All Articles Tagged "survey"
Is Black Leadership Dead? The State Of Leadership In The Community And Figuring Out How To Revitalize It
Is black leadership dead?
I find myself intrigued by that question ever since the election of Barack Obama brought about a public debate within some in the black community on whether or whether not he should be considered a black leader. Apparently, Bob Johnson, black billionaire and founder of BET, is just as intrigued, because earlier this month he released the data from his national survey, which he co-commissioned with Zogby, on how African Americans felt about President Obama, the economy, and if their lives were better off having lived under the Obama Administration’s tenure. According to RJ Companies, the website where the data is published, the opinions of 1002 randomly selected black adults were included in this survey and they were polled by both phone and online survey. However, despite the massive promise, the results of the survey offered very little in providing real measurable insight.
Among the non-surprises, this poll revealed that 91 percent of black folks see President Obama as favorable and 72 percent believe that his election has helped them individually. And because of this virtual non-reveal, certain members of the black media didn’t waste any time unmasking the data, including Glen Ford of the Black Agenda Report, who in post called the survey “pretty sloppy work,” which he writes, “didn’t really tell us much useful.” Writes Ford: “What have we learned? That a billionaire, Black or white, can spend all the money he wants asking poorly constructed questions for no other purpose than to remind people that he is still rich.”
I don’t know if I agree with Ford’s conclusion, as I’m pretty sure there is some purpose Johnson is trying to achieve outside of statistically stuntin’ on a Negro. But his point about question construction is noted. And as Ford, I too raise an eyebrow at this particular question from the poll, which asked respondents to choose which of the following people speaks for them most often. The multiple choices include the following:
1. Rev. Al Sharpton
2. Rev. Jesse Jackson
3. Congresswoman Maxine Waters
4. NAACP Chief Ben Jealous
5. Congressman James Clyburn
6. Urban League President Marc Morial
7. Michael Steele, former chair of the Republican Party
You do have to wonder why these particular people were selected out of all the black folks who have ever stepped on a soapbox and did or said something worth being called a leader. First, there are a couple of people on this list I wouldn’t call black household names. Likewise, with the exception of some small nuances in beliefs and Michael Steele – the list’s sole republican – I wouldn’t exactly call this list diverse. Although a polarizing figure, a list of leaders, which excludes Louis Farrakhan is ignorant of his influential reach within the community. I mean, the Million Man March anyone? Bueller? I guess then it should come as no surprise that while Sharpton received 24 percent of the tally, making him the winner of the leaders listed, the vast minority of people – 40 percent – decided that none of the leaders listed best represented their interest.
Problems with the question structure aside, there does seem to be an obsession with declaring a black leader in the community. With the plethora of social, economic and political problems affecting the community, folks understandably yearn for the days of messiah-like figures such as Malcolm X and the and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who could lead our community to greatness. And yet today, as blacks progress further economically and politically and are now welcomed in spaces that they have traditionally been excluded from because of the color of their skin in the past, there seems to be a less identified black leader or message coming from within the community. Or as Kirsten West Savali writes for NewsOne:
“The big reveal of Johnson’s poll is not that there are no clear leaders, but that there are no clear Black agendas from which clear leaders can emerge. When the goal of assimilation becomes primary, the fights of the every-day Black (wo) man become secondary. And the plight of everyday Black people, communalism, was at the heart of of those movements of yesteryear which required leaders to organize the masses. The time of sharing a common goal has faded into the current zeitgeist of simply sharing a common skin tone — and overwhelming pride that someone with like skin tone has become the face of the United States.”
I believe there is a lot of truth to what West- Savali writes. I also think though, that throughout our history in America (and more likely before our ancestors got to the shores), there has never been a clear black agenda or person (s), who represented the ideas and interests of the collective black experience. I’m willing to bet that anytime throughout the history of black folks in this country, a similar question about black representation would produce the same varied responses as what we see in the Johnson/Zogby poll. I know it would have been true for the era of Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois; it was true of the era of Malcolm X and the Rev. Dr Martin Luther King Jr; and it is true for today’s contemporary black leaders. And it is not necessarily centered on the question of should we or shouldn’t we assimilate, but the unresolved question about how to handle women and gay rights in addition to intra-racial class distinctions. Splits and disagreements within both the King-led Civil Rights Movement and the Malcolm-led separatist movement reflected the significance of these sub-contexts. These questions, as well as how black leaders at any given time choose to respond to them, added certain nuances that throughout history tend to make having a sole black agenda unlikely, in addition to increasing the chasm between us intra-racially even further.
