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October 2018 marked the 50th anniversary of the historic and remarkable organizing initiative to boycott the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. Dr. Harry Edwards led the boycott efforts, as well as the creation of the Olympic Project for Human Rights, in which he involved countless Black activists from throughout the country, including H. Rap Brown. On Oct. 21, 2018, I was fortunate to interview Dr. Edwards about his 1968 organizing efforts and his affiliation with H. Rap Brown (now Jamil Al-Amin) who also played a leading and inspirational role in this historic 1968 event.
“It takes the hood to save the hood” is the bold quote written on the shirts of the strong male and female organizers involved in United Playaz (UP), a San Francisco based 20-plus-year-old organization founded by Rudy Corpuz with a focus on youth development and violence prevention. UP’s engagement with the community is motivated by the needs of the people. United Playaz is a diamond in our community, shining light through every aspect of its mission at every level.
I’d like to send out a clenched fist salute to Amani Sawari of Jailhouse Lawyers Speak. I have studied the transcript of Amani’s appearance on Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman. Amani did an excellent job articulating the reasons for our actions. Amani also had the presence of mind to highlight and accentuate the fact that we, the prisoners across Amerika, seek to be treated as human beings and given meaningful opportunities toward our rehabilitation.
We lost Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin on Aug. 16 (March 25, 1942-Aug. 16, 2018). We also lost Kofi Annan (April 8, 1938, to Aug. 18, 2018), the seventh United Nations Secretary General and the first from Sub-Saharan African to lead the International organization. When we think about Black women and their navigation of public spaces, we remember the recent deaths of Nia Wilson, 18, and Jessica St. Louis, 26, who were not safe when they should have been #safehername.
The 50th Anniversary Conference of the Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi) opened with a reverent and celebratory tribute to the ancestors and welcome to those present. Presented by Daktari Dance Medicine Collective, 50 dancers, drummers and cultural workers sprinkled medicine into the hearts and minds of those in the grand hall that night. From the welcome call, Fanga Alafia, to the “Invocation and Libation,” Diaspora dances Yanvalou, Parigol and Ogum and Spoken Medicine, the theme for the 50th Annual Conference “Building for Eternity,” June 27-July 1, 2018, was evoked, ratified and confirmed.
Possibly the only thing that could be worse for Oakland than a loss of a third of its Black population in less than 30 years is that so many of its stars develop their chops, their talents and skills in Oakland and then leave and don’t come back or give back! Our community treasure chest would be much richer if our Oakland All Stars came back home! Most of the great talent that Oakland develops leaves to enrich the coffers and treasure chests of other cities and countries.
As we know who read the Bay View newspaper, Bay View is one of the baddest grassroots newspapers on the planet. Now just think for one fleeting moment that the Bay View news did not exist or was taken away. I feel yo’ soul; it’s not a pretty picture. Of course, we must do our share to support this great grassroots Bay View news, but we must start demanding of those we support that they must support us by any means necessary.
This June, San Francisco voters will make an important decision on whether to hand over a dangerous power to the San Francisco Police Officers Association (POA). Proposition H, a measure funded by the POA, is an attempt to loosen important use of force restrictions on Tasers that were pushed on the troubled SFPD by a team of experts from the Obama Justice Department. Police unions don’t get to decide their own use of force policies. Don’t be fooled. Vote No on Prop H!
My tears flowed when I heard the world could be losing the San Francisco Bay View newspaper as a source of life, light and power due to lack of funding. This harrowing news reminded me of a hard lesson I’ve learned: Any cause, no matter how noble, can and will be lost without money to fuel it. I’ve spent thousands of dollars and hours buying and reading newspapers. Hands down, the Bay View produces the realest, rawest, richest content of them all. For more information on how to donate or support, call 415-671-0789, visit www.sfbayview.com/support or write to SF Bay View, 4917 Third St., San Francisco, CA 94124. Or donate to the Bay View’s GoFundMe campaign.
As I complete this column, the situation in our continental African nation of Zimbabwe is growing evermore intense. Our Elder, Baba, Freedom Fighter and President Robert Mugabe has been forced to “resign” – and removed from his democratically-elected office by that nation’s military and the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) leaders – in an apparent coup.
