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One Serious Problem Gone (Jewish Journal, February 1, 2012)

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The City Council's Shameless Pander (The Wide Angle, October 20, 2011)

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Stout Awards Honors Olney, Morrison and Mantle (The Wide Angle, October 20, 2011)

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Dance With Who Brung ‘Ya (Jewish Journal, September 28, 2011)

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Jury Got It Right in the ‘Irvine 11’ Case (The OC Register, September 23, 2011)

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'Irvine 11' Muslim student protesters found guilty on both charges (KPCC’s Airtalk, September 23, 2011)

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Voting Rights Act Outdated in Modern Day LA (The Daily News, August 21, 2011)

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What Los Angeles Can Teach the UK (BBC News World, August 15, 2011)

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When Did Carrying An ID Become A “White Thing”? (The OC Register, August 15, 2011)

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Bill Crafts Disneyland Version of History (The Sacramento Bee, July 14, 2011)

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An Education Game Changer (The Wide Angles, July 12 2011)

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A Flotilla of Fools (The Wide Angle Blog, July 8, 2011)

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Advocacy, the Academy and Mushy Thinking (The Wide Angle Blog, July 1, 2011)

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Tragic Fiction comes to Life (The Wide Angle, June 23, 2011)

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Coalition Sues to Keep Circumcision Ban Off Ballot (The Jewish Journal, June 22, 2011)

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The Circumcision Wars (The Wall Street Journal, June 3, 2011)

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Male Circumcision Ban Proposed in Santa Monica (The Jerusalem Post, May 25, 2011)

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Right Goal, Wrong Strategy (The Wide Angle Blog, May 11, 2011)

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The Bus Has Left the Station (City Journal, April 1, 2011)

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UCLA Leads the Pack (The Wide Angle Blog, March 29, 2011)

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Mixed Race Marriages and Our Attitudes (The Wide Angles, March 25, 2011)

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The Uncle Tom Accusation, Again (The Wide Angle Blog, March 18, 2011)

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A Forward Looking Decision in Civil Rights (The Wide Angle Blog, March 9, 2011)

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A Rising Wave of Anti-Semitism (Los Angeles Times, September 16, 2009)

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The Wide Angle, A Community Advocates Blog (July - September, 2009)

July… August… September…

Israeli Consul General, Palestinian Lobbyist Reach Mock Peace Agreement (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, May 6, 2009)

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Critical Issues Seminar—Mock Peace Summit in conjunction with the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy and KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, April 29, 2009)

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In Battle Between Teachers, LAUSD, It’s the Kids Who Lose (Daily News, March 6, 2009)

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L.A. at the Tipping Point (www.RonKaye.LA, February 13, 2009)

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Theatrics by the Teachers (Daily News, February 8, 2009)

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Chicago Vs. Los Angeles Their Supe Is Obama’s New Education Man. Our Supe is Nice But… (LA Weekly, January 23, 2009)

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Critical Issues Seminar—Millennials Remaking America with KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, January 21, 2009)

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The Good News About Gaza in America (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, January 21, 2009)

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What Oakland Should be Protesting (Los Angeles Times, January 19, 2009)

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Calling All Radical Reformers to LAUSD (Daily News, December 14, 2008)

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Attention Politicians: Pandering Won’t Fly (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, November 12, 2008)

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Presentation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali of Ziegler Prize for Courage of Conviction (Japan American Theatre, October 22, 2008)

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The Problems and Potential of South L.A., A Dust-Up Exchange between Joe R. Hicks and Earl Ofari Hutchinson (Los Angeles Times, August 11-15, 2008)

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Find Fresh Ideas to Battle Hate, Letter to the Editor (Los Angeles Times, August 4, 2008)

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Fast Food Freeze is a Good Choice for South LA by Jan Perry, Los Angeles Times, August 4, 2008)

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Do You Want Poppycock With That? by Tim Rutten (Los Angeles Times, August 2, 2008)

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Fast-food Moratorium is Meddling (Los Angeles Times, July 31, 2008)

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Critical Issues Seminar on the Role of Race in the 2008 Elections in conjunction with the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy and KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, June 27, 2008)

