Benjamin Hooks, Michael Steele, coal miners, russian adoptions, and side pieces,

Last night we had an eventful show. We talked about the state of race relations and the loss of Benjamin Hooks, who died Thursday at the age of 85. How he got into racial justice after serving the military in World War II, when he was guarding foreign prisoners they were allowed to eat in the whites only restaurants, but he was not. He used the GI bill to go to Depaul University in Chicago after repeatedly being denied admission to law school because he was black. He felt he was lucky when he was called by his name in court.

“At that time you were insulted by law clerks, excluded from white bar associations and when I was in court, I was lucky to be called ‘Ben,'” he once said in an interview with Jet magazine. “Usually it was just ‘boy.'”

He was the first black judge since Reconstruction in a state trial court anywhere in the South and served as the first black commissioner of the FCC before he resigned  to lead the NAACP.  In 1997, he was honored by George W. Bush with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, one of the highest honors bestowed upon a civilian.

Melette, I and our chat audience talked about the fallout of the Russian adoption story. We both thought that the fact that the family sent the child back to Moscow by himself may not have been the best way to handle things. I mean, the family went from wanting this child to become a permanent member to shipping him back like damaged merchandise? That can not have a positive effect on the situation. Some of our chat audience wondered why children with behavioral issues were being allowed to return to orphanages when natural parents do not have those options.

I wanted to know why the tea party was absent from the situation and debate surrounding the coal miners in West Virginia. Then again, they are mostly educated, wealthy white males, so they probably own the coal mine and want less of the regulation that would save the lives of the country.

Melette and I were also wondering if 2010 was the year of the prominent side piece. Between the side women who serve as stars of the new reality show, basketball wives, Mr. Woods’ associates, and the sordid tale surrounding Tiki Barber, women who mess with married men appear to be gaining great media prominence. To me it just seems like bad form, but celebrity at any cost is an unfortunate reality that we encounter every day. Thanks so much to our listeners and our chat listeners who had so much great input!

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3 comments on “Benjamin Hooks, Michael Steele, coal miners, russian adoptions, and side pieces,

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