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The Silent March

With the rise of the Second KKK, and the election of extremely racist President Wilson (Probably the most racist President until Trump in history), America was at War both in Europe and at home.

The KKK serially attacked 20 black communities in what were euphemistically called “Race riots” by the media of the time, as well as conducted lynchings. While the efforts and protests had an impact, what finally stopped the carnage was black folks shooting back – most notably in the attack on the black community of Washington, DC in July of 1919.

This peaceful March in 1917 set the stage for black resistance, and in many ways is the grandfather of today’s BLM Movement.

100 years ago African-Americans marched down 5th Avenue to declare that black lives matter

Silent Protest parade on Fifth Avenue, New York City, July 28, 1917, in response to the East St. Louis race riot. In front row are James Weldon Johnson (far right), W. E. B. DuBois (2nd from right), Rev. Hutchens Chew Bishop, rector of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church (Harlem) and realtor John E. Nail.(Credit: New York Public Library (public domain))

100 years ago African-Americans marched down 5th Avenue to declare that black lives matter

Nearly 10,000 African-Americans participated in the “Silent Protest Parade”

The only sounds were those of muffled drums, the shuffling of feet and the gentle sobs of some of the estimated 20,000 onlookers. The women and children wore all white. The men dressed in black.

On the afternoon of Saturday, July 28, 1917, nearly 10,000 African-Americans marched down Fifth Avenue, in silence, to protest racial violence and white supremacy in the United States.

New York City, and the nation, had never before witnessed such a remarkable scene.

The “Silent Protest Parade,” as it came to be known, was the first mass African-American demonstration of its kind and marked a watershed moment in the history of the civil rights movement. As I have written in my book “Torchbearers of Democracy,” African-Americans during the World War I era challenged racism both abroad and at home. In taking to the streets to dramatize the brutal treatment of black people, the participants of the “Silent Protest Parade” indicted the United States as an unjust nation.

This charge remains true today.

One hundred years later, as black people continue to insist that “Black Lives Matter,” the “Silent Protest Parade” offers a vivid reminder about the power of courageous leadership, grassroots mobilization, direct action and their collective necessity in the fight to end racial oppression in our current troubled times.

Racial violence and the East St. Louis Riot

One of the great accomplishments of the Black Lives Matter movement has been to demonstrate the continuum of racist violence against black people throughout American history and also the history of resistance against it. But as we continue to grapple with the hyper-visibility of black death, it is perhaps easy to forget just how truly horrific racial violence against black people was a century ago.

Prior to the “Silent Protest Parade,” mob violence and the lynching of African-Americans had grown even more gruesome. In Waco, a mob of 10,000 white Texans attended the May 15, 1916, lynching of a black farmer, Jesse Washington. One year later, on May 22, 1917, a black woodcutter, Ell Persons, died at the hands of over 5,000 vengeance-seeking whites in Memphis. Both men were burned and mutilated, their charred body parts distributed and displayed as souvenirs.

Even by these grisly standards, East St. Louis later that same summer was shocking. Simmering labor tensions between white and black workers exploded on the evening of July 2, 1917.

For 24 hours, white mobs indiscriminately stabbed, shot and lynched anyone with black skin. Men, women, children, the elderly, the disabled — no one was spared. Homes were torched and occupants shot down as they attempted to flee. White militia men stood idly by as the carnage unfolded. Some actively participated. The death toll likely ran as high as 200 people.

The city’s surviving 6,000 black residents became refugees.

East St. Louis was an American pogrom. The fearless African-American anti-lynching activist Ida B. Wells traveled to the still smoldering city on July 4 and collected firsthand accounts of the aftermath. She described what she saw as an “awful orgy of human butchery.”

The devastation of East St. Louis was compounded by the fact that America was at war. On April 2, President Woodrow Wilson had thrown the United States into the maelstrom of World War I. He did so by asserting America’s singularly unique place on the global stage and his goal to make the world “safe for democracy.” In the eyes of black people, East St. Louis exposed the hypocrisy of Wilson’s vision and America itself.

The NAACP takes action

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored Peoplequickly responded to the massacre. Founded in 1909, the NAACP had yet to establish itself as a truly representative organization for African-Americans across the country. With the exception of W.E.B. Du Bois, one of the NAACP’s co-founders and editor of The Crisis magazine, the national leadership was all white. Branches were overwhelmingly located in the North, despite the majority of African-Americans residing below the Mason-Dixon line. As a result, the NAACP had largely failed to respond with a sense of urgency to the everyday horrors endured by the masses of black folk.

James Weldon Johnson changed things. Lawyer, diplomat, novelist, poet and songwriter, Johnson was a true African-American renaissance man. In 1916, Johnson joined the NAACP as a field secretary and made an immediate impact. In addition to growing the organization’s southern membership, Johnson recognized the importance of expanding the influence of the NAACP’s existing branches beyond the black elite.

Johnson raised the idea of a silent protest march at an executive committee meeting of the NAACP Harlem branch shortly after the East St. Louis riot. Johnson also insisted that the protest include the city’s entire black community. Planning quickly got underway, spearheaded by Johnson and local black clergymen.

A historic day

By noon on July 28, several thousand African-Americans had begun to assemble at 59th Street. Crowds gathered along Fifth Avenue. Anxious New York City police officers lined the streets, aware of what was about to take place but, with clubs at the ready, prepared for trouble.

