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My Brother’s Keeper Initiative is destroying the Black Male Mentoring Movement

The White House’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative is destroying the Black Male Mentoring Movement — decades-long work to save Black boys. Virtually all of the small, community-based agencies that comprise this substantial, historic effort to mentor Black boys have been left out of the overall conversation, the planning, and the funding essential to save Black boys and to chart a new course for their contin ...

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Rhodes gets ok to proceed from expert he hired

"It is likely that the City of Detroit, after the confirmation of the Plan of Adjustment, will be able to sustainably provide basic municipal services to the citizens of Detroit and to meet the obligations contemplated in the plan without the significant probability of a default." Last week the court-appointed expert, Martha E.M. Kopacz, who gave her opinion to Judge Rhodes on the feasibility of the bankrup ...

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The high cost of injustice

What if we didn’t incarcerate people who commit non-violent crimes? Or, if we sentenced them, what if their sentences were reasonable, instead of intolerable? What if a man who steals a $159 jacket while high, gets drug treatment and a sentence of, say, two years, instead of a sentence of life imprisonment without parole? How much would we save if legally mandated minimum sentences were modified and nonviol ...

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Crimes against Gaza

So, let’s be clear about what is transpiring before our eyes in Gaza. It most recently started when the Palestine Authority and Hamas declared there would be a unity government. This was a significant breakthrough after years of hostility between the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority and the Hamas-led government in Gaza. Almost immediately, the Israeli government expressed outrage, attacking this agreement an ...

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The lynching of Eric Garner

It was one of the most difficult scenes in Spike Lee’s classic movie “Do the Right Thing” — the brutal strangulation of peace-loving Radio Raheem by New York City police in a Brooklyn pizza shop. That scene touched a raw nerve as it recalled the 1983 death of 25-year-old graffiti artist Michael Stewart, another choke-hold victim of the New York City Police Department. Now, we find ourselves enraged over the ...

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Blame and the fear of our children

I received an email from one of my column’s readers, and felt strongly enough about his concerns to address them in this column. His thoughts follow: “In my hometown, senseless murders are being committed by youth, and these senseless murders are occurring all across the country. Where are our youth learning the behaviors to be violent, heartless, thoughtless, and murderous? That’s the question we must imme ...

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Bipartisan jobs bill tackles urban and youth unemployment

Just when it seemed Congress was no longer capable of working together on any level to serve the best interests of the American people, on July 9 members of both parties in the House of Representatives joined forces to pass a new bipartisan jobs bill, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. With the passage of WIOA, millions of unemployed and under-employed workers and urban youth of color can now rec ...

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Charity: Christian value expressed by the Founding Fathers in the U.S. Constitution as a purpose of our government

So, once again, the Reaganites and the Tea Party Republicans, who have made cutting welfare to the poor one of their major aims, are not only anti-American, but un-Christian, denying the Christian value of charity is in the U.S. Constitution. They claim that the U.S. is a Christian nation, but the one Christian principle on which the Founding Fathers did found the nation, the Tea Party Republicans violate a ...

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‘Apartheid Avenue’ two blocks from the White House

Diplomats who abuse their immunity from prosecution to keep their “imported” domestic workers as virtual slaves are a repeated scandal. What has not gained as much media coverage and public exposure is the flagrant abuse of sovereign immunity by international organizations. For decades, the World Bank, the third-largest employer in our nation’s capital, has sustained racially discriminatory practices. And w ...

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Bipartisan progress made to address ‘rape kit’ backlog, protect future victims

Much attention has been given to the Legislature’s failure to pass a road funding plan before adjourning for the summer, but without much fanfare, very important bipartisan progress has been made to address one of the most tragic public policy issues facing our state and nation. On June 3, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed my bill, Senate Bill 901, and House Bill 5445, introduced by Rep. John Walsh, R-L ...

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