Breaking: Ferguson officer Darren Wilson escapes indictment in murder of Black teen

Darren wilson

Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson walks free after grand jury declines to indict him in the murder of unarmed Black teenager Michael Brown.

By Carmen Glover

Basking in the glow of a captive media and international attention, Robert McCulloch, St Louis County prosecutor, chided journalists for doing their jobs, then he read a lengthy soliloquy that stated Officer Darren Wilson, who is White, will not face charges in the murder of unarmed Black teenager Michael Brown.

Unarmed teenager Michael Brown was executed by police.

Unarmed teenager Michael Brown was executed by Police Officer Darren Wilson. On Monday, Nov. 24, the grand jury declined to charge Wilson with a crime.

According to McCulloch, the grand jury came to the conclusion that “there was no probable cause,” to indict Wilson. “They are the only people who have heard and examined ever witness and every piece of evidence,” he said of the grand jury, which was comprised of nine Whites and three Blacks. Only nine votes are needed to render a decision. It seemed unlikely that a decision would have been made to indict Wilson from last week when Missouri Governor Jay Nixon ordered the National Guard to be deployed, announced a state of emergency, requested FBI presence and created a fortress of armed officials around the city of Ferguson.

Michael Brown Sr. and Lesley McSpadden, parents of unarmed teenager, Michael Brown, who was killed by police officer Darren Wilson.

Michael Brown Sr. and Lesley McSpadden, parents of unarmed teenager, Michael Brown, who was killed by police officer Darren Wilson, asked for peaceful protests after grand jury declines to indict Wilson.

Angry supporters of Brown, who have been protesting since his August 9 murder, would have had no reason to protest an announcement of an indictment, therefore the drawn-out preparation days in advance of the announcement and the dramatic presentation by McCullouch was long on theatrics and short on substance. However, in his presentation, McCullouch delivered what could be described as a rousing defense of Wilson and his actions, while snidely denigrating the many witnesses who came forward to recount their versions of what transpired on that fateful day when Brown was killed by Wilson. In  a statement released by their lawyers, Brown’s parents expressed their disappointment and made a call to action, stating:

President Obama speaking after the grand jury result, asks for calm.

President Obama, speaking after the grand jury result, asks for calm, while stating that the situation in Ferguson is not just about Ferguson, it’s about America.

“We are profoundly disappointed that the killer of our child will not face the consequence of his actions. While we understand that many others share our pain, we ask that you channel your frustration in ways that will make positive change. We need to work together to fix the system that allowed this to happen. Join us in our campaign to ensure that every police officer working the streets in this county wears a body camera. We respectfully ask that you please keep your protests peaceful. Answering with violence is not the appropriate reaction. Let’s not just make noise, let’s make a difference.”

Speaking out from the White House, President Obama described a “deep distrust” that exists “in many parts of the country” between law enforcement and communities of color. He said “this is not just about Ferguson,” and said that race relations need to change. —


Positive signs that the economy is improving


The numbers that were released at the end of last week bodes well for steady improvement on the economic front. According to figures released by the Labor Department, the unemployment rate has declined to 6.1% and 288,000 jobs were created in June. These numbers signify that gradual results are being seeing as the economic recovery continues on an even pace.


One interesting caveat in the jobs report is that one in six job seekers credit social media with helping them land their current job. This should empower the workforce and potential hires to utilize social media not only to socialize but to market their skills and expertise to help smooth the job transition process.


President Obama deserves a great deal of credit for introducing bold, executive decisions to effect economic change in the face of a recalcitrant, rebellious and do-nothing Congress. And he has promised to continue to act alone if Congress hold fast in refusing to act on behalf of the people who elected them to serve.

President Obama must not falter in his decision. Rather, he needs to act swiftly and decisively to implement more measures that will benefit the poor, the disenfranchised and all who are looking to him for answers. Nothing less will do.–

Hank Aaron highlights racism, past challenges, in accepting honor

Hank Aaron began his MLB career in 1954 with the Milwaukee Braves.

