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What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

Know Anyone Who Thinks Racial Profiling Is Exaggerated? Watch This, And Tell Me When Your Jaw Drops.

This video clearly demonstrates how racist America is as a country and how far we have to go to become a country that is civilized and actually values equal justice. We must not rest until this goal is achieved. I do not want my great grandchildren to live in a country like we have today. I wish for them to live in a country where differences of race and culture are not ignored but valued as a part of what makes America great.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

NPR : Roundtable: New Orleans Vote, Taxing Big Oil

NPR : Roundtable: New Orleans Vote, Taxing Big OilRoundtable: New Orleans Vote, Taxing Big Oil

Listen to this story...

News & Notes with Ed Gordon, April 24, 2006 · Topics: The New Orleans mayoral election, and a proposed tax on oil companies making big profits at the pump. Guests: Robert George, editorial writer for the New York Post; Callie Crossley, social and cultural commentator on the Boston television show Beat the Press; and Jeff Obafemi Carr, host of the radio show Freestyle.

Osama's Crusade in Darfur - New York Times

Osama's Crusade in Darfur - New York TimesApril 25, 2006
Op-Ed Columnist


Those of us who want a more forceful response to genocide in Darfur should be sobered by Osama bin Laden's latest tape.

In that tape, released on Sunday, Osama rails against the agreement that ended Sudan's civil war with its Christian and animist south and accuses the U.S. of plotting to dispatch "Crusader troops" to occupy Darfur "and steal its oil wealth under the pretext of peacekeeping." Osama calls on good Muslims to go to Sudan and stockpile land mines and rocket-propelled grenades in preparation for "a long-term war" against U.N. peacekeepers and other infidels.

Osama's tape underscores the fact that a tougher approach carries real risks. It's easy for us in the peanut gallery to call for a U.N. force, but what happens when jihadis start shooting down the U.N. helicopters?

So with a major rally planned for Sunday to call for action to stop the slaughter in Darfur, let's look at what specific actions the U.S. should take. One reader, William in Scottsdale, Ariz., wrote to me to say that he had called Senator John McCain's office to demand more action on Darfur. "The lady on the phone asked me for suggestions," he said — and William was short on suggestions.

The first step to stop the killing is to dispatch a robust U.N. peacekeeping force of at least 20,000 well-equipped and mobile troops. But because of precisely the nationalistic sensitivities that Osama is trying to stir, it shouldn't have U.S. ground troops. Instead, it should be made up mostly of Turks, Jordanians, Bangladeshis, Pakistanis and other Muslims, and smaller numbers of European and Asian troops. The U.S. can supply airlifts, and NATO can provide a short-term bridging force if necessary.

Second, the U.S. and France should enforce a no-fly zone from the French air base in Abéché, Chad. American military planners say this is practicable, particularly if it simply involves destroying Sudanese aircraft on the ground after they have attacked civilians.

Granted, these approaches carry real risks. After we shoot up a Sudanese military plane, Sudan may orchestrate a "spontaneous" popular riot that will involve lynching a few U.S. aid workers — or journalists.

But remember that the Sudanese government is hanging on by its fingernails. It is deeply unpopular, and when it tried to organize demonstrations against the Danish cartoons, they were a flop.

The coming issue of Foreign Policy magazine publishes a Failed States Index in which Sudan is ranked the single most unstable country in the entire world. If we apply enough pressure, Sudan's leaders will back down in Darfur — just as they did when they signed a peace deal to end the war with southern Sudan.

A no-fly zone and a U.N. force are among the ways we can apply pressure, but another essential element is public diplomacy. We should respond to Osama by shining a spotlight on the Muslim victims of Darfur (many Arabs have instinctively sided with Sudan's rulers and have no idea that nearly all of the victims of the genocide are Muslim).

The White House can invite survivors for a photo-op so they themselves can recount, in Arabic, how their children were beheaded and their mosques destroyed. We can release atrocity photos, like one I have from an African Union archive of the body of a 2-year-old boy whose face was beaten into mush. President Bush can make a major speech about Darfur, while sending Condi Rice and a planeload of television journalists to a refugee camp in Chad to meet orphans.

Madeleine Albright helped end the horrors of Sierra Leone simply by going there and being photographed with maimed children. Those searing photos put Sierra Leone on the global agenda, and policy makers hammered out solutions. Granted, it's the fault of the "CBS Evening News" that it gave Darfur's genocide only 2 minutes of coverage in all of last year (compared with the 36 minutes that it gave the Michael Jackson trial), but the administration can help when we in the media world drop the ball.

The U.S. could organize a summit meeting in Europe or the Arab world to call attention to Darfur, we could appoint a presidential envoy like Colin Powell, and we could make the issue much more prominent in our relations with countries like Egypt, Qatar, Jordan and China.

Americans often ask what they can do about Darfur. These are the kinds of ideas they can urge on the White House and their members of Congress — or on embassies like Egypt's. Many other ideas are at and at

When Darfur first came to public attention, there were 70,000 dead. Now there are perhaps 300,000, maybe 400,000. Soon there may be 1 million. If we don't act now, when will we?

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Liberty Beat
Mutiny at the Supreme Court
The Roberts Court signals the president that he is not immune from the Constitution
by Nat Hentoff
April 16th, 2006 11:04 AM

John Roberts delivers remarks on the State Floor of the White House
photo: White House photo by Eric Draper/
The preservation of liberty requires that the three great departments of power should be separate and distinct. James Madison, Federalist Papers, No. 47.

There was celebration within George W. Bush's Republican base when he managed to appoint two justices to the Supreme Court, Samuel Alito and John Roberts, with the latter also becoming chief justice. At last—it was also widely assumed by Bush's opponents—whatever the ultimate failures of his administration, the high court had moved firmly to the right for some time to come.

This grim prospect may well prove true, but two recent events at the Supreme Court indicate strongly that regarding the most dangerous thrust of Bush's reign, his continuing, unprecedented expansion of his powers as commander in chief, the court is finally and crucially alarmed.

During the March 28 oral arguments in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, there were two main issues: the constitutional legitimacy of the military commissions at Guantánamo, created solely by the president, and whether the Supreme Court itself had the right to even hear the case.

In a revealing exchange, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said to Solicitor General Paul Clement: "I thought it was the government position that these enemy combatants do not have any rights under the Constitution and laws of the United States."

"That is true, Justice Ginsburg," the solicitor general said. The unmistakable subtext of the government's answer was: "So why is this court interfering with the inherent constitutional powers of the commander in chief in the war on terrorism? Get lost!"

This dismissal of the Supreme Court's jurisdiction by the administration angered at least five of the justices in that hearing during a series of hostile questions to Clement. Among the five, most significantly, was Anthony Kennedy, who increasingly appears to be the Sandra Day O'Connor of this Supreme Court—a more or less conservative swing vote.

Moreover, the questions and comments of five of the eight justices sitting on the case revealed a strong likelihood that the court will disagree with the president's skewed concept of due process (basic fairness in our rule of law) in inventing these military commissions.

Even more disturbing to the president—if he has the educational background to parse the court's warnings for the future when it refuses, for the time being, to review a case—is what happened on April 30.

In Jose Padilla v. Hanft, there were not the necessary four votes to hear the case right now, although justices Ginsburg, David Souter, and Stephen Breyer wanted to go ahead in this second appearance before the court by Padilla.

But very significantly, in a concurring opinion by John Paul Stevens, Anthony Kennedy (again!), and most notably, Chief Justice Roberts, it became clear that this case is still very much alive, as I'll show as we go on.

Moreover, a majority of the court ( not Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, and Samuel Alito) signaled a readiness to, in the not so distant future, startle the president by striking down his method of removing terrorism suspects from our system of laws by setting them apart as "enemy combatants" imprisoned in military cells indefinitely, incommunicado, without access to lawyers,
and without charges—as he did to Padilla.

On March 8, 2002, I suddenly saw on network television, from Moscow, Attorney General John Ashcroft triumphantly announcing that an American citizen, Jose Padilla, had been captured at O'Hare Airport in Chicago before he could set off a radioactive "dirty bomb." (Ashcroft did not say "alleged" terrorist and certainly had no thought of invoking the American value of "innocent until proven guilty.")

Padilla was briefly held to testify before a grand jury but then was summarily transferred to a military brig in South Carolina for more than three years as an "enemy combatant," without charges and without contact with anyone but guards.

In 2004, the Supreme Court would not hear his case on a technicality, saying his appeal had been filed in the wrong jurisdiction. At last, when the Supreme Court indicated it would consider listening to his appeal, the Bush administration—fearing that, My God, there might be a majority to declare Bush's "enemy combatant" designation unconstitutional—pulled a not-so-hidden-ball trick.

Pulling Padilla out of the military brig and into our real justice system, the administration filed a mélange of new charges—without any mention of the "radioactive dirty bomb" that John Ashcroft had tried to scare us with. When that happened, a majority of the high court—clearly resentful of the Bush team's trying to game the system by preventing the court from ruling on the lawfulness of putting people away as "enemy combatants"—decided to hear Padilla once more.

This time, although they decided to hold off on the "enemy combatant" ruling until Padilla goes through our regular courts, a majority of the justices showed they're aware that even if he is found innocent of the new charges, the administration can still put him into military prison again as an "enemy combatant."

If this happened to Padilla—warned John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, and John Paul Stevens in their concurring opinions—the Supreme Court wouldl teach Bush a lesson he and the nation will not forget. Even, therefore, if Padilla is acquitted in a lower civilian court, the often cited Professor Michael Greenberger, director of the University of Maryland's Center Health and Homeland Security, told National Public Radio:

"I think we're going to see the end of the use of the enemy combatant status . . . arresting a U.S. citizen in the United States and claiming they can be held incommunicado without contact with the outside world."

