Sunday, January 20, 2013

State of Equality and Justice in America: 'It is the Best of Times and the Worst of Times'
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By Charles J. Ogletree, Jr. ~
With the death of Trayvon Martin nearly a year ago, many wondered whether there could be any justice in America. The indictment of George Zimmerman and the subsequent focus on the shooting death of Trayvon Martin has set the legal process to take its course in the near future.
In looking at the overall state of race and justice in America, clearly a lot of progress has been made. On November 4, 2008, the United States elected its first African-American President Barack Obama, who is just beginning his second term. Clearly, the job of equality and justice is not the job of one man. But, since his election, President Obama has taken a number of steps that make the state of race and justice a positive one.

If we simply look at the Supreme Court, which decides much of our legal issues that impact us greatly, the President has had the opportunity to appoint two people. And on both occasions, he appointed women; including a woman of color. When we look at the United States Circuit Courts, which are one step away from the United States Supreme Court, President Obama has appointed the first African-American for Mississippi to the Fifth Circuit, an African-American with Haitian connections to the Second Circuit, the first woman in Massachusetts to the First Circuit, and an African-American woman to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. This only begins to show the diversity and quality of his appointments.

More importantly, the President - in his first term - persuaded Congress to support a $787 billion stimulus package, has had healthcare approved, and prevailed in the Supreme Court on protection of rights of immigrants. These successes reveal the commitment to the state of justice, equality, and progress in our country.

Despite the progress of the past four years, there is...CONTINUES
Kwasi Akyeampong
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