Voting Rights Act

Recent Articles

Black History Month: now more than ever

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Marc H. Morial

Guest Commentator

 

“There is no more powerful force than a people steeped in their history. And there is no higher cause than honoring our struggle and ancestors by remembering.” — Lonnie Bunch, founding director, National Museum of African American History and Culture

 

Ever since the 2009 election of Barack Obama as America’s first Black president and the 100th anniversary of the National Urban League in 2010, the perennial debate about the need for Black History Month has intensified. Some have questioned the need for a special month to recognize the many unknown and unsung achievements of African Americans. With Obama as president, the logic goes, we have now achieved Dr. King’s dream of a non-racial America where everyone is judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. I wish it were so. Continue Reading →

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Don’t let the radicals say anything

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If there is a theme to the 50th year commemorative marches held in Washington DC and in cities all over the country last weekend, it had to be “don’t let the ‘real’” activists speak. I think the decision not to include people who shared Martin Luther King’s vision that this system that features the triplets of racism, materialism and militarism has to be changed, is indicative of just how far we have not come in 50 years. Of course the radicals ironically were not allowed to speak at the original march either. In fact, the entire thing was orchestrated from beginning to end. Malcolm X called them out at the time. Continue Reading →

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James Meredith’s A Mission from God goes beyond remembering the past

He’ll discuss current concerns during an August 29 visit to Minneapolis
A book review 

By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer

 

Living, breathing Civil Rights Era history is coming to South Minneapolis’ Hosmer Library in the renowned person of James Meredith, who will read from and talk about his book, A Mission from God: a Memoir and Challenge for America (Simon & Schuster). Following his acclaimed Three Years in Mississippi after nearly 50 years, A Mission from God, written with award-winning author William Doyle, reflects on what went on in Meredith’s mind and how he felt in his heart when he did the unthinkable, single-handedly taking on the most viciously racist state in the union (of which its governor and citizens were staunchly proud) to claim the right to enroll for classes at the University of Mississippi. In 1963, the South, instead of practicing the politically correct racism that prevailed in the North, which claimed to embrace equality while covertly stonewalling it, was very much outright in its refusal to acknowledge, much less accept, people of color as Americans. Blind, unreasoning hatred of Black humanity was such that it actually took 500 U.S. Marshals, the 70th Army Engineer Combat Battalion, the 2nd Infantry Division U.S. Army troops, the 503rd Military Police Battalion, and Mississippi’s National Guard to hold off a rabid, jeering horde of blood-thirsty bigots. Television and film dramas, even documentaries, romanticize then-President John Kennedy and his Attorney General Robert Kennedy for dispatching all that aid like the cavalry coming over the hill when Gov. Ross Barnett withdrew the local police and was going to let Meredith get killed. Continue Reading →

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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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Sebelius and Holder address NAACP convention — Speeches focused on Zimmerman verdict, Affordable Care Act, voting rights

 

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

 

In light of the recent George Zimmerman not-guilty verdict, both U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius last week stressed the importance of civil rights during their scheduled appearances at the NAACP national convention in Orlando, Fla. The attorney general called for “a respectful, responsible dialogue about issues of justice and equality.”

“The death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy for his family, but also for our country,” Sebelius pointed out. “So are the tragedies of all the children we have lost because of gun violence before and since Trayvon was killed.” She and Holder spoke separately to the NAACP July 16, three days after the Zimmerman trial ended on July 13. “Across America, diverse groups of citizens, from all races, backgrounds and walks of life are instead overwhelmingly making their voices heard” in disagreeing with the verdict, said Holder. “I hope that we will continue to approach this necessarily difficult dialogue with the same dignity that those who have lost the most — Trayvon’s parents — have demonstrated throughout the last year, and especially over the past few days.”

“The president hasn’t given up on pushing forward on commonsense gun violence prevention efforts,” reaffirmed the HHS secretary. Continue Reading →

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In final analysis, Title IX created ‘unprecedented opportunities’

 

After 40 years of existence, Title IX still raises the hair on the necks of those critics who strongly feel the federal law hurts men’s sports. These naysayers continue to propagandize this lie. However, more often than not it seems that White females have been the main beneficiaries of the equity legislation since its passage 40 years ago. “I think it has been a law that helped all women,” says University of Wisconsin-Madison law student Valyncia Raphael. “But I think right now the conversation does not acknowledge that there are different types of women who have benefited from the law in different ways.”

Raphael made her observation during a national Title IX conference held last spring at the University of Michigan. Continue Reading →

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Five million people of color made voting history in 2008

Will voting trend continue in 2012? By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) approximately five million more voters, including Blacks, Latinos and Asians, went to the polls in the historic 2008 presidential election in which America’s first Black president was elected. However, with the rise in voter suppression laws across the country since 2008, approximately five million voters are expected to be affected, says the ACLU. This includes Blacks and other people of color, the elderly, students, the poor and the disabled. “I don’t think it was any accident that after 2008 we found these huge gains in Blacks and Latinos in voting, as well as Asian Americans and Native Americans voting, then all of a sudden all these Republican-held [state] legislatures decided that voter fraud is a problem,” notes University of Minnesota Journalism Professor Catherine Squires. Continue Reading →

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