At approximately 1 p.m., the protest parade commenced. Four men carrying drums began to slowly, solemnly play. A group of black clergymen and NAACP officials made up the front line. W.E.B. Du Bois, who had recently returned from conducting an NAACP investigation in East St. Louis, and James Weldon Johnson marched side by side.

The parade was a stunning spectacle. At the front, women and children wearing all-white gowns symbolized the innocence of African-Americans in the face of the nation’s guilt. The men, bringing up the rear and dressed in dark suits, conveyed both a mournful dignity and stern determination to stand up for their rights as citizens.

They carried signs and banners shaming America for its treatment of black people. Some read, “Your hands are full of blood,” “Thou Shalt Not Kill,” “Mothers, do lynchers go to heaven?” Others highlighted the wartime context and the hollowness of America’s ideals: “We have fought for the liberty of white Americans in six wars; our reward was East St. Louis,” “Patriotism and loyalty presuppose protection and liberty,” “Make America safe for Democracy.”

Throughout the parade, the marchers remained silent. The New York Times described the protest as “one of the most quiet and orderly demonstrations ever witnessed.” The silence was finally broken with cheers when the parade concluded at Madison Square.

Legacy of the Silent Protest Parade

The “Silent Protest Parade” marked the beginning of a new epoch in the long black freedom struggle. While adhering to a certain politics of respectability, a strategy employed by African-Americans that focused on countering racist stereotypes through dignified appearance and behavior, the protest, within its context, constituted a radical claiming of the public sphere and a powerful affirmation of black humanity. It declared that a “New Negro” had arrived and launched a black public protest tradition that would be seen in the parades of the Universal Negro Improvement Association, the civil rights demonstrations of the 1960s and the Black Lives Matter marches of today.

The “Silent Protest Parade” reminds us that the fight against racist violence and the killing of black people remains just as relevant now as it did 100 years ago. Black death, whether at the hands of a Baton Rouge police officer or white supremacist in Charleston, is a specter that continues to haunt this nation. The expendability of black bodies is American tradition, and history speaks to the long endurance of this violent legacy.

But history also offers inspiration, purpose and vision.

Ida B. Wells, James Weldon Johnson and other freedom fighters of their generation should serve as models for activists today. That the “Silent Protest Parade” attracted black people from all walks of life and backgrounds attests to the need for organizations like the NAACP, following its recent national convention, to remember and embrace its origins. And, in building and sustaining the current movement, we can take lessons from past struggles and work strategically and creatively to apply them to the present.

Because, at their core, the demands of black people in 2017 remain the same as one of the signs raised to the sky on that July afternoon in 1917:

“Give me a chance to live.”

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2017 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Can a BLM Champion Win in Missouri?

What we are beginning to see is BLM move into the political space as a method of promoting the values and issues the organization supports. A new generation of politicians not tied to the 60’s Civil Tights establishment. Making the government accountable covers a lot more ground than just stopping Police violence. Go for it!

Tishaura O. Jones

Tishaura O. Jones, currently City Treasurer is running for Mayor of St. Louis

 

Can a Champion of Black Lives Matter Become Mayor of St. Louis?

Tishaura Jones is running to “uproot racism” just a few miles from the streets where Michael Brown was murdered.

Most political candidates would do just about anything to win the endorsement of their largest hometown newspaper, but Tishaura O. Jones knows that the old rules are rigged—and ripe for revision.

The 44-year-old city treasurer, Black Lives Matter advocate, and labor-backed progressive is running to be the next mayor of St. Louis. Last month, she declined to sit down for a standard candidate interview with the editorial board of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Instead, in a stroke of gutsy defiance, she wrote a searing open letter to the newspaper’s leadership in which she criticized its coverage of poverty and racism in the city and laid out her own bold political platform.

“I had a Fannie Lou Hamer moment,” Jones says, referring to the iconic Southern civil-rights activist. “I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.”

Specifically, as her letter lays out, she was sick and tired of the way the Post-Dispatch leadership seemed to blame poor and struggling residents for St. Louis’s woes, attributing its problems to racially coded issues like “blight” and “graffiti.” She was sick and tired of the paper’s “thinly veiled racism and preference for the status quo past.” She wanted no part of it.

“What is killing our city is poverty…,” she wrote. “What is killing our region is a systemic racism that pervades almost every public and private institution, including your newspaper, and makes it nearly impossible for either North St. Louis or the parts of South St. Louis where African Americans live to get better or safer or healthier or better-educated.”

Jones believes she can begin to change all that. And she detailed a plan to do so in her unsparing letter, which quickly went viral and helped infuse her candidacy with a last-minute boost of money and populist energy. As she enters the final days of her primary run, she hopes that energy will be enough to propel “the people’s candidate,” as she calls herself, one crucial step closer to the city’s highest office.

Jones’s campaign, set against the backdrop of the murder of Michael Brown in nearby Ferguson, is further evidence that the movements against mass incarceration, police brutality, and entrenched racism are holding the line at the local level. Should she win, her success would offer reassurance that the progressive flame can still burn hot in City Hall, despite the reactionary white-supremacist agenda ascendant at the White House.

Indeed, most grassroots progressive groups in St. Louis back Jones’s candidacy, says Kennard Williams, a community organizer with the nonprofit Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment, or MORE, which is currently leading a campaign against mass incarceration, called Decarcerate STL, in the city.

