A list of Fanning the Flames since 1978's favorite articles of 2012

This is a list of my favorite articles I have read this year. Click on the links to see you if agree or not.

The David Koschman Case, Chicago Sun-Times by Tim Novak, Chris Fusco and Carol Marin

I thought that the investigative reporting staff at the Sun-Times did an excellent job bringing the particulars of the case to light. That is what good journalism is supposed to do. The work done by Tim Novak, Chris Fusco and Carol Marin led to the case being reopened.  Hopefully justice will be done this time around.

'Settling' on someone outside of your ethnic background,WBEZ  by Aurora Aguilar

The writer talked about following her heart and what goes along with it. Also, it’s not a bad idea to marry a guy named Evan. I know what it is like to marry outside of your ethnic background. I also know about the initial struggles and for people to judge you. As I found out the day I wrote this blog.

My favorite quote from the story:

Still, our early romance had some cultural missteps.I had to teach him that my female friends embracing him hello didn’t mean they were fresh

It took me awhile to get use to the kissing thing. African-Americans only do that for close relatives.


Chicago's segregated nightlife: Why don't we play together? , WBEZ by Natalie Moore

This article is about the divide in Chicago’s nightclub/bar scene. The people the writer spoke to think that African-Americans are mistreated in this world. As someone who worked in this scene for six years, I can say that this doesn’t happen as much as people think.  I was the person at the door who often denied entry. So I can vouch from personal experience.

 Can Baseball Thrive On The South Side? , ChicagoSide by Ben Strauss

Back in July, ChicagoSide, a Chicago-centric online journalism startup, did a four-part series about the lack of African-American baseball players on the two baseball teams in the city.  I really like the fact that the writer, Ben Strauss, got some very candid statements from the people who are involved in what left of the inner city baseball leagues.  For instance, one of the coaches said this about the lack of African-American baseball players:

In Chicago, basketball is king…. Everyone loves the game of basketball. You don’t wear a helmet, you don’t wear a hat, the girls in the schools like it…. It’s also an instant payday if you make it to the pros and they also get full scholarships for basketball players. There’s an opportunity with all the minor league teams…but at the collegiate level…no full rides, and kids are looking for those full rides.

The Secret History of Guns, the Atlantic by Adam Winkler

After the tragic events in Connecticut, the gun control debate has been the talk of every media outlet.  I have read almost every article on this issue. The one thing that no one seems to discuss is how gun control first started in the first place.  It started back in 1967 when the Black Panther Party for Self Defense entered the California State Capitol to shine a light on racism in America. They walked in carrying firearms. Soon after, guns laws all over popped up making sure that type of demonstration would not happen again. This exchange between Black Panther Party co-founder Huey Newton and a police officer sums it up best:

“Who in the hell do you think you are?” an officer responded.

“Who in the hell do you think you are?,” Newton replied indignantly. He told the officer that he and his friends had a legal right to have their firearms.

Newton got out of the car, still holding his rifle.

“What are you going to do with that gun?” asked one of the stunned policemen.

“What are you going to do with your gun?,” Newton replied

Racist Teens Forced to Answer for Tweets About the ‘Nigger’ President, Jezebel by Tracie Egan Morrissey

In this day and age, people should watch what they say in Social Media. The article written by Tracie Egan Morrissey shows the racist behavior of teenagers on Twitter after President Obama was reelected. Next, the writer goes on to inform the schools of these kids behavior. I love how karma came back around so fast on those kids.

Why the Reaction Is Different When the Terrorist Is White , the Atlantic by Conor Friedersdorf

The article does make you think about why certain names are given for terrorists of certain ethnic backgrounds. We have heard stories of Arabs/Muslims who have been ostracized since 9/11. This excerpt from the article explains it best:

Their disinclination to grapple with it has less to do with the victims than the gunman. The key factor isn't that they're Sikhs; it's that the apparent homegrown terrorist -- a term virtually no one would object to had a murderous Muslim burst into the Sikh temple -- was perpetrated by a white guy. Hold the victims constant and give the perpetrator the last name Mohammed. Does anyone think for a moment that such an attack wouldn't still be the most discussed story at Fox News and National Review? And at various network news shows and unaffiliated newspapers for that matter?

Abusing the badge,The Chicago Reporter by Angela Caputo

This article shows how some Chicago Police Officers cost the city millions when they get involved in police misconduct. The article also has a list of officers who have been complained on by name. The writer also spoke with a Chicago Police Officer who had an interesting take on why misconduct happens:

You have [officers] who have never seen a black person, never went to school with a black person, never lived around a black person, but then they’re assigned to a black neighborhood. And that black neighborhood is such a crime-infested area, it’s totally different from what they come from,” he said. “Sometimes they can misjudge a person’s character because they begin to look at everybody the same.

The grass gap, The Reader by Mick Dumke

We all know that the group of people who smoke marijuana as a recreational drug is pretty diverse. Why is it that most of the people who are arrested for marijuana possession are overwhelmingly black? Mick Dumke wanted to know why. This story led to a series that asked why this was happening. It even led the laws being amended.

Why I Refuse to Refuse to Vote for Obama, the Atlantic by Robert Wright          

The reason I liked this article was because the writer used some solid reasons for not voting for President Obama. Most of the time, you hear the “He’s a socialist, Muslim who hates America” riot act. The honesty was quite refreshing.

Rashard Griffith’s Secret To Success, ChicagoSide by Adam Doster

As high school football is king in Texas, the same can be said about high school basketball in Chicago.  Rashard Griffith of King High School  went on to play college basketball at the University of Wisconsin. Then he was drafted in the second round of the NBA Draft. Griffith went to play ball overseas and made a lot of money. I always wondered why he never came back to play in the NBA. The YouTube link in the article shows the game from the documentary “Hoop Dreams” when King High School was upset by Arthur Agee and Marshall High School. As a young man, I attended that game in the International Amphitheatre.

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