Our total body composition is composed of four things: fats, fluids, mineral mass and lean body mass. This lean body mass includes all of our muscles, which are fat-free cells in the body, and lean muscle is just a popular expression. Lesson here: Muscle is muscle.”

In other words? All muscle is inherently lean. So if you’re building muscle, it’s going to be fat-free and lean.

“When you hear people say they want to be more toned and lean, what they really want is to build strength in their body while reducing their total amount of body fat. This concept is typically referred to as the “strength-to-weight ratio,” she said.

So how does one “build” muscle with diet? Muscle is built when it gets broken down by the body.

“Especially during exercise, the protein-packed structures within the muscle become depleted of their glycogen stores, resulting in muscle fatigue,” Randazzo said. “Ever ‘bonked’ mid-workout because your muscles have ached so badly? This is exactly what you’re feeling. Because the body perceives this work as an ‘injury,’ the immune system is triggered, sending in special proteins to help begin repairing the damaged muscle tissues — so the body can focus on repairing and muscle to rebuild from. To effectively rebuild muscles, diet becomes especially important,” she said.

Berries, oranges, dates

Randazzo said these fresh whole-food fruits contain valuable phytonutrients and antioxidants “while providing that much-needed easily digestible carbohydrate immediately after a workout. These fruits are considered lower-glycemic fruits, so they’ll give those muscles what they need without spiking your blood sugar.” She suggests 1/2 cup berries, one medium orange, or mashed dates on a piece of sprouted whole grain toast, 20 minutes after a workout.

Roasted pumpkin seeds, cashews, almonds

These nutrient-packed seeds and nuts are perfect on-the-go proteins that help keep you full yet energized and provide post-workout protein to rebuild muscle. For optimal portion and timing, Randazzo recommends 1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds or 1/3 cup almonds or cashews, 45 minutes after a workout.


“These heart-healthy fruits are the bomb!” Randazzo said about avocados. “Perfect additions to a smoothie, salad, tacos, or just eaten by themselves (maybe with a little salt and pepper), avocados help refuel the body while managing the inflammation.”

What is Hirschsprung’s “severe constipation” disease?

What is Hirschsprung’s disease?

Hirschsprung’s disease occurs when some of the nerve cells that are normally present in the intestine do not form properly while a baby is developing during pregnancy.

As food is digested, muscles move food forward through the intestines in a movement called peristalsis. When we eat, nerve cells that are present in the wall of the intestines receive signals from the brain telling the intestinal muscles to move food forward.

In children with Hirschsprung’s disease, a lack of nerve cells in part of the intestine interrupts the signal from the brain and prevents peristalsis in that segment of the intestine. Because stool cannot move forward normally, the intestine can become partially or completely obstructed (blocked), and begins to expand to a larger than normal size.

The problems a child will experience with Hirschsprung’s disease depend on how much of the intestine has normal nerve cells present.

What causes Hirschsprung’s disease?

Between the 4th and the 12th weeks of pregnancy, while the fetus is growing and developing, nerve cells form in the digestive tract, beginning in the mouth and finishing in the anus. For unknown reasons, the nerve cells do not grow past a certain point in the intestine in babies with Hirschsprung’s disease.

How often does Hirschsprung’s disease occur?

Hirschsprung’s disease occurs in 1 out of every 5,000 live births.

Who is at risk for Hirschsprung’s disease?

Hirschsprung’s disease occurs five times more frequently in males than in females, and children with Down syndrome have a higher risk of having the disease.

There is possibly a genetic, or inherited, cause for Hirschsprung’s disease.

Why is Hirschsprung’s disease a concern?

Because a segment of the intestine lacks normal nerve cells, digested food and stool cannot move forward through that portion of the digestive tract. The intestine becomes blocked with stool, and the baby will be constipated, or unable to have normal bowel movements.

The obstruction (blockage) causes pressure on the inside of the intestine, causing part of the intestinal wall to wear thin. Eventually, a bacterial infection can develop in the digestive tract, causing serious problems.

What are the symptoms of Hirschsprung’s disease?