When Padilla first appeared before the Supreme Court two years ago, John Paul Stevens, speaking for justices who wanted to hear his case then, said: "At stake in this case is nothing less than the essence of a free society." And the then chief justice, William Rehnquist, writing for the majority that dismissed the case on a technicality, spoke for the court, also emphasizing that Padilla's case was "indisputably of profound importance." Will somebody try to explain all of this to Bush?

Call to Escort Service Began a Night of Trouble at Duke - New York Times

Call to Escort Service Began a Night of Trouble at Duke - New York TimesApril 23, 2006

DURHAM, N.C., April 22 — The Duke University lacrosse team's troubles began with a phone call.

A team captain using an assumed name called an escort service to hire two exotic dancers for a party on March 13. Last week, two Duke players were indicted on charges of first-degree forcible rape, first-degree sexual offense and the kidnapping of one woman hired that night. Collin Finnerty, 19, of Garden City, N.Y., and Reade Seligmann, 20, of Essex Fells, N.J., both sophomores, are each free on $400,000 bail.

Michael B. Nifong, the Durham County district attorney, said he had identified another suspect and was gathering evidence for an indictment. The grand jury next meets May 1, one day before an election in which Mr. Nifong, a Democrat, faces two Democratic opponents.

To all but some of the people at the party, the truth of what happened that night to one of the dancers, who accused three white players of raping her in a bathroom, is a mystery.

Mr. Nifong says a sexual assault occurred, based on hospital records and the account of the accuser, who is black. A second dancer and a neighbor corroborated some of the accuser's details.

Defense lawyers say the accuser was drunk when she arrived at the party, and fabricated the assault. Taxi and bank receipts and dormitory access records prove that Mr. Seligmann could not have raped the woman, his lawyer says. A statement by the team captains said the sexual assault accusations were "totally and transparently false."

The case has polarized Durham, where tension between Duke and local residents is palpable.

"Everyone around here has strong feelings about this, one way or the other," said Renee Clark, the student government president at North Carolina Central University, where the accuser was a student. "But you can't be sure. If you weren't there in the bathroom with the players and that woman, you really don't know what happened, do you?"

Nonetheless, a skeletal timetable is evolving through court and police records, news and personal accounts, photographs and lawyers.

Using the name Adam, Dan Flannery, a senior team captain, called an escort service and hired two dancers for $400 each. The dancers were to show up at 11:30 p.m. on March 13. The address was 610 North Buchanan Boulevard, a white house across the street from Duke's east campus on a block known for parties.

A neighbor, Jason Bissey, watched the party begin as players gathered in the backyard. By 2 p.m., he said, he saw them drinking in the yard.

About 8:30 p.m., a 27-year-old single mother of two answered her phone. That woman, a Durham native, was enrolled at North Carolina Central, a historically black college on the south side of town. Its patchy grass and simple brick buildings are a world away from Duke.

The woman had held factory and store jobs but had begun working for an escort service to help pay for college. She thought she would be dancing at a bachelor party that night. When she arrived about 11:30 p.m., she was wearing a negligee and shiny white strappy high heels, and met a second dancer, Kim Roberts. They entered the house by the back door.

Team captains have told the police that 41 of the 47 Duke lacrosse players attended the party. The team captains left Mr. Seligmann off the list they gave to the police, although he had been photographed watching the dancers.

The women were paid $800 and danced briefly. Time-coded digital photographs, defense lawyers say, show the women talking and dancing in the living room between midnight and 12:04 a.m. In one photo, the accuser is prone on the floor. Men holding beers ring the living room.

Defense lawyers say the players told the dancers to leave because one was drunk. They said the women went in the bathroom for 10 to 20 minutes, then left the house. The women, however, say they were scared off. The accuser told the police that the men had become "excited and aggressive" as they danced. She and Ms. Roberts said one man held up a broomstick and threatened to sexually assault them with it.

Mr. Bissey said he saw the women get into a car after they had been in the house about 20 minutes. The players and the women exchanged heated words, he said. "Some of them were saying things like, 'I want my money back,' " he recalled the men saying. Mr. Bissey said he then saw the accuser return to the house because she had left a shoe there.

The accuser said later that both women re-entered the house after one player apologized for the behavior during their dance. She said two men then pulled her into a bathroom, locked the door and said, "Sweetheart, you can't leave."

It was then, she told the police, that Mr. Seligmann forced her to perform oral sex, and Mr. Finnerty raped and sodomized her and the third suspect strangled her, according to a transcript of a photo identification session with police on April 4. The transcript was obtained by WTVD in Raleigh, N.C. She told the police that the attack lasted for about 30 minutes.

Defense lawyers say the rape could have happened only in an improbably short period, between 12:04 and 12:30 a.m.

A photograph stamped 12:30 a.m. shows the accuser smiling on the back porch, defense lawyers said. A photo stamped minutes later shows her lying on the porch. Defense lawyers say the players helped her to the car after she passed out. A photo at 12:41 a.m. shows her in Ms. Roberts's car.

Mr. Seligmann had already left the party, his lawyer, J. Kirk Osborn, said, after phoning for a taxi at 12:14 a.m., an account confirmed by the taxi driver, Moez Mostafar. Mr. Seligmann's Duke ID card was used to enter his dormitory at 12:46 a.m., Mr. Osborn said.

Mr. Finnerty's lawyer said his client was at a restaurant several blocks away when the women were dancing. But Ms. Roberts told The Associated Press that she recalled seeing Mr. Finnerty, whom she described as the "little skinny one."

At 12:53 a.m., Ms. Roberts called 911 to report that men at 610 North Buchanan had shouted a racial epithet at her and a friend. About that time, Mr. Bissey said, he heard one partygoer yell, "Thank your grandpa for my nice cotton shirt."

The police responded to Ms. Roberts's 911 call about 12:55 a.m. They found the house quiet, lights off. No one answered a knock at the door.

Mr. Mostafar said he went to the house again at 1:07 a.m. and saw about 20 students outside the house and picked up four. The time discrepancy between his account and that of the police has not been explained.

At 1:22 a.m., a security guard at a grocery near Duke's main campus dialed 911 because a woman, later found to be the accuser, would not get out of Ms. Roberts's car in the store's lot. One responding officer told the dispatcher: "She's not in distress. She's just passed-out drunk."

Ms. Roberts later said the accuser's demeanor changed during the party, from "talkative and friendly and smiling" to "completely incoherent." She added, "It's quite possible that something really terrible had happened to her" in the bathroom although Ms. Roberts told The Associated Press that she could not say for sure because she was not there.

At 1:58 a.m., Ryan McFadyen, a lacrosse player from Mendham, N.J., sent an e-mail message from his Duke dorm, according to a search warrant affidavit.

"To whom it may concern," the message read, "tommrow night, after tonights show, ive decided to have some strippers over to edens 2c. all are welcome.. however there will be no nudity." The message said that he would kill the strippers and cut their skin off for sexual gratification "in my duke issue spandex." The message was signed "41," his jersey number.

Duke's president canceled the team's season and accepted the coach's resignation after the authorities disclosed the e-mail message.

By 2:31 a.m., the police had taken the accuser to Duke University Hospital. At 2:50 a.m., the police classified the episode as a rape investigation.

Duff Wilson reported from Durham for this article, and Juliet Macur from New York.

New York Daily News - Ideas & Opinions - Stanley Crouch: Helping a troubled continent beat its demons

New York Daily News - Ideas & Opinions - Stanley Crouch: Helping a troubled continent beat its demonsHelping a troubled continent beat its demons

Conferences and panels on foreign policy are rarely refreshing. Those held at universities can be horrific affairs in which a predictable ideology can dominate, as speakers attempt to indoctrinate naive students unaware of the complexities of the real world.

A recent striking exception was the panel on American policy in Africa that was held at New York University.

The conference, presented by Africa House and moderated by Yaw Nyarko, vice provost for globalization and multicultural affairs at NYU, was made refreshing by the fact that the speakers talked about how policy actually comes about and what influences that policy. There also was informed discussion of what is demanded of diplomats and those involved in the policies formed in the interest of the African people, who are in great need of freedom from a backward past - part traditional, part colonial and part the result of the many dictatorships.

As one panelist pointed out, $569 billion in aid has been received by African governments over the past 40 years, but the average African in the street lives no better now than he or she did when no money was coming in.

The corruption that seems to rise to the moon, the outdated customs that socially limit and imprison women and the sloppy responses that have made AIDS a plague across the continent have defined Africa's problems as not only complex, but deadly.

Why is there no outcry, no international recognition of this wasted money, no demands made on the governments that are as barbaric as any on Earth? Part of the explanation is that the press has not always been interested and when it does become interested, things are too far along to be easily drawn back.

Particularly interesting and informative was Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer. Frazer pointed out that that policy of the Bush administration has come straight from the President himself, aided and encouraged first by Colin Powell and now by Secretary of State Rice.

Frazer argued for engagement with Africans from the top to the bottom of society, which would educate those in the diplomatic corps and allow for greater authority in discussions. Others pointed out that many armed conflicts in Africa have been brought to a stop because of well-focused diplomatic activity, even though much more could have been done in Rwanda.

There was some hot conflict that could have risen to the top if there had been more time allotted, and the questions from Africans in the audience offered a sense of how much goodwill is expected of the U.S., which sometimes seems to drag its feet because there is, as Congressman Donald Payne (D-N.J.) pointed out, not enough noise in the streets.

What became clear was that Africa not only has a long way to go but has, contrary to the surface readings, already come a long way.

Still, nothing is guaranteed. If the next President is less interested and the public remains tuned out, everything could slow down until a more enlightened administration takes the Oval Office.

It seems to me that the Bush administration could set a standard that might force the next few administrations to step up where it should and when it should. That, in combination with the African women who are publicly at war with traditional corruption, might brighten Africa's future much more quickly than we might expect.

Originally published on April 20, 2006

How Can Parents Teach Children to Respond to Racism?

