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Opinion

Aaron Alexis was someone’s son

Aaron Alexis was someone’s son

In 1963, President Kennedy submitted a "Special Message to the Congress on Mental Illness and Mental Retardation" with a plan to call to action private foundations, individual citizens and government agencies on all levels to act responsibly in addressing the needs of this population...50 years later where are we.

Those suffering from mental illness may not be "prisoners" in the mental institutions or insane asylums, but they are prisoners in their own worlds...the stigma, lack of resources and difficulty navigating a complex health care system perpetuate the problems of yesterday.

When will we address the way we are raising our young black men? When will we take time to talk to our friends and neighbors? When will we stop being scared and get involved? When will we become the village it takes to raise a child? Can we stop saying when and start saying now.

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Is being fat normal?

Is being fat normal?

Pants with expanding waistlines are sold in most stores now, and big and tall retail shops are popping up everywhere. More and more, society is moving toward the acceptance of being overweight and obese as "normal."

It's official that the United States is fat. According to the Centers for Disease Control, two thirds of Americans are obese. Even though some seem to be taking such news lightly and as if it's just a fad, it is no laughing matter. Millions of people die each year from overusing a fork, spoon and a latte.

I frequently talk with individuals who deny they even have a weight problem. They argue that God created them to eat and enjoy life to the fullest and not worry about the outcome. I've also found that overweight people often overlook their weight because they feel everyone looks like them.

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African-American income remains lowest of any group

African-American income remains lowest of any group

The U.S. Census just released the latest numbers on poverty in America. And it is not a pretty picture for the nation, especially for African Americans and other historically marginalized groups.

According to the latest stats, 46.5 million people are in poverty in the wealthiest nation on Earth. That's 15 percent of the population, or more than 1 in 7. Childhood poverty stands at a whopping 21.8 percent.

But for African Americans, it is even worse. African-Americans suffer from a poverty rate of 27.2 percent – the highest of any group – compared to 25.6 percent of Latinos, 11.7 percent for Asians and 9.7 percent for whites. All of these poverty figures are much too high, but for African Americans and Latinos in particular, poverty is far, far too high. And it seems like a permanent fixture on the American landscape that presidents and other politicians will not or cannot tackle.

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Gun control is not the answer

Gun control is not the answer

Another day, another mass shooting in America.

More blood, more tears, more knee-jerk rhetoric about finding a solution for a bunch of different problems.

Those who knew Aaron Alexis – the shooter who killed 12 and injured eight more at the Washington Navy Yard this week – said he was a quiet, shy man.

At one point he was studying Buddhism and meditated often.

A little more digging, and we find he had several gun-related arrests and a pattern of misconduct in the Navy, but he was honorably discharged.

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  • Written by LZ Granderson/CNN

Couples cohabiting without marriage a growing trend – for blacks, too?

Couples cohabiting without marriage a growing trend – for blacks, too?

It should come as no surprise that a lot of people are cynical about marriage. For the past four decades, marriage rates steadily have decreased, and in June, USA Today reported that the marriage rate had hit "its lowest point in more than a century."

With so many Americans being children of divorce, or afraid of falling on the wrong side of the popular statistic about one in two marriages ending in divorce – then throwing in the financial insecurity of the recession – it's no surprise that so many people are choosing to stay away from the altar—but not necessarily commitment.

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Women, it’s OK to rethink whether to get married

Women, it’s OK to rethink whether to get married

(The Root) – In a piece for The Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates examines the decline in the marriage rate among black families and is not bothered it. He says that women today are determining if marriage advances "their interests as much as it once did," and people should consider what women in the past had to endure in order to sustain their marriages.

"Again, you see a big shift in 1960. But that's true for both black and white families, and it's a shift that has been oft-commented upon. The change in marriage is not a 'black' problem, and I am not even convinced that it is a 'problem.' People who want us to go back to 1880 should have the intellectual courage to advocate for the entirety of their vision, not just the parts they like. It is not simply a question of 'Is marriage good for kids?' It's 'Are shotgun marriages good for kids?' 'Should marriage be valued at all costs, including enduring abuse or ill-treatment?' 'Should women marry men regardless of their employment prospects and their contact with the correctional system?'

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  • Written by The Root

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