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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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‘Refuse complicity, go on the record, make a history of conscience, come into exile’

I have never been arrested before for any reason. It has become necessary to confront immoral legal authority. If we do nothing, we are complicit. As an elected school board member, I have been sued by the attorney general of Michigan for being elected. Judges, lawyers, teachers, politicians and citizens are afraid to speak out against this abuse of power. The rich do not have to pay taxes and are able to e ...

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Do we say white people can’t run Chrysler?

When GM and Chrysler went bankrupt for something like $80 billion, nobody said white people are not ready to be in charge of transnational industrial corporations or Chrysler was dependent on free tax money from us. No one said to the too big to fail auto corporations that they wanted free stuff, as corporation leader and presidential candidate Mitt Romney insultingly said to the NAACP convention. Chrysler ...

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Will Detroit’s mayoral election be stolen?

Watching Kevin Dietz’s report “Was Duggan Involved in EM Search?” on WDIV July 17, with the e-mail trail showing Mike Duggan’s involvement helping to select Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr — after 2.3 million people in the state of Michigan voted against an EM — I couldn’t help but wonder how will Detroiters get a fair shake during the August 6 primary. Duggan has spared no expense launching his write-in campai ...

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Justice Department petition: I knew I was not alone

As of July 16, one million people had signed a NAACP petition asking the Department of Justice to pursue federal and civil rights charges against George Zimmerman after he was found not guilty in the murder of Trayvon Martin. I knew I was not alone in my outrage, anger and heartbreak over this decision. When a teenager’s life is taken and there is no accountability for the man who killed him, nothing seems ...

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Investigate the racial context behind Martin’s death

If Trayvon Martin were not a young Black male, he would be alive today. Despite the verdict, it’s clear George Zimmerman would never have confronted a young white man wearing a hoodie. He would, at the very least, have listened to the cops and stayed back. Trayvon Martin is dead because Zimmerman believed that “these guys always get away” and chose not to wait for the police. Trayvon Martin’s death shatters ...

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What Blacks in America can learn from South Africa

Nelson Mandela turned 95 years old July 18. He has been hospitalized for more than a month, and the world holds its breath as we witness the decline of the lion that roared for South Africa’s freedom in the 1950s-60s. Mandela’s insistence and persistence for freedom for Black South Africans, which included a 27-year jail sentence, reminds us of the persistence it takes to make structural and institutional c ...

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DPS board members to fight back

While still recovering from the Zimmerman verdict, I find myself wondering if racism will ever be totally eradicated, if justice will ever be applied unilaterally, if democracy will be extended to all American citizens equally. While I don’t know the answer to any of the aforementioned questions, I believe we must continue fighting for equality and against unfair legislative practices. ...

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Fourth of July letter to EM Orr

Today is the one day that we are to reflect on the meaning and historical significance of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. One of the self-evident truths expressed that day was that governments derive their legitimacy from the consent of the governed. That powerful concept means that any governance not established by the people is not legitimate. That very concept is at the heart of the subs ...

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