How Can Parents Teach Children to Respond to Racism?How C
Sue Doyle, staff writer for California's Daily News, wrote an interesting piece entitled For Many Families, Racism is Fact of Life. In this piece she discusses the unique quandary faced by black families, who for generations have had (and continue) to face racism in America.

For new families, the key parenting question inevitably becomes, How do I teach my child to respond?

Is there a right response to racism?

Some parents, Doyle says, teach their children from young ages to accept racism as their fate, teach them that it is something they will inevitably face just because they are black. Others, however, are not comfortable conditioning their children to simply accept and not respond to racist behavior because they fear that reactions could result in suspensions from school, work or perhaps even arrest.

It is a question parents cannot afford to ignore; they must contemplate this tough challenge and agree on a strategy. When a child comes home from school time after time, scratched, bruised or emotionally hurt as a result of a racially motivated verbal or physical attacks, they must decide how they will help their children to develop the appropriate defenses.

Expect children to suck it up? After a while, it's very likely that frustration will build, that repeated incidences of embarrassing name calling, hateful jeering, and social exclusion will reach a boiling point and ultimately require some kind of release. But, what's an appropriate form of release? And wouldn't waiting for a boiling point reaction equate with risking a less constructive response?

Expect children to stand up for themselves? Take the chance that doing so will only confirm a pre-existing negative stereotype, result in punishment, lead to greater physical harm, or perhaps worse, translate into risk taken in the absence of any change or positive result.

Perhaps, as with most questions in life, the best answer lies somewhere in the middle of the classic either/or response, in a mix of both approaches.

This is Not a Challenge Every Family Faces

One summer, I visited an old friend of my husband's--a soft-spoken and kind-hearted southern White woman. During one of my stories about childhood, I casually mentioned the care my Irish grandmother had taken in preparing me at a young age for the bias I would inevitably face as a mixed-race, bilingual, brown-skinned girl in America. As I lounged on her patio, speed-talking in true New York style--one sentence running into the next--I almost missed the change in her expression. Her face, initially shaped by my story about a generously loving grandparent, had suddenly transformed from one of warm delight into one of shock which, I did not fail to notice, was tinged with a degree of irritation.

Applying the breaks on the replay of my childhood, I paused mid-sentence.

"What is it?" I asked.

"Your grandmother prepared you? She warned you, a child, that you would face prejudice and racism?" she asked in a tone that conveyed stunned disbelief.

"Well, yes" I said, and only then did I realize that her perspective as a White person might be different. So, I asked, "From your perspective, is that shocking?" I asked.

"I can't believe someone would tell a child they will face racism," she said. "How do you feel about that?"

I told her the truth: "As a chiild, I'm not sure I can say I completely understood. But, now that I am an adult, I can honestly say I am very thankful to her. When I did encounter prejudice and hate, it didn't come as such a surprise, first of all. Then, rather than interpret it as something wrong with me, which a child might very well be inclined to do, I recognized it as something wrong with other people's logic, something with our society. And my grandmother's wisdom and support empowered me to take constructive action rather than bottle it up."

"Wow. Well, I can't imagine saying something like that to a child," she concluded, making it clear that the idea didn't fit in with her view of proper parenting.

Although we ended the conversation agreeing to disagree on the subject, once again, I became acutely aware of a key difference in the lives of Whites and non-Whites in this country.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

New York Daily News - Ideas & Opinions - Stanley Crouch: Black pessimism, blame and glimmers of hope

New York Daily News - Ideas & Opinions - Stanley Crouch: Black pessimism, blame and glimmers of hopeBlack pessimism, blame and glimmers of hope

It sometimes seems that all we hear about black people is data seeming to prove that they are in worse shape than any other group in America: Astronomically high school dropout rates. A murder rate six times that of whites. A very high percentage of young black men twisted up in the penal system. HIV/AIDS now being officially considered a minority disease.

One school of thought has concluded that the problems stem mostly from black culture itself. For example, if Negroes would only begin to think beyond the barbaric stupidity and crass materialism of the average rap video, more young black men might understand that you don't "get paid" astronomical sums for being illiterate and ignorant (unless one's career is in entertainment).

The other body of thought blames three other culprits: capitalism, systemic racism and the global economy. These people want us to believe that domestic capitalism is predatory, that society is infested with bigotry, and that global corporations aim to keep prices as low as possible while sticking workers in the neck whenever possible.

In my opinion, both schools suffer from being superficial explanations of the problems. To ignore individual aptitude and the development of marketable skills is as irresponsible as ignoring all of the obvious problems in the world of work that are presently facing unions, workers and pensions. Individuals can affect what happens when they decide to prepare themselves as well as the educational system allows.

There is always a risk that one may not be able to successfully compete, but there is no risk if one does not prepare oneself. Then the failure is just about guaranteed, unless one beats the lottery or miraculously becomes vastly popular for chanting irresponsible doggerel over mechanical drumbeats.

Once upon a time it was understood quite well across the black community, from the bottom to the top, that getting an education dramatically increased the chances of triumphing over the limitations imposed by bigoted attitudes toward color or class. Remaining ignorant put one perilously close to slavery.

Meanwhile, we learn that there is a decline in reading comprehension skills across the nation, even beyond the Negro community.

According to a federal study by the National Center for Education Statistics, only 31% of college graduates can read or understand complex books. There is no explanation for the 10% drop of abilities since 1992. Some say we are encountering a new kind of illiteracy in a population that surfs the Internet, watches more television than ever, and rarely reads for pleasure.

With all of this going on and the constant bombardment of younger black people with the idiocy, hedonism and soft- soaping of criminal behavior of rap, we learn a surprising fact: Black people are making impressive gains in reading and math. According to a federal report, the "average rate of prose literacy" rose 6 percentage points among black people since 1992.

That's not too shabby for a group that is always talked about so badly. When we learn what accounts for those gains, we may come closer to handling some of the most ominous obstacles of our time.

Originally published on April 17, 2006

F.B.I. Is Seeking to Search Papers of Dead Reporter - New York Times

F.B.I. Is Seeking to Search Papers of Dead Reporter - New York TimesApril 19, 2006


WASHINGTON, April 18 — The F.B.I. is seeking to go through the files of the late newspaper columnist Jack Anderson to remove classified material he may have accumulated in four decades of muckraking Washington journalism.

Mr. Anderson's family has refused to allow a search of 188 boxes, the files of a well-known reporter who had long feuded with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and had exposed plans by the Central Intelligence Agency to kill Fidel Castro, the machinations of the Iran-contra affair and the misdemeanors of generations of congressmen.

Mr. Anderson's son Kevin said that to allow government agents to rifle through the papers would betray his father's principles and intimidate other journalists, and that family members were willing to go to jail to protect the collection.

"It's my father's legacy," said Kevin N. Anderson, a Salt Lake City lawyer and one of the columnist's nine children. "The government has always and continues to this day to abuse the secrecy stamp. My father's view was that the public is the employer of these government employees and has the right to know what they're up to."

The F.B.I. says the dispute over the papers, which await cataloging at George Washington University here, is a simple matter of law.

"It's been determined that among the papers there are a number of classified U.S. government documents," said Bill Carter, an F.B.I. spokesman. "Under the law, no private person may possess classified documents that were illegally provided to them. These documents remain the property of the government."

The standoff, which appears to have begun with an F.B.I. effort to find evidence for the criminal case against two pro-Israel lobbyists, has quickly hardened into a new test of the Bush administration's protection of government secrets and journalists' ability to report on them.

F.B.I. agents are investigating several leaks of classified information, including details of domestic eavesdropping by the National Security Agency and the secret overseas jails for terror suspects run by the C.I.A.

In addition, the two lobbyists, former employees of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or Aipac, face trial next month for receiving classified information, in a case criticized by civil liberties advocates as criminalizing the routine exchange of inside information.

The National Archives recently suspended a program in which intelligence agencies had pulled thousands of historical documents from public access on the ground that they should still be classified.

But the F.B.I.'s quest for secret material leaked years ago to a now-dead journalist, first reported Tuesday in the Chronicle of Higher Education, seems unprecedented, said several people with long experience in First Amendment law.

"I'm not aware of any previous government attempt to retrieve such material," said Lucy Dalglish, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. "Librarians and historians are having a fit, and I can't imagine a bigger chill to journalists."

The George Washington University librarian, Jack Siggins, said the university strongly objected to the F.B.I.'s removing anything from the Anderson archive.

"We certainly don't want anyone going through this material, let alone the F.B.I., if they're going to pull documents out," Mr. Siggins said. "We think Jack Anderson represents something important in American culture — answers to the question, How does our government work?"

Mr. Anderson was hired as a reporter in 1947 by Drew Pearson, who bequeathed to him a popular column called Washington Merry-Go-Round.

Mr. Anderson developed Parkinson's disease and did little reporting for the column in the 15 years before his death in December at 83, said Mark Feldstein, director of the journalism program at George Washington, who is writing a book about him.

His files were stored for years at Brigham Young University before being transferred to George Washington at Mr. Anderson's request last year, but the F.B.I. apparently made no effort to search them.

Kevin Anderson said said F.B.I. agents first approached his mother, Olivia, early this year.

"They talked about the Aipac case and that they thought Dad had some classified documents and they wanted to take fingerprints from them" to identify possible sources, he recalled. "But they said they wanted to look at all 200 boxes and if they found anything classified they'd be duty-bound to take them."

Both Kevin Anderson and Mr. Feldstein, the journalism professor, said they did not think the columnist ever wrote about Aipac.

Mr. Anderson said he thought the Aipac case was a pretext for a broader search, a conclusion shared by others, including Thomas S. Blanton, who oversees the National Security Archive, a collection of historic documents at George Washington.

"Recovery of leaked C.I.A. and White House documents that Jack Anderson got back in the 70's has been on the F.B.I.'s wanted list for decades," Mr. Blanton said.

