feminism & equality, politics

Elizabeth Warren Knows Black Lives Matter

Did you catch Senator Warren’s speech on racial inequality Sunday? The Washington Post said it “was perhaps the most full-throated endorsement to date by a federal lawmaker for the ongoing protest movement” and I totally agree. She spoke the truth in a way that didn’t back down from inevitable criticism and didn’t downplay or ignore the issue even though she’s a white woman who has never personally experienced such racial discrimination.

Here are a few quotes from her speech:

“None of us can ignore what is happening in this country. Not when our black friends, family, neighbors literally fear dying in the streets. This is the reality all of us must confront, as uncomfortable and ugly as that reality may be. It comes to us to once again affirm that black lives matter, that black citizens matter, that black families matter.”

“Economic justice is not — and has never been — sufficient to ensure racial justice. Owning a home won’t stop someone from burning a cross on the front lawn…”

“We’ve seen sickening videos of unarmed, black Americans cut down by bullets, choked to death while gasping for air — their lives ended by those who are sworn to protect them. Peaceful, unarmed protesters have been beaten. Journalists have been jailed… We must be honest: 50 years after John Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. spoke out, violence against African Americans has not disappeared.”

Read more and watch the video at The Washington Post.

feminism & equality

#Ferguson, a year later

I don’t know what’s going on or why exactly or what the solution is, but SOMETHING HAS TO CHANGE. Policing in our country has detoured into a scary place. I was going to write about something entirely different tonight, but then I opened Twitter and saw a bunch of tear gas, and reports of an 18-year-old shot dead by police today in STL, and how a protest gets called “unlawful assembly” and then some military-looking cops show up to antagonize and brutalize ailing people who HAVE A RIGHT TO ASSEMBLE.

Listen, sometimes people commit crimes, but most crimes aren’t punishable by death, so I’d appreciate it if trigger-happy police weren’t on the force, so the ones who remember they have OTHER TOOLS to use before bullets (like words, patience, and waiting, or even pepper spray, baton, and taser) can step forward and do good policing.

 

Twitter looks like August 2014 right now, after Mike Brown died. It’s a year later, and here we are again with teargas being shot at Americans on American soil and we’re policed by officers who aren’t all wearing body cams yet. I don’t understand it. And I’m watching TV now, and there’s nothing on there about it… If I didn’t watch Twitter, I’d think things were fine. WE NEED TO BE BETTER.

For updates on the ground in STL, check out @WyzeChef, @search4swag, @MsPackyetti, @re_invent_ed.

feminism & equality, reading

For the “All Lives Matter” Folks

This ChainsawSuit.com comic makes such a simple, but important point:

Chainsawsuit's All Things Considered

“A year after Michael Brown’s fatal shooting, unarmed black men are seven times more likely than whites to die by police gunfire.”

No one is saying white people aren’t killed by police. THEY ARE. But that’s another issue and it doesn’t help anyone to ignore that black men (and maybe black women too?) are disproportionately more likely to die at the hands of police than other groups.

To read: Black & Unarmed (The Washington Post)

feminism & equality

Double Standard: NYTimes reporting, black v. white

The New York Times reported on both the killing of Michael Brown by a police officer, and Dylann Roof’s mass-murder in a Charleston Church.

Here’s how they talked about the young, black man shot in the street by a cop:

Double Standard, NYT reports on Michael Brown

And here’s how they described the young, white man who sat in a bible study group for an hour before opening fire on them:

Double Standard, NYT reports on Dylann Storm

“no angel” v. “bug-eyed,” “bowl cut,” and “broken home”…………

feminism & equality, reading

To Read: “I’m a black ex-cop, and this is the real truth about race and policing”

…70 percent of officers are highly susceptible to the culture in a given department. In the absence of any real effort to challenge department cultures, they become part of the problem. If their command ranks are racist or allow institutional racism to persist, or if a number of officers in their department are racist, they may end up doing terrible things.

70%! At the very least, it’s an interesting point, and at most it’s absolutely terrifying.

And no matter what an officer has done to a black person, that officer can always cover himself in the running narrative of heroism, risk, and sacrifice that is available to a uniformed police officer by virtue of simply reporting for duty.

Read the whole thing:

I’m a black ex-cop, and this is the real truth about race and policing (Vox)