Ella Baker Center demands Alameda County Sheriff’s Department be held accountable for support of white supremacy

Following the Sheriff’s Department retweet of white supremacist Richard Spencer, we call on the sheriff to end their collaboration with ICE, stop profiting off of the incarceration of people of color, stop hosting militarized law enforcement trainings, and accurately account for what was saved as a result of Proposition 47.

by Zaineb Mohammed

Richard-Spencer-on-YouTube-300x211, Ella Baker Center demands Alameda County Sheriff’s Department be held accountable for support of white supremacy, Local News & Views
Richard Spencer, who coined the term “alt-right,” is a University of Virginia graduate and earned his master’s at the University of Chicago. The Chicago Tribune notes that the difference between them and neo-Nazis is that Spencer and the alt-right are “technically savvy and culturally literate.” Spencer and his movement use Youtube, Reddit, memes and social media to spread their message, according to the SF Chronicle. The New York Times reports that during an alt-right conference in Washington, D.C., Spencer shouted, “Hail Trump! Hail our people! Hail Victory!”

Oakland – On Monday, Aug. 14, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department retweeted a tweet posted by white supremacist Richard Spencer, which was a video of a press conference Spencer held defending the acts of terrorism in Charlottesville. The Sheriff’s Department attempted to declare that the retweet was conducted in error, despite the fact that it was on display for 45 minutes before being deleted.

In response, Zachary Norris, executive director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, made the following statement:

“The Sheriff’s Department’s actions on social media are only the latest in a long line of white supremacist actions they have taken. The Sheriff’s Department has a history of disproportionately criminalizing and incarcerating immigrants and people of color, profiting off of their incarceration, hosting militarized law enforcement trainings, and actively opposing community efforts to reinvest funding into much needed resources like job training, healthcare and housing.

“We demand that the Sheriff’s Department be held accountable not only for their actions on social media this week, but for their long history of perpetuating racial injustice and white supremacy in the county. We call on the sheriff to:

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  • End their collaboration with ICE and stop handing immigrants in the jail over to ICE authorities
  • Stop operating as a private prison and profiting off of the incarceration of people of color by renting out jail beds to other counties and the U.S. Marshals
  • Account for the department’s savings from Proposition 47, which has resulted in 13 percent fewer jail beds being occupied in the Alameda County jail
  • Stop hosting Urban Shield, a SWAT training and weapons expo that promotes militarism and creates more terror in our communities.

Alameda-Sheriffs-Dept-retweets-neo-Nazi-Richard-Spencers-Unite-the-Right-press-conf-tweet-081417-300x296, Ella Baker Center demands Alameda County Sheriff’s Department be held accountable for support of white supremacy, Local News & Views “White supremacy includes supporting the voices of people like Richard Spencer, but for the Sheriff’s Department it does not begin or end there. We cannot separate the terrorism in Charlottesville this weekend from the many institutional forms of white supremacy perpetrated by people in power.

“White supremacy takes the form of deportations, disenfranchisement, criminalization, incarceration and divestment from low-income communities of color.

“For the Sheriff’s Department to demonstrate a commitment to not perpetrating white supremacy, they must take action more significant than merely deleting the tweet of a white supremacist from their account.”

Ella Baker Center for Human Rights Communications Director Zaineb Mohammed can be reached at Zaineb@ellabakercenter.org. Visit the Ella Baker Center on Facebook, at http://www.facebook.com/ellabakercenter, and follow them on Twitter, at http://www.twitter.com/ellabakercenter.