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It is clear now that the 45th president of the United States is knowingly or unwittingly a tool of the Russian government. But for many years before the dumpster fire in the White House came into office, the Kremlin has been wielding a secret weapon against the “land of the free.” This weapon is “secret” not because it is hidden, but because a large segment of the American public refuses to acknowledge its existence.
On Friday, June 16, as soon as she heard that the cop who murdered Philando Castile was acquitted, 16-year-old Lucy Siale posted on Facebook a call for a Black Lives Matter protest the next day, less than 24 hours after the verdict, at Oscar Grant Plaza outside Oakland City Hall. About 400 people came out. We have to continue because saying “Black Lives Matter” isn’t enough. We have to act like it.
On July 6, 2016, Philando Castile was shot driving while Black outside of St. Paul, Minneapolis. Officer Jeronimo Yanez shot him five times. Philando’s murder was witnessed by his girlfriend and her 4-year-old daughter in the back seat. Fast forward to June 16, 2017. A Minneapolis jury acquits Officer Yanez of Philando’s murder. On July 15, 2017, barely a month later, Minneapolis police officer Mohammad Noor shoots Justine Damond, a White woman from Australia.
On Tuesday, June 20, more than 500 Stop Urban Shield activists became ungovernable at the end of a six-hour Berkeley City Council meeting once it was clear that the Council would not pull the Berkeley police out of Urban Shield 2017. As Mayor Jesse Arreguin and other councilors discussed tepid motions and then began voting, the crowd drowned them out chanting, “Shame! Shame! Shame!”
The video is riveting. A woman is rapt with rage, her voice slow and controlled, as a cop points his gun at her, as her lover bleeds his life away beside her, and her baby daughter looks on in what can only be called wonder. Philando Castile is dying as a discussion goes on, but it isn’t with him, it’s about him. The cop’s gun quivers and quakes, pointed at this woman, as the cop’s voice also quivers and quakes, fear thick in every breath. The cop, Jeronimo Yanez, has just killed Philando.
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.
We continue our celebration of the fairer sex this month with Amara Tabor-Smith and Ellen Sebastian Chang’s House/Full of Black Women Project: Episode: Black Women Dreaming, a Ritual Rest, March 26-April 7. In this 10th episode of House/Full, perhaps its largest and longest episode, Black women are invited to sleep, stop during the middle of the day or evening and rest, dream. Black women rest least of all people across race, gender and class.
Veteran R&B soul singer Michael Marshall and Frisco 5 activist and rapper Equipto address the societal issue of police brutality and injustice in their new song “Tonight We Ride.” “People didn’t believe it for so long. Now we have video showing we weren’t making it up,” said Marshall. The goal of the GOFUNDME campaign is to raise $4,000 for completion of the “Tonight We Ride” video and to create awareness around his new movement R.I.D.E (REACT. INVESTIGATE. DOCUMENT. EXPOSE.).
Something amazingly powerful is happening all over the country with America’s youth. In 34 states, with at least 44 high schools, 21 colleges, and two youth sports leagues, brilliant, bold, courageous young student athletes – ranging from football players to cheerleaders to volleyball players and marching bands – have all taken a knee during the Star Spangled Banner to protest police brutality and racial injustice in America.
BlockReportRadio.com speaks with international journalist Gerald Perriera about the connection between US Pres. Obama's domestic and foreign policies. We talk about Dallas and Baton Rouge and the similarities between war veterans Micah Johnson and Gavin Long. We also discussed the Obama regime conquering Gaddafi for white power, and the upcoming selection of Hillary or Trump to be president. This is the 2nd official podcast for the Block Report, which drops every Thursday. The music following the interview is "Dem Crazy Baldheads" by dead prez and Stephen Marley.
Two more teams have come together to make a political statement. The Minnesota Lynx and the New York Liberty of the WNBA have chosen to advocate an idea that really should not be radical but somehow is, in the United States of 2016: the idea that Black lives matter. These are public and visible displays of real solidarity: white players joining with their Black teammates, wearing the same shirts and standing alongside them in a show of multiracial unity against anti-Black bigotry.
From behind the enemy lines of the California State Prison System, from within the “belly of the beast” that is the Amerikan injustice system, I greet you all and call for your full attention to the annual commemoration of Black August and invite all prisoners and families throughout Amerika to join us in honoring our beloved martyrs with fasting, studying and sharing respect and unity with Panther love and knowledge in the spirit of our fallen comrades.
Republican Newt Gingrich, long known for his fascistic views, recently declared that “Western Civilization is in a war.” Truth be told, he is on solid ground. Indeed, Western Civilization is in a war, a war that has been raging since its inception. It has been at war with itself and with the entire non-European world for centuries. Long before anyone heard of Jihadists, Al-Qaeda and ISIL, Western Civilization was at war.
The recent deaths of Alton Sterling, 37, and Philando Castile, 32, at the hands of state-sanctioned violence are additional tragedies in an endless list of Black victims, and a reminder that premature Black death continues to take center stage in the Black narrative. With our heads in our hands and our eyes swollen, we keep asking, when will Black lives matter? White silence about these atrocities is almost as dangerous as the hand that pulls the trigger.
The violent events of the past week have placed the country at a decisive moment. Words matter but deeds matter more. Leadership matters. President Obama spoke about the need for real change and new “practices” following the murders by police officers of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. Following this story is a Black Lives Matter statement on the murder of police and escalating protests to end state-sponsored violence against Black people.
Oscar Grant’s Uncle Bobby, aka Cephus Johnson, speaks about the recent police execution of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Phil Castile in Minneapolis. We talk about the role of new media in exposing these two cases. He also discusses Obama’s response to the police executions of Black and Brown people and his inaction. We also discuss the Dallas sniper killing a number of police officers last night in response to the rampant police terrorism plaguing the Black communities of the U.S.
“Let’s Take Action,” a think tank organized by Los Angeles native Michael Morgenstern and New York transplant Joe Conte, aims to bring people together who may have a tough time talking about race but want to do something about the conditions they see. When I decided to attend this function, I had one question on my mind: Why now? Why all of a sudden are whites caring about the deaths of Black men in America at the hands of police?
I have struggled to find words to express what I thought and felt as I watched the videos of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile being killed by the police. As I was preparing to write about the oldness of all of this, I heard on the news that 11 officers had been shot in Dallas, several killed from sniper fire. My fingers froze on the keys. I could not bring myself to recycle old truths. Something more is required. But what?
Demanding an end to institutional anti-Black racism by the Israel government, hundreds of Jewish citizens of Ethiopian heritage marched through the streets of downtown Tel Aviv on July 3, renewing demonstrations that had galvanized the community a year earlier. The mostly young Ethiopian-Israeli protesters called for abusive police officers to be jailed and blocked a main street in front of the headquarters of the Ministry of Defense.
Philando Castile was killed by a police officer during a traffic stop for a broken tail light. Lavish Reynolds, his girlfriend, broadcast the aftermath of the fatal police shooting live on Facebook in an extraordinary video, in which she narrates the events while still inside the car next to her dying boyfriend as the police officer continues to point the gun at her and her daughter.