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Using pen power for working people

During his State of the Union address, President Obama promised to use the power of his pen to achieve the policy objectives that Congress continues to block. After advocating fairness and being rebuffed by Congress, the president chose to use his pen power to require federal contractors to pay workers at least $10.10 per hour, or $21,800 per year. ...

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Racial healing activities inspire hope for ‘Truth and Reconciliation’ in America

Emmett Till. The four little girls in the Birmingham bombing. Rodney King. Trayvon Martin. Their names and situations invoke memories of extreme racial tension and often exacerbate feelings of racial distrust because of the painful circumstances surrounding their deaths. Across the nation, these and other historic stories of violence have for years saturated the airwaves and newspapers. And yet, in many of ...

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Black women’s history is women’s history too

Since March is Women’s History Month, who are the women you are celebrating? Do you know about Elizabeth Keckley? Maggie Lena Walker, Sarann Knight Preddy, Gertrude Pocte Geddes-Willis, Trish Millines Dziko, Addie L Wyatt or Marie-Therese Metoyer? What about Ernesta Procope, Dr. Sadie Alexander or Dr. Phyllis Wallace? What about Bettiann Gardner, Lillian Lambert, or Emma Chappell? What about Ellen Holly, Ma ...

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A little common sense for the Ukraine

Suddenly the crisis in Ukraine engulfs the U.S. As Russian troops move into Crimea, the White House goes into crisis management. Secretary of State Kerry takes off to the Ukrainian capital. Our media is barraged with 24/7 instant analyses. Republican Senators and retired generals call for moving American troops to the Polish-Russian border, placing missiles into the Czech Republic, dispatching a fleet to th ...

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Detroit bankruptcy plan: A math problem

There’s a potential problem with the math of the Detroit Bankruptcy Plan. Pension math and bond math are different. A bond has a specific legal obligation that is written and enforceable. If I lend the city of Detroit $1,000, they agree to pay me back my money at a maturity date and pay interest in the meantime. The liability is known, and measurable: the city owes me $1,000. In a pension, the city owes an ...

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Two Detroits

I just read Malik Yakini’s interview in the recent Metro Times issue. In just a few statements, he hit key points African Americans face nationally and locally, ranging from white supremacy, to food policy, to Black self-determination, to race and class disparities. What I really applaud was his framing of the “two Detroits” concept. Baba Malik outlined how one Detroit located in the downtown/Midtown area h ...

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I Have a Complaint

I am an African/American. Every Black History Month celebration I attend starts our history with slavery. If we are African/Americans, why the hell don’t our history celebrations start with Africa? That is a rhetorical question, the reason our Black History celebrations do not start with Africa is because most of us don’t know a damn thing about Africa. We don’t know Africa contains 20 percent of all land m ...

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Big money lobbying protects big tax havens

Eighteen American multinationals — companies such as Nike, Microsoft and Apple — have used tax havens abroad to avoid what Citizens for Tax Justice estimates as $92 billion in federal taxes. This is money that could be used to provide universal pre-school for America’s children. CTJ also found 235 companies reported last year over $1.3 trillion stashed abroad to avoid paying the taxes that domestic companie ...

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My sister’s keeper

In all the hoopla surrounding President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative, overlooked is the fact our young girls also need to be targeted for special attention. Sure, they outpace Black males in college attendance and, in many instances, in the workplace. Still, that does not mean they do not also need special attention and encouragement. Nothing illustrates this better than events of the past week. S ...

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A mixed Obama legacy

President Barack Obama announced a “My Brother’s Keeper,” an initiative to help young Black and Brown men succeed. Many present in the East Wing of the White House described the announcement of this initiative as “an emotional moment” for President Obama and for many of the others gathered there. ...

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