Free Your Mind

“Before you can read me you’ve got to learn how to see me.”

This week’s “Say It In Song“ pick is “Free Your Mind” by En Vogue.

If you’re paying attention at all to the current political climate, it is as it has been for at last the past 5 years: stuck. Stuck in a place of so much negativity that the nation is unable to truly move forward and, in fact, the actions of many appear to have the intention of taking the country backwards.… [Read more]

On this day in 1963: 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington

It has been 50 years since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial. All of the preparation leading up to the march for jobs and freedom, and Dr. King’s speech, mark a pivotal period in time that changed the nation’s course.

Today, at 11:00 am ET, a ceremony begins honouring the day.… [Read more]

‘Stop and Frisk’ update

Finally. Thanks to the perseverance of the New York Civil Liberties Union, the City of New York will clear the records of  thousands of innocent people who were stopped under the city’s controversial “stop and frisk” program.

To give some background, under Mayor Bloomberg the NY Police Department (NYPD) has conducted more stop-and-frisk encounters than the combined populations of Baltimore, Boston, Denver, Seattle, Detroit, San Francisco, Washington D.C.… [Read more]

It hasn’t been that long: Loving vs. Virginia #MarriageEquality

As the US Supreme Court prepares to decide on marriage equality cases, taking a look back to one of the first cases fighting for the right to marry becomes all the more important.

In 1967, not even 50 years ago, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in the Loving v. Virginia case. For those who don’t know, the aptly named Loving couple, Richard and Mildred, committed what was then considered an unlawful act; the couple — a white man and a black woman — fell in love and married.… [Read more]

Terror in Tiny Town

You can always count on Canada to provide black comedic relief when it comes to how terrorist threats ought to be blunted. We – unerringly – take an American legislative excess and give that delightful, north of the 49th insouciance to make it our own. Remember ‘extraordinary rendition’ in the wake of 9/11, a dark Rumsfledian Star Chamber vision administered by charming Syrian prison officials?… [Read more]

Keep talking, Rand Paul…We’re Listening

Rand Paul (R-KY) wants to be President of the United States. He also wants African-Americans to believe that he is not a bigot. During his recent outreach visit to Howard University he  relayed to the students of the elite, predominantly African-American institution that he has never been against the 1964 Civil Rights Act and that he does not have a bigoted bone in his body or a racist feeling in his heart.… [Read more]

On this day in history: Letter from a Birmingham Jail

What follows is an open letter written on April 16, 1963, by the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., American civil rights leader. At the time, King was being held in a Birmingham, Alabama jail after being arrested for a planned non-violent protest by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. This letter should be required reading for all to have more of an understanding of this nation’s history, and perhaps what we can do to move forward.… [Read more]

When will we be paid?

This week’s “Say It In Song” pick feels appropriate in light of recent news about the continued battle for fairness for workers. Though “When Will We Be Paid, by the Staple Singers, was released shortly after the Civil Rights Movement, the lyrics are just as applicable today – especially when taken in the context of the ongoing fight for workers’ rights.… [Read more]

LGBT Rights and the Supreme Court

Much progress towards full LGBT rights was achieved last year; marriage equality was won in several states, bringing the total to nine (Maryland, Iowa, Maine, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Washington — as well as the District of Columbia). Additionally, a hate crimes law was enacted, “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” ended and, for the first time ever, a sitting President stated his full support for marriage equality and instructed the Department of Justice to stop defending the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which was enacted in 1996.… [Read more]

Stop-and-Frisk Milestone Reached and it’s Nothing to be Proud Of

With approximately 34,500 uniformed officers and 51,000 employees overall – even more than the Federal Bureau of Investigation – the New York City Police Department is the largest police force in the country. It’s a powerful army in its own right and it has been expanding its global presence as it continues to fight the global war on terror.… [Read more]