Black Michigan Under Emergency Financial Boot
“About 54 percent of the Black population in our state will not have the right to vote in local elections” because of Michigan’s imposition of emergency financial managers over cities and school districts, said John Philo, director of Sugar Law Center. “It’s an economic model that says the only way out of a fiscal crisis is to cut services to those in need, privatize public resources,” and break public sector unions, said Philo. Detroit’s new emergency manager was a partner in a law firm whose clients make up more than half the Fortune 500 corporations.
Social Security Supporters “Disappointed” in Obama
The president of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare fired off a letter to the White House, last week. “It seems the president is determined to remind everybody that he’s willing to offer a new formula for determining the cost of living adjustment for recipients” – which is a cut, said Max Richtman. “We’re all very disappointed.”
Brooklyn Blacks Continue Protests in Police Killing
Police blanketed the East Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, as residents staged protests against the killing of 16 year-old Kimani Gray. Carl Dix, of Stop Stop-and-Frisk, who led a rally on Sunday, said: “Anybody with even an ounce of justice needs to come and stand with the people in this neighborhood, because if you don’t do that, you’re leaving them alone face all the oppression that the systems brings down.”
Collegiate Anti-Incarceration Campaign
Students Against Mass Incarceration (SAMI) hold their national conference at Howard University, in Washington, April 19 and 20, under the theme, “Where Do We Go From Here: Re-Energizing the Black Student Movement.” “We hope to come out of the conference with a national plan of action,” said organizer Haji Conteh.
Racial Disparity in Incarceration Narrows
The gap between Black and white imprisonment rates has narrowed in recent years, according to a new study by The Sentencing Project. The trend is the result of “a declining rate of incarceration for Black men coming at the same times as a rising rate for white men,” said Project director Marc Mauer. The shrinkage of the gap among women was even more dramatic. Fewer Blacks are being sentenced to long prison terms for drugs, while larger numbers of whites are incarcerated, typically for methamphetamines.
Civil Rights Heroine Honored
Claudette Colvin, who was arrested in 1955 for refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus – nine months before Rosa Parks – will be honored by the People’s Organization for Progress, in Newark, New Jersey, March 28. Black movement leaders didn’t think Colvin and three other young women fit the image they wanted to present of Black people. “We were rejects,” Colvin laughed. But Colvin’s case was the one that went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which overturned the bus segregation law. “Rosa Parks was the right person for the time,” said Colvin, but “we are disappointed that no one tells how the bus boycott came to an end, successfully.”