The ugliness of racism is at the heart of a new museum in Michigan. The Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia at Ferris State University in Big Rapids features thousands of troubling artifacts and sometimes horrifying images. There are slave whips and chains; signs that once dictated where African-Americans could sit, walk or get a drink of water; and teddy bears turned into messengers of hate.
The Palisades nuclear power plant in Michigan had five unplanned shutdowns last year. It's one of the area's biggest employers, and its safety record is one of the worst in the country. Now it's trying to prove to federal regulators that it can meet their standards.
On the shores of Lake Michigan, the Palisades Power Plant is tucked in between tall sand dunes in Covert Township, Mich., at the southern edge of Van Buren State Park.
In 2009, prosecutors in Detroit discovered more than 11,000 boxes of potential evidence in rape cases left completely unprocessed. Row upon row of what are called "rape kits" remained untouched on shelves in a police evidence room for years. No DNA evidence was extracted; no DNA evidence was used to catch or prosecute the assailants.
Since then, Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy has lead the effort to sort through those 11,000 rape kits and to find the funding to get them processed.
During his trip to Detroit, yesterday, President Obama visited the Henry Ford Museum and had the opportunity to sit in the bus where in 1955 Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to make way for a white customer. That moment sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott and fueled the civil rights movement that made it possible for Barack Obama to become president.