Most children with Hirschsprung’s disease show symptoms in the first few weeks of life. Children who only have a short segment of intestine that lacks normal nerve cells may not show symptoms for several months or years. The following are the most common symptoms of Hirschsprung’s disease. However, each person may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • Not having a bowel movement in the first 48 hours of life
  • Gradual bloating of the abdomen
  • Vomiting green or brown fluid

Children who do not have early symptoms may also present the following:

  • Constipation that becomes worse with time
  • Loss of appetite
  • Delayed growth
  • Passing small, watery, bloody stools
  • Loss of energy

Symptoms of Hirschsprung’s disease may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Please consult your child’s doctor for a diagnosis.

How is Hirschsprung’s disease diagnosed?

A doctor will examine your child and obtain a medical history. Other tests may be done to evaluate whether your child has Hirschsprung’s disease. These tests may include:

  • Abdominal X-ray. A diagnostic test which may show a lack of stool in the large intestine or near the anus and dilated segments of the large and small intestine.
  • Barium enema. A procedure performed to examine the large intestine for abnormalities. A fluid called barium (a metallic, chemical, chalky, liquid used to coat the inside of organs so that they will show up on an X-ray) is given into the rectum as an enema. An X-ray of the abdomen shows strictures (narrowed areas), obstructions (blockages), and dilated intestine above the obstruction.
  • Anorectal manometry. A test that measures nerve reflexes which are missing in Hirschsprung’s disease.
  • Biopsy of the rectum or large intestine. A test that takes a sample of the cells in the rectum or large intestine and then looks for nerve cells under a microscope.

What is the treatment for Hirschsprung’s disease?

Specific treatment for Hirschsprung’s disease will be determined by your child’s doctor based on the following:

  • The extent of the problem
  • Your child’s age, overall health, and medical history
  • Your child’s tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
  • Expectations for the course of the disorder
  • The opinion of the health care providers involved in the child’s care
  • Your opinion and preference

An operation is usually necessary to deal with intestinal obstruction caused by Hirschsprung’s disease. The surgeon removes the portion of the rectum and intestine that lacks normal nerve cells. When possible, the remaining portion is then connected to the anal opening. This is known as a pull-through procedure. At times, a child may need to have a colostomy done so stool can leave the body. With a colostomy, the upper end of the intestine is brought through an opening in the abdomen known as a stoma. Stool will pass through the opening and then into a collection bag. The colostomy may be temporary or permanent, depending on the amount of intestine that needs to be removed. After a healing period, many children can have the intestine surgically reconnected above to the anal opening and have the colostomy closed.

Illustration of bowel resection and colostomy

Click Image to Enlarge

Will my child have problems in the future?

Problems in the future often depend on the amount of intestine that lacked nerve cells, and how much intestine was removed. Children who are able to have their colostomy closed may have temporary or intermittent problems, including the following:

  • Stools may be frequent and loose at first. Cleaning the anal area carefully to remove stool, and applying diaper rash creams or lotions may prevent skin irritation.
  • Children may have problems sensing the need to have a bowel movement. Since the urge to have a bowel movement is greater after eating, setting aside 10 minutes after meals to spend on the toilet may help.
  • Some children have problems with bowel movements because the anal opening is tight, and this can be helped by a special technique called rectal dilation. Your child’s doctor can teach you this technique if it is appropriate for your child.

Children who had a large section of intestine removed may have long-term problems. When a large portion of the intestine is removed, the digestive process can be affected. Nutrients and fluids are absorbed from food in the small intestine. Removing a large segment of the intestine can prevent a child from getting enough nutrients and fluids. Children can have problems with improper digestion, slow growth, and infection.

Consult your doctor regarding the outlook for your child.

Black Man Gets Cop To Admit That He Was Pulled Over For Making ‘direct eye contact’

John Felton

John Felton

by theGrio

A black driver got a Dayton police officer to admit to pulling him over for making “direct eye contact” with him in a video sent to talk show host David Pakman.

The video was posted online earlier this month by the driver John Felton. Felton, who has Michigan tags, says he started recording when he noticed an officer was following him on the way to his mother’s Dayton home. “He just needed a reason. Why would you follow me every step of the way, every turn I make?” Felton says.

