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Items filtered by date: Monday, 07 August 2017 - The San Bernardino American News

President Obama’s Policies Still Drive Economic Growth

In May of 2017, the Black unemployment rate hit its lowest level in 17 years: 7.5 percent. Then, in June, the jobless rate for Blacks fell to 7.1 percent, before rising to 7.4 percent in July, according to the latest jobs report.

The jobs numbers over the last six months have generally been impressive. It’s fascinating to note that, suddenly, all the accusations that low jobs numbers were “fake” when President Barack Obama was in office have suddenly vanished.

The Black unemployment rate hit 16.7 percent in September 2011—the highest Black unemployment since Ronald Reagan was in office pushing “trickle down” economics. Overall, the Black unemployment numbers were higher, on average, under President Obama than President George W. Bush or President Bill Clinton.

The 30 year-high for Black joblessness in late 2011 prompted members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) to embark on an August 2011 jobs tour. That same year, President Obama barked at members of the CBC at their annual gala to “put on your marching shoes…and stop whining and complaining.”

The Black unemployment rate, in general, was lower under President George W. Bush than it was under President Obama. Economists agree that the high jobless numbers, under President Obama, were largely driven by the economic downturn known as the Great Recession. Now, Obama’s economic policies are continuing to bear fruit during Trump’s first six months as the Black jobless numbers improve.

Black unemployment still remains double than it is for Whites. July’s numbers showed Black unemployment at 7.4 percent, Hispanics at 5.1 percent and Whites at 3.8.

In 2013, AFL-CIO Chief economist Bill Spriggs wrote: “A big puzzle in looking at the changes in the Black unemployment rate is the fact the Black labor force is older now than during past major downturns in the mid-1970s and early 1980s. In 1975, the Black unemployment rate spiked to 15.4 percent. In 1982 and 1983, the Black unemployment rate skyrocketed to above 20 percent for a nine-month period starting in October 1982.”

Several political observers pointed out that many jobs being added to the U.S. economy are in the service sector, such as restaurants and healthcare.

“Ensuring workers have better jobs and better wages also means they should be trained with the tools they need to succeed in our economy,” said Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) the top Democrat on the Education & Workforce Committee in the House, in a statement on August 4.

The economy added 209,000 jobs in July.

Though the reasons for rising and falling Black unemployment over the last six months are not clear, it is clear that the current numbers reflect Obama’s economic policies; President Donald Trump has yet to implement any economic strategy and his proposed budget won’t take effect until next year, at the earliest. Additionally, Congress has passed nothing related to the economy regarding taxes or jobs.

Lauren Victoria Burke is the White House Correspondent for NNPA and a writer and political analyst. She appears on NewsOneNow with Roland Martin every Monday. She can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and on twitter at @LVBurke.


Man suspected of setting multiple fires charged with arson

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - A 23-year-old Yucaipa man was charged today with several felony counts of arson in connection with multiple fires that burned over 900 acres and seriously injured one firefighter.

Jarrod Samra was charged with one count of Arson Causing Great Bodily Injury and eight counts of Arson of a Structure of Forest. A copy of the complaint and a fact sheet can be downloaded at the following link:

If convicted as charged, Samra faces 19 years in state prison.

"This arsonist will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law," District Attorney Michael Ramos said. "The history of fires in our county and the destruction they have caused to human life and property is absolutely tragic. Thankfully, through the investigative work of our law enforcement and public safety partners, we were able to stop this individual and prevent any future destruction or potential loss of life."

Samara was arrested Thursday, Aug. 3, after deputies responding to reports of a vegetation fire on Hwy. 38, observed a vehicle in the area where the fire originated and made contact with the vehicle. The driver was identified as Jarrod Samra. After further investigation, Samra was arrested.

"Using investigative tools and gathering evidence led the Task Force to identifying Jarrod Samra as the suspect responsible for at least 8 fires," Sheriff John McMahon said. "This is a perfect example of public safety agencies working together to keep our communities safe."

Samra is scheduled to be arraigned Monday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. at the San Bernardino Justice Center in Dept. S-8. This case is culmination of a multi-agency arson task force involving the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office, San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, San Bernardino County Fire, Cal Fire, United States Forest Service, and the San Bernardino Police Department.

"San Bernardino County Fire takes arson personally due to the extreme threat to the citizens we serve and the firefighters who put themselves between the fire and communities they protect," Fire Chief Mark Hartwig said. "Catching and convicting these criminals is a high priority."

Contact: Christopher Lee, Public Affairs Officer (909) 382-3665 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via text at (909) 782-5559


California Appeals Court Overturns Historic 2014 Ruling On Teacher Tenure

LOS ANGELES (CN) - A state appeals court delivered California teacher unions an extraordinary victory last week, overturning a historic ruling that held the education code unconstitutionally rewards chronically incompetent teachers with tenure.

An advocacy group for the nine students who filed the lawsuit immediately indicated that they would appeal the case to the California Supreme Court.

In a 2014 ruling that alarmed teachers unions across the nation, Los Angeles Superior County Court Judge Rolf Treu ruled that five statutes in California’s education code hamper the education of poor and minority students and rewarded “grossly ineffective teachers.”

A three-judge panel of the Second Appellate District has now ruled that the statutes at issue do not violate equal protection under the California Constitution and reversed Treu.

“Plaintiffs failed to establish that the challenged statutes violate equal protection, primarily because they did not show that the statutes inevitably cause a certain group of students to receive an education inferior to the education received by other students,” Presiding Judge Roger Boren wrote in a 36-page opinion (pdf). “Although the statutes may lead to the hiring and retention of more ineffective teachers than a hypothetical alternative system would, the statutes do not address the assignment of teachers; instead, administrators — not the statutes — ultimately determine where teachers within a district are assigned to teach.

