Mass Incarceration

Cornel West, Others Arrested At Ferguson Protest – NBC News.com | #OYRchallenge


By Patrick Howell O’Neill on October 13, 2014

Activist and academic Dr. Cornel West was arrested during demonstrations in Ferguson, Mo. He was on the scene to protest police brutality against black males, including the August shooting death of Michael Brown and another incident on Saturday, another 18-year-old killed by police just miles from Ferguson.Here’s Fusion’s livestream of the protests:

via Dr. Cornel West arrested in Ferguson.

Cornel West Arrested In Ferguson: BREAKING NEWS – YOUTUBE | #OYRchallenge

Dr. Cornel West has always been the example that going to jail is sometimes a part of activism. Long time academic and activist, West was arrested during the New York City “Stop and Frisk” rally three years ago. He has brought many demanding issues to the forefront in other arrest, bucking the stigma of arrest, which usually is a quieting tool for many African Americans, especially the affluent. Princeton University might double his salary after this. He is definitely a talking point.

Over 1,000 people joined in the “Ferguson October” protest over the death of Michael Brown, shot by police officer Darrel Wilson back in August 2014. Watch the video below:

Published on Oct 13, 2014

Author and activist Cornel West was arrested while demonstrating in Ferguson, Missouri, on Monday.West was in Ferguson as part of the “Ferguson October” rally, which has been attended by over 1,000 protesters.Journalists in Ferguson tweeted photos of the incident Monday afternoon.

West had joined peaceful demonstrations at St. Louis University on Sunday night. Hours earlier, during a large mass protest service, West said that he came to get arrested.“It’s a beautiful thing to see people on fire for justice, but I didn’t come here to give a speech,” West said during a discussion on Sunday night. “I came here to go to jail.”

via Cornel West Arrested In Ferguson: BREAKING NEWS – YouTube.

For Black Women, Domestic Violence and State Violence Go Hand in Hand

Violence Against Women

A 2000 US Department of Justice report showed that African-American women experienced intimate partner violence at a rate 35 percent higher than that of white women. “In 2007, African-American female victims of intimate partner homicide were twice as likely as white female homicide victims to be killed by a spouse,” according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. A study conducted in 2002 by Tufts University found that 40 percent of African-American women report coercive contact of a sexual nature by age 18, as cited by the American Bar Association. The same study found that the number one killer of African-American women ages 15 to 34 is homicide at the hands of a current or former intimate partner, and that only 17 percent of African-American women survivors of sexual assault report the assault to the police.

via For Black Women, Domestic Violence and State Violence Go Hand in Hand.

Deadly Force, In Black And White

Deadly Force, In Black And White

Young black males in recent years were at a far greater risk of being shot dead by police than their white counterparts – 21 times greater i, according to a ProPublica analysis of federally collected data on fatal police shootings.The 1,217 deadly police shootings from 2010 to 2012 captured in the federal data show that blacks, age 15 to 19, were killed at a rate of 31.i7 per million, while just 1.47 per million white males in that age range died at the hands of police.One way of appreciating that stark disparity, ProPublica’s analysis shows, is to calculate how many more whites over those three years would have had to have been killed for them to have been at equal risk. The number is jarring – 185, more than one per week.

via Deadly Force, In Black And White.

Key Figures In CIA-Crack Cocaine Scandal Begin To Come Forward | #OYRchallenge

Gary Webb, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist

Young African Americans during the beginning of the Drug Wars heard whispers of government involvement. It was hush, hush in the media, but on the city streets and in Blacksploitation films like, Cotton Comes to Harlem, this was a reality. In 1996, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Gary Webb published his book, Dark Alliance, connecting the African American Crack Cocaine explosion to a well planned CIA operation. Major news network entities attacked Webb’s research sending him off into obscurity and later suicide in December 2004.

A new film opening this week, Kill The Messenger, is a tribute to Gary Webb and his outstanding research into the attack on the African American community. History tells us that we are never really ready for the immediate truth. We need time and space, especially in attacks on minority groups, to digest our sins, distance ourselves from blame, and face cold realities we can no longer ignore. RIP, Gary Webb and may the force be with you. #OYRchallenge

More than 18 years have passed since Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb stunned the world with his “Dark Alliance” newspaper series investigating the connections between the CIA, a crack cocaine explosion in the predominantly African-American neighborhoods of South Los Angeles, and the Nicaraguan Contra fighters — scandalous implications that outraged LA’s black community, severely damaged the intelligence agency’s reputation and launched a number of federal investigations. 

via Key Figures In CIA-Crack Cocaine Scandal Begin To Come Forward.

NYPD Cop Allegedly Steals $1,300 In Stop-And-Frisk, Pepper Sprays Victim | VIDEO | #OYRchallenge

“I believe that this officer made an assumption that any money Mr. Joye possessed was obtained illegally and therefore he would not report the theft. This assumption was wrong,” Marinelli said. “Mr. Joye is a hardworking taxpayer deserving respect.”The lawyer told the New York Post that his client had $1,300 on him so he could treat he and his wife to a night on the town in celebration of his 35th birthday.“

The cops thought they could just go in his pockets, take his money, mace him and leave,” Marinelli said. “If there wasn’t a video, nobody would believe this happened.”

via NYPD Cop Allegedly Steals $1,300 In Stop-And-Frisk, Pepper Sprays Victim VIDEO.