Jones’s record, her ideas and her rhetoric, he says, have earned her endorsements from organizations like MORE, the SEIU Missouri State Council, the St. Louis Action Council, and the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, as well as dozens of Black Lives Matter, civil-rights, and community activists in the city. Mobilize Missouri, a statewide coalition of grassroots activists that emerged out of the Bernie Sanders campaign, endorsed her in mid-February.

“People understand that she is the best option,” Williams adds. “She is the only candidate to come out and trash on our criminal-justice system, to acknowledge there is a problem with this system and that we can’t keep operating it this way.”

In her letter to the Post-Dispatch, for instance, Jones pledged to “look at every issue through a racial equity lens” and to advocate for people who have been “disenfranchised, red-lined and flat-out ignored for way too long.”

One sees this approach in her past work. During her innovative tenure as city treasurer, a normally staid political office, she launched a program to open college savings accounts for every kindergartner in St. Louis and seed each account with $50 drawn from parking fees. She also created an Office of Financial Empowerment, which provides free financial education and credit-counseling services.

As mayor, Jones says she would expand such programs. Her agenda, though, goes far beyond that.

She intends, for instance, to close once and for all the city’s notorious Workhouse, a jail that some activists have likened to a debtors’ prison. In her open letter, Jones described the facility as a “rat hole.” If she succeeds in shuttering it, she says she will funnel the budget savings to reentry programs, mental-health services, and substance-abuse centers.

“We have advocated shutting down the Workhouse for a couple years now,” says Williams, who helps spearhead MORE’s campaign against mass incarceration. “Her plan falls perfectly in line with what we are trying to do.”

Jones supports the placement of social workers in the city’s police department, the establishment of a $15 minimum wage, and the creation of a Tenants Bill of Rights to help protect poor and working-class renters from predatory landlords. She plans to eliminate the St. Louis cash-bail system too.

“Cash bail has a domino effect on low income families,” she says. “If someone is in jail because they can’t afford to pay a cash bail, then they may lose their jobs, and from there it becomes a downward spiral.”

If Jones’s campaign prevails, if she beats out six other Democrats in the March 7 primary as well the inevitable Republican opponent in the April 4 general election, the Black Lives Matter movement will clearly, finally, have an unequivocal ally at City Hall.

“St. Louis is the epicenter of Black Lives Matter,” says Jones. “As I wrote in my letter, after that tragic incident in Ferguson, we woke up, black people woke up, and we have seen more civic and political activity from young people than we have ever seen before. I want to make sure that we are amplifying their voices. I want to make sure we are giving them a seat at the table.”

“Uprooting racism,” she contends, “has to be the number-one priority.”

 
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Posted by on March 6, 2017 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Cops Wife Blames Black Lives Matter for Faked Robbery

Yeah…The black guy did it!

Image result for Black Lives Matter

Police: Cop’s Wife Faked Robbery and Blamed Black Lives Matter

Image result for Maria Daly arrested Black Lives MatterPolice in Millbury, Massachusetts say the wife of a police officer faked a robbery and vandalized her own home before blaming the whole thing on the Black Lives Matter movement. The woman, identified by police as Maria Daly, reported the robbery on Oct. 17, but investigators later determined her account of events was false, police said Friday. “Something wasn’t quite right,” said Millbury Police Chief Donald Desorcy. “Basically we came to the conclusion that it was all fabricated,” he told CBS News. “There was no intruder, there was no burglary.” Shortly after she filed the report, Daly turned to social media, posting a photo that showed “BLM” spraypainted on the side of the house, an apparent reference to Black Lives Matter. “We woke up to not only our house being robbed while we were sleeping, but to see this hatred for no reason,” she said. Daly’s husband, Officer Daniel Daly, was found to have played no role in the incident, police said. Maria Daly now faces charges of filing a false report and misleading investigators.

 

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Seattle Teacher March for Black Lives Matter

Wow!

A woman wearing a shirt with “Black Lives Matter” on Aug. 9, 2015, at the Canfield Apartments in Ferguson, Mo., during a memorial service for Michael Brown Jr.

Seattle Teachers Plan Black Lives Matter Demonstration

About 1,000 teachers have united for the event, which is supported by the school district and the Seattle Parent Teacher Student Association. 

Teachers in the Seattle Public Schools district have planned a Black Lives Matter event next week to coincide with an effort by the school district to close the gap of opportunity between students of different races.

KIRO 7 reports that about 1,000 teachers have ordered Black Lives Matter T-shirts that will be worn Oct. 19 during an event called Black Lives Matter in the Seattle Public Schools, a move that is endorsed by Seattle Education Association, the labor organization that represents more than 5,500 educators.

Teachers at Seattle’s John Muir Elementary School took part in a similar event Sept. 16, wearing Black Lives Matter T-shirts and hosting Black Men Uniting to Change the Narrative, during which black men from the community welcomed kids to school. KIRO 7 reports that the event was almost canceled after the school received threats of violence, but the school staff decided to have the event anyway.

Jesse Hagopian, a teacher at Seattle’s Garfield High School, told KIRO 7 that the threat against John Muir was made by a white supremacist and that Seattle teachers responded by taking the event districtwide.

“I’m going to be promoting the concept that black lives matter and that my black students’ lives matter in my classroom, in the school district,” Hagopian said. “But I want my students to grapple with the issues that the Black Lives Matter movement has raised. And I want them to be able to understand the criticisms of the movement. … I want them to be able to come up with their own decision about what this movement really means.”

