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Opinion

A boy named ‘Messiah’?

A boy named ‘Messiah’?

(CNN) – I once met a mother who named her newborn daughter Kia Sophia.

Yes, like the car.

Apparently she had one and liked it so much that she wanted to be reminded of it each time she said her baby's name.

As we stood there, I could tell this was something she was very proud of, and so I tried my best not to look embarrassed for her.

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  • Written by LZ Granderson/CNN

I don’t have any ‘white’ friends. So what?

I don’t have any ‘white’ friends. So what?

Sometime last week, a poll was released by Reuters/Ipsos that found 40 percent of white Americans had no friends of color and 25 percent of people of color had no friends of a different race. Covering a broader circle of acquaintances to include co-workers as well as friends and relatives, the poll showed that 30 percent of Americans are not befriending others of a different race.

That "news" spread quickly, with an emphasis on how so many white people didn't have black friends. There were, of course, Paula Deen jokes and giggles about that elusive "black friend" that nonblack people always allude to when they're denying they're racist, and someone discovered a spoof site (I hope it's a spoof site; you can never be too sure) called BlackFriendConnect, where white people can rent a black friend for the day. There was a delight in chiding this chunk of white folks for, intentionally or not, self-segregating.

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Pardon power and compassionate release

Pardon power and compassionate release

President Obama and his administration have, at times, made bold use of executive authorities and powers to help the powerless, from granting deferred action to DREAM Act beneficiaries to providing some relief from crushing student loan burdens. Atty Gen. Eric Holder's announcement this week of a smarter, fairer, and more just approach to the prosecution of non-violent offenses, including the possession of small amounts of drugs, is another example of President Obama's willingness to align our nation's policies with our ideals, the goals of our justice system, and our laws.

But the President remains surprisingly reluctant to use his pardon and commutation power. Thankfully, he still has the opportunity to help those who need it most and leave an even larger legacy of justice.

Criminal sentences reflect a society's values but as our values change, many of those sentences unfortunately remain on the books and people still serving them suffer needlessly – and those unjustly long sentences unfairly and unequally harm people of color and minority communities.

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  • Written by Steve Cohen

Take the gluten-free challenge and give me a shout

Take the gluten-free challenge and give me a shout

CHEF TIMOTHY We have made the decision to begin and maintain a healthier lifestyle choice. We go to the gym, eat a proper diet and do all the right things to help us get and stay in great physical shape. Still, we face a dilemma – gaining more weight instead of losing it.

We just don't get it. What is going on?

What if the food manufacturers that we have grown to trust have set us up? What if they use an ingredient that's known to create hunger and turn off that part of the brain that regulates if we're satisfied or our stomachs are feeling full?

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Jackie Jackson: A mother’s love

Jackie Jackson: A mother’s love

On Wednesday, Aug. 14, former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. is to be sentenced in connection with using campaign funds for personal use. Dozens of letters were sent to the judge on his behalf, but none more touching than the one written by his mother, dated May 28.

She began by noting, "I am Jacqueline Jackson, the mother of five children, one of whom I am writing about, my son Jesse Jackson, Jr."

Her letter shed light not only on her son's problems growing up in his famous father's shadow, but provided a peek into the family's early struggles.

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  • Written by George Curry

Politics gets its own Cheerios ad

Politics gets its own Cheerios ad

Earlier this year, Cheerios generated extensive media attention – and countless racist comments online – for becoming the first major American brand to feature a mixed-race family in a television advertisement. Now, an ad for a political campaign is poised to be just as groundbreaking, and potentially controversial.

This (past) weekend, television advertisements began airing starring the teenage son of New York City mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio. De Blasio is white, his wife, Chirlane McCray, is black, and their son, Dante, sports a sizable Afro in the ad, in which he makes the case for why he believes his father is the best candidate for mayor.

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Mo’ Kelly Did Not Expose Crystal Wright Or the GOP Because we Already Knew

There are some days when I just love #BLACKTWITTER. Only via this creative hodgepodge of bloggers, reporters and internet Benita Butrells can you find out who Whiz Kalifah is dating, what the Obama’s had for dinner and which political celebrities just got called out. In this case it’s the third category that caught my attention, as Mo’Kelly, autho

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  • Written by The Michigan Chronicle

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