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Shalom is not Funny (Letter to the Editor, Los Angeles Downtown News, June 23, 2008)

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A Dangerous and Precedent Setting Intrusion (Jewish Journal, June 13, 2008)

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“Ziman and Lee” (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, May 16, 2008

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We Don’t Need More Gabfests on Diversity (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, May 2, 2008)

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Families Deserve More than a Moratorium (Los Angeles Times, Blowback, April 10, 2008)

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On Any Given Sunday, Rev. Wright is Wrong (www.theroot.com, March 26, 2008)

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Obama’s Minister (KPCC’s Airtalk, March 18, 2008)

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LA Gang Violence Spikes (Associated Press, March 6, 2008)

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Critical Issues Seminar on The State of the Black Civil Rights Movement Today in conjunction with the Los Angeles Public Library and KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, February)

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Asking Too Much (Los Angeles Times, January 31, 2008)

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Playing a Frayed and Faded Race Card (Jewish Journal, January 18, 2008)

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Limiting Fast Food Outlets---Path to Better Health? (KCET’s Life & Times, December 20, 2007)

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The State Bar and Revealing Data on Minority Passage Rates (KCET’s Life & Times, December 18, 2007)

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Divisions in the Jewish Community—Talking About Jerusalem (KCET’s Life & Times, December 12, 2007)

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Do Los Angeles’ Anti-Gang Programs Work? (KCET’s Life & Times, December 6, 2007)

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Sharpton Leads Call for Federal Investigation of Hate Crimes (Los Angeles Times, November 17, 2007)

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Race Card Backlash (Los Angeles Times, October 30, 2007)

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Critical Issues Seminar on Charter Schools in conjunction with the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy and KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, October 5, 2007)

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The Private Lives of Public Officials (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, October 2, 2007)

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“Smart Growth” and Los Angeles Planning (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, September 20, 2007)

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Civil Rights in Louisiana (To the Point, KCRW-FM, September 20, 2007)

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The Racial/Ethnic Educational Achievement Gap (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, September 12, 2007)

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Board Vote Not Aimed At Students (Los Angeles Daily News, September 9, 2007)

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Healthcare Reform and Politics (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, September 5, 2007)

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The Constitution and Sex Offenders (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, August 30, 2007)

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‘Profiles in Courage’ ( Jewish Journal, August 24, 2007)

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Where’s the Fire? (Washington Post, August 2, 2007)

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Race and Politics in a Changing South LA (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, June 20, 2007)

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Gangsta Rap and its Impact (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, June 13, 2007)

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Mexican Americans and Drunk Driving (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, June 6, 2007)

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Baseball and the Decline in African-American Players (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, May 30, 2007)

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Los Angeles Unified’s New Board (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, May 23, 2007)

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Hollywood and its Impact on Political Discourse (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, May 16, 2007)

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New Times and the NAACP (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, May 9, 2007)

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Downtown Homeless and the LAPD (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, May 2, 2007)

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Immigration and the new Sanctuary Movement (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, April 25, 2007)

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The Teachers’ Union and School Reform, (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, April 18, 2007)

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Drop the Race Card (Washington Post, April 15, 2007)

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The Takeover of the Times (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, April 11, 2007)

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The Governor’s Health Care Plan (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, March 28, 2007)

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Racism in the LA Fire Department? (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, March 14, 2007)

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Critical Issues Seminar in conjunction with the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy and KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, February 26, 2007)

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“Has the Nanny State Gone Too Far?” (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, February 28, 2007)

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“Justice Takes A Beating In Long Beach Racial Hatred Case” ( Jewish Journal, February 16, 2007)

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“Gang ‘Marshall Plan’ - Will It Work?” (KCET’s Life & Times’ Kitchen Table Conversation, February 14, 2007)

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“Living Wages or Dying Businesses?” (KCET’s Life & Times Kitchen Table Conversation, January 31, 2007)

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“Gangs of New York and LA” (Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, January 26, 2007)

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KCET’s Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding “The Future of the Middle Class in Los Angeles” (Life & Times, January 17, 2007)