Hank Aaron began his MLB career in 1954 with the Milwaukee Braves.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

On Tuesday, April 15, Major League Baseball (MLB) will continue its annual tradition of honoring Jackie Robinson throughout the league. All players will have the option of wearing his league-wide retired number 42 as a way of celebrating Robinson’s contributions to the game. Meanwhile, Henry “Hank” Aaron continues to point to changes that still need to occur in the game and in society.

Hank Aaron was honored in Atlanta as he was celebrated for his 715th home run last Tuesday.

Hank Aaron was honored in Atlanta as he was celebrated for his 715th home run last Tuesday.

Aaron remains in the consciousness of MLB as the 40th anniversary of his record- breaking 715th home run was honored on April, 8. Aaron explained how taxing the mental and emotional toll was during the 1970’s as he was approaching Babe Ruth’s record. Some were bothered by Aaron’s comments about the racism he faced and the racism he still notices in the game of baseball. Aaron made reference to the difference in racism by stating:

“The biggest difference is that back then they had hoods…now they have neckties and starched shirts.”

Aaron’s comments were made in reference to the many issues President Obama has faced with Republicans and points to Aaron’s awareness of the continued challenges facing African-Americans and other minorities in this country.

While Aaron is remembered for his 755 career home runs, he also had 3771 hits and was a career .305 hitter.

While Aaron is remembered for his 755 career home runs, he also had 3771 hits and was a career .305 hitter.

This country has seen a great deal of advancements in racial disparities in sports, business, and politics since Aaron’s last MLB season in 1976. With these changes has come an argument by some that this country has moved past the deep bigotry and prejudice that unfortunately is woven into the fabric of this nation. Aaron continues to stand as a firm reminder of struggles many black people have faced and overcome as his baseball achievements may only be surpassed by his civil rights contributions.

Hank Aaron received high accommodations off the field as well, as he was awarded the Presidential  Medal of Freedom in 2002.

Hank Aaron received high accommodations off the field as well, as he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002.

Aaron will always be defined by his mentality of hard work. As he states:

“If a person wants something bad enough, he works very hard for it.”

This approach has not only resulted in a Hall of Fame baseball career, but a Presidential Medal of Freedom (in 2002) and the Thurgood Marshall Lifetime Achievement Award from the NAACP (in 2005). Aaron’s recent comments gave insight from a man who has experienced extreme prejudice while demonstrating prolonged excellence.

Hank Aaron is not only a Hall of Fame baseball player but a life long civil rights activist.

Hank Aaron is not only a Hall of Fame baseball player but a life long civil rights activist.

The Reverend Jesse Jackson is a close friend of Aaron’s and worked along his side for years while working towards improving civil rights in this country in the late 1960’s.

“We worked very closely during that period,”  Jackson recalls, demonstrating how long Aaron has dedicated his life’s work to bringing people

Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and a management training consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on

Equal pay for women takes center stage at last on historic day

equal pay law

President Barack Obama signs two executive orders mandating equal pay for women who work for federal contractors on Tuesday, April 8.

By Carmen Glover

For the millions of women who toil assiduously in the workforce, often earning a minimum of three college degrees to get ahead, the knowledge that they are earning 77 cents to the dollar awarded to their male counterparts for the same work is unsettling at best, and an upsetting reminder of discrimination at worst.

equal pay

One of the many signs on display at the signing ceremony on Tuesday.

When President Obama signed not one, but two executive orders on Tuesday in celebration of Equal Pay Day, the action was long overdue for women who have been making a strong contribution to the workforce for centuries. Flanked by a group of women who have vested interest in the new orders, Obama was blunt in making his assessment at a press conference convened to announce the new initiatives.

equal pay

President Obama champions equal pay for women on Tuesday.

“A woman’s got to work about three more months to get what a man gets because she’s paid less. That’s unfair,” he said as the women applauded. “It’s like adding six miles to a marathon.” Pausing to catch his breath for a minute, the President was reflective, biting his bottom lip for a moment in his trademark style before resuming his train of thought. “I’ve got two daughters and I expect them to be treated like anybody’s sons for doing the same job,” he said.

