Category: Opinion Written by George E. Curry
GEORGE E. CURRY
(NNPA)—Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett has announced plans to close at least 50 schools as a cost-cutting measure. But before any other urban school system follows suit, it should take an extended recess and reflect on what has happened in the past that makes this such a foolish idea.
Last Updated on Thursday, 30 May 2013 11:59
Category: Opinion Written by William J. Barber II
REV. DR. WILLIAM J. BARBER II
(CNN) -- In the face of injustice, the Book of Isaiah tells us to "cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet." North Carolina's State Constitution says the people have a right to assemble and petition their lawmakers for the redress of grievances. It is in this spirit that a growing coalition of North Carolinians is exercising its moral calling and constitutional right by challenging the shameful leadership of our state government -- even if it means going to jail.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 May 2013 16:47
Category: Opinion Written by Bill Fletcher Jr.
BILL FLETCHER JR.
(NNPA)—Like too many events since the beginning of the Obama presidency, various attacks on the administration by the Republicans end up being about less than what they at first seemed, though the hoopla that accompanies the initial charges is frequently deafening. Think about the attack on ACORN through a disingenuously edited video tape or the later attack on Shirley Sherrod, selectively using words from a speech of hers in order to convey a message that was not hers at all. The IRS “scandal” is another case in point.
The first bits of information to which we were exposed were aimed at leading us to believe that the IRS was attacking conservative groups. President Obama acted with outrage saying that such an alleged attack was inexcusable. But then, as each day has passed, additional information rises to the surface and the “scandal” becomes a bit more complicated. First and foremost, it now appears that the IRS did not target conservative groups alone. In fact, the conservative/Tea Party groups that were under scrutiny were only one third of the groups that were being challenged.
Other groups that were exposed to the same sorts of challenges included liberal and progressive organizations as well as a few organizations that were, apparently, not political at all. To the extent to which the conservative groups were being observed at all, it probably can be directly connected to the sudden rise of the Tea Party formations and their obvious political agenda.
While there are serious questions that need to be asked of the IRS regarding their methodology, there appears to be little evidence of the sort of anti-conservative witch-hunt that right-wing pundits suggest is underway. Those ultra-conservatives who are attempting to make the IRS “scandal” out to be something akin to Watergate have actually lost touch with both history and reality.
What may be more important in the midst of this “scandal” is the hypocrisy of those Republicans who are sounding the fire alarm. The NAACP’s former Board Chairman, Julian Bond, made this precise point. It was only a few years ago--under the George W. Bush administration--that the NAACP found itself under the gun with the IRS. Yet where were these Republican lovers of freedom? I remember very little coming from their side of the aisle protesting what was clearly a blatant political move by a Republican administration.
Let us not stop there. Various instruments of the US government that are supposed to exist for non-political purposes have at various times been used--under Republican and Democratic administrations--in order to suppress or discourage dissent. Worse, there have been institutions explicitly created in order to eliminate dissent entirely. One case in point of the latter is the infamous program of the FBI known as COINTELPRO (the Counter Intelligence Program). COINTELPRO was used in the 1960s and early 1970s as a means to infiltrate and disrupt social justice and social protest movement across the board, including but not limited to the Black Freedom Movement. The Republican Party was not at the lead in criticizing such programs.
This is all to say that before anyone jumps to conclusions, certainly in the midst of the IRS “scandal,” it is worth doing a bit more investigating. President Obama should do likewise.
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Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 May 2013 11:51
Category: Opinion Written by Ulish Carter - Courier Managing Editor
The mayor’s race is finally over with somewhat of a surprise. So where does that leave the Black community?
Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 May 2013 16:13
Category: Opinion Written by Courier Newsroom
by Daryl Gale
The way local politicians, advocates, and school district officials are shouting doom and gloom from the rooftops and tearing their hair out these days may tend to have the opposite of the intended effect.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 May 2013 11:52
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