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What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

Know Anyone Who Thinks Racial Profiling Is Exaggerated? Watch This, And Tell Me When Your Jaw Drops.


This video clearly demonstrates how racist America is as a country and how far we have to go to become a country that is civilized and actually values equal justice. We must not rest until this goal is achieved. I do not want my great grandchildren to live in a country like we have today. I wish for them to live in a country where differences of race and culture are not ignored but valued as a part of what makes America great.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Puzzling number of men tied to Ferguson protests have died





"FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Two young men were found dead inside torched cars. Three others died of apparent suicides. Another collapsed on a bus, his death ruled an overdose.



Six deaths, all involving men with connections to protests in Ferguson, Missouri, drew attention on social media and speculation in the activist community that something sinister was at play.



Police say there is no evidence the deaths have anything to do with the protests stemming from a white police officer’s fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, and that only two were homicides with no known link to the protests.



But some activists say their concerns about a possible connection arise out of a culture of fear that persists in Ferguson 4 ½ years after Brown’s death, citing threats — mostly anonymous — that protest leaders continue to receive.



The Rev. Darryl Gray said he found a box inside his car. When the bomb squad arrived, no explosives were found but a 6-foot (1.8-meter) python was inside.



“Everybody is on pins and needles,” Gray said of his fellow activists.



No arrests have been made in the two homicides. St. Louis County police spokesman Shawn McGuire said witnesses have simply refused to come forward, leaving detectives with no answers for why the men were targeted.



“We don’t believe either one was connected to each other,” McGuire said, but adding, “It’s tough to come up with a motive without a suspect.”



Ferguson erupted in protests in August 2014 after officer Darren Wilson fatally shot Brown during a street confrontation. Brown was unarmed, but Wilson said he fired in self-defense when the black teenager came at him menacingly.



A grand jury declined to charge Wilson in November 2014, prompting one of the most violent nights of demonstrations, and one of the first activist deaths.



Deandre Joshua’s body was found inside a burned car blocks from the protest. The 20-year-old was shot in the head before the car was torched.



Darren Seals, shown on video comforting Brown’s mother that same night, met an almost identical fate two years later. The 29-year-old’s bullet-riddled body was found inside a burning car in September 2016.



Four others also died, three of them ruled suicides.



— MarShawn McCarrel of Columbus, Ohio, shot himself in February 2016 outside the front door of the Ohio Statehouse, police said. He had been active in Ferguson.



— Edward Crawford Jr., 27, fatally shot himself in May 2017 after telling acquaintances he had been distraught over personal issues, police said. A photo of Crawford firing a tear gas canister back at police during a Ferguson protest was part of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage.



— In October, 24-year-old Danye Jones was found hanging from a tree in the yard of his north St. Louis County home. His mother, Melissa McKinnies, was active in Ferguson and posted on Facebook after her son’s death, “They lynched my baby.” But the death was ruled a suicide.



— Bassem Masri, a 31-year-old Palestinian American who frequently livestreamed video of Ferguson demonstrations, was found unresponsive on a bus in November and couldn’t be revived. Toxicology results released in February showed he died of an overdose of fentanyl.



The Ferguson protests added momentum to the national Black Lives Matter movement, but they also generated resentment from people angered by TV footage of protesters hurling rocks and insults at police. Amid lingering anger, activists and observers say that while they see no clear connection between the deaths and the protests, they can’t help but wonder about the thoroughness of the investigations.



“These protesters and their deaths may not be a high priority for (police) since there is this antagonistic relationship,” Washington University sociologist Odis Johnson said. “I think there is a need for them to have a greater sense of urgency.”



Activists say that in the years since the protests, they have been targeted in dangerous ways.



“Something is happening,” said Cori Bush, a frequent leader of the Ferguson protests. “I’ve been vocal about the things that I’ve experienced and still experience — the harassment, the intimidation, the death threats, the death attempts.”



Bush said her car has been run off the road, her home has been vandalized, and in 2014 someone shot a bullet into her car, narrowly missing her daughter, who was 13 at the time.



She suspects white supremacists or police sympathizers. Living under constant threat is exhausting, she said, but she won’t give in.



“They shut us up and they win,” Bush said.



