John Kerry

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Ellison proposes friendship societies


By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


U.S. Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and five other congressional Democrats last week sent a letter to both President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry urging the administration “to continue efforts to find a cease-fire agreement between Israel and Palestine.” Earlier this month, while speaking to a group of visiting young African leaders at the University Of Minnesota Humphrey School Of Public Affairs, Ellison said, “I think that the bes

t thing to do is for the United States to put more pressure on both sides to resolve the conflict.”

He made it clear to the 25 visitors in town for a six-week leadership program that his views were his own and not those of the U.S. or Congress. The congressman added that he believes that the United Nations has become outdated and badly need restructuring. “It’s a voluntary organization made up of countries. It’s a model that’s old and needs a lot of work. The world has changed a lot…

“I believe that if you have a leader of a country committing atrocities on civilians, the world can’t stand by and let it happen. Continue Reading →

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The Mandela paradox


The passing of Nelson Mandela left many of us with a paradox. The heads of U.S. and European imperialism praise him. The very same governments that helped prop up Apartheid. Oh yes they indeed did, just check the records of how many corporations from those countries did business with apartheid South Africa even after it was revealed the day-to-day reality of the former racist, murderous and disenfranchising regime. The U.S. went as far as to use its CIA to help capture Mandela. Continue Reading →

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Obama harkens back to slavery with ‘states’ rights’ for same-sex marriage

Last July, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) Americans and our allies celebrated New York State becoming the sixth and largest state to allow same-sex marriage. And, of course, it sent an urgent message to President Obama. But what does it signal to us LGBTQ citizens when the first African American president wants to employ states’ rights, which once upon a time in this country federally mandated racial segregation and sanctioned American slavery, to address the issue of same-sex marriage? As a civil rights attorney, Obama knows that employing states’ rights violates our full constitutional rights as well as re-institutionalizes the 1896 U.S. Supreme Court case of Plessy v. Ferguson. As a result of that case, the ”separate but equal” doctrine became the rule of law until it was struck down in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision. Continue Reading →

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