Insight News

Wednesday
Jul 30th

Commentary

The Gifts of the Refugees

The Gifts of the RefugeesROCHESTER, MN – As usual for a human rights journalist, my e-mail inbox this morning is stuffed with radically, sadly, urgently un-Christmasy tidings.
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Obama’s fierce urgency of now revisited: The trouble with auto-hypnotic slogans

“Standing in the ruins of another Black man’s life
Flying through the valley separating day from night”
‘I am death’ cried the vulture ‘for the people of the light.’
Charon brought his raft and came from the sea that sails on souls
And saw the scavenger departing, taking warm hearts to the cold.
He knew the ghetto was a haven for the meanest creature ever known.”
--Gil Scott-Heron “The Vulture”    
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Counting prisoners in the Census: A modern day 3/5 compromise

The Constitution mandates that every person living in the United States be counted every ten years. As mentioned in a previous article, the Census is more than counting heads. The data collected is critical to the allocation of some $400 million annually in federal tax dollars to state and local governments for schools, housing, hospitals, transportation, roads and safety forces. Census data also determines the apportionment of political districts.
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The curse of high expectations

(NNPA) - I went to Copenhagen as part of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies Commission to Engage African Americans in Climate Control.  The Commission – led by Carolyn Green formerly of Sonoco - included environmental justice guru Robert Bullard, Dillard University professor and environmental justice leader Beverly Wright, Frank Steward of the Association of Blacks in Energy, Leslie Fields of the Sierra Club, and me. 
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King of the Blacks

My wife and I have big dreams for our children.  We want nothing for them but health, happiness and success and we recognize that a good education can be a step towards realizing that goal.  We also demand that our children perform up to their potential. The skills one learns in school – study habits, attention to detail, and meeting deadlines – are essential for success in the work world.   In this we are like every other parent in America. 
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States deny food stamps, public assistance to drug offenders

ATLANTA- Each year, hundreds of thousands of people released from U.S. prisons after felony drug convictions discover that serving time isn’t their only punishment.  They are permanently denied the life-sustaining benefits of food stamps and other public assistance.
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Barriers to college completion

In recent years, much attention has been paid to K-12 student performance, and rightly so. The educational foundation our children receive in schools prepares them for life; we must devote significant resources to ensuring that education is strong and comprehensive. But we must not forget about our students after they leave high school. College graduates are critical to maintaining a successful American economy.
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