by Cheryl Sterling
When the Movimento Negro Unificado (United Black Movement) formed in Brazil in 1979, they turned to the anti-apartheid struggle and to Mandela, in particular, for a vision for change and a symbol of empowerment. They looked at the apartheid structure; its separation of the races; the mandatory passes that blacks carried that showed all aspects of their lives; the separation of place and space in social, economic and political spheres, and they concluded that Brazil was an apartheid state.
by Jim Jaffe
The center is holding. Despite the enormous stresses of responding to a deep, painful recession while awkwardly implementing a long-sought national health insurance program, America’s politics are moving back toward the middle, fueling frustrated responses from fringe elements who see opportunities for fundamental change evaporating. The economy is coming back. Threats of a government shutdown – or even default – seem to be receding.
by Stephen A. Crockett Jr
On Thursday Nelson Mandela at approximately 8:50 p.m. left this world in much better shape than he found it. Even the sky is in mourning in Johannesburg as CNN reports, gray rain clouds covering and the area this morning. Children used rocks to spell out "We love you Mandela" in front of his home. Some left stuffed animals, others lit candles and wept. In Soweto township residents gathered around the house where Mandela lived before he was arrested in 1962 and sang freedom songs. Across the nation from D.C. to Los Angeles, flowers and candles were left in front of murals bearing his likeness, CNN reports.
by Sandip Roy
This latest endeavor to get the migrants' vote is a belated acknowledgement of that reality. Until now many states have rolled out services for migrants. Bangalore-based LabourNet issued them identity cards that get them accident insurance coverage and a bank account. Disha Foundation in Nashik has helped them get enrolled in trade unions to protect them from police harassment and wage exploitation. In 2012, Kerala gave away goodwill kits to migrants for Onam - a box with vegetables, rice, oil, sugar, tea and red pepper. But the vote goes way beyond these sops and services.
by Eric K. Arnold
In contrast to more affluent areas of Oakland or nearby Berkeley, rooftop solar installations are uncommon among East and West Oakland flatland residents. This isn’t surprising, considering that the median income in one heavily polluted corridor in the Hegenberger area is under $33,000 annually. Vien Truong, environmental equity director for the Berkeley-based Greenlining Institute, which advocates for communities of color, says that “solar financing is out of reach” for low-income households.
by Jamal Dajani
In a few days, snow will blanket the mountainous areas of Lebanon, where many Syrian refugees live. Throughout the region, a brutal winter is just around the corner, according to weather forecasters. For Syrian refugees living in Lebanon, Jordan and surrounding countries, time is running out. There were 20,000 Syrians living at Zaatari refugee camp when I visited there a year ago. Today, the number exceeds 100,000 crammed into the two-square mile camp.
by Earl Ofari Hutchinson
In the decade before he won the White House, Kennedy said almost nothing about civil rights. In 1957, as a senator he voted against the 1957 civil rights bill. His opposition has been spun two ways; one cynical, one charitable. The cynical spin is he opposed it to appease Southern Democrats because he had an eye on a presidential run in 1960. The charitable spin is that he thought the bill was too weak and ineffectual. Three years later though he ignored the angry shouts from Southern Democrats and lobbied for a forceful civil rights plank in the Democratic Party's 1960 platform.
by Hal Gordon
The words of the Gettysburg Address are so familiar to us today that it is hard to appreciate how radical they were at the time. Our country was neither “conceived in liberty” nor dedicated to “the proposition that all men are created equal.” A third or more of the signers of the Declaration of Independence had been slave owners. Nor was the Civil War being fought over the issue of human equality—at least not at first. Lincoln himself had hedged on this point. At the outset of the hostilities, he insisted that his chief aim was to preserve the union.
by Tyler Huggins
Post-Romney/Ryan defeat, Republicans ordered an autopsy report on their '12 campaign season. The report, entitled the Growth and Opportunity Project exposed several large anachronisms and rifts in the party. To quote directly from the report: "These are voters who recently left the Party [sic]. Asked to describe Republicans, they said that the Party is 'scary,' 'narrow-minded,' and 'out of touch" and that we were a Party of 'stuffy old men.' This is consistent with the findings of other post-election surveys."
by Viji Sundaram
Even though the Affordable Care Act will significantly reduce California’s uninsured population, unless county-run health programs are well funded, those who don’t enroll, or cannot enroll because of their income level or their undocumented status, will be left with an “uneven safety net,” according to a study released last week by the Health Access Foundation. The report comes at a time when counties are making crucial decisions in the coming weeks on the scope of their safety net programs for indigent care after the full implementation of the ACA on Jan. 1, 2014.