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Opinion

Black kids don’t have to be college-bound for their deaths to be tragic

Black kids don’t have to be college-bound for their deaths to be tragic
Another unarmed black boy has been shot down by police. Absorbing the ongoing news of the investigation Monday morning, I listened to eyewitness interviews and looked on as the media flashed pictures of Michael Brown, the 18 year old gunned down by a Ferguson, Mo., police officer over the weekend.
 
The repeated refrain in so many of the accounts is, "Brown was supposed to start college on Monday." In the photos accompanying stories from outlets more sympathetic to his plight, he's often pictured in a high school graduation cap and gown. Social media posts use his planned next steps to underscore the tragedy of his life cut short. His educational status even makes its way into headlines, sometimes to the exclusion of his age, his name or the word "unarmed":

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Low African-American employment in hi tech Silicon Valley

Low African-American employment in hi tech Silicon Valley
The nation’s digital technology and social media companies are helping to transform how people throughout the world communicate and do business.  In the process, Silicon Valley has become more than a geographical headquarter for digital and social media companies. It’s where cutting edge technological research is being conducted.
 
There are, however, some glaring contradictions and serious disparity issues involving some of the most financially profitable social media companies in the world.  They are the issues of economic inequality and inequity.  The companies lead the world in technology but ranks at the bottom when it comes to workforce inclusiveness and overall economic fairness toward African Americans and Latino Americans.

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Cuts to Section 8 will increase homelessness in Memphis

Cuts to Section 8 will increase homelessness in Memphis
Homelessness is a major issue in the City of Memphis. According to a 2013 report by the Community Alliance for The Homeless, homelessness has decreased by 13 percent between 2012 and 2013. However, one does not have to look high and low to observe the faces of countless men, women, and yes, even children who won’t have a safe place to sleep tonight.
 
Obviously, there are many factors that contribute to homelessness. The greatest contributor to what has become a national epidemic in the United States is an appalling lack of affordable housing. Rents today are higher than ever, forcing families and individuals to tighten their belts on other basic necessities such as food, transportation, child care, and medical costs.

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These fire and fainting challenges are stupid and dangerous

These fire and fainting challenges are stupid and dangerous
A teenage boy stands in the shower wearing shorts and douses himself in acetone (nail polish remover). He lights a match and throws it on himself. When he catches fire, he runs around the house in pain until he ends up back in the shower and his friends put the flame out.
 
This is called the “fire challenge,” and it is the new THING that teenagers are doing across the country.

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Palestinian and the Black American freedom struggles

Palestinian and the Black American freedom struggles
Knowing of my concern about justice for the Palestinians, a friend sent me a link the other day regarding Palestine and Black America. (http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/180382/students-justice-palestine#undefined)
 
The essence of this piece is the author’s allegation that Palestinians cannot and should not compare their struggle to that of the African-American struggle for justice. Actually, there is nothing new in this piece. Those who oppose justice for the Palestinians regularly drag out quotes from various historic African-American leaders in order to attempt to make their case.

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Democrats’ smart butt white boys syndrome

Democrats’ smart butt white boys syndrome
In 1984, former UN Ambassador Andrew Young described the inner circle of Democratic presidential nominee Walter Mondale as “smart a– White boys” who thought they knew everything.  Obviously, they didn’t because Mondale lost the general election by a large margin to Ronald Reagan.
 
Knowing that in a president’s second-term the party in power usually loses 29 House seats, along with the real possibility of Democrats losing control of the Senate this year, some party leaders are trying to give the appearance they are in control and Democrats will buck that historical voting trend.

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Helping ex-offenders get back on their feet

Helping ex-offenders get back on their feet
We've all made mistakes at some time or another.
 
For most of us, whether we've lost touch with someone or didn't take a chance on something, those mistakes help us grow, and we move on. Sometimes, unfortunately, those mistakes are big enough to ruin lives.
 
For those who have been convicted of a felony crime and served time in prison, picking up the pieces and putting their lives back together is an uphill challenge.
 

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