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by 03.24.2009
Posted In: Public Policy, Social Justice, Government, Family at 09:46 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 

Don’t hit! SMACK!

Violence begets violence; it certainly doesn’t have the effect of bringing about effective communication that ultimately leads people to understand and embrace positive actions. So why would Ohio schools – institutions of learning and thought – allow hitting kids as punishment?

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by Andy Brownfield 07.25.2012
Posted In: News, Social Justice, Racism, Gun Violence at 05:14 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Trayvon Martin’s Parents Speak in Cincinnati

Maya Angelou, other activists encourage justice without hate

Panelists including the parents of slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin talked about reconciliation and turning personal suffering into power at the National and Racial Healing Town Hall at the Duke Energy Convention Center on Wednesday during the Children’s Defense Fund National Conference.

Tracy Martin, Trayvon’s father, broke down in tears as he told the story of how his son saved his life by dragging him out of their condo and calling 911 after Tracy had been badly burned in a grease fire.

“My child is my hero,” Tracy Martin said. “He saved my life. Not to be there to save his is troublesome to me.”

Trayvon Martin was shot and killed on Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla. by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. 

Trayvon, who was black, was unarmed and shot by the white and Hispanic Zimmerman after Zimmerman pursued him in defiance of a request by a police dispatcher. Zimmerman claims the shooting was in self-defense.

Zimmerman is out on $1 million bail while awaiting trial on a charge of second degree murder.

“Nothing anyone can do will bring Trayvon back,” Tracy Martin said. “You have to take that negative and turn it into a positive. We chose to keep our son's name alive and not let his death be in vain.”

The town hall-style meeting was kicked off by poet and author Maya Angelou. She urged the hundreds of people in attendance, mostly young and black, to demand justice for Trayvon — referring to Zimmerman as “the brute” — but “that means we don’t become poisoned by hate.”

Angelou wasn’t the only one who urged against hate.

Black historian and civil rights activist Vincent Harding, who celebrated his 81st birthday on Wednesday, issued a challenge to the youth in attendance:

“Are you ready to fight for the healing of George Zimmerman and all the George Zimmermans of America? Are you up to that?” he asked.

“This country has no chance unless they are healed.”

The panel was made up of social activists, many of whom had lost friends and family to violence or bigotry, but whose pain prompted activism instead of retaliation — panelists such as The Rev. Ronald and Kim Odom, who lost a son to gun violence but volunteer in intervention and outreach programs; Clemmie Greenlee, a former prostitute and gang member who formed a peacemaking organization to work with gang members after her son was killed; and Ndume Olatushani, a former prisoner who was released in June after 19 years on death row after being falsely convicted of murdering a Tennessee shopkeeper.

The younger members of the audience were encouraged to ask questions after the panel presentation. Teenagers and young adults from as far as Tennessee, North Carolina and Minnesota asked questions about dismantling the system of racial oppression, overcoming odds stacked against young minorities and having society see past an old felony conviction.

The panelists all tried to offer encouragement, while urging the younger generation to continue to try to fight to make things better.

“When you look at the odds, it’s so horrific for a young minority American, you say ‘why even try, why even bother?’ ” said Benjamin Crump, a civil rights attorney who is representing Trayvon’s mother Sabryna Fulton. “But the reason you try and you bother, there is so many examples where we beat the odds every day and nobody even know about it or talked about it.”

“It goes back to you and saying, ‘I am going to make something of myself. I don’t care about the statistics, I don’t care about the odds.’ … You say, ‘well, if it’s one out of a million, I’m going to be that one.’”

 
 
by 02.19.2009
Posted In: News, Environment, Public Policy, Social Justice at 09:25 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)
 
 

Clean Coal Myth

No matter what a politician says, coal has never been and can’t be “clean” or serve as an “alternative” fuel that’s good for the environment. On position held by many groups is that limiting the use of coal is necessary to create the incentive to come up with energy alternatives that truly don’t harm the environment. The League of Women Voters is one of those groups.

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by 05.06.2009
 
 

Homeless Means Worthless

During an election year, city council and the mayor member profess to care about the most vulnerable in our society, but their actions are speaking much louder than words. Mayor Mark Mallory allowed a city budget proposal to go forward that would have eliminated all human services funding and the meager investment was only restored after groups like the YWCA Battered Women’s Shelter and the Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless organized strong and vocal opposition and the money was restored.

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by 02.24.2009
 
 

Does the Death Penalty Mean Death?

The Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center (IJPC) along with many other abolitionist groups say it does. Over time the public in Ohio has voted to eliminate one round of death penalty case appeals and the inadequate funding of defense in these cases has been eating away at the “super” due-process required by the U.S. Supreme Court. The intent was to put safeguard in place to make sure a fallible system implemented by fallible people wouldn’t result in the death of innocent people. But those same fallible people are destroying that system little-by-little.

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by Danny Cross 10.04.2011
 
 
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Occupy Wall Street to Occupy Sawyer Point

Protest over corporate money in politics will take place in Cincinnati Saturday

The Occupy Wall Street movement plans to occupy Sawyer Point this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., one of several protests planned in other cities since the protest over corporate money in politics began more than three weeks ago in New York. (UPDATE: The protest has been moved to Lytle Park due to an already scheduled event at Sawyer Point.)

The Cincinnati Enquirer did its usual muckraking on the subject, determining that the movement's “goals are vague” and then linking to a story quoting a member of the movement describing its goals quite succinctly:

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by 04.20.2009
Posted In: Social Justice, Community, News at 10:58 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 

20th Annual Take Back the Night March

The belief that anyone “asks” to be abused and the complacency that relegate domestic violence to “a family matter” is why Take Back the Night is marching into another decade.

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by 11.11.2008
Posted In: Public Policy, Social Justice at 11:58 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)
 
 

Equal Marriage

No, this isn’t an effort to get men to scrub toilets, women to wash cars or any other such stereotypical complaint about equality in a marriage. It’s about busting up another stereotype – that only heterosexuals can live in a long-term, committed relationship.

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by 02.06.2009
Posted In: Social Justice, Public Policy at 03:23 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 

Life over Death

The Parole Board issued is recommendation today on the request for clemency in the case of Jeffrey Hill. In the state of Ohio a death sentence stands more often than it is overturned because, they say, it's to give the victim's family closure and a sense of justice. In the case of Hill, his mother was the victim, killed bu Hill while high on crack-cocaine, and the rest of his family didn't want to see him executed.

The final decision is up to Gov. Ted Strickland and if he listens to the family, as the Parole Board did, one less murder will take place in the Buckeye state. What follows is a statement from Eddie Sanders, brother of Emma Dee Hill and uncle of Jeffrey Hill, on behalf of Emma Dee Hill’s family.

“My family and I send our deepest appreciation to the Ohio Parole Board for unanimously recommending clemency and parole eligibility for my nephew, Jeffrey Hill. We now pray that Governor Ted Strickland respects my family’s wishes and follows the Parole Board’s unified recommendation.

“Eighteen years ago we suffered a profound loss when Jeffrey took the life of his mother, and my sister, Emma Dee Hill. Jeffrey became addicted to crack-cocaine after his father’s passing. My family knows that had it not been for the effect of drugs, this tragedy would never have occurred. We have forgiven Jeffrey and do not want to have to suffer through the tragic loss of another one of our own. We are certain that Emma herself, who was a woman of great faith and conviction, would also be absolutely opposed to the death sentence given to Jeffrey.

“Twelve members of my family appealed to the Parole Board to spare Jeffrey’s life. It was the first time that we were able to state our wishes in depth. We were cast aside at trial, and the jury never heard from Emma's mother, her two brothers and sister, all of us who were and who remain opposed to Jeffrey receiving a death sentence. It is tremendously meaningful that we were able to have our position recognized by all of the members of the Parole Board today. We are so very thankful that the Parole Board respected our plea and recommended clemency.

“My family, including Emma’s mother, other siblings, nephews, nieces and grandchildren, does not want this execution carried out in our name. We pray that Governor Ted Strickland upholds the Board’s recommendation and grants clemency and parole eligibility to Jeffrey.”

To help Strickland make up his mind, drop him a note or give him a call.

e-mail

Governor's Office

Riffe Center, 30th Floor

77 South High Street

Columbus, OH 43215-6108

Phone: 614-466-3555

 
 
by Danny Cross 11.30.2011
 
 
little-girl-drinking-orange-juice

Morning News and Stuff

A new study has found high levels of arsenic in fruit juices that millions of kids are drinking because there's pictures of actual food on the label. Too bad government regulation is just a big waste of money that hurts the economy.

A full 10 percent of the juices tested by the magazine had arsenic levels higher than what is allowed in water by the Food and Drug Administration.

“What we’re talking about here is not acute affects,” Urvashi Rangan, director of safety and sustainability at Consumer Reports, told TODAY. “We’re talking about chronic effects. We’re talking about cancer risk. And so, the fact that 10 percent of our samples exceeded the drinking water standard underscores the need for a standard to be set in juices.”

Consumer Reports tested 88 samples of apple and grape juices sold around the country. Included among those tested were popular juices like Minute Maid, Welch’s and Tropicana.

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