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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.

Friday, May 27, 2016

LIVE: Obama speaks at Hiroshima memorial

Obama hugs Hiroshima survivor

Raw: Obama Visits Hiroshima Peace Memorial

71 years after the first atomic strike, Obama calls for the end of nuclear weapons at Hiroshima - The Washington Post



71 years after the first atomic strike, Obama calls for the end of nuclear weapons at Hiroshima - The Washington Post

Chinese detergent brand Qiaobi (俏比) ad OMG, this is the most bizarre, offensive and racist commercial I have seen in years. The racist content is pathetically ignorant and backwards and has that annoying Chinese cultural view that it is OK to present men and women as having the mind's of children. What does it say about the intended audience? This is very sad. Wow. I am reminded of the Donny Hathaway song "The World is a Ghetto

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Barack Obama PRAISES Malcolm X (1995)

MALCOLM X: THE AMERICAN NIGHTMARE

Malcolm X Comments Seem Prophetic In 2015

Taxi Driver Says Passenger Beat & Robbed Him For Being A 'Muslim A**hole': Gothamist

"A taxi driver says that he was beaten and robbed by a belligerent passenger this weekend. "He landed about 10 or 15 punches and I couldn’t see anything," cabbie Serajul Khan told the News. "He was screaming, 'I’m going to kill you, you Muslim asshole!'"

Khan, 49, told the paper he picked up the suspect and a woman at Bedford Park Boulevard and Webster Avenue near the New York Botanical Garden around 8:30 p.m. Saturday. “I figured I’d make some gas money before I went to my mosque to pray," he noted. "I’d been working seven or eight hours."


Taxi Driver Says Passenger Beat & Robbed Him For Being A 'Muslim A**hole': Gothamist

Public Drinking And Urination No Longer Necessarily Criminal Offenses In NYC: Gothamist

2015_07_toilet1.jpg



"The City Council today enacted a series of bills that will give police officers the discretion to steer certain low-level broken windows offenses like drinking in public, littering, and public urination to civil court, rather than criminal court.

"Nobody who has littered or made excessive noise... should bear the brunt of the criminal justice system," said Queens Council Member Rory Lancman, a bill sponsor, on Wednesday.
"Every offense that was prohibited yesterday will still be prohibited tomorrow, but we are moving these offenses primarily into the civil justice system, so that people can be held accountable for their conduct but not have the heavy hammer of the criminal justice system come down on their head."
The parameters outlined in the group of eight bills, known collectively as the Criminal Justice Reform Act, are already used for offenses like riding a bike on the sidewalk or turnstile jumping. The new laws encompass littering, public urination, public consumption of alcohol, breaking certain park rules, and making excessive noise.
Under current law, anyone issued with a criminal summons is given a date to appear in court. Miss a court date, and a warrant is issued. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, 40% of summonses result in an arrest warrant being issued for a failure to appear in court. Warrants, in turn, can hinder eligibility for a job, child custody, or financial aid.


Public Drinking And Urination No Longer Necessarily Criminal Offenses In NYC: Gothamist

Sunday, May 22, 2016

‘Negro,’ ‘Oriental’ and ‘Indian’ to Be Scrubbed From All Federal Laws - The Root

"As the country begins to reconcile its sometimes inglorious past, as with Confederate statues and heroes being swept into the dustbin of history, President Barack Obama signed a bill taking racially offensive words such as “negro” and “Oriental” out of all Federal laws, reports Mediate.

Sponsored by Congresswoman from Queens, N.Y., Grace Meng, bill H.R.4238 (co-sponsored by all 51 members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus) will strike words such as “Negro, American Indian, Eskimo, Oriental, or Aleut or a Spanish speaking individual of Spanish descent” and replace them with “Asian American, Native Hawaiian, a Pacific Islander, African American, Hispanic, Puerto Rican, Native American, or an Alaska Native.”


‘Negro,’ ‘Oriental’ and ‘Indian’ to Be Scrubbed From All Federal Laws - The Root

New York Teenagers Dumped in Adult Jails - The New York Times

"The Supreme Court has said emphatically that it is morally and constitutionally wrong to equate offenses committed by adolescents with those carried out by adults. And research shows that prosecuting adolescents as adults needlessly destroys their lives and turns many of them into career criminals. Yet these lessons have not penetrated some states. New York is tied with North Carolina at the top of the list of states with retrograde laws that automatically funnel 16-year-olds into the adult system.