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“Does Abe Foxman Have An Anti-Anti-Semite Problem?”, (New York Times Magazine, January 14, 2007)

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KCET’s Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding “Military Recruitment on Campus---Right or Wrong?” January 3, 2007

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KCET’s Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding “Is There An Assault on Christmas?” December 13, 2006

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Racism Claims a Stretch" (Daily News, December 1, 2006)

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KCET’s Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding “What is Racism Today?” November 29, 2006

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"Racism in Entertainment", (KCRW's "Which Way LA?", November 27,2006)

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KCET’s Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding “Border Fence---Boondogle or Barrier?” (life & Times, November 15, 2006)

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“LA’s Jews and Other Minorities---Oh How They Danced” (Los Angeles Jewish Journal, November 11, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "Racial Profiling and a National ID Card" (Life & Times, October 18, 2006)

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Critical Issues Seminar in conjunction with the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy and KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, October 9, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "Immigration Debate Divides Conservatives" (Life & Times, October 5, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "Drugs in Sports" (Life & Times, October 3, 2006)

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Award Dispute", KPCC's Airtalk, September 15,2006

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"Two Faced On Terrorism", Los Angeles Times, September 14, 2006

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Award to Islamic Leader Hathout Stirs Dispute", KCRW's Which Way LA?, September 14, 2006

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KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "California's High School Exit Exam?", ( Life & Times, August 23, 2006)

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"4 Los Angeles Latino Gang Members Convicted of Anti-Black Conspiracy" (Los Angeles Times, August 2, 2006)

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"Muslim Council's Bias All Too Clear" (Los Angeles Daily News, August 1, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "UCLA's Minority Admissions, (Life & Times, July 19, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "Celebrity Causes--Ego or Altruism?", ( Life & Times, July 13, 2006)

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Did Anti-Semitism Take Root at the South Central Farm? (Jewish Journal, June 23,2006)

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KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversations regarding Immigration and Employment (Life & Times, June 21,2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of news segment on the South Los Angeles Farm controversy (Life & Times, June 6, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kithcen-table Conversation regarding the Mayoral takeover of the Los Angeles Unified School District (Life & Times, June 6, 2006)

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Letter to the Editor regarding Race, Religion, and Demographic Change (Los Angeles Times, June 4, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding Hybrid Cars and Energy Conservation (Life & Times, May 23, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding Teen Sex (Life & Times, May 18, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding Black Brown Tensions in LA (Life & Times, May 2, 2006)

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Debate education policy, not race (Los Angeles Times, April 22, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding Fatherless Parenting (Life & Times, April 11, 2006)

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Border Protests Not Fight for Civil Rights (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, April 7, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding Black-Brown tensions (Life & Times, April 4, 2006)

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Civil Rights? How About Lawlessness? (Los Angeles Times, April 1, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding Immigration (Life & Times, March 30, 2006)

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Differing Views of Race in L.A. Collide in 'Crash' (Los Angeles Times, March 2, 2006)

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Disputed Film Draws Muted Response (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, February 10, 2006)

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Blacks vs. Latinos at Work (Wall Street Journal, January 24, 2006)

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The Munich Concern Is Us--Not Film (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, January 20, 2006) with Dr. Michael Berenbaum

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NAACP Leader Turned Heads By Backing Tookie (Baltimore Sun, January 15, 2006) Joe Hicks quoted

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Munich Portrays Real World Issues (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, December 23,2005), with Dr. Michael Berenbaum

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New Farrakhan Embodies Old Message (Los Angeles Jewish Journal, October 21, 2005)

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Levees Let Loose An Ugly Flood of Black Paranoia (Los Angeles Times, October 2, 2005)

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Lessons From the Ruins (LA Weekly, August 12, 2005)

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Let's Make A Diploma Mean Something (Los Angeles Times, August 27, 2005)

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Police Beating of Minister Disputed (Los Angeles Times, August 27, 2005)

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We Only Burned Ourselves, Baby (Los Angeles Times, August 7, 2005)

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Knee-jerk Activists and Their Tantrum Politics (Los Angeles Times, July 24, 2005)