But according to the 2013 Annual Report in Congress on White House staff, disparity exists between women on the President’s staff as well, with women earning considerable less than their male counterparts for the same work.

equal pay graphics

Even among White House staff there is disparity in pay between men and women for the same work.

The two executive orders signed by the President only affect federal contractors and their employees, but this represents a significant change since that group accounts for a solid portion of the workforce, up to a quarter, by some estimates. The orders encourages employees to discuss their salaries, whereas in the past that was viewed as a violation of work protocols.  Women who currently work for federal contractors will benefit from the new orders, while other working women now have hope that new measures will be put in place in the long term to affect their salaries as well.

equal pay

Standing behind a banner touting “Equality for All,” President Obama unveils two executive orders to address pay inequality.

Congress has steadfastly refused to act on any bill that would increase salaries for the poor and for women, therefore these new orders could bolster the Democrats’ platform as the country inches towards mid-term elections later this year.

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Impact of unemployment, low minimum wage, broadens

President Barack Obama has been making modest impact in lowering the unemployment rate and boosting job creation.

President Barack Obama has been making modest impact in lowering the unemployment rate and boosting job creation, in the face of sabotage and petty opposition from Republicans in Congress.

By Carmen Glover

Women For Hire has been a strong advocate for job seekers over the years, organizing job fairs, facilitating workshops and providing timely resources designed to impart nuggets of information for the ever-growing bloc of the workforce seeking employment or improved working conditions. So when Tory Johnson, CEO of Women For Hire, sent out a lengthy email yesterday, it made sense to see what she had to say.

Entitled “Not a Happy Email,” Johnson shared the tale of  Jacques le Sourd, 64, late theater critic for a newspaper in Westchester, NY, for 35 years, and a friend of her husband’s, who died recently. “The coroner said it was a heart attack but those who loved Jacques le Sourd know better: it was a pink slip that cut him down,” Johnson stated.

Johnson then proceeded to talk about her childhood friend Susan Fruchtman, who has an MBA from Duke University. According to the email, Fruchtman, 42, who worked in marketing and finance at Fortune 500 companies for 15 years, had her job eliminated in 2010 and, despite assiduously seeking full-time employment, has only managed to work in temporary jobs, exhausting $60,000 in savings and forced to receive Medicaid for healthcare.


Anthony Shorris was named the new first deputy mayor a few weeks ago.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, with Anthony Shorris, first deputy mayor, is committed to enacting city-wide increased minimum wage measures.

Recent job numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that the unemployment rate hovers at 6.6.%. This is due to a combination of the Obama Administration creating jobs in spite of the war that Republicans in Congress have declared on his economic agenda and blocking every single measure that he has proposed to ease the toll that acute unemployment has taken on the populace. Nevertheless, President Obama has trudged on, and against all odds, the numbers are shifting in the right direction, albeit slowly.

During his State of the Union Address and at various campaign-style stops that he has made subsequently, President Obama has repeated one single mantra: “No one who works full-time should live in poverty,” as he emphasized the importance of companies, government contractors in particular, raising the minimum wage to $10.10. The President’s quest to increase minimum wage has captivated the nation’s attention, with many conservative politicians and employers insisting that such action would drain jobs from an already fragile economy, while struggling workers and their advocates have argued that paying less than the proposed $10.10 is inhumane.

In New York, the Daily News has launched an aggressive campaign to highlight the dreadful conditions endured by Port Authority workers whose employers are contracted by private companies to clean, and provide other routine services at John F. Kennedy (JFK) and LaGuardia Airports. The campaign has reaped some success, with more expected.

Meanwhile newly elected mayor, Bill de Blasio, has proposed measures to authorize increased minimum wage across the city, only to be put in check by Governor Andrew Cuomo, who said such action “would be unconstitutional.”  Regardless of what configuration of the unemployment and low minimum wage battle results in expansive changes, one thing is clear: action is needed now to restore a sense of hope, dignity and optimism to a battered workforce that yearns for meaningful opportunities to work, provide for their families, pursue dreams and survive.–

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President Obama promotes voting rights changes

President Barack Obama.