New York lawmakers are balking at a bill submitted by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to raise the age of criminal responsibility to 18, the standard throughout most of the country. But legislators in Louisiana, which imprisons the most citizens per capita and has the worst record in the country for meting out life sentences to adolescents, are giving a similar bill a warm, bipartisan reception.



Louisiana is one of nine remaining states that automatically prosecute 17-year-olds as adults. But thanks in part to strong leadership by its new governor, John Bel Edwards, the State Senate voted to raise the age of adult prosecution to 18. The bill, which deserves to pass the House as well, would still permit adult prosecution for young people accused of committing serious crimes but would move most of the young accused into the juvenile system, which is better prepared to help them. Mr. Edwards calls the raise-the-age bill a “down payment” on a sweeping criminal justice reform package that he hopes to advance next year.



Photo



Gov. John Bel Edwards, bottom center, speaking at a rally for juvenile justice system reform on the steps of the Louisiana State Capitol. Credit Bill Feig/The Advocate, via Associated Press

Louisiana’s current law is particularly onerous. It sends 17-year-olds into adult courts for even for the most minor offenses. This means that a normally well-behaved teenager who gets into a fight at high school can be charged with battery and held in a jail with adults.



Advocates for juveniles persuaded legislators to support the new law partly by showing that most adolescents are arrested for nonviolent offenses and that young people handled by the juvenile system are much less likely to become a costly burden to society.



The practice of treating 17-year-olds as adults in Louisiana dates to a law passed more than 100 years ago. New York’s law, by contrast, is the product of legislative inertia. In 1962, when New York created the juvenile justice system under the Family Court Act, lawmakers were unable to agree on the age at which offenders should be declared adults. They set it temporarily at 16, pending further hearings. The “temporary” measure became permanent, and tens of thousands of young people a year were pushed into the criminal courts, most for nonviolent crimes like shoplifting, fare beating in the subways or marijuana possession.



Change in New York is long overdue.



Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook and Twitter (@NYTopinion), and sign up for the Opinion Today newsletter.



A version of this editorial appears in print on May 22, 2016, on page SR8 of the New York edition with the headline: New York Teenagers Dumped in Adult Jails. Today's Paper|Subscribe



Continue reading the main story"


New York Teenagers Dumped in Adult Jails - The New York Times

Friday, May 20, 2016

Jim Bennett: My father was greatly concerned by Trump’s rhetoric | MSNBC



Jim Bennett: My father was greatly concerned by Trump’s rhetoric | MSNBC

White supremacists see opportunity in Trump campaign success | MSNBC



White supremacists see opportunity in Trump campaign success | MSNBC

One-on-one with Larry Wilmore Chris Hayes talks to Larry Wilmore, host of 'The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore' about serious comedy and the cultural legacy of President Barack Obama - Chris Hayes on MSNBC



All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC

‘I Quit,’ Handcuffed Man Says in Video of Fatal Encounter With Georgia Police - The New York Times

We have to hire a better class of police officer. These officer's behavior and language reflect an attitude that scorns professionalism, humanity and decency. Listen to the language they use. This is unacceptable and is directly reflected in this police murder of a disturbed, handcuffed man.

John H Armwood

"As Chase Sherman was returning home with his parents and fiancée from his brother’s wedding in November, he began to hallucinate. Apparently reacting to synthetic marijuana he had taken days earlier, he bit his girlfriend and tried to jump out of the back seat of the car as the family drove through Georgia toward Florida.

About an hour outside Atlanta, at mile marker 55 on Interstate 85, his fiancée pulled over the car and his mother called the police, hoping they would help calm Mr. Sherman, 32. Less than a half-hour later, Mr. Sherman, who worked at a family-owned parasailing business on the Gulf Coast, was dead."






I Quit,’ Handcuffed Man Says in Video of Fatal Encounter With Georgia Police - The New York Times

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Donald Trump’s Immigration Plan: Big Promises, Bigger Doubts - The New York Times

"Central to Mr. Trump’s campaign, and to his national security strategy, is his intent to clamp down on illegal immigration, using a vast deportation “force” to relocate people to the other side of a wall, funded by Mexico, that would stretch nearly the length of the southern border.



Mr. Trump has suggested he will flesh out his ideas in a forthcoming speech. But experts across many fields who have analyzed his plans so far warn that they would come at astronomical costs — whoever paid — and would in many ways defy the logic of science, engineering and law.



