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‘The State of Equality and Justice in America:’ The pendulum swings between joy and despair

Let’s just take one day, Feb. 27, 2013, as a snapshot of the state of equality and justice in America. For me, that day started off tense. The Supreme Court was set to hear oral arguments in the case of Shelby County v. Holder — a constitutional challenge to one of the most effective provisions of any civil rights law in American history: Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. ...

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RecoveryPark: A plan to help the real Detroit

While it is certainly encouraging to see the robust development activity underway in Downtown Detroit and Midtown by Dan Gilbert and others, most Detroiters realize our city’s real resurrection lies with finding adequate employment not just for the educated middle-class population, but also finding a way to employ those individuals who are facing overwhelming barriers, such as a criminal record and substanc ...

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AFRICOM’s apologies are not enough in Mali

Howard University is regarded by many as the cradle of the Black Power movement. It is the alma mater of Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael), who is often credited with popularizing the slogan “Black Power” as a rallying cry for militant struggles for self-determination and justice. It is ironic then that General Carter Ham, outgoing head of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), selected Howard as a place to confess o ...

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Detroit overcome

Detroit’s structural deficit, which has set the stage for serious financial challenges, is driven by root causes, which will not be mitigated by the imposition of an emergency financial manager (EFM) — a post created by a law that Michigan citizens overwhelmingly repealed four months ago. EFMs not only subvert the Republic form of government — the right of citizens to be represented by officials whom they s ...

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State takeovers have failed the people

The state of Michigan’s takeovers of cities and school districts in whatever form have been very harmful to the public’s interests. Back when it was self-governing, the Detroit Public School District had about a $90 million surplus before it was taken over by Gov. Engler over a decade ago. When the state left them, DPS had a deficit of tens of millions. Now, after two emergency managers, the deficit from En ...

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Lessons from Mark Essex and Christopher Dorner

Over a 43-year career in journalism, I have been blessed with some memorable experiences: I have covered presidential and vice presidential campaigns, I have flown on Air Force One, I have gone to parties at the White House, met Pope John Paul II, spent two weeks in Egypt, visited former slave dungeons in Dakar and Accra and have traveled around the world, including Rome, Paris, London, Kuala Lumpur, Bangko ...

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Turning back the clock on voting rights

Shelby County, Ala. is suing the U.S. Department of Justice because they think Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (and its reauthorization in 1982 and 2006) is unfair. The facts: The small city of Calera redistricted its boundaries in a way that the sole African American councilman lost his seat. Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act forced a new election with different boundaries and Ernest Montgomery ...

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Obama ignores crises in America’s ‘dark ghettos’

On Feb. 12, once again President Barack Hussein Obama mounted the podium at the Capitol to deliver the State of the Union Address to a Joint Session of Congress, the nation and the world. By all reasonable measures the address was an impressive center-left, moderate-liberal agenda on domestic issues like jobs, the minimum wage, infrastructure repair, energy, early childhood education, tax reform, deficit re ...

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The state of equality and justice in America: ‘Let us not lose focus on the justice issues that still loom’

This year, we are celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. As African Americans, we are pleased that this country has progressed from the forced enslavement of our race to the removal of the Jim Crow laws and practices. ...

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