Tag Archives: legal issues

Keeping our eyes on Medicaid & Medicare

In just a week our lives have been turned into that of spectators watching a magic show. We know the actor is performing a trick right in front of our eyes. We know that if we get distracted for a second, he can pull it off.  In this first week chaos of  immigrant banning, Mexico insulting,  government job firing and threats against urban culture, we could miss some huge moves.

In a NY Times op-ed, Gene Sperling,   an economist and former Director of the National Economic Council and Assistant to the President for Economic Policy under presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama: “If Donald J. Trump decides to gut the basic guarantee of Medicare and revamp its structure so that it hurts older and sicker people, Democrats must and will push back hard. But if Democrats focus too much of their attention on Medicare, they may inadvertently assist the quieter war on Medicaid — one that could deny health benefits to millions of children, seniors, working families and people with disabilities. Of the two battles, the Republican effort to dismantle Medicaid is more certain. It would take only three Republican senators thinking twice about the wisdom of block grants and per capita caps to put a halt to the coming war on Medicaid. DON’T MISS THIS.” …..continue

Grace standing in her truth

Photo by Jonathan Bachman
Photo by Jonathan Bachman

Fear blocks your ability to hear God

Ieshia Evans, a peaceful protester in Baton Rouge, LA demonstration in July, 2016 following the killings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota shows what faith looks like. Faith has no fear. Faith stands in the certainty of its truth. Ms. Evans, a 28 year old nurse and mother of a 6 year old son told Gayle King, CBS “This Morning” co-host, that it was a first demonstration for her.

Why she stood up

After watching the videos of  the two shootings and after the countless other police shootings of unarmed black men and women that she had heard about, she felt that she had to stand up for her people. Noting that her job is to take care of people and that she could even be the nurse who takes care of those policemen one day, she demonstrates for all the world what it looks like to show peacefully and powerfully that Black Lives Matter as all lives matter.

“They Can’t Kill Us All” – A Washington Post reporter on shootings of unarmed black men

We all need to read “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness”

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander - A must read for the parents of every young black man.
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander – A must read for the parents of every young black man.

Michele Alexander is a lawyer, legal scholar, advocate and  author who has written a comprehensive, well-researched examination of what is happening to our young men and women, to our families, to our future generations at the hands of the criminal justice system.

It seems that nearly every black family has a child, cousin, nephew or uncle who has been incarcerated. It’s happening to our college students, business professionals,  working dads & mothers, drug involved and not.  At every level, all over the country, black men, in particular, have been stopped and questioned multiple times. Now, that level of intrusion into black life is resulting in more than overwhelming legal costs and delayed goals for families. The fact that our men are constantly being sought out for examination of their being, is resulting in staggering numbers of deaths. We can no longer blame it on the boys, the neighborhood, our color. It is way bigger than that. We need to understand exactly what is happening and why. You cannot negotiate with an enemy that you cannot identify. This book identifies the problem AND the solutions.

Excerpt from the Introduction

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© Robert Gumpert 1996

Jarvious Cotton cannot vote. Like his father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather, he has been denied the right to participate in our electoral democracy. Cotton’s family tree tells the story of several generations of black men who were born in the United States but who were denied the most basic freedom that democracy promises—the freedom to vote for those who will make the rules and laws that govern one’s life. Cotton’s great-great-grandfather could not vote as a slave. His great-grandfather was beaten to death by the Ku Klux Klan for attempting to vote. His grandfather was prevented from voting by Klan intimidation. His father was barred from voting by poll taxes and literacy tests. Today, Jarvious Cotton cannot vote because he, like many black men in the United States, has been labeled a felon and is currently on parole.

Cotton’s story illustrates, in many respects, the old adage “The more things change, the more they remain the same.” In each generation, new tactics have been used for achieving the same goals—goals shared by the Founding Fathers. Denying African Americans citizenship was deemed essential to the formation of the original union. Hundreds of years later, America is still not an egalitarian….(read more….)

Black children expelled from school 3 times more than their white counterparts

Black students with learning disabilities were suspended much more often than white students with the same problems.
Black students with learning disabilities were suspended much more often than white students with the same problems.

A study released today by the US Department of Education shows that racism is alive and well in public schools across the country.  This study included data from every school district in the country which showed:

  • Black students were expelled or suspended at triple the rate of whites
  • Black girls were expelled more often than most other students and at more than double the rate of white students
  • Black students had less access to qualified and trained teachers than white students
  • 25% of school districts pay teachers in less diverse schools up to $5000 more than teachers in predominantly black or Latino schools
  • This disparity in treatment begins early with black preschool students representing 43 percent of preschoolers suspended more than once when they are only 18 percent of the preschool population.

This early pattern of school mistreatment shapes black children to fit into the school to prison pipeline, with 16 percent (black students’ population) comprising 27 per cent of students referred to law enforcement and making up 31 per cent of students arrested in school. Recall the case of the five year old Florida girl who was handcuffed with her ankles bound for throwing a temper tantrum in 2005 or the six year old Georgia kindergartner who was handcuffed and taken to the police station  for having a meltdown over candy.