Mass deportations: Adding chaos to dysfunction

Mr. Trump has a simple plan to reduce the population of 11 million immigrants living illegally in the United States: Deport them.



How? He says he would follow the example of the military-style roundups authorized by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1954. The initiative, known as Operation Wetback, expelled hundreds of thousands of Mexicans.



Mr. Trump contends that the start of deportations would show immigrants he meant business and prompt many to leave on their own, and that it would take about two years to finish the job. There, the specifics end."



Donald Trump’s Immigration Plan: Big Promises, Bigger Doubts - The New York Times

The Saga of My Rape Kit - The New York Times

"Cambridge, England — MY rape kit was created on the evening of Sunday, Jan. 12, 1992, at Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh. Tiny pieces of evidence were swabbed, plucked and combed from me: bits of me and, they hoped, bits of him, to be used in court one day to prove who had done this to me. Like many evidence kits collected at that time, it was not analyzed for DNA, and became part of what is called the backlog: untested rape kits across the country, which number at minimum in the tens of thousands.



I had been raped by a stranger. This was not unusual; according to a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article from 1990, in only “about half” of Pittsburgh’s rapes was the assailant known to the victim. My evidence was not analyzed for DNA even though the technology was available, not because my case was deemed unworthy of the time, money and effort, but because there was no one to whom to compare the results.



It was only in the late ’90s that the F.B.I. database of criminal DNA samples now known as the Combined DNA Index System (Codis) became fully operational. Until then, DNA evidence from rapes without suspects was not useful. Nevertheless, it was collected and stored, with hope for the future.



I badgered the Pittsburgh police sex assault unit about my case every few years for more than two decades. They finally tested my kit in 2013. It took months and cost the county $4,000, but it proved more than worthwhile — a match was made with an ex-convict who had recently been arrested in Brooklyn, and prosecution was mobilized."



The Saga of My Rape Kit - The New York Times

Former Trump engineer: 'He has to be stopped' Barbara Res, who oversaw the construction of Trump Tower, says her former boss is smart - but... - All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC



All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

FBI Confirms 2015 Was One Of The Safest Years Ever For Cops

“Any felonious death of a police officer is a tragedy, but the data show that the police officers’ job is not becoming more deadly.”



FBI Confirms 2015 Was One Of The Safest Years Ever For Cops

Monday, May 16, 2016

Real Time with Bill Maher: Overtime – May 13, 2016 (HBO)

Supreme Court sends Obamacare case back to lower court - CNNPolitics.com

"Washington (CNN)The Supreme Court on Monday avoided issuing a major ruling on a challenge brought by religiously affiliated non-profit groups to the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate.

The justices, in a unanimous decision, wrote that they were not deciding the case on the merits but instead sent the case back down to the lower courts for opposing parties to work out a compromise.
This was the fourth time the Supreme Court heard a challenge to the signature legislative achievement of the Obama administration, and the second case challenging the contraception mandate. In 2014, the Court ruled in favor of closely held for-profit companies like Hobby Lobby that objected to providing certain contraceptives."

Supreme Court sends Obamacare case back to lower court - CNNPolitics.com

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Rahm Emanuel, Chicago's Mayor, Says He Will Disband Independent Police Review Authority : The Two-Way : NPR

What a piece of equestrian turd.  Emmanuel should be in jail for obstructive of justice for suppressing the tape of the police murder of Laquan McDonald because he knew it would hurt his reelection chances.  Rahm Emanuel is and has always been a thug.  President Obama must end his political relationship with this horrible man.



"In April, Chicago City Alderman Howard B. Brookins Jr. was prepared to vote in favor of a $5 million settlement for the family of Laquan McDonald.

The city's top attorney, known as the corporation counsel, warned that the police dashboard camera video that captured the shooting of the 17-year-old by a police officer had the potential for a long, litigious battle.
    But one thing bothered the alderman.
    The city said the dashboard camera video could not be released while the FBI and the U.S. Attorney investigated the shooting. Take our word for it, they said. The video was described to Brookins as "horrific."
    The video was indeed horrific, that much was true. But the alderman remains disturbed that it wasn't shown to council members or the public until a judge's order forced its release just last week.
    "I do believe we were misled," said Brookins. "It is evident now that at the time of the settlement, the tape could have been released. It did not take 13 months to look at this tape or interview witnesses. There was no need for significant delay."
    The timing of the 13 months remains dubious even after the arrest of Officer Jason Van Dyke.
    On Tuesday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said that the video was not released earlier because there was a concern that it could taint a federal and state investigation of McDonald's shooting.
    The mayor also announced that he asked for Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy's resignation. The superintendent is an appointed position, and the mayor can fire anyone in that job...

