Jonathan P. Hicks
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At long last, the family of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old Black man killed by police in a St. Louis suburb, is able to put their loved one to rest. The family has endured the most harsh and merciless glare of the national spotlight. The parents of the dead teenager have not only had to deal with the horror of losing their son, having police allow his body to lie on the street for hours, but also had to deal with three autopsies, daily protest marches and incessant calls for calm and order on the streets of Ferguson, Mo.
Like many Americans, I have been riveted by the frequent television reflections on the lives and fate of the three brave civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, who were killed in Mississippi 50 years ago this month for attempting to register African-Americans to vote.
I am a proud graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School, a public school in the northwest section of Washington, D.C. And although it has been decades since I was a student at Wilson, I remain proud of the students there, particularly for the strong positions they have taken on important social issues.
When the NAACP presented to the world the name of its newest president and chief executive, Cornell William Brooks, the venerable civil rights organization hailed him as a “pioneering lawyer and civil rights leader.”
If anyone has demonstrated a sense of decency and character in this entire, sordid saga generated by Donald Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, it is Magic Johnson.
We’re not accustomed to the kind of tough response that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver leveled against Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for racist remarks he made in a private conversation.
There have been a good many disappointing decisions to come from the Supreme Court in recent years.
There is a vibrant, exciting culture of young people in the film industry in Nigeria these days, and it’s time the world paid greater attention to it.
It was striking when the president of this country, a woman who has been the center of international prominence and the recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize, defended a law that criminalizes same-sex activity.
The most dramatic assault on voting rights in the United States since the end of Reconstruction is currently underway. The problem is that there seems to be little to no national outrage about it.
Anita Hill accused Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment shortly after President George H.W. Bush nominated him as the nation’s second African-American to sit on the nation’s high court 23 years ago.
It is a story that America doesn’t like to look at, much less take the time to consider the implications of what that nation’s experience with slavery means in a modern world
It has been two years since Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in a gated community in the suburbs of Orlando, Fla.
In the aftermath of his television comments during a post-NFC Championship Game fit of rather innocent bravado, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has been vilified by commentators and even politicians as something of a thug and a loudmouth. He has been condemned by people throughout the country—including Arizona Sen. John McCain—who have found his behavior indefensible.
In a week of speaking with government officials and ordinary citizens in Israel, there were few if any who expressed optimism that a settlement of the Palestinian issue
There is something patently un-American and undemocratic about a group of people being denied representation in Congress
As New York City approaches the New Year, it is a time of incredible ascendency in the history of African-Americans in elective office in the nation’s largest city.
Ohio has become the center of national attention because of a series of voting bills in the Republican-controlled legislature
You know you’re in trouble when you travel to Detroit to court Black voters to the Republican Party
No matter what the president achieves he is confronted by Republican elected officials who would never even consider giving him credit.
Political antics of Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes
In Brooklyn, the Thompson vs. Hynes drama continues—and it’s not flattering to Hynes There seems to be no end to the drama that is surrounding the race for Brooklyn district attorney. And it is a spectacle that has tarnished the image of the long-term incumbent, who shows no sign of leaving the political stage with grace.
With all the drama surrounding the government shutdown and the Republican Party’s obstinate attempt to obstruct the implementation of expanded health care coverage for millions of Americans, there has been little attention paid to an area where the Obama administration is also flexing its muscles in a highly significant way.
There is something about the experience of having power and authority that can become so intoxicating, so addictive, that those who hold it will periodically do things so outrageous, so unabashedly self-serving to cling to it.
Tuesday’s runoff election produced a history-making result. For the first time in New York City’s political history, an African-American woman is positioned to hold citywide office with the victory of Letitia “Tish” James in the public advocate race.
In 2008, when the controversy over term limits was reaching a citywide boil, there were passions raging on whether the will of New Yorkers, as expressed in two referendums, should be overturned.
The Democratic primary should serve as convincing evidence of how quickly and dramatically political fortunes are turned around in New York City. Just a few months ago, most political pundits had all but declared City Council Speaker Christine Quinn as the winner of the Democratic nomination.
So now we find something of a battle for the hearts and votes of African-American New Yorkers in the upcoming Democratic primary for mayor.
It seems that what goes around does indeed come around. That is a lesson that has become painfully clear to the right-wing zealotry of the Republican Party, courtesy of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
It was a decision, nearly 200 pages in length, that at long last cast the New York City Police Department’s offensive stop-and-frisk initiative in its proper, repugnant role. After months of heartbreaking testimony from young Black and Brown men who have been stopped, searched and humiliated by police officers, the ruling by Judge Shira A. Scheindlin was as scathing as it was decisive.
In New York City, more than a half million young people—mostly African-American and Latino men—are routinely stopped every year by police officers, who stop-and-frisk them though they typically have done nothing illegal. It is a city where longtime residents of various neighborhoods, from Harlem and the South Bronx to Fort Greene and Bedford-Stuyvesant, feel economically squeezed out of their environs as developers make way for higher-income incomers. It is also a city where unemployment remains at staggering levels in communities of color. New York City is an urban center where a decent education continuous to elude far too many students, many of whom walk to school through neighborhoods where their breakfast of choice is often prepared by such corporations as Hostess and Frito-Lay.
There is nothing more American than the healthy exchange of issues, a full-throated public discourse on the topics of the day characterized by vigorous and even heated debate. It is at the core of what makes a democracy work.
For those who think that the spirit of activism and protest has gone by the wayside, they need only look to the events in the last two months in North Carolina. In that state, thousands of demonstrators have been converging on the state capital every week to make clear their outrage over the policies being pursued by an extremist, Republican-controlled Legislature and their governor, Pat McCrory.