Yesterday, October 16th was the 50th anniversary of one of the most iconic political sports images—the Black Power salute at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. The contemporaneous response to that gesture was derision and disciplinary action. Both Gold Medal winner Tommie Smith and Bronze medalist John Carlos were prohibited from participating in any future Olympics events, both lost their jobs after returning from Mexico, and their families received death threats. Time has confirmed the power of their statement though, with the event being memorialized in film (Salute), in sculptures and at various ceremonies commemorating the event. [Read more…]
Nothing that these Establishment politicians (Republican and Democrat alike) do surprise me anymore, but it still disgusts me. I pray we learn our lesson from June’s election.
Remember when then-candidate, Summer Stephan suggested to the Union-Tribune she was a reformer? Remember when she told voters that she believed law enforcement officers were not above the law? Remember when she said she cared deeply for victims and victims’ families?
All lies. Since being in that seat, she’s cleared every officer involved in the shootings and deaths of San Diegans. Most recently, on September 21, she cleared every officer involved in the death of Earl McNeil although the Medical Examiner ruled his death a homicide. [Read more…]
On Friday, District Attorney, Summer Stephan, announced that no charges would be filed against the National City Police Department officers in the death of Earl McNeil. Geneviéve Jones-Wright, criminal justice reform advocate, Deputy Public Defender, and community leader, made the following statement regarding the decision:
On May 26, 2018, Earl McNeil went to the National City Police Department asking for help. Instead of receiving help, he was comatose, showing signs of trauma, only to die days later. Today the San Diego County District Attorney, Summer Stephan, has cleared law enforcement officers from any wrongdoing in Mr. McNeil’s death. This decision comes on the heels of months of community protests and calls for the District Attorney to recuse her office from the investigation. [Read more…]
At the heart of District 4 are San Diego’s historically black communities, created in large part by property deeds limiting where people of color could buy or rent homes.
In 1969 a coalition calling itself BOMB: Black, Oriental, Mexican Brothers called a public meeting in Southcrest Park and began advocating for a civil rights advocate to be appointed to a vacated City Council seat.
The appointment and subsequent election of Leon L. Williams began a tradition of the District 4 seat being held by African-Americans. Five decades later, issues of race and repression are at the center of a contentious contest between a storied incumbent and her activist challenger. [Read more…]
By Sher Watts Spooner / Daily Kos
Whatever happens to Donald Trump, however long it takes before he’s out of office, there’s one area where it will be hard to stop the spread of his poisonous politics: his stoking of racial hatred.
Trump and Republicans keep trying to turn the murder of Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts, allegedly done by an immigrant who may have been in the United States illegally, into a campaign issue, trying further to stir up anger and raise fears about immigrants among Trump’s base. But they conveniently ignore the murder of 18-year-old Nia Wilson on a BART train in Oakland, California, allegedly committed by a white supremacist.
It’s not hard to figure out their reasoning: Tibbetts was white, and her accused killer is Latino. Wilson was African-American, and her accused killer is white. Crimes by “others” are by definition bad and scary, to a racist’s way of thinking. Crimes by whites must be a sign of mental illness, right? [Read more…]
By Rev. Richard Lawrence
1968 came back to me when I stood with Martin Luther King, III, at the Border on August 28 and listened to folks on the other side of the Border holler in pure delight that the day had finally come when a black leader stood tall in the fight for a just immigration policy.
King, III, took us back to his father’s “I Have a Dream Speech” fifty-five years ago and reminded us that there’s no room for leaders who separate children from their parents in the world his father envisioned. No. Dr. King wanted to build bridges, not barriers, to freedom. [Read more…]
A major public figure has succumbed to brain cancer. And now another round of the American bloodsport of ‘who can be shittiest?’ is underway.
A petulant President Donald Trump has made it clear that Senator John McCain’s death will not bring an end to his scorn. The typical chief executive statement of condolence was squashed. A Tweet and an Instagram post (featuring a photo of Trump) will have to suffice. The flag atop the White House is no longer at half-mast.
History is being re-written to unabashedly sing the praises of “the maverick” and “the last real Republican.” McCain’s existence, as is true with most larger than life figures, was more complicated than that. It is, alas, too easy to fixate on some good deeds when the political world is awash with evil. The late Senator’s empathetic qualities do not negate his willingness to follow his party’s descent into madness most of the time. [Read more…]
Wildfires continue to ravage California. Instead of hiring firefighters to put out the fires, the government is turning to incarcerated people for labor. More than 3,400 prisoners risk their lives every day to tackle the wildfires. While the average California firefighter earns $74,000 plus benefits annually, imprisoned people are paid as little as $2 a day. By relying on prison labor, California avoids spending $80 to $100 million a year.
I first learned about the exploitation of imprisoned laborers during the snowpocalypse that hit Boston in 2015. Imprisoned workers were paid 20 cents an hour for shoveling the city in the freezing cold that no one else wanted to venture out and brave. It dawned on me then that prison wasn’t just about gruesome punishment: it’s about profit. And prison labor is responsible for more of this country’s everyday products and services than is let on.
Today, the United States holds 5 percent of the world’s population and incarcerates 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. More than 2 million people are separated from their families, deprived of basic human rights, abused, and left to suffer in cages. Incarceration has increased by 500 percent in the last 40 years, even though crime rates have decreased. More than one-half of all federal prisoners are incarcerated for a nonviolent drug offense. [Read more…]
By John M. Webb / Daily Kos
Amid all of the news about Cohen and Manafort this week, an important story is going under-reported. While it may be tempting to escape into some schadenfreude about our president’s little circle of criminal cronies, prison is no laughing matter. It is a dangerous place where we are literally throwing away our fellow human being beings. Tuesday was the beginning of a massive prisoners strike to protest the conditions in which they live and work.
Men and women incarcerated in prisons across the nation declare a nationwide strike in response to the riot in Lee Correctional Institution, a maximum security prison in South Carolina. Seven comrades lost their lives during a senseless uprising that could have been avoided had the prison not been so overcrowded from the greed wrought by mass incarceration, and a lack of respect for human life that is embedded in our nation’s penal ideology. These men and women are demanding humane living conditions, access to rehabilitation, sentencing reform and the end of modern day slavery. [Read more…]
From the DemocracyNow! YouTube website:
Prisoners in at least 17 states are expected to strike [Tuesday, August 21,] in a mass mobilization demanding improved living conditions, sentencing reform, the right to vote and the end of “prison slave labor.” The weeks-long strike begins on the 47th anniversary of the killing of Black Panther George Jackson, who was shot and killed by guards during an escape attempt from San Quentin prison. It will end on September 9, the 47th anniversary of the deadly Attica prison uprising. For more, we speak with Heather Ann Thompson, American historian, author and activist. She is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book “Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy.” She is a professor of history at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. We also speak with prison strike organizers Amani Sawari and Cole Dorsey.
It’s not just ICE and local bigots harassing immigrants and people who they think might be immigrants anymore.
Activists are claiming U.S. financial institutions, encouraged by the Department of Treasury, are including citizenship status as part of the Customer Identification Program provision of the USA Patriot Act, even though it is not legally required.
What this means in practical terms is that existing customers, like Josh Collins and wife Jessica Salazar Collins who thought envelopes from Bank of America were junk mail, are having their accounts suspended until such time as questions about citizenship are answered.
Beto O’Rourke fields a tough question during a town hall type meeting. And he does it with grace and sincerity. (h/t to Doug P.)
BONUS VIDEO: This 37 minute Facebook campaign video starts off with a minute or so of Beto skateboarding in the parking lot of a Whataburger. The dude can move. [Read more…]