Black leadership is not dead, just dormant. Truth of the matter is that there are lots of people of today, who by using traditional modes of organizing, could be considered leaders in a different time. In fact, many of the people listed in the question would qualify. However, times are changing socially. And a new style of leadership is needed to reflect what is a socially evolving community. The time is ripe for a leader to emerge, who can speak fluently and champion the cause of not just black empowerment but black empowerment through gender, sexual orientation and class equality too.
A new study by Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance found that African-American college graduates say they are much more serious about reaching financial goals than previous generations.
According to the survey, a large majority (70 percent) of 18-to-34-year-old African American college graduates described themselves as either “disciplined” or “highly disciplined” financial planners. Only 47 percent of those aged 35 and older consider the same. But while young blacks say they are good planners, few of them (only 9 percent) actually have plans in place to financially prepare to live to age 95. Overall, four in 10 African-American college graduates (41 percent) felt financially prepared to live to age 75 while about one in four (27 percent) were prepared to live to age 95. At last check, US life expectancy is about 78 years old for men and women.
And it seems black men are thinking about finances than women, who are focused on lifestyle issues. Male African-American college graduates (52 percent) were more likely to have a financial plan in place to meet their financial goals than women (35 percent). Instead, more women graduates reported having plans in place to meet their spiritual, physical fitness and family life goals. The report states that 58 percent had a plan in place for their spiritual life compared to 43 percent having a plan in place for their financial life.
Do you think young people are more financially responsible than past generations?
You just love them. You stand in line for days just to buy them. But did you know your iPhone addiction is a costly one. In fact, damaged iPhones cost Americans billions.
SquareTrade, which provides warranties for tech gadgets, says damaged iPhones have cost Americans $5.9 billion since they first hit the market in 2007. SquareTrade polled more than 2,000 iPhone users and the results combined the cost of repairs, replacements and insurance deductibles for cracked, dropped, pummeled, kicked and water-damaged iPhones.
It is actually 10 times more likely that you will damage your own iPhone than it is that someone will steal it from you. So if you’re one of the 11 percent of iPhone owners walking around with a tacky cracked phone, you are not alone. Because of the high cost of iPhone repairs, many users — six percent, according to the SquareTrade poll — resort to trying to repair their phones themselves (usually with the hi-techiest of hi-tech solutions, tape).
And even though the new iPhone 5 “has been built with more aluminum this time around to help with durability, most of the benefit applies to the fragile back of the phone,” reports Business Insider. So you might want to opt for Apple’s $99 iPhone warranty.
The top five iPhone accidents, according to the poll are:
• Phone dropped from my hand
• Phone fell into a toilet, sink, hot tub, swimming pool, lake, etc.
• Phone dropped from a lap
• Phone knocked off a table
• Phone drenched by some sort of liquid
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According to an article in the Daily Mail UK, the website FridayFriday.com, has conducted a survey, which revealed that the vast majority of men surveyed, around 51 percent, would ask for their lady partners to chip in on a first date. Even more surprising, a frugal five percent responded that it would be a great idea for their date to even pay for the entire evening.
Interesting enough, financial concerns were cited as the number one reason why men today preferred going Dutch, however, many of those polled stated that they felt it was unfair, considering that the gap between male and female pay is shrinking, which means that women should be expected to contribute to a first date.
However, in the immortal words of the fictional State Senator Clay Davis from “The Wire,” Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeit….
Now there are some social cues, which I would be glad to relinquish; helping with my seat or closing the door on my own vehicle. However, going dutch, or heck, even paying for a first date, ain’t one of them. In fact, I have never in my 35 years–15 plus years of those spent dating–ever, and I mean ever, had a man try to split a tab with me on the first date. And as long as I am on the market, I will never, ever pay for a first day–ever!
My feelings are that a woman has to have standards and boundaries. And as said woman with boundaries and standards, it is my belief that a well-armed gentleman knows that first impressions count. And any dude, who wants to go dutch on the first date, should probably sit at his own damn table and let me enjoy my meal that I’m paying for in peace.
It may seem passé, however, many men have a laundry list of assumptions and preconceived notions about the proper conduct of women that they date. If she puts out on the first date, she is not-relationship worthy. If she wears a wig or weave, than she is superficial and self-hating. And if she wears short tight dresses, well, she is asking for it. So it’s only fair that I share my–and a few other women other there I suspect–assumptions on guys who ask for a chip-in on a first date.
