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California and the U.S.

Alleged jaywalker Nandi Cain, 24, viciously beaten by Sacramento cops, abuse continuing in jail

April 26, 2017

Attorney John Burris and his law firm have been retained to represent Nandi Cain, the 24-year-old African American man who, according to Burris, is the “most recent victim of racial profiling by Sacramento Police Department.” Burris said that, “Mr. Cain’s only real crime was ‘walking while Black.’” The victim, Nandi Cain. explains that this ordeal made him feel “degraded, less than a man, ashamed, depressed and humiliated.” Mr. Cain feels that “all the involved officers should be fired” and that he “hopes no one ever has to go through anything like this again.”

Maxine Waters on the strong Black women who taught her to create her seat at the table

April 24, 2017

Maxine Waters stood before a crowd of young people Friday at Busboys and Poets, a Washington, D.C., restaurant that doubles as stomping ground for social movements. At the event, which she organized as a soulful open mic before the following day’s Tax March, the congresswoman doubled down on her call for the impeachment of President Donald Trump with a combined bluntness and realness one wouldn’t expect from a politician: “We’ve got to stop his ass!” After nearly 40 years in public service, Waters has become the Democratic face for the resistance against Trump.

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Police supremacy rising: What if brutalized United Airlines passenger had been Black

April 12, 2017

We are all upset about United Airlines as we should be, but that’s low hanging fruit. It’s easy to smash down on the airlines – and, again, they deserve the backlash. But the actual brutality was carried out by officers from one department and backed up by a blatant lie issued by officers from another – which is under a federal consent decree. Let that sink in for a minute and let’s see if accountability will really happen beyond a paid suspension. Let’s see if accountability will happen over the lie told by Chicago Police. Let’s not overlook the larger picture in play around this horrific incident with United Airlines.

NAACP says electricity is a basic human right, demands end to power shutoffs

April 11, 2017

The debate about what are considered fundamental human rights is constantly evolving and changing. And in the United States, incidents like the recent water crisis in Flint, Michigan, have raised questions about whether or not access to clean water is a basic right – although arguably this has been a discussion among people all around the world, and in marginalized parts of the U.S., for quite some time. A new report issued by the NAACP also reframes access to energy service and electric power as a basic human right.

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New bipartisan bill in Congress would ban the box, help formerly incarcerated people get work

April 7, 2017

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators and representatives yesterday introduced bicameral legislation, modeled on reforms that have taken hold in the states, to ensure that job seekers who have a conviction record in their past are not unfairly shut out from employment because of the stigma of a record, but rather are considered on their qualifications just like any other applicant.

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How to end construction union racism: Start a Black union

April 1, 2017

It has been 45 years since my mentor, Dr. Arthur A. Fletcher, implemented the Philadelphia Plan. This was a federal program used to integrate unions. From the beginning, the construction trades resisted with violence and Jim Crow style segregation. Then why do most civil rights organizations and local Black elected officials support such instruments of racism? That is simple. They take donations from the very construction locals who discriminate against us.

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Ain’t no statute of limitations on genocide!

March 30, 2017

It is amazing to me to hear the cries and complaints from Euro-Amerikans about so-called racism by New Afrikans or Blacks, racism against white people, reverse racism and all of the other nonsense they were spreading while at the same time attending Donald Trump rallies by tens of thousands and then voting for him as he spews some of the most reactionary, racist, xenophobic bigotry coming from the mainstream. Why is it that white folks in large numbers feel threatened by Black pride?

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Is Trump conspiring to incarcerate former President Barack Obama

March 27, 2017

In the wake of Trump’s Russia scandal to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential elections, President Trump made a series of unsubstantiated claims in tweets early Saturday, March 4, that Obama “had my wires tapped in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” and, minutes later, “Is it legal for a sitting president to be wire-tapping a race for president prior to an election? Turned down by court order. A NEW LOW!”

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is punishing a prosecutor for opposing the death penalty

March 25, 2017

The top prosecutor in Orlando, Florida, took to a podium outside the Orange County courthouse last week to outline a new policy: Her office would no longer seek the death penalty in any capital case. The prosecutor, State Attorney Aramis Ayala, told assembled reporters that seeking the death penalty is “not in the best interests of this community or in the interest of justice.” Ayala’s decision to stop seeking the death penalty was bound to be controversial. But the announcement has kicked off a fire storm.

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NFL owners fear Kaepernick

March 19, 2017

Hope people are paying attention to what’s been going on with NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the ostracizing that is happening to him via NFL owners. We are bearing witness to owners going all out to send a message that they hope will resonate not just with fellow NFL owners but to other CEOs who oversee increasingly “woke” people who are standing up and speaking out. Fast and hard lines in the sand are being drawn and the name of the game is make those who speak up pay dearly. We can’t return to the days where folks are comfortable and expect athletes and entertainers to simply shut up and play, sing or dance.

