Category Archives: Social Issues

Social causes, activism, and projects

Homage to The Slants – by Carlos E. Cortés    

The Slants won.  I’m glad.  And with that victory, the field of Diversity & Inclusion enters a new era, whether or not it wants to.

On June 18, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a rare nearly unanimous decision (8-0 with one abstention) in the case of Lee v. Tam (also known as Matal v. Tam).  The substance of the case was this.

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Bill Maher and the N-Word Debate – Elwood Watson

Bill Maher, host of the quasi political/entertainment program HBO Real Time with Bill Maher, recently had renowned Black intellectual and ordained Baptist minister Dr. Michael Eric Dyson and rapper Ice Cube as guests. They discussed the n-word controversy that erupted on the May 31 edition of the program when Maher flippantly referred to himself as a “house nigger” in an interview with Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska). The senator had been invited to the program to discuss his book on what he sees as the increasing problem on prolonged adolescence occurring in American society. Sasse and Maher agreed on the issue and provided examples and suggestions on how to rectify the problem. Things seemed to be going well up until this exchange transpired between both men:

Maher: Adults dress up for Halloween. They don’t do that in Nebraska?

Sasse: It’s frowned upon. We don’t do that quite as much.

Maher: I gotta get to Nebraska more.

Sasse: You’re welcome. We’d love to have you work in the fields with us.

Maher: Work in the fields? Senator, I’m a house nigger.

Continue reading Bill Maher and the N-Word Debate – Elwood Watson

Rejecting rejection! – by Terry Howard              

Rejection!

Who the heck needs it? It’s personal, can hurt deeply and can leave an indelible emotional scar. Fact is, just like the air we breathe, we live in a world where rejection is all around us, always has been, always will be.

Rejection is part and parcel to life in general, to systems and eco-systems, to processes, to negotiations, to decisions, to change and reactions to change. Arguably, the worst types of rejection occurs when the body rejects an organ transplant or chemotherapy.

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Tracking the Rise of Terrorism – by Deborah Levine

The recent bombing at a popular music performance in Manchester, England, is yet another in a series of terrorism incidents plaguing civilization with increasing frequency. In 2008, I wrote about how the severe economic downturn we were experiencing would have as a byproduct an increase in random violence. When people feel they have little to lose, they lose their socialization.  I predicted years ago that we would see a rise in gang-related violence, domestic violence, and opportunistic kidnapping and theft. Such incidences are indeed filling the news, parallel to the rise of terrorism itself.

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Consider the Iceberg: Untold Challenges of the Boys in Blue – by Terry Howard

Readers, you’ll need to rely on your imagination to read this narrative.
Let’s start with a few actual “voices from the ranks.”

First Donnie, a middle age white police officer who got out of his hospital bed after recovering from a brutal beating by a drug dealer and returned to street duty, to the profession he still loves.

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The Art and Civics of Publisher Ruth Holmberg: Making History — by Deborah Levine

Long before The New York Times had its first woman Executive Editor, Ruth Holmberg was the Editor of The Chattanooga Times. Holmberg is a member of the family that founded both newspapers and she has shared her compelling life story as friends and admirers gathered to hear her speak. Holmberg is a former director of The Associated Press and of The New York Times Company, a former president of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce and of the Southern Newspaper Publisher Association and a member of the Board of Directors of the Public Education Network (PEN). 

The petite, soft-voiced woman is also a member of one of the nation’s most prominent publishing families.

Editor’s note: Publishing icon and Chattanooga civic leader Ruth Holmberg passed away at age 96. In her honor, here is the ADR interview with Ms. Holmberg several years ago.

Continue reading The Art and Civics of Publisher Ruth Holmberg: Making History — by Deborah Levine

Tracking our Spring-time Destructors — by Deborah Levine

Every spring, I write about terrorism in the U.S.  My articles began with the domestic terrorism of the Oklahoma City bombing more than twenty years ago on April 19.  I became the community/media liaison for Oklahoma’s Tulsa Jewish Federation shortly after the bombing destroyed the Murrah Building and so many lives. I felt compelled to investigate what led to the deadliest bombing, prior to 9/11, on our native soil.  The violent hatred that I saw has not only continued, but has expanded globally, and in 2017, it  encompasses the entire year.

Continue reading Tracking our Spring-time Destructors — by Deborah Levine

What to Do About Upticks in Hate! – by Terry Howard

On a balmy recent Sunday afternoon, the KKK visited Douglasville, Georgia. Throngs of us decided to pay a visit to our visitors. Many gathered along the road, some with their families and lounge chairs as if they were about to watch a Christmas parade. Some brought Bibles, others protest placards bearing words unprintable in this space. As expected the police turnout was large as was the media.

You see, the KKK came to protest the sentences of a local man and woman who received long prison terms for yelling racial slurs and pointing guns at participants at a 10 year-old’s black kid’s birthday party.

Continue reading What to Do About Upticks in Hate! – by Terry Howard

Civil Rights Lessons for Millennials & Gen Z – by David Grinberg

Too many Millennials and members of their younger cohort, Generation Z, consider civil rights history as ancient history at the dawn of a new millennium. However, there are profound and poignant lessons which today’s young people need to learn. The most important lesson is how to make major changes in society through the type of peaceful means championed by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his fellow civil rights leaders of the time.

A term of significance for young people to comprehend is: “civil disobedience.”

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Unity in Diversity: A Model for Advancement of Civilization – by Vahid Alavian

Today’s political and social climate in the world and in the United States seems to accentuates disagreement in thoughts and ideologies, give rise to disunity, create a sense of fear and insecurity, and in some cases even loss of human life and destruction. Chaos and confusion are reaching such intensity that they are affecting the fundamental structure of society; uprooting its time-honored constitutions and institutions; destroying the bonds of human relationships; and driving its inhabitants away from their homes as refugees. To counter these forces, significant productive and constructive energy will be required to sustain human societies. One way to look at our community, country, and the world for a path forward is to practice the concept of Unity in Diversity. The American Diversity Report provides an effective avenue for meaningful discourse on the subject.

Continue reading Unity in Diversity: A Model for Advancement of Civilization – by Vahid Alavian