Ben Jealous

Recent Articles

Making history…again

 

 

By Benjamin Todd Jealous 

Guest Commentator

 

Remember the March on Washington? August 28, 1963, tens of thousands of activists on the National Mall: a preacher’s son from Atlanta talking about his dream for the country. We don’t need a history lesson. Even if we weren’t at the March itself — even for those like me who were not yet born — Dr. King’s words are etched into our minds as deeply as they are inscribed in stone at the base of his memorial. The preacher’s son has taken his rightful place in the pantheon of national heroes. Continue Reading →

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Trayvon Martin: this generations’ Emmett Till? — Zimmerman verdict confirms broken judicial system for many Blacks

 

 

 

News Analysis

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

 

Organizers of Monday’s downtown rally in front of the Hennepin County Government Center estimated the peaceful crowd of all ages and ethnicities at between 3,500 and 4,000 people. “I’m supposed to be here with my people, elbow to elbow and cheek to cheek, side by side,” proclaimed local poet Tish Jones, who was among a host of speakers addressing the crowd before marching down South Sixth Street to Hennepin Avenue and returning to the Center. Another protest is scheduled for Saturday as part of a national day of protest over the Zimmerman verdict. (For more information about Monday’s demonstration, go to the MSR website at www.spokesman-recorder.com.)

Similar marches are being held all across the country. And despite last weekend’s jury verdict, the national NAACP has requested that the U.S. Justice Department resume its investigation in the Trayvon Martin murder case. Continue Reading →

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Opportunity and diversity one industry at a time

By Benjamin Todd Jealous

Guest Commentator

 

There is a missing component to the national discussion concerning how to strengthen and rebuild the American economy. It is true that high unemployment, a weak national infrastructure, the need for stronger public education, the concentration of wealth and the deficit are all challenges to the nation’s economy, but being left out of the discussion is the continued economic marginalization of racial and ethnic minorities. The American economy has always been strongest when it’s kept the middle class within reach for most Americans. But with White households holding nearly 20 times the wealth of Black or Latino households, and with rising disparities in unemployment, poverty, and income, the future of the middle class has never looked more uncertain. As the country rapidly becomes majority minority, the nation’s economic well-being is increasingly tied to overcoming racial-economic inequality. Continue Reading →

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Blacks: demand economic equity

 

By Marc Morial

Guest Commentator

 

 

President Obama’s decisive victory in this year’s presidential election signaled a shift in both demographics and attitude in America. While 93 percent of African American voters supported Obama, his victory reflected a cross-section of America, including substantial numbers of Whites and a growing number of Hispanics and Asian Americans. African Americans again made the difference in a number of key swing states. In fact, in hotly contested Ohio, the African American share of the electorate rose from 11 percent four years ago to 15 percent this year, with 96 percent of African Americans voting for Obama. Clearly, the president’s small margin of victory in Ohio was determined by an increase in the Black vote. Continue Reading →

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Nat’l NAACP president motivates audience to action

 
Activist makes commitment to help solve problems facing local Blacks
By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

National NAACP President and CEO Ben Jealous says that Minnesota “is more like Mississippi than it should be.”

Having once worked in Mississippi, a state known for its poor education and high prison rates, Jealous, the featured speaker at the October 12 Roy Wilkins Center’s 20thanniversary dinner at University of Minnesota’s Hubert Humphrey Center, admitted how surprised he was to learn that Minnesota is among the worst in Black unemployment and Black graduating rates, and near the top in Black incarceration rates. “I was a little surprised when I looked at the stats of the state of Minnesota. Black folk here are less likely to graduate than Black folk on the average in the country, more likely to be incarcerated than Black folk on the average in the country and less likely to have a job,” stated Jealous. “These are times for all Americans and Minnesotans to become courageous in reaching out and helping people understand that Minnesota is more like Mississippi than it should [be],” he continued. He believes that the state’s present Black generation must be included to help change things. Continue Reading →

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