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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, January 26, 2014

Dirty Needles Spike AIDS Epidemic in New Orleans

US: Left Out of Immigration Reform

US: Raised on the Sex Offender Registry

▶ US: Raised on the Sex Offender Registry - YouTube

US: Raised on the Sex Offender Registry

US still lags on human rights, says report | MSNBC

"Even without the revelations of widespread domestic government surveillance, 2013 was hardly a banner year for human rights in the United States, according to a report released this week by Human Rights Watch.

In its World Report 2014, HRW singled out the U.S. criminal justice system as a major source of human rights violations, thanks to systemic problems that range from severe sentencing requirements to the misuse of solitary confinement. The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. While the overall U.S. population has decreased over the past four years, some 1.6 million people were incarcerated in federal and state prisons at the end of 2012. An additional 700,000 were held in local jails.

The report also pointed out that the criminal justice system is filled disproportionately with men of color, a point both President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have mentioned while discussing the need for sentencing reforms in drug cases. Forty-four percent of people serving time in federal prisons for drug crimes are African-American, while they comprise only 13% of the total U.S. population.

Mandatory minimum sentences played a huge part in the prison population boom of the past 30 years and in the explosion of elderly prisoner populations that will continue to increase. A report issued by the American Civil Liberties Union in November found that more than 3,200 people were serving life sentences for non-violent crimes. A December Human Rights Watch report alleged widespread pressure on defendants to plead guilty or face extreme prison terms.

Solitary confinement also drew attention in 2013 when thousands of inmates in California protested against prison conditions there. Prisoners at the Secure Housing Unit at the state’s notorious Pelican Bay State Prison played a major role in that protest. Approximately 400 inmates in the facility have been held in solitary confinement for more than a decade. Extended solitary confinement is recognized as torture by the international human rights community.

The criminal justice system was not the only institution to lock people up with little to no recourse. Immigration detention has skyrocketed during Obama’s presidency, and hundreds of thousands of non-citizens are detained and deported each year. Individuals dealing with immigration proceedings receivefewer civil liberties guarantees than people held in the criminal justice system. The Human Rights Watch report noted that Congress failed to make any meaningful progress toward comprehensive immigration reform last year.

America’s human rights issues are not only related of domestic policy. Despite revived efforts to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, 152 men remain in limbo there, and that number is unlikely to approach zero anytime soon. Last year saw a widespread hunger strike at the prison that grew to more than 100 prisoners and brought renewed scrutiny to the 12-year-old prison. Obama promised again in May to close the facility. Six detainees have been transfered since August, but even if all 82 of the remaining prisoners who have been cleared for release or transfer leave the prison, serious problems remain.

There are 45 men the U.S. still considers to be too dangerous to ever set free, but who cannot be tried because there is not enough evidence for a trial. Human rights groups in the United States and abroad have repeatedly called on the president to close the prison at Guantanamo and to stop holding people without charging them with a crime.

Obama and his adminstration have made some strides toward addressing the prison system’s major problems. In August, Attorney General Holder announced new sentencing guidelines for drug crimes in an effort to reduce the number of prisoners serving long sentences for non-violent drug crimes. On Jan. 23, Holder also urged Congress to pass the Smarter Sentencing Act, a bill that would give judges greater discretion when making sentencing decisions.

While it is too early to know if U.S. attorneys will follow the spirit of the new guidelines when it comes to charging and sentencing, it could have a serious effect on how large a part the criminal justice system plays in next year’s human rights status report."

The Somnath Bharti incident has made life in Delhi hell for Africans | Mail Online

China Sentences Xu Zhiyong, Legal Activist, to 4 Years in Prison -

Saturday, January 25, 2014

A Racist Turn in India -

"NEW DELHI — The Africans — Nigerians, Ghanaians, Ugandans — began leaving my neighborhood in New Delhi around December. Each week, more and more families exited. Some went to parts of Delhi considered more accepting of Africans; others to areas where the residents were thought to be less interfering in general. I have heard that some of the Ghanaian families had gone back to Africa, but I don’t know that for sure.

