Saturday, May 31, 2008
Watch all 9 webisodes by clicking the link below:
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Media Matters - Fox News' Cavuto ignored Hagee's Hitler comments, McCain's courting of his endorsement
Additionally, Cavuto did not mention any of Hagee's prior controversial statements -- including about Islam, homosexuality and Hurricane Katrina; nor did he note that the exposure of those remarks did not cause McCain to reject Hagee's endorsement.
In a May 21 Huffington Post article, reporter Sam Stein wrote that Hagee "argued in a late 1990s sermon that the Nazis had operated on God's behalf to chase the Jews from Europe and shepherd them to Palestine." From Stein's article:
John Hagee, the controversial evangelical leader and endorser of Sen. John McCain, argued in a late 1990s sermon that the Nazis had operated on God's behalf to chase the Jews from Europe and shepherd them to Palestine. According to the Reverend, Adolph Hitler was a "hunter," sent by God, who was tasked with expediting God's will of having the Jews re-establish a state of Israel.
Going in and out of biblical verse, Hagee preached: " 'And they the hunters should hunt them,' that will be the Jews. 'From every mountain and from every hill and from out of the holes of the rocks.' If that doesn't describe what Hitler did in the holocaust you can't see that."
He goes on: "Theodore Hertzel is the father of Zionism. He was a Jew who at the turn of the 19th century said, this land is our land, God wants us to live there. So he went to the Jews of Europe and said 'I want you to come and join me in the land of Israel.' So few went that Hertzel went into depression. Those who came founded Israel; those who did not went through the hell of the holocaust.
As Huffington Post reports this morning:
Senator Joseph Lieberman is scheduled to headline Pastor John Hagee’s 2008 Christians United For Israel Washington-Israel Summit this July 22. In accepting Hagee’s invitation, Lieberman became the most senior elected representative confirmed to appear at the annual gala.
It was at last year’s CUFI conference that Lieberman offered his glowing tribute to the End Times Pastor Hagee:
“He is a Ish Elokim, a man of God and those words really fit him…like Moses he’s become a leader of a mighty multitude, even greater than the multitude that Moses led from Egypt to the promised land.”
Unfortunately for Joe Lieberman, it now turns out that John Hagee had in mind another modern-day Moses: Adolf Hitler. Hitler, Hagee tells us, was sent by God to deliver the Jews to Israel.
“Then god sent a hunter. A hunter is someone with a gun and he forces you. Hitler was a hunter. And the Bible says — Jeremiah writing — ‘They shall hunt them from every mountain and from every hill and from the holes of the rocks,’ meaning there’s no place to hide. And that might be offensive to some people but don’t let your heart be offended. I didn’t write it, Jeremiah wrote it. It was the truth and it is the truth. How did it happen? Because God allowed it to happen. Why did it happen? Because God said my top priority for the Jewish people is to get them to come back to the land of Israel.”
For Hagee, of course, the return of the Jews to Israel is a biblical necessity, a requirement for the Second Coming of Christ and the final battle of Armageddon with, you guessed it, Iran:
“The United States must join Israel in a pre-emptive military strike against Iran to fulfill God’s plan for both Israel and the West…a biblically prophesied end-time confrontation with Iran, which will lead to the Rapture, Tribulation, and Second Coming of Christ.”
Then and then only then, can the Jews be converted - or massacred - in what Keith Olbermann described as “biblical collateral damage.” As part of his cynical effort to court the religious right, John McCain aggressively sought Pastor Hagee’s endorsement. And to date, Mr. Straight Talk has yet to answer the question: does John McCain agree with Pastor John Hagee that war with Iran is the fulfillment of biblical prophecy? The questions about McCain “spiritual guide” Rod Parsley also remained unanswered.
Monday, May 26, 2008
DNC Invitation to Discuss by Telephone the Exclusion of Black & Latino Blogs from Democratic National Convention Floor Credentials
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Francis L. Holland, Esq.