President Barack Obama.

By Carmen Glover

The long lines that voters experienced during the last presidential election resulted in many voters in Florida and other states still being on-line when President Obama took the stage to give his acceptance speech.

In several states across the nation, particularly in Southern states where most of the governors are Republicans, early voting and Sunday voting were eliminated. Also, voting centers were closed earlier than they had been in the past, and new voter identification laws all contributed to utter chaos, long lines and a prevailing sense of anger, hopelessness and despair because voters felt that they were being denied their hard-fought rights to vote.

While delivering his inaugural speech, President Obama said of the voting laws and long lines “We have to do something about that.” Yesterday, he did. Shortly after he was re-elected, Obama created a bipartisan commission to probe the reasons for the long lines at the polls and recommend measures to fix them.  Yesterday, the commission revealed that 5 million people were on-line for more than an hour, waiting to vote, in the 2012, 2008 and 2004 presidential elections. Also, the commission’s results indicated that Black, Hispanic and poor voters experienced longer lines and waiting times than other groups when they tried to vote.

“No American should have to wait more than half an hour to vote,” Obama stated yesterday in response the commission’s findings, “We could have even more problems in the future if we don’t act now.” The commission also revealed that numerous voting machines are obsolete and the various counties lack the federal funds to purchase new ones. The issue with the voting machines presented an “impending crisis in voting technology,’ the commission revealed.

By issuing its findings the commission has made strides in addressing the serious matter of voter disenfranchisement caused by a range of issues such as the long lines, inferior machines and restrictive voting laws. By speaking out about the findings, the President has drawn attention to the issue, so that it can be resolved before the midterm elections later this year. This comes not a moment too

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Unfit to serve, Ohio educator bans Toni Morrison’s book, compares President Obama to Hitler

Pulitzer-Prize winning author/educator Toni Morrison, author of a plethora of literary works.

Pulitzer-Prize winning author/educator Toni Morrison, author of a plethora of literary works.

Ohio Board of Education President Debe Terher needs to be removed from office without delay. Terher, who shared a picture on her Facebook page comparing President Obama to Adolf Hitler, has allowed her personal feelings to cloud her judgment again. In the recent episode that demonstrates her lack of fitness to hold her post, she banned Pulitzer-prize winning author Toni Morrison’s literary tome, The Bluest Eye, from the Ohio public school system. This decision is wrong and represents an assault on the learning and literary rights of Ohio’s children.

Brandishing a sense of self-righteousness that has no place in the educational system, Terher describes the book as “pornographic” and justifies her action by stating: “I don’t want my grand-daughter reading it and I don’t want anyone else’s children reading it. It should not be used in any school for any K-12 child.” Speak for yourself Ms Terher. Mind you, this is the same person who, in a campaign to “encourage reading” surrounds herself with an exclusive group of white children, effectively sending a message to black, Asian and Latino children that what if they choose to read it is unimportant to her as long as they don’t read about black people. This is nothing short of disgraceful and Terher should be removed immediately.

bluest eye

Morrison’s classic book, set in Ohio, tells the tale of Pecola, a girl who grows up in poverty and is exposed to unimaginable childhood trauma. It recounts incest, abuse and other social ills, dovetailing with the plight of a dark-skinned black girl yearning to have blue eyes so that she can feel beautiful and loved. In this country with its horrific history of slavery and profound injustice, dark-skinned back children are often teased while white, blue-eyed children are treated as special. How dare Ms Terher deprive children of the opportunity to honestly examine those serious issues under the guidance of responsible and presumably multiculturally competent educators?

Her actions represent an outrage that must not stand. Parents, guardians and educators need to quell this ill-conceived edict before it has a chance to take root. The book needs to be immediately placed on the must-read book list for children. Educators need to be vigilant in examining the textures and messages of this important literary offering and explore its relevance to children, which are the central theme of the book.  Morrison was not amused by the Terher’s actions, stating ” I resent it,” in response to what Terher has done.

