October 4, 2015
On Oct. 3, U.S. forces shot up the hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, run by Doctors Without Borders, killing 12 staff and seven patients. This news upset me greatly. U.S. military personnel can remotely direct drones to kill whatever target they want to hit thousands of miles away. Americans have developed an amazing killing ability. This last week, 26-year-old Chris Harper-Mercer killed nine people and wounded nine at Umpqua Community College in Oregon.
September 27, 2015
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is incentivizing communities to take steps to end criminalization in its $1.9 billion grant program for federal homelessness funding. HUD’s new requirement for applicants of federal homelessness funding follows on the heels of the Department of Justice’s announcement in August that criminalizing individuals for being homeless is unconstitutional.
September 26, 2015
One possible explanation that makes the notion of “Inclusive Capitalism” so au courant could be that a critical mass of people are now “on to” the robber barons and the governments purchased by them; these “democratic” governments specialize in representing the robber barons and not the people who “elect” them. Could it be that there are finally enough among the masses of people who are acutely aware and so refuse to fall for the old divide and conquer trick?
September 23, 2015
“Who gets treated for hepatitis C?” is a medical decision for infectious disease specialists, not a question of “ethics, costs or access” for well-meaning executives. “Who pays?” depends on measuring the real social costs of failing to treat a national epidemic and cannot be measured by the limited considerations of private entities and public agencies in a single state, or even several states.
September 18, 2015
Senator and Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., introduced legislation on Thursday, Sept. 17, that promises to ban government contracts for privately run prisons and jails within three years. Implementing such a plan would be an ambitious effort, as it would give authorities more than 100,000 additional inmates to manage – the number held in private facilities as of 2013. The bill’s immigration provisions are similarly bold.
September 17, 2015
I am shocked and I denounce your description of the late president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, as a “dead communist dictator.” I’ve expressed support for your call to build a grassroots movement to take on the power of the billionaires and their corporations – what you’ve referred to as a “political revolution.” You’ve said that this is what your campaign is about. It was precisely such a stance that got Hugo Chavez elected and re-elected president of Venezuela.
September 5, 2015
It’s been 10 years since the watery carnage of Katrina, and one year since the fiery rage lit the night skies of Ferguson, Missouri, and between the two harrowing events lay the state of Black America isolated, demonized and damned. When the levees broke and the rushing waters of Hurricane Katrina swept into the wards of New Orleans, the 9th Ward – the Blackest ward – received the greatest damage, and the least relief.
August 23, 2015
Like many of my comrades, original Black Panther Party members, I have for years watched these strutting caricatures who call themselves the New Black Panther Party and expressed my disgust. But now I have had enough – they have crossed a line. Their most recent attack on our comrade, former member of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, Dhoruba bin-Wahad on Aug. 8, 2015, needs to be addressed in no uncertain terms.
August 22, 2015
Of all the labels and titles that could rightfully be appended to Bond – activist, politician, lecturer, commentator, professor – he wished to be remembered most as a “race man”: “A race man is an expression that’s not used anymore, but it used to describe a man – usually a man, could have been a woman too – who was a good defender of the race, who didn’t dislike White people, but who stood up for Black people, who fought for Black people. I’d want people to say that about me.”
August 21, 2015
Justice Anthony Kennedy agreed with the majority in its most recent capital punishment case. But in an unusual move, he dedicated almost all of his concurring opinion to condemning the practice of solitary confinement in the nation’s prisons, even though the issue, of his own admission, had “no direct bearing” on the case. In Kennedy’s lengthy opinion concerning how Ayala was incarcerated, he noted that Ayala had been isolated for most of his 25 years of custody.
August 20, 2015
One year following the tragic killing of Michael Brown, with more and more people across the country acknowledging the systemic targeting of Black communities by law enforcement, police officials in St. Louis and St. Louis County have made no progress. Police officials remain unrepentant for their heavy-handed and violent reaction to people they are sworn to protect and serve.
August 17, 2015
California Attorney General Kamala Harris is nothing if not ambitious. Not content with being the Golden State’s top law enforcement officer – a position she has held since 2011, after serving seven years as San Francisco County’s district attorney – she’s currently running for the U.S. Senate and is the clear favorite to replace Barbara Boxer, who is retiring in November 2016. Harris must not miss this historic opportunity to end solitary confinement in California.
August 11, 2015
On the weekend that marked the one year anniversary of the police killing of Michael Brown, there was another disturbingly similar case making the social media rounds: another unarmed young black man shot dead, another police officer on administrative leave holding the smoking gun, another rush to convict the dead. But there was one difference.
August 11, 2015
Do they think that we are stupid? We were there. We have the pictures. We have the video. We heard what they said. We saw what they did. Yet, publications blatantly misrepresent the truth, posing serious harm to Black lives. These misrepresentations actively push forth a narrative that absolves law enforcement of the brutality and racism they inflict and, ultimately, blame victims for their own repression. We are not here for it.
August 11, 2015
Just five days after the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Watts Rebellion erupted, lasting several days. Today urban rebellion remains a key element in the struggle of the African American people against national oppression and economic exploitation. Since 2012, with the vigilante killing of Trayvon Martin and the resultant acquittal of George Zimmerman, a rising consciousness and intolerance for racism has been rapidly accelerating.
August 10, 2015
St. Louis County declared a state of emergency for Ferguson on Monday due to the officer-involved shooting that took place on Sunday. Protesters were mourning the anniversary of the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown when shots rang out. The shooting victim is Tyrone Harris Jr. of St. Louis, 18, who was “real close” to Brown, his father says. In a rally the next day, dozens of protesters were arrested during a demonstration against police brutality.
August 7, 2015
When New York billionaire and GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump launched into his anti-immigrant tirade against Mexicans crossing the border, he was using a long known political technique of plugging into the live wire of American resentment of “the other.” Today, it’s Latinos, of course – more precisely, those from South of the border: Mexicans, Salvadorans, Guatemalans, Hondurans and the like.
July 25, 2015
July 13 marks two years since #BlackLivesMatter was created. The #BlackLivesMatter movement has pushed to ensure that all Black lives are seen as an important part of an overall movement for social transformation. We have much to lose if we negate that all Black lives are central to the most well being for all of us. We must not rest until all of us are free.
July 25, 2015
The Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless has made good on its plan to help feed the homeless people it serves through an organic rooftop garden, involving bees and a rainwater collection system. The garden is so successful an expansion is planned. Residents at the shelter, located in downtown Atlanta’s Peachtree and Pine Streets, will gain real life work skills removing the old roof and laying the new roof.
July 16, 2015
On July 9, 28-year-old Sandra Bland drove to Texas to start a new job at Prairie View A&M. On July 10, police stopped Bland just outside the campus for allegedly failing to signal while changing lanes. Police claim that during the stop she became combative, was thrown to the ground, arrested and charged with “assault on a public servant.” On July 13, around 9 a.m., before her family could bail her out, Bland was found dead inside a Waller County, Texas, jail cell.