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Opinion

Bad news for affirmative action supporters

Bad news for affirmative action supporters

The Supreme Court's ruling Monday, while not the death blow to affirmative action that many of its supporters had feared, continues a push led by the Court's conservatives to impose very high standards on any consideration of race in public policy and will likely make it harder for universities and other institutions to defend racial preferences in future cases.

The Court's 7-1 ruling in practice does not affirm or reject the affirmative action programs at the University of Texas at Austin or any other school in the country, so its direct implications depend on how the Court and lower courts interpret the justices' words. But the ruling ensures affirmative action programs across the country will be continue to be challenged in court, and it weakens the defenders of affirmative action on two grounds.

First, the Court opted against affirming the University of Texas' admission program, which at first glance looks like a non-decision, but actually is a bold stance by the justices.

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From COINTELPRO to Prism, spying on communities of color

From COINTELPRO to Prism, spying on communities of color

WASHINGTON D.C. – Revelations of a massive cyber-surveillance program targeting American citizens holds particularly chilling consequences for immigrants and communities of color. Given the history of such programs, going back to the pre-digital age, these groups have reason to fear.

Who is mined, who is profiled, and who suffers at the hands of an extensive regime of corporate and government surveillance raises issues of social and racial justice.

PRISM, the National Security Agency's clandestine electronic surveillance program, builds on a history of similar efforts whose impacts have affected racial and ethnic minorities in disproportionate ways. The Federal Bureau of Investigation's Counter Intelligence Program ("COINTELPRO"), established in 1956, represents one of the forbearers of PRISM. Created at a time when political decision makers worked to promote the idea of national security in the public consciousness, the program targeted first Communist sympathizers and later domestic dissenters under a broad remit which allowed COINTELPRO to monitor and interrogate groups that threatened social order at the time.

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  • Written by Seeta Pena Gangadharan/New America Media

Allen West: Women in combat are threat to ‘American warrior culture’

Allen West: Women in combat are threat to ‘American warrior culture’

In a recent Facebook post, former Republican congressman Allen West explained why he believes women do not belong in military units.

West expressed his disapproval towards President Obama and the Defense Department for approving a policy allowing women to fill thousands of combat jobs in the military.

The news was announced on the heels of the Congressional hearings on the increasing number of sexual assault cases in the military.

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Juneteenth is worth celebrating

Juneteenth is worth celebrating

Did you know that the official African-American holidays are: Kwanzaa, Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Juneteenth? What do you, and your family, do to celebrate Juneteenth? Also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, the Juneteenth holiday is an abbreviated form of "June Nineteenth." It marks the day Blacks in Texas belatedly received word that President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation had freed the nation's slaves.

Black Americans should commemorate Juneteenth as the date in 1865 when Union Gen. Gordon Granger arrived with his troops at Galveston Island and read President Lincoln's proclamation freeing the state's 200,000 slaves. The proclamation had originally taken effect on Jan. 1, 1863, but word didn't reach Texas until two months after Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, and more than two years after the proclamation was issued. Explanations for the holdup vary. Depending on who's doing the explaining, the delay could have been attributed to anything from bureaucratic delays to a slow mule. Once freed, several self-sustaining Black farming communities grew up in Texas, and across the land, as freed men tilled their own soil.

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  • Written by William Reed/NNPA

Obama rejects Bush comparison on NSA programs

Obama rejects Bush comparison on NSA programs

President Barack Obama, in his first extended remarks since the disclosure of two National Security Agency programs that critics say invade the privacy of Americans, strongly defended his anti-terrorism policies and rejected comparisons to President George W. Bush.

"The whole point of my concern, before I was president — because some people say, "Well, you know, Obama was this raving liberal before. Now he's, you know, Dick Cheney." Dick Cheney sometimes says, "Yeah, you know? He took it all, lock, stock, and barrel," the president said in an interview with PBS.

"My concern has always been not that we shouldn't do intelligence gathering to prevent terrorism, but rather are we setting up a system of checks and balances? So, on this telephone program, you've got a federal court with independent federal judges overseeing the entire program. And you've got Congress overseeing the program, not just the intelligence committee and not just the judiciary committee — but all of Congress had available to it before the last re-authorization exactly how this program works."

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Turning ‘baby daddies’ into fathers

Turning ‘baby daddies’ into fathers

Last week, grateful sons and daughters were hitting retailers around the country in search of that perfect gift for dad – a tie, some socks, a Hallmark card, or maybe just a hug. But for a growing number of youth Father's Day can be tough, bringing up memories of hard times with dad, or other times when he just wasn't around at all.

The number of children in the U.S. living apart from their fathers has more than doubled over the last 50 years, from 11 percent to 27 percent, according to a recent study by the Pew Research Center.

While there are certainly a number of reasons for the increase, it is also certain that when the pressures and responsibilities of fatherhood get to be too much, some men simply choose to leave, to dip in and out of their children's lives like a recurring dream or nightmare. We even have a special name for the guys who skip out on their fatherly duties – sometimes, "father" is just too personal a title.

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  • Written by Richmond Pulse/New America Media

The ‘Colored entrance’ to White-owned businesses

The ‘Colored entrance’ to White-owned businesses

For the most part, corporate America employees are satisfied with their careers. There is usually a chart to review in terms of responsibility. Is the employee moving up the "ladder" and heading towards more executive responsibility? That is correlated with salary. The greater the responsibility, the greater the pay and the less tolerance for any era or bad judgment. If one reaches as far up the ladder as he or she can, then they will ultimately seek new employment that offers more opportunity or capitulate to the end of their improvement and sit there until retirement.

There are many divisions within a major corporation. Engineering, Manufacturing, Logistics, Marketing, Sales, Legal, IT, Human Resources, Procurement, Research/Development, Security and Maintenance are some of the major divisions. Each of these divisions is usually managed by a vice president, director, chairman or president. They report to the President/CEO or Chairman/CEO.

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  • Written by Harry C. Alford/NNPA

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