55 (73) 3288-1716
May 24, 2008
Ms. Maya E. Goines
National Coordinator for African American Constituencies
Democratic National Committee
Mr. Aaron Myers
Director of Online Communications
2008 Democratic National Convention Committee
Mr. Kombiz Lavasany
Democratic National Committee
Online Outreach Manager
Dear Mr. Myers, Ms. Goines and Mr. Lavasany:
RE: Adding fifteen (15) Black-owned-and-operated afrosphere blogs with Black bloggers to already-selected virtually all-white Convention floor "state blog" pool, with 20% Black blogs in the the general blog pool.
I write to accept Aaron Myer's request (see below) to talk with me by telephone to discuss whether Black and Latino owned-and-operated blogs will be virtually or utterly excluded from the credentials that will allow white blogs to be seated with state delegations on the floor of the Democratic National Convention.
"There is nothing 'Democratic' about an all-white Democratic National Convention floor blogging corps."
I also welcome you to schedule a conference call in which interested Black bloggers and the national news media can be informed of the preparations that the DNC has made for Black and Latino blogs' equal participation in the Democratic National Convention floor blogs pool.
I am available this weekend at 55 (73) 3288-1716.
In order to help me prepare for our conversation in advance, please first provide by e-mail:
(1) the names, owners and URL's of all Black and Latino owned-and-operated blogs, for each group, that will be seated on the floor;
(2) the percentage of all floor credentialed blogs that will be (a) Black, and (b) Latino owned-and-operated, for each group;
(3) the names, owners and URL's of all general pool Black and Latino owned-and-operated blogs, for each group;
(4) the percentage of all general pool credentialed blogs that will be (a) Black, and (b) Latino owned-and-operated, for each group;
Please also e-mail to me all any descriptions of the advantages, responsibilities, privileges and activities to be accorded to the credentialed state pool floor blogs, such as you have provided to those blogs and/or to others already.
Please note that I have not requested to know the number of Black and Latino bloggers who will be chaperoned to the floor or the general pool under the editorial auspices of white blogs. Although it would also be interesting to have this information, my request for information is specifically regarding Black and Latino owned-and-operated blogs that are to be credential, in their own right, to be seated on the floor of the Convention, as well as those to be credentialed for the general pool, respectively, in the way that white blogs have been credentialed.
"A 'white blogs only' over the
Democratic National Convention floor
could do irreparable harm
to the Democratic Party 'brand'."
I understand that, at this late date, all hotel rooms in Denver may already have been reserved within a twenty-mile radius of Denver. I understand that the DNC specifically warned white blogs earlier in the spring to make reservations early, before all hotel were completely booked.
Please also inform me whether provisions have been made to help Black and Latino bloggers to find hotel accommodations, since the delay in notifying them that they will be credentialed has prevented them, and continues to prevent them, from making reservation deposits for the scarce or nonexistent Denver hotel accommodations that may still be available.
" 'Black blogs to the back of the bus'
must never be a slogan of the Democratic Party."
This is the information that the national media has been requesting. They understand that Black and Latino blogs have already been prejudiced by the delay in announcing their participation. They want to understand whether Black and Latino blogs will be permitted to participate in blogging at the Democratic National conventions under the same terms and condition, and with the same advantages and responsibilities, as white blogs.
"Don't count on Blacks for November
while excluding us in August."
The expedient provision of the information requested here will enable Black and Latino blogs to announce, as white blogs already have, that they will be reporting from seats on the floor of the Convention, while also enabling Black and Latino blogs to make hotel reservations in Denver now, if any are still available at all.
This situation must be rectified. Before the DNC state floor blogs system makes its first appearance at a Democratic National Convention, the "White Blogs Only" sign must be removed from the Convention floor.
*Washington Post: "A Diversity of Opinion, if Not Opinionators: At the Yearly Kos Bloggers' Convention, a Sea of Middle-Aged White Males" http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/05/AR2007080501580_pf.html
Atlanta Journal Constitution: "Bloggers of the ‘afrosphere’ think they’ve been shut out of the Democratic National Convention"
Dallas Morning News: "Racial Make-up of Democratic Convention Bloggers Criticized"
DNC: "Announcing the [Denver convention] State Blogger Corps"
Bang the Drum: "Live-blog DNCC Blogger Press Credential Conference Call"
Francis L. Holland, Esq.
Member, Afrosphere Action Coalition
55 (73) 3288-1716
The Francis L. Holland Blog
The Truth About McCain Blog
Thursday, May 22, 2008
The main obstacle standing between Barack Obama and the White House was distilled into five words by a local television correspondent in South Charleston, W.Va., earlier this month.
