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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Voting Rights Act Outdated in Modern Day LA (The Daily News, August 21, 2011)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
 
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Baseball and the Decline in African-American Players (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, May 30, 2007)


Val Zavala>> The figure is nine percent. In fact, less than nine percent of all baseball players are African American. That is, blacks born in the United States. Now that's a far cry from the mid-1970s when the percentage used to be three times that much. So why the dramatic decline and is there racism in the sport that brought us Jackie Robinson?

For an interesting discussion on blacks and baseball, we brought three people together at our Kitchen Table. David Lehrer of CommUnity Advocates; Darrell Miller, a former Angel and now working to bring baseball to inner city youth; and Steve Mason from 710 ESPN SportsTalk. The Kitchen Table is made possible by Ralph Tornberg.

David Lehrer>> Darrell and Steve, we're here to talk about a topic that's been much in the news since the celebration of Jackie Robinson's sixtieth anniversary of entering into baseball. Mrs. Robinson suggested in several interviews that the lower percentage of blacks in baseball today than thirty years ago may be ascribed to racism or discrimination on baseball's part. You're kind of the leading edge of baseball's effort to recruit young blacks. What do you think is going on?

Darrell Miller>> Well, I really believe that the system is predicated and moving towards the elimination of African Americans playing the game. You look at the family disintegration where the dads aren't teaching their young kids --

David Lehrer>> -- you're not talking about the baseball system, but society.

Darrell Miller>> I'm talking about the baseball system and society's system. Not necessarily major league baseball, but the baseball way. Little League was the number one teacher of baseball in America. With the lack of fathers teaching their kids how to play the game, the Little Leagues are disintegrating because the dads usually do all the work in the Little Leagues. They'd mow the lawns. They'd rake the fields.

In urban America, there are no Little Leagues. The scholarship numbers have dropped in collegiate America, so you can only get 11.7 scholarships, the maximum they have for the baseball player. That's the maximum number of scholarships you can have.

David Lehrer>> But that's across the board. That's not --

Darrell Miller>> -- that's across the board. But what I'm getting to is, you know, you look at the increased number of scholarships in basketball, the increased number of scholarships in football, so most inner city kids don't have the resources to pay their own way to college.

Baseball has taken eighty percent of its players in their drafts from colleges. All of a sudden, you add the equation and we have a systematic disintegration of the African American playing the game of baseball.

Steve Mason>> I think that what Darrell is addressing is that it is about access. It's about having the opportunity. And I think that baseball could do a far better job in finding ways to get African American kids, to get inner city kids, involved.

You know, in the Dominican Republic, the reason we see so many phenomenal Dominican players is that baseball has invested in these academies now for decades in the Dominican Republic and they haven't made the same commitment here in our inner city neighborhoods.

David Lehrer>> But were there more baseball diamonds thirty-five or forty years ago?

Darrell Miller>> I want to answer your question. Absolutely are there less diamonds.

David Lehrer>> There are?

Darrell Miller>> Absolutely are there less programs. Absolutely are there less opportunities for young kids and even a little bit older kids to play baseball. That's why RBI, Revived Baseball Inner City, major league baseball's program for thirteen and fourteen year olds going through the Boy's and Girl's Club, is a critical program for the grassroots development introduction into baseball. A hundred twenty-five thousand kids from inner city America played in that program last year.

Steve Mason>> Baseball is competing with a sport that is incredibly easy and inexpensive to play: basketball. You need a ball and there's a public court everywhere.

David Lehrer>> And you don't need a dad to shoot a hoop.

Darrell Miller>> No, you sure do not. And we see more and more. It's easy to build and it's cheaper to build. It's more expensive to build a field.

Steve Mason>> And then you couple that with the iconic figures in sports today. You know, Michael Jordan is still the most popular athlete in the entire world. As fewer and fewer African American faces are on baseball diamonds, there are fewer and fewer African American kids who want to play the game.

