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The Myth of Desegregation

A recent study claims segregation has hit the lowest point in a century. Here’s why it’s premature to celebrate Early last week a bit of cheery news was reported by the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank: black segregation has hit its lowest point in more than a century — declining in all 85 of the nation’s […]

  By Tammy Johnson, racial justice activist and writer living in Oakland, California, According to a recent report released by Generations Ahead, an aggressive expansion of DNA databases in states across the country now includes the collection of DNA from individuals merely arrested for a felony offense, before a trial determines their innocence or guilt.. When […]

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Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Martin Luther King Jr. Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963 US black civil rights leader & clergyman (1929 – 1968) “Over 67 years after 14-year-old George Junius Stinney Jr. was put to death by the state of South Carolina, he may soon be cleared of the crime […]

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Troy Davis executed: The fight ahead

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  Troy Davis’ last resources to avoid the consummation of the death penalty he was sentenced to in 1991 for killing an off-duty police officer were consumed when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a last-minute plea. A convicted killer according to Georgia’s judicial system, Davis lived his last hours under the mounting shadow of doubt of […]

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The legal scholar Derrick A. Bell foresaw that mass incarceration, like earlier systems of racial control, would continue to exist as long as it served the perceived interests of white elites. Thirty years of civil rights litigation and advocacy have failed to slow the pace of a racially biased drug war or to prevent the […]

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By Dick Price, originally published on LA Progressive, “More African American men are in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850, before the Civil War began,” Michelle Alexander told a standing room only house at the Pasadena Main Library this past Wednesday, the first of many jarring points she made in […]

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When the head of the California division of the NAACP spoke out in support of that state’s Proposition 19 this summer, there seemed to be an equal amount of immediate praise and backlash. Alice Huffman labeled the drug war as a “civil rights issue” getting attention both on a state and national level and once […]

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The 6th Amendment to the US Constitution guarantees all citizens the right to representation when accused of a criminal offense. While Supreme Court decisions have clarified this to mean “effective” representation, the system has often failed to live up to this standard. With the majority of criminal defendants turning to the indigent defense system, why […]

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By Dorsey E. Nunn The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco will hear argument today (Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2010) in a lawsuit challenging the State of Washington’s denial of the right to vote from people with felony convictions. The legal issue in the case is whether the Voting Rights Act, […]

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Drug bust or racist revenge?

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Sheriff Scott Franklin of Jena says he is trying to rid his community of drugs. Critics say he is pursuing a vendetta against the town’s Black community. At four am on July 9 of last year, more than 150 officers from 10 different agencies gathered in a large barn just outside Jena, Louisiana. The day […]

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