News & Commentary
The Atlanta public school cheating scandal is but “the tip of the iceberg,” reports Bob Schaeffer, public education director of the National Center for Fair and Open Testing. A new FairTest survey reports confirmed cheating incidents in 37 states and the District of Columbia in just that last four years. It also lists 50 ways adults in public schools artificially boost test scores. When everyone cheats, you know something is wrong with the test. In fact, high-stakes testing — in which jobs and even the existence of schools depend on the results of a standardized test — is a perverse …
Justice Sonia Sotomayor was brutally honest. No U.S. Supreme Court Justice has ever revealed such personal details of life behind their rise to this nation’s most coveted law job.
President Barack Obama made history when he nominated Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2009. A graduate of Princeton University and Yale Law School, she was a former prosecutor and then appellate judge. Now, Justice Sotomayor, the first Latina, and third woman on the U.S. Supreme Court, again breaks new ground.
Her memoir “My Beloved World” is historic because no sitting Justice has ever exposed intimate details of their childhood, especially one involving an alcoholic father and crime-ridden Bronx, NY, neighborhood. Judges are intentionally closed off in order to appear objective. They maintain an image of quiet black-robed dignity.
Yet, Justice Sotomayor did not lose her judicial dignity in displaying her humanity; she only enhanced it. Although of average …
The Senate’s Gang of Eight have put together an 844 page monstrosity known as the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act, legislation that President Obama says he “basically approves” of. The crafters of this essentially unreadable bill was put together by Senators Dick Durbin (Illinois), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Michael Bennett (D-CO), Marco Rubio (R-FLA), Jeff Flake (AZ), John McCain (AZ) and Lindsay Graham (R-SC). On its surface, the bill provides much-needed relief to many of the 11 million undocumented people who live in our country. The challenge is that it disadvantages some immigrants, especially African and Caribbean immigrants, while helping others.
Further, the Senators crafting the bill put goodies into the bill that only serve to advantage themselves or their states. Senator Lindsay Graham wants more visas for the meat packing industry. Senator Charles Schumer provided special provisions for Irish people with a high …
The global economy is fueled by our demand for digital technology. To meet such a demand, developed economies scramble in Africa to secure precious minerals and metals.…
April 4 will mark the 45th year since the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. Dr. King, 39, at the time, has now been gone from us longer than he was with us. A monument celebrates his life on the mall in Washington. He is remembered as the man with a dream at the March on Washington. In 1968, however, Dr. King was far from the favored celebrity he is today. He was under fierce criticism for opposing the war in Vietnam. Former colleagues were scorning his commitment to nonviolence. When he went to …
We are witnessing the very serious decline of Black radio in general and Black owned radio in particular. This is happening at a time when Blacks can ill afford to be without voice in the marketplace of ideas. With the hateful indifference to Blacks that dominates so much of what is considered mainstream media, Blacks must have access to social, political, esthetic and cultural expressions that are born of the Black experience in the world.
It is important to take into account the factors that have made Black radio so vulnerable. Two Major contributing factors to the demise of Black owned radio are the 1990 Bill Clinton telecommunications ACT, and the bias inherent in the radio ratings system, a system whose incorrect information has consistently deprived Black radio of a fair share of advertising revenue, leading to the financial demise of a number of Black owned radio stations throughout the …
African American students achieve at a different level than white students. Test scores are lower, as are high school and college completion rates, and the number of African Americans attending four-year institutions is falling. The rate of African American suspensions and expulsions from K-12 schools is higher than that of other groups. By almost any metric there are gaps between African American students and white or Asian students (Latinos achieve at about the same rate as African Americans).
Why does this happen? The late sociologist John Ogbu hypothesized that the gap was the result of young African Americans thinking that learning was “acting white”. His theory was batted around as if it were fact, even when Duke economist William Darity refuted the Ogbu theory. Why? Because it fits somebody’s stereotype to describe African American youngsters as culturally alienated from the mainstream, so much that they eschew the very institution that…
There is no easy way or walk to freedom; no shortcuts to justice; no quick fix for conceiving and constructing the good and sustainable society and world we all want and deserve to live in. Indeed, to achieve the good we all want in the world, we must work and struggle long and hard for it. In a word, we must be in it for real, in it for the good, and in it for the long. It is always good to remember and remind each other of this in our constant reasoning and wrestling with the urgent issues of our time. Certainly, Black/Brown relations are one of these. And how we work out our relations with each other will determine the quality of life of our communities and this country, and our capacity to realize the just and good society we’ve fought so long for.
Our challenge is to
Imagine Gov. George Wallace of Alabama in 1963 appointing an emergency manager in Birmingham with broad powers to dismiss elected officials, renegotiate contracts, sell assets and become sole authority of the city’s pension funds a month after the voters rejected the emergency manager law in a statewide referendum? What would Dr. King have written from his Birmingham jail cell? Emergencies can force people to come together. They can also be used by the powerful to impose policies that would otherwise be rejected. Author Naomi Klein called this the “shock doctrine,” using a crisis to overcome democratic resistance. The state of …
Immigrants to America would gain tremendously by learning of the struggle for racial justice. Millions of immigrant families are navigating American life with time for little else. However, immigrants should study this nation’s racial history.
Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were mere words for people of color until African-Americans forced this country to deliver on her promises. Yet, too often, immigrants from Europe, Asia, and Africa fail to acknowledge how African-American battles for racial justice assists these new arrivals to the country.
African-Americans successfully fought a Super-Power and won. They contributed mind and body to create justice for all. Most areas of American life enjoyed by immigrants, from employment and housing to education and political rights were made better by African-Americans challenging discrimination.
African-Americans fought for rights most immigrants now take for granted. Unfortunately, knowledge of African-Americans is often based on cancelled television shows or bad movies this …
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June 18, 2013
- IF YOU DON’T LIKE DISPARITIES, TRY EQUALITY
June 17, 2013
- Student loan crisis is coming to a head
June 15, 2013
- Pro-Gun Activities Subdued in Face of Zimmerman Trial and Santa Monica Massacre
June 11, 2013
- DOES BIG BROTHER HAVE A RACIAL BIAS?
- LBJ’s war on poverty still only partly won
- A fair minimum wage is a measure of decency
June 8, 2013
- Stop Frisk and Swab: DNA Database
June 5, 2013
- THE UNEVEN RECOVERY
June 4, 2013
- Obama must see Africa in new light
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