For years, they had been a part of the swirl of cultures, languages and races that makes up this part of the capital. The Nigerian women in their bright dresses out for evening strolls and the Cameroonian family with the curious-eyed baby at the ice-cream van had made a life for themselves alongside the Afghans, Tamils and Iranians.

On Oct. 31, about a month before the departures started, a Nigerian national, rumored to have been in the drug trade, was found dead in Goa. Nigerians in the coastal state protested his murder as an act of racism, while posters read: “We want peace in Goa. Say no to Nigerians. Say no to drugs.” One state minister threatened to throw out Nigerians living illegally. Another equated them with a cancer. He later apologized, adding that he hadn’t imagined there would be a “problem” with his statement.

The controversy has reverberated across the country, including in Delhi, 1,200 miles away, where the tolerance of African neighbors has turned into suspicion and even hostility."

Inequality, the defining issue our time Both Democratic and Republican leaders are seeking to craft a messaging strategy to appeal to those most concerned with poverty and inequality. Matt Miller, Christina Bellantoni, Joe Watkins and David Cay Johnston discuss.

Harry Belafonte on using artists to fight unjust systems | MSNBC

Melissa Harris-Perry - Harry Belafonte on using artists to fight unjust systems

Melissa Harris-Perry on msnbc

Three dead in shooting at mall near Baltimore - U.S. News

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Three dead in shooting at mall near Baltimore - U.S. News

Thursday, January 16, 2014

5 Things We Can Learn From the African Refugee Protests in Israel

5 Things We Can Learn From the African Refugee Protests in Israel

During our trip last week to Palestine and Israel, our delegation of artists and activists, including Dream Hampton, Ferrari Sheppard, Remi Kanazi, Professor Robyn Spencer, and Bill Fletcher Jr. were able to travel to South Tel Aviv to see first hand the organizing being done by the African migrant community.

Last week over 30,000 African refugees participated in protests in Israel. They also began a general strike that is going on it’s second week. Journalist and documentarian David Sheen connected us to an Israeli woman who is assisting the steering committee made up of Eritreans and Sudanese. We learned how, despite facing severe poverty and racism, their strategies have been successful. Here are 5 that really stood out for me.

1) Unity – Although the neighboring countries Eritrea and Sudan have a history of conflict, the refugees who risked their lives to come to Israel, primarily from these 2 places, have forged ties based on equality and respect. Committees are made up of a equal number of participants from each country. Their operational unity was said to have shocked the Israeli government.

2) Support Women Leaders – When we arrived in Tel Aviv, we witnessed the planning of the march that was recently lead by women and children. An African women, who was one of the main organizers, had all the men step to the back and the women come up front. Although some of the men were nervous because of the violent treatment they received from the Israeli army and police, they supported the march and it was a success.

3) Self Funding – The African refugees are not relying on NGO or non for profits to fund their movement. They are putting the little resources they have together collectively to get as many people that want to participate the proper travel. This is strictly a grassroots movement.

4) Not Relying on Social Media – Because many of the refugees don’t have access to the internet, they had to employ other methods of getting the word out. Committed folks have knocked on doors and taken flyers to as many areas as needed. The result was 30,000 of the approximate 60,000 refugees participating in the protests.

5) The Power of Strikes – The African refugee community in Tel Aviv end up working most of the low wage jobs in the fancy hotels and restaurants. One observer we spoke with said, ” they clean the dirt of Israeli society”. Once they decided to go on strike, their employers got nervous and asked the government to give them work visas.

There are still, however, serious issues that the African refugees in Israel are facing, including indefinite detention and racist attacks. Last week a man named Mordechai Zertzky stabbed a Eritrean baby in the head with a pair of scissors. Also, the Israeli Government has taken a hard line against the refugees with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu going as far as to call them, ”infiltrators” that, “threaten the Jewish character of Israel.”

