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Rev. Raphael Warnock’s Success in Georgia U.S. Senate Run-off Signals Teachable Moments On Race And Possibilities for a Multiracial Democracy (Photo: AP)

Perhaps what we are witnessing in the aftermath of yesterday’s double Georgia U.S. Senate election run-offs is a political parable. Parables are stories that lead to revelation — or narratives that disclose elusive truths, but which make understanding more lucid. Political parables can tell us who we are as citizens and anticipate what possibilities are ahead.

The senate races in Georgia have, since the November 2020 elections, captured the attention of the nation in the soon to be post-Trump presidency. Democratic challengers Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock have functioned in their state — and across the nation — as representative of progressive politics. The Georgia contests have also been the focus of the party of Biden in the U.S. Senate, where vice-president elect Kamala Harris, who will preside as the president of the Congressional body, will likely serve as a critical vote casting functionary in a deeply divided senate. The Georgia vote yesterday may well have placed on pause the reign of Sen. …


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Orlando Thomas, a Boston-based university student, stands at protest at the doors of Faneuil Hall in Boston. (Photo: Ken Rivard)

The curious among us have assuredly asked: what is violence? Is it an obvious thing requiring no deep thinking to define it? Or is it more complex than that — more like an ideology marked by intractable worldviews, group histories, differing perspectives or the source of disparate social and political hierachies?

Some argue that violence is embedded in our DNA. Others contend its a learned behavior. The political philosopher, Reinhold Niebuhr, in his classic text, Moral Man and Immoral Society, has said that the quest humans have for elite status motivates violent propensities, contending also that: “The moral attitudes of dominant and privileged groups are characterized by universal self-deception and hypocrisy.” …


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Aziza Robinson Goodnight and Asia Jackson stand protesting Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s refusal to remove the name of a white supremacist from the iconic Faneuil Hall. (Photo Credit: The New Democracy Coalition Archives)

The city of Boston was recently confronted with an opportunity to clear the racially toxic air that hovers over Faneuil Hall and its adjacent Market Place in Boston. What did the city do? It punted.

Earlier this month, the city cashed a 2.1 million check from the New York-based Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation. The corporation was two years late on its annual payment in-lieu-of-taxes agreement. The city had threatened to break the lease. Instead, they pressured the company and took the money.

Given the symbolic shame that Faneuil Hall brings to the city, there certainly was an opportunity to do more. Faneuil Hall is notorious for its lack of black-owned businesses. Boston Mayor Walsh’s administration should have renegotiated with the New York leasing group in the interest of following a multi-racial group of organizers who are pressing for re-memorializing the publicly owned space. …


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While visting Philadelphia last week, Former President Barack Obama Urged Black Men to Vote in the November 3rd Election and ‘Get A Seat at the Table.’ Photo: NYMAG.COM

On a warm April day in 1899 W.E.B Dubois — the great scholar and Civil Rights advocate — waned in lugubrious despair as he glared through the widow of a grocery store in Atlanta to see the detached knuckles of Sam Hose on display in a jar. Hose had been lynched.

In 1998, James Byrd’s body parts were found splayed across the roads near Jasper, Texas after a trio of white men dragged his body three miles while in molten states of racial hatred. Byrd’s right arm and head were severed from his body.

In 2015, Freddie Gray, a Black Baltimorean in his mid 20s, was pushed into a police wagon one bright Sunday morning by the city’s police on charges related to vagrancy. He would not survive transport to the local jail. Gray was yet another casualty of the modern Black Lives Matter Movement. …


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Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is bewielderedly mired in the morass of Boston racism. (Photo Credit: The Boston Herald)

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh was fooling no one yesterday— especially Blacks in the city — when he stepped to the podium at city hall to suggest he was interested in addressing systemic racism.

