Archive for the ‘Fenty’ Category

Blacks Split on Obama’s Reverend Wright

March 30, 2008

By Andrea Billups
The Washington Times
March 30, 2008

The reaction to Sen. Barack Obama’s March 18 speech in Philadelphia on his firebrand pastor and race in America showsa generation gap within the black community, according to scholars and analysts.
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., ... 
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., left, shown here with his pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, March 10, 2005. Obama on Friday March 14, 2008 denounced inflammatory remarks from his pastor, who has railed against the United States and accused the country of bringing on the Sept. 11 attacks by spreading terrorism.(AP Photo/Trinity United Church of Christ)
Despite criticism that he didn’t fully address the angry comments by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Mr. Obama’s youth and powerful skills as an orator continue to offer hope to many that he can bridge what he defined in his speech as a national “stalemate” — a civil rights era perception of race as an always-present threat to blacks versus the more unifying view of a younger generation that increasingly sees the world and politics as colorblind.

Charles Ellison, a senior fellow at the Center for African-American Policy and chief editor of, describes a tension among blacks and a “growing generation gap between new school versus old school.”

“The new hip-hop generation, there is a focus on economic, political and social empowerment. They look at a lot of major black elected officials who are young — D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty; in Newark, Cory Booker; and in Philadelphia, Michael Nutter, who are all about the empowerment paradigm. We’ve got close to 650 black state elected officials and 43 black members of Congress, so they are used to this notion already in popular media.”

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The Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. performed Barack Obama's wedding ceremony and held a largely ceremonial role on a campaign committee.
The Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. performed Barack Obama’s wedding ceremony and held a role on an Obama for President campaign committee. (Photo by E. Jason Wambsgans — Chicago Tribune)

D.C. Schools: A National Disgrace

September 5, 2007

The New York Times
September 4, 2007

Mayor Adrian Fenty of Washington embraced a Herculean challenge when he convinced lawmakers to give him direct control of the city’s corrupt and dysfunctional school system. The mayor and his new schools chancellor, Michelle Rhee, are working hard to reassure nervous parents and to get the schools up and running for the new year. But remaking the schools will inevitably mean dismantling a central bureaucracy that has shown a disturbing talent for subverting reform while failing the city and its children in every conceivable way.

Washington has long been infamous for having the worst performing big-city system in the country. But The Washington Post exposed the scope of the problem earlier this summer in an eye-opening series. According to The Post, the city ranks first in terms of the budget share devoted to administration and last in spending on teachers and instruction. The imbalance is particularly disturbing, given that the District’s children fare worse at school than children in other big cities.

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