Prefacing a question about the challenges of winning over white, blue-collar voters, the reporter offered this observation: “They think you are un-American,” he said.
Such questions, asked by reporters and plainly on the minds of voters in Appalachia and elsewhere, are the fruits of an unprecedented, subterranean e-mail campaign.
What began as a demonstrably false attempt to cast Obama as a Muslim has now metastasized into something far more threatening to the likely Democratic nominee. The spurious claims about his faith have spiraled into a broader assault that questions his patriotism and citizenship and generally portrays him as a threat to mainstream, white America.
Technorati Tags: racism, barack-obama, bias, african, american, elections, clinton
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Friday, May 16, 2008
Black Liberation Theology: The Enemy Within | WesternFront America
Sincere apologies from this columnist to those sufficiently sick of the Barack Obama/Rev. Jeremiah Wright story that they are a hair’s breadth from an uncontrollable fit of projectile vomiting.
On March 1, 2007, when Rev. Wright blasted me, Sean Hannity and Alan Colmes for being too ignorant to even presume to speak on theology because we had not studied Black Liberation Theology (BLT), through his belligerent, imperious egomania, he effectively flung open the door for much of the potentially damaging scrutiny now being directed at this dubious gospel.
Black Liberation Theology is nothing new; it has been festering largely unseen within the Church since the ‘Sixties. Indeed, it is likely that it would have remained “hands off” if not for the Obama/Wright controversy, lest messengers be upbraided for attempting to deny blacks their religious freedom. “Attacking” black churches isn’t exactly politically-correct, be it with words or molotovs.
Please, read the rest of this stupidity from this UT...
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Friday, May 09, 2008
Media Matters - Dick Morris: Election hinges on whether "we believe" Obama is "sort of a sleeper agent who really doesn't believe in our system"
Thursday, May 08, 2008
'I believe Obama probably will win [the Democratic nomination], although in politics you never ever can count anybody out,' said former New York Mayor Ed Koch. 'I think Hillary is doing a magnificent job and is a great candidate and if anybody can pull it out, she can. But my honest opinion is, it probably won't happen. And that he will be the candidate and that he will lose.'"
Mildred Loving dies at 68.
This article is from The Independent concerning the legacy of Richard and Mildred Loving:
Mildred Loving: Civil rights pioneer
At 2am on 11 July 1958, Mildred Loving and her husband were woken up by the local Virginia sheriff and two deputies who, acting on a tip-off, had broken into their bedroom, shining flashlights into their faces. "Who is this woman you're sleeping with?" the sheriff brusquely asked. That Mildred was Richard Loving's wife made no difference. The couple were arrested. For she was black and he was white, at a time when two dozen states across America banned such unions under anti-miscegenation laws, in Virginia's case dating back to the 17th century.
Mildred Loving was a soft-spoken, gentle woman who never intended to be an activist. She simply wanted to live a normal married life in the Virginia countryside just north of the state capital, Richmond, where she and Richard had known each other as children, and where they had grown up.
But circumstances dictated otherwise. Her battle to secure a normal life led ultimately to a US Supreme Court decision of 1967, ending the bar on mixed marriages in Virginia and elsewhere. In essence, her case removed the last brick of the legal edifice of slavery and segregation, after the groundbreaking civil rights legislation earlier in the decade.
"I think marrying who you want is a right no man should have anything to do with, it's a God-given right," she declared shortly after her historic victory.
That, however, had not been the opinion back in 1958 of Leon Bazile, the local Circuit Court judge, as he sentenced the couple to a one-year jail term, to be suspended if they left the state for the next 25 years, and never returned together.
"Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents," Judge Bazile declared. "And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix."
The Lovings pleaded guilty, paid $72 in court costs and moved back north to Washington DC where they had been married a few months before – he a construction worker of 23, she an 18-year-old girl already pregnant with the first of their three children.
But they missed their family and old friends in the country too much. Taking heart from the burgeoning civil rights movement, Mildred wrote in 1963 to the then Attorney General, Robert Kennedy, protesting her plight. The Justice Department put her in touch with the American Civil Liberties Union, which accepted the case. After a three-year journey through lower appeal courts, Loving vs Virginia arrived at the highest jurisdiction in the land.
