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I share your horror and outrage and that of your guests, but I ask that you reflect on the question of how punishing

some junior faculty member in the Women’s Studies Program, who may be  completely indifferent to college football,

or some graduate student in the College of Engineering, who may detest it, can alleviate the suffering of Sandusky’s victims.

 

 

Books by Wilson Jeremiah Moses

Golden Age of Black Nationalism, 1850-1925 (1988)  / The Wings of Ethiopia  (1990)

 Alexander Crummell: A Study of Civilization and Discontent (1992)  / Destiny & Race: Selected Writings, 1840-1898  (1992) 

 Black Messiahs and Uncle Toms: Social and Literary Manipulations of a Religious Myth (1993)

Liberian Dreams: Back-to-Africa Narratives from the 1850s  / Afrotopia: The Roots of African American Popular History (2002)

Creative Conflict in African American Thought (2004)

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Open Letter to Ed Schultz MSNBC

The Scandal at Penn State

 By Wilson J. Moses

 

 

November 12, 2011

Dear Mr. Schultz,

I am not a fan of spectator sports.  I was a mediocre player on a mediocre high school football team, between 1956 and 1959, but over the decades I have lost all admiration for the game of football.  I am disturbed, nonetheless, by the hostility that you and some of your guests have directed towards the football program at Penn State, and your calls for further punishments to be directed not only at the football program, but at the University as a whole.  

Contrary to the tirades of some of your guests, academic affairs in this community are not subordinate to the football program, nor particularly affected by it, except for the fact that a few of our non-athlete honors students do receive Paterno Fellowships, that partly offset the inflated costs of heating the buildings, maintaining the physical plant, keeping the lights on, paying the insurance companies, and maintaining safety standards, and tending the grounds.   Faculty and secretarial salaries at this institution have not kept up with inflation, despite aggressive fund-raising, and in some departments the majority of teachers now serve on a part-time temporary basis.

I share your horror and outrage and that of your guests, but I ask that you reflect on the question of how punishing some junior faculty member in the Women’s Studies Program, who may be  completely indifferent to college football, or some graduate student in the College of Engineering, who may detest it, can alleviate the suffering of Sandusky’s victims.

You might take this occasion to address the perennial problem of inconsistencies in American law, due to the sacred cow of “states rights.”  Local law enforcers, and the mysteriously disappeared district attorney, Ray Gricar, may have dropped the ball somewhere off campus, but Joe Paterno and Mike McQueary presumably discharged their legal obligations by reporting to superiors as the law requires.   I have heard, perhaps even on MSNBC, that the reason why McQueary was not fired is that he is protected under the state of Pennsylvania's “whistle blower” law.

You might seize this occasion to call for the professionalizing and unionizing of college football, since collective bargaining is quite rightly a matter in which you have taken an interest.  You have the public’s attention on this issue, and you are in a position to perform a useful service.  There is no doubt that college football in the United States commits a fundamental injustice in that young men are asked to risk life and limb, but forbidden to accept compensation for their labors.  Joe did in many respects run a model program in a dirty business, and his athletes have had an unusually high rate of graduation from the University.

Perhaps you might also point out that private and faith-based charities are not a panacea for meeting social needs, and that the United States is Constitutionally charged to address the public welfare, as do all civilized nations, at least since the time of Charlemagne.  For private philanthropies are no more immune from human depravities and abuses than agencies in the public sector.   We have witnessed scandals in private and church charities all over the world.  It would be gratuitously mean, and needlessly destructive to list the private charities, secular and religious, that have committed financial or moral abuses in recent history.

Two philanthropic areas where there have not been any scandals at Penn State are the Paterno Scholarships and the Paterno Library.   Nonetheless, much as the activities of students, faculty and staff have played a role in fund raising at this university, one ought to ask why a state university should be dependent on constant fund-raising by a popular football coach in order to mitigate the rampant tuition inflation that burdens our students. Can we imagine a situation like this in any other “Western democracy?”

Comment on this Mr. Schulz and you will be doing the Republic a great service!

