As Ed Striedl remembers it, the borough of Keansburg, New Jersey, tried to fortify against Hurricane Sandy. In the days and hours ahead of the storm, evacuation was encouraged. Locations on high ground were set aside for people to park cars. Shelters were put into place. And yet when the storm hit, destruction came in unlikely and devastating forms.
It has been 50 years since the Fair Housing Act made discrimination in buying and selling homes illegal. Fifty years since Edward Brooke, the first African-American senator from Massachusetts, testified that upon his return from World War II, no one would sell him a home because of his race. And 50 years since the act was passed, without debate, just one week after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. But even after 50 years, there’s still discrimination and scheming against minorities who wish to own homes.
In 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed and Ukraine declared itself an independent state. But political independence didn’t rid the country of Soviet or communist influence. Democracy was fragile. Corruption ruled government, business and education. People were killed for speaking out and demanding justice.