As I write these words with tears in my eyes, my chest is so heavy and it aches like I’m living those days again. I relive the nightmare every day of being told my boys were shot. I live this every day. A mother should never have to hear those words or, even worse, be told that their child has died. My heart goes out to the families that have lost a loved one to this madness. I want justice for my sons Bryson and André.
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.
Remember when you were a child and adults told you that you had better do right because “someone” is always watching? They meant God, but these days there is also a human made omnipotence watching your every move. Your internet service provider (ISP) is an all seeing eye in the clouds. That reality is not so new. What is new is that ISPs can legally sell your entire web browsing history to anyone who wants it. They don’t have to ask you first and they don’t have to let you know they did it.
Hope people are paying attention to what’s been going on with NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the ostracizing that is happening to him via NFL owners. We are bearing witness to owners going all out to send a message that they hope will resonate not just with fellow NFL owners but to other CEOs who oversee increasingly “woke” people who are standing up and speaking out. Fast and hard lines in the sand are being drawn and the name of the game is make those who speak up pay dearly. We can’t return to the days where folks are comfortable and expect athletes and entertainers to simply shut up and play, sing or dance.
More than 23 years after the videotape release of White uniformed LAPD officers beating unarmed Black motorist Rodney King in 1991 – which sparked civil unrest in Los Angeles and throughout the country in 1992 – the savage beating of 51-year-old African American woman Marlene Pinnock by a yet to be named White California Highway Patrol officer on the Santa Monica Freeway on July 1 was captured by cell phone video. A community is outraged, civil rights and community leaders are planning a protest and the victim’s attorney is demanding justice.
Our nation’s democracy is in a crisis. We are facing the biggest challenge to our nation since its inception. No, there is not an armed rebellion going on, but, oh, is there a war – a silent, insidious, invidious, nefarious, absolutely downright ugly war. And the war is on the right to vote for American citizens. – Barbara Arnwine, July 2012
Why have the recent marches been so large, with not even a whisper of peace as an issue? As I often say, follow the money. There is bipartisan agreement that war is good for business. The U.S. is by far the largest arms dealer in the world. Until we stop the plague of endless war, guns are the norm, and they will be on our streets as well as the streets of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.
The bloody arrest of University of Virginia student Martese Johnson started when a bouncer for a local bar approached him on a sidewalk, Johnson’s attorney, Daniel Watkins, said Thursday, March 19. Watkins said his client was never in possession of a fake ID and was simply standing on the sidewalk. The attack against Johnson, a third-year student and member of the UVA’s Honor Council, exposed long-standing racial tensions at one of the country’s most prestigious universities.
Over 10 years ago, All of Us or None initiated our Ban the Box campaign, which aims to prohibit employers, housing providers and other quality-of-life providers from discriminating against people with records. The signing of AB 218, the Fair Chance Employment Act, by Gov. Brown creates enormous potential for California, formerly incarcerated people and the community as a whole.
The U.S. Supreme Court has decided to let stand a lesser ruling that allows citizens in the state of Illinois to record police officers performing their official duties. Up until just last year, anti-eavesdropping legislation on the books across Illinois meant any person within the state could be imprisoned for as long as 15 years for recording a police officer without expressed consent.
On March 31, a federal judge sentenced two former New Orleans police officers for killing Henry Glover and incinerating his body during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. One got 25 years for shooting Glover with an assault rifle and the other got 17 years for torching the man’s corpse.
Over 65 million people in the U.S., perhaps a fifth of our sisters and brothers, are not enjoying the “unalienable rights” to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” promised when the Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4, 1776. They are about 20 percent of our U.S. population. This July 4 can be an opportunity to remember them and rededicate ourselves and our country to making these promises real for all people in the U.S.
Mumia Abu-Jamal faces perhaps the most crucial period since 1999 when then-Governor of Pennsylvania Tom Ridge signed the last of the two death warrants for Mumia, the first being in 1995. Students and young people are needed at the forefront of a movement to free Mumia.
Caltrans has a duty under federal law to ensure that taxpayer dollars are not funneled into an exclusionary contracting system. “The program is much more cautious than it could be given the extent of discrimination in the transportation contracting industry,” said Oren Sellstrom, legal director at the Lawyers’ Committee.
“I’m going to win my fight over sickle cell anemia,” declares little Nicholas Hinkins. Having a bone marrow transplant is the only hope for saving this little boy’s life. Nick’s twin brother Christopher is a perfect 100 percent match! Chris’s bone marrow can possibly save Nick’s life. But we must go to Atlanta, Georgia, for the treatment. Readers can visit HealNickHinkins.com or GoFundMe to learn more about Nicholas and donate for this lifesaving procedure. His entire family is profoundly grateful for donations in any and all amounts.
Green Party vice presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka, Stein-Baraka campaign manager David Cobb and Jill Stein surrogate YahNé Ndgo were in Downtown Berkeley on Saturday, Oct. 22, for a rally at the Berkeley City Club. A “political revolution is absolutely necessary in this country, but a political revolution cannot be run, r-u-n, in just one election cycle,” Cobb says. The Green Party is a party of activists, a party of social change.
With Covered California’s three-month open-enrollment period beginning Nov.1, it’s a great time to shop for the best fit for your health coverage. During open enrollment, which runs through Jan. 31, consumers can choose among 11 name-brand health insurance plans that offer high-quality and affordable coverage. Here are some helpful tips.
Be wary of the attempts to get folks to buy into a concept that we once railed against called “preemptive strikes.” When Bush kicked this off, we hit the streets by the thousands. Obama doesn’t use that term, instead he invokes the image of us being in a life and death struggle against “evil terrorists.” As a result, many have checked their conscience at the door.
This week tens of thousands of people in the United States flooded the streets to demand racial justice. It is one of many issues that have been building for years, reaching the tipping point and seeming to explode in a national awakening. We also saw that in the last two weeks with national protests for living wages. Four years ago we listed 15 crisis issues that the country needed to face; poverty wages and the injustice in criminal enforcement, including racially abusive police practices, were two of them.
Seth Rosenfeld’s dramatic announcement that Richard Aoki was an FBI informant provoked an enormous response from Chronicle readers. Could it be true? Or was this a “snitch-jacketing,” a classic FBI tactic used to cast suspicion on a legitimate activist by spreading rumors and manufacturing evidence?