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The elephant in the room

The elephant in the room

LINDA SMITH GUEST COLUMNIST The recent incident in Ferguson, Missouri has once again brought the issue of race and police brutality to the forefront.  It highlights the fear and devaluation of young Black men in America and what “profile” police have arbitrarily assigned to them – animalistic and barbaric; thug, dumb, etc. Regardless of age, […]

Do’s and don’ts of charge-off debts

Do’s and don’ts of charge-off debts

With 19 of the nation’s banks annually selling $37 billion in charged-off debts, the absence of clear guidelines for banks and debt collectors has led to many consumers facing lawsuits, harassing telephone calls and threats over debts that they may not even owe. Even worse, debt collectors have coerced or sued the wrong people, overstated […]

Do we perpetuate Black stereotypes?

Do we perpetuate Black stereotypes?

Many African-Americans feel like there has been an unofficial war declared on Blacks, especially young Black males. Just in the past month alone, there have been the police murders of Eric Garner (Staten Island, N.Y.), Ezell Ford (Los Angeles, and Michael Brown (Ferguson, Mo.). Each of these victims were all unarmed, young, Black and male. […]

Ending the payday lending debt trap

Ending the payday lending debt trap

In just a few days, the debt trap at the core of small-dollar loans that come with triple digit interest rates has generated an unprecedented groundswell of national and local attention. From prosecutors filing criminal charges, to grassroots activists gathering support for strong federal rules, and cable television personalities poking fun, the multi-billion dollar payday […]

Dogs get more respect than Michael Brown

Dogs get more respect than Michael Brown

It doesn’t matter if you are state legislator or an alderman, a journalist or a local leader. If you are in Ferguson, Mo., you won’t get any respect. You can be the uncle of a victim whose body was left to lie on the street for several hours and you will not be allowed to […]

Black Americans’ threat from Whites wearing badges

Black Americans’ threat from Whites wearing badges

The disjointed, gap-laden manner in which Ferguson, Mo. Police Chief Thomas Jackson revealed the name of the police officer who shot 18-year-old Michael Brown to death – all the while alleging that Brown had robbed a convenience store a short time before their encounter – should convince any thinking person that that community’s White power […]

Overdraft fees drain consumer dollars

Overdraft fees drain consumer dollars

Consumers who maintain low and no cushions in their checking accounts may have thought that the overdraft “banking service” was a big help against bouncing checks. But as the use of debit cards have replaced most cash purchases, this “service” has become a drain of available cash for consumers and a major source of revenue […]

50 years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964

50 years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964

“The purpose of the law is simple…those who are equal before God shall now also be equal in the polling booths, in the classrooms, in the factories, and in hotels, restaurants, movie theaters, and other places that provide service to the public.” – President Lyndon B. Johnson, July 2, 1964 July 2 marked the 50th […]

Migrant children: Innocent victims of the US war on drugs

Migrant children: Innocent victims of the US war on drugs

Bishop Minerva Carcaño, the Los Angeles Area Resident Bishop of the United Methodist Church, is acting with urgency. Along with more than 100 other religious leaders and activists, she was arrested for civil disobedience at the White House for protesting the deportation of the unaccompanied children crossing our border after fleeing from the brutal violence […]

Protecting our communities from hazardous air pollution

Protecting our communities from hazardous air pollution

Hilton Kelley NNPA Guest Columnist Millions of African-Americans and Latinos in the United States live near the 143 oil refineries operating in 32 states across the United States. Every day, as refinery smoke stacks spew toxin-filled clouds into the air, communities living near refineries breathe it in. They have no other choice but to breathe […]