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Archive for July 28th, 2009

Trial date set in racially charged redistricting plan

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On July - 28 - 2009 ADD COMMENTS

 

Ardmore, PA (BlackNews.com) – A federal judge has scheduled a trial on August 3 to consider a request for a preliminary injunction in the case of nine African American students who are suing the Lower Merion School District over a controversial, racially charged, redistricting plan which was adopted on January 12, 2009.

The South Ardmore neighborhood remains the only neighborhood in all of Lower Merion Township with any significant ethnic diversity, and no other area of the Township can claim more than 10% minority families. South Ardmore comprises 40%. Historically the children of South Ardmore walked to their public schools. One by one, the School District has closed the neighborhood schools, busing these children living within a one-mile area to different elementary schools across the township. Now, only one neighborhood school remains, Lower Merion High. Under the District’s plan, however, the students of South Ardmore will no longer be permitted to walk to and attend their neighborhood high school.

Why target this particular neighborhood? The predominant reason: Racially balancing the two high schools. By busing these children, the district will increase Harrition High School’s African-American enrollment from 5% to 9%. Lower Merion High School’s ethnic enrollment is similarly decreased, so that both high schools will have nearly the same ethnic makeup. Lower Merion School District claims that this racial balancing happened just by coincidence — a coincidence that exactly half of the students are assigned at each high school? A coincidence that the only African-American neighborhood in the entire District is sliced in half along residential streets?

Consider that African Americans make up approximately 10% of all high school enrollments. Yet they make up 40% of the students whose high school changes under this plan, and are more than twice as likely as children of any other ethnicity to have their enrollment changed. This District is not nor has it ever been under any order to de-segregate; indeed, African American students are only 9% of the entire high school population. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission are already investigating allegations of racial discrimination in the redistricting plan.

The District, already represented by the law firm of Wisler Pearlstine, retained a second firm, Morgan Lewis, to defend the case. Six high powered lawyers have now registered to defend the District in this case in an effort to outspend the plaintiffs. In contrast, the plaintiffs are represented by one attorney, a local sole practitioner, with a second attorney, also a sole practitioner, assisting during hearings.

Lower Merion Voices United for Equity in Education (LMVUE), a recently formed local grass roots organization, is advocating for equal educational opportunities for all children in the District regardless of race, background, religion, or any other factor. Although LMVUE is not a party to the law suit, the group supports the plaintiffs who are courageously fighting for restoration of their civil rights. LMVUE is composed of concerned residents from across the township, and encourages residents and others interested in fighting discrimination to visit their web site at www.lmvue.org

 

 

Prediction: The end of political office for Sarah Palin

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On July - 28 - 2009 ADD COMMENTS

By Juanita Bratcher

What’s all the hoopla about Sarah Palin leaving office? What’s all the hoopla about Sarah Palin, period? The media have made her bigger than thou with all her basic shortcomings; one, that she is not the brightest bulb in the room (so forget about 2012), and two, an evaluation of all the sub-standard, unknowledgeable interviews she had with the media during the Presidential campaign. It was obvious that Palin does not have the basic talents, skills or insight to become President of the United States.

Although Alaska is a small place, considering, I often wonder how she made a case to the voters there to become governor of Alaska. But being President of the United States is nationally with a much bigger stage presence than Alaska.

On Sunday, July 26, 2009, Palin stepped down as governor of Alaska, leaving the Governor’s Office with one-and-half year left in her term. Many in the media are speculating as to what she will do next. My prediction: She will be active on the speech circuit; will write her autobiography, will shore-up her popularity within her conservative base, and become a talk show host. I see nothing in the political sphere and certainly not a presidential run in 2012 as some speculate.

For a governor many of us hardly knew until Senator John McCain introduced her to America as his Vice Presidential running mate;  my observation is that in all my years of watching and observing American politics, specifically presidential campaigns (which has been many), Palin brought out more “hate-mongers” in the 2008 Presidential campaign than any candidate in recent memory.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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