    ...A teenager's life ending in a barrage of police bullets is a sad, yet familiar tale on the west side of Chicago. So familiar that few reporters noticed this one. The story grabbing all the news in early 2015 in Chicago was Mayor Emanuel's re-election battle.
    Emanuel, nationally once known as President Barack Obama's fiery chief of staff, had returned to Chicago as its native son to run the city. His brusque personality chafed unions, council members and voters. He was blasted for his perceived anti-union policies and dubbed by critics as "Mayor 1%."
    He now faced a tough challenge from Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, a liberal who touted himself as the politician who would fight for the people. Garcia forced Emanuel into a runoff making this Chicago's first mayoral nail-biter since Richard M. Daley won his first term in 1989."

    Rahm Emanuel, Chicago's Mayor, Says He Will Disband Independent Police Review Authority : The Two-Way : NPR

    Giving the 'Ferguson effect' a new name won't make it truer | Samuel Sinyangwe | Opinion | The Guardian

    "This theory, as many experts have noted, relies on assumptions that are not supported by the facts. Unfortunately, we don’t have comprehensive official statistics on police use of force because the FBI, which Comey heads, has failed to collect this data. But crowd-sourced efforts demonstrate, at minimum, that police have not been “less aggressive”. If anything, the police appear to have doubled-down on the type of aggression that generated public scrutiny in the first place.



    According to the Mapping Police Violence database, police killed 696 people nationwide in 2014 before the Ferguson protests began on 9 August. Police killed 739 people over the same time period in 2015 according to that database – the Guardian’s The Counted project recorded 709. Either way, an increase.



    This year is no different. Police have already killed more people to date this year than they had killed by this point of 2014."



    Giving the 'Ferguson effect' a new name won't make it truer | Samuel Sinyangwe | Opinion | The Guardian

    Friday, May 13, 2016

    More Low-Income Kids Now Have Health Coverage : Shots - Health News : NPR

    A doctor listens to a child's breathing.



    "The expansion of Medicaid and continued enrollment in the Children's Health Insurance Program have boosted the proportion of eligible kids with health coverage to 91 percent, a study finds."



    More Low-Income Kids Now Have Health Coverage : Shots - Health News : NPR

    Is There Hope for the Chicago Police Department? | The Nation

    Chicago PD protest
    According to the nonpartisan, nonprofit Better Government Association, the City of Chicago shelled out over half a billion dollars between 2004 and 2014 for acts of police misconduct: false arrests, perjury, wrongful convictions, racial bigotry and discrimination, reckless vehicle pursuits, excessive force, torture, and unjustified killings. That figure does not reflect a staggering 500 additional claims in the pipeline.
    Nor does it include a 2015 settlement stemming from the October 20, 2014, shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. The incident, captured on a police vehicle’s dashcam, is remarkable for the shocking disregard of human life exhibited by Officer Jason Van Dyke (currently facing first-degree murder charges). But it is also notable for another reason.
    The boy’s death set in motion a time-honored response from Van Dyke’s fellow cops, their union reps, and, indeed, their bosses at headquarters and City Hall.
    First accounts from the scene—in stark contrast to what can only be described as a pitiless execution—were fabricated, and repeated over time. And the city’s top official, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, urged by local human- and civil-rights champions Jamie Kalven, Craig Futterman, and others to come clean, chose instead to keep his mouth shut and the video under wraps—for 13 months. The strategy likely saved him from reelection defeat at the polls. Even then, the mayor did not release the damning video until a judge ordered the city to do so. By then, the political heat was impossible to withstand. Emanuel fired his police superintendent, Garry McCarthy, and impaneled a “Task Force on Police Accountability.”

    In mid-April, the distinguished, handpicked five-member body released its report. It’s a thoroughgoing condemnation not only of dirty, discriminatory, and trigger-happy cops—and the fellow officers who robotically lie for them—but of the extent to which top police and city officials have historically turned a blind eye to systemic abuses within the CPD. (An important note: The Chicago Police Department is home to some of the most effective crime fighters and dignified and respectful service providers I’ve ever met. They deserve better.)