Wilson J. Moses

Walter L. Ferree Professor of History &

Fellow of the Arts and Humanities Institute

The Pennsylvania State University

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Legal ramifications in Penn State sexual abuse scandal widen

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Did Race Explain Penn State’s Blind Eye to Sex Scandal?—Earl Ofari Hutchinson—11 November 2011—Put bluntly, if Penn State officials kept their yaps shut for years in the face of open knowledge of and strong suspicions of the child rapes and the victims were young black males, then the last dot connected is the charge that black lives are routinely devalued when it comes to officials taking action to protect them. This charge has repeatedly been leveled in serial murders, inner city gang carnage, and against child service agencies that ignore or downplay repeated reports of abuse when the victims and the abused are black.

That’s only part of the problem. Race can’t be separated from poverty or “underprivileged” in the parlance of Sandusky’s The Second Mile Foundation. A study in the March issue of the Journal Pediatrics, “Racial Bias in Child Protection? A Comparison of Competing Explanations Using National Data,” found that poverty was a huge determinant not only of levels of abuse. The study predictably found that a disproportionate number of the reported child abuse cases in 2009 which spanned the gamut from neglect to child rape were African-American children. The study directly linked the abuse to poverty. Parents and caregivers that are desperate to provide their children with a pathway out of harm’s way from any and every type of abuse that comes with poverty latch on to organizations that promise to provide resources, mentoring, nurturing, and a protective environment for at risk black children.—HutchinsonReportNews

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Questions on Sandusky Are Wrapped in a 2005 Mystery—Ken Belson—8 November 2011One of the questions surrounding the sex-abuse case against Jerry Sandusky is why a former district attorney chose not to prosecute the then-Penn State assistant coach in 1998 after reports surfaced that he had inappropriate interactions with a boy. The answer is unknowable because of an unsolved mystery: What happened to Ray Gricar, the Centre County, Pa., district attorney?

Gricar went missing in April 2005. The murky circumstances surrounding his disappearance—an abandoned car, a laptop recovered months later in a river without a hard drive, his body was never found — have spawned Web sites, television programs and conspiracy theories. More than six years later, the police still receive tips and reports of sightings. The police in central Pennsylvania continue to investigate even though Gricar’s daughter, Lara, successfully petitioned in July to have her father declared legally dead so the family could find some closure and begin dividing his estate.NYTimes

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Grand Jury Report on Jerry Sandusky

Victim 2

 

On March 1, 2002, a Penn State graduate assistant ("graduate assistant") [Mike McQueary] who was then 28 years old, entered the locker room at the Lasch Football Building on the University Park Campus on a Friday night before the beginning of Spring Break. The graduate assistant, who was familiar with Sandusky, was going to put some newly purchased sneakers in his locker and get some recruiting tapes to watch. It was about 9:30 p.m. As the graduate assistant entered the locker room doors, he was surprised to find the lights and showers on. He then heard  slapping sounds. He believed the sounds to be those of sexual activity. As the graduate assistant put the sneakers in his locker, he looked into the shower. He saw a naked boy, Victim 2, whose intercourse by a naked Sandusky. The graduate assistant was shocked but noticed that both Victim 2 and Sandusky saw him. The graduate assistant left immediately, distraught. The graduate assistant went to his office and called his father, reporting to him what he had seen. His father told the graduate assistant to leave the building and come to his home. The graduate assistant and his father decided that the graduate assistant had to report what he had seen to Coach Joe Paterno ("Paterno"), head football coach of Penn State. The next morning, a Saturday, the graduate assistant telephoned Paterno and went to Paterno's home, where he reported what he had seen.

Joseph V. Paterno testified to receiving the graduate assistant's report at his home on a Saturday morning. Paterno testified that the graduate assistant was very upset. Paterno called Tim Curley ("Curley"), Penn State Athletic Director and Paterno's immediate superior, to his home the very next day, a Sunday, and reported to him that the graduate assistant had seen Jerry Sandusky in the Lasch Building showers fondling or doing something of a sexual nature to a young boy.

