Jamilah-Asali Isoké Lemieux, Raven-Symoné Rips Black Names, But Forgot About Her Own


A person who is both legally and professionally known as “Raven-Symoné” used her enviable platform as a co-host on ABC’s The View to rail against Black names.

We could honestly stop talking right here, because the story—and the jokes—write themselves. Her name is Raven hyphen alternate spelling of “Simone,” complete with what could be considered a gratuitous accent mark (it does not change the pronunciation of “Symone/Simone,” it is there for decoration; she essentially has the equivalent of plastic furniture covers at the end of her name,) and yet she feels compelled to punch down at those who also have names that are also Black as a dice game at a church fish fry, but may not have hit the faux French mark as well as her own. Only a blindfolded person with no sense of smell being asked to hold a plate of meat and walk into a den full of dogs could match her lack of self-awareness.

Jamilah-Asali Isoké Lemieux, Raven-Symoné Rips Black Names, But Forgot About Her Own

‘As Black as a dice game at a church fish fry’. Priceless.



Warren at her best, once again.

Economic justice is not – and has never been – sufficient to ensure racial justice. Owning a home won’t stop someone from burning a cross on the front lawn. Admission to a school won’t prevent a beating on the sidewalk outside. But when Dr. King led hundreds of thousands of people to march on Washington, he talked about an end to violence, access to voting AND economic opportunity. As Dr. King once wrote, “the inseparable twin of racial injustice was economic injustice.”

The tools of oppression were woven together, and the civil rights struggle was fought against that oppression wherever it was found – against violence, against the denial of voting rights, and against economic injustice.

The battles were bitter and sometimes deadly. Firehoses turned on peaceful protestors. Police officers setting their dogs to attack black students. Bloody Sunday at the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

But the civil rights movement pushed this country in a new direction.

  • The federal government cracked down on state-sponsored violence. Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson all called out the National Guard, and, in doing so, declared that everyone had a right to equal protection under the law, guaranteed by the Constitution. Congress protected the rights of all citizens to vote with the Voting Rights Act.
  • And economic opportunities opened up when Congress passed civil rights laws that protected equal access to employment, public accommodations, and housing.

In the same way that the tools of oppression were woven together, a package of civil rights laws came together to protect black people from violence, to ensure access to the ballot box, and to build economic opportunity. Or to say it another way, these laws made three powerful declarations: Black lives matter. Black citizens matter. Black families matter.

Fifty years later, we have made real progress toward creating the conditions of freedom-but we have not made ENOUGH progress.


I speak today with the full knowledge that I have not personally experienced and can never truly understand the fear, the oppression, and the pain that confronts African Americans every day. But none of us can ignore what is happening in this country. Not when our black friends, family, neighbors literally fear dying in the streets.

Listen to the brave, powerful voices of today’s new generation of civil rights leaders. Incredible voices. Listen to them say: “If I die in police custody, know that I did not commit suicide.” Watch them march through the streets, “hands up don’t shoot” – not to incite a riot, but to fight for their lives. To fight for their lives.

This is the reality all of us must confront, as uncomfortable and ugly as that reality may be. It comes to us to once again affirm that black lives matter, that black citizens matter, that black families matter.


The first civil rights battles were hard fought. But they established that Black Lives Matter. That Black Citizens Matter. That Black Families Matter. Half a century later, we have made real progress, but we have not made ENOUGH progress. As Senator Kennedy said in his first floor speech, “This is not a political issue. It is a moral issue, to be resolved through political means.” So it comes to us to continue the fight, to make, as John Lewis said, the “necessary trouble” until we can truly say that in America, every citizen enjoys the conditions of freedom.

Go read the whole thing.
Senator Elizabeth Warren’s speech on racial inequality in full


Businesses push incentives for managers to limit pay raises, and it works, because the economy is softer than it seems and people can’t quit to get higher pay elsewhere.

The labor market is a lot softer than a 5.1 percent jobless rate would indicate. For one thing, the percentage of Americans who are working has fallen considerably since the recession began. This disappearance of several million workers — as labor force dropouts they are not factored into the jobless rate — has meant continued labor market weakness, which goes far to explain why wage increases remain so elusive. End of story, many economists say.

But work force experts assert that economists ignore many other factors that help explain America’s stubborn wage stagnation. Outsourcing, offshoring and imports exert a steady downward tug on wages. Labor unions have lost considerable muscle. Many employers have embraced pay-for-performance policies that often mean nice bonuses for the few instead of across-the-board raises for the many.

Peter Cappelli, a professor at the Wharton School of Business, noted, for instance, that many retailers give managers bonuses based on whether they keep their labor budgets below a designated ceiling. “They’re punished to the extent they go over those budgets,” Professor Cappelli said. “If you’re a local manager and you’re thinking, ‘Should we bump up wages,’ it could really hit your bonus. Companies have done this in order to increase the incentive to hang tough on budgets, and it works.”

In recent years, wage increases, before factoring in inflation, have averaged about 2 percent annually. But real, after-inflation wages have remained dismayingly flat since 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, even though real wages did bump up last fall when the drop in oil prices pulled down inflation.

But high performers are getting raises:

Another important trend depressing pay is that more than ever, companies are paying top dollar to star performers — whether marketing wizards or software programmers — while skimping on paying the many workers without special skills.

“Right now the labor market is good if you’re a new graduate of Harvard or Stanford in computer science or a new economics Ph.D. or if you’re coming out with a specialized skill in some health occupation,” Professor Katz said. “The upper 10 percent are probably doing O.K. in the labor market, but typical workers are still facing a lot of difficulties.”

As part of this embrace of pay for performance, many companies are giving raises or one-time bonuses only to their best performers, thus helping retain and attract top talent while subtly showing the door to less stellar workers.

“The higher performers are attracted to and will stay with organizations that differentiate higher performers,” said Ken Abosch, North American compensation practice leader for Aon Hewitt, a consulting firm. “Low performers are uncomfortable working in environments that emphasize higher performance so they will sort themselves out.”

In a study of 1,200 American companies, Aon Hewitt found that 25 percent overwhelmingly emphasize rewards to high performers and give far less or nothing in raises or bonuses to average or poor performers. “Those 25 percent say, ‘We’re going to give 6 percent to the top performers, 1.5 percent to average performers and we’re not going to give anything to below average,’ ” Mr. Abosch said.

Just 10 percent of companies give equal raises spread across the board, Mr. Abosch said. And the remaining companies do something in between — giving somewhat higher raises to top performers and somewhat less to everybody else.

This last development is a trend I am watching, which I call Next Inequity, one element of the complex of factors, trends, and technologies I call Next Work. More to follow.

The Mystery of the Vanishing Pay Raise