George E. Curry, former editor-in-chief of Emerge magazine, is editor-in-chief of the National Newspaper Publishers Association News Service. He is a keynote speaker, moderator and media coach. Curry can be reached through his website, http://www.georgecurry.com. You can also follow him at http://www.twitter.com/currygeorge.
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As we approach the second anniversary of Trayvon Martin’s murder in Sanford, Fla., justice again has been shortchanged in the Sunshine State.
The children of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. sue each other – as well as loyal family friends – so often that you need a program to keep up with the court action. Bernice and Martin Luther King III sued Dexter because he failed to open the books of their father’s estate.
Organizers of the two recent marches on Washington – one called by Al Sharpton and Martin Luther King III and the other engineered primarily by King’s sister, Bernice – almost stumbled over one another praising the diversity of their respective marches.
Now that we’ve had two events at the Lincoln Memorial to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, it is important to remember a few things about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. beyond his I Have a Dream speech.
For a while, it looked like the 50th anniversary observance of the March on Washington would expose a sharp split in the Civil Rights Movement. Al Sharpton jumped ahead of his colleagues by cornering Martin Luther King III and the two of them announced a March on Washington for Saturday. Other civil rights leaders were planning events around that time and complained privately that Sharpton and Martin III had locked up key funding from major labor groups, a primary source of funding for the movement.
On Wednesday, Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. was scheduled to be sentenced to prison in connection with using campaign funds for personal use. Dozens of letters were sent to the judge on his behalf, but none more touching than the one written by his mother, dated May 28. She began by noting, “I am Jacqueline Jackson, the mother of five children, one of whom I am writing about, my son Jesse Jackson Jr.”
CASABLANCA, Morocco – When I left Dulles Airport near Washington, D.C., last Thursday afternoon on Air France Flight #39, changed planes at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, and arrived Friday morning in the capital city of Rabat aboard Air France Flight # 1258, I knew I was in for an enriching experience that always accompanies international travel.
Several of us were sharing our views on radio Sunday night with Gary Byrd when my friend and colleague Cash Michaels urged us to remember that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated while organizing poor people.
For more than four years, I have said that I liked candidate Barack Obama better than I like President Obama. Candidate Obama addressed the question of race head-on when pressured to distance himself from Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the Chicago pastor who led him to Christianity. But President Obama has been a different story.
Watching television Saturday night, I sat in stunned silence as the jury returned its not guilty verdict for George Zimmerman in connection with the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. Then, I was jolted by a comment made by Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda: “… We live in a great country that has a great criminal justice system. It is not perfect but it is the best in the world and we respect the jury’s verdict.”
If you’re looking for the justice on the Supreme Court who mirrors Thurgood Marshall’s tenure on the bench, it is not Sonia Sotomayor, the “Wise Latina.” And it certainly isn’t Clarence Thomas. It is Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second woman to serve on the nation’s highest court.
In its latest affirmative action ruling, Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, the Supreme Court ruled the same way it had in its Bakke decision in 1978 and a pair of University of Michigan affirmative action rulings in 2003 – one upholding the law school admissions program (Grutter v. Bollinger) and one striking down the undergraduate admissions process (Gratz v. Bollinger). In each case, the court declared that state universities have a compelling interest that could justify the consideration of race in college admissions because of the benefits that flow to all students from having a diverse student body.
In the months leading up to this week’s Supreme Court decision on affirmative action, a public opinion poll by ABC News and The Washington Post showed that 76 percent of Americans oppose affirmative action in college admissions. However, a poll conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute showed that 68 percent of Americans favor the principles behind affirmative action.
Although the federal government secretly spied on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders in the past, Blacks are more willing than Whites to have their privacy rights invaded if it will help investigate possible terrorists.
The next major showdown in Washington may not be over how best to reduce the deficit or involve another Obama cabinet appointment. Look for sparks to fly over the president’s constitutional prerogative to nominate federal judges and the Senate’s responsibility to either confirm or reject those nominees.
(NNPA) – I am a certified news junkie, but even I had to step away from the oversaturated media coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings. Anyone who has covered crimes on a smaller scale than the twin explosions in Boston knows that investigators don’t have instant answers for everything and it’s ridiculous to think that in a frenzied atmosphere, accurate information will be available in abundance. But that did not prevent news outlets and social media from rushing to be first rather than calmly waiting to be accurate.
(NNPA) - Even before President Obama released his budget proposal this week for the next fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, preliminary details about his plan to effectively cut Social Security cost of living increases has caused a firestorm among supporters who now feel betrayed.