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State Fairgrounds: Land grab under the radar

A recent statement by a “privatization” advocate at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy put to rest one of the enduring myths about why the State Fair at Woodward and Eight Mile had to be shut down after 162 years of operation. In the lead up to its closure in 2009, the public was repeatedly told the historic fair was losing money so it had to be shut down. However, judging from statements by the center’s ...

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Great divide could spur populist movement

Congress ended the month of May without renewing jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed who were cut off at the end of last year. House Speaker John Boehner rails against the Obama administration for failing to create jobs, but apparently blames unemployed workers for not having one. There is a stark divide between the actions in Washington and the opinions of most Americans. Americans overwhelmingly ...

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The crisis

The following is a quote from the book “The American Crisis” by Thomas Payne that was written in the 18th century during the days of the American Revolution: “These are times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in case in this crisis, shrink from service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of men and women.” It is very sad many people ...

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Memories of our special sister

Many people will remember Dr. Maya Angelou for her phenomenal career. She was a true renaissance woman — an author and teacher, a dancer and performer, a radio personality and a producer. I will remember as a sister friend a wise “auntie” who didn’t mind pulling your coat-tail, a generous spirit who made time for virtually any who asked, a gentle and kind spirit. If you dropped by when a meal was being serv ...

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Michigan Republicans are a disgrace to our country on Memorial Day 2014

A main slogan of the American Revolution was “taxation without representation is tyranny.” Michigan Republicans have imposed tyranny on citizens of cities throughout the state with institution of emergency managers who usurp elected representatives’ powers to steward the citizens’ tax money. Memorial Day celebrates the sacrifices of troops for the very American liberty the Michigan Tea Party Republicans hav ...

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Reparations redux

A replay on reparations is gathering a bit of traction nowadays thanks to the recent cover story in The Atlantic magazine by Ta-Nehisi Coates and a summary of a reparations conference at Chicago State University under the auspices of the Institute of the Black World 21st Century. The organization’s director of communications, Don Rojas’s summary of the conference was published by The Nation magazine and amp ...

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Housing recovery ignores Black and Latino communities

Scholars from several of the nation’s most-esteemed colleges and universities jointly concluded the nation’s so-called housing “recovery” is bypassing communities of color and working class neighborhoods. Underwater America, their new report, analyzed negative equity and foreclosure data using zip codes within both cities and metro areas. According to the report, nearly one in 10 Americans or — 28.7 million ...

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What about our vets?

The last Monday in May, Memorial Day, was designed to honor those who died in service to our country. It is tragically ironic that around the same time we honored and remembered the dead, we were learning about inefficiencies in the Department of Veteran’s Affairs that negatively affects the quality of life for those who were injured, not killed, during their term of service. Allegations many veteran’s hosp ...

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Requesting investigation of Detroit planners’ illegalities and environmental threats

Recently, I sent a request to the office of Detroit’s inspector general and City Council President Brenda Jones for an investigation of the Detroit Planning and Development Department because of the department’s arbitrary and secretive decision to change the development plan for the Art Center urban renewal area to build housing on E. Ferry Street near the I-75 expressway. Hilanius Phillips, a former P&DD e ...

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The browning of public schools after ‘Brown’

This is the 60th anniversary of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision outlawing “separate but equal” schools. And like most major anniversaries, incorrect information surfaces as purported fact, doing a disservice to the accomplishment being celebrated as well as truth itself. In this instance, some have asserted because of re-segregation, public schools in the South, where most Af ...

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