As we continue to raise awareness and lift up our voices so that we may be heard on the issues of systemic racism and economic exploitation in the criminal justice system, as well as prison slavery and police killings and brutality, we continue to see an evil and determined enemy dig in its heels in the name of White Supremacy. In October 2017, it was reported that the Trump administration is seeking more immigration jails and detention facilities to house more immigrants that they plan to arrest.
In the late 1960s and early ‘70s, two names emerged from the Native American and Indigenous community that stood for resistance to white repression and assaults on Native life: Russell Means and Dennis Banks. In a time of mass resistance and social upheaval shown by the anti-war (re Vietnam) and Black liberation movements, Banks was among thousands of young activists of Native, Indigenous communities who rose up to speak – and act – on behalf of the oppressed.
The 1960s and 1970s saw a hurricane of political athletes: legends like Muhammad Ali, John Carlos, Tommie Smith, Curt Flood and Billie Jean King. But nothing, literally nothing, in the history of sports and politics can compare to what happened on Sunday. Expressions of dissent broke out in every single NFL game during the playing of the National Anthem. Some players kneeled, some sat, some raised fists and some linked arms. But all of them were standing in opposition to Donald Trump. Announcers and commentators discussed their actions sympathetically. The booing one might expect from fans was sparse.
My premise is a simple one: Why are we not rallying around Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco football player and quarterback? Colin Kaepernick has earned our love, our trust and support. Colin Kaepernick did what we all should be doing. Colin Kaepernick deserves better. If we do not give it to him, he will not get it. Colin Kaepernick is worthy of emulation. Colin Kaepernick made a supreme sacrifice.
On Aug. 30, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick posted birthday wishes to Fred Hampton with Hampton’s picture and a quotation of something he said: “You can kill a revolutionary, but you can’t kill the revolution.” The 49ers played the Chicago Bears last year on Dec. 4, 2016, the anniversary of Hampton’s assassination by a tactical unit of state, city and federal officers. Kaepernick wore a Fred Hampton T-shirt to the postgame press conference.
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick still doesn’t have a job with the NFL. However, the protest he began by kneeling during the national anthem at last season’s games keeps growing. A group of Black community leaders and pastors have announced an NFL “BlackOut” unless and until Colin Kaepernick is signed to play with an NFL team. They introduced their movement in a YouTube video.
Little doubt remains that former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is being blackballed by the National Football League for kneeling during the national anthem to protest police violence against Black people and other people of color. Many quarterbacks with less impressive records have been signed, but Kaepernick still doesn’t have a job. KPFA’s Ann Garrison filed this report.
When NFL owners look at out-of-work quarterback Johnny Manziel, they see themselves. Or at least they see their ne’er-do-well son or nephew: the one who was raised in cushy wealth, partied too hard, maybe got in a few legal misunderstandings with the girls, but deep down is a “good boy” and always worthy of a second chance. Playing ability isn’t even part of the conversation. They want him in their club. When NFL owners look at out-of-work NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, they see a threat.
When Philando Castile’s killer, Officer Jeronimo Yanez, was found not guilty on Friday – despite the fact that Castile’s murder was livestreamed on Facebook – shock immediately spread from the streets to social media. Some celebrities in the world of sports and entertainment used their expansive platforms to spread the message that a great injustice had occurred. They decried the fact that a man had been killed solely because of a police officer’s reaction to the color of his skin, and there would be no penalty for that killing.
Donald Trump is bragging about his ability to keep Colin Kaepernick unemployed. But Trump isn’t hurting Kaepernick. If anything, Trump may have done Kaepernick one hell of a favor. By boasting about his ability to strike fear into the hearts of NFL owners he may have revealed evidence of “collusion” or what is known as “tortious interference,” or “the intentional interference with contractual relations.” Trump could have inadvertently handed Colin Kaepernick a lawsuit on a silver platter – or put tremendous pressure on the NFL to find one owner willing to bring Kaepernick into training camp.
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