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Greenlining’s Own Children’s Book Author

Greenlining’s Own Children’s Book Author

We have lots of talent in this building — talent that goes well beyond the daily tasks of advocacy and leadership development — and we don’t always get enough opportunities to promote that talent the way it deserves. So if this sounds like a shameless plug, well, it is. And it’s deserved. Janine Macbeth, our fabulous development director, is also a children’s book author and proprietor of a small, independent publishing company, Blood Orange Press. Janine was just interviewed on TV about her beautiful and inspiring book, “Oh Oh Baby Boy.” Watch.  


Did you know? It’s National Voter Registration Day!

Did you know? It’s National Voter Registration Day!

Celebrate National Voter Registration Day and get registered to vote today! Who needs to register? New citizens and citizens who have recently turned 18 years old should register to vote. Anyone who has recently moved will need to re-register to vote at their new address too. And, if you are a former felon you might be eligible to vote so don’t miss out. Check out California’s guide to voting rights for formerly incarcerated communities here. The main point is, don’t let anything get in your way of registering to vote! Your vote is your voice. If you live in California, you can register to vote online at registertovote.ca.gov. Registering online takes…
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Race, Privilege and the “Colorblind” – Part II

Race, Privilege and the “Colorblind” – Part II

In my last post, I discussed meeting with officials of an organization that’s devoted itself to researching opinions and beliefs underlying a major issue facing our country. These folks, who really are trying to do good in the world, place particular emphasis on probing the psychology underlying those beliefs. But one of the people we met with stunned us by saying that their surveys were “colorblind,” and that psychology itself “doesn’t see race.” At the time I thought – but chose not to say for fear of bringing the meeting to a crashing halt – “Why is it that the people who claim not to see race always seem to…
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Race, Privilege and the “Colorblind” – Part I

Race, Privilege and the “Colorblind” – Part I

I grew up in all-white suburbia. My grade school had zero African Americans, zero Latinos and zero Asian Americans. The only little dollop of diversity we had was a small Armenian community. My high school wasn’t much different. Out of about 2,000 students, we had two – count ‘em, two! – black kids and, to the best of my recollection, one Latino. We did have three dozen or so Asian students. That was it. It wasn’t till I got to college that I had any meaningful contact with people of color. But, like a lot of 18-year-olds, I thought I was pretty smart and worldly, so I said and did…
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Cuéllar, First Mexican-born Justice on California’s Highest Court: Progress, but…

Cuéllar, First Mexican-born Justice on California’s Highest Court: Progress, but…

  Come January 2015, Stanford law professor Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar will replace conservative veteran justice Marvin Baxter, and become California’s first Mexican-born Supreme Court justice. So what does this mean for California? It means “progress” you can believe in, barely. Cuéllar was born in the border town of Matamoros in the state of Tamaulipas. He attended junior high and high school in Texas. Cuéllar eventually graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. from Harvard and received a J.D. and Ph.D (political science) from Yale and Stanford, respectively. Cuéllar’s journey from the Mexican gulf coast to the corridors of the Ivory League is rare but is becoming increasingly more common, especially among…
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Race, Crime and Justice

Race, Crime and Justice

The Ferguson, Missouri police shooting of Michael Brown has led to much commentary about race and policing from all sorts of writers and advocates, including me.  A new report from The Sentencing Project adds important, unsettling information to the discussion. Researcher Nazgol Ghandnoosh, Ph.D., reviewed two decades worth of survey data and found some disturbing patterns. It’s well known at this point that the U.S. has the world’s highest incarceration rate (take that, North Korea!), and that our jail and prison population is disproportionately African American and Latino. As I’ve mentioned before, Matt Taibbi’s brilliant new book, The Divide, chronicles in vivid, anger-inducing terms how our criminal justice system treats…
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An Open Letter to Comcast

An Open Letter to Comcast

Dear Comcast: I was checking for telecommunications news over at Ars Technica this morning, as I do every day, when I saw the article “Comcast allegedly trying to block CenturyLink from entering its territory.” Now, I’m a sucker for articles about Comcast and the cable/broadband industry (the series over at The Verge is currently my particular favorite). Recently I’ve been shocked – just shocked – to learn that your industry is not robustly competitive. Who knew? And now, to my surprise, I read in Ars Technica that you opposed CenturyLink’s building competing cable systems in Comcast’s markets, because CenturyLink’s buildouts wouldn’t serve the entire community, meaning that CenturyLink might not…
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Race and Justice: a Memory

Race and Justice: a Memory

The ongoing controversies over the police shooting of black teenager Michael Brown and the broader relationship of law enforcement to people of color has stirred up memories of my one and only experience as a juror in a criminal trial. It was a long time ago – early ‘90s, to be exact – but it disturbs me to this day. It was a cocaine possession case from a low-income, predominantly black section of south-central Los Angeles. The defendant, a 50-something African American, seemed not to have a lot of money. His white lawyer was at best barely adequate, certainly not hugely effective. Everything about the defense gave off a low-rent…
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The Character Assassination of Michael Brown Continues

The Character Assassination of Michael Brown Continues

Someone in the Ferguson, Missouri police department is a slow learner. In response to public outrage over the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson, law enforcement officials have responded with a series of revelations, often leaked anonymously, designed to defame a young man who can no longer defend himself. The tactic continues, even though it’s clearly not helping. First there was that surveillance video of Brown allegedly taking part in a petty robbery of a convenience store, an event with no apparent relevance to how events went down when Wilson stopped Brown several minutes later, apparently unaware that Brown might be a suspect. Then there…
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It’s Lonely around Here Today

It’s Lonely around Here Today

Things are eerily quiet around the Greenlining office today. This year’s group of Summer Associates finished up their ten weeks with us last Friday, and without them the place feels strangely empty. Happily, before the end of the month our next batch of Policy Fellows will arrive, and they’ll be with us for a whole year. But the place always feels a bit forlorn right after the Associates leave. Every year the Associates – many of them fresh out of college — hit us like a whirlwind. They bring a fresh burst of energy and idealism that crackles through the air here like electricity, and it’s always more than a…
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