Sunday, October 27, 2013

Is M&T Bank overcharging black customers in overdraft fees?

Authored by Dr. Lachin Hatemi
 Published by

The U.S. Census Bureau lists Buffalo, New York, as the third poorest city in the United States; however, news about poverty is nothing new in the Western New York region. The cycle of poverty has continued in some parts of Buffalo for generations, and the city’s poverty rate remained stuck at about 31 percent based on 2011 data. 

In 2008, the United Nations released a report named “State of the World’s Cities” in which the Buffalo-Niagara Falls area was cited as having one of the worst rates of racially-based economic inequality in the world.  In addition, the Census Bureau also released information placing the Buffalo-Niagara metro area, as the 8th most segregated region in the United States.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Dr. Lachin Hatemi: Malcolm Gladwell says Black youth has a “summer vacation problem”

by Lachin Hatemi M.D.

I am a big fan of Malcolm Gladwell, the author of many bestselling books, including “The Tipping Point,” “Outliers” and “Blink.” His books are thought-provoking and based firmly on research with a mission to answer tough questions, with a novel approach to sociology. One of the questions raised by Gladwell was about racial disparity in test scores and low high school graduation rates among black students.

In his book “Outliers,” Gladwell asks a difficult question: Why is a great majority of black youth is failing in school? He subsequently proceeds to asks more difficult questions about the same topic, which would garner immediate attention almost simultaneously from both the Ku Klux Klan and the NAACP.

Some ignorant people might say, “Maybe black kids are just stupid with low IQs, and they lack intelligence!”

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Non-Black Student Says U. Kentucky Medical School Mistreats African Americans

Authored by Lachin Hatemi M.D.
Published by

Men of Honor is an inspiring movie starring Robert De Niro and Cuba Gooding, Jr.  The movie was inspired by story of the first African-American master diver in the U.S. Navy, Carl Brashear.  I watched the movie when it first came out in 2000, and I’ve repeatedly watched it over the years when I needed motivation and courage during difficult times as a medical student.

The main character of the movie, Carl Brashear (played by Cuba Gooding), decides to leave this disadvantaged upbringing of his native Kentucky in 1948 to join the U.S. Navy. Young Carl was determined to overcome racism and eventually become the first black American Navy diver.

As dramatized by the movie, Carl accomplishes his dreams with great difficulty, first by enrolling in a navy diving school in New Jersey. At every stage of his training, Carl encounters outright hostility from his classmates and superiors. In the end and against all odds, he achieves his dreams, albeit at a great personal cost.

Brashear’s life story shows that with persistence and hard work even a poor kid can achieve greatness against all odds.

Today, we do not have outright racism at our schools. Nobody wakes up black kids and hose them down with ice cold water, as Carl had to endure. Professors cannot insult minority students without being reprimanded, and hopefully Kentucky is not as racist as the old days when Brashear was a sharecropper teenager. At least this is what I believed when I enrolled at University of Kentucky Medical School in 2004; however, my naïve dreams about post-racial America quickly dissipated.

Here is the rest of the Story

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Dr. Lachin Hatemi: How Hajj Created a Better, Stronger Version of Malcolm X

Authored by Lachin Hatemi M.D.
Published by

In the Islamic faith, all Muslims are required to make pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their life if their health and finances permit. This pilgrimage is called “Hajj,” during which millions of Muslims flock to Saudi Arabia to visit Mecca. Hajj is a religious requirement for every Muslim for more than 1400 years and always happens during a specific period in the lunar calendar once every year. Muslims from all races, nationalities and political convictions will pray side by side in Mecca during this time.

During Hajj, people are required to wear simple dress and asked to refrain from wearing jewelry that might display wealth. Equality among men and women is the essence of Hajj.

Doctor Challenges U. Kentucky Medical School’s Poor Track Record on Minorities

Authored by Lachin Hatemi
Published by

University of Kentucky (UK) has seen the future of higher education, and it is in the numbers of out-of-state students – preferably the black out-of-state students.

Kentucky had cut its financial support for its public colleges over the last decade, which was offset by rapidly rising tuition rates. But funding trends have gotten worse, and the cost of college education is rapidly becoming cost-prohibitive.

Faced with declining state funding, the University of Kentucky wants to attract more out-of-state students to fund an ambitious expansion of university facilities and its athletics department. University President Eli Capiuloto believes that better dorms and athletic programs will advance one of the school’s highest priorities: attracting a larger number of out-of-state students paying higher tuition.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Slavery during the Ottoman Empire Period

Slave Market Istanbul - Slavery during Ottoman Empire
Slave Market in Istanbul

Islam forbids Muslims to own and trade slaves. Unfortunately slavery still existed in the Muslim communities and Ottoman Empire was not an exception.

Istanbul - Capital city of the Ottoman Empire was the final destinations of many slaves. The slave market in Istanbul was located between two mosques Nuruosmaniye Mosque and Atik Ali Pasa Mosque. Today there are a lot of small stores in the same area. Ottoman slaves were predominantly white but later in the 19th century black slaves dominated the marketplace. This market in Nuruosmaniye was closed in 1846 but slave trade continued in other parts of the city including some hans in the Fatih district.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Dr. Lachin Hatemi: Senegal Can be a Model of Democracy for All of Africa

Authored by Lachin Hatemi M.D.

Among all the chaos and civil wars crippling the African continent, Senegal stands alone as a democratic and stable country since 1960. The relative success of Senegal’s democracy can be found in its political history. Senegal has a long history of democracy that began in the late 1700-s and continued during and after the colonization period. The Senegalese even were allowed to vote for their French colonial rulers. After gaining their independence from France in 1960, Senegal already had an established political system and a stable government structure to lean upon.

In 2000, elderly Abdoulaye Wade became the Senegal’s president after four unsuccessful attempts. A lawyer and economist Wade was the main opposition leader for more than three decades prior to his election as the president.