The suicide death of Missouri auditor and gubernatorial candidate Tom Schweich shines a light on an ugly reality. A candidate could be undercut in some circles by the insinuation that he is not a Christian. In 2015, sad to say, there are still people in my home state and 49 other states who would not vote for a candidate because he or she is Jewish.
While much of America has finally begun to face the complexities of reducing the number of sexual assaults on college campuses through real action and honest conversations, this is what the gun lobby has been cooking up: the nonsense argument that sexual assaults of young women on college campuses can be stopped by arming coeds with guns.
Kansans, perhaps more than citizens of any other state, know how discrimination targeted at homosexuals looks when it is flaunted on a national media platform. We faced it for years. The now deceased Rev. Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka paraded his hatred toward gay people around the globe. The state was ashamed that Phelps’ foolishness germinated in our soil.
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In 2008, Alvin Sykes got Congress to pass the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act, which has the FBI and the Justice Department attempting to resolve pre-1970 cases before witnesses and suspects die. Now he is pressing for an executive order from President Barack Obama to make the cold case unit permanent within the Justice Department. There would be no limits on when a crime occurred.
An exhibit in Overland Park near where three people were killed outside Jewish facilities last year has sparked a thoughtful discussion about violence, hate and art. The lingering power of gun violence forced a decision to remove two beautifully thought-provoking porcelain installations.
Those who press marriage as an answer to poverty tend to know very little about what it means to be poor. They talk about poor people’s bad choices or deficient work ethic, but they don’t acknowledge the way poverty grinds people, the way it forecloses the options that families with stable jobs enjoy, the way it extracts great costs and exertions to get every little thing.
Legislation introduced this week by Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia would have schools teach students to better protect themselves as they begin to form their first intimacies.
Women will be safer from sexual assault at the University of Virginia and on campuses nationwide when fewer men commit assaults. The answer isn’t to limit where and when women can go. It’s to demand appropriate behavior and enforce penalties for violations, including criminal charges if warranted.
The way gun laws currently read in Missouri and Kansas, the right to own a gun too often supersedes a woman’s right to safety. Given the lengths that legislators have gone to expand gun rights, bills that would allow police to temporarily remove guns in extreme circumstances, like severe domestic violence, will face the obstacles of ignorance and patriarchal dismissal.
The hyperfocus of a judge solely addressing such cases would help expedite them, possibly keeping the suspects jailed on high, cash-only bonds. It’s time for this to be seriously considered. It might go a long way to getting guns out of the hands of the people most likely to kill.
If the plaintiffs in a lawsuit that was recently filed against McDonald’s succeed, it portends much bigger woes for not only McDonald’s but other companies operating on the franchise model and employing large numbers of minimum wage workers.
Pursuing a civil rights case against Darren Wilson, the Ferguson, Mo., police officer who fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown, was always going to be difficult. But learning lessons from it is within our grasp.
Delayed by local controversy six years ago, the National Council of La Raza conference coming to Kansas City is getting a welcome worthy of its significance. National attention looks more at the Latino population, a reflection of its growing clout.
Lost in all the partisanship bickering on immigration is this truth: The president’s executive actions are not, and never were meant to be, a permanent solution to the problems of immigration. They merely put a temporary hold on deporting certain undocumented immigrants; they are only temporary reprieves. Obama hasn’t granted anyone amnesty, much less U.S. citizenship. He cannot do so. Only Congress can.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is right to call for upgrades to military hardware. But getting public and congressional support would be easier if the Pentagon watched more closely the dollars sent its way.
My old friend the reverend and I huddled Monday evening, seated on the floor of the Star library. Surrounded by rows of filing cabinets, I read the yellowed articles. The Rev. Nelson “Fuzzy” Thompson, who died Sunday at age 70, devoted his life to justice and shared the lessons he learned along the way.
If we put Charlie Hebdo on a pedestal out of grief for the deaths of its artists and editors, we risk anointing it with a saintliness the paper itself seemed to mock. That’s a view that needs to be heard and understood — especially on these shores, where few understand the paper’s history and place in French society.