The ruling of the nine-member Supreme Court was unanimous, and the final opinion was written by Chief Justice Earl Warren, who had written the Court's Brown vs Board of Education judgment in 1954 that ended segregation in US schools, and set in motion the civil rights era. Marriage, said Warren, "is one of the basic civil rights of man, fundamental to our very existence and survival." To deny it "on so unsupportable a basis as racial classification" was to deprive every American citizen of freedom.
But the Lovings did not enjoy their new freedom for very long. They moved back to Virginia but in 1975, just eight years later, Richard died in a car accident.
Mildred Delores Jeter: born 22 July 1939; married 1958 Richard Loving (died 1975; two sons, one daughter); died Central Point, Virginia 2 May 2008.
Loving Decision: 40 Years of Legal Interracial Unions
Listen Now [12 min 42 sec] add to playlist
Richard and Mildred Loving gave their name to the landmark Supreme Court ruling that struck down anti-miscegenation laws in more than a dozen states. Bettmann/Corbis
Follow a timeline of the Lovings' legal battle
Lindsay Mangum, NPR
The Movies and 'Loving'
June 15, 2007'Dinner' and a Show: Race, Romance in Pop Culture
Richard Loving poses with his son, Donald, in 1965. Time Life Pictures/Getty Images
Melissa Gray, NPR
Bernard Cohen and Michele Norris examine a scrapbook of newspaper clippings about the case. Cohen, now retired, was one of two lawyers who argued the Loving case before the Supreme Court.
Listen: Attorney Bernard Cohen Argues the Lovings' Case Before the Supreme Court
Melissa Gray. NPR
The Lovings made front-page news around the country and were featured in magazines such as Newsweek and Life.
Courtesy of Anna Blazer
Bryan Walker, Anna Blazer and their two children, Brianna and Brandon, live just miles from the Caroline County courthouse. They have endured sneers, taunts and even violence from strangers.
All Things Considered, June 11, 2007 · This week marks the 40th anniversary of a seminal moment in the civil rights movement: the legalization of interracial marriage. But the couple at the heart of the landmark Supreme Court case of Loving v. Virginia never intended to be in the spotlight.
On June 12, 1967, the nation's highest court voted unanimously to overturn the conviction of Richard and Mildred Loving, a young interracial couple from rural Caroline County, Va.
That decision struck down the anti-miscegenation laws — written to prevent the mixing of the races — that were on the books at the time in more than a dozen states, including Virginia.
'They Just Were in Love'
Richard Loving was white; his wife, Mildred, was black. In 1958, they went to Washington, D.C. — where interracial marriage was legal — to get married. But when they returned home, they were arrested, jailed and banished from the state for 25 years for violating the state's Racial Integrity Act.
To avoid jail, the Lovings agreed to leave Virginia and relocate to Washington.
For five years, the Lovings lived in Washington, where Richard worked as a bricklayer. The couple had three children. Yet they longed to return home to their family and friends in Caroline County.
That's when the couple contacted Bernard Cohen, a young attorney who was volunteering at the ACLU. They requested that Cohen ask the Caroline County judge to reconsider his decision.
"They were very simple people, who were not interested in winning any civil rights principle," Cohen, now retired, tells Michele Norris.
"They just were in love with one another and wanted the right to live together as husband and wife in Virginia, without any interference from officialdom. When I told Richard that this case was, in all likelihood, going to go to the Supreme Court of the United States, he became wide-eyed and his jaw dropped," Cohen recalls.
Road to the High Court
Cohen and another lawyer challenged the Lovings' conviction, but the original judge in the case upheld his decision. Judge Leon Bazile wrote: "Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, Malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. ... The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix."
As Cohen predicted, the case moved all the way up to the Supreme Court, where the young ACLU attorney made a vivid and personal argument:
"The Lovings have the right to go to sleep at night knowing that if should they not wake in the morning, their children would have the right to inherit from them. They have the right to be secure in knowing that, if they go to sleep and do not wake in the morning, that one of them, a survivor of them, has the right to Social Security benefits. All of these are denied to them, and they will not be denied to them if the whole anti-miscegenistic scheme of Virginia... [is] found unconstitutional."
