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New Year resolutions: Protect children from violence, poverty



By Marian Wright Edelman

Guest Commentator


As New Year’s Eve countdowns wound down, many people turned to the familiar ritual of taking stock of where they are now to make resolutions for what they can do better in the new year. We all measure our accomplishments and shortcomings in different ways. Some people count numbers on a scale or in a savings account. But what if we decided to take stock as a nation by measuring how we treat our children? If we did that kind of countdown, we’d learn:

• Every second-and-a-half during the school year a public school student receives an out-of-school suspension. Continue Reading →

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When good people essentially do nothing



Power, politics, and policy and the influence they have over African American people


Many children win medals for being the fastest runner in their school, yet for two siblings who attended a Crow Wing County school in Minnesota, their fate proved otherwise. Imagine being forced to push the merry-go-round as a six-year-old while being called “ni**er bi**h, coon, monkey,” and other defamations, until finally one day you grow tired and simply say “No!”
The reaction of your recess teacher is shock — who is this little Black child who would dare question the authority of a White woman living in America? So again the teacher yells, “Push the merry-go-round you Black ni**er bi**h,” and again you look her dead in the eye and tell her “No.” After all, you want to experience the same joy you witnessed on the other kids’ faces as you pushed and pushed the merry-go-round for countless recesses. Immediately the teacher grabs you by the ear and drags you to the principal’s office, with all the other children following, proclaiming to onlookers that they will teach this “coon, ni**er, monkey, and child of Satan” a lesson! As if the girl understands that there is power in numbers, she breaks away from her teacher and runs as fast as she can inside the building, down the hall that had suddenly grown despairingly dim, and abruptly into the classroom in which her sister resides. Continue Reading →

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