    That history includes the 1968 Democratic National Convention, where Connecticut Senator Abraham Ribicoff criticized, from the rostrum of the International Amphitheatre, the “Gestapo tactics” of Chicago’s finest. An enraged Mayor Richard J. Daley, heard by some to shout anti-Semitic profanities from the floor, vigorously defended his cops and, when the tear gas cleared, rewarded them with a raise.
    His son, Mayor Richard M. Daley, ignored overwhelming evidence of the 1972–91 reign of terror by Detective Commander Jon Burge and his posse of renegades who tortured as many as 200 African-American men, coercing confessions, manufacturing evidence, and costing the city $5.5 million in reparations to the victims.
    Is There Hope for the Chicago Police Department? | The Nation

    One of the Most Racially Divided States in the Country Just Passed a New Voter-ID Bill | The Nation

    "Missouri Republicans have been trying for a decade to enact a strict voter-ID law, and 2016 could finally be their year.



    On Thursday, the GOP-controlled legislature passed a new voter-ID bill and a companion ballot initiative changing the state Constitution that must be approved by voters, most likely in November. (Governor Jay Nixon can still veto the bill, but the legislature has a super-majority to override him.)



    “It has been a priority for us in the past, but not to the level it has been a priority this year,” said the bill’s sponsor, State Senator Will Kraus.



    Voter ID has long been an obsession for Missouri Republicans. They have been blocked on three different occasions from enacting such a law, which is why they are now asking voters to weaken protections for voting rights in the state Constitution to allow it. Writes David Graham of The Atlantic:



    A 2006 attempt was passed and signed into law, but the state supreme court struck it down as an unconstitutional infringement on the right to vote, in part because it forced citizens to assume the cost of obtaining ID.



    In 2011, Governor Nixon vetoed another attempt. There were not enough votes to override him. The following year, state Republicans tried again, this time using a constitutional amendment to sidestep the supreme court ruling. But a judge ruled that attempt unconstitutional, too, and it was excluded from the ballot."



    One of the Most Racially Divided States in the Country Just Passed a New Voter-ID Bill | The Nation

    Thursday, May 12, 2016

    In 1927, Donald Trump’s father was arrested after a Klan riot in Queens - The Washington Post





    During appearances on network television Feb. 28, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump repeatedly declined to refuse the endorsement of David Duke, a former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. While Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz both took aim at Trump. (The Washington Post)
    "I don’t know anything about David Duke, okay," Trump said. "I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists. I don't know, did he endorse me? Or what's going on. Because I know nothing about David Duke. I know nothing about white supremacists."

    In 2000, Trump declined to run for president as a member of the Reform Party because the "Reform Party now includes a Klansman, Mr. Duke, a neo-Nazi, Mr. Buchanan, and a communist, Ms. Fulani. This is not company I wish to keep." As Trump himself noted on Twitter, he also disavowed Duke in a news conference earlier this week.





    In 1927, Donald Trump’s father was arrested after a Klan riot in Queens - The Washington Post

    If you support Donald Trump your are supporting an avowed racist and misogynist

    If you support Donald Trump your are supporting an avowed racist and misogynist. His views are morally repugnant. Your support of him means you are comfortable with racism and misogyny. Your support for Trump identifies you as someone who is tolerant of racism and misogyny. What does that say about you as a person? Please ask yourself that question.

    John H Armwood

    Wednesday, May 11, 2016

    9/11 judge and prosecutors should step down over 'destroyed evidence', defense demands

    "Move throws case against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed into chaos as defense team says ‘fatally flawed’ Guantánamo military tribunal should be ended."

    9/11 judge and prosecutors should step down over 'destroyed evidence', defense demands

    Judge criticizes Pentagon suppression of thousands of Bush-era torture photos

    "A federal judge has sharply rebuked the Pentagon for the process by which it concealed hundreds of Bush-era photos showing US military personnel torturing detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan, suggesting Barack Obama may have to release even more graphic imagery of abuse.

    Alvin Hellerstein, the senior judge who has presided over a transparency lawsuit for the photos that has lasted more than 12 years, expressed dissatisfaction over the Pentagon’s compliance with an order he issued last year requiring a case-by-case ruling that release of an estimated 1,800 photographs would endanger US troops.

    “We don’t know the methodology, we don’t know what was reviewed, we don’t know the criteria, we don’t know the numbers,” Hellerstein said during an hour-long hearing on Wednesday."