He eventually is pulled over, and the officer claims Felton did not turn on his signal 100 feet before making the turn. The officer asks for identification from Felton and his passenger before deciding to let them off with a warning. However, it’s Felton who now doesn’t let the officer off the hook.

“You’ve been tailing me for how long? You just needed a reason to pull me over,” Felton says in the video. “No disrespect, I don’t have nothing against police officers, but all this sh*t that’s going on now? That’s some scary sh*t. To have a police officer just tail you, and then you pull me over, because you said I didn’t signal — what? Do you know how it looks?”

Felton asks the officer for a second time why he was pulled over. “Because you made direct eye contact with me, and you held on to it while I was passing you,” the officer responds.

“What? I didn’t even see you,” Felton says in disbelief.

“I’m not gonna argue about it anymore, sir. If you want to keep talking, though, I’ll just get your license back and give you a citation for the violation, and we can take it to court. I’m not gonna argue about it anymore,” the officer responds.

“OK, sir,” Felton said.  “This is bullsh*t,” Felton says to his passenger as the cop returns to his vehicle.

Another Study Says Watching Fox News Makes You Dumber

Roger Ailes, FOX President

Roger Ailes, FOX President

by Hunter, forDaily Kos

I’ve lost count of how many of these studies have been done at this point, but I guess it’s time to add another one to the pile. Watching Fox News makes you less informed about events than not watching any news at all.

According to a new study by Farleigh Dickinson University, Fox viewers are the least knowledgeable audience of any outlet, and they know even less about politics and current events than people who watch no news at all.

Respondents to the survey were able to answer correctly an average of 1.8 of 4 questions about international news and 1.6 out of 5 questions about domestic affairs. “Based on these results, people who don’t watch any news at all are expected to answer correctly on average 1.22 of the questions about domestic politics, just by guessing or relying on existing basic knowledge,” said Dan Cassino, the poll’s analyst.

“The study concludes that media sources have a significant impact on the number of questions that people were able to answer correctly,” wrote Cassino and his colleagues. “The largest effect is that of Fox News: all else being equal, someone who watched only Fox News would be expected to answer just 1.04 domestic questions correctly—a figure which is significantly worse than if they had reported watching no media at all. On the other hand, if they listened only to NPR, they would be expected to answer 1.51 questions correctly.”

Now, let’s just reflect on this. Let’s say you decided to make a little fort out of your couch cushions, crawl inside, and just stay there. No television, no newspapers, no contact with the outside world whatsoever. Let’s say you only ventured out to hunt your own food in the backyard, so that your meals consisted mainly of crabgrass and possums. Let’s say that, for companionship, you made a little stick figure out of paper clips, named him, oh, I don’t know, let’s say “Skippy,” and devoted yourself to long, meandering conversations with him about nothing in particular. Then you got mad at him and broke his little paper clip leg, panicked and buried him in the yard.

You’d still know more about the world than if you watched goddamn Fox News.

On Monday, Fox News CEO Roger Ailes was giving one of his patented “I iz so smart, Fox iz so great” college lectures. This one was filled with gems like “one thing that qualifies me to run a journalism organization is the fact that I don’t have a journalism degree” and that reporters for the New York Times were “a bunch of lying scum.” Oh, and that everybody in the media is just outrageously liberal, everywhere, all the time.

You would think that having studies show that your “news network” actively causes viewers to know less about the news than when they started would put a bit of a damper on your ol’ public displays of self-aggrandizement. Then again, if you’re the head of Fox News, you probably just say those studies are figments of the imagination, or were commissioned by dirty rotten hippies, and get on with your day. Or maybe you just have Steve Doocy say that stuff, because you can’t be bothered and because Steve Doocy will freaking say anything you put in front of him.

So given that public shaming is right out—I’m sure Roger would be first to tell you that the purpose of the news is not to inform people, after all—what’s left? Maybe a truth in advertising law, so that if your viewers score abominably in tests of basic world events, you’re no longer allowed to call yourself “news” anymore? Federal marshals come to paint over the “News” part of all your signs? (Say what you will, but I believe passing laws with hilarious consequences is just not something we do enough of—at least, not intentionally. Unintentionally, we do it all the time.)

