Remembering Multiculturalism

Clockwise from top left: Al Robles, Richard Aoki, Mark Him Lai, Ron Takaki

The passing of leading thinkers in the ethnic studies canon — Ron Takaki, Mark Him Lai, Richard Aoki, and the poet Al Robles — in the last few months challenges us to complete unfinished tasks. During the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, whenever anyone would ask what am I, I always responded “human.” I didn’t [...]

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 [...]

Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s Nomination: Obama Gives the Nation Another Teaching Moment

sotomayor-gop

President Barack Obama has done a symbolically extraordinary thing by nominating for the first time in U.S. history a person of Latino descent to the Supreme Court. The president has stayed true to the theme of his long campaign when he adopted “Si Se Puede” from the legendary Latina leader, Dolores Huerta. Right-wing talk show [...]

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 [...]

Who Mourns the Confederate Slave?

kkk

Klansman and Nazi David Duke was arrested in Prague, Czech Republic, the last week of April 2009: it is a crime to deny the Holocaust. In Germany and Austria, it is a crime to express support for National Socialism; it is even problematic to honor soldiers who died fighting for Hitler. By contrast, in May [...]

Inside Joe Arpaio: Arizona Deputy Calls Him a Disgrace to the Department

sheriff_arpaio

“It ain’t right,” the man with the soft, desert cowboy drawl says slowly into the phone. “These folks are human beings and he treats ‘em like swine. Well, actually, Joe treats everyone who ain’t white and rich like swine.” ”Here in Maricopa County, he thinks it’s a crime to be poor or have brown skin [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Lobbyist Money + Right-Wing Extremists = Tea Party

Photo by the One True Bix

he tea parties that recently took place around the country were billed as a grassroots, bottom-up groundswell against taxes, big government and bailouts. Fox News, apparently promoting itself as the official teabag network, hopes to grab ratings by embracing the pseudo-populist protests as their own. Republican politicians tried to hitch onto the mean-spirited tea party [...]

Low-Income Latinos and Immigrants Reported “Under Siege” in the South

President Barack Obama, Treasurery Secretary Tim Geitner

This week, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) released a new report entitled “Under Siege: Life for Low-Income Latinos in the South.” SLPC report adds to the mounting evidence pointing to the harmful impact that the absence of a functioning immigration system is having on Latinos and immigrant communities. SPLC investigators interviewed and surveyed 500 [...]

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 [...]

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% [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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

jindal

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

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 [...]

Who’s Leading the Republican Party? Rush Limbaugh and the Resurrection of “Massive Resistance”

rush limbaugh

The Republican Party put all its business in the streets as talk radio rhetorician, Rush Limbaugh, went on the offensive (even more than he’s been on the offensive since Obama has taken office) at the Conservative Party Convention this past weekend. Stating that he wanted to see President Obama fail, and that it is reasonable [...]

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 [...]

Between the Lines: New York Post “Chimp” Cartoon — Incendiary Satire Has a Dangerous Past

chimp-cartoon

The New York Post issued a “sideways” explanation (I really wouldn’t call it an apology) on a provocative and highly incendiary political cartoon it ran on February 18th. Combining two news events of the day, one in which a Connecticut woman named Charla Nash was attacked by her “pet” chimpanzee — which nearly ripped off [...]

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

holder

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 [...]

The NAACP’s 100th Anniversary: What’s the Future Hold for the Granddaddy of Civil Rights Groups?

Clockwise from upper left: Martin Luther King, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Charles Hamilton Houston, W.E.B. DuBois, and Benjamin Jealous

This week, the most venerable of civil rights organizations, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, more commonly known as the NAACP, turns 100 years old. Founded on Abraham Lincoln’s 100th birthday (February 12th, 1809), the organization had a controversial start. The organization was born out of what started as an effort by [...]

Republicans Now Led by a Black Man

michael-steele

Michael Steele has been selected to lead the Republican Party. He is the first African-American to chair the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the second African-American to chair either of the two major party’s National Committee after Ron Brown, who chaired the Democratic National Committee. Michael Steele was the first black to serve in a [...]

Barack H. Obama, 44th President Of The United States: Has “The Dream” Been Fulfilled?

obama_swearingin

The day of an African American President of the United States is no longer coming. That day is here. Witnessing Barack Obama take the oath of office, in the freezing cold with a million other people, is surely one of the seven highlights of my life (along with the witnessing the birth of my four [...]

Response to ACLU Racial Profiling Study: Los Angeles Police Department Never Met a Reform Report It Agrees With

dwb

The nation’s most abusive, and aggrieved law enforcement agency, the Los Angeles Police Department, is still “doin’ what it do” as it presented its response this week to a racial profiling study released to its civilian Police Commission in October 2008. The study, titled, “Racial Profiling & The LAPD,” documents that deep and pervasive racial [...]

Troy Davis: The Case Continues

alan_bean

by Dr. Alan Bean – The Troy Davis case indicates just how subjective the legal system really is. The federal 11th Court of Appeals deals with cases in Florida, Alabama and Georgia. A panel of three judges, selected from this court, considered the Davis case yesterday.

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