It’s unclear if residual stress from the protests or harassment contributed to the suicides, but Johnson said many activists feel a sense of hopelessness.



“This has to have a big impact on their mental health,” Johnson said. “For many, law enforcement is not a recourse. Many times law enforcement is not on their side.”



Experts say the deaths also are indicative of a concern at the core of the protests — the underlying difficulty of life for young people of color. Five of the men who died were blacks in their 20s.



Black St. Louis County residents are three times more likely than whites to be poor, often meaning they lack adequate health insurance that could allow them to better address not only physical ailments but mental health issues like depression and anxiety.



They also tend to live in areas with higher crime rates. The 2010 U.S. census showed that while people who live in wealthy and mostly white western St. Louis County can expect to live well into their 80s, life expectancy in parts of mostly black north St. Louis County reaches only into the 60s. Life expectancy in Kinloch, a few miles from Ferguson, is 56.



Forty-five of the county’s 60 homicide victims last year were black in a county where less than a quarter of the population is black, according to police statistics.



“Here in St. Louis, unfortunately, we have allowed the culture of crime and violence to morph into dimensions that anybody’s at risk any day, any time,” said James Clark of the nonprofit Better Family Life."



Puzzling number of men tied to Ferguson protests have died

Friday, March 08, 2019

Opinion | Ilhan Omar’s Microaggression - The New York Times

Image result for ilhan omar







Even some of her critics have to admit that the attacks on her are ridiculous and no one is saying what she is saying is not true.



"The identity politics fiasco surrounding Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has been excruciating. Half of me is angry at her. The other half is furious for her.



Among the most basic anti-Semitic tropes are these: Jews employ semi-occult powers to control world events; they manipulate hapless gentiles with their money; and Jews in the diaspora are disloyal to the countries in which they live. Omar, in the course of making perfectly valid criticisms of Israel and its most powerful American lobby, has invoked each of these tropes.



Twice now, she has publicly expressed regret for saying things that many Jews — including some who are quite far to the left on Israel — see as freighted with anti-Semitism, only to reignite public controversy with new insensitive comments. Most recently, while speaking on a panel last week, she said, “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is O.K. for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country.”



[Listen to “The Argument” podcast every Thursday morning, with Ross Douthat, Michelle Goldberg and David Leonhardt.]



Writers I respect, including Paul Waldman at The Washington Post, have argued that there was nothing wrong with what Omar said, because she was criticizing those who demand that she show more fealty to Israel, rather than accusing Jews of dual loyalties. But even if you interpret her words that way, she’s committed what might be called, in another context, a series of microaggressions — inadvertent slights that are painful because they echo whole histories of trauma. I assume Omar has been reckless rather than malicious, but it is incumbent on her, as on any public person who wades into fraught sectarian debates, to speak with care. This doesn’t mean she should temper her criticism of Israel, just that she needs to stop giving ammunition to those who want to conflate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism.



So I think Omar deserves criticism. Criticism, however, is not the right word for what she’s faced. As one of the first two Muslim women in Congress — and the first to wear a hijab — Omar has been subject to a terrifying campaign of racist vilification, including a poster in the rotunda of the West Virginia Capitol linking her to 9/11. She is treated as a dangerous foreign interloper in American politics and the embodiment of anti-Semitism, even though her Republican colleagues routinely demonstrate far worse anti-Jewish bigotry.



Earlier this week, Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, accused Representative Jerry Nadler of doing the bidding of the wealthy liberal donor “Tom $teyer,” whose father was Jewish. (To be clear, this tweet counts both as inane AND anti-Semitic,” Nadler responded.) Representative Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican who is one of Trump’s fiercest defenders, once brought an internet troll who’d denied the Holocaust to the State of the Union. Omar gestured at the idea of dual loyalty, but Donald Trump, speaking to American Jews last December, referred to Israel as “your country.” Indeed, no president has done more to mainstream classically anti-Semitic ideas about an authentic volk at war with parasitical globalists. It’s maddening to watch men who’ve flirted with outright fascism — like former Trump aide Sebastian Gorka, who wore the medal of a Nazi-aligned Hungarian group to one of Trump’s inaugural balls — act like sanctimonious defenders of the Jews.



