This is ramping up fast. Trump’s vitriolic language has set off a firestorm.
This is ramping up fast. Trump’s vitriolic language has set off a firestorm.
The Central Park Five case in the early 90’s was a modern day lynching and serves as a template of how young black men are demonized, and ultimately denied justice by racism. The case remains as a Hallmark of racial justice and injustice in the United States on a par with the Scottsboro Boys sham trial and attempted executions.
Recently a NYC High School Teacher made the story of the Central Park 5 part of her lesson plan on history. She was promptly fired.
Administrators reportedly were concerned the lessons would cause “riots” among black students.
Two of the five men who were wrongfully convicted in the 1989 rape and assault of a woman in Central Park have expressed support for a New York City teacher who says she lost her job after teaching students about the case.
“We support her 100 percent,” Raymond Santana, a member of a group known as the Central Park Five, told The Huffington Post. “We’ll probably rally for her — go to the courthouse. I want her to keep doing what she’s doing. I hope this doesn’t discourage her.” He believes the teacher should be reinstated, he added.
Jeena Lee-Walker, who taught English at the High School of the Arts, Imagination and Inquiry in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, filed a federal lawsuit last week alleging that administrators at the school feared her lessons on the Central Park Five might “rile up” black students and cause small “riots.” They asked her to take a more “balanced” approach in teaching students about the case, her lawsuit claims.
“I was stunned,” Lee-Walker told the Daily News Friday. “I was kind of like, the facts are the facts. This is what happened.”
Students, she told the paper, “and black students in particular, should be riled up.”
Trailer for the Documentary –
“It was awesome — they were so engaged,” she said of teaching her students about the Central Park Five, adding that they were “really moved” by a 2012 documentaryon the subject. “They really identified with the teenagers.”
Lee-Walker says she received a series of bad performance reviews, and was ultimately fired, in retaliation for pushing back against criticism from administrators over her Central Park Five lessons.
Santana, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, Kevin Richardson and Korey Wise — all black and Latino men — were all under 16 years old when they were each arrested in 1989 for the beating and rape of Trisha Melli, a 28-year-old investment banker. The brutal attack dominated headlines, with the city’s tabloids stirring racially charged fears of “wilding” groups of violent black and Latino teenagers across the city.
Police zeroed in on the five teens, all of whom had reportedly been in or near Central Park at the time of the attack.
Each teen confessed to the crime during 24 hours of interrogation, but later claimed their statements had been coerced by police. They were all nevertheless convicted and sentenced to prison in 1990. (At the time, billionaire businessman and current Republican front-runner Donald Trump called for their execution.)
Santana, McCray, Salaam and Richardson each spent nearly six years in prison. Wise spent nearly 13 years in prison.
The convictions against the men were vacated in 2002 after a New York inmate named Matias Reyes confessed to raping Melli. Then-Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau announced that DNA evidence from the crime scene matched Reyes’ DNA.
Expressions of peace…
Hundreds of Shia Muslims turned a major annual spiritual ritual into an antiterrorism rally Sunday, marching, singing and praying for hours from trendy Dupont Circle to the White House as tourists and brunch-goers rubbernecked.
Connecticut Avenue was a sea of black as Shia mostly from the D.C. region waved banners with the name of their spiritual forefather, Imam Husain, and pounded their chests with their fists simultaneously as an expression of mourning. His martyrdom 1,400 years ago is a major part of Shia narrative and a defining event in the break between Shia and Sunni Muslims, and is marked annually. A few days ago, more than 22 million Shia and others visited the Iraqi city of Karbala in a pilgrimage to the place where Husain died.
But this year the event twinned as a peace march. Muslims — including head-covered women, young children and hipsters with man buns on hoverboards — held signs condemning terrorism and ISIS and handed out hot chocolate and doughnuts in an effort to open conversations with passersby.
Some American Muslim groups and prominent U.S. Muslims have been making extra public efforts since the recent terrorism-related killings in San Bernardino, Calif., to speak against the Islamic State terrorist group and radical Islam.
“What’s happening now is we feel even more compelled to come out of our homes,” said Zehra Raza, 27, an electrical engineer from Alexandria, Va., who was there with her husband.
The crowd was smaller than in past years, she and others said, because many Muslims were afraid of being harassed or targeted with violence. Such incidents have been on the rise. Many police officers were on hand, and no obvious protests. When the crowd arrived at Lafayette Park across from the White House, tourists pulled out their cellphones. One group from Poland attempted in broken English to explain to a pair from Colombia what was going on.
“Some [Muslims] were afraid but I think this is the perfect time to come out and stand with people who are oppressed. ISIS is the same as what Husain was fighting 1,400 years ago,” Raza said.
ISIS has persecuted Shia – among other religious minorities – in Syria and Iraq, called them infidels and killed them.
As Raza spoke, and offered strangers Krispy Kreme doughnuts, a stranger from outside the group approached her to offer support. The woman hugged her. “God bless. Or whomever bless – the universe bless,” the woman said as she walked away.
Many of the signs echoed the views of marchers – that Shia are victims of ISIS, and in particular of the Wahhabi branch of Islam that dominates Saudi Arabia. The front row of the marchers was a phalanx of young boys holding posterboards with words such as “Americans unite against Wahhabi terrorism,” “Muslims against ISIS” and “American Shia Muslims stand with the victims of San Bernardino.”
