Are We Really Color Blind in Addressing Violence in Our Communities?

by A’Jamal-Rashad Byndon

In recent years, there has been a disproportionate increase in violence in the African American community in Nebraska (particularly in Omaha). An examination of the local crime data from the U.S. Department of Justice, local police reports, the Omaha World-Herald crime reporting process, and the race of inmates locked up in our state’s jails and prisons shows that African Americans have more than their share of crimes committed in their homes and neighborhoods. This steady but documented increase has caused a great deal of cognitive dissonance for many who would like to believe otherwise. Reactions among the state’s African American population run from open embarrassment, to charges of under-reporting of crimes among other constituency groups, to blaming generations of racism and oppression for this higher crime rate.

Regardless of the cause, however, the real question is, can we as one community, black and white, have a frank conversation about this burgeoning problem—and, after talking about it, are we in a position to effectively take steps to address it?

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Contact YOUR Senator and Ask them to Support LB 255 Human Trafficking Bill

Putting an end to human trafficking is a big priority for all of us. Let us support Senator Amanda McGill's effort to do just that with her bill LB 255. Contact your senator today and ask them to please support LB 255 on Human Trafficking. To find YOUR Senator's contact information, click HERE.

Important provisions contained in the bill include:

Section 1:
Adds trafficking to the definition of child abuse by stating, “ A person commits child abuse if he or she knowingly, intentionally, or negligently causes or permits a minor child to be…Placed in a situation to be a trafficking victim as defined in section 28-830.”

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Support Gun Control Bills in Congress

This past Wednesday, January 16, President Obama unveiled his legislative plan to curb gun violence. Drafted in the wake of the Newtown massacre, it is the most ambitious gun control initiative to come out of the White House in decades.

The president has sworn to personally take 23 executive actions to halt the gun culture epidemic that is afflicting our country. But the real substance of his proposed agenda will require congressional approval.

Specifically, under President Obama’s legislative initiative, Congress is being asked to act on several key components, ranging from stricter laws and heightened enforcement to increased education and prevention:

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Newtown, NFP and the NRA

By Paul A. Olson

Nebraskans for Peace has long endeavored to stem local violence and violence against and among youth. In the 1990s, we worked on teaching students mediation and problem-solving. We continued that thrust into the early 2000s as we endeavored to get schools to offer mediation training to kids and lobbied the Nebraska Department of Education to encourage the same effort. We labored the longest and hardest on anti-bullying policy—first with the Nebraska Board of Education and then, in 2008, with the Legislature, when we succeeded in getting a bill. Last year, we, with others, succeeded in including an anti-bullying policy in the accreditation policies for local schools put out by the Nebraska Department of Education. We have testified consistently against the extension of concealed carry and were greeted with sublime indifference by the Unicameral. In earlier times, we endeavored to stop the authorization of military-style weapons for street carry. Our “Turn Off the Violence” committee is constantly looking for ways to create new interventions to reduce our faith in violence at home.

Except in the bullying efforts, we have largely failed.

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'Nebraska Stand for The Silent Day' April 20th

The following article appeared in the Monday, April 2, 2012 edition of the Lincoln Journal Star. April 20, 2012 has been designated 'Nebraska Stand for The Silent Day' to recognize the victims of bullying who often endure the torment in silence. This is the day that the countless victims and bystanders are rising up to take a stand against bullying.

Please take a moment to read the article, forward it to the school that your child, grandchild, niece or nephew goes to and ask them to participate in this very important event.

People interested in receiving balloons and taking part in Nebraska Stand for The Silent Day can go to www.serve.nebraska.gov and click on the Stand for the Silent tag.

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