Mr. Carter of the F.B.I. declined to comment on any connection to the Aipac case or to say how the bureau learned that classified documents were in the Anderson files.

2 Duke Athletes Charged With Rape and Kidnapping - New York Times

2 Duke Athletes Charged With Rape and Kidnapping - New York TimesApril 19, 2006
2 Duke Athletes Charged With Rape and Kidnapping

DURHAM, N.C., April 18 — Two Duke University lacrosse players were arrested Tuesday in a case in which a woman said she was raped at a team party by three players. But defense lawyers said at least one of the players had a strong alibi backed by receipts to show he was not at the party at the time.

Reade Seligmann, 20, of Essex Fells, N.J., and Collin Finnerty, 19 of Garden City, N.Y., both sophomores, were charged with first-degree forcible rape, first-degree sexual offense and kidnapping. The Durham County district attorney, Michael B. Nifong, said in a statement that he was continuing to try to confirm the identity of a third suspect.

"We were actually hoping that she would pick names that we know were not at the party, and it would appear she did exactly that," said Kerry Sutton, the lawyer for a team captain who had leased the house where the woman was hired to dance at a March 13 party.

Shortly before 5 a.m., Mr. Seligmann and Mr. Finnerty arrived at the Durham County Detention Facility, handcuffed, in a deputy sheriff's car. They were photographed and fingerprinted. They appeared before a magistrate, posted $400,000 bonds and were released. They are set to appear in court again on May 15.

The surrender procedure had been negotiated with Judge Ronald L. Stephens of Superior Court, who sealed their indictments on Monday.

The police searched the dormitory rooms of Mr. Finnerty and Mr. Seligmann for two hours Tuesday night, said Taggart White, a resident assistant at the dormitory where both players live.

The players' lawyers insisted the players were innocent.

Ms. Sutton said Mr. Nifong, in meetings with lawyers, had cleared her client, Matt Zash, and the team captains Dan Flannery and Bret Thompson, and a few others. Mr. Nifong did not comment Tuesday except by written statement.

Mr. Finnerty appeared in court to hear a reading of the charges, while Mr. Seligmann's lawyer waived his presence. In a striking scene, Mr. Finnerty and his father, Kevin, a prominent Wall Street executive who is on the board of Newcastle Investment Corporation, sat for more than 30 minutes near the middle of the courtroom, each poised and looking straight ahead. They were surrounded by dozens of cameras while Judge Stephens conducted a sentencing hearing for a convicted child molester whose teenage victim testified how much he had hurt her and how much she hated him.

When his case was called, Mr. Finnerty came to the front, signed a paper and stood with hands clasped. His only words were "I am" in a loud, clear voice when the judge asked if he was Collin Finnerty.

His lawyer William J. Cotter told reporters: "The grand jury, as you know, has indicted him. They hear one side of the story. They almost always indict. The next jury will hear the entire story, which includes our evidence. We're confident that these young men will be found to be innocent."

Kirk Osborn, a lawyer who said he was hired Monday to represent Mr. Seligmann, told reporters: "This kid is just an honorable kid, never done anything wrong in his life. He is absolutely innocent and we intend to show that sooner rather than later."

At least one of the two players charged will be able to show an A.T.M. receipt and a record that he called a restaurant to order food and picked it up before the alleged assault, according to a defense lawyer involved in the case who spoke on condition of anonymity because the charged players were not clients.

Julian Mack, a lawyer for Mr. Seligmann until Monday, said in a telephone interview that Mr. Seligmann had an excellent alibi, which the district attorney had never asked about.

"The evidence will clearly show that there is no way he could have been at that place at that time," Mr. Mack said. He declined to be more specific.

A court filing by the district attorney's office on March 23 indicated that Mr. Seligmann was one of five players who investigators had been told were not at the party.

Mr. Mack said he had no idea Mr. Seligmann was a prime suspect until a phone call saying he would be indicted Monday.

Ms. Sutton said: "Before yesterday I had never even heard Mr. Seligmann's name mentioned. That was completely out of the blue."

Ms. Sutton said Mr. Nifong had told defense lawyers that the accuser was 100 percent certain of two identifications and 90 percent certain of a third. Defense lawyers have said results of DNA tests failed to link any of the players with the woman.

"It had been my hope to charge all three of the assailants at the same time, but the evidence available to me at this moment does not permit that," Mr. Nifong, a Democrat who was appointed to the post but who is now running for election, said in a statement.

The woman, a 27-year-old single mother of two and a student at a nearby university, is black. She said she had been attacked by three white players.

Mr. Seligmann and Mr. Finnerty were apparently suspended from Duke on Tuesday, two weeks before final exams. Larry Moneta, vice president for student affairs, issued a statement saying that the university issues interim suspensions when students are charged with felonies but that he could not discuss the case further because of a student privacy law.

Last fall, Mr. Finnerty was arrested and charged with assaulting a man in the Georgetown section of Washington. Mr. Finnerty and two former high school teammates were arrested Nov. 5, when, according to court records, they punched a man "in the face and body, because he told them to stop calling him gay and other derogatory names."

Mr. Finnerty entered a diversion program, which means the charges against him would be dismissed upon completion of 25 hours of community service and if he stayed out of trouble, said his lawyer on that case, Steven J. McCool.

Lawyers will discuss the assault case, and perhaps how the rape charges may affect it, at a previously scheduled hearing in Washington on Tuesday, said O. Benton Curtis III, an assistant United States attorney assigned to Mr. Finnerty's case.

The North Carolina N.A.A.C.P. announced Tuesday that it was forming a committee to monitor the district attorney's continuing investigation, court proceedings and defense lawyers in the case.

The disparity of wealth between the players and their accuser, who was working her way through college as a stripper, is stark.

Mr. Finnerty and Mr. Seligmann grew up in million-dollar homes in affluent communities and attended all-boys Roman Catholic prep schools.

Soon after the arrest, a statement supporting Mr. Seligmann popped up on the Web site of his alma mater, Delbarton School in Morristown, N.J.

At Chaminade High School, a little over an hour away in Long Island, Jack Moran, the coach of the school's lacrosse team, said Mr. Finnerty was "never any trouble here."

In February, Mr. Seligmann was interviewed by The Chronicle, Duke's campus newspaper, about the recent implementation of a stricter steroid policy at the university.

"I think that Duke is always in the limelight, and its athletes have to be held to higher standards," he said.

Defense lawyers for the players have said there was no rape and no sex at the party.

They have tried to discredit the woman by saying she was drunk and injured before the party, an account denied by the woman's father and a second dancer hired for the party.

Duff Wilson reported from Durham, N.C., for this article, and Juliet Macur from New York. Viv Bernstein contributed reporting from Durham, and Ann Farmer from Garden City, N.Y.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Law to Segregate Omaha Schools Divides Nebraska - New York Times

Law to Segregate Omaha Schools Divides Nebraska - New York TimesApril 15, 2006
Law to Segregate Omaha Schools Divides Nebraska

OMAHA, April 14 — Ernie Chambers is Nebraska's only African-American state senator, a man who has fought for causes including the abolition of capital punishment and the end of apartheid in South Africa. A magazine writer once described him as the "angriest black man in Nebraska."

He was also a driving force behind a measure passed by the Legislature on Thursday and signed into law by the governor that calls for dividing the Omaha public schools into three racially identifiable districts, one largely black, one white and one mostly Hispanic.

The law, which opponents are calling state-sponsored segregation, has thrown Nebraska into an uproar, prompting fierce debate about the value of integration versus what Mr. Chambers calls a desire by blacks to control a school district in which their children are a majority.

Civil rights scholars call the legislation the most blatant recent effort in the nation to create segregated school systems or, as in Omaha, to resegregate districts that had been integrated by court order. Omaha ran a mandatory busing program from 1976 to 1999.

"These efforts to resegregate schools by race keep popping up in various parts of the country," said Gary Orfield, director of the Civil Rights Project at Harvard, adding that such programs skate near or across the line of what is constitutionally permissible. "I hear about something like this every few months, but usually when districts hear the legal realities from civil rights lawyers, they tend to back off their plans."

Nebraska's attorney general, Jon Bruning, said in a letter to a state senator that preliminary scrutiny had led him to believe that the law could violate the federal Constitution's equal protection clause, and that he expected legal challenges.

The debate here began when the Omaha district, which educates most of the state's minority students, moved last June to absorb a string of largely white schools that were within the Omaha city limits but were controlled by suburban or independent districts.

"Multiple school districts in Omaha stratify our community," John J. Mackiel, the Omaha schools superintendent, said last year. "They create inequity, and they compromise the opportunity for a genuine sense of community."

Omaha school authorities and business leaders marketed the expansion under the slogan, "One City, One School District." The plan, the district said, would create a more equitable tax base and foster integration through magnet programs to be set up in largely white schools on Omaha's western edge that would attract minority students.

The district had no plans to renew busing, but some suburban parents feared that it might. The suburban districts rebelled, and the unicameral Legislature drew up a measure to blunt the district's expansion.

The bill contained provisions creating a "learning community" to include 11 school districts in the Omaha area operating with a common tax levy while maintaining current borders. It required districts to work together to promote voluntary integration.

But the legislation changed radically with a two-page amendment by Mr. Chambers that carved the Omaha schools into racially identifiable districts, a move he told his colleagues would allow black educators to control schools in black areas.

Nebraska's 49-member, nonpartisan Legislature approved the measure by a vote of 31 to 16, with Mr. Chambers's support and with the votes of 30 conservative lawmakers from affluent white suburbs and ranching counties with a visceral dislike of the Omaha school bureaucracy. Gov. Dave Heineman, a Republican facing a tough primary fight, said he did not consider the measure segregationist and immediately signed it.

Dr. Mackiel, the Omaha superintendent, said the school board was "committed to protecting young people's constitutional rights."