These protests are in their initial stages and are indeed inspiring, however international pressure must be put on the state of Israel to function like a true democracy with regards to the African refugees and the unjust occupation of Palestine.

Related posts:
Alicia Keys WILL Perform in Israel Despite Objections from Alice Walker and Others
Pro-Palestinian Organization’s Petition Calls on Alicia Keys to Cancel Israel Concert
Alice Walkers Pens Letter To Alicia Keys, Asking That She Cancel Israel Concert
Israel Army’s Social Media Director Poses In Blackface; Calls It ‘Obama Style’
My Time in Israel

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Cops who beat homeless man to death walk free -

"Kelly Thomas, a homeless man who suffered from schizophrenia, died in hospital in 2011. He had beaten, tasered and kicked to death by cops from the Fullerton County Police Department while begging for mercy. The sickening incident of police brutality was caught by a surveillance camera."

Secretive Apple Squirms in Gaze of U.S. Monitor -

ost companies are reluctant to open themselves to outside inspection. Yet Apple is even resisting someone who was appointed by a court to do exactly that, leading to an unusual public feud between the world’s biggest technology company and the Justice Department.

In recent weeks, Apple has been campaigning aggressively against Michael R. Bromwich, a Washington lawyer who was appointed by a federal judge in October. His task was to make sure that Apple complied with antitrust laws after the company was found last summer to have conspired with five publishers to fix prices for e-books.

Apple argues that Mr. Bromwich is intruding with its daily operations by demanding interviews with board members and with senior executives, even the chief executive, Tim Cook. Apple’s court papers compare the monitor with an unchecked “independent prosecutor.”

Secretive Apple Squirms in Gaze of U.S. Monitor -

Jon Stewart Goes Off On Bill De Blasio Over Pizza-Fork-Gate

Jon Stewart Goes Off On Bill De Blasio Over Pizza-Fork-Gate

Jon Stewart Goes Off On Bill De Blasio Over Pizza-Fork-Gate

Jon Stewart Goes Off On Bill De Blasio Over Pizza-Fork-Gate

Monday, January 13, 2014

Man Allegedly Shot To Death Over Texting In Movie Theater

More blood on the hands and soul of the gun lobby.

"According to multiple reports, the shooting occurred after an apparent argument over an audience member texting during a screening of "Lone Survivor." 

The suspect was identified as Curtis Reeves, a retired Tampa police officer, according to News 13. He has been charged with second-degree murder.

The Orlando TV station website identified the victims as Chad and Nicole Oulson, a married couple."

Marissa Alexander prosecutor risks ‘bully’ image in ‘errands’ arrest | theGrio

"But we are coming very close to the point when the word “bullying” might be applicable in the case of Marissa Alexander.

The 33-year-old Florida mother of three was released November 27th on $150,000 bond, after a judge threw out her conviction on three counts of aggravated assault with a firearm for firing a gun over the head of her husband, who she claimed threatened her, while his two sons were present in the room. The judge ruled that the jury was given improper instructions during the trial.

Alexander initially claimed self-defense under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” statute, but a judge threw out that claim. She was quickly convicted by a jury, and sentenced to a mandatory 20-year prison sentence under Florida’s 10-20-Life law.

The prosecutor in the case, Angela Corey, has been vigorous in pursuing and defending the conviction, and Alexander faces a retrial this spring." 

This glaring example of the continuing American racial injustice system continues. We must raise the decision costs for America.  They must pay a price for their injustice.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Bratton Takes Helm of Police Force He Pledged to Change -

"During his address, Mr. Bratton promised “a collaboration unlike any that we have ever seen in this city” between the police and the people they serve.

He said he would seek to understand the “disconnect” that had prevented the department from being celebrated for its accomplishments in delivering a safe city in recent years and instead was met with distrust in many communities. “That’s why I came back,” he said."