KIRO 7 asked Hagopian how he would respond to those who say, “All lives matter.”

“If all lives matter, then black lives would matter,” Hagopian said.

The Seattle Public Schools district respects the teachers’ right to express themselves. A district spokesperson told KIRO 7 that the T-shirts are a good visual, and they hope that the message inspires people to do the work of eliminating opportunity gaps, an effort the district itself is focused on. A campaign highlighting the district’s efforts is also planned for next week.

In addition to the district, the Seattle Parent Teacher Student Association has come out in support of the educators.

The event Oct. 19 will culminate in a rally featuring parents, students, activists and Grammy Award-winning artist Kimya Dawson in the evening.

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Ben and Jerry’s – “All lives do matter. But all lives will not matter until black lives matter.”

The Vermont Ice Cream Company Ben and Jerry’s has come out on their web site supporting Black Lives Matter –

Image result for Ben and Jerry's Black Lives Matter

Ben & Jerry’s Breaks Down Exactly Why Black Lives Matter

“All lives do matter. But all lives will not matter until black lives matter.”

Ben & Jerry’s is taking a stance against the police brutality that’s been plaguing the black community. And the company want us all to do the same.

The ice cream company issued a call to action in a letter posted on its website Thursday and informed readers why this country needs to make sure that black lives matter.

“They matter because the injustices they face steal from all of us — white people and people of color alike,” the letter reads. “They steal our very humanity.”

The company notes that systemic and institutionalized racism needs to be addressed and that silence around these issues equals complicity in the violence against black people. The only way the country can begin finding solutions to racism is to understand and acknowledge that there is a problem.

This year alone, at least 201 black people have been killed due to police encounters, according to The Guardian. The ice cream company said it’s difficult to watch this list grow and despite the different attitudes and experiences black people have towards law enforcement compared to white people, it’s the company’s “moral obligation” to stand up for black lives.

Make no mistake, it’s not saying that it’s anti-cop nor does the Vermont-based company place all the blame on individuals. Yet, it added that it would like to work towards equal justice for everyone by helping to dismantle institutionalized racism.

Ben & Jerry’s also had a poignant response to those who proclaim all lives matter in response to the Black Lives Matter movement:

“All lives do matter. But all lives will not matter until black lives matter,” the company said. “Change happens when people are willing to listen and hear the struggles of their neighbor, putting aside preconceived notions and truly seeking to understand and grow. We’ll be working hard on that, and ask you to as well.”

Ben & Jerry’s has stood up for issues that affect marginalized communities in the past. In May, the company launched the flavor Empower Mint as a part of an effort to register voters in North Carolina, which had strict voter ID laws that prohibited many citizens from using their political power. In June, it published an article on its website titled “7 Ways We Know Systemic Racism Is Real.”

 
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Posted by on October 8, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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The Death of Black Lives Matter?

A lot of questions swirling around in the media about the future viability of the Black Lives Matter movement. Most of the questions center around the organization’s “leaderless” style, wherein no specific person or small group of people have emerged as spokespersons for the organizations as a whole. The fact that BLM isn’t one group, tied together by an identifiable central leadership doesn’t make it easy for the press to identify goals, platforms, and causes beyond the obvious…

White folks get nervous when their is no black strongman to talk for “de black folks”. Which is the basis of Cornel West’s rants about “prophetic leadership”, which is just another term for “strong man” leadership.

One of the oldest maxims of warfare, dating to before Sun Tsu is to “kill the leader”. An approach successfully used against the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement in the assassinations of Medgar Evers, and Dr King. The democratic construct of many organizations tied to a central goal, each pursuing resolution by self actualized actions against the components of structural racism makes for an agile, inclusive movement where the “leaders” cannot be marginalized by the MSM, or co-opted.

Why is that important? And even more key – what are the conditions which brought us to this point?

  1. The black Church has abrogated and destroyed the very moral foundations of it’s role as a central gathering point in the Civil Rights Movement. Often discussed is the male-female schism, but far more important in the context of the modern civil rights movement is the generational schism. The youth is leaving the Church, and there is little reason to believe they will be back.
  2. Black politicians, and political institutions have failed, and largely sold out the very people they were elected to represent, and have little to no connection with the millennial generation or backbone to face the basic problems of taking down structural Jim Crow. Raised in the era where the fault lines were written in specific laws clearly delineating the rights, or more appropriately the lack of rights of persons of color. The approaches used in attacking the State House, which the older politicians are wed to, have little value in what is essentially a shadow war, where results very often are wildly different from intentions.
  3. We now live in an America which is equivalent to Josef Stalin’s communist KGB wet dream. All forms of electronic communication are surveiled, it is almost impossible to walk down the street in any American City without being recorded on dozens of cameras, systems of “electronic control”. Your life is recorded from the second you are born, and such information is not only available to the Government, it is available to major corporations. They know whether you drink Coke over Pepsi, and it is a pretty safe bet whatever Amazon, Google, or Facebook knows – the Government knows too. They can see through the walls (or ceiling) of your house, listen to your conversations 20,000 miles away, and tell you when, where, and how many times your spouse has been banging the neighbor. The recent charade over “breaking” an iPhone is an example. What took the FBI 5 months would have taken the black intelligence agencies and Military 15 seconds. If a couple of itinerant hackers can penetrate the systems of banks for millions of credit card numbers, or even the Federal Government for 5 million social security and employee files, WTF do you think a Government Agency with computer systems the size of a small subdivision can do? The Internet is not secure…By design. The so called Internet of Things (IoT) is your life on blast.