They are bums.
Tonight it’s a free meal, next week it’s the keys to your car. They are used to being chased, therefore are incapable of excising any tenets of traditional manhood. Lastly, they have serious issues with women. I’m talking about full-card carrying members of the National Organization of Men Against Amazonian Masterhood, or NO MA’AM for short. These are the type of guys who will sue an establishment because they couldn’t get free drinks during ladies night at the bar. And you can regularly find these dudes, sitting in their momma’s basement, writing long blog posts and trolling women’s site raving about why we are all b***hes. You can read all about these types in one of my previous columns about these bitter dudes.
And I’m not buying the whole, “women make their own money” argument either. While the income disparages between women and men are shrinking, that doesn’t mean that it’s equal. Not to mention that black women, as a whole, still tend to earn way less for the same work as their black male counterparts and white people in general. And secondly, do you know how much it costs for me to look good for a date? Let’s see: bath shower gel, hair products, hair salon visit, new outfit, new shoes to go with that new outfit, new purse, make up, possible tampons, birth control and mace. When you do the actual math, it is clear to see that woman spend considerably more money just to get ready for a date than a man would on getting ready and paying for a date combined. So if he is willing to reimburse you for the time you spent, plucking eyebrows or getting your feet done by Korean nail techs than by all means, chip in. But if not, well, pony up, chump.
I kid about the chump part. I know that we are all modern now and some women probably would be down for the dutch lifestyle, mainly because splitting the check reduces any ulterior motives such as sex. However, a great way for a man to earn trust is by paying in the beginning, and not sniffing around for sex afterwards, as it establishes that his only motive is to get to know her and spend a fun evening in the company of his date. At least that is how I have always seen it.
And that is not to say that I have offered, or even paid for dates before: usually those occasions occur on birthdays, on Christmas and in long-term relationships. And sometimes I will pull out my wallet and offer to pay to test dudes. I’m happy to report that no one has failed the test. But if ever one decided to take me up on the offer, I would casually excuse myself to the bathroom and leave the dirt bag right where he sits. Remember ladies, always carry cab/bus fare. Just in case.
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More bad news about people taking advantage of the elderly.
Seniors are being swindled out of an average of $140,500 after falling for all sorts of scams. The most common of them is a “free lunch” scheme, which promises a complimentary meal when older attendees show up. Ultimately they’re being sold fraudulent investments. The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards surveyed 2,649 financial planners and 73 percent of them said they know at least one senior citizen who fell for this.
More than half are also receiving cold calls and unsolicited emails with investment offers. Many are being overcharged for medical care. And they’re being tricked into participating in sweepstakes and contests that ask for personal banking information, which is used to siphon cash from the victims’ accounts.
Once again, this survey found that relatives and others that have a close relationship with their elderly victims are the committing these atrocious acts. But also, it’s a reminder that you must have a talk with your loved ones to make sure there’s no funny business going on.
Moreover, it’s worth it to sit down with older members of the family and warn them about the new variety of scams that they may fall prey to. Many older people don’t want to think they can fall for a financial trick, especially one that seems obvious. But the fact is there are some very creative people out there who have come up with new ways to get at people’s money. And they’re banking on an older person’s unfamiliarity with the Internet. It might not be something older and mostly wiser adults want to hear. But it’s worth more than $100,000 to try and send that message.
It seems as though every day there’s a new survey about teen pregnancy, whether it’s a CDC report of states with the highest and lowest teen pregnancy rates, or teens speaking on what and who most influences their sexual choices. “The Target Speaks” study finally gives a voice to this misunderstood demographic. The survey conducted by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy provide findings drawn from two surveys: one given to young unmarried adults between the ages of 18-29 and one of the adult population of 18 and older.
What I find when I talk to today’s youth is that more and more the challenges of sexual health are more about values and conflicting ideas of what healthy relationships are than they are about birth control and reproduction. I said it once and I’ll say it again: Most teens (not all, but most) are educated enough to lead a class about birth control, but they have no concept of self-love, respect, communication and what sex really means to them. We can give out all of the condoms in the world, but the truth is, many teens and adults alike continue to confuse love with sex and use sex as a means to build confidence, find love and acceptance. Interestingly enough, “The Target Speaks” survey reveals just how disconnected we are with today’s youth and our own values and how those values impact the influence we have over their decisions.