Approximately one and a half weeks later, the graduate assistant was called to a meeting with Penn State Athletic Director Curley and Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Gary Schultz ("Schultz"). The graduate assistant reported to Curley and Schultz that he had witnessed what he believed to be Sandusky having anal sex with a boy in the Lasch Building showers. Curley and Schultz assured the graduate assistant that they would look into it and determine what further action they would take. Paterno was not present for this meeting.

The graduate assistant heard back from Curley a couple of weeks later. He was told that Sandusky's keys to the locker room were taken away and that the incident had been reported to The Second Mile. The graduate assistant was never questioned by University Police and no other entity conducted an investigation until he testified in Grand Jury in December, 2010. The Grand Jury finds the graduate assistant's testimony to be extremely credible. Curley testified that the graduate assistant reported to them that "inappropriate conduct" or activity that made him "uncomfortable" occurred in the Lasch Building shower in March 2002. Curley specifically denied that the graduate assistant reported anal sex or anything of a sexual nature whatsoever and termed the conduct as merely "horsing around." When asked whether the graduate assistant had reported "sexual conduct" "of any kind" by Sandusky, Curley answered, "No" twice.

                                                                                                                                                                               photo right: Mike McQueary

When asked if the graduate assistant had reported "anal sex between Jerry Sandusky and this child," Curley testified, "Absolutely not."

Curley testified that he informed Dr. Jack Raykovitz, Executive Director of the Second Mile of the conduct reported to him and met with Sandusky to advise Sandusky that he was prohibited from bringing youth onto the Penn State campus from that point forward. Curley testified that he met again with the graduate assistant and advised him that Sandusky had been directed not to use Perm State's athletic facilities with young people and "the information" had been given to director of The Second Mile. Curley testified that he also advised Penn State University President Graham Spanier of the information he had received from the graduate assistant and the steps he had taken as a result. Curley was not specific about the language he used in reporting the 2002 incident to Spanier. Spanier testified to his approval of the approach taken by Curley. Curley did not report the incident to the University Police, the police agency for the University Park campus or any other police agency.

Schultz testified that he was called to a meeting with Joe Paterno and Tim Curley, in which Paterno reported "disturbing" and "inappropriate" conduct in the shower by Sandusky upon a young boy, as reported to him by a student or graduate student. Schultz was present in a subsequent meeting with Curley when the graduate assistant reported the incident in the shower involving Sandusky and a boy. Schultz was very unsure about what he remembered the graduate assistant telling him and Curley about the shower incident. He testified that he had the impression that Sandusky might have inappropriately grabbed the young boy's genitals while wrestling and agreed that such was inappropriate sexual conduct between a man and a boy.

While equivocating on the definition of "sexual" in the context of Sandusky wrestling with and grabbing the genitals of the boy, Schultz conceded that the report the graduate assistant made was of inappropriate sexual conduct by Sandusky. However, Schultz testified that the allegations were "not that serious" and that he and Curley "had no indication that a crime had occurred."

Schultz agreed that sodomy between Sandusky and a child would clearly be inappropriate sexual conduct. He denied having such conduct reported to him either by Paterno or the graduate assistant. Schultz testified that he and Curley agreed that Sandusky was to be told not to bring any Second Mile children into the football building and he believed that he and Curley asked "the child protection agency" to look into the matter. Schultz testified that he knew about an investigation of Sandusky that occurred in 1998, that the "child protection agency" had done, and he testified that he believed this same agency was investigating the 2002 report by the graduate assistant. Schultz acknowledged that there were similarities between the 1998 and 2002 allegations, both of which involved minor boys in the football showers with Sandusky behaving in a sexually inappropriate manner. Schultz testified that the 1998 incident was reviewed by the University Police and "the child protection agency" with the blessing of then-University counsel Wendell Courtney. Courtney was then and remains counsel for The Second Mile. Schultz confirmed that University President Graham Spanier was apprised in 2002 that a report of an incident involving Sandusky and a child in the showers on campus had been reported by an employee. Schultz testified that Spanier approved the decision to ban Sandusky from bringing children into the football locker room and the decision to advise The Second Mile of the 2002 incident.