    Judge criticizes Pentagon suppression of thousands of Bush-era torture photos

    West Point Clears Black Cadets Who Raised Fists In Pre-Graduation Photo : The Two-Way : NPR

    The cadets posed in their uniforms before graduation from West Point on May 21.



    West Point Clears Black Cadets Who Raised Fists In Pre-Graduation Photo : The Two-Way : NPR

    China cracks down on human rights lawyers challenging the system - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

    Lawyer Wang Quanzhang

    Families separated, careers destroyed — meet the human rights lawyers taking extraordinary risks in China.



    Li Wenzu has not seen her husband for close to a year. And although she knows where he is, and has tried to visit several times, even talking on the phone is impossible.



    "No-one's been able to see him, there's been no information on his condition," she said.



    "If he's been tortured, we don't have the faintest clue."



    Her husband, lawyer Wang Quanzhang, is behind bars in a detention centre, a 40-minute fast train ride from their home in Beijing.



    His crime was taking on cases deemed too politically sensitive, from representing farmers in land disputes to pro-democracy activists.



    China cracks down on human rights lawyers challenging the system - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

    Donald Trump Receives Second KKK Endorsement

    Tuesday, May 10, 2016

    70 Years After Nagasaki Bombing, Atomic Debate Yields Little Consensus

    "Did the United States have to drop the bomb?

    Seventy years after the United States launched the atomic age with attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, hastening the end of the war in the Pacific, The New York Times asked readers how they viewed the decision by President Harry S. Truman.

    On Aug. 9, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki, the second such attack on Japan in three days. Credit Reuters
    Photo by: Reuters
    At the time, Truman defended his decision to drop the bombs as the only way to avoid a full-scale invasion of Japan. That, arguably, would have cost more lives, American and Japanese, than the approximately 200,000 who died in the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki."

    70 Years After Nagasaki Bombing, Atomic Debate Yields Little Consensus

    Monday, May 09, 2016

    NYTimes: Louisiana’s Color-Coded Death Penalty

    "The last time a white person in Louisiana was executed for a crime against a black person was in 1752, when a soldier named Pierre Antoine Dochenet was hanged after attempting to stab two enslaved black women to death with his bayonet.

    This is just one of many grim facts in a new report describing the history of capital punishment in Louisiana and analyzing the outcome of every death sentence imposed in that state since 1976, when the Supreme Court reversed its brief moratorium on executions and allowed them to resume.

    Racism has always been at the heart of the American death penalty. But the report, in the current issue of The Journal of Race, Gender, and Poverty, drives home the extent to which capital punishment, supposedly reserved for the “worst of the worst,” is governed by skin color.

    In Louisiana, a black man is 30 times as likely to be sentenced to death for killing a white woman as for killing a black man. Regardless of the offender’s race, death sentences are six times as likely — and executions 14 times as likely — when the victim is white rather than black."

    "NYTimes: Louisiana’s Color-Coded Death Penalty

    Sunday, May 08, 2016

    'I've been silent': Harvard's Clinton backers face life on a pro-Bernie campus

    "It turns out this is even true at Harvard University – hardly known for revolutionary politics.

    In April, Sam Koppelman, a 20-year-old government student at Harvard, wrote a letter to the New York Times lamenting that his support for Clinton meant that on campus he “might as well be Pat Buchanan”.

    “At Harvard, admitting that #ImWithHer is nearly tantamount to boasting ‘Make America Great Again’,” Koppelman wrote."


    'I've been silent': Harvard's Clinton backers face life on a pro-Bernie campus

    Thursday, May 05, 2016

    Black Men, Violence and ‘Fierce Urgency’ - The New York Times

    "In the wake of the incredible level of attention garnered last year by citizens who were rightly outraged by state violence — often at the hands of law enforcement, directed disproportionately at black citizens — the issue of community violence receded.



    When it did surface, it was often used as a cudgel against activists like those supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.



    The message was invariably some version of: If black lives really mattered, activists would focus on black-on-black violence instead.



    The implication being that there is something pathologically broken about blackness that makes black people prone to self-destruction, and that attention to anything else is a minor diversion from a larger truth.



    But in fact, this argument is the diversion.



    Both state violence and community violence are problems, and they are not necessarily mutually exclusive. One exacerbating factor of community violence is the present and historical factors that helped form the communities and created the conditions for violence.



    It is not hard to explain, as many have, how every level of government, and by extension society itself, used every possible lever of power for centuries to create the conditions in black communities that now make fertile ground for violence.