The right, normally concerned about “Personal freedom” has been utterly subverted by Faux News having bent over and spread wide by fear-mongering about largely nonexistent “International Terrorism”, and convinced the true function of the invasion of privacy is to keep the black and brown folks in their place. They have become common whores to racism, discarding any pretense of personal liberty or freedom.

So…The disorganization of Black Lives Matter is about something else entirely.

Black Lives Matter

The Black Lives Matter Movement Is Most Visible on Twitter. Its True Home Is Elsewhere.

For the movement to survive, it needs to focus on work that doesn’t lend itself to 140 characters.

In March 2012, nearly a month after George Zimmerman killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, hundreds of high-school students in Miami-Dade and Broward counties staged walkouts to protest the fact that Zimmerman hadn’t been arrested on any charges. A group of current and former Florida college activists knew that they had to do something too. During a series of conference calls, Umi Selah (then known as Phillip Agnew) and others in the group planned a 40-mile march from Daytona Beach to the headquarters of the Sanford Police Department—40 miles symbolizing the 40 days that Zimmerman had remained free. On Good Friday, 50 people set off for Sanford. The march culminated in a five-hour blockade of the Sanford PD’s doors on Easter Monday. The marchers demanded Zimmerman’s arrest and the police chief’s firing. Within two days, both demands had been met.

A little over a year later, a jury found Zimmerman not guilty on charges of second-degree murder or manslaughter. Undeterred by the legal setback, the activists—calling themselves the Dream Defenders—showed up in Tallahassee and occupied the Florida statehouse for four weeks in an effort to push Republican Governor Rick Scott to call a special legislative session to review the state’s “stand your ground” law, racial profiling, and school push-out policies, all of which the organization linked to Martin’s death. Fueled in part by participants sharing updates on Twitter, the occupation became a national story, and Selah fielded a flood of requests from media and progressive organizations. Some wanted to give an award to the Dream Defenders; others wanted to add Selah to lists proclaiming the arrival of a new generation of civil-rights heroes. (One writer said he embodied the spirit of Nelson Mandela.) Others wanted his perspective on the burgeoning racial-justice movement. After a while, Selah wanted none of it.

The breaking point came when a major news outlet profiled him without first conducting an interview. The result, he says, was an account that credited him with successes in social-justice movements he wasn’t even involved in. “If I was a person in the [immigrants’-rights] movement, I would look at this article and think, ‘Who the hell is this dude?’” he told me. “I really panicked. I imagined somebody saying, ‘Why is this dude telling Time magazine that he’s been in the forefront of these movements, and we’ve never seen him here?’”

Selah’s response was to pull himself out of the spotlight. He started declining media requests and posting less often to social media. When he did accept an invitation to speak, his goals were to disavow any hero label thrust on him by others and to demystify the Dream Defenders’ work.

Selah is an organizer, not a media personality, and so the trade-off made sense for him. But for others, that might not be the case. Twitter personality and trailing Baltimore mayoral candidate DeRay Mckesson was described in a recent New York Times profile as “the best-known face of the Black Lives Matter movement” and BLM’s “biggest star.” Now followed by more than 300,000 Twitter users, Mckesson began building his following by live-tweeting the protests in Ferguson in August 2014 after driving there from Minneapolis, where he lived at the time. More than a million mentions and retweets on the social-networking platform made him the protagonist of the Times magazine’s cover story on Black Lives Matter and earned him a spot on Fortune’s World’s Greatest Leaders list. But is he an organizer? The historian Barbara Ransby, author of Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement, says she defines organizing as “bringing people together for sustained, coordinated, strategic action for change.” Mckesson, who wisely calls himself a “protester,” is doing something else entirely. The problem is that too many of us don’t know to look for the difference.

Today’s racial-justice movement demands an end to the disproportionate killing of black people by law-enforcement officials and vigilantes, and seeks to root out white supremacy wherever it lives. Social media has allowed its members to share documentary evidence of police abuse, spread activist messages, and forge a collective meaning out of heartrending news. At certain key moments, Twitter in particular has reflected and reinforced the power of this movement. On November 24, 2014, when the St. Louis County prosecutor announced that a grand jury had decided not to bring charges against the officer who killed an unarmed Michael Brown, Twitter users fired off 3.4 million tweets regarding the police killings of black people and racial-justice organizing, with the vast majority coming from movement supporters and news outlets, according to a recent report by American University’s Center for Media and Social Impact. Weeks later, when the police officer who choked Eric Garner to death in New York City was also not indicted, 4.4 million tweets over a period of seven days kept the nation’s attention focused on the fight for police accountability. Hashtags like #BlackLivesMatter, #Ferguson, #HandsUpDontShoot and #IfTheyGunnedMeDown gave users—including those not yet involved in activism—a way to contribute to conversations they cared about.

But while social media turns the microphone over to activists and organizers who are often far from the center of the media’s attention, its power doesn’t come without pitfalls. In August, a nasty Twitter fight erupted after Mckesson initiated a meeting with Bernie Sanders’s campaign. Writer and activist dream hampton posted a tweet that read: “While a meeting with @deray might be a blast, I would expect @BernieSanders to meet with actual BLM folks, those who forced this platform.” At the heart of the criticism was the claim that Mckesson was not in a position to speak to a presidential candidate on behalf of the Black Lives Matter network—an organization with chapters that grew out of the hashtag created and popularized by Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, and Patrisse Khan-Cullors. …Read the Rest Here

 

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Y’allQaeda Whimpers About Black Lives Matter

The Whiteisis Cow trumpeters in Oregon seem to be upset about the fact that everyone who isn’t making fun of them…

Is ignoring them.