Although Schultz oversaw the University Police as part of his position, he never reported the 2002 incident to the University Police or other police agency, never sought or reviewed a police report on the 1998 incident and never attempted to learn the identity of the child in the shower in 2002. No one from the University did so. Schultz did not ask the graduate assistant for specifics. No one ever did. Schultz expressed surprise upon learning that the l998 investigation by University Police produced a police report. Schultz said there was never any discussion between himself and Curley about turning the 2002 incident over to any police agency. Schultz retired in June 2009 but currently holds the same position as a senior vice president with Penn State, on an interim basis.

Graham Spanier testified about his extensive responsibilities as President of Penn State and his educational background in sociology and marriage and family counseling. He confirmed Curley and Schultz's respective positions of authority with the University. He testified that Curley and Schultz came to him in 2002 to report an incident with Jerry Sandusky that made a member of Curley's staff "uncomfortable" Spanier described it as "Jerry Sandusky in the football building locker area in the shower with a younger child and that they were horsing around in the shower." Spanier testified that even in April, 2011, he did not know the identity of the staff member who had reported the behavior. Spanier denied that it was reported to him as an incident that was sexual in nature and acknowledged that Curley and Schultz had not indicated any plan to report the matter to any law enforcement authority, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare or any appropriate county child protective services agency. Spanier also denied being aware of a 1998 University Police investigation of Sandusky for incidents with children in football building showers.

Department of Public Welfare and Children and Youth Services local and state records were subpoenaed by the Grand Jury; University Police records were also subpoenaed. The records reveal that the 2002 incident was never reported to any officials, in contravention of law. Sandusky holds emeritus status with Penn State. In addition to the regular privileges of a professor emeritus, he had an office and a telephone in the Lasch Building. The status allowed him access to all recreational facilities, a parking pass for a vehicle, access to a Penn State account for the internet, listing in the faculty directory, faculty discounts at the bookstore and educational privileges for himself and eligible dependents. These and other privileges were negotiated when Sandusky retired in 1999. Sandusky continued to use University facilities as per his retirement agreement. As a retired coach, Sandusky had unlimited access to the football facilities, including the locker rooms. Schultz testified that Sandusky retired when Paterno felt it was time to make a coaching change and also to take advantage of an enhanced retirement benefit under Sandusky's state pension.

Both the graduate assistant and Curley testified that Sandusky himself was not banned from any Perm State buildings and Curley admitted that the ban on bringing children to the campus was unenforceable. The Grand Jury finds that portions of the testimony of Tim Curley and Gary Schultz are not credible. The Grand Jury concludes that the sexual assault of a minor male in 2002 should have been reported to the Department of Public Welfare and/or a law enforcement agency such as the University Police or the State Police. The University, by its senior staff, Gary Schultz, Senior Vice President for Finance and Business and Tim Curley, Athletic Director, was notified by two different Perm State employees of the alleged sexual exploitation of that youth. mandatory reporting statute for suspected child abuse is located at 23 Pa C. S. 63l1 (Child Protective Services Law) and provides that when a staff member reports abuse, pursuant to statute, the person in charge of the school or institution has the responsibility and legal obligation to report or cause such a report to be made by telephone and in writing within 48 hours to the Department of Public Welfare of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. An oral report should have been made to Centre County Children and Youth Services but none was made. Nor was there any attempt to investigate, to identify Victim 2 or to protect that child or any others from similar conduct, except as related to preventing its re-occurrence on University property. The failure to report is a violation of the law which was graded a summary offense in 2002, pursuant to 23 Pa C.S. 6319.

