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The profit of protest: Definitely in the black

Overruling myself, I am now doing what I said I would not; I am writing a column in which I mention two items: Skittles and iced tea. I cringed every time I heard those words during the pursuit of justice for Trayvon Martin and his family and throughout the trial of George Zimmerman. They became synonymous with Trayvon himself and were mentioned just as much as his name was mentioned. ...

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‘Stripped’ Web series depicts Detroit’s juvenile justice system

The juvenile justice system can easily be considered one of the most overlooked institutions of law in America. Every year in the United States, over a million criminal cases are handled in juvenile courts, representing a failure on many fronts to ensure youth a safe and prosperous future. A new Internet drama series, which calls attention to the day-to-day realities of the juvenile justice system, is now i ...

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Detroit’s bankruptcy and resilience

Detroit’s financial bankruptcy didn’t happen overnight — or by accident. Racism played a huge role. During World War II, great numbers of blacks migrated to Detroit and other northern cities because the March on Washington Movement led by A. Philip Randolph had forced President Roosevelt to issue Executive Order 8802 banning discrimination in the defense industry. After the war, whites migrated to the subur ...

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Streetcars and highway-widening projects paving the way for injustice

Detroit has long struggled with access to transportation. The two main transportation projects recently introduced to the city do not appear to offer any reprieve. As a representative of East Michigan Environmental Action Council (EMEAC), I regularly attend North End Woodward Community Coalition meetings. There, I witness testimony of Detroiters who have waited for over an hour for a bus; people who have lo ...

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One city pensioner’s perspective

As a retired city worker receiving a pension after 32 years of dedicated service, I am filled with trepidation about the much talked about reduction or elimination of retirement benefits that the bankruptcy may demand. Twenty thousand city workers played by the rules throughout their careers, with the expectation that their pension would be fully honored upon retirement. ...

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Put the blame on me

Jefferson County, where I was born in 1938, filed for bankruptcy two years ago. Last week, Detroit, the city where I was raised, filed for bankruptcy, though that situation remains up in the air after a judge stepped in and said such action was unconstitutional. I left the Motor City, which is now running on fumes, in 1985 for the greener and certainly much more promising precincts of Harlem. And while bank ...

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Stand up, fight back. Vote Aug. 6

If you saw the only televised debate of the campaign season after the bankruptcy filing, it is evident we are living in a divided Detroit — one perhaps more divided than recent years. For the small but vocal and powerful minority — who often control media, messages and priorities coming out of the city — it had to be a shocker. The neatly controlled narrative, telling the story of Detroit’s revitalization, ...

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Holder seeks to force Texas to ‘preclear’ voting changes

Fulfilling a pledge to aggressively protect the voting rights of people of color in the wake of the Supreme Court striking down a key section of the Voting Rights Act, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has announced that the Justice Department will sue the state of Texas to compel it to preclear any planned changes in its voting procedures before they can go into effect. ...

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Local business owner caters coffee, donuts to DPD

Local business owner H. Julian Hill showed his appreciation for the Detroit Police Department by providing them coffee, donuts and other refreshments July 19 at the Central District on Woodward and E. Grand Blvd. “This is a small but sincere gesture to show appreciation to our men and women in blue,” said Hill, owner of Celebrity Car Wash and Detail on Woodward, a few blocks from the Central District. “All ...

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