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Requesting investigation of Detroit planners’ illegalities and environmental threats

Recently, I sent a request to the office of Detroit’s inspector general and City Council President Brenda Jones for an investigation of the Detroit Planning and Development Department because of the department’s arbitrary and secretive decision to change the development plan for the Art Center urban renewal area to build housing on E. Ferry Street near the I-75 expressway. Hilanius Phillips, a former P&DD e ...

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The browning of public schools after ‘Brown’

This is the 60th anniversary of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision outlawing “separate but equal” schools. And like most major anniversaries, incorrect information surfaces as purported fact, doing a disservice to the accomplishment being celebrated as well as truth itself. In this instance, some have asserted because of re-segregation, public schools in the South, where most Af ...

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Broken promises

While politicians in Lansing tout the policies they claim will boost Michigan’s economy, retirement security for hardworking Michiganders has come under attack. Governor Rick Snyder and the GOP-controlled Legislature have enacted policies that represent a direct assault on the promise a lifetime of hard work can provide for a safe and secure retirement. Under the guise of lowering the cost of doing business ...

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Rev. Bill Owens, gay marriage, attacks on President Obama and the absence of rhetorical substance

As an African American attorney and seminary-trained theologian and pastor, I am embarrassed by the comments made by the Rev. Bill Owens, who is president and founder of the Coalition of African American Pastors. This group has denounced the Obama Administration and Attorney General Eric Holder over their refusal to enforce same sex marriage bans, which the president, and at least one federal court judge ha ...

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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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The difficult math of inequality

Thousands of fast food workers took to the streets last week, staging strikes in protest over their low pay. In states where the minimum wage has not been raised above the federal level, if a worker could put together a full-time, full-year schedule, she would earn just $15,080 a year. Some people scoff at raising the minimum wage for these workers, on the basis that “they only flip burgers.” By that logic, ...

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#BringBackOurGirls: Why we should care

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A real war on women, marked by murder, rape and slavery is raging in too many parts of the world. In fact and unfortunately, human trafficking is now thought to be among the fast ...

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60-year journey from segregation

Because I was a horribly ill-behaved child, I found myself shipped from San Francisco to Moss Point, Miss., in August 1969. My mother’s plan was that I’d spend my junior year in high school there and live with my schoolteacher aunt, Annie Mae Randall, who was somewhat affectionally known as the «kid breaker.” It was legend if you did not understand rules she would beat them into you, but her method was unli ...

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Indenturing our young people

The young in America are being forced into cruel levels of debt, and this debt is already curbing their life prospects. Its economic effects are damaging to everyone. Yet, with Washington frozen, the debt burdens on the young are likely to get worse. For the young, a college education or post-high school professional training is the equivalent of what a high school degree was a generation ago. College is th ...

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Crisis in education

We may as well call it “Edu-pay-tion, as far as many prospective students are concerned. The cost of a college degree has risen 1,120 percent since 1978,” but wages have increased a mere six percent during that same period. The national collective college debt is more than $1 trillion! We have college grads mired in $29,000 of debt, on average, while they are looking for jobs that do not exist. Parents and ...

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