The Grand Jury finds that Tim Curley made a materially false statement under oath in an official proceeding on January 12, 2011, when he testified before the 300? Statewide Investigating Grand Jury, relating to the 2002 incident, that he was not told by the graduate assistant that Sandusky was engaged in sexual conduct or anal sex with a boy in the Lasch Building showers. Furthermore, the Grand jury finds that Gary Schultz made a materially false statement under oath in an official proceeding on January 12, 2011, when he testified before the 30rd Statewide Investigating Grand Jury, relating to the 2002 incident that the allegations made by the 2 The grading of the failure to report offense was upgraded from a summary offense to a misdemeanor of the third degree in 2006, effective May 29, 2007.NYTimes

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Mike McQueary in email: I stopped Jerry Sandusky—15 November 2011—Mike McQueary, the Penn State assistant football coach who told a grand jury he witnessed Jerry Sandusky sexually abusing a young boy in a locker room shower in 2002, says he stopped the assault and later discussed it with police, according to an email he wrote to a friend that was obtained by The Morning Call of Allentown, Pa. That account differs from the grand jury’s synopsis of his testimony in its investigation against Sandusky, which said McQueary left “immediately” after walking in on the 2002 attack. The grand jury report, released nearly two weeks ago, also said McQueary told coach Joe Paterno about the incident and made no mention of any discussions with police.

McQueary, who testified under oath before the grand jury in December 2010, has been heavily criticized for not taking immediate action to protect the child. Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett said last weekend that McQueary had “a moral obligation” to intervene. . . . But in the email McQueary sent Nov. 8 to a former classmate, he reportedly wrote, “I did stop it, not physically, but made sure it was stopped when I left that locker room.” He also wrote he “is getting hammered for handling this the right way or what I thought at the time was right” and “I had to make tough impacting quick decisions.”

Sandusky has been charged with 40 counts of sexual abuse of minors in the wake of the investigation. He denied the allegations in a telephone interview aired on NBC Monday night, specifically stating the 2002 shower incident witnessed by McQueary did not take place the way it is described in the report. He admitted showering with the young boy, but that they were engaging only in “horseplay.”NewsDay

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Sandusky says he only horsed around with boysThe former Penn State assistant football coach at the heart of a massive sex scandal said he showered with young boys and hugged them but called the allegedly criminal contact "horseplay.". . . In an interview with Bob Costas, Sandusky, once considered the heir apparent to coaching legend Joe Paterno, proclaimed his innocence in the face of a series of startling allegations detailed in a grand jury report issued last week. "I am innocent of those charges," Sandusky said. "... I could say that I have done some of those things. I have horsed around with kids. I have showered after workouts. I have hugged them, and I have touched their legs without intent of sexual contact." Sandusky is accused of sexually assaulting eight boys over a 15-year span, with some of the alleged crimes happening at Penn State, where he had access to campus as an emeritus professor following his 1999 retirement as Paterno's top defensive assistant.Asked whether he was sexually attracted to underage boys, he said "sexually attracted, no. I enjoy young people, I love to be around them, but, no, I'm not sexually attracted to young boys." . . . Wide receivers coach Mike McQueary told a grand jury that in March 2001 when he was a graduate assistant, he saw Sandusky sodomizing a boy about 10 years old in a shower at the Nittany Lions' practice center. McQueary did not go to police but instead told Paterno, Curley and Schultz, although it is unclear how detailed a description he gave. Schultz, in turn, notified Spanier.Yahoo

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Inquiry Grew Into Concerns of a Cover-Up—Jo Becker—16 November 16, 2011—Officials at the Second Mile, the charity for at-risk children that Sandusky founded and that prosecutors say he used to target victims, reported that several years of the organization’s records were missing and had perhaps been stolen. The missing files, investigators worry, may limit their ability to determine if Sandusky used charity resources — expense accounts, travel, gifts — to recruit new victims, or even buy their silence, according to two people with knowledge of the case.

And in 2002, after McQueary had reported what he had seen to the university’s senior officials, those officials not only never told the police, but they also never even informed the university’s top lawyer. That lawyer, Wendell Courtney, said in an interview this week that he would have been duty bound to report to law enforcement officials any allegations of inappropriate conduct toward children by Sandusky.

