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On race, Supreme Court is out of touch

In its decision June 24 on affirmative action, the Supreme Court punted. It reviewed the University of Texas affirmative action program — in which race is admittedly “a factor of a factor of a factor” in admission, one of many factors used with a university committed to the educational benefits of a diverse student body — and said the lower court had to give it even stricter scrutiny. Or in essence, take an ...

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‘I recall having to pay a poll tax’

By Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson NNPA With its ruling on the Voting Rights Act, the Supreme Court has taken the country back to a time when racial minorities were not able to participate equitably in the voting process. The court’s decision is disgraceful to civil rights leaders and legislators who have fought to preserve equal voting rights in this country. It reminds me of a time in our history when minoriti ...

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The 1965 Voting Rights Act versus 2013 Jim Crow reform

We thought we had escaped the Jim Crow laws established and enacted between 1876 and 1965, shortly after the emancipation of slaves. If we don’t quite remember the mandated de jure racial segregation in all public facilities within the southern states comprising the former Confederacy, starting with 1890’s “separate but equal” status for African Americans, we are headed back there now. ...

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No privacy in DNA

A recent case diminished the privacy that individuals have in their genes. The crux of the controversy, as with any search, is whether “the promotion of legitimate governmental interests” against the “degree to which the search intrudes upon an individual’s privacy.” In a landmark decision, Maryland v. King, the United States Supreme Court decided that police can swab the cheeks of arrested individuals for ...

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Inner cities need disaster relief too

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie recently spoke at a conference sponsored by the Clinton Global Initiative in Chicago on disaster recovery in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, which caused an estimated $39 billion in damage in New Jersey. Christie talked through the plans for rebuilding after the initial steps to get power and water back up and return the area to “normalcy,” using some $60 billion in federal reli ...

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The minimum wage for the least and left out

It seems the term “poverty” has been sidelined from our national discourse, even though 15 percent of all Americans, and 26 percent of African-Americans experience poverty. The Fair Labor Standards Act was signed on June 25, 1938, 75 years ago, so perhaps this is a good time to explore the roots of the minimum wage and why its establishment remains important. ...

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A housing ‘Black tax’

If home ownership is, overwhelmingly, the foundation of individuals’ and families’ economic security in America, Black Americans face a profoundly difficult predicament. For when it comes to that signal marker, the wrenching economic shocks of the past half-decade have wiped out at least 14 years of Black Americans’ climb up the homeownership ladder. ...

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Resurrection Detroit

One warm day in Detroit this past spring I thought I would sit in the park nearwhere I live and soak in some sun and the surrounding environment. The area was in an all Black community, or so I thought. I noticed a young, white couple walking hand-in-hand down the sidewalk toward Woodward Avenue with apparent freedom from assault. ...

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