For example, about two-thirds of unmarried young adults 18-29 (67 percent) incorrectly believe that teens have the highest number of unplanned pregnancies. However, most unplanned pregnancies occur to women in their 20’s. The media is flagrant with infotainment like “16 and Pregnant,” “Teen Mom” and Lifetime’s “The Pregnancy Pact,” which may be responsible for misleading the public into believing that teen pregnancy occurs more frequently than it actually does. Although the United States is an industrialized nation with one of the highest teen pregnancy rates, it is actually on the decline. According to the Guttmacher Institute, in 2008 teen pregnancy reached its lowest level in 40 years.
As for adults, the survey also reveals that although most Americans pride themselves on having sexual morality and values, our actions fail to fall in line with those beliefs. One in five young unmarried adults report that even if a condom is handy, they still will not use one unless their partner insists. Additionally, many of us aren’t practicing what we preach because our sermons are faulty. Four in ten young adults agreed with the statement, “It doesn’t matter whether you use contraception or not; when it is your time to get pregnant, it will happen.” A whopping 72 percent revealed they knew little or nothing about IUDs and 36 percent of young adults incorrectly believe that a woman should “take a break” from the pill every couple of years.
Meanwhile, as we are repeating to teens the importance of postponing parenthood until adult years, 67 percent of adults between the ages of 18-29 responded that, “Getting pregnant and having children is one of the most important things people ever do.” We spend so much time sending misleading messages of what not to do, that we fail to highlight the accomplishments we expect from of our youth such as completing school or getting a job. In this economy, it’s getting increasingly harder to find examples of how education and hard work pay off; you have to remember that for many teens the examples they witness daily is that the quickest way to independence, financial stability and housing is to have a baby. While many of their peers struggle to gain financial stability when choosing a more traditional path, those with children are living on their own and leading “adult” lives even if it is through government assistance. ”Your children are more likely to delay sex, pregnancy and parenthood if they feel they have meaningful goals for the future and a way to reach them,” stated the National Campaign in an article published in Essence magazine titled “8 Tips For Talking With Your Teens About Sex, Love and Relationships.”
How do we expect our youth to make healthy sexual choices when we aren’t even sure of our own sexuality? Just the other day I discussed with a group of young ladies the differences between love and sex. One of the ladies felt comfortable enough to reveal how she met the father of her child and stated the following: “It was at party. He grabbed my hand and the next thing I knew we were having sex.” My co-worker later questioned how I was able to keep my jaw from dropping to the floor and continue to talk to the girls about choices and the expectations of sex without going into “pedestal preaching” mode. The simple answer: I am comfortable with my own values and sexuality. When you are comfortable with your own choices and code of conduct you can therefore respect the choices of others and encourage them to challenge their thoughts and actions.
Before we judge what we view as reckless and irresponsible behavior, we must first reflect on our own faults as adults and pay close attention to the examples we are setting and the subliminal messages we send all the times we are NOT having the sex talk, or living recklessly ourselves. We can’t expect our youth to take an honest look at their attitudes and values if we aren’t even willing to do so ourselves. To learn about more about the survey’s findings, visit: “The Target Speaks.”
Toya Sharee is a community health educator and parenting education coordinator who has a passion for helping young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health. She also advocates for women’s reproductive rights and blogs about everything from beauty to love and relationships. Follow her on Twitter @TheTrueTSharee.
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So much for getting to know someone first. Results of the same Match.com survey that found more single Americans are interested in love over marriage, also showed singles are quick to jump into bed on the first night.
In all, 55 percent of singles reported having sex on a first date—66 percent of men and 44 percent of women. Sex therapist Laura Berman thinks the increase in online dating—21 percent of the respondents met the last person they dated online—and flirting on social media sites has a lot to do with this stat. She says all of the e-interaction makes people feel like they already know someone by the time they get to the actual first date so it’s not the same as a one-night stand or first-date hookup.
“It’s almost as if by the time they’ve had the first physical date, it might have been the equivalent of three dates,” she says. “I think this online sharing has definitely escalated some of this familiarity and quickness in which people get into sexual scenarios.”
Nearly a quarter of respondents said they typically have sex after one, two or three dates; 25 percent said “when the other person is ready,” and 19 percent said “when we agree to an exclusive relationship.” Another 13 percent said “when we are married.”