The point is not to excuse Omar by comparison. It’s to say that Omar said things that are offensive and that she’s the victim of a double standard. She’s been held up for unique opprobrium because, breaking with America’s foreign policy consensus, she empathizes with Palestinians more than Israelis. Representative Juan Vargas, a Democrat of California, gave the game away earlier this week when he tweeted, “It is disturbing that Rep. Omar continues to perpetuate hurtful anti-Semitic stereotypes that misrepresent our Jewish community. Additionally, questioning support for the U.S.-Israel relationship is unacceptable.”



House Democratic leaders have been widely panned for their handling of the Omar affair, but its contradictions put them in a near-impossible bind. To ignore her words would be to tolerate mild anti-Semitism, an unsavory proposition at any time, but especially now, when many Jews feel newly vulnerable in a country that’s long been a haven. To publicly rebuke her would mean joining in the over-the-top demonization of a black Muslim woman facing death threats. Ultimately, Democrats on Thursday settled on a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim discrimination, and “bigotry against minorities,” a blandly inoffensive document that didn’t seem to satisfy anyone.



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As that resolution was being hashed out, The Hill published an interview with House Majority Whip James Clyburn that poured gasoline on a trash fire. Defending Omar, who spent four years of her childhood in a Kenyan refugee camp, he seemed to describe her suffering as more visceral than that of Jews. “There are people who tell me, ‘Well, my parents are Holocaust survivors.’ ‘My parents did this.’” Clyburn said. “It’s more personal with her. I’ve talked to her, and I can tell you she is living through a lot of pain.”



More from Opinion on Ilhan Omar and anti-Semitism:

Opinion | Bret Stephens: Ilhan Omar Knows Exactly What She Is DoingMarch 7, 2019

Opinion | Thomas L. Friedman: Ilhan Omar, Aipac and MeMarch 6, 2019

Opinion: Anti-Semitism Charges Roil DemocratsMarch 7, 2019

I don’t doubt that Omar is living through a lot of pain, but minimizing the legacy of the Holocaust is never a good idea, particularly when your party is managing an internal crisis over anti-Semitism. For a moment I was frightened: with the country in the hands of a repugnant white nationalist, this is not the moment for Democrats to tear themselves apart over race and religion.



Then the voting on the anti-bigotry resolution started. Every Democrat present backed the resolution, but 23 Republicans voted against it. It was a reminder that while Democrats sometimes fail to live up to the ideals of multiethnic democracy, Republicans don’t seem to recognize those ideas at all. Omar needs to do better, but right now there’s still only one political party in America that is a safe place for hate.



The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips. And here’s our email: letters@nytimes.com.



Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook, Twitter (@NYTopinion) and Instagram.



Michelle Goldberg has been an Opinion columnist since 2017. She is the author of several books about politics, religion and women’s rights, and was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize for public service in 2018 for reporting on workplace sexual harassment issues. @michelleinbklyn"



Opinion | Ilhan Omar’s Microaggression - The New York Times

Paul Manafort Is Sentenced to Less Than 4 Years in 1 of 2 Cases Against Him - The New York Times

Paul Manafort got off with far to easy a sentence given the scope of his wrongdoing and his unrepentant attitude.  Young kids of color have are regularly sentenced for longer for swelling and ounce of marijuana.  This is a disgrace but sadly not surprising.  This is a central case of how color and economic privilege work together in America. 





Paul Manafort Is Sentenced to Less Than 4 Years in 1 of 2 Cases Against Him - The New York Times

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Trump Is Against America! #ResistanceIsNotFutile

Sexism in the media continues to be a problem as "The Hill" engages in one of the oldest tropes known to womankind in American culture.


House delays resolution seen as subtle rebuke of Democratic Congresswoman

Opinion | What if the Mueller Report Demands Bold Action? - The New York Times





By J.T. Smith II

Mr. Smith served as executive assistant to Attorney General Elliot Richardson in 1973.



"If Mueller’s findings compel legal action, the attorney general should reconsider the policy against indictment of a sitting president.



Mr. Smith served as executive assistant to Attorney General Elliot Richardson in 1973.



Reports that Robert Mueller will soon issue the findings of his investigation have brought a new urgency to the question of whether, assuming sufficient evidence exists, a president can be indicted while in office.



