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Re-envisioning the Two Party System

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Published in BlackCommentator, November 19, 2022

The prediction of a mid-term red wave has petered out. In survival mode, most working-class voters don’t remember one election to the next unless it’s really memorable. Like the election of the first Black president. Some of us do have a memory of the Republican wave of 2010 that left the Dems stunned. That was the middle of the President Barack Obama’s first term when the Republicans snatched up 63 seats in the House, making it the largest political shift since the 1948 elections. On top of the House sweep, the GOP flipped control of some twenty-state legislatures, creating trifectas and super-majorities in key battleground states. The country has never quite recovered from that and soon after came the infamous presidency of donald trump.

The ritual of counting seats to see which of the two wings of the same capitalist bird will be in control is getting old. Historically, the sitting president’s party is almost always hammered in the midterms. Even with President Biden’s low approval numbers, the Dems are still crawling through a few finish lines. As I write, the Dems barely held onto the Senate, and the GOP will probably have the House. A divided house spells another unproductive legislative session. Read more

Facing the Reality of a Black School Shooter

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Published by BlackCommentator.com, October 27, 2022

St. Louis is now facing a situation that very few predominantly Black cities have had to face in the last fifty years – an African American youth bringing violence into a school building. Having been in, out and around public school classrooms for decades, my experience has been no matter how rough and tumble the students were, the school was respected as a relatively safe space. Orlando Harris shattered that reality on October 24, 2022.

Harris was a 2021 graduate of Central Visual and Performing Arts High School and had no criminal record. The troubled teen broke a window to gain access to the locked building, armed with an AR-15. He killed one student and one teacher, injured seven more and traumatized hundreds of other students, before being killed by police. Read more

Putting a Cost to Domestic Violence

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Published in Capital City Hues, October 17, 2022

I was intrigued when I heard about the new study in Wisconsin that had attempted the difficult task of putting a dollar amount to the cost of domestic violence. Difficult because we know many cases go unreported and we just can’t assess what we don’t know. The report was released last month by the Sojourner Family Peace Center and The Jamie Kimble Foundation for Courage. Still, I was curious as to what data was used, how the data was quantified and how a financial assessment was made.

Even Dr. Erin Schubert who co-authored the study was initially reluctant to view domestic violence from an economic perspective. Schubert is the director of outcomes and evaluation at Sojourner Family Peace Center in Milwaukee. The Center is the largest agency in Wisconsin that provides domestic violence services. It has been around since 1975 so it knows a lot about this issue.

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