December 31, 2013
Because of Andy Lopez’ killing, the main focus of many people I know is on youth executions at the hands of law enforcement. I see this in terms of a broader context, i.e. the long-range agendas of the right-wing Republican Party. The week-to-week shooting deaths of our Black, Brown and other youth by so-called law enforcement must be studied in the context of the systemic all-over picture. Clearly, there is a pattern and a plan there, if one would just look closely.
January 14, 2013
TaLea “Ms. Incredible” Monet and Debray “Fly Benzo” Carpenter were married on the afternoon of 12.12.12 to the soft strains of Erykah Badu and Stephen Marley’s rendition of the beautiful “In Love with You” from Badu’s “Mama’s Gun” album at the Lighthouse Full Gospel Church, Pentecostal, 2212 Lane St., San Francisco.
November 28, 2012
From the powerful voice of Mumia Abu-Jamal opening the event to jazz rapper Do D.A.T.’s video-illuminated revelations on life in the hood, from beloved journalist Kevin Weston’s story of his escape from death’s door to renowned filmmaker Kevin Epps’ telling about his first job delivering the Bay View, Black Media Appreciation Night at Yoshi’s Nov. 26 saw stars like Panthers Big Man and Emory Douglas, Phavia Kujichagulia, Walter Turner, Donald Lacy, Wanda Sabir, Greg Bridges, JR Valrey and Dr. Willie Ratcliff place Black media on the front lines of the struggle for justice.
October 31, 2012
Police Chief Greg Suhr scheduled six community forums in September and October to discuss tasers replacing guns in mental health crisis situations. When a citizen group kept showing up at hearings asking questions about hundreds of taser deaths and maimings and supporting SFPD Crisis Intervention Team training in verbal de-escalation, Chief Suhr cancelled the community forums.
September 5, 2012
The community college system educates thousands of working-class and poor people across the state of California without saddling us with massive debt. City College of San Francisco alone educates over 90,000 students. This poor people college access is exactly why I believe that corporate interests are trying to squash the last hope for educational access across the country.
August 6, 2012
Mayor Ed Lee is considering a New York City-style stop-and-frisk policy, where police search anyone they consider “suspicious.” Lee, the first Chinese American mayor of San Francisco, said, “I will be tagged – as the minority mayor of this city – for racial profiling.” He’s right – and that tag is entirely justified.
July 20, 2012
George Washington, the first president and one of the founding fathers of the United States, once argued, “If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led to the slaughter.” Yet in many controversial cases, United States courts have ruled against the First Amendment guarantee to free speech.
May 29, 2012
The restraining order barring DeBray (Fly Benzo) Carpenter from the Cahill construction site and the stay away order barring Fly’s presence at Mendell Plaza are SFPD examples of this nation’s conspiracy to mass incarcerate and control the lives and the deaths of the young, Black and male in America. A victory for Fly Benzo is a victory for us all. Pack the courtroom Wednesday, May 30, 1:30 p.m., at the San Francisco Superior Court, 400 McAllister St., Department 514. Occupy Fly Benzo’s courtroom for us all.
May 6, 2012
DeBray “Fly Benzo” Carpenter. He was busted on Oct. 18, 2011, by two of SFPD’s finest, John Norment and Joshua Fry, for (gasp!) participating in a community organized rally while playing a boom box in Mendell Plaza in the heart of Bayview Hunters Point. For speaking out against police brutality, especially the SFPD murder of Kenneth Harding last July, he was brutally arrested, tried and now is barred from Mendell Plaza by order of Judge Jerome T. Benson.
March 9, 2012
African Americans continue to be held at a disadvantage when it comes to learning English, partially due to their natural disposition to Ebonics and partially due to the discrimination and the indifference of America’s public school system. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 barred discrimination; however, Blacks have been yet to benefit from Title IV, which prevents discrimination by government agencies that receive federal funds.
March 7, 2012
DeBray “Fly Benzo” Carpenter was put on trial for allegedly obstructing and assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest. Mendell Plaza, located at Third Street and Palou Avenue, is an important public gathering place in the heart of Bayview Hunters Point. “People have been plugging in that boombox right there for years,” said Benzo’s lawyer, Severa Keith. “That corner is used for everything.”
February 6, 2012
DeBray “Fly Benzo” Carpenter, Kilo G and Claude Carpenter – along with the rest of the Black Star Coalition and unemployed Bayview residents – marched to the job site, bringing the contractor’s work to a screeching halt by standing unmoved in front of the heavy construction equipment. “We don’t work, nobody works,” declared DeBray. Support this young leader, Fly Benzo, who is facing four years in prison for copwatching. He refuses to stop fighting for justice for Kenneth Harding, the 19-year-old murdered by SFPD last July. Pack the courtroom Tuesday, Feb. 7, 1:30 p.m., Dept. 27 at 850 Bryant, and for the days to follow.