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Jonathan P Hicks

Stories by Jonathan P

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Mississippi political landscape with echoes of Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner

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.

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For the ‘Central Park Five,’ a settlement long overdue

For several years, too many in fact, five African-American and Latino young men languished in jail. They missed family events, important developments in the lives of their communities and time with loved ones. Their lives were completely and irrevocably torn apart after they were wrongfully convicted for the attack and rape of a jogger in Central Park in 1989.

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The importance of exposing and confronting hate groups

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.

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It’s time to rally behind a new NAACP leader

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.”

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Donald Sterling’s insane rant and Magic Johnson’s illustration of decency

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.

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The NBA does the right thing

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.

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With affirmative action ruling, the Supreme Court turns back the clock

There have been a good many disappointing decisions to come from the Supreme Court in recent years.

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Nigeria's robust film industry has bright future

Opinion-Editorial

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.

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An assault on voting rights and a need for national outrage

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.

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Anita Hill reminds a nation of a Supreme Court embarrassment

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.

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The lesson of ‘12 Years a Slave’ for a nation in the age of Obama

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

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In the two years since Trayvon’s death, a legacy has been emerging

It has been two years since Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in a gated community in the suburbs of Orlando, Fla.

Again, another disheartening verdict in Florida, this time over the life of Jordan Davis

By failing to convict Michael Dunn of first-degree murder charges in the death of Jordan Davis, a jury in Florida has allowed the killing of the unarmed African-American teenager to go unpunished, as though his life had no meaning whatsoever.

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Is Richard Sherman a thug? It’s all in the eye of the beholder

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.

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In North Carolina, Republican excesses are hampering the rights of the people

There is something patently un-American and undemocratic about a group of people being denied representation in Congress

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With the New Year come new opportunities for New York’s elected officials

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.

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Ohio is intent on turning back the clock on voting rights

Ohio has become the center of national attention because of a series of voting bills in the Republican-controlled legislature

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Republicans court Black voters, but it never seems to work

You know you’re in trouble when you travel to Detroit to court Black voters to the Republican Party

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These Republicans are determined not to give Obama credit for anything

No matter what the president achieves he is confronted by Republican elected officials who would never even consider giving him credit.

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Watching the sad spectacle of Joe Hynes’ implosion

Political antics of Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes

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In Brooklyn, the Thompson vs. Hynes drama continues—and it’s not flattering to 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.

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While shutdown temporarily paralyzed Washington, Eric Holder remains focused on voting rights

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.

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Ken Thompson victory ‘delayed’ as DA Hynes re-enters race

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.

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Tish James victory: history, important lessons

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.

Captivating prospect of public advocate Tish

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. It pitted the forces of Mayor Michael Bloomberg in his quest to seek a third term against those who stood up for the position for which New Yorkers had voted on two occasions.

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The captivating prospect of a public advocate named Tish James

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.

Time for a focused, productive mayoral campaign

Finally, the political dust has settled and New York City can at last focus on the mayoral race that will be waged between Bill de Blasio, the Democratic candidate, and Joseph Lhota, the Republican contender.

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A primary election whose outcome the pundits didn’t see coming

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.

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Black vote: A prime target for mayoral candidates

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.

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In the birther world, the right gets a taste of its own medicine

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.

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A welcome and fitting decision on stop-and-frisk

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.

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Mayoral race needs to move beyond Anthony Weiner

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.

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From the right, nonstop bitterness toward Obama

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.

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The Zimmerman verdict represents a time to weep—and then to take action

SANDFORD, Fla. — Shawn Wood, the owner of a barbershop in the heart of the African-American community here, said that the verdict hit him with a force far heavier than he would have ever imagined.

With Weiner and now Spitzer, a new campaign tone emerges

Election season in New York City is often utterly unpredictable. It is shaped by events that seem to come out of nowhere, altering, coloring and, at times, disrupting expectations of what the city’s campaign season will bring.

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In N.C., the art of protest movements is still alive and well

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.

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In N.C., the art of protest movements is still alive and well

There are a host of commemorations this year, which is the 50th anniversary of some...

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As stop-and-frisk trial ends, a view of two different worlds of New York emerges

The landmark, riveting stop-and-frisk trial is now over, with closing arguments having been delivered this...

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A Zimmerman trial begins, while attacks on Trayvon continue

SANFORD, Fla.--The trial of George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin has begun at...

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Trayvon Martin trial should focus more on the shooter

In the Trayvon Martin trial, the focus should be on the shooter, not the victim....

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The sad saga of Malcolm Smith and his fellow cohorts

One of the most intriguing aspects of the current political scenario involving Malcolm Smith is...

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It's beyond time to settle with the 'Central Park Five'

It has been nearly a quarter of a century since the lives of five young...

Stop-and-frisk in the spotlight

There is something highly intriguing and, at once, deeply satisfying about the federal trial now...

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'42' is in the majors

A few months ago, I was immersed in a conversation with a young African-American man...

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The bizarre road to justice for Trayvon Martin

There are few cases with the road of bizarre twists that the Trayvon Martin case...

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The personal pain wrought by stop and frisk

There is a young man whom I have known for the better part of a...

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As Bloomberg leaves, stop-and-frisk should too

Michael R. Bloomberg recently traveled to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn to offer his final...

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At last, movement on immigration

In the aftermath of the presidential campaign, there has been a great deal of public...

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Resisting the recasting of Martin Luther King

With the passage of time, there seems to be some miscalculation and misrepresentation about what...

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An election victory that inspires

For New Yorkers of even the slightest progressive bent, elections in this city can be...

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