"If that includes litigation, then that certainly is a consideration," Dr. Mackiel said.

Some of Nebraska's richest and most powerful residents have also questioned the legislation, including the billionaire investor Warren Buffett as well as David Sokol, the chief executive of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, which employs thousands in Nebraska and Iowa.

"This is going to make our state a laughingstock, and it's going to increase racial tensions and segregation," Mr. Sokol said in an interview.

The Omaha district has 46,700 students, 44 percent of them white, 32 percent black, 21 percent Hispanic and 3 percent Asian or Native American. The suburban systems that surround it range in size from the Millard Public School District, with about 20,000 students, 9 percent of whom are members of minorities, to the Bennington district, with 704 students, 4 percent of whom are members of minorities.

Parent reaction is divided. Darold Bauer, a professional fund-raiser who has three children in Millard schools, said he was pleased that the law had eliminated the threat of busing, although he said he was not thrilled about sharing a common tax levy with the Omaha schools.

"What this law does is protect the boundaries of my district," said Mr. Bauer, who is white. "All the districts in the area are now required to work together on an integration plan, and I'm fine with that, because my kids won't be bused."

Brenda J. Council, a prominent black lawyer whose niece and nephew attend Omaha's North High School, said of the law, "I'm adamantly opposed because it'll only institutionalize racial isolation."

Whether the law goes unchallenged is unclear. "We believe the state may face serious risk due to the potential constitutional problems," Attorney General Bruning said in his letter.

But Senator Chambers, a 68-year-old former barber who earned a law degree after his election to the Legislature in 1970, was unmoved. He lists his occupation as "defender of the downtrodden," and suggests that is precisely what he is doing.

"Several years ago I began discussing in my community the possibility of carving our area out of Omaha Public Schools and establishing a district over which we would have control," Mr. Chambers said during the debate on the floor of the Legislature. "My intent is not to have an exclusionary system, but we, meaning black people, whose children make up the vast majority of the student population, would control."

During an interview in his office, Mr. Chambers took time out to answer calls questioning the plan. He told several people bluntly that they were misinformed, but he remained polite.

"You call me anytime, whether you agree with me or not," he signed off one conversation.

He acknowledged that he had nursed a latent fury with the Omaha district since enduring the taunting of schoolmates during classroom readings of "Little Black Sambo" when he attended during the 1940's. He also accused the district of returning to segregated neighborhood schools when it ended busing in 1999, although no high school is more than 48 percent black.

Other black leaders in Omaha criticized the new law.

"This is a disaster," said Ben Gray, a television news producer and co-chairman of the African-American Achievement Council, a group of volunteers who mentor black students. "Throughout our time in America, we've had people who continuously fought for equality, and from Brown vs. Board of Education, we know that separate is not equal. We cannot go back to segregating our schools."

Friday, April 14, 2006

The President Who Died for Us - New York Times

The President Who Died for Us - New York TimesApril 14, 2006
Op-Ed Contributor


Worcester, Mass.

THIS year, Good Friday, the day commemorating Christ's crucifixion, falls on April 14, as it did in 1865. On that evening, in the balcony box of Ford's Theater in Washington, John Wilkes Booth fired a handmade .41-caliber derringer ball into the back of Abraham Lincoln's head.

In the days that followed Lincoln's death, his mourning compatriots rushed to compare him to Jesus, Moses and George Washington.

Despite the Good Friday coincidence, the Jesus parallel was not an obvious one for 19th-century Americans to make. The Protestant population, then as now, included a vigilant evangelical minority who thought that Jesus, sinless on earth, was defamed every time ordinary sinners presumed to imitate him. No mere mortal could be put beside Jesus on a moral balance scale.

But Honest Abe overwhelmed the usual evangelical reticence — by April 1865 the majority of Northerners and Southern blacks took him as no ordinary person. He had been offering his body and soul all through the war and his final sacrifice, providentially appointed for Good Friday, showed that God had surely marked him for sacred service.

At a mass assembly in Manhattan five hours after Lincoln's death, James A. Garfield — the Ohio congressman who would become the second assassinated president 16 years later — voiced the common hesitancy, then went on to claim the analogy: "It may be almost impious to say it, but it does seem that Lincoln's death parallels that of the Son of God."

Jesus had saved humanity, or at least some portion of it, from eternal damnation. Lincoln had saved the nation from the civic equivalent of damnation: the dissolution that had always bedeviled republics. "Jesus Christ died for the world," said the Rev. C. B. Crane in Hartford. "Abraham Lincoln died for his country."

The small minority of Jews and Catholics, equally awed by Lincoln's bodily sacrifice, joined Protestants in hailing the president's uncommon virtues: forgiveness, mercy, defense of the poor and the oppressed. Catholics joined Protestants in noting his Christ-like habits of brooding in private and keeping his own counsel.

Nearly everyone joined in heralding Lincoln's phrase "with malice toward none, with charity for all," which Christian mourners hailed as the heart of the Gospel. Those words from his second inaugural address, delivered just six weeks before his death, turned up on hand-scrawled banners all over the Union. People mounted them, along with black-bordered flags and photographs of Lincoln, in the windows of their homes and shops.

Thomas Nast's 1866 painting "President Lincoln Entering Richmond" (commemorating his surprise stroll into the capital of the Confederacy on April 4, 1865, shortly after Robert E. Lee's retreat) reinforced the sentiment: Lincoln shepherded his people just as Jesus did. The president walked into Richmond before Holy Week the way Jesus rode into Jerusalem before Passover: humbly, not triumphantly. Both men were enveloped by exuberant admirers.

Most American Christians turned to the Jesus analogy because they realized how much they loved Lincoln. They took his loss as personal, often comparing it to a death in the family. Many felt attached to Lincoln almost as they felt attached to Jesus. The striving rail-splitter from Illinois and the simple carpenter from Nazareth resembled them, the people. In contrast, while still heroic, Washington seemed more distant, even aloof.

Yet calculation as well as veneration entered the campaign to sanctify Lincoln. Radical Republicans revealed a political reason for comparing Lincoln to Jesus. Trying to explain why a rational Providence had permitted Lincoln to die, they decided that the savior of the nation had proved himself too Christ-like, too softhearted, too "womanly," for the necessarily punitive job of "reconstructing" the postwar South. God in his wisdom had put Andrew Johnson in place for the messy task of enacting justice.

Many Protestants also displayed a religious motive for emphasizing the resemblance between Lincoln and Christ. They made the president a virtual holy man because they wished retroactively to make him a morally impeccable and believing Christian. They considered theater-going, a favorite pastime of the president, as morally dubious; his choice of the stage for recreation on this day of crucifixion made them sick at heart.

And Lincoln, who after 1862 had spoken repeatedly of his dependence on God and Providence, had never referred much to Jesus. The barrage of Jesus comparisons offered a camouflaging aura of piety for a man who had enjoyed lowbrow, off-color humor as much as play-acting.

Seven score and one years have passed since Good Friday 1865, and Lincoln has always remained his own man. In his final years, he had set his own course by balancing a pressing sense of the rule of Providence with a persistent belief in the power of reason. Still, he can — and should — stand as historic demonstration that a republican hero's sacrifice for the people comes very close to Christ's ideals of self-denial and self-giving.

Richard Wightman Fox, the author of "Jesus in America: Personal Savior, Cultural Hero, National Obsession," is writing a book about the aftermath of Lincoln's assassination.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Immigration Advocates Rally Around U.S. - New York Times

Immigration Advocates Rally Around U.S. - New York TimesApril 10, 2006


In rallies appeared to be exceeding the expectations of organizers and the police, hundreds of thousands of immigrants and their supporters marched today in more than 100 cities throughout the country, casting off the old fears of their illegal status to assert that they have a right to a humane life in this country.

The marches took place in big cities like Houston, Los Angeles, Phoenixand Atlanta, and in smaller communities like Hyde Park, N.Y., Garden City, Kan., and Bell Glade, Fla. Some of the marchers invoked the tactics and slogans of the civil rights era, and others were trying out a new voice for an emerging costituency that in the very recent past has hidden from authority because of their lack of papers, afraid to speak up, willing to work for wages that American citizens will not accept.

In Madison, Wis., a rally drew 25,000, organizers said. The police, who estimated the crowd to be closer to 10,000, nevertheless said it was the largest rally they have seen in 10 years there.

One man, Jose Pineda, 30, who works at a doll factory in Madison and was at the rally with his wife and two young children, was asked if they were not afraid to march in a rally where they might be identified as illegal and therefore subject to capture or prosecution by authorities.

"No," Mr. Pineda said. "We are not criminals."

It has become the rallying cry of demonstrations that have grown in size and frequency in the last month, as Congress has considered the thorny issue of immigration legislation.

The rallies, part of what some organizers were calling the National Day of Action for Immigrant Justice, began this morning, with a 9 a.m. demonstration in Atlanta , and continues in more than 100 cities, ending with demonstrations in New York City and Washington.

The numbers such rallies have drawn in the past few weeks have exceeded the expectations of even their organizers, who say immigrants are no longer afraid to speak out about proposed immigration bills in Congress that some of them find unfair to them.

"I think that the incredible turnout in places like Dallas is just reflective of the deeply felt sense in this country that we have a broken immigration system that desperately needs to be fixed," said Eliza Leighton, with Casa of Maryland, an immigrant advocacy group that is one of the organizers of the Washington rally.

"It needs to be fixed in such a way that the millions of immigrants who are in this country now and are strong contributing members of our society and our economy have a clear path toward citizenship and one that unites families and keeps our country strong," she said.

In Atlanta, a sea of demonstrators, most of them dressed in the white T-shirts that have become emblematic of the immigrant rights marches, moved along a two-mile route, with marchers carrying signs about their rights and the competing bills in Congress. Most of the marchers carried American flags, as the word has gone out to demonstrators over the last few weeks over the Internet and flyers that they needed to show more willingness to assimilate, although some carried flags from their home countries of Mexico, Honduras and Nicaragua.

