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David L. Horne, PH.D.

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The politics of respecting the office

Practical Politics

In the more than 2,300 days he’s been president of the United States, the sun and wind powering Barack Obama’s tall, clipper ship have more than once been interfered with, as nuts and overly partisan ideologues have disrespected the office of the president in their vain attempts at besmirching the personal integrity and reputation of the man himself.

Reparations conference report: Part Two

The Caribbean Reparations Commission (CRC) presented and read its CARICOM National Reparations 10-Point Plan (formally called the Caribbean Restorative Justice Plan) at the New York conference as a foundation document. That plan calls for:

The politics of the new reparations movement

Practical Politics

The call went out, far and wide. It was answered by delegations from more than 21 countries, according to the conference organizers. That number included Martinique, Trinidad-Tobago, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana, Antigua, the Virgin Islands, Canada, Sweden, France and Cuba among others.

The politics of being the change we seek

Practical Politics

No, in too many parts of the U.S. and the world, Black lives don’t matter much, yet. Clearly, they should, but bad habits most often die slowly without the pressure of penalty or substantial consequences.

The politics of leaving well enough alone

Practical Politics

In February, 2012, George Zimmerman got away with murder. That is a generalized public perception, particularly among African Americans. Trayvon Martin is dead from a bullet put into him by Zimmerman, and Zimmerman was acquitted of manslaughter in Florida court for killing Martin.

The politics of legal change

Practical Politics

Okay, two quick points here. As predicted in previous columns, the Marvin Gaye offspring, Nona, Frankie and Marvin Gaye III, won their lawsuit against Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke for copyright infringement regarding the monster hit song “Blurred Lines.” The eight-member jury voted unanimously in U.S. federal court that Williams and Thicke had too closely copied Marvin Gaye’s 1977 hit, “Got to Give it Up,” without paying the proper royalties to the copyright holders (the Gaye siblings). Whether the copying was willful, or unintended, the jury said, it was not innocent and a penalty had to be imposed. The Gaye family won $7.4 million dollars as a result of the jury’s decision. The rapper, T.I., who co-wrote a later segment of the song after the track was already laid, was not penalized by the jury.

The effects of Black History Month

Practical Politics

Carter G. Woodson was born in New Canton, Va., and raised in West Virginia, the son of former slaves. Getting education and using it to better the conditions of Black Americans was part of his cultural upbringing. Deprived of opportunities to go to public school, he educated himself until the age of 20, then attended and graduated from high school in a little less than two years. He then found a way to obtain acceptance to Berea College in Kentucky while working in a coal mine.

The politics of re-balancing the system

Practical Politics

This column covered the Marissa Alexander case previously. What’s the status and significance of it? Alexander, from Jacksonville, Fla., reported that nine days after giving birth to a daughter in 2010, her estranged husband, Rico Gray, choked her, beat her and threatened to kill her in front of his two underage sons. She retreated to the garage of the house, seeking to get out and get away, she reported, but could not exit that way for some reason. In a signed deposition, Gray agreed with this rendition of the facts to that point. Alexander then went to her car, pulled out a gun and went back into the house. When Gray approached her again, reportedly saying, “Bitch, I’ll kill you!” she shot the gun once, above his head, as a warning shot she said, hitting the wall. She did not fire again and no one was hurt.

The politics of whose historical narrative is the right one

Practical Politics

Okay, three quick points: Those who keep claiming that the November mid-terms were a rebuke of President Obama might want to re-check their data. Less than 35 percent of the exit-poll data collected on the elections—with exit-polling having been shown to be a much better indicator of voter sentiment and purpose than any pundit’s personal view—have concluded that people voted against President Obama in making their choice of congressperson. That’s only 1/3 of the vote. The other 65 percent or so said their congressional choices had more to do with the particular candidates running at that time, but had little or nothing to do with the president.

The politics of a muscular lame duck

Practical Politics

While some of us are quietly easing out of 2014, desperately hoping for a better new year, President Barack Obama has been increasingly flexing his man-in-charge muscles and roaring like a lion, rather than a lame-duck president, contrary to everything for which his critics have prayed.

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