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Amendment 1 ruffles the feathers of my faith


I come from a tradition of prophetic Christianity. Within that tradition, religious extremism (or what I have come to describe as theological terrorism) has always been disturbing and counterproductive. Therefore, when I consider the impact of Amendment 1 on women’s health, I confess, the amendment ruffles the feathers of my faith.

Extreme is an understatement. Draconian is insufficient. This Amendment would limit a woman’s access to safe and compassionate abortion care, with no exemptions to save the life of the mother or even when the pregnancy has resulted from rape. There is not a faithful bone in my body that finds this amendment in alignment with religious righteousness.  

  • Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom
  • Category: Commentaries

The real magic in the Classic!

real magic
Tents, RVs, DJs, music, smoke from barbeque grills and smiles everywhere you look –  this is the surface view of the scenery at the annual Southern Heritage Classic tailgate celebration. 
And yes, it has truly become an anticipated celebration, almost a holiday of sorts for thousands of African Americans mostly from about a 200-mile radius around the epicenter of it all, Memphis.  Each year during the second weekend in September thousands plan and participate in grand tailgate parties that have come to be and represent so much more.  
  • Written by Bernal E Smith II
  • Category: Original

Your vote is a really big deal


The mid-term elections will take place in a precious few weeks and even with my ear to the ground, I can’t hear very much. There doesn’t seem to be a buzz, urgency, or very much interest coming from our communities about the importance of, and the responsibility we have to vote and…get the vote out.

Actually, what I have noticed in many conversations is that the majority of people I talk to are not actually aware of what is at stake if we don’t go to the polls in droves this time. I sense quite a bit of apathy as so many are of the opinion that their one vote won’t count for a variety of reasons, the main one being that “the 1 percent, Koch brothers, and unlimited PAC money, even if it is dark, will prevail.”

  • Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom
  • Category: Commentaries

All the Ray wrongs

Ray Rice

Maybe you’ve heard and/or used the words “out of context” more times than you’re able to remember. The act of taking something “out of context” is usually applicable to some kind of conversational or verbal discourse. However, like conversation, when something is being communicated visually via today’s eye-in-the-sky technology, strong contextual elements are established.

As it relates to former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice’s and the NFL’s Roger Goodell’s actions, for most of us, the context we were given was strong and wrong.

  • Written by Howard Robertson and Larry Robinson
  • Category: Commentaries