David Lehrer>> But there are not fewer and fewer black faces. Forty-some percent of the baseball players are black. They're not African American. A lot of them are Caribbean.

Steve Mason>> Right, but in my mind --

David Lehrer>> -- it's not a shortage of role models.

Steve Mason>> Yeah, but in my mind -- and, Darrell, you could probably speak to this -- I view Dominican players as being different from African American players.

David Lehrer>> But does a kid know that Vladimir Guerrero --

Darrell Miller>> -- oh, absolutely, especially when they watch an interview and there's an interpreter. All of a sudden, you go, "Well, he looks like he's African American or black, but he's not."

Steve Mason>> Yeah, and when he shows up at the World Baseball Classic playing for the Dominican Republic instead of the United States.

David Lehrer>> Okay, then let's say you have a magic wand. What would you do as urgently as possible to reverse the trends?

Darrell Miller>> Get every single African American major league baseball player involved in helping to market and build more of these inner city academies.

Steve Mason>> Once we see a new generation of black stars establish themselves in the major leagues, this problem will begin to reverse itself.

David Lehrer>> Do you think there's a lack of commitment on baseball's part today?

Steve Mason>> I don't think that there's a lack of commitment. I think that there is a certain oblivious attitude by baseball. Just in the last few years have we seen baseball even think about addressing this.

David Lehrer>> Do you agree?

Darrell Miller>> You know, Jimmy Lee Solomon, when he became Executive Vice President of Major League Baseball, he's the one that has championed this academy and he's the one who started bringing this to everyone's eyes. I mean, back in 2000 and 2001. It took us this long to build the academy.

David Lehrer>> Now are you the only academy in all of the United States?

Darrell Miller>> In existence, correct. So I think his goal and our goal is to build more. You know, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Houston, Chicago, all the major cities.

David Lehrer>> And how many kids are involved in the academy?

Darrell Miller>> Right now, we have twenty-five hundred kids involved in the academy and that's a fifty-fifty blend of Hispanic and African American. So we're seeing a tremendous reversal almost immediately with the interest. All of a sudden, kids want to play.

Steve Mason>> Yeah, and you know what? Baseball needs to do a better job of highlighting the great accomplishments of players in the Negro Leagues because, right now, baseball history, with the exception of Jackie Robinson, doesn't feel like it's part of black history because this is such an under-reported chapter in sports history.

I think that baseball needs to be aggressive about finding ways to help the country understand the incredible role and the incredible service that the Negro Leagues played not just in baseball, but culturally in the early part of the last century.

David Lehrer>> Well, if there's any sector of American society that has access to the media and access to millions of eyeballs for six months of the year, it certainly is baseball. So if there's a will, there certainly ought to be a way to get the message out there.

Steve Mason>> It absolutely should. I think, by the way, that, you know, Rachel Robinson did a phenomenal job of subtly prodding baseball through the celebration of Jackie's breaking of the color line. She did it in, you know, such a classy and subtle way, but she definitely highlighted the fact that she was giving baseball a nudge. She was giving baseball fans a nudge. She was giving major league baseball players who happen to be African American a nudge.

Darrell Miller>> Right now, we're seeing the kids almost thinking it's not our game. This is their game or, you know, it's someone else's game. It's maybe an overseas Caribbean game or it's a Japanese game. We've brought in so many different players, if you will, that we've almost lost our Americanism and our domination of our sport. So I think it's important --

David Lehrer>> -- and we didn't win the --

Steve Mason>> -- no, and we didn't win the World Baseball Classic (laughter).

Darrell Miller>> (Laughter) It's important for America. It really is important.

David Lehrer>> Okay. Well, on that note, we're in the bottom of the ninth. Thank you both for joining us today.

Steve Mason>> Thank you.

Val Zavala>> So what do you think? Is baseball doing enough to attract blacks to the game? You can post your opinion. Just go to kcet.org and click on the Life and Times Blog.

 

 
   
 
 
   

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