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‘Asking directions while Black’ could be deadly

‘Asking directions while Black’ could be deadly

Sherry McLain, age 67 – a White woman from Tennessee – was loading her car in a Wal-Mart parking lot. James Crutchfield, a 52-year-old Black man, approached her seeking a light for a cigarette. McLain allegedly pulled a gun on Crutchfield.  She later stated that she had never been more afraid. Crutchfield is quite lucky […]

Humane treatment shouldn’t require demonstrations

Humane treatment shouldn’t require demonstrations

In October 2014, 17-year-old Laquan McDonald was shot 16 times and killed by a Chicago policeman. With the support of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, the city fought several attempts to have the dashcam video of the incident released to the public. Local elections were a month away when […]

Stop trivialization, preservation of slavery, racism

Stop trivialization, preservation of slavery, racism

As one of the co-founders of the evolving environmental justice movement worldwide, I am always interested in how some people today who have amassed billionaire financial status view racism, slavery and the issues of diversity and inclusion. But first, let me state for the record, I believe in economic empowerment and freedom for all people. […]

Republicans ignore Black people

Republicans ignore Black people

As I watched the Republican debate on October 10, I thought about Kanye West and the comments he made in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina decimated New Orleans. He said, “George Bush doesn’t care about Black people.” Later he tiptoed away from the comment by saying he “regretted” it – but he never apologized. Five years […]

Dr. Ben Carson and lessons from Clarence Thomas

Dr. Ben Carson and lessons from Clarence Thomas

I will never forget the debate that engulfed Black America at the time of the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court. On the one side was the fact of his conservative record and his not having any semblance of a history as a staunch advocate for African-American rights. On the other hand, […]

How to win elections behind the ‘Cotton Curtain’

How to win elections behind the ‘Cotton Curtain’

We won the Voting Rights Act of 1965 at Selma, combining the power of a principled mass movement led by Dr. King and a compassionate president who did the right thing despite the heavy political price. What was that cost? Well, President Johnson said it best at the time, when he told his aides that […]

Ohioans lose millions to loan fees

Ohioans lose millions to loan fees

Despite a landslide voter decision in 2008 to cap payday lending rates at 28 percent, the state’s small-dollar, high-cost lending has continued to grow and now doubles the amount of fees charged a decade ago. Each year, Ohio consumers who only needed a small-dollar loan wind up with more than $502 million in fees drained […]

Yes, change is gonna come

Yes, change is gonna come

JAMES WASHINGTON GUEST COLUMNIST Most of us would agree with the concept that the one sure thing that we know about life is change. The comparison to a roller coaster seems appropriate, and a frightening one at that. Life is full of twists and turns and inevitable ups and downs with people coming and going […]

What’s wrong with the truth?

What’s wrong with the truth?

Award-winning film director Quentin Tarantino gets high props for stepping up to tell some truth about the many murders of African-Americans at the hands of misbehaving police officers. How, after all, can you justify the killing of a baby boy, Tamir Rice?  Or the illegal choking of Eric Garner?  Michael Brown stole some cigarillos.  Does […]

Rigged: Racial bias in jury selection

Rigged: Racial bias in jury selection

“Illegal and unconstitutional jury selection procedures cast doubt on the integrity of the whole judicial process. They create the appearance of bias in the decision of individual cases, and they increase the risk of actual bias as well.” – Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, Peters v. Kiff (1972) During the Reconstruction Era, Congress passed the […]