MLK Would Oppose Today’s Wars

william loren katz

William Loren Katz: Would Dr. King have called for withdrawal from Vietnam and, had he lived, not called for a withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan? Would he have failed to see parallels that are as obvious as they are frightening?

Perry Compares Civil Rights Movement to Tax Cuts for Billionaires

David Love: It is not surprising that Perry — whose Texas board of education erased black and Latino civil rights leaders and their accomplishments from the history books — would try to turn the narrative of the civil rights movement into a fight over tax breaks. But it is outrageous, nonetheless.

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Profiteering and Union-Busting Repackaged as School Reform

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David Love: But the larger picture here is that corporate education reform is big business. And the rightwing, plutocratic agenda – of school privatization, government austerity measures and deunionization – clashes with the needs of poor, working class, and disproportionately black and brown public school students.

Justice Marshall and “Justice” Thomas

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Robert Illes: But if Anita Hill’s warnings were not heeded in 1991, in 2011 they seem to have gained some heft. Is Clarence Thomas not just partisan but also dirty – and not in the pubic-hair-on-the-coke-can sense.

California Tea Partiers Revved Up by Redistricting Reform

Justine Sharrock

Justine Sharrock: Some of the basic elements of the new redistricting process have proved helpful to well-organized and vocal groups on the right, civil rights activists say.

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Images of Arab Revolt, from Technicolor to Gaddafi

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Tom Hall: Gaddafi has the scent of Saddam Hussein about him. He’s been a loyal but erratic servant of the oil bosses who dictate our middle-east policy.

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We Twisted King’s Dream, So We Live With His Nightmare

mlk legacy

Tim Wise: If double-digit unemployment had been viewed as the emergency it is, when only people of color were experiencing it (as they typically have been, in good times or bad, year after year throughout this century), perhaps lawmakers might have seen fit to address the problem.

Finally, Black Civil Rights Movement is Dying

Rev. Irene Monroe: For many African Americans of younger generations, who are now the beneficiaries of the racial gains from the Movement, feeling the Movement’s’ slow death is like a welcoming boulder gradually being lifted from their shoulders, especially for those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer.

The Pentagon and the King Legacy

martin luther king riverside church

William Lorenz Katz: Was not Martin Luther King, Jr. reaching beyond Vietnam when he warned of “approaching spiritual death” and called for “a significant and profound change in American life and policy” and insisted “we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values.” Was he only speaking of Vietnam when he said, “War is not the answer?”

Don’t Discriminate

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Steve Hochstadt: Ending discrimination will not be achieved through a new military policy nor by new laws. Such political acts reflect an evolving popular understanding that America can prosper by defending equality.

Overcrowding at Center of Landmark Prison Rights Case

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Carol Strickman: The best way to ensure that people successfully reenter society is to provide resources to support them upon release. Prisoners who have maintained family ties and have housing and employment opportunities awaiting them will do better than those who don’t.

Sarah Palin’s Presidential Strategy, and the Economy She Depends on

sarah palin wink

Robert Reich: The Republican establishment doesn’t get it. Celebrity is part of The Palin Strategy – as is avoiding the insider game. She doesn’t want to do what Huckabee, Pawlenty, Gingrich, or Romney have to do. She has an outside game.

Tea Party Surge Just a Bump in the Road?

Guy Carawan

Tom Hall: Sure, the Tea Party will win this fall’s election cycle. Yes, they will do every thing they can to disrupt any progressive efforts of the President. But even now, before their election victories have been counted, they are already beginning to war amongst themselves. They are eagerly acting to disprove any belief in the “values” they proclaim. Their hypocrisy will be their undoing.

Is Social Media Useless for Change?

Malcolm Gladwell

Social networking websites can play and are playing an important role in finding and connecting people who are beginning to think and feel similar things. They can help participants deepen their understanding and form common perspectives. They can help inform those who use them of possible courses of action.

The Accented Silence of Tibi Ellis

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Mario Solis-Marich: The question for Ellis, and other Latino GOP elected and community leaders, is why are you bringing hate into the homes of Nevada Latinos? Ellis admittedly knows that political hate speech, such as displayed in the Angle ad, is not only despicable but also has led to a rise in hate crimes against our community.

Two Civil Rights Movies Find the Cost of Freedom

Ernie Dingo and Missy Higgins in Bran Nue Dae

Ed Rampell: The documentary Neshoba and musical Bran Nue Dae remind us of how far we’ve come – and, like Willie en route from Perth to Broome – how far we still have to go before we overcome and that Brand New Day of equality dawns.

Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor Rally

beck palin

Anthony Samad: Both Beck and Palin only became dissident voices in the last election cycle, so they wouldn’t have been factors in any Republican “rally” cry. The Republican party really has no “front men” (women) per se, other than John McCain — who ain’t nobody listening to.