Debe Terher bans Morrison's book, post picture on social media comparing President Obama to Adolf Hitler.

Debe Terher bans Morrison’s book, post picture on social media comparing President Obama to Adolf Hitler.

If the populace fails to roll back this high-handed maneuver then is should not come as a surprise if the sanctimonious Terher goes after other literary icons under the guise of protecting children. Who will be her next targets? Will it be Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings?” or Richard Wright’s “Black Boy or Native Son?” Will it be James’ Baldwin’s books or will she decide that Langston Hughes’ poems are too strong?

Terher must not be allowed to single-handedly deprive children of the opportunity to learn about social issues. The issues described in the book will educate children about the importance of protecting their well-being. It is not Terher’s role to censor the literary offerings of children who are entitled to as comprehensive an education as possible. She is certainly misguided in her assessment of a book that should be required reading for all children. Not only should the citizens of Ohio rise up and protest this presumptuous act on Terher’s part, they should take their action a bit further and boot her from her position because it is clear that she does not understand that it is not her place to censor literature. She needs to restore the book to the required reading list and be removed from office immediately.–


50 years later, the plague of substandard lifestyle prevails


Dr Martin Luther King Jr whose "I Have a Dream" speech and March on Washington were honored by President Barack Obama on the 50th anniversary.

Dr Martin Luther King Jr whose “I Have a Dream” speech and March on Washington were honored by President Barack Obama on the 50th anniversary.

By Carmen Glover

As the sea of faces gazed across the Washington Mall on Saturday, August 24 and Wednesday, August 28 in the two marches held to commemorate the 1963 March on Washington, many eyes were transfixed on the myriad of speakers. Those at the podium eloquently described the urgent issues that need to be addressed in this era:more quality jobs, better educational options, equitable pay, quality housing, affordable health care, elimination of stop and frisk, gun violence, voter suppression and Stand Your Ground laws.

President Barack Obama speaks on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in celebration of Dr King's "I  Have a Dream" speech.

President Barack Obama speaks on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in celebration of Dr King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

“We need jobs,” said the Revered Al Sharpton, whose National Action Network, in conjunction with Martin Luther King III, organized Saturday’s march.  “Yes we will raise the minimum wage because you cannot survive on $7.25,” said NAACP President Benjamin Jealous.

Attorney General Eric Holder addresses the crowd.

Attorney General Eric Holder addresses the crowd.

Attorney General Eric Holder talks with Myrlie Evers-Williams.

Attorney General Eric Holder talks with Myrlie Evers-Williams.

Nine-year-old Asean Johnson, who hails from President Barack Obama’s home state of Chicago, was the youngest speaker on Saturday. Johnson said he was marching for “better schools, peace and no racism in the world.” Fifty years prior, Georgia Congressman John Lewis, at 23, was the youngest speaker and today is the only person alive who spoke at the March of 1963.

Georgia Rep. John Lewis makes a point.

Georgia Rep. John Lewis makes a point.


Georgia Rep. John Lewis waves to the crowd.

Georgia Rep. John Lewis waves to the crowd while standing next to the historic bell, a remnant from the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.

Dr King with a younger John Lewis in 1963.

Dr King with a younger John Lewis in 1963.

“I am not going to stand down and let the Supreme Court take the right to vote away from us,” Lewis stated passionately as he invoked the painful memories that litter the nation’s history of the struggles blacks experienced in their battle to vote. Attorney General Eric Holder elicited the most applause when he said: “The struggle most go on. The quest must, and will, go on until every eligible African- American exercises his or her right to vote.” Adding her voice to the theme of voting rights, Myrlie Evers-Williams was resolute: “We must be sure that nothing is taken away from us,” she said.

Christine King Farris, Dr King's sister, addresses the crowd.

Christine King Farris, Dr King’s sister, addresses the crowd.

Yet despite the various social, economic and judicial issues that continue to plague African-Americans, there have been some significant areas of progress. Many people went to the polls in 2008 and again in 2012 to elect and re-elect President Obama, while still being uncertain that their votes would matter. Obama steadfastly rises above a Congress that has repeatedly articulated being invested wholeheartedly in diminishing his achievements.

