Absent jobs in minority communities, law enforcement reform is unlikely to break the cycle of hopelessness, despair and anger that lead to social disorder and, in turn, more racial polarization and repression.
There was a line in President Obama’s State of the Union address that particularly resonated with me: “Opportunity is who we are.” The question is whether we’ll provide that opportunity to the millions of immigrants who are living and working in the shadows in our country.
As the holidays approach, many of us will take time to reflect upon the past year – to think about the moments that have shaped our lives and the people who’ve crossed our paths and shared our experiences.
On Wednesday, House Speaker John Boehner said there is not enough time remaining in 2013 to debate and pass immigration reform. It is almost as if the speaker believes his congressional colleagues cannot walk and chew gum at the same time. Members of Congress are not one-trick ponies, however, and Congress is capable of fixing the broken immigration system in the coming months.
This afternoon, I had the privilege of attending the Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony honoring Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley (Cynthia Diane Morris) — the four little girls who were killed in the Birmingham church bombing by Klansmen 50 years ago this month.
Our country has changed dramatically since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech, but few would argue that we have lived up to King’s dream. In fact, it seems the clock is winding backward.
"They always get away." These were the words George Zimmerman uttered as he followed and later shot Trayvon Martin – words that reflected his belief that Trayvon was one of "them," the kind of person about to get away with something.
In its decision to gut key provisions of the Voting Rights Act, the U.S. Supreme Court brushed aside the considered judgment of a nearly unanimous Congress and opened the door to new forms of discrimination against minority voters.
George Zimmerman appears to have concluded that young Trayvon Martin was "suspicious" based on nothing more than his race and the fact that Trayvon was walking in Zimmerman's neighborhood. Sadly, such assumptions are made about black youth every day. And they play out in a million disastrous ways.
When George Wallace stood in the "schoolhouse door” to stop African-American students from enrolling in the University of Alabama, it was all for show. With Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, we can only hope that his position is similar political posturing.
The security camera footage broadcast by CNN shows a grisly scene: a black man in Jackson, Miss., being fatally run over by a pickup truck after he was viciously beaten in a motel parking lot early on a Sunday morning in late June.
The notion of birthright citizenship guaranteed by the 14th Amendment is once again a flash point in our volatile debate over immigration. Derided as "anchor babies" and even "terror babies," the children of today's undocumented immigrants are under attack by a coalition of state lawmakers backed by the nativist lobby.
A year ago, we introduced a new school curriculum, Civil Discourse in the Classroom and Beyond, with this urgent call: "There is a pressing need to change the tenor of public debate from shouts and slurs to something more reasoned." The tragedy in Tucson this weekend reminds us that it's a call that politicians and pundits would do well to heed.
A guest on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” on Dec. 21 made a number of inaccurate references to recent articles published by the Southern Poverty Law Center on the activities of organizations opposed to the equal-rights efforts of gay men, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender Americans. Unfortunately, those statements were allowed to stand unchallenged. I would like to set the record straight.
Congressional repeal of the U.S. military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy, which will allow gay men and lesbians to serve in the armed forces without having to hide their orientation, has set off waves of condemnation among anti-gay opponents who predict all measure of doom and disaster for the military and America. Yet it serves us well to recall a decision that put an end to another unjust policy steeped in fear and prejudice rather than fact and logic.
This week, as we celebrate our nation’s bounty and give thanks for the blessings in our lives, most of us probably won’t think very much about the people who do the backbreaking labor that puts food on our plates. We should.
After a drastic decline in civil rights enforcement by the U.S. Justice Department over much of the past decade, President Obama's declaration during the State of the Union Address that his administration is "once again prosecuting civil rights violations" is a promising sign.
The United States may be faltering as an economic powerhouse, but we're still No. 1 in one important category: locking people up. With one out of every 100 adults behind bars, we're ahead of China, Rwanda, Cuba and every other country. Our prisoner population has nearly tripled over the past two decades.
An April 16, 2008, article in The New York Times about the loot taken home last year by hedge fund managers, provides us with the starkest – and most obscene – evidence yet about the growing disparity between the rich and the poor in our country.
Emmett Till was just a boy of 14 when he traveled to Mississippi from his home in Chicago in 1955. Not understanding the mores of the segregated South, he made the terrible mistake of whistling at a white woman.
Perhaps the most striking thing about our national debate over immigration is the utter lack of attention to the root causes of mass migration from Mexico or to the moral dimensions of the injustice and human tragedy that is unfolding before our eyes.
With Republicans sensing a tide of public anger bearing down on them in the mid-term congressional elections, President Bush and his allies are once again raising the specter of foreign terrorists attacking Americans on our own soil if we pull our troops out of Iraq.