“Critically, plaintiffs failed to show that the statutes themselves make any certain group of students more likely to be taught by ineffective teachers than any other group of students,” Boren continued, adding that with “no proper showing of a constitutional violation, the court is without power to strike down the challenged statutes.”

The state argued at a hearing earlier this year that teacher tenure is a valuable tool in attracting and retaining the best teachers in the state and that the plaintiffs, nine California public school students, had failed to present statewide evidence that the statutes adversely affect students.

Four years ago, the law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher represented the students in the landmark case, Vergara v. California.

At issue are state laws that students say unfairly grant teachers permanent employment, prevent removal of ineffective teachers from classrooms and during economic downturns lead to layoffs of teachers based on seniority rather than merit.

Under those laws, poor and minority schools end up with a disproportionate amount of “lemon” teachers who secure tenure in as little as 16 months, the students claim.

California and the teachers union defending the case argued that extending the probationary period would chip away at a benefit that attracts quality teachers and protects them from the whims of school officials and administrators.

In a statement, Students Matter founder David Welch said the students would continue to fight the case all the way to the California Supreme Court.

“I just got off the phone with our attorneys, and I’m not going to mince words — we lost. This is a sad day for every child struggling to get the quality education he or she deserves — and is guaranteed by our state constitution.

“We think the California Court of Appeals is wrong, so our fight for California students isn’t over — not even close. We’re taking this case to the California Supreme Court, and we intend to win.”

Welch cited Treu’s comments that the current system “shocks the conscience” and said it is “time for our state’s leaders to do something about it.”

Judges Judith Ashmann-Gerst and Brian Hoffstadt joined the opinion.


NFL Hall of Fame Inductee’s Speech Addresses Race in America

LaDainian “LT” Tomlinson, one of seven members of the NFL’s Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2017, used the final part of his acceptance speech on Saturday to address the history of racial inequality in the United States and to call for unity.

In the first 20 minutes of his speech at the hall of fame induction ceremony in Canton, Ohio, Tomlinson, a former running back for the San Diego Chargers and the New York Jets, expressed his gratitude to the NFL. He also acknowledged the many people who helped him excel in the league, including outstanding pro Black football players who paved the way and his supportive family. Tomlinson said his faith-filled journey to becoming a pro football player was guided by the “love, honesty and strength” of his mother. He also acknowledged the major role his wife of 17 years played in his career.

But Tomlinson, 38, who was born in Rosebud, Texas, took the last six minutes of his speech to honor his great-great-great-grandfather George, who was enslaved in Texas. He used the origin of his last name — Tomlinson — to make commentary on the issue of race in American society.

“If this was my last day on earth, and this my final speech, this is the message I’ll leave with you,” Tomlinson said. “The story of a man I never met. My great-great-great-grandfather George.

“One hundred and seventy years ago, George was brought here in chains in a slave ship from West Africa. His last name, Tomlinson, was given to him by the man who owned him.

“Tomlinson was the slave owner’s last name. What extraordinary courage it must have taken for him to rebuild his life after the life he was born to was stolen?

“How did he reclaim his identity, his dignity? When he had no freedom to choose for himself. I grew up on a land of a former slave plantation. And although I didn’t know this as a child, it is where my great-great-great-grandfather tilled the soil.

“A few years ago, I visited that same plantation in central Texas with my family and stood in the slave quarters where he lived. It’s now named Tomlinson Hill.

“My name began with the man who owned my great-great-great-grandfather. Now, it’s proudly carried by me, my children, my extended family. People stop me on the street because they know me as LT the football player.

“But after football, people have come to recognize me as LaDainian Tomlinson. Not simply for what I did as a football player, but for who I am as a man. The family legacy that began in such a cruel way has given birth to generations of successful, caring Tomlinsons.

“I firmly believe that God chose me to bring two races together under one last name — Tomlinson.

“I’m of mixed race, and I represent America. My story is America’s story. All of our ancestors, unless we’re American Indian, came from another country, another culture. Football is a microcosm of America. All races, religions and creeds living, playing, competing, side by side.”

Tomlinson then received a standing ovation.

He continued, “When you are a part of a team, you understand your teammates — their strengths and weaknesses — and work together toward the same goal to win a championship.

“In this context, I advocate we become Team America. In sports, we’re evaluated on our desire, ability, and given a chance to compete. America is the land of opportunity.

“Let’s not slam the door on those who may look or sound different from us. Rather, let’s open it wide for those who believe in themselves, that anything is possible and are willing to compete and take whatever risk necessary to work hard to succeed.

“I’m being inducted into the hall of fame because my athletic ability created an opportunity for me to excel in the sport I love. When we open the door for others to compete, we fulfill the promise of one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.”

Tomlinson brought the crowd to its feet.

“On America’s team, let’s not choose to be against one another,” he said. “Let’s choose to be for one another.

“My great-great-great-grandfather had no choice. We have one. I pray we dedicate ourselves to be the best team we can be, working and living together, representing the highest ideals of mankind, leading the way for all nations to follow.

“One of the most eloquent orators of our time said it best in his farewell address. Paraphrasing and humbly building upon what President Obama said, ‘We all have to try harder, show up, dive in and stay at it.’

“I am asking you to believe in your ability to bring about change, to hold fast to the faith and the idea whispered by slaves, ‘Yes we can.’”

LaDainian Tomlinson was a running back for nine seasons with the San Diego Chargers and spent his final two seasons with the New York Jets. At the time of his retirement in 2012, his accomplishments included ranking fifth in career rushing for a total of 13,684 yards, second in rushing touchdowns (145) and third in total touchdowns (162). He was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 2006, the year he made a total of 31 touchdowns, a league record.

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