Before the march began, police had said they expected it to draw a crowd of 40,000. Afterward, organizers said they believed the size of the crowd might have reached 80,000.

Most of the participants had taken the day off work to attend the demonstration, leaving chores unattended that they said many people, including some who want undocumented immigrants to be kept out, take for granted. There were house painters walking on the metal stilts they use for their work; there were domestic workers who clean houses or care for children in private homes; there were construction workers and their children.

"We are in a situation that Rosa Parks was in several years ago: enough is enough," said Fabian Rodriguez, 38, who came here from Mexico and now lives in the Atlanta suburb of Norcross and works as a landscaper. "I want things to work out in our favor, or we go back to our country. But we can't keep living the way it is now." They were supporting immigrant rights nationally and protesting state legislation awaiting Gov. Sonny Perdue's signature that would require adults seeking many state-administered benefits to prove they are in the country legally.

There were many signs here that marchers were aware of the South's history as the cradle of the black civil rights movement. At the beginning of the march, demonstrators held a banner that spanned the width of their procession that read, "We have a dream too."

Someone else carried a sign that said, "I eat grits. You eat tacos," a message meant to convey how integral immigrants have become to Atlanta's culture and economy.The rallies today come a day after hundreds of thousands marched in downtown Dallas, San Diego, Miami, Birmingham, Ala., and Boise, Idaho, on Sunday.

Thousands more gathered in Salem, Ore., and other cities in peaceful, forceful displays of support.

The rallies are coming at a time when Congress — and indeed, the nation — seems torn about what to do about the burgeoning numbers of immigrants who are coming into the country every year.

A poll released today by The Washington Post and ABC television showed that 75 percent of Americans believe United States authorities are not doing enough to stop illegal immigration.

In Congress, an effort to enact the most sweeping immigration changes in two decades was derailed on Friday by feuding over amendments and other issues.

This came after a bipartisan Senate compromise last week that Democrats and Republicans hailed as a breakthrough. The Senate bill would open doors to citizenship for most illegal immigrants if they paid fines and learned English. It would also create a guest worker program for 325,000 people a year to meet the needs of business, and would tighten border security to satisfy conservatives.

But the agreement fell apart just before Congress went off on a two week break, casting its future in doubt. Senator Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican and the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, pledged in an interview on "Fox News Sunday" to have the measure ready for debate when Congress resumes.

In Atlanta, some of the demonstrators took note of Congress's failure to come to an agreement before members left on vaction.

A woman hoisted a sign that said, "Congress, go back to work."

"I feel very disappointed because they're supposed to work for the people," said Georgina Rodriguez, 33, a domestic worker from Mexico. "Instead of solving this problem of 12 million immigrants, they've gone on vacation."

In Madison, the demonstrators, who marched from Madison Park at Lake Monona to the state capitol about a mile away, were joined by the mayor, David Cieslewicz.

"I want to express support for the Madison Latino community," he said. "And I want to help send a message in opposition to the mean-spiritied immigration bills currently before Congress."

Like many of the undocumented workers who were marching in the rallies, Abel Salgado, 30, who works in a dairy farm in the Madison area, said that most of them are working hard at jobs that Americans clearly want someone to perform for them.

Mr. Salgado said he has a wife and three children in his hometown of Acapulco, Mexico.

"I am here to say that we are not criminals," Mr. Salgado said. "We are here for a better future for ourselves and for our children."

Reporting for this article was contributed by Brenda Goodman from Atlanta, Barbara Minder from Madison, Wis., andLaura Griffin from Dallas.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Condoleezza Rice on Piano - New York Times

Condoleezza Rice on Piano

WASHINGTON — Two weeks ago on Sunday, Condoleezza Rice got up at 4 a.m. so she could fit in her daily exercise regimen — weights and the treadmill — and still have time to prepare for interviews on three morning news programs. Just a few hours later, on "Meet the Press," Tim Russert confronted her with recent reports that shortly after the invasion of Iraq, the Russians had given intelligence on American troop movements to the Iraqis. Even on the normally sympathetic "Fox News Sunday," Chris Wallace asked her why Americans should not be outraged that United States troops continue to fight and die while Iraqi politicians haggle over jobs.

Toward the end of the program, questions about her future plans predictably arose. Just as predictably, she stated that despite urgings from highly placed Republicans, thank you, no, she would not pursue the presidency.

For most people, let alone a secretary of state grappling with an increasingly unpopular war, this would have been enough exertion for the traditional day of rest.

But late that afternoon, Ms. Rice was back home in her comfortable apartment in the Watergate complex for one of her frequent sessions of chamber music with four friends, lawyers by profession and dedicated amateur string players.

Ms. Rice is an accomplished pianist. At 15 she performed Mozart's Piano Concerto in D minor with the Denver Symphony Orchestra, her prize for winning a student competition. Until college she intended to pursue music professionally. Now 51, she plays as often as every other week with this group, which convened three years ago. Until now it was a realm of her very public life that she kept private.

People often ask her, Ms. Rice said that day, whether playing chamber music is relaxing. "It's not exactly relaxing if you are struggling to play Brahms," she explained. "But it is transporting. When you're playing there is only room for Brahms or Shostakovich. It's the time I'm most away from myself, and I treasure it."

She is not the only secretary of state to pursue amateur music-making. Thomas Jefferson, the first to hold the office, was an excellent violinist who played chamber music, especially Baroque trio sonatas, throughout his political career. But back then, playing music at home was commonplace.

Not so today, in the era of recording technology, when you can hear almost any piece from the entire history of music by switching on an iPod. The trade-off is that so few people know the personal joy of making music. Whatever else she is to political supporters and opponents, Ms. Rice may be the most prominent amateur musician in the world right now, which is big news for classical music.

THE amateurs in Ms. Rice's ensemble do have some professional credentials. Two of the players had successful musical careers before switching to law. Soye Kim, the first violinist, who has two degrees from the Juilliard School, spent busy years studying in Europe and freelancing in New York before she entered law school at 39. Robert Battey was a professor of cello at the University of Missouri for 12 years, and still sometimes coaches.

Though Lawrence Wallace, the violist, now retired, is a former law school professor who served as a deputy solicitor general under eight presidents, he used to moonlight as a musician. Joshua Klein, the second violinist and the youngest member of the ensemble, who clerked for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor last term, studied violin seriously during college and law school.

"I don't make money playing the piano," Ms. Rice said, with the pride of a honorable amateur.

"No," Mr. Battey replied, "though you have gotten some pretty nice dinners out of it."

He was referring to a concert the group played two years ago at the British Embassy for an audience of 100. After the performance, which lasted just over an hour, the British ambassador presented an elegant dinner.

In 2003, the group also gave a private concert at Ms. Rice's apartment, which attracted an overflow bipartisan audience, including Justices Stephen G. Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court, Alan Greenspan and Harriet Miers, classical music lovers all. Ms. Rice's ample living room has a nook in a corner, which accommodates her midsize grand piano, a Chickering, a cherished gift from her parents when she was a teenager.

On this Sunday, once the musicians had settled down and tuned up, they began by playing through the ebullient first movement of Schumann's Piano Quintet in E flat. The piano part has fancy runs and elaborate flourishes, especially in a tempestuous contrasting development section, alive with intricate counterpoint.

"We generally like to start off with a nice finger-buster for the secretary," Mr. Battey said. That way, he explained, she's warmed up when they really get to work.

Ms. Rice's long, thin fingers are nimble indeed, especially for someone who doesn't have much time to practice. Her touch has lightness and subtlety, yet she plays with crisp clarity and, when called for, robust sound.

They played right through the first movement. When things got a little tangled in the difficult development section, they had the collective wit to forge ahead and let things untangle.

It was wonderful to hear chamber music as it was meant to be: played by friends for their own enjoyment, in the confines of a living room, which makes the sound seem enveloping. Playing chamber music is a bonding experience. During an earlier interview at the State Department, Ms. Rice said the members of her group had become "like my best friends."

"We are like family," she added.

Traditionally, playing chamber music has also been a great equalizer. But do these string players really feel free to critique their pianist? Mr. Wallace answered, "I just assumed from the beginning that it wouldn't be any fun for her if we were deferential."

Though the Schumann went well, Ms. Rice felt that things had become shaky in the exuberant push to the coda. "Can we try the ending again," she asked, "just for our pride?" So they did, and they played it with more solidity and just as much spirit.

But the real give-and-take began when they turned to the first movement of Shostakovich's Piano Quintet in G minor, a piece they are still learning. The music is episodic, moody and — as so often in Shostakovich — elusive. Are the evocations of Bach-like counterpoint to be taken at face value? Are the grim outbursts ironic?

The players began the somberly oracular opening section and soon fell out of sync. "My tempo is not your tempo," Ms. Rice told her colleagues, when they stopped to regroup. As a musician she is a palpably attentive listener. As they tried again, the opening section emerged in a more cohesive arc, and they segued smoothly into a faster episode with curious triplet figures in the piano, which Ms. Rice infused with a stealthy character.

When they failed to coalesce in an up-tempo section of the movement, Ms. Rice blamed herself. "I don't know this passage coming up," she said. "So I hesitated to turn the page." She stared at her printed score and said, almost to herself, "I'll get that fixed." There was no doubting it.

Ms. Kim commented on the articulate way Ms. Rice played a series of thick chords. "You're playing them really short, Condi," she said. "I hadn't thought of that," she added, warming to the idea.

"I like them separated," Ms. Rice replied. "Not too short, maybe kind of sticky." Everyone knew what she meant.

