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A criminal justice system that suffocates us

A criminal justice system that suffocates us

“I can’t breathe,” gasped Eric Garner, again and again and again. “I can’t breathe,” he said as several police officers were on top of him, choking him, pushing his head onto the concrete sidewalk. The man was not resisting arrest; he simply had the temerity to ask a police officer not to touch him. And […]

Yes, marching still makes a difference

Yes, marching still makes a difference

“Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” “No Justice, No Peace,” “I Can’t Breathe” “Black Lives Matter” Those are the chants and hand-written signs that continue to characterize marches, die-ins, sit-ins and other non-violent actions in more than 50 cities across the nation in response to grand jury decisions in Missouri and New York not to indict White […]

Celebrate Janay for staying with Ray Rice

Celebrate Janay for staying with Ray Rice

Feminists claim that women should take more control of their lives, arguing that women are capable of making decisions about their lives and what is in their best interest without guidance from a man. But White feminists and “strong Black women” are curiously absent when it comes to defending Janay Rice’s very personal and difficult […]

A license to kill Black men

A license to kill Black men

From nearly the moment he was attacked by a New York City police officer July 18, the world has, via that chilling video, watched Eric Garner die. Are we now about to see the “traditions” that led to his death and – thus far – have enabled his killer to escape justice die, too? Moments […]

Justified rage in Ferguson

Justified rage in Ferguson

WALTER FIELDS NNPA COLUMNIST At this moment I don’t need my president to tell me to respect the decision of a tainted grand jury. And the call for calm from civil rights leaders, politicians and suspect clergy fall upon deaf ears. This isn’t about calm or order. It’s about justice. I am not trying to […]

Nobody knows the trouble we’ve seen

Nobody knows the trouble we’ve seen

Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen Nobody knows my sorrow Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen Glory hallelujah! Those are the opening lyrics to “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen,” a spiritual with roots  as a slave song. It was originally called, “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Had.” The enormously gifted Marian Anderson popularized “Nobody […]

The two minds of Obama

The two minds of Obama

President Obama was right on the money in announcing his executive order on immigration. Contrary to the assertion of Republican demagogues, this is not a blanket amnesty, but does release more than 4 million non-criminals from the ever-present threat of deportation. As Obama noted, if Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) had brought the Senate’s immigration bill […]

Same old problem, same old response

Same old problem, same old response

LAUREN VICTORIA BURKE NNPA COLUMNIST In 1983, it was Michael Stewart, 25. He was a graffiti artist who was beaten to death in police custody in New York.  No one paid a price for his death. On the day of Stewart’s arrest, the Committee Against Racially Motivated Police Violence was holding a news conference. There […]

Marching to freedom on a treadmill

Marching to freedom on a treadmill

Here’s a sobering statement from Economic Policy Institute (EPI): “Fifty years ago (2013), the unemployment rate was 5% for Whites and 10.9% for Blacks. Today, it is 6.6% for Whites and 12.6% for Blacks.”  Can you believe that?  We are at the same relative position now as we were when MLK gave his famous “I […]

Recycling failed education policies

Recycling failed education policies

Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander will likely become chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Though he has yet to be elected by his Republican peers, he has given several interviews that indicate how he would change the way educational services are delivered in our country. For all his bluster, though, his approach […]