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 [...]

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

kkk

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 [...]

Southern Governors Block the Stimulus

jindal

Southern Governors Block the Stimulus ep. 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, [...]

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

lani-guinier

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

tommie-smith

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

murdock

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 [...]

Prop 8: 18,000 Same-Sex Marriages Hang in Balance at California Supreme Court Hearing

prop8party

Within the next week, the California Supreme Court will hear oral arguments to help determine the constitutionality of Proposition 8, the November 2008 election ballot constitutional amendment that removed the right of same-sex couples to legally marry in California. The Court will convene in San Francisco on March 5, at 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. [...]

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