Stop and Frisk vs. Voting Rights Act: The Importance of Contextual Discourse

Question:  What do you get when you discuss a racial discrimination issue in a racial context? Answer:  You get a policy that makes the racial discrimination illegal. Question:  What do you get when you discuss a racial discrimination issue in a non-racial context? Answer:  You get the invalidation of a policy that makes the racial…

President Obama’s Response on Voting Rights Act Fuels Belief that Race Doesn’t Matter

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) in a 5-4 vote ruled that parts of the Voting Rights Act are no longer valid. Chief Justice Roberts, writing for the majority, stated the rationale for the repeal is that the country has changed for the better. The conditions over the past 50 years that required…

Does the “N” word ever mean anything good?

Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.  I remember this rhyme from my childhood.  I don’t know its origins, but as a black child born during the mid-1960s, I wonder if it was used to shield marginalized people from the taunts and stings of racism.  Nice as it sounds,…

Being Optimistic While Black

Blacks are reporting optimism about their progress and prospects in areas such as financial security, home ownership and employment.  Economic data, paint a stark contrast to black optimism.  Two key areas of black socioeconomic well-being are unemployment and wealth.  These are two areas in which blacks fare especially poorly relative to other races.  Since 1972,…

Can common fate and collective action displace discordance to stabilize Howard University?

Originally published June 17, 2013 In Vice Chair Renee Higginbotham-Brooks’ April 24, 2013 letter to the Howard University Board of Trustees, she advised that the University is essentially in financial trouble and failure to act collectively will mean the demise of the institution within three years. Howard University’s troubles detailed in Higginbotham-Brooks’ letter include: The…