A 2007 affirmative action rally at the University of Michigan. Source:

As the Supreme Court weighs in on the affirmative action case of Abigail Fisher—a white student from Stephen F.

Oriole Park at Camden Yards from the Third Baseline. Photo By: Kate Drabinski.

On March 24th, 2013, local historians, activists, and interested parties gathered at Camden and S. Eutaw to join in the unveiling of a new plaque commemorating the Great Railroad Strike of 1877. The plaque joins a slew of public memorials in this part of southwest Baltimore but was the first recognizing the role of laborers and their struggles in the making of this place.

"Lonely Hearts" by Baltimore's Demi Lashawn.

The crisis of empathy is a great danger to the individual. It separates us from the pain that is felt universally. It stunts our ability to conceive of anything better in how we could live our lives. It is when we can tear down the fences that we build within ourselves, and undergo that transformation—from hostility to warmth, from suspicion to a welcoming embrace, from bitterness to tenderness—we find a power that cannot be taken from us.

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The word “entitlement” had prestige and dignity before the party of “no” got its hands on it. The point is that these programs are being hotly debated and politicized in the deficit reduction melee on Capitol Hill. The racialization of the issue is a common strategy to turn serious discourse on its head and rally irrational support by appealing to embedded racial stereotypes.

President George W. Bush presents the Medal of Honor to neurosurgeon Ben Carson. Image source:

Dr. Ben Carson is a well-trained plantation fox, guarding the hen house of White supremacy. He is infected with the delusion of individualism and Bill Cosby boot-strapitis. He can be found on his way to the White House, tripping the political, racist land mines set for his demise. Just think, he could live in Baltimore, not far from me. Well, there goes the neighborhood.

A bas-relief mural in Aguadilla, PR, depicts Columbus' first contact with the Taíno people. Photo by: Iris Kirsch.

This winter, I had the great fortune to travel to Puerto Rico. A beautiful, diverse island, Puerto Rico has a long colonial history and a long history of resistance. Both of these traditions are still alive today, and Puerto Rico is a fascinating place to study the effects of neoliberalism.

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Most of the State’s proceeds from the casinos were to be put in an Education Trust Fund dedicated to supporting the public schools. It was projected that the ETF would eventually receive about $600 million annually. But funds from the casinos have so far been less than half of what was projected. At the same time, the Governor and the legislature weakened the formula that mandates State aid for local public schools by eliminating the adjustment for inflation. This is now costing the 24 local school boards $718 million dollars each year in lost State aid – an average reduction of nearly $850 per student per year.

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Crimes against Black people in this country can only be described as "unspeakable." Maybe that’s why nobody wants to talk about it. It’s painful for Black people and frankly, inconvenient for many Whites. The subject certainly does not fit into Scott Terry’s conversation of White people as the newly disenfranchised. But if we do not speak about it, White people (and Black apologists) will appropriate Black history and heroes to take us back to the days when the Republican Party really was the party of the abolitionists, and the Dixiecrats housed the Ku Klux Klan.

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It is time we ensure every Marylander the right to vote. This past Election Day, some voters stood in line for hours only to find they had been kicked off the voter rolls, and there was no option for them to register at the polls to cast a ballot that counts. A reasoned corrective is now within reach in Annapolis.

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“America works,” says the new superstar of the Republican party, Marco Rubio. Gridlocked-Congress America works? Tell that to the predominately Hispanic and Black underclass whose boats are not rising with the White American tide. The wealth gap nearly tripled between Whites and Black people in 2009. The Pew Research Center reports that the median wealth of White households is 18 times that of Hispanic homes.


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