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Indictment of cops is not enough

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Published in St. Louis American, December 6, 2018

Every so often the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department gives the community a gift. Sometimes that unplanned generosity is at cost of some poor soul – usually black in skin color. Such is the case of Luther Hall.

Prior to 1983, the African-American community complained of throw-away guns and drugs that cops keep in their cars to justify shooting or free-casing black citizens. We could never provide the proof.

Then came St. Louis cop Joseph Ferrario whose recklessness resulted in the murder of Marilyn Banks, a young, black mother sitting on her porch on a warm, summer day. Ferrario was in hot pursuit of a female teenager who was on foot running for her life as Ferrario fired several shots at her.

When it was discovered that Banks had been shot dead, Ferrario claimed self-defense and produced a gun that allegedly the running teen had used to shoot at him. He was stupid enough to produce a gun with no clip. Without a clip, this gun was incapable of firing.

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The miseducation of Black children

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Published in St. Louis American, November 29, 2018

Carter G. Woodson wrote the seminal “Education of the Negro” in 1933. He critiqued the educational system of the day and the totality of its devastating impact on black people. The spirit of Dr. Woodson was evoked when I read a commentary on University City schools by Tom Sullivan.

The first thing that smacked me upside the head was that black students were 3.8 grades behind their white counterparts. The other grim data flowed logically from this fact, such as the lack of blacks in advanced placement, suspension rates and graduation rates.

If the latest report by ProPublica is any indication of this country’s education of our children, then our development as a nation is in peril. Read more

With or Without the Democrats

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Published by the St. Louis American, November 13, 2018

The Democrats flipped the U.S. House of Representatives in the midterm elections. Now we have a divided Congress because the GOP has control of the Senate. And while political pundits proclaimed the elections were a referendum on Trump and his Republican Party, it was as much a referendum on the Democrats.

Voters set a record with an estimated 113 million voters coming out to make their voices heard. Another 36 million voted early, also a record. Over a hundred women will take office in many capacities across the country – another record.

Voters put some new kinds of faces in office. States elected the first Native Americans, first Muslims, first openly gay, first blacks, first Latinos. This kind of racial and religious diversity will only make a difference if those elected share a humanistic worldview through a feminist, anti-racist and anti-homophobic lens. Read more