Monthly Archives: December 2014
Bay Area author Tiffany Golden recently published her first book, “Midnight and the Man Who Had No Tears,” a fictitious tale written so that Black children can see themselves and be validated in children’s literature. Children’s literature was a fundamental part of my upbringing that helped to cultivate my love for reading into adulthood, and I think that we as Black people need to show a higher appreciation for this form of literature and the authors who create it.
There is a chance coming up in the January-June session of the Delaware House of Representatives to restructure habitual offender sentencing. Senate Bill 188 would place application of habitual offender enhanced sentencing in the hands of judges. Currently, power hungry and politically motivated district attorneys have misused the enhancement to further their careers.
Assigned to the Mental Health Crisis Bed (MHCB) unit, I found 80-plus patients suffering torture, sexual abuse and neglect. President Obama would recognize it as torture. The vast majority of victims were Black or Hispanic, all the abusers White. Cold, dark cells hold captives in isolated sensory deprivation – drugged, sick and in pain. Nurses prevented death only to prolong torment, sometimes for years. The number of patients suffering preventable deaths during “medical treatment” in CDCR facilities may exceed all legal executions nationwide.
Public housing is home to over 1.2 million families across the nation, mostly the elderly, disabled and low-income women with children. The Bay Area is home to thousands of them. In an effort to save public housing in Oakland, Richmond, San Francisco and nationwide, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., wrote a letter to President Obama on Dec. 10 condemning the Rental Assistance Demonstration program, or RAD.
Dr. Chinosole, born Patricia Thornton in New York July 14, 1942 (Bastille Day, she always reminded), died on Oct. 4, 2014, in Oakland. She was a brilliant intellect, academic, freedom fighter and friend. When she chose the name Chinosole, it was that one name, no first or last; it means “freedom.” Her friends, colleagues and family will gather to commemorate her life on Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015, at 1 p.m., at 550 24th St., Oakland.
The United States of America’s treatment of Black people – it’s so-called citizens – are nearly identical to how the Israelis treat the Palestinian people. What we have going on here in America is an ongoing counter-insurgency war by the dominant, majoritarian, Anglo-American U.S. government against the minority Black peoples. What we have here is the Palestinianization of Blacks in the United States.
“The winning team, Dragados USA, Inc., Flatiron West, Inc., and Shimmick Construction Company, Inc., collectively known as DFS, brings the necessary team experience to successfully complete the California High-Speed Rail Construction Package 2-3 Project,” the California High-Speed Rail Authority announced Monday, Dec. 29. A consortium of 19 minority and women owned firms of all types – 13 Black – is part of the winning team for the $1.5 billion contract.
Today we are proud to stand with our brothers and sisters across the United States and around the world in response to the recent police killings of Eric Garner, Mike Brown and countless other victims of state violence to say that “Black lives matter.” While it should be implicit that all lives matter, communities in recent days have risen up to reinforce the fact that Black and Brown human beings have an equal place on this earth, because often times it feels that we do not.
They elect the first African American president of the United States, and we still die. They say that we now live in a post-racial America, yet we still die. President Obama says to the youth to be patient, because change takes time, and while we have patience, we still die. President Obama says that times have changed, and that things aren’t as bad as they used to be. Times may have changed, but we are still dying!
Rwanda and Uganda are threatening to send troops across their borders with the Democratic Republic of the Congo yet again to, they say, eliminate the Hutu refugee militia known as the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, or FDLR. Going after the Hutu refugee militia has been Rwanda and Uganda’s excuse for crossing into Congo for the past 18 years, since the outset of the First Congo War in 1996.
I approach 2015 with mixed emotions but remain hopeful. Our economy is improving from the collapse of 2008. Our stock market has rebounded, employment rates are on the rise – yet, the issue of racial inequity in this country is magnified more than ever. The ongoing protests of the deaths of unarmed Black men by law enforcement has drawn attention to the issues of inequality in the treatment of people of color by law enforcement.
My heart filled with grief and sadness when at least five of my people were brutally massacred by the Indonesian military and police in West Papua on Dec. 8, just for protesting against military violence against children. Torturing and killing children is a crime against humanity, and those responsible must be brought to justice.
This view that I’m seeing is beautiful and inspirational. I’m sitting here in my cell watching these protesters around the country for equal justice for all – no exception – and also accountability for wrongdoers. For us, the public, and for law enforcement, no one is above the law. It’s time to dismantle this systematic racism in the criminal justice and penal system.
In an attempt to curry favor from the Fraternal Order of Police and conservative voters, Pennsylvania’s Gov. Tom Corbett, Department of Corrections Secretary John Wetzel, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams and the majority of state legislators – all of whom have sworn to uphold and protect the Constitution – have removed Mumia Abu-Jamal’s right to free speech from the Pennsylvania and United States Constitutions in order to permanently gag him.
Rebellion is a fire that spreads quickly, can’t be controlled and illuminates paths mired in darkness. As children we are taught not to play with fire. Fire is dangerous. It will burn you. While the obvious consequences of being burned will not be questioned here, the recent burning of a few buildings in Mexico and the U.S. have been central in exposing the inherent violence and contradictions of the state and capitalism.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Americans of Spanish and Mexican descent remained concentrated in what had been the Spanish and Mexican colonial territories in the southwestern United States: Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas and California. During the Spanish and Mexican colonial regimes, these territorial possessions were only sparsely populated with missionaries, soldiers, a few ranchers and farmers, and very few persons of commerce and trade.
It’s kind of fitting that police officers Darren Wilson and Daniel Pantaleo, murderers of Mike Brown in Missouri and Eric Garner in New York, were cleared of criminal wrongdoing in the last several weeks. The eruption of protest, activism and organizing in response to the (bad) decisions of legal bodies to not hold these officers accountable for their crimes has occurred at a time of special significance for the legacy of the Black Panther Party.
The FDLR support the idea of an International Conference of Peace in the Great Lakes Region. The Conference will constitute an ideal forum for debating the lack of democracy and the source of insecurity. The Conference will become a privileged place where regimes in power must start dialogue with their oppositions without distinction or exclusion.
I was released from prison on Tuesday, Nov. 25. I left prison with a pair of state-issued khaki pants, a white shirt, cheap sneakers, a thin jacket, and $35 – $10 of which were my own. None of this is enough to start a new life! There’s little or no help out here for the man or woman leaving prison. I’m committed to the cause from this day forth.
How can a group have over 3 million people with college degrees yet be so underdeveloped economically? How can a people have over 10,000 elected officials yet have so little economic power? Why do African Americans spend only 3 percent of their income with each other? Could that explain why only 9 out of every one thousand African Americans start a business, while other groups are above 100?