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CFPB Makes Move to Support Payday Lenders During Black History
2/13/2019 10:19:19 AM

By Charlene Crowell   Each February, Black History Month commemorates the unique American experience of Blacks in America. This year marks the 400th anniversary of the Jamestown, Virginia arrival of captured and shackled Africans. In the ensuing years, as slavery grew, so did the wealth of those who claimed our forefathers as ‘property’. By April 12-13, 1861, the wealth built on slave labor was forcefully protected with the Battle of Fort Sumter, considered by historians to be the start of the Civil War that lasted until 1865 and the war’s...

‘Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Mo’
2/13/2019 10:16:50 AM

By Marian Wright Edelman   “If the justice system does not change incarceration will continue to be as arbitrary as a game of eeny, meeny, miny, mo, with Black kids and Black men hoping to avoid being ‘IT.’” Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Mo is the title of this series of paintings by Nashville native Omari Booker, a visual artist who has spent a lot of time thinking about race and mass incarceration in America. He explains that many people may not realize the familiar children’s rhyme the title is based on (eeny, meeny, miny, mo, catch a tiger by the...

Black Millennial Voices: Stop the Torture of U.S. Prison Inmates
2/13/2019 10:13:43 AM

By Malika Elmengad   We are so proud of the thousands of young people who stood for hours and days in blistering cold weather outside the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn, New York to raise their fists and voices in protest over the poor treatment of inmates and terrible conditions in the jail. Hundreds of thousands of additional millennials across the nation joined in solidarity with the Brooklyn protesters via social media. The disproportionate mass incarceration of people of color in America continues to grow. It is bad enough to be confined and locked up...

Losing Your Driver’s License to Debt:
2/8/2019 3:50:48 PM

43 States Allow Suspensions Due to Unpaid Court Debt By Staff Reports   Today, personal vehicles transport parents to work, take multiple family generations to school, access medical and/or business services, and more. With a car and a driver’s license, consumers gain mobility to go about their daily lives in all of its multiple dimensions. But what happens when that driver’s license is revoked or suspended? In 43 states and the District of Columbia, driver’s licenses can be suspended because of unpaid court debt. In most locales, once a...

Dangerous Steps Backwards on Discriminatory School Discipline
2/8/2019 3:49:57 PM

By Marian Wright Edelman   In January 2014, the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice jointly released a ‘guidance package’ on school discipline to help schools and districts meet their responsibilities under federal civil rights law to use nondiscriminatory discipline practices. Years of data have shown children of color and children with disabilities are disproportionately punished by school discipline practices and suspended and expelled from school. Many schools and school districts have finally begun reforming their policies to promote positive academic...

‘Now, Do You Feel like a Big Boy?’
2/8/2019 3:41:43 PM

Dr. James L. Snyder   Vacations mean different things to different people. For me, the vacation means I am vacating one place and going to another place to do nothing. Recently, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I vacated the parsonage to go to some place where we could major on doing nothing. We have mastered this over the years. My definition of “nothing” is quite different from my wife’s definition. My definition is simply that I spend the day doing nothing. My wife’s definition is simply that she will spend the day doing...

Football Is My Guilty Pleasure
1/31/2019 12:21:14 AM

By Matthew Johnson   As a man who prides himself on eschewing violent, hyper-masculine pastimes, I still find it very difficult to give up watching professional football, especially once the playoffs begin. I promise myself and those around me that each and every game I witness will be my last—but this is never to be. The very best I can do is wean myself off the sport, skipping a Sunday here and there. I can't seem to go cold turkey. I have tried to kick the habit for at least the past six seasons because it has become almost a form of sadism to watch NFL games....

The end of all nonsense and other practical jokes
1/30/2019 11:57:31 PM

Dr. James L. Snyder   When it comes to practical jokes, Yours Truly is always on the ready. Throughout my earthly passage, I have perpetuated my share of practical jokes. I will not enumerate them here, the simple reason being, I might want to bring one out of retirement. I must say that most practical jokes are neither practical nor funny. However, I operate on the biblical premise, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones" (Proverbs 17:22). With the high cost of medicine these days, I will take a merry heart every time....

Elected Enemies—The Government Shutdown That’s Crippling America
1/25/2019 9:07:34 PM

By Jeffrey L. Boney   Imagine having to choose between paying your mortgage and picking up the much-needed prescription for your health crisis because the job you report to and the federal resources you have relied on to live day to day are no longer available to you because of things beyond your control. Choices like those, and many others, are exactly what approximately 800,000 federal employees, roughly 4 million federal government contractors and countless low-income families — who rely on the federal government assistance — have had to deal with since the...

The Annual Whitewashing of Martin Luther King Jr.
1/25/2019 9:04:40 PM

By Wim Laven   Every year I ask myself questions about the shameful exploitation of Martin Luther King Jr.—why do Americans love to disgrace his message so much? Why is it so popular that we see it year after year? Remember last year? Trump was talking about "s@!#hole countries" while tweeting “I encourage all Americans to observe this day with appropriate civic, community, and service activities in honor of Dr. King’s life and legacy.” What is to stop longtime racists like Rep. Steve King from copying and pasting a quick quote into their...