What if Chauvin is convicted of Manslaughter? The first thing protesters will shout is: Manslaughter is not enough!

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Right now, the Derek Chauvin trial is still in progress.

Chauvin is the white Minneapolis police officer that was captured on video with his “knee on the neck” of a handcuffed black man — George Floyd — for over nine minutes. Floyd died while pinned to the ground and his death was the catalyst for the 2020 multi-state riots.

The state of Minnesota charged Chauvin with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. According to Minnesota’s sentencing guidelines, the maximum recommendation…

A generalized reaction toward — The Police — can be counterproductive

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During high-profile cases involving white police officers and black men, in which the former caused the death of the latter, anger at the individual officer normally leads to condemnation of — The Police. Even though there are roughly 18,000 police departments across the United States, all with different management, personnel, and procedures, high profile cases create a generalized reaction toward — The Police — that can be counterproductive.

In 2020, a black man, George Floyd, was killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Riots broke out across the country, and the protesters shouted “defund the police”. As the…

The pandemic, inequities, and zip codes

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I went to a high school that was 98 percent black. I had black classmates that were in a predominately black gifted program. Naturally, the gifted students were a tiny percentage out of the entire student body. However, no black parent, local black politician, or black community spokesperson complained about the disparity between the average black students and the gifted black students.

No one said, since the majority of the school’s black students maintained a C-average it was unfair that C-average students had no representation in the gifted program. No one suggested eliminating the…

The philosophical underpinnings that created America’s contemporary race debate

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The book, The Great Debate, chronicled the philosophical dispute between Thomas Paine and Edmund Burke and how their clash of ideas created the modern political left and right. After reading the book, I wondered what are the philosophical underpinnings that created America’s contemporary race debate.

Recently, there was great anticipation for a debate between two black intellectuals, Coleman Hughes, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, and Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, the director of the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University. Hughes made a name for himself as an opinion writer and testifying against reparations for slavery…

Problem solving that doesn’t solve the problem

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In 2019 the Brookings Institute published a report called: The Rise of Black-Majority Cities. It pointed out in 1970 there were 470 black-majority cities and by 2010 there were 1,148.

In 2015, the US News & World Report revealed, nationally “only 18 percent of African-American fourth-graders were proficient in reading and only 19 percent scored as proficient in math … The eighth-grade numbers were even worse, with only 16 percent of African-American students proficient in reading and 13 percent in math … By comparison the national average for proficiency among all students in…

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When Barack Obama ran for president, he was a first term senator with no baggage, and his opponents created a controversy through his church pastor.

Obama’s pastor preached Black Liberation Theology. The majority of Americans didn’t care. They never heard of it. But Obama’s opponents said it was an offshoot of Liberation Theology, which originated in Latin America with priests who blended the New Testament with concepts of Karl Marx. Since Obama’s pastor preached a black version of this doctrine people wondered if Obama was as radical as his pastor.

Obama could have explained there was an academic form of…

History that glorifies the past is vital but it shouldn’t dominate the discourse

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There’s an African proverb that goes: Until lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter. The proverb implies history is written by the victors, but it also gives the “lion historian” a specific task — to glorify the lion. “Glorifiers of the past” are the first type of historians that emerge from the oppressed.

In 1879 Martin R. Delany published: The Origin of Races and Color. The back cover of a modern copy explains: Delany wrote in opposition to an oppressive intellectualism that used Darwin’s thesis ‘survival of the fittest’ to support demented theories of…

President Joe Biden dissolved the 1776 commission on his first day in office, and Republican state officials have taken matters into their own hands.

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Last week I wrote about a Mississippi state senator that introduced a bill called — Saving American History in Mississippi Schools Act. The bill was introduced in order to withhold state funds from any school that teaches the Pulitzer Prize winning 1619 Project. I pointed out, in 2019, Mississippi’s public school system was ranked 4th worst in the nation by Insider magazine. I concluded, under those circumstances defunding schools over the 1619 Project was irresponsible.

Recently, the USA Today reported Republican Lawmakers in Arkansas, Iowa, and South Dakota introduced similar bills that would cut funding to K-12 and colleges that…

Save American History from what?

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Recently, Angela Burks Hill, a Republican state senator in Mississippi, introduced a bill called — Saving American History in Mississippi Schools Act.

The obvious question is — Save American history from what?

At first, I thought of neglect. In 2012 Perspectives on History, a magazine, published a story, by University of North Carolina professor Bruce VanSleright, stating 88 percent of elementary school teachers considered teaching history a low priority. [1]One teacher explained, in the lower grades, the pressure is on teachers to make sure students pass state exams that primarily focus on English and math. …

Should portraits of injustice supersede what the jurors saw?

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After President Donald Trump lost re-election, he broke the 130-year-old norm of pausing federal executions during the presidential-transition-period and carried out five executions. These executions were controversial because President-elect Joe Biden stated he would end the death penalty during his administration. If the time-honored tradition was maintained it’s possible these five lives would have been spared. Opponents of capital punishment claimed Trump went on a killing spree, but, as spiteful as Trump’s actions appeared, ignoring a time-honored tradition isn’t unprecedented or against the law.

The executions consisted of four black men and one white woman.

In death penalty cases, portraits…


J. Pharoah Doss is a columnist for the New Pittsburgh Courier.

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