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I saw The Central Park Five on Monday.
To say that the story of these boys (now men) was a travesty of justice is a gross understatement. This was an utter miscarriage of justice, a totally orchestrated train wreck. What happened is a case study of how the system can fail on all levels. This was not just a failure of the criminal justice system. The media was equally culpable. The public was complicit as well.
What galls me the most is New York City, my city, has not owned up to the mistakes that were made and has never apologized to these men for the injustices they faced. Make no mistake about it this can happen again. A confession may not necessarily be a confession, especially if it’s not in line with the evidence. Sometimes a confession is really coercion.
We're doing the happy dance at the Marketplace. We are officially the Marketplace for Social Awareness and Social Responsibility Inc. We are incorporated in the State of New York and recognized as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. This milestone allows us to accept donations that are tax-exempt to the full extent allowed under U.S. law.
We can now begin to move forward with our social responsibility initiatives. The Marketplace is a small organization with big ideas. We are committed to our mission of:
"Though many people of color have been critical of affirmative action because in many cases it has not benefited the poor as much as it has helped the middle class, affirmative action must be defended. To date, affirmative action constitutes the most meaningful and effective means devised by government for delivering the promise of equal opportunity. Without a policy that holds universities and employers accountable for who they admit the pledge to not discriminate is meaningless, and there is little doubt that most organizations would drift back to being mostly white. As a consequence of affirmative action, white women and people of color have gained access to higher education and professional jobs in such significant numbers that over the last twenty years there has been a dramatic rise in income for a growing number of individuals from these groups. Unfortunately, too many of those who have benefited most from affirmative action fail to recognize its connection to the struggle against racism in the United States."
"Clearly, a mass movement will be necessary to counter not only the attacks on affirmative action, but the broader offensive directed at poor and working class people generally. Since the 1994 elections, right-wing Republicans have been moving with great speed to enact their reactionary contract on America. The shut down of the federal government is just an indication of how determined they are to see their vision for this country realized. So far, Clinton and his allies in the Democratic party have proven to be no match for Newt Gingrich and his gang, both because they agree with parts of that agenda (as demonstrated by Clinton's support for NAFTA and his administration's unwillingness to raise the minimum wage) and because they lack the conviction to meet the challenge forcefully." -- Dr. Pedro Noguera (Published in In Motion Magazine February 10, 1996)
I read a news feed this morning from News One titled “Divided States of America: 20 States Petition To Secede after Re-Election of President Obama. “ The opening sentence was “Some white people are really having a difficult time facing the reality of a Black president…….” They have since changed their opening sentence to “Some people are really having a difficult time facing the reality of a Black president…..” I commend them for this revision (although they haven’t corrected the hyperlink). I did not feel that the issue is totally racial and disagreed with the writer limiting it to white people. I do believe that there are some serious underlying racial overtones.
The Star-Telegram reports: Hardin County [Texas] Republican treasurer Peter Morrison writes "…..Let each go her own way," demanding an "amicable divorce" from the U.S. and from the "maggots" who re-elected President Obama. Morrison is particularly angry at Asian-Americans and Hispanics who backed Obama, accusing them of voting on an "ethnic basis."
"'They' re-elected Obama," Morrison wrote. "He is their president."
The election is over. I suppose that some of you are extremely happy and some of you, well, are maybe not so happy. As a taxpaying citizen I have to say that this has been one of the most grueling election cycles that I've experienced so far in my voting life. If I wasn't being inundated with advertising that was mostly negative, I was overwhelmed by media pundits.
So now it's time for you to get back to the business of running our country. I trust that you have renewed your commitment to being a servant of your constituents, the American people. As I'm sure you know as reported in a Wall Street Journal article your approval rating was at an all time low of 12% in August 2012. In October 2012, twenty-one percent of Americans approved of the job Congress was doing, higher than the 13% Gallup measured in September, and the highest rating in any month since May 2011.
If approval ratings were an exam, these would be failing grades. Unfortunately these are not exams. This is real life. The decisions (or lack thereof) that you make impact every American citizen and there are no make up exams in life. The Encarta Dictionary: English (North America) definition for the word politician includes:
Ernest R. Heyward is the Founder and President of the Marketplace for Social Awareness and Social Responsibility Inc.