It was the summer of 1968, and I must have looked strange, even by sixties standards, in my gleaming white hard hat with a steel antenna swaying from its crown. I was the only fififield reporter covering Resurrection City.
Initial protests in the aftermath of the grand jury's decision not to indict Darren Wilson for the killing of Michael Brown created awareness about widespread racial discrimination in law enforcement and excessive police violence. Recent protests, however, have taken on a more cynical, counterproductive tone.
In case anybody hasn't noticed, democracy in America is dying now. This isn't an overstatement; it's a fact. Corporate interests dominate our politics so much at this point that our government, for all intents and purposes, is merely its handmaiden. Whatever Wall Street wants, Wall Street gets. Corporatism is the new order of the day.
Throughout his remarkable career, Hayden has been both a prophetic voice and a political strategist, a rare combination. No single figure embodies the spirit of the generation that came of age in the 1960s than Hayden.
The Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases force us to have the tough talks about race, profiling, police use of deadly force, judicial abuse of power and potential changes to our grand jury systems.
Every day in the United States, with just the "click" of a button millions of Americans apply for employment. It's so effortless, in fact, that I can type this piece, pause for one or two seconds and CLICK; I just applied for a job, in literally, a blink.
Wednesday night saw an array of beautiful luminaries including: the still handsome Harry Belafonte, the ever talented Ruben Santiago Hudson, and the magnificent Jessye Norman (to name just a few) came out to see the world premiere of Odetta.
"Today carrying a camera is like carrying a weapon. Who ever might stop you and start interrogating you for taking pictures."
We've come a long way. We have a long way to go. When we talk about history, let's not forget to include current events. Let's not forget that we are the history of the future. That's how we gather important intelligence. Just ask Mayor Edna Branch Jackson.
I still remember the day you signed DOMA. The anger. The disappointment. The despair. I still remember watching states pass gay-marriage prohibitions quite easily. I cannot forget, and I cannot forgive until there is a proper apology.
Schools' role in responding to campus sexual assault is essential, because students' civil rights -- an equal opportunity to education -- are on the line. I fear, however, that many do not understand that these civil rights concerns stand separate from any criminal proceedings that may or may not transpire.
Police officers who clearly treat whites and blacks differently have been given military hardware and rules of engagement that allow them to be more aggressive and escalate the use of force faster than troops in a war zone. Let that sink in for a moment.
Will BGLOs be meaningfully engaged in this modern struggle for racial equality? Will they be timid and do enough just to say that they did something? Will they sit on the sidelines?
One can only serve on a grand jury if one is a registered voter. Moreover, that registered voter can only serve on a grand jury if he or she sticks around long enough to serve on that jury and doesn't try to outsmart justice by giving silly-ass excuses to get off that jury -- like I did. I let the Eric Garners and Michael Browns down.
For so long in the labor movement we have called for others to join us as we champion worker's rights and fight for a better future for working families. But we have fallen silent on issues of racial justice when our brothers and sisters needed us to speak up most.
Racism -- the insidious disease, the implicit bias, the unwritten rules that govern our lives -- won't be fixed by a grand jury alone. We have to take responsibility for the cultural practices that let racism thrive.