Implicit in Walsh’s latest policy ploy is the intimation he has long been concerned about the festering presence of systemic racism that has been a fixture in his administration. Yesterday’s faux press conference focused on police department reform that stemmed from a stinging Boston Globe report this week that found the city woefully wanting around the issue of equity within the department’s ranks. At the hastily called press gathering Walsh feigned angst about more widespread reports that Boston is stigmatized by race matters. …


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Former Vice President Joe Biden (D) and President Donald Trump (R) Trade Insults at the First President Debate in Cleveland, Ohio (Photo Credit: Dallas Morning News)

Last night’s presidential debate was not a presidential debate at all. Instead it was cacophonous sound and fury signifying nothing. It was a 90-minute forum full of dispiriting pontifications where two candidates purporting a desire to lead the free world rolled in the mire before the media klieg lights, reducing themselves to acerbic chortling and noxious name calling. It was supposed to be a measured discourse between worthy opponents — an extended dignified discussion over national policies and statecraft. It was anything but that.

The millions of Americans who tuned in last night hoping to finalize their decision-making before November’s election were shocked at the raucous nature of the contest between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. They were appalled as both candidates waded into a brooding truculence — provoking and baiting each other with pitched insults as they rambled toward the brink of near rage. …


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Kevin Peterson, the writer of this opinion essay, is protesting over the police murder of Breonna Taylor during a public rally in Boston, Massachusetts (Associated Press Photo)

The Breonna Taylor ruling last week effectively allowed the police accused of her murder go uncharged for a horrendous crime that should not have ever happened.

The judicial farce was yet another example of bias against black lives that has become commonplace and that reinforces the stark racial divisions that characterize American political and civic culture. This historic racial division began in the poisoned womb of slavery and extends now into the final year of the first term of the Trump administration.

When the ruling was handed down — identifying that only one of the three Louisville police officers would face charges related Taylor’s death — a poignant gasp of incredulity was heard audibly from the national black community. …


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President Trumps he had done more for Black Americans since Lincoln (Photo Credit CNBC)

President Donald Trump launched the Republican National Convention Monday with a laundry list of claims on how he has made American great again — especially for Black Americans. Much of his nearly hour long meandering over issues concerning African American well-being was sound and fury signifying nothing.

Among the most egregious of Trump pronouncements from Charlotte, North Carolina where a portion of the convention is be held are the achievement he touts about changing the climate of Black American since elected in 2016.

Of his promoted reforms on criminal justice Trump said: “It was us, us, together that criminal justice reform done. The greatest thing for the black community. African American community.They …


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Daily Democratic National Convention Opinion Coverage in Sepia

Friday, August 21, 2020 Day 4 Coverage

Joe Biden last night began his party’s acceptance speech for the presidency with an homage to black leadership and an allusion to luminosity.

On black leadership he quoted Ella Baker, an unsung Civil Rights Movement strategist who was a functionary in the upper echelons of the the Reverend Martin Luther King’s South Christian Leadership Conference, which is credited for changing the racial regime of the South and leading to the demise Jim Crow. Baker is also known historically as the inspiration of SNCC, the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, where she mentored the late John Lewis, Dianne Nash, Bob Moses and Stokely Carmichael. …


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Former President Barack Obama Spoke at the National Democratic Convention last night at the Museum of the American Revolution.

Daily Democratic National Convention Opinion Coverage in Sepia

Thursday, August 20, 2020 Day 3 Coverage

It was a voice we came to know in Dreams From My Father — deliberate, circumspect, cerebral and cunning. It flashed with passion and promise in Boston at the Democratic National Convention in 2004, and we marveled at it. Over Trayvon and Sandy Hook it sounded above innocent dead children. At Emmanuel A.M.E. in Charleston it stammered and weeped before the knowing congregation, and then sang a threnody in cracked, croaking cadence.

The nation has watched Barack Obama through a course of years shift through permutations of leadership that have taken up the causes of the commonweal — observed him survey the cragged terrain of our common associative lives and have heard him lift up the prospects of our better collective selves, even against the harsh realities of civic animus and fear, the xenophobia, the racial hostilities and the retrenchment from our collective ideals. …

About

Kevin C. Peterson

Kevin Peterson is founder of the New Democracy Coalition and Convener of the Fanueil Hall Race and Reconciliation Project. He is a social and cultural critic.

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