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Rap isn’t the problem, racism is

It would be easy for some to dismiss the racial dynamics of a Hamtramck-bar incident. But the racial politics of Southeastern Michigan are entrenched. When someone suggests rap music and Hennessey aren’t allowed, it is undoubtedly code for Black people aren’t welcome. Increasingly, in this supposed post-racial environment, comments or actions that are disparaging or alienating to Black people are disguised ...

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Racism back in the news, Black people still slaves to the one percent

Cliven Bundy, the rancher who is mooching off of federal grazing land, but hates the federal government he’s mooching off, has already done us a great service by revealing his white supremacy on national news. The Republicans had to try to distance themselves from him. Ha. Along with the headline stories of taped white supremacist remarks by National Basketball Association owner Donald Sterling, and presto ...

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Michigan fast-food workers join international call for a $15 wage

Nine fast-food workers who spontaneously walked off the job at a Detroit McDonald’s the morning of May 15 were among hundreds of fast food workers in Michigan and their supporters rallying for a $15-hourly wage. Protesters also rallied for the right to form a union without interference. While high profile morning protests and strikes took place at McDonald’s restaurants in Pontiac, Lansing, Detroit and Flin ...

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Program begins to help expectant moms

Detroit’s leading health systems, the city of Detroit, Wayne State University and other key partners recently launched the Make Your Date campaign, a new initiative designed to help expectant mothers in Detroit deliver healthy full-term babies. “Carrying her baby to full term is the most important thing a mother can do for the development of her child,” said Mayor Mike Duggan, May 15 at press conference ann ...

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Fast-food workers arrested at McDonald’s headquarters

Over 100 protesters were arrested May 1 at the national headquarters of McDonalds in Oak Brook, Ill., as more than 1,000 people from across the country demonstrated in favor of raising the minimum wage. Rev. Charles Williams II, president, Michigan National Action Network was one of 40 Detroiters arrested. Workers and activists are raising awareness and urging the McDonald corporation to raise the minimum w ...

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‘No rap, no Hennessey allowed’

There were about 15 or 20 people dancing, playing pool, chatting and having drinks the night of May 15 at the Painted Lady, a dimly-lit Hamtramck dive bar, frequented by metro Detroit rock musicians. Andrew Miller, who was DJing that night, says a few people had even begun singing along to, “Other thing” by Detroit hip hop group The Anonymous featuring Kresge Arts fellows Passalacqua. The crowd’s warm respo ...

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Detroit can’t afford expensive consultants who risk racial conflict

One year ago, Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr signed a $621,578 contract on behalf of the city of Detroit with the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research (TMI) to consult with Detroit police about community policing, traffic control, command accountability and other matters. After the contract expired, the ACLU of Michigan heard TMI had suggested to residents of certain Detroit neighborhoods that the r ...

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Conyers’ legacy, position at risk

Congressman John Conyers is poised to be the most senior member of Congress, the top U.S. House Judiciary Committee Democrat and the dean of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). If reelected, Congressman Conyers, who has served 50 years, would accrue all the benefits of the longest serving members. Yet, the veteran congressman is not currently on the August primary ballot, and is thus embarking on a campai ...

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‘Hollywood Craig’ featured in NRA publication

Detroit Police Chief James Craig is making national news, again. This time for his profile in a National Rifle Association publication, America’s 1st Freedom. Craig’s stance on citizens arming and defending themselves, when faced with violence, has attracted the attention of the gun rights organization. In the article, “A show of courage in Detroit” the motor city chief says Detroit has a “culture of violen ...

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Climate challenges

As the economic, political and media elite prepare for their annual gathering on Mackinac Island, they should stop and take a close look at the water. Coast Guard cutters only recently freed it from ice three feet deep. Tim Hygh, the director of the Mackinac Island Convention Bureau said he had never seen anything like the ice encasing the island this winter. “Some of the locals,” he said, “will tell you th ...

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