Most people take for granted that both Mr. Mueller and the new attorney general, William Barr, accept the current Justice Department legal position — reached in a 2000 opinion — that a sitting president cannot be indicted. In a June 2018 memo, Mr. Barr said that under “the Framers’ plan,” the “proper mechanism for policing the president’s” actions “is the political process — that is, the People, acting either directly, or through their elected representatives in Congress.”



Yet since 1973, the Justice Department has revisited its position five times on the question of indicting a sitting president and reached different conclusions. In fact, as executive assistant to President Richard Nixon’s attorney general, Elliot Richardson, I can speak to the circumstances that delivered that first opinion: The principal purpose of the 1973 Watergate-era legal opinion — which concluded that a sitting president cannot be indicted — was to aid in removal from office of a criminally tainted vice president, who, the memo concluded, could be indicted.



But it was not intended to set an ironclad precedent that would forever shape how a president might be treated.



My experience makes me believe that Attorney General Barr should reconsider Justice Department policy. If the evidence gathered by the Mueller investigation on the actions of the president and his advisers indicates a crime, an indictment might be the proper course to hold the president accountable. Further, the indictment policy does not stand in isolation: It has repercussions for a Mueller report and access to it for Congress and the American public.



The durability of the Office of Legal Counsel’s 1973 opinion is curious. It was prepared under extraordinarily stressful and unique circumstances — borne from the investigations that led to the resignations of Vice President Spiro Agnew that year and President Nixon in 1974.



In 1973, Vice President Agnew faced a grand jury investigation, mostly stemming from his tenure as governor of Maryland, into alleged bribery, extortion and tax evasion. Mr. Agnew resisted pressure to resign. Attorney General Richardson sought guidance on the indictment question in an effort to bring pressure on the vice president.



When the legal opinion was written, it was a very close question and was ultimately shaped by Mr. Richardson’s goal to remove the vice president from his office. The Office of Legal Counsel determined “there is no express provision in the Constitution which confers such immunity upon the President,” even though Article I, Section 6 provides for limited immunity for members of the legislature. (It also said, in reaching its conclusion, that there were “a number of policy factors that weigh heavily against” indicting a sitting president.)



Following the determination on vice presidents, Mr. Richardson obtained the indictment of Mr. Agnew, and rather than face a prolonged legal battle, the vice president pleaded no contest and resigned in 1973.



An often-overlooked facet of the Agnew case — but highly relevant to our circumstances today — was Mr. Richardson’s insistence that the vice president’s resignation and plea on a single count be accompanied by an extraordinary, publicly available 40-page summary of the criminal behavior involving Mr. Agnew that the Justice Department was prepared to prove at trial. Mr. Richardson believed, correctly, that a full recounting of Mr. Agnew’s shameful behavior would put to rest any contention by his supporters that he had been made a political victim.



Ten days after Mr. Agnew’s resignation, though, Mr. Richardson himself resigned, as part of the events leading up to the Saturday Night Massacre. In an effort to end the Watergate investigation, Mr. Nixon called for the firing of Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox. Mr. Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus both resigned rather than carry out that order.



Mr. Richardson, Mr. Cox and their successors also insisted upon access to White House evidence. They deeply appreciated the right and responsibility of Congress to exercise reasonable stewardship regarding the behavior of leadership of the executive branch.



Mr. Mueller’s investigation has brought us to face similar questions of institutional integrity and transparency for the American public. If Mr. Barr determines that Mr. Mueller’s findings compel legal action, he should reconsider the policy against indictment of a sitting president.



But if Mr. Barr holds to the view that a president’s actions should be policed by the political and not criminal process, it will be imperative that he share a Mueller report with Congress and, to the extent practicable, with the public, redacting only information that is classified or otherwise prohibited by statute.



In light of the gravity of our circumstances, it would be timely and appropriate for the Justice Department to reconsider the shaky policy regarding indictability of a sitting president and provide Congress and the public with the Mr. Mueller’s full findings and conclusions. Only through sunlight and transparency can we preserve confidence in our national institutions and leadership."



Opinion | What if the Mueller Report Demands Bold Action? - The New York Times