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Author: Reggie Jackson

The Starbucks Arrest, Dontre Hamilton’s Death, and Sitting in Public While Black

The recent incident at a Philadelphia Starbucks has brought the issue of unconscious bias onto the centerstage of America’s ongoing racial discourse. The CEO of Starbucks, Kevin Johnson, issued an apology to the two black men who were arrested after simply waiting on a friend at Starbucks and refusing to order food or drinks. During his apology Johnson mentioned “training around unconscious bias.” I’m sure he means well, but Starbucks workers have unnecessarily called the police on blacks before. On April 30, 2014, Starbucks employees in Milwaukee at Red Arrow Park called the police not once but twice because...

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The Limits of Progress: Still separate and unequal after five decades of Civil Rights backlash

“If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters… Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either...

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Social Alexithymia and why empathy is not built from a distance

In recent months, I have had the privilege of traveling to places in Southeast Wisconsin that I never visited before. Some of these communities are just a short drive from my home in Milwaukee, but they seem to be a great distance away in some respects. I was invited to these communities to speak to adults and children about race. I never imagined that those communities would be interested in hosting a presentation related to race relations. I have been pleasantly surprised at how open those suburban towns and cities have been to such a difficult topic. We live...

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The origins of Wisconsin’s Prison Industrial Complex

This article is a prelude to an upcoming written series and public presentation by Reggie Jackson called “The 2.2 Million: An in-depth look at the creation of the largest prіsоn system in modern history.” In stark contrast to other high-rise buildings in downtown Milwaukee, there is a state prіsоn on the corner of 10th and Highland. It is called the Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility (MSDF). Most Milwaukeeans have no idea that the 12-story building is a medium security correctional facility right next to I-43. MSDF is emblematic of the role incarceration plays on the every day lives of Milwaukee’s...

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Black Panther movie is a positive affirmation of strength for people of color

Imagine a world where the most highly anticipated movie in the country is about a black superhero. Then look at the racial climate of the country over the past two years. This is 2018. America has gone from celebrating the nation’s first black president to having a man occupying the same office who refused to repudiate white supremacist in Charlottesville, South Carolina exactly six months ago. Now there is a movie based on a comic book character that shares a name with a group that was designed to protect blacks from racism. The first appearance of the character in...

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An aversion to diversity keeps immigration battles going for 228 years and counting

As a city that was completely founded by immigrants, Milwaukee has been swept up in the recent surge of anti-immigration posturing by the President, which has led to heated debates about immigration and questions what America is and stands for. Trump infused race more deeply into the conversation by reportedly referring to Haiti and African nations as “sh*thole” countries. Those remarks, as well other anti-Muslim statements and disparaging words about Mexicans, show how powerful a role race, ethnicity, and religion are playing in the current discourse about immigration policy. Contrary to what most of us know about the history...

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