After the ruling — now known as the "Loving Decision" — the family, which had already quietly moved back to Virginia, finally returned home to Caroline County.
But their time together was cut short: Richard Loving died in a car crash in 1975. Mildred Loving, who never remarried, still lives in Caroline County in the house that Richard built. She politely refuses to give interviews.
Interracial Couples Today
Since that ruling 40 years ago, interracial marriage has become more common, but remains relatively rare. Sociologists estimate that 7 percent of the nation's 59 million marriages are mixed-race couplings.
And even now, interracial marriage remains a source of quiet debate over questions of identity, assimilation and acceptance.
Take Anna Blazer and Bryan Walker, for instance. The white woman and her black husband, with their two young children, live just miles from the Caroline County courthouse. Donald Loving, a grandson of Richard and Mildred Loving, introduced the couple when they were teenagers.
Blazer, now 23, says her family was initially wary of her then-boyfriend because of his race.
"My mom was a little weird with it, because he used to wear this really long — they call it bling-bling — he used to wear a bling-bling cross around his neck and baggy pants. And I don't know, she just kind of looked at him kind of funny when she first met him," Blazer remembers.
But over the years her mother has warmed to Walker, 21.
Blazer says that although many things have changed since the days of anti-miscegenation laws, life is still difficult for them in Caroline County. The couple endures sneers, sideways glances and more from strangers.
"Just a couple of months ago... Bryan got beat up in the Wal-Mart parking lot because he was with me and my sister, and these white men came up to him and they were yelling. The guy ripped off his shirt. He had racial slurs all over him...and they just started going at it," Blazer says.
"I think my life would be a whole lot easier if I was with a white man. And Bryan feels the same way, but he loves me. He really does. And we are meant to be together," Blazer says.
Related NPR Stories
June 12, 2007'Loving' Turns 40
May 15, 2007White Mothers, Black Sons
April 26, 2007Multiracial Identity in America Today
April 15, 2007White Youngsters Gather to Talk About Race
Jan. 30, 2007A Return Home Leads to New Questions on Race
Jan. 25, 2007Race, Still Our Most Divisive Force
Jan. 24, 2007A Racial Convergence, via Religion
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Media Matters - Russert noted media's lack of scrutiny of McCain over Hagee, other issues, but not Russert's own McCain "grace period" on Hagee
CNN Political Ticker: All politics, all the time Blog Archive - Limbaugh comes out for Obama « - Blogs from CNN.com
'I now believe he would be the weakest of the Democrat nominees,' Limbaugh, among the most powerful voices in conservative radio, said on his program. 'I now urge the Democrat supereldegates to make your mind up and publicly go for Obama.'"
Saturday, May 03, 2008
This media kit focuses on African Americans, heart disease and stroke.
The kit includes
Facts about African Americans, Heart Disease and StrokeGoals for a Longer, Stronger Life;
Overweight and Obesity:
What Can You Do Heart-Healthy Cooking Tips Heart Disease and Stroke Warning Signs Free Programs for a Healthy Life
Download or read the kit here http://www.letstalkhonestly.com/blacknewsblackviews.html
Friday, May 02, 2008
Most of Member of the Club is just as eager to examine black culture, and often upper-class black culture in particular (though his last investigative piece, "Harlem on My Mind", has him renting an apartment in the scuzzy part of Harlem for a month, a courageous attempt to experience the other side). In particular, the second essay, "I Never Dated a White Girl", is as spectacular in its thoughtful, panoramic but memoir-centered way as "Invisible Man" is in its investigative one. Whites don't come off well here either, mind you: he quotes a 1992 Gallup survey in which only 10% of whites, _by their own admission_, would approve of one of their family members marrying outside their own race. (Slight correction from above, btw: my friend Adam has a black father, although you'd never guess from looking at Adam) While the excuses Graham has heard include the bit of bluster that I was guessing -- "We want to protect them from the pain of _other_ people's racism" -- it turns out that white people have also been willing to tell Graham of their fears that "black-white mixed genes could compromise the development of what would otherwise be an intelligent white child". But "...White Girl" is also about why the majority of blacks disapprove of interracial dating and marriages. The disapproval shows up more than just in polls: he starts the chapter with a cryptic party conversation that starts with a woman asking "What do Clarence Thomas, Montel Williams, Diana Ross, Shelby Steele, Marian Wright Edelman, and Shair Belafonte all have in common?", and continues with increasing discouragement with the other party guests tossing in more names ("Don't forget Berry Gordy, Barry Bonds, and our so-called godfather of