December 30, 2010
Among the very few people celebrating our country’s fiscal crisis are criminal justice reformers. Bill Piper of Drug Policy Alliance says, “Next year is probably an unprecedented opportunity to defund the federal drug war.” But colorblind cost-benefit approaches leave intact the racial attitudes, stereotypes and anxieties that gave rise to the system in the first place.
November 15, 2010
Hours after San Francisco Bay Area radio show host JR Valrey screened his documentary film, “Operation Small Axe,” about police brutality at a university in Philadelphia, daily newspapers in that city carried articles about two separate lawsuits filed against Philly police alleging brutality. “Police brutality is definitely not ‘isolated incidents,’ as officials always say after each new killing or beating by police,” said Valrey, host of the Block Report, a program aired on KPFA-FM, the Pacifica station in the Bay Area.
October 8, 2010
I will be your voice at City Hall if you will be my feet on the ground of District 10. Together we can make sure that District 10 finally gets its fair share of affordable housing, quality schools and business opportunities.
July 21, 2010
“People should be judged by character, not color,” San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi said. “In this PSA we are trying to get people to reflect about their own possible biases and racial profiling. It’s a reminder that nationality, race or sexual orientation doesn’t matter – everyone has a right to be judged individually.”
July 9, 2010
With Arizona’s harsh new immigration law threatening to unleash a wave of racial profiling, Bay Area African-American clergy and community leaders traveled to Phoenix late last month on a four-day solidarity mission.
May 23, 2010
A united front of Black and Latino Arizonans mobilized against a state law that they see as a threat to their civil rights. Gov. Jan Brewer signed SB 1070 into law on Friday, making Arizona the first state in the nation to make it a crime for a person to be undocumented.
May 7, 2010
For those wondering if hip-hop artists in Arizona would speak out against the state’s immigration laws, you got your answer. The hip-hop community in Arizona came together to protest by remaking Public Enemy’s song, “By the Time I Get to Arizona.”
May 7, 2010
At a community town hall on May 8, the discussion is expected to generate ideas for building community responses against violence that don’t involve police. The town hall will take place from 8 a.m. to 12 noon at Oakland City Council chambers, 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza. No gang injunctions!
February 5, 2010
Cynthia McKinney sets the theme for Black Resistance to Police Terrorism Month, marked by five events in two weeks – four in Oakland, on Feb. 7, 17, 21 and 22, and one on Oscar Grant in Los Angeles, on Feb. 18, the eve of killer cop Mehserle’s Feb. 19 hearing – featuring your favorite speakers coming to Cali from around the country. And pack the courtroom Feb. 22, 8:30 a.m., 1225 Fallon, Oakland, for Minister of Information JR’s trial. Free JR!
December 15, 2009
Recently the cold war against Cuba was ratcheted up when an acrimonious debate broke out over the issue of racism in Cuba and for the first time the issue of Brazil was thrown into the mix. The brouhaha began when scores of prominent African Americans, many of whom should have known better, put their names to a petition calling upon the Cuban government to release a dissident from prison.
September 7, 2009
Ishmael Reed is one of the most read writers of his generation, along with Toni Morrison and Amiri Baraka, living in America. In 1962, Reed co-founded “East Village Other,” a well known underground publication at the time, and was a member of the Umbra Writers Workshop, which helped to give rise to the Black Arts Movement. He has published nine novels, four collections of poetry, six plays, four collections of essays and a libretto. He currently lives in Oakland, and I approached him one day while he was visiting KPFA’s studios to ask him what he thought about the state of affairs between the police and Oakland’s Black community, with the backdrop of the police murder of Oscar Grant and, in a separate incident, the police murder of Lovelle Mixon, after Mixon allegedly killed four Oakland police officers.
September 7, 2009
Blacks and Latinos in the United States have long complained of police harassment and racial profiling, but no one paid much attention until July 16 this year, when the Cambridge, Massachusetts, police arrested Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates at his home on a “disorderly conduct” charge – read for being an uppity Negro or forgetting his place.
April 23, 2009
“It’s a civil war, us against the authorities – if you get pulled over, you’re so afraid for your life that you’re going to react as someone would react in war. A random traffic stop is life or death now.” – Mistah F.A.B., interviewed by Davey D
April 21, 2009
Many TV channels broadcast live the entire funeral for four Oakland police officers killed March 21, news anchors calling them “heroes” and “angels.” Police funerals are intended to legitimize past and future police violence and tell the public to shut up. The spineless left complies – no mention of Oscar Grant … or Lovelle Mixon.
February 19, 2009
New data from the New York City Police Department shows the final total of stop-and-frisks for 2008 to be a record 531,159. Over 80 percent of them were of Black and Latino New Yorkers.
January 16, 2009
From 2005 to 2008, approximately 80 percent of NYPD’s total stops made were of Blacks and Latinos, who are more likely to have physical force used against them than Whites.
November 7, 2007
On Wednesday, Oct. 31, a coalition of Black and Brown groups and individuals gathered at City Hall to express their opposition to San Francisco’s gang injunctions. Several themes emerged from those who addressed the crowd, including gentrification, racial profiling and the misuse of city money. During the course of the rally, it became clear that City Attorney Dennis Herrera, the political force behind the injunctions, has become an extremely unpopular figure in Bayview Hunters Point, the Mission and the Western Addition – neighborhoods in which the gang injunctions are now in place.