Chicago Sun-Times
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Newt Gingrich is appealing to the worst in us

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If Newt Gingrich, the bombastic former speaker of the house, wins in South Carolina, it will say a lot about how far we have digressed since 2008.

Racist rant on London tram

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I have to give black passengers who witnessed the racist rant on the Croydon tram credit for keeping their cool. This could have really gotten ugly. The woman has been charged with a "racially-aggravating" public offense.

What is a black man's opinion worth these days?

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The dismissal of talk-show host Garrard McClendon prompts me to question the media's commitment to diversity. After trying and failing for so long to put together news rooms that reflect our demographics, have we just given up?

Reading through some of the responses to the Chicago Sun-Times' front-page story: "Gang Members: Top Cop Tricked Us." , it is easy to see how former police commander Jon Burge got away with torturing suspects.

George Willborn wanted to live in Bridgeport. Huh?

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He's joking, right?
That was my reaction to the news that comedian George Willborn was denied an opportunity to buy a $1.7 million house in Bridgeport.

LeBron James, Jesse Jackson and Mel Gibson

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Of course white people didn't understand why the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. used a reference to slavery to address the vitriolic criticism leveled at LeBron James for leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers

Most whites and a few blacks are in denial about the impact the institution of slavery continues to have on the psyche of black people. No, we don't get up in the morning bemoaning what happened 400 years ago.

But when it comes to slavery, blacks have a frame of reference that whites just don't have. Many African-Americans will remark that someone is being treated like a slave when they see a black person being treated unfairly.

Honestly, the first time I saw lines of shackled black men in orange jump suits behind prison bars, they look like slaves to me.

I watched ESPN's "The Decision" and found it to be boring. Still, by the time LeBron actually said he was going to Miami, the "slave" analogy was embedded in my brain. No matter what you call it, LeBron was on the auction block. Only now, he was the one getting paid.

When the sportscasters said Cleveland fans were burning LeBron's jersey in the streets, and police were putting extra police around his mother's house, I thought: These people are treating LeBron like a slave.

So I wasn't surprised that Jackson blasted Cavs owner Daniel Gilbert for his unfair and ugly comments about LeBron's decision to leave the team, likening Gilbert to an "angry slave owner."

Most white people can't see this because they don't have this same frame of reference.

As for Mel Gibson, he got caught using the n-word in a rant that was secretly taped. Given that Gibson lived in Australia from age 12, I'm surprised anyone is shocked.

Obviously Gibson has been exposed to some extreme views about black people.

After all, Australia hasn't been a great place to be black. Blacks did not obtain the right to vote in federal elections until 1961. They did not gain the legal right to drink alcohol until 1964 and were not counted as legal citizens until a constitutional amendment in 1967.

But it won't be Gibson's use of the n-word that will bring him down. Other celebrities have survived worst. That Gibson seemingly admits to brutally punching his very Russian girlfriend, however, will prove to be his undoing.

Amen State Rep. John Fritchey, Amen

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Of all the challenges facing urban communities, the ongoing street violence has vexed us the most.
I no longer buy the lament that most residents in the communities impacted by the violence suffer from apathy.

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