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Opinion

Pasadena’s New Police Chief with the Reputation

Police Chief Bernard Melekian is leaving the Pasadena Police Department to take a job with the United States Attorney General's Office in Washington D.C. When the announcement that came down, my phone began ringing with callers asking what can we do to stop Deputy Chief Christopher Vicino from becoming permanent chief?

Last year Melekian moved to the City Manager's office until a permanent manager was found. This short term appointment gave Vicino the responsibility to manage the day-to-day operations of the department until Melekian's return, but instead, Melekian gave him full range. With Vicino in charge, within weeks he transferred numerous employees to other areas, a veteran Black commander was asked to retire, another Black commander immediately announced his retirement, and a Black lieutenant was reduced in rank for Vicino's perception of duty problems. Because of their ranks, none of these employees were union protected and served at the peril of Vicino. Complaints were made to Melekian in his role as City Manager about Vicino, but not wanting it to appear he had no trust in his selection; he took a back seat approach saying that he turned over the department to Vicino.

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Our President, Lifting All Voices as a Beacon of Hope

When the Nobel Peace Prize winners were announced, naming President Barack Obama, that was another moment of pride. The moment was not just for Black America, because most Black Americans and Black People around the world are a people in a continual state of ecstasy, but it was also for the world. French President Nicolas Sarkozy said that with Barack Obama at the head of the country, America returns to the heart of the world.

One week before this announcement, the world watched as conservative Americans cheered when The United States lost its bid to host the upcoming Olympics. The conservatives used it as a moment to say that Obama had lost his golden touch and the world had rejected him. But somewhere I read in the Bible that God is not to be mocked, so one week later, as if to demonstrate to the world that God is in control, Barack Hussein Obama was a name to be revered around the world as a man of peace and power.

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Why We Can't Wait

Lessons from Emmit Till's Murder Apply to Today's Resistance to Obama's Health Care Reform

In January 1963, when eight White ministers published an open letter calling Dr. King to abandon his demonstrations to gain civil rights, the ministers foretold of civil disturbances if he didn't stop. They wanted him to allow more time for the courts to solve the problems of segregation and inequality. The ministers called the demonstrations unwise and untimely. In a famous letter to the clergy, King takes various elements of the ministers' arguments apart, with well thought out biblical history, intertwined with the social inequities of the day.

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D.O.A. Dead on Arrival

As we watch the children return to school I can't help but wonder how many of the children who arrive there are D.O.A. - Dead On Arrival. There are three elements that play a part in having a positive educational experience and any one doing their job or not doing their job can cause failure of the student and can leave the student D.O.A.

The first is what is happening at home. Has there been a positive spin on the value of education to work hard and do well in school to achieve to do or be anything they want to? Be their cheerleader. Parents, in addition to being a cheerleader, you must also be prepared to be an advocate, for your child. You advocate by joining the P.T.A. and volunteering at your child's school, if you don't want your child to be D.O.A.

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Write a Letter

When I was young my mother would read and recite Black poetry to me and my siblings. She served as a role model to the four of us children in many ways. Her work, her interaction with the schools we went to and the church. All these things had problems, work, school and church, but all had their positive aspects. That, after all, is what learning is about. You observe a problem and you watch to see what others have done to solve it. Watching is your research, your action to solve the same problems amounts to following the pattern of living.

My father was less verbal than my mother, but I learned how to be a man and take care of my family by watching him and my uncles interact with their families. When he did talk it was usually about how he was being treated in a society that refused to honor Black men. The main lesson from the men in my life was that the needs of the family were first second and foremost. You take care of your family and they will take care of you, the family name, your grandchildren, and your legacy.

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