The new Kevin Hart movie, “Night School,” was about so many things, but like a good artist, as my poverty skola-teacher Mama Dee used to say, Kevin Hart didn’t pound on the table. Through subtle and sketch comedy, pranks, relationship issues, innuendo and character development, he showed an often unseen part of Mans Skoo (as I call it), which is an ableist, racist, classist institution known as Special Education, which so many of us who live with so-called “learning disabilities” know way too much about.
I love Donald Trump! Yes, of course, I disagree with most everything he says, and his sensibilities remind me of every racist I have ever met; but I love that he is arrogant enough to believe that telling the truth about how and what he feels is somehow a smart thing to do. In his book, “The Prince,” Niccolo Machiavelli suggested that those who wield power should ‘‘be evil but pretend to be good, sincerely believe in the value of sincerity, but never be frank.’’ Apparently Trump didn’t get the memo.
On April 13, the SF Sounds newspaper made the mistake of publishing an article written by Sarah Burchard, entitled “Bring on the Bayview.” From what we’ve gathered, Sarah Burchard is a white person who is not from San Francisco. As people born and raised in San Francisco and Bayview residents, we find Sarah’s article overtly ignorant and flat-out offensive. The article blatantly disrespects residents and our experiences in the current social, economic and political climate.
I just hope Bay View sticks to their guns and stand y’all’s ground and don’t let these busters punk you. I hope y’all continue publishing “Uncle Du” and don’t allow these rednecks to “pump fake” y’all or have y’all compromise your standards of giving the truth to those of us who need it in our lives as a guide for how to identify the wickedness of those who are hell bent on oppressing people of color through their weapons of white supremacy.
I am writing this from the Bay Area, where tent cities are now slowly re-forming under bridges, and where there is still a palpable buzz about Beyoncé’s performance in the Super Bowl halftime show (sorry, Coldplay). In fact, it’s a topic with far more currency here than the actual dud of a game, and for good reason. This is the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense in the Bay Area.
After reading an article that criticized Serena Williams’ physique, I threw my hands up in disgust and allowed the “angry Black woman” inside me to explode. The New York Times article wasn’t just an attack on Williams, but an attack on all women. It seems women who decide to challenge stereotypical notions of femininity are openly rejected. The idea that a woman cannot be athletic and beautiful is just preposterous.
I was the founding chairman and national organizer of the Black Panther Party. Our first organizing tactic was to legally observe the police in our Oakland and Berkeley Black communities. During those hard core late 1960s racist, fascist times, we took a big chance with our lives patrolling the police. It was a time of rampant vicious police brutality and murder of Black people by police that was 10 times worse than today.
Keith Cook delivered this speech on Dec. 5 at “Cops vs. Free Speech,” a public forum organized by the Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia: Thank you for inviting me again to be a part of this essential, timely discussion that we should be having across our nation. Free speech – for most of us who are activists, what does the Fraternal Order of Police, commonly known as the FOP, have to do with it?
Officer Akers sexually harassed the entire unit – most of which is New Afrikan – by conducting a striptease in which we were ordered to “squat and cough and spread your buttocks open,” solely for the sadomasochistic pleasure of Officer Akers. Let me explain that I am in Red Onion State Prison (ROSP), I protested, and in return for my protest I was put in “five-point restraints,” stark naked into a totally empty cell, just concrete and steel.
Michael Jordan, as an NBA player, owner and cultural force, has always been proudly apolitical. Most famously, he refused to oppose segregationist Jesse Helms in his home state of North Carolina by saying, “Republicans buy sneakers too.” Yet Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s racist rant has so upended the NBA apple cart that even Jordan is speaking out.
The 30,000 prisoners who have launched a hunger strike in the prisons of California in the United States are our brothers and sisters. All these men and women who refuse to be silent, who are right to rebel, who defend their dignity by defying a powerful government to which the European governments have bowed down deserve the respect and admiration of the whole world.
Rebellions aren’t pretty, clean or politically correct. Christopher Dorner rebelled. He waged psychological warfare against law enforcement, and it worked. They were afraid. It showed that the police do not have the type of training to take on just one person who is determined and who is skilled. Imagine if they were facing an entire movement.
Sept. 9 marks 40 years since the uprising at Attica State Prison in upstate New York and the deadly and sadistic retaking of the prison – and mass torture of hundreds of prisoners all the rest of the day and night and beyond – by state police and prison guards on the morning of Sept. 13, 1971. Attica and its aftermath exposed the powder kegs ready to explode inside the U.S. prisons.
“Unemployed workers are lazy welfare queens,” said Sharon Angle, losing Senate candidate in Nevada under the Tea Party, expressing hate for families living in poverty.
Three days after Hurricane Katrina turned New Orleans into a ghost town, somebody shot Donnell Herrington twice in Algiers Point, ripping a hole in his throat. Herrington, who is African-American, says he was ambushed by a group of armed white men who attacked without warning or provocation.
Time is of the essence in Haiti, yet the international response has been painfully, tragically slow. Would this pace of rescue – where every minute counts in digging people out of the wreckage – have been the case if the earthquake victims were European?
Dec. 9 will mark the 28th year that former Black Panther and present day political prisoner and prolific journalist Mumia Abu Jamal has been locked up for the murder of a Philadelphia police officer, although the evidence points to his innocence. After nearly three decades, many of Mumia’s supporters around the planet believe that he is closer than ever to being assassinated by lethal injection on Pennsylvania’s death row. We are asking everyone who reads this piece to get involved in freeing this man.
So Van Jones, activist, joins the Barack Obama administration, as the green energy czar, a field he’s passionate about, to provide jobs in Black communities and conserve natural resources as part of a larger change in America’s addiction to oil. But, almost immediately, Jones comes under attack from forces in America that really don’t want change.