“Worse treatment” in this case being disowned by the Mormon Church, other Militia Groups, and even the Hammond family who ostensibly were the reason for kicking off their terrorist invasion of a Park Visitor Center.

Oregon Militants Say They’re Getting Worse Treatment Than Black Lives Matter Movement

“They don’t get any backlash, not on the level that we’re getting.”

Members of the armed anti-government group occupying a remote federal building near Burns, Oregon, have some shaky ideas about how they compare to the Black Lives Matter movement, saying that they are suffering far worse treatment.

In the parking lot of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge — which the militants stormed and took over on Saturday in the name of grazing privileges — a man who claimed to be a body guard for the group’s leaders said they are facing worse resistance than Black Lives Matter, a nationwide campaign to end police brutality against people of color.

“The Black Lives Matter movement, they can go and protest, close freeways down and all that stuff, and they don’t get any backlash, not on the level that we’re getting,” said the man, who identified himself as “Fluffy Unicorn.”

“Fluffy Unicorn”?

While acknowledging that police have used force against Black Lives Matter protesters, he also said “their level of protesting is different; we’re not obstructing schools.” (In fact, an Oregon school district has canceled classes this week because of the federal building’s occupation.)

So far, backlash to the occupation has included hashtags like #YallQaeda and #YeeHawd on social media to describe the group’s attempts to defy the federal government.

But many say that authorities are responding with far less urgency to the Oregon occupation than to Black Lives Matter protests. In Ferguson, Missouri, for example, marches condemning police violence against African-Americans prompted aresponse by the National Guard.

Federal authorities said they do not want to escalate the situation in Oregon and have no immediate plans to rush in to retake the building due to its remote location and the fact that the occupation doesn’t appear to be a life-or-death situation.

Critics say that temperate response highlights a double standard in how authorities respond to threats from white people versus black people. Salon highlighted both 12-year-old Tamir Rice and Eric Garner’s deaths as examples:

A black 12-year-old boy who was guilty of the “crime” of playing with a toy gun in an “open carry” state was summarily executed by local police.

A black man who was selling loose cigarettes on a street corner in order to help support his family was choked to death by police while he screamed “I can’t breathe.”

White folks can brandish real weapons, steal public resources, engage in acts of terrorism and insurrection, and threaten to kill the police and other State authorities with little if any consequences.

Meanwhile, on Monday, occupation leader Ammon Bundy — a son of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who led a rebellion against federal law enforcement officers in 2014 — likened his group’s objective to that of the Black Lives Matter movement.

I hope Ammon and Fluffy have a great time camping out together and presumably “bonding” as “true Patriots” in the Visitor’s center – but I don’t recall BLM Protesters coming armed to the teeth to any protest march – or even asking those protesting to “bring their guns”.

What this whole issue is about is white folks Welfare. The Federal government allows these miscreants and Western Welfare Queens to farm, log, and graze cattle, as well as hunt on Federal owned land for free, or at ridiculously low rates. As seen in the Cliven Bundy case, these lollygagging nitwits won’t even pay nominal fees after utilizing Federal Land (our land) to raise thousands of cattle over decades, which they would not have been able to do otherwise.

Is the mass of paperwork and bureaucracy of the Federal Government a pain in the ass to deal with? Absolutely. But that doesn’t call for whipping out you Glock substitute manhood to take possession of a facility which belongs to all Americans.

 
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Posted by on January 5, 2016 in Domestic terrorism

 

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Rev. Graylan Hagler Goes Toe to Toe with Faux News Racist

This “Man of the Cloth” is far too polite…Rev. Graylan S. Hagler is Senior Minister of the Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ of Washington, DC. Rev Hagler is known in the DC area as a candidate for the DC City Council At Large Seat, as well as his outspoken support of Palestinian Human Rights, and oppression under Israel.

Watch black pastor’s epic smack down of conservative reporter: ‘You don’t have the character to even listen’

Rev. Graylan Hagler confronted Dan Joseph of the conservative Media Research Center on Monday for refusing to acknowledge that white supremacy was still an issue that needed to be addressed the United States.

On Monday’s edition of the WJLA’s NewsTalk program, Joseph asserted that Trump was leading the GOP presidential race because voters were tired of political correctness.

Hagler, however, argued that political correctness was another phrase for “respecting other people.”

“Political incorrectness is racist, it’s xenophobic because it really in a sense diminishes people’s humanity,” Hagler explained. “It characterizes people in negative ways, it stereotypes people in ways that are ultimately destructive.”

The pastor contended that the political success of Trump was tied to America’s history of racism, and to the way some whites feel threatened by the election of President Barack Obama.

“People basically tried to restore the Confederacy and did so after the compromise,” Hagler noted. “And we’re really facing this white supremacist paradigm all over again.”

Joseph countered that white Americans were “afraid to say what they believe because they know that if they do say what they believe that they will accused of being racist bigots.”

“You are failing to admit that there is a paradigm in this country, a historical paradigm that is built upon white supremacy,” Hagler interrupted.