soul, James Brown") until a confused white guest figures out the game and confronts them: black figures married to whites. He objects, of course, to the game and its air of criticism. Statistically, it's 90% likely that the white man and his equally annoyed white girlfriend wouldn't let anyone in their family date a black -- but that doesn't make the objection go away. Graham's long answer to why blacks feel that way (he comes up with six reasons), and his account of his own decision to never date whites, is not self-righteous; it acknowledges the hypocrisy, takes its roots seriously, and is ultimately a serious, convincing work that knows its irony. Quicker takes: another chapter of Member of the Club examines the condition of black leadership. Yes, I think Graham transparently wants to be a black leader himself, and would be more graceful to admit it, but he's still right to be insulted when (to pick a random example) Esquire commissioned twenty articles for its 60th anniversary issue: nineteen prestigious white writers like William F. Buckley, Jimmy Breslin, and Norman Mailer, and one semi-literate black dropout: Ice-T. Graham quotes enough of Ice-T's piece to make it clear that he's not rejecting it purely from snobbery; and his ideas on how to improve black leadership are thoughtful, original, and have nada to do with waiting for white assistance. Also available: a pure memoir piece, often self-damning as grownups can be about their youth, on his attendance at Princeton University, a Confederate holdout in New Jersey. A surprisingly entertaining satire of suburban blacks (of which, of course, he is one). A field guide to the species "Head N*gger in Charge" (the one or two blacks a company will hire to prove that they're okay with black people). Short takes on the continued existence of the black lunch table -- which, when he was in high school, he blamed on the blacks (as did I) -- and on being a black man with a nose job, which would have a hard time getting my sympathy even if the nose he chose for himself wasn't so appalling. And there's one wise piece of surprising optimism: "Moving from Black Rage to Bias Neutralizing". One reason why whites should care about race, even if racism seems only to benefit us, is the then-timely creation of the "black rage" legal defense, supported by 60% of blacks in another Gallup poll: in December 1993, Colin Ferguson, a black NYC commuter, killed six white and wounded nineteen in a spree, then was defended (by William Kunstler no less) on the grounds that constant discrimination had rendered him temporarily insane and not-guilty. Obviously, to me and to Graham and i hope to you, the creation of excuses for random killing is not good. Graham's piece, though hard to summarize, tries to explain and challenge the mindset that leads to this sort of black rage. It also tells, uniquely in the book, some of what Graham does for a living: we see him consulting a well-meaning accounting firm that, though 99% white, honestly believes it is looking for qualified minorites and not finding them. Examining their recruitment patterns, he finds out (1) that they are recruiting almost entirely from the same colleges their founders and leaders went to, a very white population, and (2) that while black applicants had poorer 4-year college GPA's, that deficit was entirely the result of their first three semesters, catching up from putrid underfunded segregated public high schools. (Note, by implication, that blacks have an overall disadvantage getting into college, since their deficits disappear so quickly) By considering a wider range of colleges, and considering GPA only after the first three semesters, the firm magically created a wide minority talent pool. Ta-da! Graham idealistically tries to re-design affirmative action's justification for us: not a penalty for past white sins, which he says is unfortunately how blacks tend to think of it too, but as a permanent system designed only to compensate, as closely as possible, for the advantages (familial, financial, restaurantal etc) that no nonwhite race fully has. He's often quite specific. He's probably tilting at windmills, too; I'm sure I am. This book will not be required reading, except for a scattered college class here and there. But anyone who does read it, I hope, can be a slightly better and kinder citizen. That should be worth plenty.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
This following article is from Kare11.com concerning Minnesota's girls/women of Color:
