August 21st, 2008
Black kids get more in-school spankings than Whites.
If the adage that sparing the rod spoils the child, Black schoolchildren are a lot less spoiled than their White counterparts. A new study shows that of the more than 200,000 children who got spanked at school last year, Black and Native American and kids with disabilities got more than their fair share. You can find more about the findings at BET.com/News.
Study says Blacks are treated fairly in sentencing. Researchers at the University of Nevada-Reno say that, contrary to the common perception, African American defendants do not get a raw deal from the justice system when it comes to sentencing. When such factors as socio-economic status, education, criminal history and drug use, there is no indication that the courts favor White defendants over Blacks, the researchers said. “A similarly situated African American or Caucasian or Hispanic appeared to be treated fairly in the same way across the board,” said Judge Douglas Herndon. The results of the study, revealed Monday at a legislative hearing, reviewed the circumstances of Black and White inmates currently serving time. It did not explore issues other than their race and incarceration. Gary Peck, of the American Civil Liberties Union, told Channel 8 Eyewitness News that the researchers are wrong if they believe that Blacks and Whites are treated fairly by the courts. “It would be wrong to conclude on that basis that the system is devoid of race-based iniquities or institutional racism,” said Peck. The fact that people of color are far more likely to be arrested amplifies the magnitude of the race problem.
August 1st, 2008
hen authorities found Danieal Kelly, it was the most horrific scene imaginable.The case of 14-year-old Danieal Kelly proves that the safety net, supposedly in place to protect society’s weakest and most vulnerable individuals from unnecessary strife, is in dire need of repair. On Thursday, nine people, including the disabled girl’s mother and four social workers, were charged with causing the child’s slow, horrific death two years ago. In lodging the charges – ranging from murder for the mother, Andrea Kelly, to manslaughter and perjury for those Philadelphia Department of Human Services who ignored Danieal’s condition – Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham said that everyone should be angry about Danieal’s treatment. Danieal was 42 pounds and covered in open sores – that were teeming with maggots and went clean to the bone – when her corpse was found in her mother’s filthy house in August 2006, according to authorities. “Danieal did not fall through the cracks,” Abraham said. “It was a failure of institutional inclination. Saving Danieal was just too much trouble.” In addition to the mother, who is accused of starving her daughter, warrants were issued for the father, Daniel Kelly, 37, who did not live with the family (child endangerment), and eight others. Some social workers ignored three year’s worth of reports, neglected to go on site visits or even fabricated reports to appear as if they paying close attention to the girl’s condition, the grand jury found. “You can’t continue to bury these children and say things are getting better when they’re not,” Abraham said. If convicted, what penalty should the defendants face?
July 21st, 2008
Kanye does something good for the human race
Rapper Kanye West will perform live at the finish line of Nike + Human Race run for charity on Aug. 32. The 10-time Grammy Award-winning artist has teamed up with Nike + Human Race for the event, being dubbed as the world’s largest one-day running event, and he will perform at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum after thousands of L.A. runners cross the finish line. Get more details and watch the Kanye’s PSA at Vital Signs.
Study: Low-carb diet best for weight, cholesterol.
The Atkins diet may have proved itself after all. A low-carb diet and a Mediterranean-style regimen helped people lose more weight than a traditional low-fat diet in one of the longest and largest studies to compare the dueling weight-loss techniques. Here’s the surprise: The low-carb diet improved cholesterol more than the other two. Some critics had predicted the opposite. “It is a vindication,” said Abby Bloch of the Dr. Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Foundation, a philanthropy group that honors the Atkins’ diet’s creator and was the study’s main funder. However, all three approaches — the low-carb diet, a low-fat diet and a so-called Mediterranean diet — achieved weight loss and improved cholesterol. Most of the participants were men; all men and women in the study got roughly equal amounts of exercise, the study’s authors said. Average weight loss for those in the low-carb group was 10.3 pounds after two years. Those in the Mediterranean diet lost 10 pounds, and those on the low-fat regimen dropped 6.5. To figure out what diet is right for you, go to BET.com/Body & Soul.