Special Election: Dear Los Angeles Black Mega Church Pastor

clown

I didn’t say anything when I drove down Crenshaw Boulevard two Sunday’s ago and that truck with that big sign in support of the upcoming measures on the May 19 California Special Election was conveniently parked in front of your church. But after this past Sunday’s “dog and pony show” I can’t takes it no [...]

Los Angeles NAACP Life Achievement Award

sinatra-baylor-sterling

I had a déjà vu moment last week while watching Los Angeles Clippers owner, Donald Sterling, receive the Los Angeles NAACP Chapter’s Life Achievement Award. Watching Sterling try to find the words of why he merited the award was like watching George Wallace try to convince black voters that he had changed from his segregationist [...]

Posters Show the Labor Movement At its Best

posters

When I receive a book for review, I quickly skim through it before putting it aside for future reading. But when I got Lincoln Cushing & Timothy W. Drescher’s, Agitate! Educate! Organize! American Labor Posters, I became so engrossed in its collection of historic labor posters that I could not put it down. Many readers [...]

Alabama Senator Linked to White Supremacists

sessions

With the recent announcement that Justice David Souter will retire from the U.S. Supreme Court, President Obama must now find a replacement. And over the next four years – eight years if there is a second Obama term – the president has the opportunity to shape the federal courts to reflect 21st century realities. Much [...]

One Block, Three Pharmacies, How Come?

pharmacies

Okay so we’re always talking about the number of liquor stores, check cashing businesses, motels, pawn shops, and fast food restaurants in our neighborhoods, but has anyone ever bothered to question the oh-so-stealty move-in of pharmacies? Case in point, on Crenshaw Boulevard at Coliseum, in one block there is a Rite-Aid, CVS, and Walgreen’s—literally next [...]

Another Reason to Skip Wal-Mart

buy-the-world

The CEO of Wal-Mart, just like Mormons, can exercise his right to free speech and expression however he sees fit. I too have that right — and will exercise it by refusing to give the company that pays him my business and by saying so. Why? Well, I have many reasons for not shopping there, [...]

Myopia Meltdown

mixed-couple

Sometimes something happens and we are forced to confront our own presumptions, preconceived notions and faulty premises. In the corporate workplace and in a relatively homogenous social construct that often does not reflect the heterogeneity of its true broader, community composition, these moments may be few and far between. That’s because our judgments, knee-jerk reactions [...]

When Queer Communities of Color Are Not Needed to Win Marriage Rights

marriage equality

With Iowa being the fourth state to approve marriage equality, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Americans’ optimism is high, believing many more states will follow suit. “We’re hoping this momentum is contagious,” Daniel Richards of Rhode Island told me. And should Rhode Island soon approve of same-sex marriage, it would be the fourth New [...]

The New William H. Parker Center Controversy: Revisionist History Cannnot Override Long Racial Legacy

Photo by Al Muto

The City of Los Angeles is about to unveil its brand new “state-of-the-art,” world-class headquarters for what it considers its world-class law enforcement agency. Just know there’s one too many “world-class” attributes in that last sentence, and given the latest controversy — the public should decide where the “world-class” attribute should actually go. A month [...]

Open Veins of Latin America: Obama Should Read It!

Latin-American author Edward Galeano. Image Source: Robert Birnbaum

During the recent Summit of the Americas, in Trinidad, President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela gave President Obama a copy of Open Veins in Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent, by Eduardo Galeano. Few in the American press corps or in the White House staff would have understood the importance of this [...]

The Socioeconomic Times of Mike Tyson

mike-tyson

Could there be social justice for Mike Tyson? James Toback, tries to address this question in his soon to be released film “Tyson,” a documentary that provides insight into the legendary boxer’s emotional and psychological inner world. In the documentary, Tyson’s upbringing in the mean streets of Brooklyn, New York, and his later stint as [...]

US to Boycott UN Racism Forum

un-ext

A global conference devoted to addressing racism is having trouble attracting an audience. The event, slated to take place in South Africa next week, boasts Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a plenary speaker — and so far, only a handful of leaders have RSVP-ed oui. Others have announced they will not attend: Israel, Canada, some [...]

