The New Jim Crow

Michelle-Alexander

Michelle Alexander: The clock has been turned back on racial progress in America, though scarcely anyone seems to notice. All eyes are fixed on people like Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey who have defied the odds and achieved great power, wealth and fame.

South Africa: A Model for the Future

Desmond Tutu

Carl Matthes: Desmond Tutu, the former Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town and a Nobel Peace Price winner, has lent his name to the fight against homophobia saying, “Homophobia is a ‘crime against humanity’ and ‘every bit unjust’ as apartheid.” Brad Pitt, in a 2007 Vanity Fair interview of Tutu, remarked, “So certainly discrimination has no place in Christianity. There’s a big argument going on in America right now, on gay rights and equality.”

Civil Rights Day for Some

UFW

Steve Ybarra: But now to the question of the day: Why is it that the Gay and Lesbian movement leaders have never taken their rainbow progressive flags and marched in large numbers with those who seek immigration reform or in today’s MLK marches all over the US? Why did they abandon us?

Has John Conyers Finally Conceded U.S. Reparations?

John Conyers

There seem to be some indications, however, that the sparse political will in Congress that has historically placed reparations on the legislative agenda may be waning. Michigan House member John Conyers may be giving up on his 20-year fight to legislate the case for slave reparations in America.

Real Talk From L.A.’s Top Cop on His Decision to Leave, His Successor, and Black Los Angeles

Jasmyne_Bratton_1

I have to admit that I am sad to see L.A.’s top cop leave. While my opinion may not be in the majority as it relates to Blacks here in Los Angeles, Police Chief William Bratton has definitely been my favorite police chief.

Out of My Black Church, Into the Streets

Sad Latina

I have faith – and I have faith in America. That is why I am marching to support President Obama in his goals of creating a more perfect union for all of America – and to support our legislators in passing legislation that will save all of our children from religion-based bigotry.

LA Progressive: September 20 to September 26

Pentagon Taking Over U.S. Foreign Policy. Some idea of Pentagon dominance over diplomatic approaches may be gleaned from the Pentagon’s $664 billion annual budget compared with State’s $52 billion. “Washington employs more military band members than it does foreign service officers.” –Sherwood Ross America Needs a True Revolution of Values. What can Sen. Jim DeMint, [...]

When Are White People Going to Get Over It?

Scene from "Bombingham"

Until this past November 4, I didn’t believe this country would ever elect an African American to the presidency. I still don’t believe I’ll live long enough to see us white people get over our racism problem.

Police Authority and Racism

handcuffs

President Obama was right the first time when he said the police acted stupidly, because they should know better. It’s unfortunate that the president found it necessary to step back and retract the remark because until we can see this kind of action with some objectivity, we will never learn enough to actually be objective in such matters.

Are We Always Going to Be Preoccupied with Racism?

Five generations of a slave family.

Yet, the long view shows that since this racial system had a beginning, and important changes have taken place, one can venture that it will also have an end. The election of Barack Obama is an encouraging sign.

Living While Black in Cambridge

Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

None of us African-American residents of Cambridge are surprised or shocked by the humiliation and harassment Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., 58, of Harvard University encountered at the hands of Cambridge police.

President Obama’s Politics of Dignity

obama

President Obama knows that solutions won’t arise out of politics as usual. His personification of dignitarian politics resonates not only with Americans but around the world.

To the Fathers Who Lost Their Child

sad-man

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 [...]

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

iStock_000017068698Small-Optimized

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 [...]

Plea Bargains in the Criminal McJustice System

Philadelphia D.A. Lynne Abraham

In Philadelphia, it is time for a new district attorney. The current D.A. Lynne Abraham is retiring, and none too soon – after 18 years in the position, she has been called “America’s deadliest D.A.” for her exceptionally voracious appetite in seeking the death penalty. Without question, most of the people sentenced to death were [...]

Trying to be Exclusive, but Acting like Everyone Else

black-professionals

In recent times, a trend seems to have emerged. I call it the second wave of the not-always-so-Talented Tenth. This is constituted by an increasingly visible and vocal contingent; they are the crop of African-Americans, generally ages 23-40, who have christened themselves “professionals.” This isn’t necessarily professional in the conventional sense of careers – those [...]

What Blacks Can Learn From Gays

gay-protest

Before you open that bottle of champagne, can of beer, or bottle of Hennessy in celebration of last week’s decision by the California Supreme Court upholding Proposition 8 and the ban on gay marriage, did you ever stop to think maybe the joke’s on us? I mean, think about it. Last November, Blacks voted overwhelmingly [...]

Prisoners’ Rights: An Oxymoron?

prison

More than 100 people of all races and all ages traveled to Watts from several California counties on Saturday May 30, sharing a single desire: Bring our loved ones homes. They weren’t talking about family members serving in Afghanistan or Iraq. These are the families torn apart when someone is sent to prison with an [...]

Award-Winning “Journalism” Targets Obama’s Head

Obama_Target

Meet one of the “winners” from the Association for Alternative Newsweeklies 2009 awards. The above inflammatory PW cover art is for the AAN award-winning article Hater Nation, an article on an anonymous letter received by the PW threatening Obama’s life. (hmmmm, could troll Aaron Proctor be the author of this letter?? he and Joe were [...]

Now It’s Inglewood’s Turn to Have a Federal Police Department Watch Dog

jacqueline-seabrooks

Sometimes it takes an event (or two) to make plain a reality that nobody wants to talk about. Pervasive police abuse and police misconduct are usually activities nobody wants to acknowledge and nobody wants to admit to. Police have a way of trying to convince you that everything they do is legal, even when it [...]

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 [...]

The Legacy of Torture: Story of the San Francisco Eight

sf8poster

ACLU Pasadena Public Forum “Will we face the torture chambers in our cities as well as on Guantanamo?” Tuesday, May 12, 7 p.m. Neigbhorhood Church 301 North Orange Grove Boulevard Pasadena, California Hear two of the SF8 tell their story of torture and persecution over 37 years. The San Francisco 8, former members and associates [...]

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 [...]

Michelle, Malia, and Sasha Cannot Be the Only Black Women Whose Lives Matter to Us in 2009

jasmyne_1

So I went to the scene of the crime yesterday afternoon that left a teenage girl dead and a 30-year-old paraplegic arrested for murder. If I’d driven by too fast, I’d have missed the small makeshift memorial of candles and teddy bears that marked the spot where another Black person lost their life to senseless [...]

We Can Stop Our Businesses From Moving Out

echo_park_murals

Long before I saw her walking her dog that morning or the guy who was jogging, or that couple move in down the street, I concluded that one way or another, my neighborhood was going to change. I just wasn’t expecting it so soon or for Black people to play such an active roll in [...]

Our House Is On Fire: Who Stopped the Presses?

investigative-tweet

Who stopped the presses? Obviously, it is a question that many are asking these days. It is a bit sobering to witness the apparent demise of the newspaper industry. Not unlike dominoes, newspapers around the U.S. are toppling, closing their doors, filing for bankruptcy, or ceasing their print operations and only remaining online. As someone [...]

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% [...]

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