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"Crash" Is No Picture of the Real Los Angeles (Los Angeles Daily News, June 24, 2005)

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Hit Film Paints Inaccurate Picture of Diverse LA (89.3 KPCC Perspectives, June 23, 2005)
Joe Hicks, the vice president of Community Advocates, says the hit movie Crash ...
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Jackson Trial Reaction Shows How Unimportant Race Is in US (Los Angeles Daily News, June 19, 2005)

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"Reel Life" (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, June 10, 2005)

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Joe Hicks talks about the election results (89.3 KPCC AirTalk, May 18, 2005)
with KPCC's Larry Mantle and reporter Adolfo Guzman Lopez, Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, Raphe Sonenshein, Bill Rosendahl, Rick Caruso, Antonia Hernandez, , Joel Kotkin and D.J. Waldie.
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  David A. Lehrer
Joe R. Hicks
 
Latest Headlines
 

Racism in the LA Fire Department? (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, March 14, 2007)


Val Zavala>> Few headlines have brought as much unwanted attention to the Los Angeles Fire Department as the Tennie Pierce case. He's the firefighter who almost got paid $2.7 million dollars for an allegedly racist prank, the now famous dog food incident. Well, the case is going to trial, but no matter what happens in the courtroom, it's clear that the case has touched a nerve. There's even disagreement within the black community.

For a very lively conversation, we brought three people together at our Kitchen Table. Joe Hicks is with CommUnity Advocates, Inc. Najee Ali is head of Project Islamic Hope. He believes the Pierce case has merit. And Larry Elder is a radio talk show host on KABC who believes the Pierce lawsuit is absurd. Our Kitchen Table segment is funded by Ralph Tornberg.

Joe Hicks>> We're talking about the fire department today. As you know, the Tennie Pierce case has spurred a lot of discussion about the fire department. We get a little bit of the Tennie Pierce thing, but the larger argument being made that -- two arguments actually -- that Tennie Pierce simply demonstrates all the racism rampant in the fire department.

The second argument that was made is that it shows how much racism is still a part of society, particularly here in Los Angeles. And Najee Ali says what to that?

Najee Ali>> Well, certainly, the Tennie Pierce case got national attention and just really highlighted and focused not just on racism, but sexism, and it really showed that we still have a long way to go within the fire department to root out what we say is a cultural institution of racism and sexism within the department.

If it was just an aberration, if Tennie Pierce was the only African American who was a victim of discrimination, we would not have all these other plaintiffs coming forward now stating that they've also been racially discriminated against by the fire department.

Joe Hicks>> Is it fair to assume that, in 2007, you've got a fire department of a major city in America that's got a bunch of bigots wearing sheets at night or something that are ready to discriminate against black folks and, I assume, other minorities as well as women? Is that a fair assumption?

Larry Elder>> No, it is not a fair assumption to make. We are living in a city that's got an Hispanic mayor. The City Council has an Hispanic. We had a black mayor who got elected four consecutive times. To act as if this is the 1950s and this is Rosa Parks on the bus is ridiculous. The reason there are more suits coming out, Joe and Najee, is because people see a cash register. Rin-Tin-Tennie Pierce, which is what I call him, had been with the fire department for some --

Joe Hicks>> -- wait a minute. Rin-Tin-Tennie --

Larry Elder>> -- Rin-Tin-Tennie. Remember the dog? Rin-Tin-Tennie Pierce was there twenty-some odd years. If there were other instances of racism against him, we certainly would have heard about it by now. These guys were playing a prank on somebody who referred to himself as "The Big Dog".

This was after a volleyball game when he said, "Feed the Big Dog", which is an expression in sports, and they were trying to play a joke on him. They put some dog food in his spaghetti, he took a few bites and, all of a sudden, he is the victim of a racist witch-hunt and now he gets $2.7 million dollars. Do you know, Najee, what I would eat for $2.7 million dollars?

Najee Ali>> We understand there's a history of firefighters involving themselves in pranks and it's really a fraternity, but as Mr. Pierce stated, these pranks that were pulled on him were racially motivated. That's why we feel we should support him with his claims because feeding someone dog food is not a prank. It's something that we feel was racially motivated and something that no human being should be forced to do.

