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

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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 […]

More Equality Leads to Better Health

In this video, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now interviews Dr. Stephen Bezruchka. Dr. Bezruchka, who is with the Department of Health Services, School of Public Health at the University of Washington in Seattle, has studied the relationship between socioeconomic factors and the health of populations. He argues that societal and economic inequalities have a detrimental […]

Beyond the Fields: Yes We Can!

dolores-cesar

In spite of the victory we had on November 4th, the fight for social and economic justice in the United States is far from over. Barack Obama has emphasized the need for all of us to pitch in and make this country better. His administration has opened the lines of communication to everyday Americans by […]

Crimson and Clover: What’s Wrong with the Irish?

gerry-adams

This is what I remember: She had flaming red hair. I had met her at a gathering of scholars in London. It was the summer, and I realized I had spent the entire year in England. It was time to explore the Continent. Helen suggested going in the opposite direction, to her native Ireland—Northern Ireland. […]

Rite Aid and the Failure of Labor Law

safeway12

After months of a media war supporting and condemning it, the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) was finally introduced into Congress again last week. The bill has been debated before, but with a larger Democratic majority, its chances of passage are much greater today, and President Obama has said he’ll sign it. Employers, therefore, are […]

Who Won the Civil War? Organizations Refuse to Defend Farley

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As we celebrate the 200th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the inauguration of America’s first black president, and Black History Month, it’s worth pondering the question, “Who won the Civil War?” On November 20, 2002, I wrote in a Nashville […]

Irish and Black Americans: Have the Parallel Lines Finally Met?

irishneednot-apply

Irish immigration to America discrimination On this St. Patrick’s Day, with a black president in the White House, it is interesting – and maybe even somewhat inspiring – to look back on the way the Irish-American and African-American stories have coursed through our history on parallel lines, each struggling against terrific prejudices and slanders. In […]

The Return of the Mulatto: The Green-Eyed Monster

jonathan david farley

You can’t write that about the president of the NAACP. “Write what?” I said. “That,” Melissa told me, pointing at my notebook’s screen. “You’re calling him a ‘mulatto’?” “Well, that’s the definition, right? His father was white, his mother was black. I think.” I scratched my head. “Maybe he’s a quadroon .” Melissa rolled her […]

U.S. Military Needs a Radical Homosexual

barney-frank

Is he the U.S. military’s worst nightmare? Imagine, a radical homosexual with his hands on the military’s purse strings. It’s hard to believe that after 15 years of repressive, misguided military policy (“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”), which stigmatized and prevented gay men and lesbians from serving honestly and openly in our country’s Armed Forces, the […]

Color of Law: Southern Governors Block the Stimulus Like the Schoolhouse Door

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Recently, Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) was accused of playing the race card when he characterized Southern governors’ opposition to the $787 billion federal stimulus package as “a slap in the face of African-Americans.” He was referring to the four Republican governors who have opposed accepting some or all of the money, including Gov. Rick Perry […]

Study Links Poorer Hospital Care to Racial Segregation

sheri_fink

For years, doctors and researchers have found that African-Americans with heart disease tend to receive lower-quality care, part of a larger problem of health disparities in America. Racial segregation may account for some of those differences, according to an article published on the Health Affairs Web site yesterday by researchers at the University of Iowa […]

Lani Guinier Speaks

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Famed legal scholar, civil rights attorney and author, Lani Guinier, spoke at Tavis Smiley’s State of the Black Union in 2009. The first black woman tenured professor at Harvard Law School, Ms Guinier has authored and co-authored several books including Tyranny of the Majority: Fundamental Fairness in Representative Democracy and Lift Every Voice: Turning a […]

Court Should Strike Down Proposition 8

jerry-brown

The California Supreme Court finds itself center stage this Thursday when it will hear oral arguments on whether it should uphold Proposition 8′s ban on same-sex marriage. The case touches the heart of our democracy and poses a profound question: can a bare majority of voters strip away an inalienable right through the initiative process? […]

Return to Mexico City – Growth of a Nation

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The ESPN special, “Return to Mexico City ” is a thorough retrospective on the legacies of Tommie Smith and John Carlos. For anyone with a vivid long-term memory of those events, the high quality footage from those dramatic days will stir a full range of emotions. While we romanticize about it, we forget that 1968 […]

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

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Recently, Rupert Murdoch, chairman of the New York Post, personally apologized for a recent cartoon by Sean Delonas, nicknamed by some “the Picasso of Prejudice”. The cartoon, which depicted a chimpanzee being shot by the police after mauling a woman, captioned “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill”. Shown here […]

Color-Blind, Power-Oblivious: Eric Holder and the Whitewashing of Racism

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It was all too predictable that Attorney General Eric Holder would be attacked for his recent remarks about race in America. To suggest that the nation is still haunted by the specter of racism is unacceptable it seems, especially since, with the election of President Obama, we have ostensibly entered the “post-racial” era. But, in […]

GOP Chair Michael Steele Reaches Out to Hip-Hop Community for Hipper Supporters

michael-steele

Chair Michael Steele, of Republican National Committee (RNC) fame, has announced that a first objective as newly elected leader of the GOP will be to reach out to the hip-hop community. He’s planning an “off the hook” public relations offensive by applying the party’s principles to “urban-suburban hip-hop settings.” Translation? He wants to attract younger […]

Americans for Truth About Homosexuality

lawrenceking

For those of you worried about militant radical homosexuals, you can rest easy because Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, a “newly reorganized national organization devoted exclusively to exposing and countering the homosexual activist agenda,” is out to protect you. AFTAH seeks a “single-minded determination” to oppose “the radical homosexual agenda (while) standing for God-ordained sexuality […]

Jackie Robinson’s Mandate – Black History Month in Pasadena

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A life can be a work of art, but like art, there are  standards to meet before it can be classified as “art”. A life that is a “work of art” has to do something pretty spectacular, like advance the human race or something equally valuable. The life of Pasadena’s own Jackie Robinson, was a […]

Rush Limbaugh: The Lyin’ King’s Reign of Error

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He’s a radio commentator who’s an entertainer. An entertainer who is a super-salesman. A salesman who ridicules and promotes hate. Making the front page of the February 8, 2009, Los Angeles Times was the man who is all those things rolled into one larger-than-life personality: Rush Limbaugh. And, he’s gaining even more notoriety. Now he’s […]