Reverend Al Sharpton shares a moment with Martin Luther King III.

Reverend Al Sharpton shares a moment with Martin Luther King III.

Congress has held the country’s jobs bill and economic agenda hostage, prompting the African-American community and supporters of fairness to become even more energized to ensure Obama’s success. Many who marched on Washington, whether 50 years ago or this week, could never before envision a president who is half black and half white. Many at the marches could not envision the inroads that  African-Americans have made by graduating from high school in larger numbers, earning college degrees, embracing political careers and impacting society in the many areas that they have.

Anthony Billups, his sister Mylene Marlin ans his mother Darlene Marlin hold their signs at the march.

Anthony Billups, his sister Mylene Marlin and his mother, Darlene Marlin, hold their signs at the march.

But, like Attorney Holder stated, “the struggle must go on.” In the same way that the younger generation went out in droves to elect the president, so too have they re-energized the civil rights movement. The youth have marched and led protests, such as the actions being taken by the Dream Defenders in Florida as they agitate to end Stand Your Ground laws. Students from all over the county converged on Washington to make their voices heard. Howard University students, in particular, were front and center.

Anthony Billups, a graduate of Northeastern and Arizona State Universities, with undergraduate and master’s degrees in Math, marched on Saturday with his family, who reside in New York’s Staten Island community. “I attended both inaugurations of the current president and I wanted to be a part of this historic march as well,” he said.  Billups’ 12-year-old sister, Mylene Marlin, was excited to participate in the march and proudly displayed her sign which read “I am empowered,” while their mother looked on.

Former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton both addressed the crowd.

Former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton both addressed the crowd.

So when President Obama addressed the crowd on Wednesday, August 28, 2013, people of all colors and backgrounds listened intently. President Obama reflected on the March of 1963 by describing the “courage” that it took and the need for continued “vigilance” to keep the fight going.

“Change does not come from Washington, it comes to Washington,” Obama said, adding: “In the face of impossible odds, people who love their country can change it.” In the same way that young people marched in 1963, President Obama called on the youth today to become active in the effort to ensure that “all people get a fair shot.” Making the connection between disenchanted youth and the damaging impact on society, President Obama said “the shadow of poverty casts a pall over our youth.” He called on the “imagination and hunger of purpose of the young,” as critical ingredients for a revitalized call to action. “We now have a choice: we can continue down the same path of we can have the courage to change,” he said.

Myrllie Evers-Williams speaks to the gathering.

Myrllie Evers-Williams speaks to the gathering.

President Obama celebrated the achievements that have been made in the country since the first March on Washington but he emphasized the areas that still need fixing. “Black unemployment remains twice as high as whites,” he said, and he cited economic equality as “our great unfinished business” from 1963, which makes “upward mobility harder.” A plethora of speakers united to make the commemoration memorable and when Dr King’s family rang the bell at 3:00 PM in honor of his memory, the act was symbolic because the bell came from the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, where in 1963, shortly after the March on Washington, four black girls were killed in a bombing initiated by a white supremacist. Former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter added an important context to the day, especially since on the day of the 1963 March; the president chose to avoid the event.

Media icon Oprah WInfrey shares her thoughts.

Media icon Oprah Winfrey shares her thoughts.

Among the notables in attendance to hear President Obama’s speech and add their thoughts were: Oprah Winfrey, Forest Whitaker, Jamie Foxx, Caroline Kennedy, Ambassador Andrew Young, Christine King Farris who is Dr King’s 85-year-old sister, Dr King’s surviving children and grandchild and many of the speakers from Saturday’s march.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama wave to the crowd as they leave the event.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama wave to the crowd as they leave the event.

The legacy of Dr King’s lifelong activism and the brilliance of his oratorical skills will live on but like President Obama stated, change takes courage. It remains to be seen how many will heed that call and demonstrate the courage that is needed to address the substandard lifestyle that prevails in many minority communities today.  –