Most disturbingly, investigators continued to identify possible victims — young men who had been boys when Sandusky befriended them through his foundation for troubled youngsters.

Those young men were not eager to tell their stories, the two people with knowledge of the case said. The young men were not convinced that the attorney general’s office had the will to go after a case that could rewrite the storied history of the university’s football program. And they asked: If the case went forward, who would believe them over a revered figure like Jerry Sandusky?

It was a question investigators had asked themselves. But with McQueary, they had what they regarded as an impartial witness, and one from within the ranks of Penn State itself. . . . As additional suspected victims were located, a profile began to emerge, according to people with knowledge of the investigation. Sandusky engaged in what experts on child predators call “grooming” behavior, law enforcement officials asserted this month, making his first approach when children were 8 to 12 years old. He tended to choose white boys from homes where there was no father or some difficulty in the family, investigators said, and he drew them in with trips to games and expensive gifts like computers.

Touching progressed incrementally, investigators said. “Lots of them reported that he’d first put his hand of their thigh while driving,” one person involved in the inquiry recalled. The shower was where he most often initiated more overtly sexual behavior. The testimony of one victim who said he was forced to put his hand on Sandusky’s erection when he was 8 to 10 years old particularly outraged investigators. “The poor kid was too young to even understand what an erection was,” one said.

When first approached about testifying before the grand jury, many did not want to get involved, the people involved in the case said. If Sandusky was indicted and the case went to trial, their names and what had happened would become public.

But prosecutors were able to compel their testimony with grand jury subpoenas, and one boy led to another. . . . McQueary, who by then had been elevated from graduate assistant to an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator, laid out for investigators what happened next. It took a week and half, a time lapse that investigators find deeply troubling, for Curley and Schultz to call him to a meeting. McQueary told investigators, and later the grand jury, that he had explained to the two men in graphic detail what he had witnessed.NYTimes

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Penn State's New Villain: Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett—The investigation of Jerry Sandusky began when Tom Corbett, the Pennsylvania governor, was attorney general. What took so long?—Buzz Bissinger—21 November 2011—Like an unchecked oil spill with no effective cleanup plan in sight, the black ooze flowing from the tragedy and travesty of the Penn State scandal keeps spreading, covering even those who—because of mad-dash coverage, in particular by The New York Times—were originally hailed as instant heroes.

A week after a state grand jury reported dozens of horrific acts of sexual abuse against minors by former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, the only man who stood tall was Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett. The investigation started in 2009 on Corbett’s watch, when he was state attorney general, and the release of the 40-count indictment against Sandusky occurred with Corbett in the governor’s mansion.

It was hard not to admire him, although Jo Becker went a little far in her shameless puff piece in the Times on Nov. 10. He had taken on a case of such enormous ramifications, ripping open the state’s most sacrosanct institution and its most powerful man, football coach Joe Paterno. The great JoePa, who did nothing to stop Sandusky’s alleged depravity but kick it upstairs to superiors when everyone knew Paterno had no superiors, was fired. Graham Spanier, the president of Penn State, was out as well.

That made Corbett appear even taller. Except for the fact that the way his office handled the investigation raises inevitable and legitimate questions about why an alleged sexual predator was allowed to remain at large for nearly three years while the grand jury investigated. The question of political considerations cannot be avoided.

Not only that, but Corbett’s gubernatorial staff approved—yes, approved—a $3 million grant to Second Mile, the foundation for kids that, according to the grand jury, served as a repository for potential sex-abuse victims. Corbett knew about the grant and let it through last July for reasons that seem absurd.—TheDailyBeast