At the least, I might politely assert here that if your “news” programs result in people not knowing the news, or believing false things about the news, it’s not “news” anymore. It’s propaganda. You can puff out your chest and talk about your patriotism and great business sense all you want, but the rest of us don’t have to actually respect you for it. You’re still just a huckster in a nice suit.

Why We’re Shocked by White Heroin Use

 (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

(AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

By Ishmael Reed,

One way former Kremlinologists were able to detect trends behind the Iron Curtain was to read the poems of Yevgeny Yevtushenko and Andrei Voznesensky. My white students have been writing poems for years about dysfunctional behavior behind the lesser-known “Suburban Curtain.” They write about absentee white fathers who were “tourists” in their homes or absent parents who gave them money, which they spent on drugs. “Debutantes sniffing cocaine from dirty toilet seats” appeared in my student J. Cody Peterson’s “La Jolla. In 3 Acts,” about one of California’s high-income cities.

Now suddenly, that curtain has been drawn back. Three MSNBC moderators—Tamron Hall, Andrea Mitchell and Luke Russert— were recently shocked to discover that white people use heroin. Hall said white people are not the image that one usually associates with the drug. On April 17, Mitchell said that she came to focus on the heroin epidemic only when the governor of Vermont addressed it in a speech. On April 18, Russert described Connecticut as an “unlikely” zone for heroin use. “Unlikely” because for decades the media have associated heroin with black people. And even when filming addicts in a clinic and concealing the identity of three white men, MSNBC showed the face of a black addict who was seeking help.

Black people and families were first diagnosed with a “tangle of pathologies” in Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s notorious 1965 The Negro Family: The Case for National Action. He said black women were on the way to creating a new species, even though any matriarch on welfare at the time was likely a member of the senator’s own tribe: Celtic-American. Charles Murray, author of The Bell Curve, a pop-sociological update on Moynihan’s themes, is also of Scots-Irish descent. Now National Review writer Kevin Williamson, author of a recent article about Appalachia called “The White Ghetto,” cites a tangle of pathologies among white people of Scots-Irish descent.

Why turn this incriminating lens from black people to white people? There have been reports of drug epidemics in white communities since at least 1995, when on March 20 of that year The New York Times reported, “The typical person whose death is related to heroin in the Philadelphia area is likely to be white, employed and living in a middle-class suburb.”

Since the 1990s, the epidemic in white rural and suburban areas has grown. No curtain is big enough to draw across the suffering on display, with 669,000 Americans using heroin in 2012, a 65 percent increase from 2002. A recent film, Gateway to Heroin, quoted a Boston undertaker who had buried “hundreds” of white kids who had died from opiate overdoses. Another filmmaker attuned to the problem of the white underclass is Debra Granik, with her award-winning films Down to the Bone and Winter’s Bone.

Maybe if the pundits and reporters had paid attention in 1995, almost twenty years ago, the problem wouldn’t be as devastating. At the time, a study emerged indicating that all was not well in suburbia. A 1997 SUNY study surprised its authors when their interviews with white women revealed that 92 percent of those interviewed had experienced battering or had seen their mothers or sisters battered. “Domestic violence is not a phenomenon found only in poor and working-class homes,” Weis said in a press release, but is “found widely in very privileged homes as well.” Weis added that the 31 black women respondents were much more open about the violence they saw and experienced. “The white women in the study, on the other hand, were very secretive,” Weis wrote. She speculated that such secretiveness served to protect the popular image of family life in the white community and that shame and secrecy were encouraged by the media focus on demonizing black people.

Do white pundits, reporters and TV news producers have a no-snitch policy on exposing social crises in the white community? While popular culture, novels, film and theater portray the black boogeyman as a threat to women (more so than the mostly white men who deny Medicaid to the poor and send black and Hispanic women to prison for drug crimes), white men’s treatment of white women is rarely discussed. I’ve challenged the white men who finance black boogeyman products to address the issue of domestic violence against white women. Why isn’t Nicholas Kristof on this?

