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Exploiting Athletes

Exploiting Athletes

The NCAA is mulling the expansion of the men’s college basketball tournament, an inevitability that will mean young athletes will rake in millions more dollars for their schools. Marc Morial’s recent OtherWords op-ed, College Basketball Graduation Rate Insanity and cartoonist Khalil Bendib’s accompanying cartoon highlight this exploitation, which will only deepen as the money increases. And this change would be a great opportunity to follow up on Morial’s suggestion “that schools failing to graduate at least 80 percent of their athletes not only be ineligible for post-season play, but lose all of their athletic scholarships.”

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With All Deliberate Speed

With All Deliberate Speed

The Washington Post ran a front page story reminding us that our schools are a reflection of our society as a whole. And in many parts of the country, segregation is on the rise again. Just a week before the Post story ran, OtherWords columnist William A. Collins wrote about how electing our first African-American president didn’t do away with racism in America. In it, he noted how our schools’ “slow drift toward re-segregation has continued unabated.”  This cartoon by OtherWords cartoonist Khalil Bendib, titled School Resegregation, illustrates this problem.

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Injustice Served

Bradley Birkenfeld, who is serving time in a Pennsylvania federal prison for his role in Swiss-bank tax evasion schemes that he exposed, is now petitioning President Obama for clemency. He submitted his clemency application on tax day, arguing that he has worked with federal officials to expose thousands of tax cheats. As Jesselyn Radack explained in her recent OtherWords op-ed, rewarding Birkenfeld’s information, which led to $780 million recovery for our treasury, with a three-plus year prison sentence simply discourages would-be whistleblowers.

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Remembering Jaime Escalante

When Jaime Escalante died, we lost a pioneering teacher who changed people’s ideas of what children are capable of learning. Many people know about Escalante’s work from the popular movie “Stand and Deliver,” which depicted his success teaching Advanced Placement (AP) calculus classes to students at East Los Angeles’s Garfield High School. The Bolivian-born teacher died at 79 of cancer on March 30.

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Keep Grant on the $50 Bill

There’s yet another movement afoot to put Ronald Reagan’s face on the $50 bill, replacing that of Ulysses S. Grant. A number of Republicans in Congress have been beating the drums in support of the idea.

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Corporate Murder

A mass murder has taken place in an American workplace, taking 29 lives. The authorities know who did it, so shouldn’t that person be made to pay for this heinous crime?

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Housing is a Human Right

What part of “in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ideal of free human beings enjoying freedom from fear and want can only be achieved if conditions are created whereby everyone my enjoy his economic, social and cultural rights, as well as his civil and political rights and freedom” do our lawmakers reject?

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U.S. Drug Policy Feeds Violence in Mexico

In March, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other top diplomatic officials traveled to Mexico to announce a “new phase” of U.S.-Mexico cooperation in the fight against drug trafficking. In her address, Clinton referred to increased funding for drug treatment programs in the U.S. and anti-poverty efforts in Mexico. Unfortunately, these positive developments were paired with a failure to recognize the inevitable outcome of any program that intends to crush drug violence with more violence: failure.

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College Basketball Graduation Rate Insanity

College Basketball Graduation Rate Insanity

Colleges prepare all year for the lucrative chance to send a team to the basketball championship tournament commonly known as “March Madness.” But, when it comes to making sure that student-athletes are academically prepared for the game of life, madness quickly turns to insanity.

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