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.
"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.
So when I read about Freddie Gray, it brought the fight for change into focus. Yes, I can blog and tweet and march and hashtag -- and I will -- but as a political organizer by heart and habit, I believe my calling is to insist that the candidates I support take action to create jobs and justice.
There's the strong suspicion that Gray's death was caused by his physical manhandling by police during the arrest. And while there was no apparent racial motive in their confronting and arresting Gray, that is not a hard and fast requirement for a Civil Right prosecution.
We are a long way from justice and this case will have to work its way through the prosecutor, jury selection and trial, but just the contrast of this tragic incident and that of Garner's death and others is remarkable.
The promise of a second impression is to simplify the job search for people with records and to leverage consumer power to either support progressive employers or put pressure on employers who fail to adopt more progressive hiring policies.
John's life has a lesson for us today. His struggle -- our struggle -- for a just society, for true equality and respect -- is not over. Far from it. All we have to look at is the widespread assault on the Voting Rights Act today. But like him, we cannot walk away; we cannot give up.
How does a citizen protect himself against a police officer's tendency to shoot first and ask questions later, oftentimes based only on their highly subjective "feeling" of being threatened? The short answer is you can't.
In seeking to perpetuate an indiscriminate "war of choice" on Obama's attorney general, whomever he or she might be, the GOP is repeating a grave mistake -- and poisoning what might otherwise be a cordial, or even productive, working relationship.
A new fight is brewing where Republicans are, yet again, injecting immigration rhetoric. If Loretta Lynch is not confirmed, are they expecting President Obama to nominate somebody who will not agree with his immigration policies? This refusal to meet halfway or engage in meaningful negotiations is just politically infantile.
The Department of Justice's 102-page report is a rich source of damning facts about the Ferguson criminal justice system. But tucked halfway in and passed over quickly is a truly revelatory set of figures: the arrest warrant data for the Ferguson Municipal Court.
Seen as a whole, the current federal attitude towards marijuana can truly be described as "doublethink." There are so many contradictions in the government's attitude that they are indeed hard to accurately count.
The road is long, but we must stay on course in the name of Jimmie Lee Jackson, killed by police in 1965 Selma and Michael Brown, shot down by police in 2014 Ferguson--and countless others who sacrificed their lives for change. We must keep faith in an America of the future, a better America that can treat all its people fairly, white, black or brown.
It is the best of times if you're a crook at a mega-bank. It is the worst of times if you're in debt and dare to omit information on your bankruptcy declaration. Consider two federal cases dealing with perjury during bankruptcy.
Cops will never reform themselves. The attempts to bring them closer to us by quite literally packaging us in this same, tired concept of 'community policing' is a spin that no one seeking justice should fall for.
The Justice Department's report on the Ferguson police department should be read by anyone who believes in racial justice and reconciliation, because it shows us what we are still up against in 2015, 50 years after the Selma march. This is not a post-racial America, especially in regard to our policing and criminal justice systems. Ferguson has become a teaching parable for the nation.