Meanwhile, Scot Nakagawa has criticized William Schneider of MSNBC for using Asian-Americans—thirty-eight culturally distinct groups—as a model minority, arguing that Schneider is aiming to shame black people by comparison. He contends that such labeling conceals the problems—like sex trafficking and poverty—that afflict some Asian-American communities.

The latest shedding of light on the “tangle of pathologies” in the white community is to be encouraged. Better late than never. Maybe no longer will the white community be treated as Lake Wobegon, with the black community as a sort of waste disposal across the tracks for the country’s social problems.

Female Admirer Interrupts President Obama’s Speech: ‘You’re still handsome’

President Barak Obama

President Barak Obama

BOSTON (AP) — Courting unions on Labor Day, President Barack Obama denounced Republicans for a “constant attack on working Americans” and said he was using his executive power to force federal contractors to give paid sick leave to their employees.

Obama was met with resounding applause at a major union rally and breakfast in Boston on Monday when he said he had signed the executive order aboard Air Force One as he flew in to mark Labor Day. He said Republicans who claim the mantle of middle-class protectors are talking big, but they “have to walk the walk.”

Obama said opponents of his economic policies “won’t let facts or evidence get in their way.”

“You just wait, you look up at the sky and prosperity will come raining down on us from the top of whatever high-rise in New York City,” he said sarcastically. “But that’s not how the economy works.” He added that the GOP’s mindset has been “wrecking the economy for a long, long time.”

The Labor Day gesture to workers’ groups came as Obama works to smooth over tensions with the labor movement over his trade agenda. Major unions are opposing Obama’s push for sweeping new trade deals with Asia and Europe, with some threatening to work against Democrats who voted to support those talks in Congress. Unions have warned that the deals could lead to the widespread job elimination. Obama has signed a law providing money to retrain workers if their jobs get shipped overseas.

Under the executive order, employees working on federal contracts gain the right to a minimum of one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours they work. Stretched out over 12 months, that’s up to seven days per year. The order will allow employees to use the leave to care for sick relatives as well, and will affect contracts starting in 2017 – just as Obama leaves office.

Business groups said Obama’s order would make it harder for small businesses to retain federal contractors and could hinder economic growth.

“Once again President Obama is using the federal procurement system to do something it was never been designed to do: usurp the legislative authority of Congress to determine appropriate workplace policies,” said Randy Johnson, senior vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The White House wouldn’t specify the cost to federal contractors to implement the executive order. The Labor Department said any costs would be offset by savings that contractors would see as a result of lower attrition rates and increased worker loyalty, but produced nothing to back that up.

Vice President Joe Biden echoed Obama’s theme in a march with an influential labor leader, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, who introduced Biden in Pittsburgh as a “brother” and “a champion of working men and working women.” A few along the parade route chanted “run, Biden, run,” in a reference to Biden’s ongoing deliberations about whether to run for president in 2016.

In Boston, Obama was flanked by prominent Democrats such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren and a giant banner reading “Workers and Community” in red, white and blue. Labor leaders Randi Weingarten and Mary Kay Henry joined Obama for the flight on Air Force One. In the corridors of the hotel hosting the breakfast, boxes of campaign signs could be spotted bearing the name of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who opposes the trade deals.

Obama chose Labor Day to announce the executive order as he works to enact what workplace policies he can before his presidency ends despite resistance in Congress to laws he’s proposed. The push has reverberated on the 2016 campaign trail, with Democrats seeking a distinction with Republicans on who’s most supportive of the middle class.

The president didn’t mention any of the 2016 candidates by name, but invoked a number of their policies to challenge claims that they care about workers. In a reference to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, he remarked incredulously that one GOP candidate had “said busting unions prepared him to fight ISIL,” an acronym for the Islamic State group.

Obama chose Massachusetts as the backdrop for his Labor Day message because voters in the state approved a similar paid leave policy state-wide. The law took effect July 1 and is expected to affect 900,000 workers who previously received no paid leave, the White House said.

Roughly 44 million American private sector workers don’t get paid sick leave, the administration said. The White House said it couldn’t estimate how many federal contractors don’t offer paid leave.