America is Guilty: Zimmerman Verdict Shows World America’s True Colors

As we held our breath when the jury in the George Zimmerman trial returned its verdict tonight, and screamed in anguish when “not guilty” was pronounced, it was clear to me America was guilty. Trayvon Martin would be alive today had this nation confronted its racial demons decades ago.

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Did Marijuana Use Make Trayvon Martin Violent?

The instant that Sanford police officials in March, 2012 leaked to the media school records that showed Trayvon Martin had been suspended from school for possessing a trace amount of marijuana, there was little doubt that George Zimmerman’s defense attorneys would jump all over this to prove their point about Martin. The point was, and is the centerpiece of their Zimmerman self-defense claim, that Martin’s marijuana use made him edgy, aggressive, and violent. And since this is supposedly the case, it bolsters two of Zimmerman’s contentions that Martin came under his watch because of his drugged out, suspicious behavior and more importantly that Martin attacked him and he had to resort to deadly force to save himself from mortal harm from a doped out Martin. A toxicological report found a trace amount of marijuana in Martin’s system the night of his slaying.

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SPECIAL REPORT – The Voting Rights Act and the future of Southern politics

The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a key piece of the Voting Rights Act this week was met with frustration and outrage by civil rights and voting advocates across the South. What exactly will it mean for Southern politics?

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Obama should lead fight to revive Voting Rights Act

President Barack Obama should lead a forceful drive to revive the Voting Rights Act, which was effectively disemboweled by the Supreme Court’s decision last week. All celebrate the 1965 Act as the most consequential civil rights legislation of the past century. Its passage was central to the building of the New South, opening the way to attracting foreign investment in auto factories, creating CNN, hosting the Super Bowl, even electing presidents. One afflicted with a poisoned heart is often blind to its effects. The South learned only after the civil rights legislation that segregation was blighting its own potential.

Seceding from Sanity

Stupid is as stupid does…

And S.C. lawmakers’ efforts to “secede from “everything Obama,” deserve the kind of characterization that only Forest Gump can give, so if by chance you haven’t tuned in to the insanity channel lately, here’s what you’ve missed:

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Celebrating July 4th: Toward a Season of Resistance

The June 17th Day of Direct Action (DODA) spearheaded by the Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW) is history.  “Drum Majors for Justice,” primarily from the Northeast where IBW has worked to form drug and criminal justice policy reform collaboratives, marched to the gates of the White House to demand that President Obama end the racially-biased and destructive “War on Drugs” that has so severely damaged Black families and communities and led to mass incarceration of Black people. Equally important, protesters demanded that the damage be repaired through the development of a massive jobs and economic development program with a priority on formerly incarcerated persons. It was heartwarming and encouraging to see so many unemployed youth, formerly incarcerated persons, victims of violence and fratricide, rap activists and young organizers/leaders engaged in “speaking truth to power.”

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Inner cities need disaster relief, too

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie recently spoke at a conference sponsored by the Clinton Global Initiative in Chicago on disaster recovery in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, which caused an estimated $39 billion in damage in New Jersey. Christie talked through the plans for rebuilding after the initial steps to get power and water back up and return the area to “normalcy,” using some $60 billion in federal relief contributions.

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The FBI Walks a Perilous Line between Surveillance and Outright Spying

Outgoing FBI director Robert Mueller was asked sharp questions by a House Judiciary Committee panel about the FBI’s massive collection, intercept, and listening in on millions of phone conversations. There were two obvious concerns behind the questioning and one concern that should be a concern to all given the FBI’s past. The two obvious ones are the effectiveness of the phone surveillance operation in light of the failure to head off the Benghazi and Boston Marathon attacks. The other is the very real danger of privacy infringement on millions of Americans that have nothing to do with any real or suspected terrorist activities. The concerns were pretty much the same ones that President Obama has been assailed on. He has been forced to defend the administration’s actions in the phone surveillance operations. The concerns are hardly new.

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What Zimmerman’s Jury Will Likely Look Like

The type of jury that George Zimmerman will get in Seminole County, Florida has been a hot item of speculation and debate. But what is missing in the debate are two crucial things. One is the specifics of who will likely be on the six person jury. The other is how these six jurors will likely vote. This tracks squarely back to who those six jurors are likely to be.

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Medgar Evers Would Be Proud

Fifty years after the NAACP field secretary was assassinated for his work to expand the vote, a new report reaffirms that his sacrifice was not in vain. For the first time in history, African Americans voted at a higher rate (66.2 percent) than non-Hispanic Whites (64.1 percent). According to the U.S. Census Bureau, black turnout increased by 1.7 million compared with four years earlier, and the Latino and Asian communities saw enormous increases as well.

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