October 2, 2017
Speech delivered at the Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March Aug. 19, 2017, in San Jose, Calif.: We’re out here in conjunction with all the people who are marching in D.C. on this day with the same message. We have a “justice system” that perpetuates the institution of racism in this country through its targeting of the most marginalized communities: people of color, women and the LGBT community.
September 15, 2017
On Aug. 11, white supremacists rallied in Charlottesville, Virginia, against the removal of the statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee, It turned deadly. The Charlottesville events happened just a week before Aug. 19, the date of the planned mass rally in Washington, D.C., against mass imprisonment. This rally and the growing movement of which it is part are aimed at dismantling not merely symbols of past racism and slavery like Confederate monuments, but the 13th Amendment, which still authorizes slavery today and is directed predominantly against people of color.
July 13, 2017
Ava DuVernay undertook the documentary “13th” in order to explore and bring attention to the Prison Industrial Complex. The film’s title refers to the 1865 amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in which slavery was abolished “except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.” The story told by “13th” thus goes back to the early chain-gangs of Black prisoners – men arrested for petty offenses under the post-Civil War Black Codes who were then contracted out to perform labor that they had previously performed as privately-owned slaves.
June 29, 2017
The video is riveting. A woman is rapt with rage, her voice slow and controlled, as a cop points his gun at her, as her lover bleeds his life away beside her, and her baby daughter looks on in what can only be called wonder. Philando Castile is dying as a discussion goes on, but it isn’t with him, it’s about him. The cop’s gun quivers and quakes, pointed at this woman, as the cop’s voice also quivers and quakes, fear thick in every breath. The cop, Jeronimo Yanez, has just killed Philando.
June 28, 2017
Police booking charges play an outsized role in creating the San Francisco justice system’s dramatic racial disparities, a new study reveals, prompting San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi to announce today the formation of a team to scrutinize the early charges for bias. The Pretrial Release Unit, comprised of two deputy public defenders and one investigator, will launch Oct. 1. The team will intervene between arrest and arraignment to ensure cases have not been overcharged.
June 24, 2017
We find ourselves in a moment with a great deal at stake. Our communities are fighting to define and create sanctuary spaces, while enduring a dangerous presidential administration that has emboldened white supremacist and xenophobic action. The Trump agenda has caused increased harassment, fear and even death. In the movement for abolition of policing, imprisonment, surveillance and the entire prison industrial complex, now is our time to be bold.
June 9, 2017
“Tom Freeman of the North” is a comedic short filled with political satire that examines identity, upward mobility and gentrification. Tom Freeman, the main character, is a Black man who is socially invested in the gentrification of his community, while his brother Desean fights the power. “Tom Freeman of the North” is one of many great films screening at this year’s San Francisco Black Film Festival that looks at identity. Check out filmmaker Mohammed Rabbani in his own words.
May 31, 2017
Joc Scholar and Centric are two different musical artists who are unstoppable when combined. They are called the Grand Opus, a hip hop duo from Northern California. Joc Scholar, the emcee, is from Fresno, and Centric, the producer, is from Oakland. Centric loves producing and working with people and does not allow anything to stop his passion. According to me, when one listens to the Grand Opus album, “Forever,” you will quickly realize Scholar is a genius emcee.
May 1, 2017
I just hope Bay View sticks to their guns and stand y’all’s ground and don’t let these busters punk you. I hope y’all continue publishing “Uncle Du” and don’t allow these rednecks to “pump fake” y’all or have y’all compromise your standards of giving the truth to those of us who need it in our lives as a guide for how to identify the wickedness of those who are hell bent on oppressing people of color through their weapons of white supremacy.
April 30, 2017
A confident, unified workers’ movement – that’s who was marching here on the April 4 anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Spearheading the march were militants of United Service Workers West (USWW-SEIU) – the janitors, airport employees and other mainly low-wage workers playing a leading role in building for May Day general strike actions in California.
April 27, 2017
Saturday morning, April 15, Humboldt State University student David Lawson was stabbed at an off-campus party and died as a result of his injuries. David Lawson, a young Black man, was a sophomore at HSU studying criminology. Elijah Chandler, a friend of David who was present at the scene, gives a chilling recount to reporters of what happened. What is most alarming is the ways in which Chandler describes how the police handled the situation. Humboldt State University, the Arcata Police Department and the community surrounding HSU have blood on their hands and there is no denying it.
April 27, 2017
The Greenlining Institute brought its 24th annual Economic Summit to the organization’s new hometown of Oakland April 14. At a moment when communities of color are under attack nationwide, the Summit – which brings together community leaders and grassroots organizers from California and around the U.S. – felt surprisingly like a celebration: a celebration of defiance, resistance and persistence in the face of threats to our communities.
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.
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.
February 28, 2017
Oppression is multi-faceted and disproportionately affects the homeless and people of color residing in the outer districts of San Francisco. Discrimination in the child welfare and family court systems is especially prevalent. When state and federal statutes and guidelines are adhered to, Child Protective Services safeguards children and promotes family preservation and well-being. However, Parents Against CPS Corruption alleges that CPS and family court corruption is hurting children and families more than helping them.
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.
January 31, 2017
As the Trump government rolls out executive orders against refugees and other immigrants, Bay Area leaders and residents are bracing for possible cuts in federal grants to sanctuary cities. In our region, these include San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley and Alameda, which do not turn undocumented immigrants over to federal authorities if they have not committed a crime. But there is one area where we should welcome cuts and reject federal funding: militarized counter-terrorist police training.
January 29, 2017
“Race is the Rubicon we have never crossed in this country.” That’s David Billings’ thesis in his provocative new historical memoir, “Deep Denial: The Persistence of White Supremacy in the United States History and Life.” It documents the 400-year racialization of the United States and how people of European descent came to be called “White.” Billings tells us why, despite the Civil Rights Movement and an African-American president, we remain, in his words, “a nation hard-wired by race.”
January 26, 2017
Millions turned out on Saturday for the Women’s March on Washington and its sister marches around the world. I wasn’t one of them. I very much recognized the need for the united front against a new administration whose policies stand to infringe upon the rights of women, people of color, immigrants, the disabled and members of the LGBTQ community. And yet, I still had deeply complex feelings about how I, as a Black immigrant woman, fit into the equation.
November 1, 2016
On Labor Day here at the William P. Clements Unit, a prison in remote Amarillo, Texas, the prisoners awoke to a late breakfast: a single PBJ sandwich, a small bowl of dry cereal and no beverage. This grossly inadequate meal, which is our common fare during institution-wide lockdowns, signaled that a weeks- or months-long lockdown was in effect. Hunger pangs set in almost immediately.