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Opinion

Haters need to stop criticizing Beyoncé’s Time Magazine cover

Haters need to stop criticizing Beyoncé’s Time Magazine cover

Evidently it's the "list" time of year, and so far black girls are winning. On Tuesday, People magazine debuted its 50 Most Beautiful issue, starring none other than media (and fan) darling Lupita Nyong'o on the cover. Not to be outdone, Thursday morning, Time released its annual 100 Most Influential People issue, featuring singer Beyoncé on its cover. Nyong'o's issue went over pretty well (at least in my circles). Beyoncé's, though? Um ... not so much.

In her Time bio, 'Yoncé is lauded by "Lean In" author and Facebook honcho Sheryl Sandberg, who effusively praises the singer-actress-performer turned wife-mother-feminist. Sandberg makes a brief but solid argument that plays off Sandberg's lean-in catchphrase: "Beyoncé doesn't just sit at the table. She builds a better one."

Sandberg describes how Bey's last album – the self-titled audiovisual gem she dropped with zero notice or promotion last December – "shattered music industry rules and sales records." (That's not just fan hype. Beyoncé holds the record for fastest-selling album in iTunes history and has sold more than 3 million copies.) Sandberg goes on to mention Bey's sold-out world tour and notes the singer's (somewhat shaky) track record of raising "her voice both on- and offstage to urge women to be independent and lead." (Admittedly, she's getting better.)

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Arkansas cop goes unpunished for killing black teen

Arkansas cop goes unpunished for killing black teen

Once again, the mother of a black teenage boy is crying that there won't be justice for her dead son. This time, it's because prosecutors have dropped charges against the white Little Rock, Ark., police officer who was set to go on trial next month on charges he shot and killed 15-year-old Bobby Moore III two years ago.

The state first brought charges after a police investigation showed that the officer's story didn't match the evidence at the scene of the shooting and that the use of deadly force was not justified.

Now prosecutors say that even though they still believe the officer is guilty of a homicide, it's apparent that a jury would never convict the officer. How can they be so sure? Because they've tried the case twice already. Both trials ended in hung juries. In the first, an all-white jury voted 10-2 for a conviction. In the second, a jury that included two African Americans voted 11-1 to acquit the officer.

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Will African-Americans benefit from the emerging marijuana industry?

Will African-Americans benefit from the emerging marijuana industry?

The historic shift in marijuana policy happening around the United States and the world begs a couple of questions concerning African-Americans.

First, will this change in policy benefit or somehow hurt our community? Second, is no longer having the underground marijuana economy that has, like it or not, been a supplemental source for income for our young adults and the unemployed or underemployed good in the long run?

The drug war is more effective at continuing the disenfranchisement of the poor and people of color than it is at preventing drug use, and we argue about whether this was the intended goal in the first place: to reinforce racism. The results have been undeniably tragic for the African-American community no matter the intent.

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Amnesty for illegals can’t be defended

Amnesty for illegals can’t be defended

I am totally perplexed by Republicans who advocate amnesty for those who entered the U.S. illegally. We Republicans are supposed to be the party of law and order, a party that stands on clearly defined principles. Let's cut through the pompous rhetoric: The issue of amnesty is only about cheap labor. All the other arguments are merely background noise.

With the national unemployment rate just under eight percent, how can you argue that illegals are doing jobs that Americans refuse to do? With all the unemployed engineers (partly because of the shutdown of NASA's Space Shuttle program), how do you justify increasing the number of H-1B visas? The special visa allows companies to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations for up to six years. How can six years still be considered temporary?

How do you explain to a kid in Virginia that he or she has to pay out-of-state tuition to attend the University of Maryland while a student in the country illegally is allowed to pay in-state tuition? Why should someone in the country illegally be able to obtain a benefit that even an American citizen can't have? Aren't these Republicans supporting discrimination against American citizens in their lust of the Hispanic voter?

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No, after the Schuette case, Affirmative Action isn’t going to be OK

No, after the Schuette case, Affirmative Action isn’t going to be OK

Above the Law's Elie Mystal doesn't think that affirmative action supporters need to hyperventilate over Tuesday's Supreme Court decision in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action—which upheld Michigan's ban on race-conscious admissions policies at state colleges—because, he writes, the justices, in fact, "didn't rule that affirmative action is unconstitutional."

And indeed, they didn't—not this time, anyway.

Short term, all the court said was that it didn't violate 14th Amendment equal protection when Michigan voters did away with race-conscious admissions.

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Are U.S. schools becoming more segregated again?

Are U.S. schools becoming more segregated again?

Nearly sixty years have passed since the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education, which prohibited Southern states from segregating schools by race.

The Court's decision in Brown sparked a disruption of white supremacy and Jim Crow in the South and forced the federal government to pass civil and voting rights legislation.

However, a new report by the Economic Policy Institute makes the argument that while the 1954 Supreme Court decision did achieve the goal of raising awareness about the inherent segregation and unfairness in the separate but equal concept, it has failed miserably at its central mission: to desegregate schools in the United States.

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Minister Farrakhan is no terrorist

Minister Farrakhan is no terrorist

The news cycle April 14th was filled with reports of the murders of three people in Overland Park, Kansas. That these killings occurred during a time of religious observation, the Jewish celebration of Passover, and the killer may have targeted victims for their religious faith or presumed faith makes the loss of life even more reprehensible.

That a grandfather and his grandson could be shot down in the streets says something about the sickness of this society, the prevalence and continued cancer of hatred and an unhealthy and deadly obsession with guns and solving problems or disputes with violence.

Such activity is woven into the history of this nation and America cannot deny that her history is bathed in blood and oppression from the slaughter of the Native peoples to the April 13th killing of Dr. William Lewis Corporon and his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Griffin Underwood.

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