Insight News

Feb 14th


Introducing new voices in small business development

Ensuring that every American has the chance to improve their economic circumstances through hard work, saving, entrepreneurship, and other productive activities is essential to build a healthy country and society.  With small business owners and entrepreneurs in traditionally underserved communities continuing to face challenges accessing capital, much attention is being focused on the U.S. Small Business Administration initiatives aimed at increasing SBA-backed loans to small businesses in these markets.

IMF rape case: Victim-bashing run amok

Former International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn loudly declared that he did not rape a maid in his hotel room during his stay in New York. Strauss-Kahn is certainly entitled to proclaim his innocence, and under the law he is just that: Innocent until proven guilty. But the same can’t be said for his alleged victim, who has been tried, convicted, sentenced, and pilloried relentlessly in the press and on the web since the moment her accusations went public.

Last call for Tea Party?

Across the nation, rumblings are being heard of the party coming to an end -- and for many people, it's none too soon. The party, in this case, is the Tea Party.

A recent CNN poll shows that far more Americans now have an unfavorable view of the Tea Party than a year ago. Even more ominous for the party leadership is the fact that low-income, white Americans -- a demographic that has been their bedrock of support - represent the largest number of those disaffected with the movement.

Gun bill is reckless policy making

Gun bill is reckless policy makingThe GOP-led State House of Representatives passed a controversial bill on May 14 that will make significant changes to current gun-related laws in Minnesota. HF 1467, the Omnibus Gun Bill, would greatly expand on a current Minnesota law known as the Castle Doctrine, which allows individuals to execute deadly force in order to prevent danger within their home. Provisions in the bill would not make individuals or communities safer, says State Representative Rena Moran.

“Simply put, passage of this bill is unnecessary policy making with reckless results,” said Rep. Moran. “The implications of this bill will do nothing to keep our neighborhoods safe.”

Are Freedom Rider seeds bearing fruit?

Fifty years ago this month, the Freedom Rides began.   While the Supreme Court ruled that segregation in interstate commerce, including bus terminals, was illegal, the laws were not being enforced.  Because the law failed to act, people of conscience, courage, and determination acted instead.

Resistance to desegregation was such that those who got on buses risked their lives.  The Freedom Riders, who were both African American and white, were arrested and attacked on the bus route.  Anniston, Alabama was an especially violent site of attack, where the local Klan and other residents, some still dressed in their church-going finest, were allowed to beat Freedom Fighters without police interference.  The plan seemed to be that there would be an initial attack in Anniston, and a second attack in Birmingham.  Someone attempted to burn or bomb the bus that transported Freedom Riders.

The frivolous attacks on Obama and Common

If you thought nothing could be more frivolous than conservatives questioning whether the President was born in the United States, think again.  The recent criticism of Obama’s decisions to worship Easter Sunday at Shiloh Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. and invite poet/rapper Common to participate in a White House celebration of poetry illustrates how far his critics will stoop to manufacture a controversy.

Fox News was hysterical over the Obamas’ decision to worship at the predominantly Black church founded in the 1800s by former slaves.  Sean Hannity, co-host of Fox News’ Hannity & Colmes, aired a clip from the speech Rev. Wallace Smith, the pastor of Shiloh, had given at Eastern University, in Davids, Pa.

Freedom Riders — A living legacy

“Boarding that Greyhound bus to travel through the heart of the Deep South, I felt good. I felt happy. I felt liberated. I was like a soldier in a nonviolent army. I was ready.”

Today, Congressman John Lewis is serving his twelfth term representing Georgia in the U.S. House of Representatives. But in May 1961 he was a twenty-one-year-old student leader from American Baptist College in Nashville who volunteered to join the interracial group traveling through the South by bus to test the recent Supreme Court decision banning segregation in interstate travel. As a result, he was attacked by angry mobs for entering “Whites-only” waiting rooms, left unconscious on a bus station floor in Montgomery, Alabama after being hit in the head with a wooden Coca-Cola crate, arrested in Jackson, Mississippi for trespassing and disturbing the peace, and sentenced to time at Mississippi’s notorious Parchment State Prison Farm.
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