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PSU Case Unmasks The NCAA—Esther Iverem—SeeingBlack.com Editor and Film Critic—16 December 2011—There is nothing worse, nothing more sickening, than at least eight boys being sexually molested, as outlined in charges against former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky. But almost as infuriating to me, as a college sports fan and the mother of a college athlete, is the near silence from the NCAA—the National Collegiate Athletic Association—the organization that oversees sports at more than 1000 universities and colleges. Or, rather, what this scandal illustrates is that the NCAA really doesn’t oversee much of anything when it comes to the well-being of young athletes on campus. . . . Since the NCAA is such a well-oiled machine when it comes to its so-called investigations, why doesn’t it have an alert system for potential cases like this? Sara Ganim, a reporter at The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa., first reported that Sandusky was the subject of a grand jury investigation for child sexual abuse in March of this year but this revelation didn’t prompt any NCAA investigation. In May 2010, Sandusky was denied a volunteer coaching position Juniata College in central Pennsylvania after a background check revealed that a high school was investigating him on the same sex abuse allegations that were later detailed by the grand jury. So a small college can do this type of due diligence, a simple background check, but the NCAA cannot? Or, perhaps it will not because the organization has its eye elsewhere—on the money.SeeingBlack

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Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President

By Ron Suskind

A new book offering an insider's account of the White House's response to the financial crisis says that U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner ignored an order from President Barack Obama calling for reconstruction of major banks. According to Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Suskind, the incident is just one of several in which Obama struggled with a divided group of advisers, some of whom he didn't initially consider for their high-profile roles. Suskind interviewed more than 200 people, including Obama, Geithner and other top officials . . . The book states Geithner and the Treasury Department ignored a March 2009 order to consider dissolving banking giant Citigroup while continuing stress tests on banks, which were burdened with toxic mortgage assets. . . .Suskind states that Obama accepts the blame for mismanagement in his administration while noting that restructuring the financial system was complicated and could have resulted in deeper financial harm. . . . In a February 2011 interview with Suskind, Obama acknowledges another ongoing criticism—that he is too focused on policy and not on telling a larger story, one the public could relate to. Obama is quoted as saying he was elected in part because "he had connected our current predicaments with the broader arc of American history," but that such a "narrative thread" had been lost.—Gopusa

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Blacks in Hispanic Literature: Critical Essays

Edited by Miriam DeCosta-Willis 

Blacks in Hispanic Literature is a collection of fourteen essays by scholars and creative writers from Africa and the Americas. Called one of two significant critical works on Afro-Hispanic literature to appear in the late 1970s, it includes the pioneering studies of Carter G. Woodson and Valaurez B. Spratlin, published in the 1930s, as well as the essays of scholars whose interpretations were shaped by the Black aesthetic. The early essays, primarily of the Black-as-subject in Spanish medieval and Golden Age literature, provide an historical context for understanding 20th-century creative works by African-descended, Hispanophone writers, such as Cuban Nicolás Guillén and Ecuadorean poet, novelist, and scholar Adalberto Ortiz, whose essay analyzes the significance of Negritude in Latin America. This collaborative text set the tone for later conferences in which writers and scholars worked together to promote, disseminate, and critique the literature of Spanish-speaking people of African descent. . . . Cited by a literary critic in 2004 as "the seminal study in the field of Afro-Hispanic Literature . . . on which most scholars in the field 'cut their teeth'."

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Faces At The Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism

By Derrick Bell

In nine grim metaphorical sketches, Bell, the black former Harvard law professor who made headlines recently for his one-man protest against the school's hiring policies, hammers home his controversial theme that white racism is a permanent, indestructible component of our society. Bell's fantasies are often dire and apocalyptic: a new Atlantis rises from the ocean depths, sparking a mass emigration of blacks; white resistance to affirmative action softens following an explosion that kills Harvard's president and all of the school's black professors; intergalactic space invaders promise the U.S. President that they will clean up the environment and deliver tons of gold, but in exchange, the bartering aliens take all African Americans back to their planet. Other pieces deal with black-white romance, a taxi ride through Harlem and job discrimination. Civil rights lawyer Geneva Crenshaw, the heroine of Bell's And We Are Not Saved (1987), is back in some of these ominous allegories, which speak from the depths of anger and despair. Bell now teaches at New York University Law School.—Publishers Weekly

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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