    This is not to say that personal choice plays no role, but rather that human beings make choices within an environmental context, which at its base level is affected by state and federal policy.



    Black Men, Violence and ‘Fierce Urgency’ - The New York Times

    Wednesday, May 04, 2016

    Obama in Flint: water crisis is a 'tragedy that never should have happened'

    "The Flint water crisis was a “tragedy that never should have happened” in the US, Barack Obama said Wednesday during his first visit to the city since evidence of lead contamination emerged last fall, while residents jeered Michigan’s governor in his first public remarks before the community.

    “Flint’s recovery is everybody’s responsibility,” the president told a crowd of 1,000 gathered inside a high school gymnasium. “And I will make sure that responsibility is met.”

    The president focused his remarks on what he called a “corrosive” mentality in politics that “contributed to this crisis”.

    “Now, I do not believe that anybody consciously wanted to hurt the people,” he said. “And this is not the place to sort out every screwup … but I do think there’s a larger issue.

    “It’s a mindset that believes the less government is the highest good no matter what,” he continued. “It’s an … ideology that undervalues the common good, says we’re all on our own.”

    The president’s trip included a discussion with nine residents and a local pediatrician, Dr Mona Hanna-Attisha, who last fall uncovered elevated blood-lead levels in Flint children."

    Obama in Flint: water crisis is a 'tragedy that never should have happened'

    1973 | Meet Donald Trump - The New York Times

    Donald Trump “getting into his Cadillac to begin a day of real estate deals,” was the original caption of this 1976 photograph.



    1973 - Caught by Federal Government engaging in racial housing discrimination



    “The government contended that Trump Management had refused to rent or negotiate rentals ‘because of race and color,’ ” The Times reported. “It also charged that the company had required different rental terms and conditions because of race and that it had misrepresented to blacks that apartments were not available.”



    Donald Trump’s first quoted words in The New York Times expressed his view of the charges:



    “They are absolutely ridiculous.”



    “We never have discriminated,” he added, “and we never would.”



    Two months later, Trump Management, represented by Roy M. Cohn, turned around and sued the United States government for $100 million (roughly $500 million in today’s terms), asserting that the charges were “irresponsible and baseless.”



    “Mr. Trump accused the Justice Department of singling out his corporation because it was a large one, and because the government was trying to force it to rent to welfare recipients,” The Times reported.



    Under an agreement reached in June 1975, Trump Management was required to furnish the New York Urban League with a list of all apartment vacancies, every week, for two years. It was also to allow the league to present qualified applicants for every fifth vacancy in Trump buildings where fewer than 10 percent of the tenants were black.



    Trump Management noted that the agreement did not constitute an admission of guilt.1973 - Caught by Federal Government engaging in racial housing discrimination



    1973 | Meet Donald Trump - The New York Times

    How Donald Trump Speaks to—and About—Minorities - The Atlantic

    "Trump faces significant obstacles to achieving that unity, particular with blocs that are not white men. Seven in 10 women view him unfavorably. It’s even worse with minorities. A recent Gallup poll found that 77 percent of Hispanics view Trump unfavorably. Washington Post poll pegged that number at eight in 10, seven of them “very unfavorable.” An NBC News/Survey Monkey poll found an astonishing 86 percent of African Americans had a negative view of Trump.

    One reason for those atrocious ratings is the way Trump speaks to and about minorities, which was on display during his victory speech Tuesday.
    “We're going to have great relationships with the Hispanics,” he said. “The Hispanics have been so incredible to me. They want jobs. Everybody wants jobs. The African Americans want jobs. If you look at what's going on, they want jobs.”
    Part of Trump’s rhetorical power is his supercharged used of “we,” a method that persuades people across the country that they are part of a larger movement, and somehow share with Trump his aura of wealthy and luxury. (It’s the same technique he’s used to sell real estate for years.) In the midst of his spiel about all the ways “we” would make America great again, Trump tossed in this passage about minorities.
    His phrasing is telling. First, it suggests that for Trump, blacks and Hispanics aren’t part of “we”—“they” constitute separate groups. Perhaps that’s an accidental, unthinking division, but subconscious racial division is no less dangerous. Second, it shows him assuming that minority concerns can be reduced to economics. That view is perhaps unsurprising for a man who has spent his career trying to accumulate wealth, but it is a two-dimensional view of black and Hispanic Americans."


    How Donald Trump Speaks to—and About—Minorities - The Atlantic