How the racist backlash to Barack Obama gave us Donald Trump

March 14, 2017

Remember when pundits hailed the election of Barack Obama as the beginning of a “post-racial“ America? After the election of Donald Trump to the presidency, it seems like a distant memory. But in 2008, it was the prevailing wisdom among political commentators. Cornell Belcher, a long-time Democratic pollster who worked on both of Obama’s presidential campaigns, started seeing through the mirage of racial harmony well before Trump’s election made it obvious.

New report: Major California insurers do almost no business with firms owned by people of color

March 12, 2017

In the most diverse state in America, the 10 largest insurers do shockingly little business with suppliers owned by people of color, according to a new report released March 13 by The Greenlining Institute. Insurers buy huge amounts of goods and services in California – over $23 billion in 2014 alone – but the largest firms did barely over 3 percent of their contracting with businesses owned by people of color.

Support AB 1506 to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act and return real rent control to California 

February 25, 2017

Repealing the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act by passing Assembly Bill 1506 would go a long way toward strengthening rent control, limiting rent increases and once again allowing cities to regulate the rental rates on rental housing units that have been voluntarily vacated. Passage of AB 1506 would help in the effort to stabilize communities and challenge price gouging by unscrupulous landlords throughout California.

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Standing Rock invaded, Oceti Sakowin Camp evicted

February 23, 2017

Late yesterday, Feb. 22, law enforcement invaded the main camp at Standing Rock, Oceti Sakowin, to evict the water protectors who had been desperately trying to move everything from the flood plain, where thousands of people were camped just a couple of months ago. During the invasion, all media were cut off and about 10 mediamakers arrested, possibly including the Bay View team. Prayer ceremonies were held on Wednesday, and part of the camp was set on fire before the eviction began. A couple dozen people are still remaining at the camp, which water protectors say sits on unceded Sioux territory, giving them a right to remain.

Wherever you are, you too can strike a blow against the Dakota Access Pipeline

February 18, 2017

The fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline takes many forms. Any blow that can be struck must be struck. Not everyone can make it out to the frontline here in Oceti Oyate. But everyone can divest. Divestment is the withdrawal of funds from organizations that finance the pipeline so that they feel financial pressure to withdraw their support. Individual divestment has already drained over $67 million from pro-DAPL banks alone. The work at Standing Rock also needs many hands. Are you ready to get on the bus to Standing Rock?

Black newspapers, now more than ever, must boldly tell the truth

February 18, 2017

Today, reading the current reporting and editorials of the large, white-dominated, corporate newspapers, I have a sense of déjà vu. But now it is not just the newspapers of the Southern segregationists that are spewing lies. The “alt right” haters have gained a prominent voice in the national discourse, and they are on their way towards gaining even greater influence, with Steve Bannon entrenched in the White House. So now, as much as ever, the voices of the Black newspapers are needed to combat the evil we face.

Standing Rock: Come help, come prepared

February 14, 2017

The Army Corps of Engineers has issued a Feb. 22 evacuation order to the Standing Rock Water Protectors, in accordance with President Trump’s executive order that the pipeline construction proceed. On Feb. 11, I spoke with Dawn Neptune Adams, a Penobscot Native who arrived at Standing Rock on Feb. 10. This is her third trip to support the Water Protectors. The people who are still here are the strong ones. They still stand. So come help, but come prepared.

Trump declares war on the media: Build the Bay View to fight back

February 4, 2017

Since long before the mainstream media was willing to acknowledge the reality of mass incarceration, systemic racism and economic inequality, the San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper has been challenging the dominant narrative by amplifying the voices of people on the margins of society, particularly Black people, poor people and prisoners. Now, more than ever, independent media like the Bay View is in danger as the Trump administration has declared “war with the news media.” In order for the Bay View to continue speaking truth to the abusers of power, we need your financial contribution.

America’s continued exclusion of Black-owned businesses: Open letter to DOT Secretary Elaine Chao

February 2, 2017

If President Trump’s $1 trillion plan materializes in some shape, form or fashion, highly capable Black contractors will be virtually shut out of public sector contracting as they were during George W. Bush and Barack Obama’s administrations. Qualified Black-owned businesses received a disproportionate sliver of federal stimulus contracts, creating a rising chorus of demands for President Barack Obama’s administration to be more inclusive and more closely track who receives government-financed work, which they did not.

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The Black Panther Party and Black anti-fascism in the United States

February 2, 2017

Fascism has been thrust into the mainstream political vocabulary of the United States since the election of President Donald Trump on a platform grounded in xenophobia, corporate dominance and right wing white nationalism. If the growing resistance movement to Trump’s fascism is to realize its potential for societal transformation, it must draw from the deep well of Black anti-fascist resistance.

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