Joe Hicks>> There's apparently some survey done among black firefighters, amazingly large number of female firefighters also apparently, that indicates that they experience some kind of discrimination of one sort or another. Do you think the Los Angeles Fire Department is essentially a bigoted organization?

Najee Ali>> Not overall, but obviously we have some members of the fire department, because of the culture of racism, who have discriminated against their fellow firefighters and it's caused great concern among black firefighters and women in particularly who have stated they've been the victims of racism within the department.

Larry Elder>> And sexism, yeah.

Joe Hicks>> Why do you think so many black or female firefighters indicate that they've experienced "some sort of discrimination" in the fire department?

Larry Elders>> It's hard to say, Joe, probably a lot of factors. It's a macho culture, very few women and it is a culture where there's a lot of gallows humor that's used. People call people names. People call people names racially. I have friends who are cops and some of them are black and some of them are white.

You should hear some of the things they say to each other and then they start laughing. So it's a very, very intense job. You are more likely to be killed as a firefighter than you are as a police officer, so a lot of people engage in this kind of stuff just to release tension.

Joe Hicks>> So do you think that maybe too many minority or female fire department figures might hold their race on their sleeve or maybe be too sensitive with this issue? Might that not be part of some of this polling of people saying they are experiencing some kind of discrimination?

Najee Ali>> Well, Joe, I think obviously I feel their claims of racism and sexism within the department are valid. Not just in the fire department, but in other city institutions such as the police department and other city departments. We've always heard claims of racism and sexism, so I think it's time for the city to have a zero tolerance policy against hazing and make sure these things that come from a city employee are investigated.

Larry Elder>> I agree with that. They should be investigated and they should be handled on a case by case basis. Nobody is saying that racism in the department is zero. You have racist heart surgeons. You have racist center fielders in baseball.

Joe Hicks>> Is there such a thing as institutionalized racism? Is that real?

Najee Ali>> I believe there's a culture of racism that certain firefighters and police officers have engaged in and we have to take each case by case to make sure that each claim is investigated and whether there's a fair case or not.

Joe Hicks>> But I'm looking at a headline here, Larry, because some black leaders are apparently using the Tennie Pierce case to say that what it's an example of is a larger pattern of racism America decided. The headline says "L.A. Blacks Say Racism Raising Its Head Again".

Larry Elder>> And we have black on black crime. We have brown on brown crime. We have a situation in Harbor Gateway where a small number of blacks are being brutalized by Hispanics. We have a city that is under-funded, a police department that is under-funded, and this is what these so-called black leaders are spending their time doing? Defending a guy who ate three or four bites of dog food? It's insulting. He ought to be ashamed of himself.

Najee Ali>> I base my support for Mr. Pierce and I think other leaders did also after the meeting and talking to his lawyer and hearing history, but more importantly, looking at the facts that the City Council voted for him to get the settlement and the mayor vetoed it and that's what really set off an alarm for us to find out what's going on down at City Hall.

Joe Hicks>> What does that say about our City Council that, with rare exception, I think three who voted?

Larry Elders>> That they're a bunch of wimps. You pull out the race card and they're going to cave for it.

Joe Hicks>> A couple of quick predictions. In March, this case comes back before a judge, I assume. A quick prediction about what's going to happen.

Najee Ali>> I believe that Mr. Pierce will be successful and win his lawsuit. In fact, I believe it's going to cost the city much, much more money which is why Rocky Delgadillo granted the money to begin with.

Larry Elders>> Unfortunately, I agree with Najee. This thing will very likely result in some sort of jury verdict because we got a bunch of O.J. jurors who are going to be very sympathetic and are going to buy into that argument. I don't know whether it will be more than a $2.7 million. I hope not. But whatever it is, it ought to be appealed.

Joe Hicks>> Time for me to pack my bags and leave. Okay, guys.

Larry Elders>> I'm filing a lawsuit! Wait a minute! There's some dog food in my tea (laughter)!

Joe Hicks>> (Laughter) Thanks a lot, guys.

 

 
   
 
 
   

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