Author Archives: oshun55

About oshun55

Lawyer and public policy analyst focused on criminal justice, drug policy, racial justice, human rights, public health and gender equality

A New Way of Leadership

The DPA event, aptly titled, Not One Step Back, did a great job of connecting human faces and human stories to the abstract concept of a “war on drugs” so that participants had a clear sense of what’s happening in our communities and what we need to do to change it…… Continue reading

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Memories of Eddie

I can’t remember the first time I met Eddie Ellis. It was sometime in 1997, most likely at one of the meetings for local activists seeking to reform the Rockefeller Drug Laws. I don’t remember our initial conversation, what I … Continue reading

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Memories of Eddie………..

I can’t remember the first time I met Eddie Ellis. It was sometime in 1997, most likely at one of the meetings for local activists seeking to reform the Rockefeller Drug Laws. I don’t remember our initial conversation, what I … Continue reading

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The New Jacobins…..

The Tea Party movement has associated itself with the wrong revolution… they have more in common with the French Revolutionaries than the American. Their character, tactics and goals are consistent with and reminiscent of, the extremists of the French Revolution, organized around a debating society known as the Jacobin Club that took power during the most critical part of the Revolution and will be forever remembered for ushering the infamous period known simply as “The Terror”. Continue reading

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Political Puppeteers: Policing Pregnancy for Profit, Promoting Personhood for Power

Poor and working-class women often find pregnancy a difficult time, especially if they have jobs that don’t offer health care benefits, sick time or maternity leave. Those challenges can make pregnancy difficult enough without the extra worry of health care providers and/or zealous prosecutors looking over your shoulders and sometimes even examining your urine to make sure you aren’t engaging in activities they consider ‘harmful’ to your fetus. Continue reading

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On Racism: Black Rebellion and White Resistance

The Kerner Commission painted a grim picture of the racial situation in the United States. It predicted not only more, but possibly worse, racial rebellions. Americans were warned that continued white racism could lead to a divided nation, with cities under semi-martial law. The prescribed remedy was a national commitment to summon the will necessary to effect systemic change that would fully integrate African Americans into the mainstream of American life.
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On Privilege, Projection and Pathology: A recent debate between Jonathan Chait and Ta-Nehisi Coates reveals the misconceptions that rule America’s understanding of race and poverty

I agree with Ta-Nehisi Coates. Conservatives and liberals alike prefer to focus on perceived deficits in black and brown people than on structural racism and the concepts of white supremacy that undergird it as the principal reasons for disparate conditions and outcomes for many blacks and Hispanics. White privilege means not having to think about the many ways the lives of those who are classified as white are enhanced and protected by the subjugation and exclusion of racial minorities. White privilege provides white ethnics escape from the stigma of poverty – as historian Nell Irvin Painter aptly distinguishes, “Not all black people are poor, but among the people in America defined by race, black people tend to be the poorest.” Continue reading

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