The FLOTUS and Nike Come Together to Get Children Moving During School Hours

BY: - 1 Mar '13 | On the Web

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Photo Credit: The White House via Flickr

Photo Credit: The White House via Flickr

We’ve seen quite some collaborations in our day, a marriage between products or people or products and people. And now we are getting ready to see another one. Our First Lady has inspired men, women, and children all over the map to get up and move with her Let’s Move! campaign. She has showed us that exercise and a healthy lifestyle is obtainable and absolutely necessary. Nike has told us for years to “just do it” and for many of us we have been using their merchandise to help us in our quest to be more physically fit. It’s no wonder the FLOTUS and Nike have joined forces to bring physical activity back to our nation’s schools and the lives of our children.

According to a February 28, 2013 press release from The White House:

“First Lady Michelle Obama today launched Let’s Move! Active Schools – an unprecedented collaboration to bring physical activity back to America’s schools. The program provides simple steps and tools to help schools create active environments where students get 60 minutes of physical activity before, during and after the school day. Mrs. Obama called on school staff, families and communities to work together to reach an ambitious goal of engaging 50,000 schools in this program over the next five years.”

Funding for this program is being made possible thanks to Nike and other corporations including the GENYOUth Foundation, ChildObesity180, Kaiser Permanente, and the General Mills Foundation.  As parents and community members we all have an opportunity to support Let’s Move! Active Schools in their efforts to help ensure our children are engaging in physical activity during their school year. Not only is this vital for their health but it is attributed to positive academic outcomes. For more on Let’s Move! Active Schools and to become a school champion visit LetsMoveSchools.org.

BMWK — Do you believe our children need to be engaging in more physical activity?

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  • Anna

    Not sure what the problem is with the “Let’s Move” campaign. I think the bigger issue is, that most ppl don’t want the Government to tell them what to do. The President & TFLOUS, may be “celebrites” to some but also have chidren. Back in the day they too played outside. Kids now & days, have too much electronics. Most go to school, come home, and don’t have a paper route, or chores. Send them to their room, there may be a DVD player, a cell phone, or a laptop. Sad. “Let’s Move” America!

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Money Monday: You Won’t Believe How This Prominent Business Magazine Portrays Minorities

BY: - 4 Mar '13 | Money

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Racist Cover

A barefoot, bug-eyed, black man greedily clenches wads of cash — It’s not exactly the image you’d expect to grace the cover of one of the nation’s most prominent business magazines, but that’s exactly the type of grotesque caricature Bloomberg’s Businessweek portrayed on its February 25th cover for a story about the rebounding US housing market.

It portrays four minorities celebrating in a house full of cash with the headline, “The Great American Housing Rebound: Flips. No-look bids. 300 percent returns. What could possibly go wrong?”

The implication: Irresponsible African-Americans and other minorities, in their greed, helped create the housing crisis.

“… we still can’t decide what’s most offensive about it: the caricature of the busty, sassy Latina, the barefooted black man waving cash out his window, that woman in the upstairs left-hand corner who looks about as dim-witted as her dog,” wrote Emily Badger of the Atlantic.

Of course, the idea that irresponsible African-Americans created the housing crisis has been a conservative theme for years. Minorities bought houses that they knew they couldn’t afford. The US government, they also argue, forced Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to guarantee mortgages for low and moderate income borrowers, borrowers who should have never been given mortgages in the first place.

Never mind the role that unscrupulous lenders, dishonest mortgage brokers, over-leveraged flip artists, and large banks which securitized high risk mortgages and sold them off as safe investments played in the housing collapse.

As The Atlantic noted, “Bloomberg Businessweek’s racist cover also gets the housing crisis backwards.”

Rather than causing the housing crisis, minorities were more often victims in the crisis. Minority borrowers were frequently steered toward devastating sub-prime loans, even when their credit would have qualified them for conventional mortgages, increasing their likelihood of defaulting.

According to the Center for Responsible Lending, African-Americans with good credit scores were not only more likely to be offered high-risk sub-prime mortgages, but once they fell behind on mortgage payments they were foreclosed on at rates twice as high as white borrowers. The Center estimates a minimum of $194 billion in wealth has been wiped out from black communities as a result of mortgage foreclosures.

Many of the culprits have been sued or are in the process of being taken to court for their intentional targeting of minorities during the housing boom and subsequent collapse. Bank of America, for instance, agreed to pay $335 million dollars to settle allegations that it’s Countrywide Financial unit discriminated against minority home buyers.

What is especially troubling is not only how the cover seems to have gotten the facts wrong, but how such a negative depiction of minorities got through the editing process in the first place.

Businessweek for their part explained that the illustration was created by Andres Guzman, a freelance artist born in Peru but now living in the US. According to the Columbia Journalism Review Guzman claimed that, “The assignment was an illustration about housing. I simply drew the family like that because those are the kind of families I know. I am Latino and grew up around plenty of mixed families.”

Yet, the fact that the illustrator was of Latino heritage in no way excuses the lack of editorial oversight by Bloomberg Businessweek.

BMWK — What’s your take? Do you think the cover was blatantly racist or just an editorial oversight?

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Alonzo Peters wrote 245 articles on this blog.

Alonzo Peters is founder of MochaMoney.com, a personal finance website dedicated to helping Black America achieve financial independence.

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