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Civic leaders demand Olumba’s ouster

We, the undersigned, write to you today about the status of John Olumba, the state representative for the 3rd District. We are offended Mr. Olumba has moved out of the district that elected him. This move has been reported in the local media and is corroborated by his neighbors. The law requires an elected state representative to reside in the district in which he or she represents for a reason: so he or sh ...

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Media darlings

Two men who present themselves as leaders in the community are practicing objectionable examples of hypocrisy. Both men are highly visible, appearing daily on television and radio. One of them has two shows airing on TV, which is a rarity. Since nothing appears on television that isn’t planned (even the “news”) then these two men must be doing something right according to the planning of their respective bo ...

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The first word in May Day is ‘International’

As we unite to celebrate International Workers’ Day, we rightfully focus on how capitalism has devastated our beloved city of Detroit and the other majority African American cities here in Michigan. In the words of Cindy Sheehan, we are at the cutting edge here in the U.S. of the global financial crisis. It is we the people who are catching hell no matter which way we look — from the ragged roads beneath ou ...

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Subsidies for gentrification

I was disappointed in the panel’s response, specifically Phil Cooley’s, to a question at the Two Detroits? Gentrification. forum: “How does subsidized housing effect gentrification? Not subsidized housing for poor folk to create mixed income neighborhoods, but subsidization for upscale corporate folks like Quicken Loans employees (add DTE, Blue Cross, Compuware, and so on) in the Cass Corridor and Corktown. ...

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Reparations are imperative: The stagnant “State of Black America”

I recently attended the release of the National Urban League’s Annual State of Black America Report at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The report is an extremely important document because it provides key indicators of Black progress in a number of social and economic areas in relationship to white Americans. This year’s report, One Nation Underemployed: Jobs Rebuild America, focuses on the crit ...

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Billion dollar debt-buying and collection abuses

Are you or someone you know being pursued or harassed late into the evenings and on weekends by debt collectors? If so, research shows that you are among one-in-seven Americans being pursued by debt collection agencies. In a newly-released chapter in its State of Lending series, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) found that debt buying and debt collection is big, big business. Among publicly-traded de ...

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Sterling and Bundy are embarrassing, but real threats are from Supreme Court, Congress

“Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on,” goes the refrain of a famous song from the Civil Rights Movement. We marched for freedom — for new laws that would end segregation, guarantee equal rights, enforce voting rights and provide affirmative actions to help correct decades of being locked out or left out. We couldn’t let lunatic sheriffs or Klan rallies or jail distract us. We had to keep our eyes on the pr ...

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States’ refusal to expand Medicaid: Deadly attack on the poor

We pledge allegiance to “One nation, under God.” When terrorists attack us, we unite as one to defend our nation and our countrymen and women. Yet, we allow the doctrine of the Confederacy — states’ rights — to divide us, even to the point of costing Americans their lives. Charlene Dill, a resident of Florida, was a 32-year-old mother of three. ...

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‘Just us’ justice slams doors of opportunity, reinforces white privilege

The Roberts Supreme Court decided, last week, the state of Michigan had the right to vote against affirmative action policies in college admissions. The University of Michigan is one of many where mediocre white students challenge the fact that African American students, far more qualified than they are, have been admitted to college. This has happened in Texas and California, among other states. These chal ...

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Black life and death not a public concern

In spite of all the dazzling media tools bringing about instant global communication, Black life is still often devalued, marginalized and grossly under the radar of public concern. Two startling recent examples of this repugnant negligence happened in Chicago and in Nigeria. Major news organizations are giving virtually blanket coverage to the Malaysian Airlines flight 370 lost somewhere over the Indian Oc ...

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