Yesterday, President Obama acted to restrict the Defense Department and other federal agencies from providing military equipment to local police departments. In essence, the president adopted, by Executive Order, the Grayson Amendment that I introduced last year in the House of Representatives.
We need to address the historically central role of fee-generation in U.S. criminal justice systems, a tendency that became even more pronounced as a result of the recent fiscal crisis.
...asked my 9 year-old last month. Otherwise absorbed in a rousing Fifa 15 match, he looked up from the iPad when the news upstaged Isco's corner kick.
Something amazing happened on Friday at my school... my students exercised their right to conduct a peaceful protest. They organized their strategy within a week; attributing leadership credit to one they called "Ms. Kelly."
As the Supreme Court gets ready to hopefully legitimize a belief that many of us in the LGBT community already consider an inalienable right -- marriage equality for all -- it's high time we start preparing ourselves for the next major issue to address: intersectionality.
Given the recent unrest in Ferguson and Baltimore, it's time to reignite the debate: Was the Kerner Commission prediction accurate: Have we become "two societies... separate and unequal?"
With so much angst and unrest unfolding throughout the world, most of which we're made aware of in minute-by-minute bursts, the pressure to show our social activism bona fides is intense, ofttimes bearing down like a hurricane with an agenda.
Instead of choosing silence, we need to stay in the conversation and get even more vulnerable. We need to choose to tolerate our fear and discomfort, and hang in there with the ambiguity of not knowing what to do next. We need to choose to own our ignorance and mistakes.
"Held captive." It was how one 13-year-old described the feeling of growing up poor in our wealthy nation, and for more and more Americans living in poverty, this feeling isn't just a metaphor.
In the Hunger Games bestselling novels and movies, the rich capital uses terroristic "games" to control the 12 poor surrounding districts. No young fan of the books or movies would miss the uncanny parallels between the treatment of Balitmore's poor and the brutal jovial wanton violence against Panem's poor.
One of the most remarkable symbols of racial discrimination are the missing African-American men. According to an analysis last month in The New York Times, 1.5 million African American men have gone missing in this country.
Regardless of how you may feel about some of the recent issues we face, please don't let them tear us apart as people. We have to put our humanity first because we are all in this together.
While I am tremendously proud of all the organizing efforts that are taking place all over the country, I don't think we have spent much time thinking about where we are going. I think this is partly due to the fact that many people are just trying to survive.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson testified before Congress last week about his proposed three billion dollar increase to DHS funding for the next fiscal year.
Last week, as Baltimore braced for renewed protests over the death of Freddie Gray, the Baltimore Police Department prepared for battle. In response to a local march, the BPD did what any self-respecting police department in post-9/11 America would do: it declared war on the protesters.
In the past year or so, there has been a tendency for white people opposed to any outcry against police brutality and ongoing racial discrimination to invoke MLK's words about the content of character being the yardstick to judge a man instead of skin color.
How do we eliminate the bias against black skin which seems to be so inextricably linked to issues of discrimination that have a real impact on the progress of African-Americans? Economic investment, legal reform and improvements in education are certainly needed. But, I also believe that positive multicultural media is part of the solution.
'Why?' It's the most useful one word sentence in the English language. It's how we begin the search for causes, for understanding, for truth. We have to figure out why something happened before we can figure out how to make change going forward.
These musings are intended only as a first draft of the ideas we need to discuss in order to tackle our urban crisis. First, we must stop making unforced errors and adopting policies that benefit the elites, but create hardships for working class and poor people.
We all know what it's like to be so frustrated that we are tempted to damage something or someone we hold dear. That could be punching a wall, throwing a dish or cell phone, or sadly enough, assaulting a loved one. None of these responses are justified or right. Hence, we need a remedy.