But Joseph said that he was more concerned that the Black Lives Matter movement had been wrong about the circumstances of the death of Michael Brown than he was with an “historical pattern.”

“You need to wise up and open up your eyes and see that there has been an historical pattern in this country of white supremacist violence against black people!” the pastor exclaimed. “I’m saying you need to sit down with people long enough to know something about them, to know something about what’s going on.”

Hagler pointed out that he had tried to start a discussion with Joseph before the show over a vulgar tweet the conservative journalist directed at the Black Lives Matter movement.

“Just like we were waiting to go on this show, you don’t have the character to even listen long enough,” Hagler remarked. “He told the Black Lives movement to basically [F-word] themselves after Paris. It’s that type of provocative language.”

“My mama and hopefully your mama taught you to be respectful of people,” he continued. “And if she taught you to be respectful of people then that is political correctness.”

“The last thing the Black Lives Matter movement is doing is being respectful,” Joseph opined. “They are saying all cops are bad, they are saying all cops are racist, they are rioting in the streets.”

“Because the Black Lives Matter movement is a disgusting anti-American liberal movement,” he added. “The way that they’ve been taking the things that are not facts and telling the country that they are in order to promote their agenda, that is wrong.”

 

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Taxation Through Citation

Larry Lessig, here being interviewed by Cenk Uygur lays out the corrupt system of Civil fines… And while Ferguson may be the most exposed example, as we have seen in Biloxi and other areas, this isn’t just an isolated systemic-abuse problem.

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Elizabeth Warren – Economics and Black Lives

Elizabeth Warren…Gets it. This is really straightforward.

Why is the right wing so deeply embedded in denial?

 

Elizabeth Warren Goes All In On Black Lives Matter

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Sunday forcefully called for a renewed focus on the fight for racial justice, arguing that “we have not made enough progress” since the civil rights movement of the 1960s and outlining three main policy areas in which black people continue to face discrimination, including her signature issue of economic inequality.

Speaking at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in Boston, established by her late predecessor, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), Warren’s speech was tied to the legacy of the monumental 1960s civil rights laws that Kennedy championed.

“These laws made three powerful declarations: Black lives matter. Black citizens matter. Black families matter,” she said, according to her prepared remarks.

But she said it is clear that “we have not made enough progress,” organizing the speech around three major areas in which black people still face injustice: police violence, voting restrictions and economic inequality.

Linking her long-standing fight for the middle class to the fight for racial justice, Warren conceded that “economic justice is not and has never been sufficient to ensure racial justice.” However, Warren pivoted back to her signature issue throughout her speech, noting that African-Americans continue to face diminished economic prospects and discrimination in housing, education and employment.

She also reminded the audience that the March on Washington with Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963 was as much about economic justice as it was about racial justice.

“When Dr. King led hundreds of thousands of people to march on Washington, he talked about an end to violence, access to voting and economic opportunity. As Dr. King once wrote, ‘the inseparable twin of racial injustice was economic injustice.’”

Warren acknowledged that economic reforms are not enough to combat the racism that still persists in America. “Owning a home won’t stop someone from burning a cross on the front lawn. Admission to a school won’t prevent a beating on the sidewalk outside,” she said.

Citing the recent deaths of African-Americans in police custody, such as Michael Brown, Sandra Bland and Freddie Gray, as well as the aggressive tactics police used during the protests against these deaths, she lamented that black people continue to experience disproportionately unfair treatment from police. In proposing solutions, she echoed the recent calls for police reforms, including the need to create more diverse police forces that “look like, and come from, the neighborhoods they serve” and the demilitarization of police.

“This is America, not a war zone, and policing practices in all cities, not just some, need to reflect that,” she said.

Warren also railed against the continued assault against voting rights for minorities, particularly in the South, where lawmakers have resorted to more subtle tactics for keeping voters off the rolls, such as gerrymandering, voter ID laws and more complicated voting procedures. She scolded congressional Republicans for holding out on legislation to restore the Voting Rights Act, parts of which were struck down by the Supreme Court in a 2013 ruling. She also called on states to implement automatic voter registration to reduce the procedural hurdles of voting.

She tied the central argument of her speech back to her message of economic inequality, citing persistent housing discrimination against blacks, the high black unemployment rate, and how the housing bubble and economic recession disproportionately gutted economic opportunities for the black middle class. Warren hailed what is perhaps her most famous policy achievement, the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as the first step in curtailing discriminatory mortgage and banking policies.

“It’s time to come down hard on predatory practices that allow financial institutions to systematically strip wealth out of communities of color. One of the ugly consequences of bank deregulation was that there was no cop on the beat when too many financial institutions figured out that they could make great money by tricking, trapping and defrauding targeted families,” she said.

Warren acknowledged that as a white politician, “I speak today with the full knowledge that I have not personally experienced and can never truly understand the fear, the oppression, and the pain that confronts African-Americans every day,” she said. “But none of us can ignore what is happening in this country. Not when our black friends, family, neighbors literally fear dying in the streets.

“It comes to us to once again affirm that black lives matter, that black citizens matter, that black families matter.”

The speech drew praise from Black Lives Matter activists, like DeRay Mckesson, who has prominently called for lawmakers to make direct policy proposals that address police violence.

“Warren, better than any political leader I’ve yet heard, understands the protests as a matter of life or death — that the American dream has been sustained by an intentional violence and that the uprisings have been the result of years of lived trauma,” Mckesson told The Washington Post.