After the Shostakovich, they turned to Brahms's Piano Quintet in F minor: "Condi's piece," as Mr. Battey called it. This intense, intricate and extremely difficult work is one of Ms. Rice's favorites. She reveres Brahms, she said, because the music is "passionate but not sentimental." In the scherzo, the players set a breakneck pace. Sometimes notes splattered and coordination teetered on the brink. It hardly mattered. The music-making was risky and vital.

MS. RICE, an only child, is a fourth-generation pianist on her mother's side. Her mother, Angelena Rice, who died of cancer in 1985, taught music and science at an industrial high school in a black suburb of Birmingham, Ala. "My mother was a church musician, and she read music beautifully, but she didn't play classically that much," Ms. Rice said during the earlier interview. "But she had a marvelously improvisational ear, which I don't have."

Her father, John Rice, who succeeded his father, a son of slaves, as minister at a Presbyterian church in Birmingham, also loved music, especially big-band jazz. (John Rice died on Christmas Eve in 2000, days after learning that Ms. Rice had been appointed national security adviser.) When she was an infant, Ms. Rice's parents gave her a tiny toy piano. "They had a plan," she said. Today that gift is prominently displayed on the coffee table in her apartment.

But it was her maternal grandmother, Mattie Ray, who proved the decisive musical influence in her life. Because both Ms. Rice's parents worked, she was dropped off each day at the house of her grandmother, who taught piano privately and sensed her eagerness and talent. Lessons started when she was 3. "I don't remember learning to read music — you know, the lines and spaces and all that," Ms. Rice said. "From my point of view I could always read music."

Classical music became her passion from the day her mother bought her a recording of Verdi's "Aida," and she listened, "my little eyes like saucers," she said, to the brassy and stirring "Triumphal March."

Ms. Rice, not quite 9, was sitting in her father's church on the Sunday morning in 1963 when, two miles away, bombs went off at a Baptist church and four black girls were killed, one of them a childhood playmate of hers. During this period of protests, fire hoses and bombs in Birmingham, she found comfort taking music classes at a local conservatory that had boldly opened its doors to black children. In 1969, the family moved to Denver, and Ms. Rice, having skipped the first and seventh grades, entered the University of Denver at 15 as a music major.

At 17, she attended the prestigious summer school at the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado and came to believe that though she was a very good pianist, she was "not great," she said. "That was the really the revelation," she added. "And it wasn't just that experience. You start noticing prodigies, and you realize that I'm never going to play that way." There is "just some intangible" in music, she said. Whatever it was, she said she felt she didn't have it. She decided to major in international relations instead, focusing on the Soviet Union.

As her career in higher education and government prospered, she began to let her music slip. Feeling the loss in 1993, when she became the youngest provost in the history of Stanford University, she applied herself again on the piano and took regular lessons with a faculty member, George Barth. It was he who encouraged her to immerse herself in chamber music.

A couple of times in recent years she has ventured onto a concert stage for special occasions. In 2002, when the cellist Yo-Yo Ma received a National Medal of the Arts, he requested that Ms. Rice accompany him in a piece during the ceremony at Constitution Hall. They played the slow movement of Brahms's Violin Sonata in D minor in an arrangement for cello and piano. A photo showing her playing with Mr. Ma that night has pride of place in her living room.

Ms. Rice has only just begun to see the potential of music as a diplomatic tool, notably last February, when she delivered a speech in Paris about American rapprochement with Europe in the face of vehement disagreements over the invasion of Iraq. During the trip, she visited the Hector Berlioz Conservatory in Paris, where she attended a children's music class and watched young ensembles perform. As cameras caught her listening, she seemed deeply affected by the fledgling musicians.

At the time, there were "whole questions about U.S.-French relations and so forth," she said, "and I think it was just nice to connect with the French kids." Asked to play something, she declined, but promised to come back sometime with her chamber group.

Her fellow players would surely be eager to go. At the Sunday session, after their hellbent rendition of the Brahms scherzo, they segued without a break from the fortissimo final chords of that movement to the mysterious introductory section of the finale, a minor-mode Allegro with a touch of a Gypsy dance. Connecting these two movements is a bold interpretive stroke.

"The scherzo has such an odd and abrupt ending," Mr. Rice said. So plunging right into the slow introduction that follows "seemed like a good idea," she said. Wanting credit, Mr. Battey said, "It was my idea." His colleagues laughed and said, "Yeah, yeah."

As the session ended, the string players packed up their instruments and took places around the coffee table for their traditional postrehearsal reward: white wine and cheese. As they chatted, Ms. Rice's friends spoke of how touched they had been to be invited to her swearing-in as secretary of state and to her 50th-birthday celebration, attended by President and Mrs. Bush.

Ms. Rice, who lives a short walk from the Kennedy Center, said she was looking forward to attending the Washington National Opera's new production of Wagner's "Rheingold" when she returned from an overseas trip. In February she took in the Kirov's production of Puccini's "Turandot," when the company visited the capital. She spoke of how impressed she had been by the innovative staging. By the music, too.

"That's about the only Puccini opera I can take," she said. A couple of us, led by this Puccini lover, stuck up for him. But Ms. Rice is not alone in her opinion.

Her favorite opera is Mussorgsky's epic "Khovanshchina," not surprising, given her expertise in Russian culture, language and history. It may have special resonance today: it tells of bloody factional strife at the time of the ascension of Peter the Great, made worse by the intransigence of the Old Believers, a fundamentalist Orthodox group opposed to reform.

These days, Ms. Rice finds chamber music so fulfilling that she has almost no desire to play solo works, she said. But she does have her eyes on a particular prize of the piano repertory.

"Before I leave this earth, I'm somehow going to learn the Brahms Second Piano Concerto," she said, "which is the most beautiful piece of music." It is also dauntingly hard.

Whether Condoleezza Rice some day becomes commissioner of the National Football League, president of Stanford or president of whatever is anyone's guess. But don't bet against her learning Brahms's Second Concerto.

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Communications Law PodCast Test 2 Spring 2006

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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

New York Daily News - News & Views Columnists - Stanley Crouch: Merchants of filth have worthy foe

New York Daily News - News & Views Columnists - Stanley Crouch: Merchants of filth have worthy foe

You can't keep a good woman down, and you can't get an intelligent one to stay silent when the issue is the moral pollution of young people. One can only come to that conclusion when speaking with Lisa Fager, president and co-founder of Industry Ears, a new think tank of broadcast and music industry professionals that describes itself as "dedicated to revealing truth and promoting justice in the media." That's a mouthful. Does it mean weeping rivers over the execution of a convicted murderer like Tookie Williams?

No. Fager wants to clean up what she sees as irresponsible activity in the media, with a particular emphasis on the detrimental effects of hip hop. Her central concern is the promotion of sexual material to underage children and the way this material encourages irresponsible sexual behavior.

"You would never know," she says, "that the largest group of new HIV cases just happens to be young black women between the ages of 15 and 24. This airheaded material desensitizes them to such an extent that they do not know how to protect themselves. Besides vulgarity, there are lethal components to this problem."

Some defend hip hop as the expression of an ethnic culture on the grounds of free speech and artistic freedom - and this con sounds noble - but if these illiterates with gold and diamonds in their teeth found that reading the Ten Commandments over hip-hop beats made money, they would search the Bible for fresh "lyrics."

Fager would settle for the FCC enforcing the law - coming down, for example, on urban black radio stations that violate regulations by playing questionable material before 10 p.m. "Part of the job of the legal system," she says, "is to protect our children from predators."

Censorship is not Fager's goal, and she does not believe that merely attacking vulgar entertainers is the answer. "If NBC had shown a porno film like 'Debbie Does Dallas' at 4:30 in the afternoon, we wouldn't be going after the star of the movie, we would be going after NBC."

I think the millionaires who push this dung have met their match, because Fager is a young woman who has worked in the recording industry and knows her way around the mass media. She cannot be dismissed as a grandmother who doesn't know what's happening.

Importantly, Fager has no fear of being accused of "hating" the black lower class or trying to kill a golden goose. Those accusations may be tired, but they work on far too many black academics and middle-class black people.

"I do not believe we are supposed to sit still while young women are dehumanized, infected with HIV and abused by young men programmed to think of women as nothing but sex toys," she says. "That's immoral and cowardly."

Lisa Fager is another example of American luck. Just when we think the dogs will win out, the dog catcher turns the corner. The howls will eventually be replaced by whimpers.

Originally published on April 3, 2006

DeLay Is Quitting Race and House, Officials Report - New York Times

DeLay Is Quitting Race and House, Officials Report - New York TimesApril 4, 2006


WASHINGTON, April 3 — Representative Tom DeLay, the relentless Texan who helped lead House Republicans to power but became ensnared in a corruption scandal, has decided to leave Congress, House officials said Monday night.

Mr. DeLay, who abandoned his efforts to hold onto his position as majority leader earlier this year after the indictment of the lobbyist Jack Abramoff, a former ally, was seeking re-election as vindication. But he told selected colleagues that, facing the possibility of defeat, he had decided not to try to hold on to his House seat.

"He just decided that the numbers and the whole political climate were against him and that it was time to step aside," said one Congressional official with knowledge of Mr. DeLay's plans. The official did not want to be identified because Mr. DeLay's formal announcement was scheduled for Tuesday in Houston.

His decision was first reported Monday by MSNBC and by Time magazine on its Web site, which posted an interview with Mr. DeLay, as did The Galveston County Daily News. "I'm very much at peace with it," Mr. DeLay told Time of his decision.

Mr. Delay, who is serving his 11th term in Congress, told the Galveston paper he planned to step down from his seat by late May or June.

Congressional aides said Mr. DeLay had informed his Texas colleagues and other Republican leaders, including Representative Thomas M. Reynolds of New York, the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, as well as President Bush.

One DeLay ally said that the lawmaker had been considering leaving Congress since he gave up his leadership post in January and that he had been persuaded to make the break last week, when his former deputy chief of staff, Tony Rudy, pleaded guilty to corruption charges. He was also said to have been influenced by troubling poll numbers in his district in the Houston area.

