To the republic: This is a demand letter on behalf of the peoples known in the United States of America as African Americans, Blacks. As you know, we suffer from a mental disorder called Mental Slavery, which starts in early childhood and ends at death. Some of the symptoms of this mental disorder include, but are not limited to, the acceptance of an inferior status, severe ignorance and the dismantling of self, family and community.
While Barack Obama speaks without blushing about the virtues of the North American “democracy” and lectures us on human rights, an innocent man languishes in his cell, totally isolated, awaiting only death or for what the U.S. president alone can, but does not, do. Leonard Peltier, Anishinabe-Lakota, a leader of the American Indian Movement, AIM, writer and poet, has just completed 40 years in prison, and is one of the political prisoners jailed for the longest time in the whole planet.
Most parties now agree that mass incarceration is NOT the solution to crime in America. The reason being its prison population size is NOT determined by the number of CRIMES committed. So if the crime rate is not the dominant factor, what is? UNJUST racial and class policies are the dominant driving forces behind mass incarceration in the U.S. today. We urge federal prisoners to file for relief under the programs offered.
Sahara Fakhir is 33 years old. Prior to her incarceration, she was productive in the community, a member of Custodians of Faith, feeding the homeless. She is loved by family, friends and the homeless. She is a free-hearted, free spirited, loving individual. Even though she is physically restricted due to knees that render her immobile, she is always willing to sacrifice her own needs for the benefit of others.
In regards to the prison censorship issue, I am just chiming in to let it be known that it isn’t a “nudity” thing (the California Department of Corrections’ new censorship regulations are disguised under the title “Obscene Material” – ed.); it’s a Black-Latino thing, period! I’m not in prison, I’m in County Jail 5 in San Francisco, and it has even trickled down this far. Here we are not allowed to receive magazines that are most favored by Blacks or Latinos.
Dr. Willie Ratcliff is publisher of the San Francisco Bay View, one of the leading Black newspapers in the U.S. and a treasured source of left news in the Bay Area. In an interview with Michael Chase and Ragina Johnson, Ratcliff, a longtime resident of the city, reflected on the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard and its closure, environmental racism and the changes in the Fillmore neighborhood, a historically Black area known as “Harlem West.”
Part 1: On July 8, all of us will be participating in the hunger strike in support of the five core demands and also to contest our own living conditions and treatment here in Fresno County Jail (FCJ). Part 2: After nine days on the hunger strike, the administration here at FCJ wanted to end the strike and met our demands. At the time the administration had us on a modified program, now we have full program.
General measures could move the cultural discussion and peoples’ behaviors in the right direction, whereas a focus on restricting gun ownership – except for people who fit appropriate medico-legal exclusion criteria – will probably worsen our cultural crisis, increase discrimination and police attacks, and increase the danger of greater social violence and chaos.
George Washington, the first president and one of the founding fathers of the United States, once argued, “If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led to the slaughter.” Yet in many controversial cases, United States courts have ruled against the First Amendment guarantee to free speech.
The latest Hollywood brouhaha over Gwyneth Paltrow’s decision to tweet the caption “ni**as in Paris for real” to accompany a picture of her with friends Jay-Z and Beyoncé while in Paris doesn’t compare to the new evidence of “fraud upon the court” that has emerged in a largely unnoticed civil rights case that very well should be reopened after being unfairly dismissed six years ago.
It’s election time. Whether you vote by mail or go to the polls like I do on Election Day, June 5, be sure that you and your household, family and friends cast your votes. You’ll be upholding a proud tradition – Bayview Hunters Point oldtimers’ motto, VOTE 100%, once made Blacks a powerful political force in San Francisco. By voting – and by organizing, making demands and showing the way – we can regain and expand our power, stop the backsliding and get the boot off our neck. - Bay View publisher Willie Ratcliff
Bayview Hunters Point might consider investing Lennar's "community benefits" in a scholarship fund, a community development group, and a credit union that can pool the funds with residents’ own deposits and loan them for higher education, buying or improving a home, and founding or expanding a business to residents who have long been redlined and betrayed by banks.
Brother Mumia is a shining light for those of us in the belly of the beast who are in a struggle against a wicked system. He has demonstrated to us that even on Death Row, one can still educate, inspire and motivate – some of the same things that he was doing at the time of his arrest.
Growing evidence suggests the West, led by France, engineered a political and military coup in Cote d’Ivoire to re-colonize that country. The president of Gambia says, "Western neo-colonialist sponsored agents in Africa ... are ready to walk on thousands of dead bodies to the presidency."
The three-decades-long murder case of Philadelphia journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal was back in court Nov. 9 with a three-judge federal appeals court panel. The three judges seemed, in their initial remarks and in their questions, to be leaning towards the defense view.
As bad as the last recession has been for Blacks in America, recovery might be worse. In the absence of federal policy interventions and without an effective “trickle-up” stimulus plan, Blacks will not only have lost ground during this recession, they will also continue to lose ground during and after the recovery.
America’s infant mortality rate is the highest of all industrial countries. It is no secret that a Black baby born in America has more than a two fold greater chance than a white baby of dying before its first birthday. No secret and actually a national disgrace that a baby born in the much-lambasted tiny poor communist island of Cuba has a better chance of having a healthy infancy than a Black baby born in America.
When seven Black journalists are invited to fly on Air Force One with the president, you know there’s been a dramatic change in the White House. Moreover, the journalists had an exclusive roundtable interview with President Obama, and he was as accommodating as the commodious surroundings.
Ever since the police murder of Lovelle Mixon, after he allegedly murdered four Oakland police officers in East Oakland on March 21, the SF Bay View newspaper website, sfbayview.com, hundreds of messages have been written in the comment sections at the end of the articles by people who are undercover cyber police and people with strong pro-police sentiments, with some coming right out and saying they are members of police departments.
On Feb. 19, hundreds of people who have been attending town hall meetings in nine cities in and around the Bay Area - motivated by the BART police execution of Oscar Grant III and other critical threats to our communities - made the first of many Caravan for Justice trips to Sacramento.
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