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Talking Things Out: It’s “Free Your Mind” Tuesday!

Well, we’re making up for “Free Your Mind Fridays” that didn’t happen while PRN’s technological innards were being unscrambled, reassembled and installed. So, welcome to “Free Your Mind Tuesday!”

Different day of the week, yes, but the same vibe. Bring your best ideas and opinions to the best open forum on the planet. You’re in the driver’s seat, taking the conversation where you want it to go. Give us you take on the issues of the day or something else entirely that is worthy of further discussion and debate.

We eagerly await your intellectual offering. Call 888-874-4888 and free your mind—and ours, too!

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School Daze in Detroit: Gov. Snyder Hefts Fiscal Ax on Public Schools  

He succeeded at imposing an emergency manager on Detroit—forcing it into bankruptcy and usurping all local authority in order to pave the way for its comeback as a “re-imagined” city, preferably for “new’ Detroiters. Now, almost five months after a federal judge approved the city’s onerous restructuring plan, Gov. Rick Snyder takes aim at Detroit’s public schools.

In the same way that Kevyn Orr, a partner in a politically connected private law firm, was given full decision-making authority over the city, a “citizens group,” the Detroit Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren, is the stalking-horse “advisory” group Snyder will rely on to recommend what to do about Detroit’s public schools.

A big clue as to how this will turn out: None of the people actually elected to the Detroit Public Schools board, which serves the largest school district in the state, has been included.

Elena Herrada, a self-described “member-in-exile” of the Detroit School Board and an activist with Detroiters Resisting Emergency Management, discusses Snyder’s plans for public-school education in Detroit and the intense grassroots battle against it. 

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Talk Takes Center Stage at Leid Stories' "Family Reunion"

It's a family reunion on Leid Stories!  We're together again! 
We've had a too-long dry spell, unable to connect with each other and talk about the issues of the day. Well,  the tech and wiring wizards have done their thing, and we're good to go while PRN prepares to move into its new home. 
This, of course, means we have some making up to do for all those "Free Your Mind Fridays" that went poof. Well, it starts today.
Share the joy of reconnecting with the Leid Stories family. Pick up the phone and pick up from where you left off. Call 888-874-4888 and give us a piece of your mind.

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Doubling Up, Doubling Down: Obama Wrestles with Foreign Policy Criticisms

In the wake of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Republican-assisted crash landing in Congress on March 3 to hector the United States into scuttling international negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program, President Obama finds himself the target of renewed, and even more scathing, criticisms of his foreign policies, especially in “hot spot” regions of the world.

Obama’s critics, mostly right-far right and hawkish, say his administration’s aimless, ill-defined foreign policies are the chief reason the United States’ stature in the world community of nations is severely diminished. Moreover, they say, the administration’s miscalculations and inaction on critical global developments—specifically, the rise of ISIS—have contributed to the dramatic escalation of these crises.

Diplomatic scholar, historian, attorney and prolific author Dr. Gerald Horne discusses Obama’s foreign policy approaches in several global “hot spots” within the context of longstanding criticisms of his administration’s policies.  

Horne is the John J. and Rebecca Moores chair of history and African American studies at the University of Houston. He also teaches graduate courses in diplomatic history. He has written more than 30 books, and more than 100 scholarly papers and reviews, on struggles against imperialism, colonialism, fascism and racism.

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Q’s Life Still Matters: A Family’s Quest for Justice In A Police Killing      (Part 3)

L’Sana DJahspora, the father of 20-year-old game designer Cinque “Q” DJahspora, learned on the night of Nov. 6, 2014 that his son was dead—shot by a Jackson, Tennessee, police officer near the condominium complex where the DJahsporas lived.

The way police dealt with him—when when they came to his door to inform him of the incident and that his son was taken to Jackson-Madison County General Hospital—unnerved him, L’Sana said in Part 1 (March 17). Their curtness turned into open hostility at the hospital, where he went to identify his son, he said. He was given very little information about what had happened, and the little that he did get just wasn’t adding up. L’Sana said he began to suspect a coverup was in the making.

In Part 2 (March 19), L’Sana described his battle to get information and official documentation and reports about how and why his son was killed—“executed,” he alleged, noting that Q was shot in the back (the trajectory of the bullet pointing downward, suggesting he was shot while laying on the ground), and the medical examiner ruled Q’s death a homicide.

In today’s installment, L’Sana takes us deeper into the legal labyrinth he and his family have been navigating in their quest for answers and justice. More and more, he says, their suspicions of a coverup proved to be valid.   

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All In?: Chicago Mayoral Race Tests Strength of Coalition Building

The One and Only?: Dems Court 2016 Defeat with Hillary’s Tactics

The April 7 mayoral runoff race in Chicago is at fever pitch. Incumbent Mayor Rahm Emanuel, his campaign coffers fat with new money from corporate donors, had gained ground against challenger Jesús “Chuy” García with negative ads, but García has been  boosted by endorsements from high-profile Democrats, prominent African Americans who had supported Emanuel in the Feb. 24 election, and troops and money from local and national labor unions.

In the home stretch, undecided voters and African American and Latino voters with divided political loyalties are both candidates’ quarry. These groups will determine the winner.

