January 15, 2014
Last Tuesday, Jan. 7, a crowd of supporters gathered in the bitter cold in New Orleans’ Lafayette Square outside the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to show their support for Angola 3 inmate Albert Woodfox. Woodfox has been held in solitary confinement – or what the state of Louisiana calls “Closed Cell Restriction” – for 42 years. By most estimates, 42 years is the longest any prisoner has been held in isolation.
January 8, 2014
Today, for the first time, the United States Departments of Education and Justice jointly released guidance that outlines civil rights obligations regarding school discipline that schools and districts throughout the country must follow affirming that “racial discrimination in school discipline is a real problem.” The guidance was included in a resource package with guiding principles and a resource guide from the Department of Education.
December 27, 2013
The state of Alabama may be a step closer to exonerating all of the Scottsboro Boys. But as state lawmakers prepare to introduce legislation to clear the youths’ names, Southern Poverty Law Center President Richard Cohen warned that it’s also “incredibly important” to ensure today’s criminal trials are free from discrimination that can lead to such injustices today.
October 30, 2013
On Monday, Oct. 28, a jury began hearing testimony in a civil suit filed against four prison guards in Wise County, Virginia, for an attack on Wallens Ridge prisoner Frank Reid in July 2009. Reid filed the suit after defeating prison officials’ charges of aggravated assault in the same incident. Reid is charging the guards with violating his constitutional rights as a prisoner of the Virginia Department of Corrections (VA-DOC).
July 29, 2013
As New Afrikan prisoners, every aspect of who we are as a people – which encompasses our cultural traits – is subjugated to a scrutiny that is intrinsically rooted in a racist paradigm. People, our struggle for racial justice doesn’t stop at the prison gates; in fact, the Prison Industrial Slave Complex represents only a microcosm of the battle that we as a people are engaged in within society at large.
May 18, 2013
The U.S. State Department recently released its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012, posing as the world judge of human rights again. As in previous years, the reports are full of carping and irresponsible remarks on the human rights situation in more than 190 countries and regions including China. However, the U.S. turned a blind eye to its own woeful human rights situation and never said a word about it.
March 29, 2013
The Bayview District Lowe’s is in the spotlight, but not for its stellar deals or quality customer service. Six plaintiffs have filed suit against the big-box hardware store, claiming racial and gender discrimination, prejudice, differential treatment and unlawful termination. Among the complaints, plaintiffs say that the Bayview Lowe’s store repeatedly under-trained, fired and under-paid workers of color.
February 7, 2013
This weekend I was detained because I asked for an African American police officer. Even if I was not within my rights to request to speak to a Black police officer, they should have just said, “No, we’re not doing that. Get out of here.” Instead, I was detained for asking for a reasonable accommodation based on my mental state and taken to 850 Bryant St.
October 5, 2012
As a descendant of former slaves and as an immigrant from the South, I have a unique perspective on segregation. My parents migrated to Oakland from Jackson, Mississippi, in 1944. In Jackson there were signs which posted the segregation policies. In California there were segregation policies, but no signs.
June 19, 2012
Robert King writes that “standing on the State Capitol steps on Tuesday, 17 April, I felt the power of the people, of 65,000 people and more – all those who have supported the Angola 3 over the years were also with us. We could not be ignored – the media were there and wanted to report on this; organizations stood by our side in support. Amnesty’s presence was felt.”
September 7, 2011
Six years ago, Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf coast. The impact of Katrina and government bungling continue to inflict major pain on the people left behind. It is impossible to understand what happened and what still remains without considering race, gender and poverty. The following offer some hints of what remains.
July 29, 2011
Whenever the subject of ghettos is mentioned, our first inclination is to focus on Afrikan and Latino communities. However, historically, the word “ghetto” came about as a result of Jewish sections in European cities designated as poor slum areas. The Jews formed a minority group based on their economic and social plight, rooted in religion and racial discrimination.
June 12, 2011
Perhaps those who are quick to implement the “stop snitching on Obama” policy on Cornel West should stop trying to counter his argument by telling West to remain silent. Instead, he should be silenced with relevant and meaningful action on the part of the Obama administration.
June 10, 2011
As part of the solution to the country’s serious housing shortage, the Venezuelan government will take over 210,000 square meters of land as a first step to utilizing idle land that belonged to collapsed banks of the 1970s and 1990s.
March 17, 2010
The Chinese government responded March 12 to the release of a U.S. human rights report critical of China by issuing its own report criticizing the U.S. human rights record. The report covered issues relating to crime, racial discrimination and poverty and accused the U.S. of using its hegemonic power to continue “trampling” on the sovereignty of other countries while “posing as the world judge of human rights.”
February 15, 2010
The Bayview Hunters Point (BVHP) community was hopeful of your appointment almost a year ago by President Barack Obama and felt that finally there was to be deliberate dialogue, transparency, community engagement and participation in formulating solutions for environmental issues.
January 15, 2010
In a precedent-setting decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the state of Washington’s law barring felons from voting on Jan. 5, just in time to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, for whom the issue of voting rights for the disenfranchised was a top priority. The Ninth Circuit ruled that the law violates the federal Voting Rights Act.
October 12, 2009
Last night my wife asked me if I thought I was a little too hard on Obama in my letter yesterday congratulating him on his Nobel Prize. “No, I don’t think so,” I replied. I thought it was important to remind him he’s now conducting the two wars he’s inherited. “Yeah,” she said, “but to tell him, ‘Now earn it!’? Give the guy a break – this is a great day for him and for all of us.”
September 15, 2009
Rebuilding efforts in St. Bernard Parish, a small community just outside New Orleans, have recently gotten a major boost. One nonprofit focused on rebuilding in the area has received the endorsement of CNN, Alice Walker the touring production of the play “The Color Purple” and even President Obama. But an alliance of Gulf Coast and national organizations are now raising questions about the cause these high profile names are supporting.
May 14, 2009
Two days before the United Nations Durban Review Conference (DRC) officially convened, anti-racist demonstrators from every continent and nearly every struggle in the world filled the streets of downtown Geneva. Most were unaware that for nearly two years, hundreds of militant pro-Israeli activists and the Israeli Foreign Ministry had been coordinating their plans to sabotage the DRC.