Bruno’s American Dream

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If Bruno teaches us anything, it’s the imperative of finding a source of friction in something, or someone, other than ourselves — not instead of ourselves, which is another form of totalitarianism — with which to get a life that does not finally rely on the admiring attention of others.

Reflections on Racism

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Reflections on Racism: Many Black Americans have supported the Palestinian struggle, some putting their careers at risk to do so.

AFL-CIO Condemns SEIU Raids on UNITE HERE

Fred Ross Jr with ILWU leader Jimmy Herman and HERE organizer Tho Do at Neighbor to Neighbor coffee protest in the 1980s

One day after 15 international union leaders vowed to provide “material and moral” support to UNITE HERE’s defense against SEIU raids, the AFL-CIO sent a letter to the UNITE HERE convention condemning “all raiding of organized workers by any union.” This letter represents a dramatic shift in position for the labor federation, which previously had [...]

Labor Movement Backs UNITE HERE Against SEIU Raids

Photo by Virginia Blaisdell.

In a dramatic blow to SEIU’s efforts to raid UNITE HERE members and jurisdictions, 15 of the nation’s leading unions pledged Monday to provide UNITE HERE with “material and moral” support. Before a wildly cheering and upbeat crowd of 700, AFSCME President Gerald McEntee denounced SEIU for the “poaching” of UNITE HERE, and for engaging [...]

Independence Day Edition!

Felix G. Rohatyn

Evolutionary psychology teaches us that it may take as many as 1,000 generations for even an exceptionally beneficial genetic mutation to permeate an entire species. It is not surprising, then, that a mere ten generations after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, American human nature has (apparently) changed negligibly, if at all. This point [...]

As Labor Faces Turning Point, UNITE HERE National Convention Opens

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UNITE HERE, best known for its Hotel Workers Rising campaign and successful organizing of the nation’s gaming industry, opens its national convention in Chicago today. When the event was scheduled, it seemed a perfect occasion for celebrating five years of increased union membership in its core jurisdictions, despite tough economic times. Instead, UNITE HERE’s celebration [...]

No Nonsense Census

Rea Carey, Executive Director National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund

There’s been another informed and intelligent decision by the Obama administration. In August 2008, in an LA Progressive article entitled “Census Nonsense,” which decried the Bush administration’s move to exclude legally married same-sex couples from being counted as married couples during upcoming the 2010 census, I wrote, “…to capsulize the situation, as it stands now, [...]

Voting Rights Act: Have We Changed So Much?

American Aparthied

A key provision of the Voting Rights Act (first adopted in 1965), provides that jurisdictions with a history of racial and ethnic discrimination must get prior federal approval before changing election laws. Many, but not all Southern states, and a scattering of states, counties, and municipalities elsewhere, remain subject to that stipulation. In June, the [...]

Lax Enforcement Keeps Slumlords from Cleaning Up Act

Murray

A toddler wakes up with a cockroach lodged in his ear. Cat-sized rats chew through the feeding tubes of a young girl with cystic fibrosis. Conga lines of roaches parade through a house in broad daylight. Leaky pipes and constant moisture breed vast colonies of mold. Inadequately maintained plumbing backs up, causing overflows of sewage. [...]

Black Victims of ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’

Anthony Woods and Tommie Hawkins

Over 60 years ago, President Harry S. Truman took a monumental step towards social progress by integrating the US armed forces and civil service. This action allowed African American soldiers to serve in integrated combat units alongside white soldiers. Today, another military battle rages over the issue of allowing openly gay and lesbian soldiers to [...]

To the Fathers Who Lost Their Child

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I was hoping they would cancel Father’s Day this year, mostly because my son Ezra Malik died. He was my baby boy, and he died the day before he was born, in a hospital in August of last year. He was a beautiful baby with a full head of hair and flat little feet, and [...]

Mister President, Wassup?

Hey, Mr. President, just to recap: Congratulations on your election! And, let’s not forget your great election campaign: Skinning the Clintons, skunking the Republicans, and skidding into home base with the sixth largest Presidential victory margin (10 million votes) of all time, bringing a gaggle of Democrats along with you: Your coattails aren’t just stylish, [...]

Father’s Day: It Takes All Kinds

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In 1995, Oakland, California, a young man helping a fellow church friend found himself the father of a 4-month-old child. This happened when the mother, who at the time had three small children, simply couldn’t afford to take care of them all. What started out as helping her on the weekends with the kids, eventually [...]

White Supremecist DC Shooting in Post-Racial America

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On June 10th, an 88-year-old white supremecist walked into the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, armed with a rifle, and killed a black security guard before being fired upon and apprehended. As usual, local authorities including the Mayor of Washington, DC used two familiar words that were recently uttered in the murder of [...]

Black America’s Double-Dealing on Drugs

Keisha Knight Pulliam

“Junkie. Pothead. That’s where I’d been headed: the final, fatal role of the young would-be black man.” So wrote current U.S. president Barack Obama about his youth. In May 2009, Jabrai Jordan Copney, a black man, allegedly shot Justin Cosby, a black man, inside a Harvard University dormitory. Cosby fled, collapsed a block away, and [...]

Good Hair v Nappy Hair

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The N Word We Rarely Discuss: NAPPY ike most blacks in America, I was raised in an environment where hair like mine, kinky hair, was frequently referred to as “bad hair.”  Conversely, straight hair or kink-less hair was characterized as “good hair“.  I grew up receiving a steady stream of messages that directly or indirectly [...]

Affirmative Action the Chicago Way

UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi

Apparently there were no qualified Mexican Americans out of the 600 applicants for the job of Chancellor of the University of California, Davis (UCD). So the Regents, in their wisdom, chose Linda Katehi, a white woman from Illinois. She is eminently qualified to hold the job, we were told when we asked why the Regents [...]

Get That Colonization Off Your Crown, Michelle

malia-sasha-michelle

From the time Barack Obama became a fixture on the national stage, I have eyed Michelle Obama with an uneven mix of appreciation and disappointment. It’s not about her fashion sense, though she’s been ridiculed for accentuating her hips and baring her toned arms by folks with twisted aesthetic sensibilities and outright hate. It’s not [...]

Equality: Obama vs Truman

truman

July 26, 2009 marks the 60th anniversary of President Harry S. Truman signing Executive Order #9981 ending racial segregation of the United States military. 2009 also marks the 16th anniversary of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the law passed by Congress mandating the discharge of openly gay, lesbian or bisexual military servicemembers. According to Servicemembers Legal [...]

Poor, Elderly, and HIV/AIDS Citizens to Die in California

herndon-davis

In just under two weeks the state of California will go broke unless it makes deep cuts to its budget by eliminating spending on crucial programs to cover a $24 billion deficit. Among the programs hardest hit are social services which assist the elderly, blind, low-income families, single parents, the mentally challenged and those living [...]

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