African Americans and the Economic Crisis

economy-drop

Joe Biden was quite out front about it. On the same day the newspapers were trumpeting the news that President Obama had felt a “glimmer of hope” in the economic situation, the Vice-President was telling CNN that we can expect unemployment to increase each month for the rest of the year. Joblessness stands at 8.5% [...]

Key Leaders Endorse National Labor Justice Campaign

brothers-of-the-sun

Among the many labor, community, and academic leaders backing the proposal are John Wilhelm, International President of the Hospitality Division of UNITE-HERE, Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton, Archdiocese of Detroit, and the Reverend Alexia Salvatierra, Executive Director of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice. That over 500 prominent activists and politicians from over 30 states [...]

Equality Advances? Attack the Gays!

iowa

Be warned: Those new National Organization for Marriage anti-GLBT “actor auditions” videos posted are gone. NOM noticed that its evil ruse had been exposed and demanded that YouTube take them down. Even a clip of a recent MSNBC Rachel Maddow clip that included the audition tapes is gone. NOM’s reason: copyright infringment. YouTube has to [...]

Just Old Men Talking

oldmentalking

I don’t remember exactly when I began to think this way, but looking back, it must have been at some point during my early elementary school years that I began to believe the “American History” I was learning in school was either incomplete or misleading. I understood and accepted that I needed to master this [...]

The Obama Progressive Agenda: A Progress Report

obama

Although progressives have already won two major victories – the stimulus package and the budget – and a reversal of a number of Bush anti-environment policies, most activists are focused on the troika of universal health care, the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), and comprehensive immigration reform. Having asked activists across the nation over the [...]

Michelle Obama: The True Image of an African American Woman

michelle

For many years, African Americans were perceived as being ignorant creatures incapable of thinking and successfully holding leadership positions and roles. However, African Americans are constantly defying this perception and reaching heights beyond any individual’s greatest expectation. For instance, blacks were supposedly incapable of playing the position of quarterback in football—at any level—because they were [...]

Rejecting Post-Raciality: An Ode to the Life of John Hope Franklin

john-hope-franklin

The death of preeminent historian and race scholar, John Hope Franklin, and his life-long contribution to helping America understand the legacies of slavery and racial vestiges that have been carried forward, is a true loss. Franklin helped those who followed his work to understand that race is still the most entrenched socio-economic-political issue of our [...]

Diddy’s Dumb Deed

beautiful dark skinned women, black, brown, white

ias Against Dark-Skinned Women within the Black Community, also known as “colorism” has reared it’s ugly head again. There’s been another attack on Black Women by one of our own! Diddy‘s CIROC Vodka sent out a cattle call looking for and I quote, “White, Hispanic and Light-skinned African American” women to represent his vodka. By [...]

Barney Frank Calls Justice Scalia a Homophobe

When Democratic U.S. Representative Barney Frank called Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia a “homophobe,” criticizing his likely support of the Defense of Marriage Act, his remarks were wrongly taken as only a personal attack on Scalia. But Barney Frank’s remark was an accurate statement about the present-day climate and culture in our country’s highest judicial [...]

On Cesar Chavez’s Birthday, New National Farmworker Campaign Launched

cesar_chavez_usps

When Barack Obama adopted “Yes We Can” as his campaign theme, he harkened back to the “Si Se Puede” rallying cry popularized by Cesar Chavez and the United Farmworkers of America (UFW). As we celebrate Cesar Chavez Day, the President should consider a more lasting action to honor the UFW leader’s legacy: revising the 1935 [...]

Cesar Chavez Day and the Forgotten Asian Americans

larry

his Cesar Chavez Day (March 31) reminds us how forgotten stories can perpetuate stereotypes. Charlotte, an Asian American student leader at Pomona College, asked me how do we ignite people into political action and sweep away the tired public perception of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) as passive and docile. I asked her if [...]

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