• Martin Luther King Day: Lady Liberty is Black

    January 16, 2017 // 41 Comments »



    The United States will release a gold coin featuring Lady Liberty as a Black woman, the first time she has been depicted as anything other than white on the nation’s currency.

    “Part of our intent was to honor our tradition and heritage,” stated a spokesperson from the Mint. “But we also think it’s always worthwhile to have a conversation about liberty, and we certainly have started that conversation.”

    Good for everyone. Only the most dark hearted could be upset that a fictional character is represented in any particular way. This can’t be bad.


    …Unless we acknowledge that America is apparently satisfied with “having conversations,” raising awareness about race, and various other symbolic gestures. The Academy Awards are coming up, and lots of people will be keeping track of how many are given out to non-white men and making much of the tally, their “much” depending on which side the scale tips. Gestures of all types are all good enough on their own, but they never really affect much. The issues of race stretch back to the Founders, well before we elected a Black president and then elected one who throws racist statements around on Twitter. We’re still dealing with the same questions.


    The same day the new liberty coin was announced, the Department of Justice released a terrifying report describing the failures throughout the Chicago Police Department, saying excessive force was rampant, rarely challenged and chiefly aimed at African-Americans and Latinos. The report was released as Chicago faces skyrocketing violence, with murders are at a 20-year high, and a deep lack of trust among the city’s Black and white residents. And yeah, of course, the police force is very, very white.

    Where was this report a year ago, or eight years ago, or ten years ago? Because the implication here is that the Obama administration issued this in its final days, allowing it (and not any solution or progress) to be part of his legacy. Suspecting Trump will not make dealing with these issues a priority, Obama’s DOJ can take credit for “starting a conversation” about Chicago while walking away from the heavy lifting of helping fix it. Hell, DOJ might as well have issued a commemorative coin in lieu of the report.


    We all know the rest: 1 in every 15 African American men are incarcerated in comparison to 1 in every 106 white men. According to the Bureau of Justice statistics, one in three Black men can expect to go to prison in their lifetime. Once convicted, Black offenders receive longer sentences compared to white offenders. You can find similar numbers for poverty (nearly a quarter of blacks are living in poverty, almost the same as in 1976), unemployment (double that of whites), life expectancy, and voter disenfranchisement.

    Clearly over the last seven decades somebody could have fixed some of that. It can’t all be impossible.

    Now, there has been some progress. America wrapped up formal slavery in 1865, only 76 years after the Bill of Rights. And then it was only another 100 some years before the Civil Rights laws tried hard to grant Blacks the rights the 1865 victory gave them. We don’t have lynchings and killings much anymore (though the Chicago PD keeps its hand in) and places that wish to discriminate against Blacks have to do it much more subtlety.

    I’m not making light of suffering, but I am using sarcasm to show how angry I am about lack of real progress. We seem content to see presence as progress — first Black major leaguer, first Black Supreme Court Justice, first Black _____, first Black president. Again, there is nothing bad there, but now that the top box has been checked, what happens next?

    In other words, we get Martin Luther King day as a Federal holiday while at the same time we don’t get the values King embodied. There you go. As one person put it “The Dr. King we choose to remember was indeed the symbolic beacon of the civil rights movement. But the Dr. King we forget worked within institutions to transform broken systems.” Change is not organic; it must be made to happen.

    It is hard to come to any conclusion other than we as a society just don’t care. There are so many excuses (he was blocked by the Republicans, they’re still a tiny minority in Congress, the media, etc.) but even America’s Black president failed hard to make much of a real difference. We seem satisfied with symbolic gestures, blowing them out of proportion while the real problems sit in plain sight, unattended. What people will characterize over the next four years as sliding backwards on racial progress seems more like business as usual, albeit without the eloquent speeches.



    BONUS: Someone will label me a racist for this. Someone on Twitter will tell me to go f*ck myself. Many people will tell me because of my race I have no understanding, even no right, to talk about these issues. Others will claim I shower with Trump. OK if any of that makes you feel better, but none of that changes what I’ve said.

    EXTRA BONUS: Just got accused of “white-splaining” because of this. Apparently that is a thing.




    Related Articles:




    Copyright © 2017. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity. Follow me on Twitter!

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

    Posted in Democracy, Trump

    Chicago Police Detain Americans at ‘Black Site’

    February 24, 2015 // 3 Comments »

    homan


    One of the things I was told as a new parent that really stuck was that my kids would be watching me 24/7 for clues as to how to behave, what was acceptable, what they might get away with. People look to authorities above them to see what is current practice in the same way. Unfortunately, this is how the taint of CIA actions in the so-called war on terror have come to the Homeland, specifically sweet home Chicago.

    This is what happens in Post-Constitutional America.


    Homeland Black Site

    In an exclusive story, The Guardian, a UK newspaper, reports that the Chicago police department operates an off-the-books interrogation compound, rendering Americans unable to be found by family or lawyers while locked inside what attorneys say is the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site. The key element of a black site is the ability for an organization — CIA or Chicago PD — to hold someone outside of the law’s protections and indeed outside of any third-party knowledge. In Chicago, this includes a lack of access to legal advice during interrogation.

    The facility in Chicago is a warehouse known as Homan Square. Interviews with local attorneys and one protester who spent the better part of a day shackled in Homan Square describe operations that deny access to basic constitutional rights. Alleged police practices at Homan Square, according to those familiar with the facility who spoke to the Guardian after its investigation into Chicago police abuse, include:

    — Keeping arrestees out of official booking databases.

    — Beating by police, resulting in head wounds.

    — Shackling for prolonged periods.

    — Denying attorneys access to the “secure” facility.

    — Holding people without legal counsel for between 12 and 24 hours, including people as young as 15.

    — At least one man was found unresponsive in a Homan Square interrogation room and later pronounced dead.

    No one taken to Homan Square is said to be booked. Witnesses, suspects or others who end up inside do not appear to have a public, searchable record entered into a database indicating where they are, as happens when someone is booked at a precinct. Lawyers and relatives insist there is no way of finding their whereabouts. Those lawyers who have attempted to gain access to Homan Square are most often turned away, even as their clients remain in custody inside.

    “They Just Disappear”

    “It’s sort of an open secret among attorneys that regularly make police station visits, this place – if you can’t find a client in the system, odds are they’re there,” said one local lawyer. A Chicago civil-rights attorney said Homan Square represented a routinization of a notorious practice in local police work that violates the Fifth and Sixth amendments of the Constitution.

    Much remains hidden about Homan Square. The Chicago police department has not responded to any of the Guardian’s recent questions – neither about any aspect of operations at Homan Square, nor about the Guardian’s investigation of Richard Zuley, the retired Chicago detective turned Guantánamo Bay torturer.

    “They just disappear,” said a criminal defense attorney.



    Related Articles:




    Copyright © 2017. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity. Follow me on Twitter!

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

    Posted in Democracy, Trump

    How It Works

    May 20, 2012 // 3 Comments »


    Protesters in the US arrested. No propaganda value for the US Government.








    Protesters in China imported to US for propaganda value for the US Government.

    Note to Mr. Chen: Welcome to the New World! Feel free to criticize any government you wish to here, except the US government. Even our version of free speech has limits. Watch your back around these parts, Chen.











    Related Articles:




    Copyright © 2017. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity. Follow me on Twitter!

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

    Posted in Democracy, Trump

IP Blocking Protection is enabled by IP Address Blocker from LionScripts.com.