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A firing squad–really?


By Jamala Rogers

Smulls is scheduled for execution on Jan. 28.
Smulls is scheduled for execution on Jan. 28.

The desperation of the State of Missouri to keep executions churning is starting to get embarrassing. At a time when the rest of the nation is experiencing the lowest number of executions ever, the Show Me State scheduled three executions in three months. Missouri has proven it has an insatiable appetite for state killings and is willing to execute by any means necessary – even if it’s illegal, unethical and barbaric.

I reported in a previous column how Missouri was going to become the first state to use the controversial drug Propofol for lethal injections. The general public was first introduced to Propofol as the drug that killed pop star Michael Jackson.  Read more.

Appreciating What’s Been Said: Reflections on Amiri Baraka


Published by BlackCommentator


“Appreciating what’s been said and if I understand correctly…” That was the routine and respectful phrase we used in the Congress of African People when were about to engage in some serious discussion. As I faced the reality of Amiri Baraka’s death, I couldn’t help but reflect on his impact on my life.

As a young radical, heavily influenced by the Black Student and Black Power Movements, I was looking for a political home when a group of like-minded young people from St. Louis made a trip to New Ark, New Jersey to visit the headquarters of the Congress of African People (CAP). The rest is history. Read more

Changing the Living Wage Debate


St. Louis American, 1. 9.2014

Minimum wage

I believe economic fairness, as an issue, will dominate the airwaves, the workplace and the streets in 2014. Jobs (or lack thereof) along with employment benefits were front and center last year. Although the extraordinary mobilizations by fast-food workers were a major impetus, a growing unrest has been bubbling for some time now (Viva Occupy!). The struggles coincide with the widening gulf between the stagnated wages of workers for the last 20 years and the ballooned salaries of corporate CEOs and their companies’ obscene profits.

We should begin by using more accurate and descriptive words that put incomes in real context. This will help in reframing the overall public discussion about wages and counteracting the erroneous notion that workers are lazy and looking for freebies. Read more