February 7, 2016
A United Nations panel of human rights activists has urged the United States’ government to pay reparations to the descendants of Africans who were brought to the U.S. as slaves. The committee blamed slavery for the plight of African-Americans today. The U.N. Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent’s preliminary report follows a year of aggravated racial tensions in the United States that saw the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement.
February 2, 2016
After 2.5 years of foundation laying work, Willie JR Fleming of the Anti-Eviction Campaign has finally caught the attention of the international community. At his behest, the United Nations sent its Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent to Chicago to take first-hand testimony from people of color who have suffered and continue to suffer the effects of systemic racism and colonialism.
January 31, 2016
With California voters likely to decide by ballot initiative this year whether to become the fifth state to legalize recreational use of marijuana, the state chapter of the NAACP saw an opportunity to address related civil rights issues it has been concerned with for years. After successfully voicing their concerns, the state’s NAACP chapter endorsed the ballot initiative.
January 30, 2016
The activism of the late May Molina can be seen in two young Black disabled activists, Candace Marie and Timotheus Gordon Jr., of Chicago today living in the middle of not only the aftermath and protesting of the police shooting of Laquan McDonald, but also budget cuts in special education and the recent release of a Hollywood film, “Chi-Raq,” that have pointed the spotlight on Chicago.
January 29, 2016
As union members gathered in the nation’s capital over the Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend, some of the country’s top labor leaders faced tough questions about how the movement can reconcile its support for racial justice with its embrace of police unions. Over the last year, the AFL-CIO, America’s largest federation of unions, has faced calls from some in its membership to end its affiliation with the International Union of Police Associations.
January 25, 2016
Virtually every person shot to death by police handguns in the U.S. in the last 20 years has been killed with a bullet that international law has declared to be a war crime. By challenging the police dum-dum, the Black Lives movement could assert, even by implication, that Black people, under assault from racist police and the white supremacist state, should be entitled to at least some of the protections of international law.
January 22, 2016
The deliberate lead poisoning of the people of Flint, especially its children, babies and those still in their mothers’ wombs, likely ranks among the greatest genocidal crimes in the U.S. in the 21st century, an act of domestic terrorism comparable only to the thousands of murders of unarmed Blacks, Latinos and poor people by law enforcement since 2000. Direct action by the people can be the only appropriate response.
January 19, 2016
Three of the largest churches in Los Angeles County – First African Methodist Episcopal Church of Los Angeles (FAME), Faithful Central Bible Church and City of Refuge Church – joined forces with Covered California over MLK Jr. Day weekend to reach the African American community with a message that health insurance is now a right that is available to everyone, and it is time to exercise that right by enrolling and getting family and friends to enroll.
January 13, 2016
Covered California is reminding consumers that time is running out to avoid the increased tax penalty for those who do not have health insurance in 2016, and the exchange is encouraging Californians without coverage to explore their options and sign up to avoid a big tax bill. The deadline to sign up for a health insurance plan that starts on Feb. 1 is Friday, Jan. 15. Open enrollment runs through Jan. 31, and anyone signing up between Jan. 16 and Jan. 31 will have their health care coverage start on March 1.
January 12, 2016
The EPA dismissed 90 percent of claims it received alleging environmental discrimination and never issued a finding of environmental discrimination in its 22-year history of investigating civil rights complaints despite repeated national studies showing that communities of color face a disproportionate burden of environmental pollution. Protest the EPA’s environmental racism at an EPA hearing Wednesday, Jan. 20, 9:30 a.m. to noon, at the Oakland Marriott City Center, 1001 Broadway, Oakland.
December 22, 2015
In the wake of public outcry over the latest police shooting, of Mario Woods, an unarmed African American, San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr has revived his previous call to equip his officers with electronic stun guns, also called electronic control weapons (ECWs). With similar cases in Chicago, New York and Miami, New America Media’s Paul Kleyman interviewed Aram James, a leading opponent of ECWs, about their risks.
December 18, 2015
Afrikan Black Coalition Political Director Yoel Haile states: “This victory is historic and momentous. Divesting $25 million is a good step towards shutting down private prisons by starving them of capital. This is a clear example of Black Power and what we can achieve when we work in unity. This victory belongs to the masses of our people languishing behind America’s mass incarceration regime.”
December 16, 2015
Maybe we should look more broadly when defining terrorism – as something beyond just foreigners or lawbreakers. Some terrorists may actually operate within the law. One such example is environmental terrorism, generated by those companies that pollute our ecosystem with harmful chemicals that enter human bodies and cause people to suffer and die. Any discussion of terrorism should include those who are harming our precious planet and its inhabitants.
December 11, 2015
Covered California has released a list of the top areas in the San Francisco Bay Area where high numbers of people who qualify for subsidized health insurance are believed to reside. The “hot spots” released today show the estimated highest concentrations of subsidy-eligible uninsured individuals – people who qualify for help to buy health insurance through Covered California but have not yet taken advantage of it.
December 2, 2015
The Block Report talked with Amir, the grandson of Imam Malik, better known as Jeff Fort, the leader of the Black Stone Rangers, about the recent murder of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee and the Chicago police murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, who was “shot 16 times after he hit on the ground.” Amir asks, “If you’re going to blame a whole community for this 9-year-old boy passing, how can you not convict the whole Chicago Police Department for the murder of the 17-year-old boy?”
November 30, 2015
Throughout her life, Congresswoman Chisholm broke many barriers while tirelessly advocating for the most vulnerable in our nation and our world. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is a fitting tribute to her lifetime of work and advocacy. In 1969, Congresswoman Chisholm became the first African American woman to serve in Congress. She was the first major-party African American candidate and first Democratic woman candidate for the U.S. presidency. Shirley Chisholm had guts.
November 28, 2015
When activist Mercutio Southall Jr. was curled up on the ground getting kicked, punched and choked by Donald Trump supporters at a campaign rally in Birmingham, Alabama, he thought: “I can’t die today. I’ve got shit to do. I have little kids. Fuck these people.” Southall told ThinkProgress that he decided to go to Trump’s event with two friends in order to speak out against the frontrunner candidate’s “racist” rhetoric.
November 26, 2015
The City of Chicago has released, under court order, the dashcam video from the brutal killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by a Chicago police officer – and it’s as bad as we all expected. At the same time as they released the video, the county prosecutor announced she’d be pursuing first degree murder charges against McDonald’s killer, Officer Jason Van Dyke. Unfortunately, these are charges that should have been filed a year ago.
November 24, 2015
I’m used to reading about and advocating for adults with disabilities, but today our Black and Brown youth with disabilities are increasingly targeted for police brutality and incarceration. Everybody cares about kids, so when will disabled and Black community activists focus more on stopping state violence against youth with disabilities and providing programs after the tragedy?
November 21, 2015
Before I drew closer to the wide steps of the church, I realized my mistake – it was not empty at all. Three lines of people stood waiting to enter the doors to hear what Alicia Garza had to say. That evening she would be receiving the Robert Coles “Call of Service” Award. The Coles Award is certainly prestigious, if for no other reason than that Harvard’s famous Dr. Robert Coles is known to set the bar very high to encourage others to follow his example.