Though Mr. DeLay had moved into the background since leaving the majority leader's office, his decision to leave Congress could rattle House Republicans already anxious about their prospects in November, partly because of the cloud of ethics problems caused by the scandal involving Mr. Abramoff and Mr. DeLay's former inner circle.

The decision also threw into turmoil the 22nd Congressional District, where Mr. DeLay convincingly won a primary contest by a margin of better than 2 to 1 against three Republican rivals less than a month ago.

Monday night, with the news ricocheting around Texas and Washington, the mayor of Mr. DeLay's hometown, Sugar Land, David G. Wallace Jr., said he would seek the seat. Asked in an interview if he was running, he said, "I am."

Mr. Wallace, 44, an investment banker and real estate developer serving his second two-year-term in the part-time City Hall position, said he had not talked to Mr. DeLay about a vacancy but had been hearing "rumors in the last couple of days."

"Our understanding is that if Tom vacates the seat, there will be a special election called," Mr. Wallace said.

Mike Stanley, campaign manager for Tom Campbell, a lawyer who led the Republican challengers to Mr. DeLay in the primary March 7, said he believed Mr. Campbell would now seek to reenter the race.

"He had already decided to run in two years if Mr. DeLay still held the seat," Mr. Stanley said. Mr. Campbell drew just under 10,000 votes, or about 30 percent, with Mr. DeLay winning 20,558 or 62 percent.

Bill Miller, a leading Austin lobbyist close to the Republican leadership, said Mr. DeLay called Gov. Rick Perry Monday night. Mr. Miller quoted Mr. DeLay as saying "I don't want to be a distraction" and said he had maintained that his decision to drop out of the race had nothing to do with any pending criminal action.

In an interview Monday night, Richard Cullen, Mr. DeLay's principal criminal defense lawyer, said that his client had been pondering a withdrawal from the race for some time and that "it had nothing to do with any criminal investigation."

"The decision had absolutely nothing to do with the investigation," Mr. Cullen said. "It was a very personal decision and a political one."

Mr. DeLay is under indictment in Texas on campaign-finance related charges for his role in a state redistricting plan that gained Republican House seats in the state but focused national scrutiny on his political tactics.

The indictment forced him to step aside from his leadership post, but he had intended to return if he beat the charges.

Mr. Delay told the Galveston County paper that he decided last week after speaking to the Christian group Vision America that he could be more effective pushing the conservative cause if he left Congress.

"I can continue to be a leader of the conservative cause," he said. "I can do more to grow the Republican majority, rather than spend the next eight months locked down in running a campaign."

Bill Burton, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said Mr. DeLay's decision was "just the latest piece of evidence that the Republican Party is a party in disarray, a party out of ideas and out of energy."

Mr. DeLay, 58, who served most of his time in the leadership as the whip, was known for his ability to deliver Republican votes on contentious issues and for fund-raising power that helped Republicans hold the majority for the past decade.

In 1994, as Republicans battled Democrats for control of the house, Mr. DeLay joined Representative Newt Gingrich and others in developing the so-called Contract With America and arguing that after 40 years in power, the Democratic Party had become corrupt and arrogant. He became majority leader in 2002, serving alongside Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, the man Mr. DeLay helped ascend to the speaker's position in 1998.

Representative John A. Boehner, the occasional DeLay rival who won the internal election to replace him as majority leader, on Monday called his predecessor one of the "most effective and gifted leaders the Republican party has ever known."

"He was a tireless advocate for his constituents, the state of Texas, and all Americans who shared a commitment to the principles of smaller government, more freedom, and family values," Mr. Boehner said.

With Mr. Rudy's guilty plea last Friday, he became the second former DeLay aide to admit wrongdoing in the corruption investigation centered on Mr. Abramoff, who has also pleaded guilty to conspiring to corrupt public officials, including members of Congress.

Mr. Abramoff, Mr. Rudy and the other aide, Michael Scanlon, who had been Mr. DeLay's press secretary in the House, are all cooperating with the Justice Department, which is investigating whether Mr. DeLay and other members of Congress accepted travel, gifts or money from Mr. Abramoff and his associates in return for legislative favors.

Mr. Rudy's plea agreement, which covers actions he took on Mr. Abramoff's behalf both while on Mr. DeLay's staff and after leaving the House to work as a lobbyist, did not allege any wrongdoing by Mr. DeLay or say that Mr. DeLay knew of any criminal activities by Mr. Rudy.

Mr. DeLay was indicted last September in Texas on unrelated charges involving violations of state election laws including money laundering and conspiring to funnel illegal corporate contributions to Republican statehouse candidates in 2002. The charges were later scaled back by a state judge to the money-laundering counts and remain the subject of an appeal.

In the fall of 2004, Mr. DeLay was admonished by the House ethics committee on three issues involving misuse of his influence, including an offer to support the House candidacy of the son of a former Republican representative from Michigan, Nick Smith, in return for Mr. Smith's vote for a Medicare prescription drug benefit.

Mr. DeLay, a one-time pest exterminator, was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1978, where he helped ignite a Republican resurgence in long-Democratic Texas.

Ralph Blumenthal contributed reporting from Houston for this article, and Philip Shenon from Washington.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

NPR : Jackie McLean: A Saxophone Great

NPR : Jackie McLean: A Saxophone Great

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Weekend Edition Sunday, April 2, 2006 · Saxophonist Jackie McLean died on Friday at the age of 75. He played with many of the greats, including Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Art Blakey and Charles Mingus. We offer an appreciation.
This was my favorite living musician- I booked him into the Atlanta Jazz Festival in 1991 - Professor Armwood

Jackie McLean; Saxophonist Who Advanced Study of Jazz

Jackie McLean; Saxophonist Who Advanced Study of Jazz

By Matt Schudel
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, April 2, 2006; C09

Jackie McLean, 74, one of the foremost alto saxophone players of the past 50 years, who also helped elevate jazz studies to a serious academic discipline, died March 31 at his home in Hartford, Conn. His family said that he died of "a long illness" and that the cause of death would be announced later.

A musical descendant of bebop master Charlie Parker, Mr. McLean developed a strong, uncompromising style in the 1950s and remained a prominent voice on his instrument for decades. He recorded more than 60 albums and was a mentor to younger musicians as a bandleader and as a teacher.

He grew up in Harlem, where his neighbors included such jazz greats as Duke Ellington, Don Redman, Nat "King" Cole and Thelonious Monk. He often recalled those heady days in interviews and was a principal interview subject in Ken Burns's 10-part documentary on jazz in 2000.

For the past 35 years, he lived in Hartford, where he established the jazz studies program at the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford, now called the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz. It was one of the country's first comprehensive jazz programs.

With his wife, Dollie, he also founded the Artists Collective, a cultural arts center in Hartford that has educated thousands of primarily African American students in music, dance, drama and the visual arts. He also maintained a long involvement in civil rights, dating from the 1960s.

His interest in education derived from his experiences with the jazz giants of an earlier era. At 16, he met bebop pianist Bud Powell, who often invited the young saxophonist to his house to study and practice. In his teens, Mr. McLean would wait at subway stops to meet Parker and walk with him to nightclubs, gleaning musical insights from his idol.

The younger musician copied both Parker's playing style on alto saxophone and his addiction to heroin. For much of the 1950s and early 1960s, Mr. McLean struggled with narcotics and often found himself in legal trouble.

After Parker's death in 1955, Mr. McLean worked with bassist and bandleader Charles Mingus, who encouraged him to find his own style, free from Parker's influence. From 1956 to 1958, Mr. McLean was a member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, where he honed his powerful searing tone, which was usually slightly sharp.

"He had his own sound," said critic Ira Gitler, who knew Mr. McLean for 55 years. "He had a cry in his playing and a lot of fire."

The late 1950s and early '60s were perhaps Mr. McLean's most fruitful musical period, during which he composed such memorable tunes as "Melody for Melonae," "Appointment in Ghana," "Dr. Jackie" and "Minor March." He also made a series of outstanding recordings, including "4, 5 and 6" and "McLean's Scene" (both 1956), "Jackie's Bag" (1959), "Let Freedom Ring" (1962) and "One Step Beyond" (1963).

After making 21 albums for Blue Note Records between 1959 and 1967, Mr. McLean turned more toward teaching and grew less active as a performer. In the 1980s and 1990s, he returned to the stage and the recording studio with renewed vigor, and he often performed with his son, saxophonist Rene McLean.

"It was my most rewarding, my most exciting and my most challenging musical experience," Rene McLean said yesterday. "I had to rise to the occasion. It made no difference if I was his son or brother.

"We had very magical musical moments together."

John Lenwood McLean was born in New York City on May 17, 1931. His father was a jazz guitarist who died in 1939, and his childhood friends included future jazz stars Sonny Rollins, Walter Bishop Jr., Kenny Drew and Art Taylor.

Mr. McLean made his recording debut in 1951 with Rollins on Miles Davis's "Dig!," often considered the first "hard-bop" album in jazz, blending bebop complexity, blues feeling and rhythmic drive.

He adopted modal and free-jazz techniques later in his career, but he retained the same intensity he had in his youth.

On one of his final efforts, "Nature Boy" (2000), he showed a more sensitive side of his musical persona with an album of ballads. In 2001, he was recognized as an American Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Mr. McLean was especially popular in Japan and once came across a tiny club in Yokohama called the "Jackie McLean Coffeehouse" that was a virtual shrine to his career. He gave his final performances during a tour of Europe and the Middle East in 2004.

"Many times, we could finish each other's ideas," said Rene McLean, who was with his father on that final tour. "It was just unique and mystical."

Besides his son, of New York, survivors include his wife, Dollie McLean of Hartford; a daughter, Melonae McLean, and son, Vernone McLean, both of Hartford; five grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.