Racism

Honoring Our Sacred Obligations

by Alex Mikulich, Ph.D., JustSouth Quarterly Spring 2015

The question of the “State of the Dream” is often raised at annual celebrations of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. I heard the question yet again at a recent panel discussion held at Dillard University. Dominant U.S. society, I responded, has never embraced Dr. King’s “dream” or the goals of the 1963 March on Washington.

Dr. King began his speech to marchers by marking the 100th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, citing the great promises made in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. This is the promise that all people would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. King stated:

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check: a check which has come back marked ‘insufficient funds.’ 

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[NEW]Lead prosecutor apologizes for role in sending man to death row

The Shreveport Times, March 20, 2015 

Editor's Note: Attorney A.M. "Marty" Stroud III, of Shreveport, was the lead prosecutor in the December 1984 first-degree murder trial of Glenn Ford, who was sentenced to death for the Nov. 5, 1983 death of Shreveport jeweler Isadore Rozeman. Ford was released from prison March 11, 2014, after the state admitted new evidence proving Ford was not the killer. Stroud is responding to an editorial in the March 6 edition of The Times that urged the state to now give Ford justice by not fighting compensation allowed for those wrongfully convicted.

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OUR PERSPECTIVE:

An Introduction to Race, Racism, and Whiteness

By Dr. Alex Mikulich

Over 100 years ago, in his introduction to The Souls of Black Folk, W.E. B. Du Bois wrote: “the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color-line.” Despite claims that we live in a “post-racial” society after the historic election of Barack Obama, the fact remains that the color line and racial hierarchy endures in the 21st century.  At issue for the Jesuit Social Research Institute, from the perspective of Roman Catholic social teaching and thought, is the persistence of disproportionate advantage for white Americans in relationship to pervasive and persistent disproportionate disadvantage for people of color in every sphere of life including health, wealth, income, education, housing, and the criminal justice system.  More than one issue among others, the contradiction between Gospel values and practices of racial inequality is scandalous. The contradiction between Roman Catholic and American claims for universal human dignity and equality, and the reality of social, political, and economic advantage that white Americans consciously and unconsciously accept and assume, betrays this scandal.  This article continues here

ARCHIVED Articles on Racism:

Smart Criminal Justice Reform: Mississippi and Texas Leading Gulf South States -- Mikulich

A Last Will and Testament: The Freedom Riders' enduring legacy -- Mikulich

The Monstrous Elegance of White Supremacy -- Mikulich

Six Myths of Payday Lending -- Mikulich

Martin Luther King, Jr.: Becoming Maladjusted for the Beloved Community-- Mikulich 

Marching for Racial Justice in Contemplation and Protest-- Mikulich

The Gift of W.E.B. Du Bois and Double-Consciousness--Mikulich

Thomas Merton’s “Letters to a White Liberal”--Mikulich

A Victory for Democracy: Americans repudiate voter suppression, racism--Mikulich

Race and the 2012 Presidential Election--Mikulich

The Real Fraud in “Voter Fraud”: How so-called reform laws aim to disenfranchise voters -- Mikulich

The Payday Shark in Your Bank Account -- Mikulich

Changing the Script: A Starting Point for Reducing Gun Violence--Mikulich

Stop Casting Stones: The Failure of Punitive Crime Policy--Mikulich

No Relief in Sight: Persistent High Unemployment for African Americans and Latinos in Gulf South States -- Mikulich


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