Make America Great

What does it mean to “Make America Great Again?” Some people suggest it is actually code for “Make America White Again.” But, when was the United States white? Never! Was there ever a time when America possessed and presented the characteristics of a “great nation?” If so, when was that time? We may turn to the so-called founding documents of this nation as evidence of a “great” society; but upon full examination and honest assessment a true and clear realization is that the words … [Read more...]

Behind the Badge

Police work has always been hard. Today police say it is even harder. In a new Pew Research Center national survey conducted by the National Police Research Platform, majorities of police officers say that recent high-profile fatal encounters between black citizens and police officers have made their jobs riskier, aggravated tensions between police and blacks, and left many officers reluctant to fully carry out some of their duties. The wide-ranging survey, one of the largest ever conducted … [Read more...]

Martin Luther King Day With Trump

April 8, 1968, Representative John Conyers, from Detroit, marched through downtown Memphis with Coretta Scott King, Ralph Abernathy, Harry Belafonte, and thousands of people who had come to that city from across the country. Four days earlier, Martin Luther King, Jr., had been shot and killed there, on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, and a fugue of disbelief and despair hovered over the crowd as it continued down the road that King had travelled. The march served as a momentary validation of … [Read more...]

Jolted by Deaths, Obama Found His Voice on Race

Only weeks after 70 million Americans chose a black man for president, shattering a racial barrier that had stood for the entirety of the nation’s 232-year history, no one in the White House, especially the man in the Oval Office, wanted to talk about race. President Obama had made a pragmatic calculation in January 2009, as the financial crisis drove communities across the United States toward economic collapse. Whatever he did for African-Americans, whose neighborhoods were suffering more … [Read more...]

Dylann Roof Sentenced to Death

Dylann Roof was sentenced to death for murdering nine people participating in a Bible study to which he had been welcomed. In a hail of bullets and horror he killed Cynthia Marie Graham, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lee Lance, Depayne Middleton, Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Daniel Simmons, Sharonda Coleman and Myra Thompson. Roof is a radicalized white supremacist, espousing an ideology and acting violently upon his beliefs. Nothing in the time between the commission of the crime and the trial … [Read more...]

Gang Database Criticized for Denying Due Process May Be Used for Deportations

Peter Arellano was standing on the street with his father last year when an officer from the Los Angeles Police Department handcuffed him, supposedly for vandalism a few blocks away. Before asking him for any information about the incident, the police officer asked him for his gang moniker, Mr. Arellano said. He told the officer he had none. But moments later, Mr. Arellano was served with a gang injunction, restricting where he could go in public and with whom. “There wasn’t a chance to argue … [Read more...]

Drug Enforcement Declines After Proposition 47

A new report finds arrests and citations for drug possession have decreased in Los Angeles and San Diego counties after Prop 47: Declining Drug Enforcement Report. n November 2014, California took a significant step toward reforming mass criminalization and over-incarceration by passing Proposition 47, a ballot measure that changed certain low-level crimes from potential felonies to misdemeanors; prioritizing drug treatment over punishment. In 2015, the first full year after Prop 47, felony … [Read more...]

Join WeSayEnough Week of Solidarity

2017 has begun and I'm reaching out to see if you'd be willing to join together as the Interfaith Organizing Iniative's WeSayEnough Campaign in a week of solidarity organized around the principle of fasting. We've realized that as we get closer to the inauguration of Trump as our next president the tension, fear, anxiety and rage of our people has been reaching palpable proportions. Many folks are gearing up for actions around the country and systems of sanctuary, particularly for our … [Read more...]

Praying for a Successful Presidency

This must be said without equivocation, “I am praying for the success of President-Elect Donald H. Trump’s tenure in office.” Unlike the Republican Congressional leaders who announced publicly on his first Inauguration Day their singular intention to stymie President Barack Obama’s Administration and to stifle each and every initiative he presented, I want to see Mr. Trump perform at the highest level of civility with wise counsel and above average leadership quality. The success of the … [Read more...]

Why Keep Old and Sick Behind Bars?

Anyone who visits a prison these days might be shocked to see what looks more like a nursing home with bars and metal detectors. Prisoners put away years ago under the wave of draconian sentencing are now turning gray and frail, suffering from heart disease and hypertension and feeling the effects of Alzheimer’s and other age-related illnesses. Corrections officials once thought they had time to prepare for this, but something unexpected happened. Federal data shows that prison inmates age … [Read more...]