Leid Stories looks at the coalition effort that, though late in formation, is working to send Emanuel packing and put García in City Hall. In a city that practically invented the art and science of divide-and-conquer politics, however, does the pro-García coalition have a shot at winning?

 

Considering the trouncing Democrats suffered in midterm elections last year, one would think that the party would have in its comeback arsenal a battalion of its best and brightest ready to do battle to regain lost turf. The Republicans have spawned possible candidates aplenty—Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas formally announcing today, the first to throw his hat into the ring.

The Democrats, meanwhile, seem to have sent out a memo that Hillary Clinton is to be THE candidate; all others better stand down.

Leid Stories asks: Do Bill and Hill really have that much power over the Democratic Party that they can, in effect, shut out other candidates? 

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The National Urban League Refuses to Take A Hint

A Mighty Tree Has Fallen: Remembering Dr. Yosef ben-Jochannan

With customary officiousness, the National Urban League yesterday released its annual state-of-the-union report on America that statistically quantifies how people of color, specifically African Americans and Latinos, are faring.

The news was not good. “America today is a tale of two nations. It is a tale of two Americas,” NUL president Marc Morial announced, both referencing and avoiding the irony that a blue-ribbon panel appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson to look into the waves of urban rebellions that erupted in America’s major cities in the 1960s had reached the same conclusion.

Considering it’s the NUL’s 39th report, and its reports generally reiterate the same theme—some progress here and there, but “a long way to go” to achieve equality and justice—it’s time the NUL and other advocacy organizations to concede that America’s apartheid system is functioning as planned and is efficiently achieving its goals. Leid Stories says it’s well past time that these organizations take hints from their own studies and reports about their effectiveness as advocates.

 

A mighty tree has fallen. Dr. Yosef ben Jochannan, a world-renowned scholar of African history and among the last of his generation who dedicated themselves to restoring the centrality of Africa to world civilization, died yesterday in New York. He was 97 years old.

Leid Stories pays tribute to the beloved “Dr. Ben.

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Q’s Life Still Matters: A Family’s Quest for Justice In A Police Killing -- (Part 2)

L’Sana DJahspora on Tuesday (March 17) described the horror of the moment he learned, on Nov. 7, 2014, that Cinque “Q” DJahspora, his 20-year-old son, a game designer, was dead—shot by a Jackson, Tennessee, police near the entrance to the condominium complex where the DJahsporas lived.

The way police dealt with him—when when they came to his door to inform him of the incident and that his son was taken to Jackson-Madison County General Hospital—unnerved him, L’Sana said in Part 1. Their curtness turned into open hostility at the hospital, where he went to identify his son, he said. He was given very little information about what had happened, and the little that he did get just wasn’t adding up.

He had come up against a hard blue wall of silence. He began to suspect a coverup was in the making.

In today’s program, L’Sana discusses how he came to that conclusion. 

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Days Late, Dollars Short: Are Black Leaders Really Helping Chuy?

Altered State: The Perpetually Surreal Universe of Hillary Clinton

It was an impressive show of support for Jesús “Chuy” García, the underdog in Chicago’s volcanic mayoral runoff slated for April 7. On March 9, an array of African American ministers, elected officials, community leaders and businesspeople, the Rev. Jesse Jackson prominent among them, pledged their troth to Chuy. Businessman Willie Wilson, who placed third in the Feb. 24 election, followed with his endorsement three days later.

Happy, happy, joy, joy. But are Black leaders really helping Chuy? Is there a true coalition effort afoot here to put Rahm “Mr. 1 Percent” Emanuel out of Chicago’s misery?

That she finds herself in the eye of yet another firestorm calling her character, ethics and official conduct into question should be no surprise. Hillary Clinton, after all, is one-half of the most-often-subpoenaed-and-criminally-investigated couple ever to occupy the White House. With a reported six separate investigations currently in play over a private e-mail account and server she used when she was secretary of state, Clinton finds herself in familiar territory as a target of official inquiry and, possibly, prosecution. Her response also is familiar—“I dare you to prove anything you think I did.”

Is she squeaky-clean innocent of all the charges and transgressions that have dogged her all these years? Or, is it understood by all, in Hillary Clinton’s perpetually surreal universe, that she in fact is above the law?

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Q’s Life Still Matters: A Family’s Quest for Justice In A Police Killing

As usual, L’Sana DJahspora had his day planned. He was well on task on Nov. 7, 2014, when toward the end of the day he received a call every parent dreads getting. His 20-year-old son Cinque—“Q”—was dead, shot by a local Jackson, Tennessee, police officer, L’Sana was told. The details were sketchy, but Q was gone.

L’Sana went numb, way beyond the point of pain. But there was neither time nor space to deal with the brutal reality that was now thrust upon him and his family. “Got to get to Q,” was all he could think, “and got to find out why he’s dead.”

L’Sana DJahspora shares the agony of that moment, and of the months since then,   in the first of four in-depth conversations about the death of his son at the hands of police; the  wall of resistance, misconduct and corruption he has encountered in trying to discover the truth about the shooting; the predatory interest of lawyers and “leaders” seeking to exploit these kinds of cases for their own agendas; and how fellowship with others whose loved ones were wrongfully killed by police has inspired a new mission in his life.  

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