Girls in Minnesota on the whole perform above the national average in many key indicators of future success, but girls of color in the North star state are faring worse than their counterparts across the nation.That's a key finding released Monday by the Women's Foundation of Minnesota, in it's "Status of Girls in Minnesota" report."Families being able to meet their children's basic economic needs has a big impact on how children fare both in their adolescents and also in adulthood," said Erika Williams, who directed the study for the Women's Policy Research institute."Poverty rates for girls and boys of color are dramatically higher than those of white girls and boys in the state," Williams explained, "As they move into adulthood women remain in poverty while that gap narrows for men."A staggering 43 percent of all African American girls in Minnesota are in households where the income is below the federal poverty line, which is the government's yardstick for determining eligibility for many assistance programs."In Minnesota female-headed families and those from underrepresented ethnic and racial groups, in particular, are at higher risk of living below the poverty line."On the bright side, Minnesota's girls overall are doing better the their peers around the nation. "Our research shows that Minnesota girls are full of promise and potential," said Lee Roper-Baker, who heads the Women's Foundation of Minnesota, "They work hard at home, in school and in their communities, they earn good grades, and they hold high aspirations for their futures.""By and large, girls in our state take responsibility for their bodies, and avoid many risky behaviors," Roper-Baker said, "At the same time there are many roadblocks to girls' success."She said racism, sexism and poverty all play roles in creating that gap. The foundation wants lawmakers to consider the opportunities they have to make a difference in the lives of young women."This research tells a story of two Minnesota's," Erica Williams told reporters at the Capitol, "One in which girls are largely doing pretty well, are working pretty hard, have low poverty rates overall."Her report suggest that Minnesota's high performing children may be hiding the jarring discrepancies that exist between white girls and girls of other races and ethnicities."Another in which girls of color have drastically higher poverty rates, and actually are more likely to be poor than girls of color in the nation as a whole."Girls of color are also far more likely to become teen mothers than their white counterparts in Minnesota, according to the study, and more likely to report sexual abuse outside and inside their home.It's a problem, the study suggests, that is both a cause and a symptom of living in poverty."Teen pregnancy among girls of color both limits their opportunities for education and economic stability, and results itself from limited opportunity," Representative Neva Walker of Minneapolis remarked.Representative Walker, who said she became a mother as a teenager herself, says the average parent struggles enough with raising kids."But just imagine how, if you would've had that child at 13 or 15 or 17, if you would be having that child without community support, without family support, without having the educational needs or financial opportunities to take care of your child."The group hopes the research will be put to use in the debate at the Capitol and in communities as they struggle with budget cuts, some for programs that help single mothers heading households."When girls don't a future for themselves outside of motherhood it puts them at risk," Walker said, "When girls don't have access to contraception or sex education because of lack of means or health care, it puts them at risk."For Walker it was an emotionally charged day at the Capitol. She's retiring from the legislature after this session, and was planning to make one last run at getting a comprehensive sex education bill passed in the House."Prevention is the key," Walker offered, "We have to do better for our girls. We have to make sure our girls are starting off on the same level plane as our boys going into adulthood." Sandra Vargas, who heads the Minneapolis Foundation, argued that spending priorities at the Capitol end up costing the state and its taxpayers more in the long run."Instead of putting investment up where it prevents and does early intervention," Vargas told reporters, "As a state we'd rather wait until a family and these young girls get pregnant and hit the criminal justice system, or some other kind of system, where it will cost taxpayers millions of dollars."As a long time administrator in Hennepin County she's seen how society as a whole is forced to deal with the lifelong costs of not helping children when they need it the most."We do not have the political will to do prevention and we do not have the political will to do early intervention," Vargas said, "Some how we have found we've got the political will to build more prisons."Suzanne Koepplinger, the director of the Minnesota Indian Women's Research Center, said girls of color are more often forced to deal with issues others can avoid."Many of our girls are facing challenges beyond their years including threats to their basic safety and security," Koepplinger told reporters, "The high percentage of American Indian, African American and Hispanic girls reporting sexual abuse is startling, and quite frankly, it's unacceptable."Self-esteem trends are also disturbing, given research that shows that girls self-esteem actually erodes over time while boys opinions of themselves improve with age. That's a trend that cuts across all racial and ethnic groups, according to the report.The Women's Foundation is launching what it calls the Road to Equality Tour to 15 communities in Minnesota, to gather more information and seek practical solutions.