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Obama Talks Action

by Stephon Johnson Special to the NNPA from the New York Amsterdam News Barack Obama at the 2014 National Action Network convention (CHRIS GRIFFITHS PHOTO) “The right to vote is threatened today in a way that it has not been since the Voting Rights Act was passed into law nearly five decades ago,” said President Barack Obama at the National Action Network Convention last Friday. “The real voter fraud is peo ...

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Whitewashing Republican Support of Civil Rights

By Raynard Jackson NNPA Columnist One of the best kept secrets over the past 50 years is that, proportionately, Republicans in Congress supported passage of the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act by a much wider margin than Democrats. As CNN.com reported, “The Guardian’s Harry J. Enten broke down the vote, showing that more than 80% of Republicans in both houses voted in favor of the bill, compared with more th ...

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Obama Keeps Promise to Use ‘Power of the Pen’

By Julianne Malveaux NNPA Columnist During his State of the Union address, President Obama promised to use the power of his pen to achieve the policy objectives that Congress continues to block. After advocating fairness and being rebuffed by Congress, the president chose to use the power of his pen to require federal contractors to pay workers at least $10.10 per hour, or $21.800 per year. That puts a sing ...

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My Brothers Keeper: Obama Tries to Add Substance to Black Male Initiative

By Freddie Allen NNPA Washington Correspondent WASHINGTON (NNPA) – No one had seen President Obama more emotional than last week when announced “My Brother’s Keeper,” a new initiative aimed at helping young Black men. He spoke from the heart, recounting the pain of not having his father in the home and not always putting his best foot forward. Attention now shifts from an emotional announcement to follow-up ...

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Is America Becoming a Nation of Bullies?

By Marc H. Morial NNPA Columnist “Bullying is a form of aggressive behavior in which someone intentionally and repeatedly causes another person injury or discomfort.  Bullying can take the form of physical contact, words or more subtle actions.”  American Psychological Association When 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick jumped to her death from an abandoned concrete plant tower on September 9 because of bullying f ...

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‘Entitlement Programs’ Serve Elderly and Poor

By George E. Curry NNPA Editor in Chief Republicans have made it clear that their next budget goal is to slash so-called entitlement programs. Democrats have failed to explain to the public that the misnamed programs are valuable and prevent millions of Americans, many of them elderly or children, from living in poverty. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) issued a report last week that found: ...

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‘12 Years a Slave’ Movie Hits Home

By Alveda King Recently I joined members of my family to view the new movie “12 Years a Slave” directed by Steve McQueen and starring Brad Pitt, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyongo’o, and an overall stunningly talented cast. Warning: film contains visually graphic images, violence, and some nudity. While I actually wasn’t emotionally prepared to see the movie, I am convinced that it should be considered an esse ...

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What’s in our Shopping Carts?

By Cheryl Pearson-McNeil NNPA Columnist With a current buying power of $1 trillion, manufacturers and marketers should be paying careful attention to the shopping patterns of African-American consumers. The latest report on Black consumers, Resilient, Receptive and Relevant: The African-American Consumer 2013 Report, illustrates how much of that spending breaks down:  Our annual retail spending makes up 87 ...

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An Open Letter to House Speaker Boehner

By Stephanie J. Jones NNPA Columnist Dear Speaker Boehner: It’s hard to know whether to feel pity or disgust for you as we watch you whine, bellow, threaten and renege your way through a government shutdown and debt ceiling crisis that you easily could end by behaving like the Speaker of the House, not the spokesman for the Tea Party Caucus.  Your inability and/or unwillingness to put the well-being of the ...

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The Federal Shutdown is Very Personal

By Bill Fletcher, Jr. NNPA Columnist In the interest of full disclosure, I work for the largest labor union in the federal sector:  the American Federation of Government Employees.  But I am not writing on their behalf or because I was told to do so. This is personal. Federal employees are largely invisible. Actually, we take them for granted.  With certain exceptions such as TSA and the VA, most of us thin ...

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