Manifest Destiny Revivalism

glenn beck i have a dream

Sikivu Hutchinson: Glenn Beck’s decision to hold the event on the March on Washington anniversary has elicited outrage amongst civil rights organizations who accuse him and the radical right of hijacking the legacy of the civil rights movement.

Wikileaks: An Antidote for the Pentagon’s Long History of Burying the Truth?

Tom Hall: Excuse me if don’t start drooling with enthusiasm at the recent disclosure that the Pentagon and Wikileaks have been talking to each other about proper handling of further disclosures on our occupation of Afghanistan.

Sarah Palin Tweets Support to Schlessinger

Dr. Laura Schlessinger

Sarah Palin tweeted that Laura Schlessinger’s 1st amendment rights ceased to exist thanks to activists trying to silence her for using the N-word. Schlessinger’s constitutional rights were unaffected, her employability was.

Civil Rights and Wrongs Onstage at Two L.A. Theatres

Carry It On! Bill Durhamm and Rowena Johnson (Photo Miriam Geer)

Ed Rampell: Art emerges out of our collective psyche to reflect our times, and it’s fascinating to see how L.A. theatre is responding to the current attack on our civil, human and constitutional rights and liberties.

The Hidden Story Behind the Sherrod Case: USDA Racism

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Pete Daniel: The rush to dismiss Shirley Sherrod based on an edited video contrasts remarkably with the tens of thousands of cases of USDA bureaucrats denying African American farmers loans, jobs, acreage, information, and courtesy who were neither dismissed or reprimanded.

Turning the Tables at Netroots Nation: ICE Checkpoint Forces Participants to Think about Profiling

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Will Coley: About ten of us, including several undocumented DREAM students, wore navy blue shirts and affixed paper ICE badges and patches to our hats and shirts. We stopped anyone who looked “European” and let all others pass without hindrance.

Where’s the Religious Left?

Sikivu Hutchinson: Perhaps the only figure with national stature on the “religious left” who has been consistently vocal in his opposition to fundamentalist Christian orthodoxy has been Jimmy Carter. Clearly, if a comparable coalition existed on the Left the Religious Right’s moral and political influence on such issues as abortion, same sex marriage, stem cell research and intelligent design would be balanced by dissenting forces. That such a coalition does not exist underscores the bankruptcy of organized religion’s monopoly on morality and moral principle.

Fulfilling the Dream: Completing the Undone Work of Martin Luther King Jr.

Rabbi James Wax

H. Scott Prosterman: Those of us who came of age in the late ’60′s did so at a time of painful soul-searching for our nation, but we benefited from the new era of openness and spiritual exploration that followed. I learned from Rabbi Wax that one’s politics is defined by one’s sense of humanity, or the lack thereof.

The Texas State Board of Education and History Standards: A Teacher’s Perspective

Texas board of ed

Ron Briley: Unfortunately, this debate over standards often rages with little input from history teachers who are expected to implement mandated curriculum. This attitude derives from a fundamental lack of respect in our culture for teachers. Thus, it is assumed that dentists and real estate agents are better equipped to make curricular decisions than are history educators.

Setting the Stage for a Political Murder

Assasination

Jim Fuller: It is all but certain that someone prominent, probably a member of Congress or a family member or aid of a member of Congress, will be physically attacked and quite possibly murdered soon by a fanatical right-wing knuckle dragger. It’s entirely possible that several people, or even many people, as in Oklahoma City in 1995, will be slaughtered by one or some of the cretins who feed their rage on right wing radio and television and the speeches of Republican hate mongers in and out of Congress.

Let the Haters Begin Mongering

Jesus Today

Steve Ybarra: The hatemongers who fear the so-called welfare state (colored to the colored section) will begin the biggest hate and fear mongering campaign that America has seen since the reconstruction. The white-sheeted Republicants will begin to cry and monger that America will become a second-class, Nazi, communist, imperialistic, socialist monarchy populated by godless Christians.

The Ballad of Emmett Till: Till We Meet Again

Rico E. Anderson, Adenrele Ojo, Bernard Addison, Lorenz Arnell, and Karen Malina White

Ed Rampell: But in a country still troubled by racism, where hate crimes are on the rise — from nooses and KKK hoods at the University of California San Diego to death threats against the first African American president — any month is appropriate for this engaging interpretation of the life and death of Emmett Till, the martyr who launched the Civil Rights movement. Three months after Till’s murder, Rosa Parks stood up by sitting down in a segregated Southern bus.

Women’s History and a Woman’s Subtle Power

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Catherine Allgor: The Obama presidency has given rise to much soul-searching about who we are as a nation and how we should behave toward each other, within our borders and around the world. Perhaps this is the time we should consider the alternatives Dolley Madison offered us at the dawn of the national experiment. In the early days of the nation, few of Dolley’s contemporaries could resist her invitations. At this particular turning point in our modern nationhood, neither should we.

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