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The politics of power and the right to vote

The politics of power and the right to vote

As students and parents at Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools® sites across the country study our nation’s history this summer, they’re learning about the long struggle for voting rights in our nation and the importance of the vote to a vibrant democracy. One of their speakers was Hasan Kwame Jeffries, associate professor at the Kirwan […]

Young America is key to 2012 election

Young America is key to 2012 election

When young Americans come alive, they transform the possible. We saw that in 2008 when young Americans – the millennial generation of 18- to 29-year-olds – voted in large numbers (larger than the aging baby boomers), and overwhelmingly for Barack Obama. They cast almost one out of every six votes in that election and voted […]

It’s in their nature!

It’s in their nature!

As I reflect on my upbringing, I’m grateful for the old stories told in my youth. Most often they were rooted in values that taught significant life lessons. Many of my friends have similar old stories. My friend, Steve Blakely, said he remembers being told the story of a beaver and rattlesnake who were attempting […]

Racism is the real issue

Racism is the real issue

Recently, the New York Times published an article about the dismal employment prospects of Black men and women in New York City. Less than half of all Black adults in that city are working – a figure worse than for Whites, Asians or Latinos. The rates for unemployment, underemployment, and duration of unemployment between jobs […]

Mitt Romney gets a free pass

Mitt Romney gets a free pass

One of the most remarkable things about Mitt Romney’s run for the White House is that the presumptive Republican nominee is allowed to attack President Obama on everything from saving the automobile industry to immigration. Yet, the news media rarely point out that Romney is against many things – especially if proposed by President Obama […]

House seeks to undermine consumer financial protection

House seeks to undermine consumer financial protection

In the aftermath of the successful effort to better protect consumer finances, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is now facing a forceful effort to undermine its mission and operation. Even before CFPB reaches its first anniversary of operation, proposed federal legislation that would exempt a variety of non-bank lenders has attracted 19 co-sponsors from various […]

Has Dred Scott risen again?

Has Dred Scott risen again?

Growing up, I learned a lot about the Dred Scott legal decision. The parallels I see between it and the 2012 Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) strike me. For those who need a historical refresher, Dred Scott was born a slave in Virginia between 1795 and 1800.  After the death of […]

Obama’s affordable health care victory

Obama’s affordable health care victory

I was standing in front of the Supreme Court when news came that the court had upheld the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It was interesting to watch Republicans yell and scream at the court that rendered this dramatic affirmation of the president’s health care initiative. They were the same people who challenged the initial passage […]

Homeownership declines as number of renters grows

Homeownership declines as number of renters grows

Despite some signs of housing recovery, America remains a nation burdened by high housing costs, according to a new report from Harvard University. The report, “State of the Nation’s Housing 2012,” finds some signs of recovery in the housing market in spite of continuing concerns about foreclosures and the border economy. Whether renting or buying […]

Saving our democracy – a loud wakeup call

Saving our democracy – a loud wakeup call

I had the recent privilege of attending the annual dinner of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights honoring Congressman Barney Frank and National Council of La Raza head Janet Murguia. After affirming the enormous progress our nation has made in overcoming bias against people of color and gays and lesbians, Wade Henderson, the […]