Way to step up, guys! Now get the Kappas and Omegas (and Sigmas and Thetas) in there to to provide an example of how real black men work and cooperate peacefully together.
Whenever protests against police brutality occur in the United States, critics of the Black Lives Matter movement and other race-related protests are quick to criticize marchers for ignoring so-called black-on-black crime and for only speaking out when a white police officer is involved in a black person’s death.
But last weekend, the men of Alpha Phi Alpha, a historically black intercollegiate fraternity, proved this is not the case.
Nearly 300 men marched in the freezing rain and snow in Chicago’s Chatham neighborhood on Saturday to demand an end to violence in their community. Joined by Alderman Michelle Harris and Illinois state Reps. Marcus Evans and Elgie Sims, all Democrats, the fraternity marched down 79th Street, where community members say a gang war is raging.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Chatham has the 16th-highest violent crime rate of any neighborhood in Chicago.
“We wanted to show that the community was not giving up,” said Sims, who is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha and currently represents Illinois’ 34th District, which includes portions of the South Side of Chicago. “We wanted the business owners to know that we stood with them and we were going to be there making a statement, standing with them, to encourage patrons to patronize those businesses, to encourage people to feel comfortable and safe in their community.”
The Rev. Roosevelt Watkins, pastor of Chicago’s Bethlehem Star Missionary Baptist Church and a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, told the Chicago City Hall Examiner that the march’s purpose was to “confront the violence on these blocks and to reinvigorate economic development on 79th Street.”
“Black business owners, residents, were coming outside of their homes, opening their windows, customers were stepping outside of their shops,” Lamar Brown, a law student who participated in the march, told The Huffington Post. “They were applauding us, yelling ‘Good job,’ clapping. Even people in cars were stopping their cars, giving us thumbs up. I think the effort itself was really embraced by the community.”
Just added the Alphas to my “Giant Negro” list…
At some point, you have to question the basic IQ of some folks.
The Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan’s Pelham, North Carolina, chapter have reserved the Statehouse Grounds in South Carolina for a rally next month.
James Spears, the Great Titan of the chapter, said the group would be rallying to protest “the Confederate flag being took down for all the wrong reasons.”
It’s part of white people’s culture,” he added.
Brian Gaines, who runs the South Carolina Budget and Control Board, which oversees reservations, confirmed the scheduling in an email to POLITICO Monday. He added that the group submitted the request on June 23 and, because his office allows any group, regardless of ideology, to reserve the grounds on a first-come, first-serve basis, the KKK will be able to hold its rally.
The event is planned for July 18 from 3-5 p.m., just over one month after Dylann Roof allegedly entered a historic church in Charleston and shot to death nine African-Americans during a Bible study meeting. Reports indicate Roof was attempting to incite a race war and had read 34 various materials from white supremacist groups online before plotting his crime.
Some things just don’t change. Welcome to Rosebud, Mo…
As they marched from Ferguson to Jefferson City, Missouri protesters were met with an ugly sight.
About 200 people met the marchers as they reached Rosebud around noon, activists said. A display of fried chicken, a melon and a 40-ounce beer bottle had been placed in the street. A Confederate flag flew. Counter-protestors shouted racial epithets.One of the counter-protesters was a young boy with a sign that said “go home.”
The group was traveling as part of the “Journey for Justice” march organized by the NAACP.
This is just the latest example of the vicious and sometimes violent opposition Ferguson protesters have faced.
The Occupy movement has truly gone worldwide. Yesterday, pro-Democracy Egyptians in Cairo marched in solidarity with Americans in the Occupy Wall Street Movement. The brutal assault on the Occupy Oakland protest has gone worldwide.
As they vowed earlier this week to do, Egyptian pro-democracy protesters marched from Tahrir square to the U.S. Embassy today to march in support of Occupy Oakland—and against police brutality witnessed in Oakland on Tuesday night, and commonly experienced in Egypt.
Yet another battle is brewing in Louisville, where Police were ordered by Tennessee’s Republican Governor to arrest protesters for the second time this week. Once again, a Judge has thrown out the arrests as illegal.
The arrests and harassment of Occupy protesters is beginning to resemble that endured by Civil Rights protesters in the 60’s. It’s not nearly as violent (yet)… But if some of the local authorities don’t get a grip – it may be. As evidenced by the protests in Egypt, people worldwide are disgusted with the assault upon the First Amendment rights of the protesters in the supposed bastion of Democracy.
State troopers for the second straight night arrested anti-Wall Street protesters for defying a new nighttime curfew imposed by the Republican governor, in an effort to disband an encampment near the state Capitol in Nashville.
And also, for a second time, a Nashville night judge dismissed the arrest warrants.
The Tennessean newspaper reported early Saturday morning that Magistrate Tom Nelson told troopers delivering the protesters to jail that he could “find no authority anywhere for anyone to authorize a curfew anywhere on Legislative Plaza.”
Occupy Nashville protesters – including many of the 29 arrested in a pre-dawn raid on Friday – returned to the Legislative Plaza that evening and remained through the 10 p.m. curfew…