When Rosa Parks sparked the modern Civil Rights Movement by refusing to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Ala. on Dec. 1, 1955, many accepted the notion that she was simply tired and didn't want to get up.
In the aftermath of the acquittal of George Zimmerman, Eric Holder, Al Sharpton and Ben Jealous of the NAACP are calling on the black community to rise up in national protest.
Hunger strikes aren't really hunger strikes anymore. "Hunger strikes are a long known form of non-violent protest aimed at bringing attention to a cause, rather than an attempt of suicide," Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., explained in a letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. Feinstein wants the military to curb the force-feeding of hunger-striking detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Force-feeding - to keep detainees alive - is the new waterboarding.
Crenshaw was one of the hot spots 21 years ago when Los Angeles exploded after the acquittal of the white police officers who had been captured on tape beating Rodney King. For years, the broad thoroughfare was lined with empty buildings. But things have been changing in one of the last African-American neighborhoods in the city. Back in 2006, an African-American investor led a major renovation of the "mall." It now includes a Wal-Mart where area residents both shop and work.
George Zimmerman exhibited the good sense not to flash a triumphant high-five after a jury found him not guilty of second-degree murder or manslaughter in the 2012 shooting death of an unarmed 17-year-old named Trayvon Martin. There was no public victory dance, only a quiet exit from the harsh public spotlight.
Someone did an experiment to test an old tale - that a frog placed in a pot of cool water, which is then slowly and continuously heated, will be boiled to death. By contrast, if thrown directly into scalding hot water, the frog jumps out. But it turns out that, no, once the water got hot enough, the critter hopped out of Dodge.
Why did the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman case become a national obsession?
Trayvon Martin was an unarmed teenager walking home from a convenience store with Skittles and iced tea, when he was shot to death by a racist, profiling wannabe cop named George Zimmerman.
Back in the old days, it was "coffee, tea or me." Flight attendants were stewardesses. They wore sometimes stylish and sometimes just plain bizarre suits or dresses. They were all young and thin and single and definitely not pregnant. That's what male travelers (and most of the travelers were male) preferred.
I used to pack a smoke hood in my carry-on luggage. I knew that most passengers survive a plane crash on impact but that many die before they can escape the toxic smoking fuselage of an airplane. But I didn't pack a smoke hood for the trip that ended with a safe landing at San Francisco International Airport a week ago Friday.
"The gifts of God ... should be enjoyed by all citizens in Mississippi." - Medgar Evers
The media elites have never been less interested in objectivity than they are right now on "gay marriage." They don't wear rainbow flags on their lapels when they appear on television, but the coverage speaks for itself.
On Nov. 3, 1969, Richard Nixon, his presidency about to be broken by massive antiwar demonstrations, called on "the great silent majority" to stand by him for peace with honor in Vietnam.
Back in 2008, a black conservative friend, a college professor, said he voted for then-Sen. Barack Obama for president. "Obama," he said, "is post-Jesse Jackson. No more race card. And, with a black president, young blacks will start hitting the books a lot harder. They will see that racism is no barrier to the highest possible achievement."
A federal judge has finally selected a trial date for accused Fort Hood mass-murderer Nidal Malik Hasan - July 9. We'll see if it actually happens. If you've forgotten that mass shooting, then the media had scored a point for President Obama. The Pentagon dismissed the terrorist attack as "workplace violence," the Obama media nodded in agreement and the massacre vanished from public memory.
Just when you thought the plutocratic profiteers running America's exploitative, low-wage economy couldn't get any more clueless, self-serving, pious, and mingy - along comes Lady Maria of Marriott, magnanimously saying: "Let them eat tips."
In his U.N. address, President Obama listed a parade of horrors afflicting our world: "Russian aggression in Europe," "terrorism in Syria and Iraq," rapes and beheadings by ISIL, al-Qaida, Boko Haram.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Lawrence Silveira is a Sierra High graduate now living in Chicago. In this column, penned on Sept. 5, he writes about the differences between the two locales, and what he's learned in his first few weeks at Columbia College.
"Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains."
Here's an unusual super-rich guy with a strange message for his fellow 1-percent-of-the-1-percenters.
There's a photo-word montage on the Internet in which a little boy, presumably from Africa, looks skeptically at a woman who is apparently from somewhere else. The boy asks, "You mean to tell me you have so much clean water, that you (poop) in it?"
Where are the peaceniks? Why aren't they marching on Capitol Hill to protest President Barack Obama's use of military force in Syria and Iraq? The San Francisco Chronicle's Kevin Fagan interviewed peace activists who told him that their ranks are numb, in part because America has been at war for more than a decade. Some even wonder whether the Islamic State is so barbaric as to merit airstrikes.
"I see the media is at it again," an acquaintance said referring to the deluge of coverage after the Ray Rice assault on his wife. True, a ton of coverage on what became a national, if not international story.
For those of you who read my last column and thought I had crossed over to the dark side, this one should tilt the world back on its proper axis.
"You'll never meet anyone who says, 'I want to be a millionaire. I think I'll start a winery,'" owner Bill Smyth tells me from his small office over the tasting room of Westover Vineyards, nestled in Palomares Canyon. Smyth has worked in a number of fields. He made some money. He bought the vineyard property when he was young. His ex-wife bought him a kit to make wine, and his labor of love turned into a small business.