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The State of Equality and Justice in America: No one can change the change

“The State of Equality and Justice in America” is a 20-part series of columns to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The contributors include: U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., LCCRUL 50th Anniversary Grand Marshal; Mr. Charles Ogletree, professor, Harvard University Law School/director; and the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., president/CEO, Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, ...

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Detroit’s Sankofa: Looking back to move forward

In Ghana, there is a mythological bird that looks backward to reflect on the past, while it moves forward. Simultaneously, it carries an egg in its mouth to symbolize the future. As the movement for Democracy and economic justice grows in Detroit, we need to give some thought to the character of organization and goals of past struggles so we don’t make the same mistakes in 2013. There were many factors that ...

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Michigan ‘czars’ strip away citizens’ rights

Imagine Gov. George Wallace of Alabama in 1963 appointing an emergency manager in Birmingham with broad powers to dismiss elected officials, renegotiate contracts, sell assets and become sole authority of the city’s pension funds a month after the voters rejected the emergency manager law in a statewide referendum. What would Dr. King have written from his Birmingham jail cell? ...

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Medical condescension can be deadly

Anna Brown, a St. Louis-based homeless woman, needed treatment for a sprained ankle. She went to three emergency rooms seeking treatment. In the third hospital, St. Mary’s Health Center, Brown was emphatic about needing care. Instead of being treated, she was arrested for trespassing and died in a jail cell. Was she ill-treated because she was homeless? Black? Broke? All three? It really doesn’t matter. Wha ...

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April 4th an important date to remember

April 4, 2013 will be the 45th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It always puzzles me why so many of those who so vocally celebrate Dr. King’s birthday let the historic day of assassination go by so quietly. I am cynical enough to believe their quietness is another payment for having President Reagan sign a bill making his birthday a national holiday. ...

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A takeover by any name is a takeover

I think it would be productive for the citizens of Detroit to publicly have a conversation that is already taking place privately — the business class that left Detroit in the 1970s and ‘80s are back. No one is fooled by the talk of financial crisis and mismanagement; it is clear the way Public Act 436 was passed. It had the feel of an executive order. Even though other cities in the state have also been ta ...

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Can we all just get along?

I never considered the late Rodney King anything of a philosopher, but as one observes Washington shenanigans, especially around fiscal matters, it seems that Brother King had a point. Can we all just, maybe, get along? In the wee hours of the morning March 23, the Senate finally passed a budget by the narrowest of margins, 50-49. Four Democratic senators jumped ship to side with Republicans, probably becau ...

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