Commentary

Black lives matter. They matter whether they are taken at the hands of a hate-filled 21-year-old in a church prayer meeting, by a police officer who shoots a suspect he fears is armed or in a drive-by shooting on Chicago's south side.

Thirty two people are murdered by guns every day in the United States. African-Americans represent 57 percent of the victims, despite the fact they account for only 13 percent of the overall U.S. population. Homicide is the leading cause of death for Black males aged 15-34. These lives matter.

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Since America’s founding, the franchise has been dramatically expanded in waves: first, universal suffrage for all men (first, through the abolition of property ownership requirements for white men, then the 15th Amendment) then the expansion of suffrage to women and finally the Voting Rights Act, which abolished poll taxes and literacy tests.

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new paper from the think tank Demos and the NAACP examines race in the retail industry, finding major inequities between black and Latino workers on the one hand and their white counterparts on the other.

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As the 2016 presidential campaign kicks off in earnest, it’s already becoming clear that one issue is bubbling to the top of the national convers

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Last night, Hillary Clinton announced several important voting reforms: expanded early voting, an end to voter ID laws, felon voting rights restoration and making election day a federal holiday. Most importantly, she came out in favor of universal, automatic voter registration.

Do Uber and Lyft merely provide an app, or a driver? For consumers, ordering car service — or lately, house cleaning, lunch delivery or dry-cleaning pickup — can be as simple as touching an icon on a smartphone. But when the people who actually do the work show up, are they merely independent contractors matched to consumers by a software company, or are they employees?

Forty-seven years after the Poor People’s Campaign ended, political discussion in liberal activist circles has bifurcated in unnecessary ways. There are separate economic and racial justice movements, and as my Salon colleague Joan Walsh points out, political leaders too often speak to only one or the other. But these movements are different facets of one fight; if black lives matter, surely their economic lives matter too.

Jeff Jacoby ends his June 29 op-ed column “Cochran’s voting-rights victory” by asserting that black citizens’ right to vote “is no longer endangered anywhere in America.” What America is he talking about?

Voting matters. Though many Americans believe that voting is either useless or merely a civic duty, in reality it carries huge consequences for the decisions of politicians.

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