Overall, 58 percent of singles have had a one-night stand—65 percent of men and 51 percent of women—so giving it up early is definitely becoming a lot less taboo.
Are you down for sex on the first date or do you usually make him wait?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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Times are hard and it turns out there are a lot of things Americans are willing to give up in exchange for having their bills paid and sex is one of them.
A small, hypothetical survey of 1,045 people by polling firm Toluna, on behalf of bill-paying company BillFloat, found 18 percent of Americans would give up sex for six months in exchange for having someone else pay their bills for just one month.
Another 26 percent of respondents would turn off the TV for a month if their bills were paid for them; 21 percent would give up digital devices and their cell phone, and 14 percent would go without Internet access.
On the other hand, there was one thing hardly anybody was willing to do for cash and that was gain weight. Only 9 percent would add 15 pounds of body weight in exchange for not having to pay their bills this month. Overall though, 52 percent said they’d rather suck it up, pay the bills, and keep the sex, TV, and Internet.
Where do you stand? Would you give up sex for 6 months to have your bills paid for a month? What about digital devices?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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When you read a headline that says “Survey paints portrait of black women in America,” you automatically get squeamish. On one hand, you think, finally, someone is asking us about us, but on the other you wonder why, and hope it’s not another story about single, black women.
The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation recently conducted a nationwide survey to develop an image of black women in America. The survey included interviews with more than 800 black women in the U.S., making it the most extensive attempt to understand the lives of African American women in several decades, and the poll touches on everything from religion and romance to careers and finances.
According to Washington Post writer Krissah Thompson, in a nutshell:
“Religion is essential to most black women’s lives; being in a romantic relationship is not… Nearly three-quarters of African American women say now is a good time to be a black woman in America, and yet a similar proportion worry about having enough money to pay their bills. Half of black women surveyed call racism a “big problem” in the country; nearly half worry about being discriminated against. Eighty-five percent say they are satisfied with their own lives, but one-fifth say they are often treated with less respect than other people.”
I’d say that’s a pretty accurate reflection and what I find remarkable about the summation is that even with the barriers we’re facing, the majority of black women are still satisfied with their own lives and believe it is a good time to be a black woman in America. This finding reminds me of the recent study that showed overweight black women have a higher quality of life than overweight white women. Both speak to the spirit of black women—we’re not necessarily strong and hard, we’re resilient and optimistic, and we take control of our circumstances.
As Beverly Bond, founder of Black Girls Rock! told The Post: “We have depth. We have pain. We have bad. We have good. We have complexity. We need to see the well-roundedness of who we are. We need to see everyone.”
The poll attempted to do that by approaching the subject from the perspective of black women rather than drawing conclusions from their outside perceptions. A few of the results showed:
- Forty percent of black women say getting married is very important, compared with 55 percent of white women.
- More than a fifth of black women say being wealthy is very important, compared with one in 20 white women.
- Sixty-seven percent of black women describe themselves as having high self-esteem, compared with 43 percent of white women.
- Forty percent of black women say they experience frequent stress, compared with 51 percent of white women.
- Nearly half of black women fear being a victim of violent crime, compared with about a third of white women.
In a survey of nearly 5,000 teenage girls in 19 states who had unplanned pregnancies between 2004 through 2008, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that about one-third of the girls didn’t use birth control because they didn’t believe they could get pregnant.
The CDC didn’t ask these teens to explain why they didn’t think they could get pregnant but the finding is certainly a slap in the face of sex education programs. Some common reasons teens give for why they didn’t think they could get pregnant is that it was their first time, they were menstruating, or they thought they were sterile.
Nearly half of the girls in the survey said they weren’t using any birth control when they got pregnant which is higher than surveys of teens in general. Typically, fewer than 20% say they didn’t use contraception the last time they had sex.
Access to birth control wasn’t a huge deterrent, only 13% of the girls said they didn’t use birth control because they had trouble getting it. Nearly 25% said they didn’t use protection because their partner didn’t want them to. Researchers say this fact illustrates the need for sex education classes to also share solutions for girls who feel pressured into doing something they don’t want to do.
Because the teen birth rate is at its lowest point in 70 years, Bill Albert, a spokesman for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, says it would be a mistake to come away from the report thinking, “They can’t figure this out?” He said”most of them are figuring it out,” but are they figuring it out fast enough?
Why do you think these same myths about the inability to get pregnant still follow teens?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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