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter, The Post-Racial Life

 

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Trump Challenges BlackLivesMatter

Game on!

 

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Uncle Ben Carson…Black Lives Matter “Silly”

Uncle Ben is at it again.

 

What he said was this –

He told ThinkProgress he believes the movement is divisive. Earlier in the week, on Tuesday (July 28), Carson further explained his point of view at a rally to defund Planned Parenthood:

“We need to talk about what the real issues are and not get caught up in silliness like this matters or that matters.” “Of course all lives matter. I don’t want to get into it, it’s so silly,” he continued. “Black lives are part of all lives, right? When we’re talking about a culture of life, then we ought to be talking about a culture of life and not allow ourselves to get caught up in all the divisive rhetoric and terminology and political correctness. It’s the reason we can’t make any progress as a society.”

Ben Carson Doesn’t Understand Black Lives Matter

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson on Sunday expressed skepticism over the purpose of the Black Lives Matter movement and refused to acknowledge that he made a mistake when calling the movement “silly.”

Last week, the neurosurgeon-turned-GOP presidential candidate said that Black Lives Matter is “silly” and “divisive.”

“We need to talk about what the real issues are and not get caught up in silliness like this matters or that matters,” he said. “Of course all lives matter. I don’t want to get into it. It’s so silly.”

On Sunday, Carson denied that he called the movement itself “silly” and clarified that he thinks the distinction between “black lives matter” and “all lives matter” is “political correctness going amuck.” 

“Well, you know, I don’t recall calling it silly, but what I called silly is political correctness going amuck. That’s what’s silly. When, you know, I guess it was Martin O’Malley who said, you know, ‘Black lives matter, white lives matter.’ He got in trouble for that and had to apologize. That’s what I’m talking about is silly,” Carson said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

He was referring to an incident last month when Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley ignited controversy after he told Black Lives Matters protesters: “Black lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter.”

Carson added: “Of course all lives matter, and of course we should be very concerned about what’s going on, particularly in our inner cities. It’s a crime, you know, for a young black man, the most likely cause of death is homicide. That is a huge problem that we need to address in a very serious way.”

When host Chuck Todd reminded Carson that saying “all lives matter” diminishes the fact that blacks as a group are disproportionately targeted and mistreated by police, Carson suggested that people place too much blame on the police:

I think we need to look at the whole picture. One of the things that I always like to point out to people is how about we just remove the police for 24 hours. Can you imagine the chaos that would ensue? And the vast majority of police are very good people. Are there bad apples? Of course.

But if you hire a plumber and he does a bad job, do you say all plumbers are bad? Let’s go out and kill them? I don’t think we do that. We need to be a little more mature, but certainly in cases where police are doing things that are inappropriate, I think we ought to investigate those promptly and justice should be swift.

The Black Lives Matter movement has tried to bring racial discrimination and police brutality into the forefront of the presidential race. But with the exception of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who has sponsored criminal justice reform legislation in the Senate, the GOP presidential field has been largely silent on the problem of racial inequality. Those who have weighed in have appeared dismissive of the movement.

Like Carson, fellow GOP contender Jeb Bush also believes that O’Malley did not need to apologize for his remarks, telling reporters last month that “we’re so uptight and so politically correct. Now you apologize for saying lives matter?”

Carson and Bush were the only Republican candidates to speak at last week’s National Urban League conference, an annual gathering of civil rights leaders. In their speeches, both candidates failed to directly address the concerns of the Black Lives Matter movement, shifting the focus away from specific issues like criminal justice reform to more general thoughts about race. Bush discussed his efforts to promote more black leaders when he was governor of Florida, while Carson recounted a childhood incident of racism.

Think he deserves the  Black Republican Jockstrap Award for this one.

Alan West, the Tea Parties other black Lawn Jockey Strap

Alan West, the Tea Parties other black Lawn Jockey Strap

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2015 in Black Conservatives

 

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Cincinnati — Police Officer Indicted in Killing of Samuel DuBose

The funeral for Samuel Dubose at the Church of the Living God in Cincinnati on Tuesday.

University of Cincinnati police officer who shot man during traffic stop charged with murder

A University of Cincinnati police officer was indicted Wednesday on a charge of murder for fatally shooting an unarmed black man during a traffic stop earlier this month.

“It was so unnecessary for this to occur,” Joe Deters, the Hamilton County prosecutor, said at a news conference Wednesday.

Sam Dubose, 43, was shot and killed during a July 19 traffic stop by Officer Ray Tensing. The officer initially said he was dragged by Dubose’s car, leading to the shooting. Deters said that Dubose “was subdued,” adding that Tensing had his license plate number.

“This office has probably reviewed upwards of hundreds of police shootings, and this is the first time that we’ve thought this is without question a murder,” he said.

While a university police report stated that Tensing said he had been dragged by the car before shooting, Deters said that the officer not dragged. Rather, Tensing fell backwards after shooting Dubose in the head, Deters said.

Deters called the situation “a pretty chicken-crap stop” and a “senseless, asinine” shooting. He also said that if Dubose began to leave, the officer should have just let him go rather than shoot him in the head. An arrest warrant had been issued for Tensing, the prosecutor said.

“I’m treating him like a murderer,” he said. “They’re out to get him.”…

Just released Body Cam video shows officer shooting DuBose as he pulls away in his car.

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2015 in Domestic terrorism

 

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