The Society of Fugitives – James Forman Jr. – The Atlantic

James Forman Jr’s The Society of Fugitives is an excellent and comprehensive review of Alice Goffman’s “On the Run: Wanted Men in a Philadelphia Ghetto.”  Forman compares and contrast other social research and studies to the disparaging commentary of Goffman’s character observations in her study of inner city men. Her characterizations represent a minute portion of population, yet Goffman assumes her chosen samples as a monolith of inner city life on the Philadelphia streets.

The best of social researchers reach a crevice they understand is too large for them to cross. The wise turn away and find another science project, yet some, already invested in weeks of research preparations and a finite amount of time per semester plod on to the demise of their subjects. This may be one of those times. The Society of Fugitives - James Forman Jr. - The Atlantic

Goffman was a sociology major, but her coursework hadn’t prepared her for the phenomenon she was witnessing. The situation of men like Mike and his friends had not figured prominently in previous ethnographies of the inner city. Whereas Anderson and others had written about young men who were continually suspected by the police but who had some chance of walking free after a street stop, the men Goffman studied were actually wanted. If the police were to stop them and discover their fugitive status, they would be taken into custody. These men also risked arrest for noncriminal activity that violated their probation or parole—staying out past curfew, for instance, or visiting a part of town where they weren’t allowed to be. As a result, they lived their lives on the run.

via The Society of Fugitives – James Forman Jr. – The Atlantic.

Demonstrators interrupt STL symphony singing a ‘Requiem for Mike Brown’ – YouTube | #OYRchallenge


Published on Oct 4, 2014

By Rebecca Rivas Of The St. Louis American

Just after intermission, about 50 people interrupted the St. Louis Symphony’s performance of Brahms Requiem on Saturday night, singing “Justice for Mike Brown.”As symphony conductor Markus Stenz raised his baton to begin the second act of German Requiem, one middle-aged African-American man stood up in the middle of the theater and sang, “What side are you on friend, what side are you on?” In an operatic voice, another woman located a few rows away stood up and joined him singing, “Justice for Mike Brown is justice for us all.” Several more audience members sprinkled throughout the theater and in the balcony rose up and joined in the singing.Those in the balcony lowered white banners about 15 feet long with black spray-painted letters that said, “ Requiem for Mike Brown 1996-2014” and “Racism lives here,” with an arrow pointed to a picture of the St. Louis Arch. Another banner said, “Rise up and join the movement.” Stenz stood stoically and listened to the demonstrators’ performance. Some onlookers were outraged and start spewing expletives. Others stood up and started clapping. Most seemed stunned and simply watched. The singing only went on for two minutes before the demonstrators started chanting, “Black lives matter.” Then they all marched out together and left the theater. While they marched out, they received a round of applause from almost all of the audience members – as well as the musicians on stage.Outside, symphony administrators huddled together discussing the demonstration. When asked if they wanted to comment, they said no.

via Demonstrators interrupt STL symphony singing a ‘Requiem for Mike Brown’ – YouTube.

Dear White Folks, Please Stop Being So ‘Surprised’ When White Cops Shoot Unarmed Black People | #OYRchallenge

The Daily Kos posted this article on September 29, 2014.  Since then the avalanche of written and video arguments against asking people to “check your privilege” has skyrocketed across social media. Comparative yeahs and nos are equal. But the understanding of what privilege really means is, sometimes by default, becoming patently clear. Surprisingly, some even feel victimized when asked to respect the boundaries of others. Amazing.

Nice work by chaunceydevegaDaily Kos

However well-intentioned and sincere the concern and surprise by the white American public and some in the chattering classes towards the events in Ferguson, the shooting of Jones by Groubert, or the panoply of unarmed black men by the police ever 28 hours in America may be, their response is still colored by white privilege.Black and brown Americans have been complaining about, organizing in response to, and publicly discussing police brutality and extra-judicial violence against their communities for several hundred years. Those concerns have largely been ignored by the white public.

via Dear White Folks, Please Stop Being So ‘Surprised’ When White Cops Shoot Unarmed Black People.

Video Shows South Carolina Cop Shooting Black Man Without Any Apparent Provocation | ThinkProgress | #OYRchallenge

In September 2014, Sean Groubert, a South Carolina State Trooper shot a young African American man, Levar Jones, on his way home from work, seconds after asking for his driver license. Jones was only shot in the hip but the video shows the lightning attack on him by Groubert as he reached for the requested document.

What’s striking about this case is how swiftly Groubert escalated the incident from a routine traffic stop to the use of potentially deadly force — and the fact that he did so without any apparent provocation whatsoever. Only four seconds pass between when Groubert asks Jones for his license, and when Groubert fires the first of four shots at the unarmed driver.The other thing that’s striking about this case, however, is the fact that Groubert will actually face criminal charges for his actions. According to The State, Groubert faces up to 20 years in prison if he is convicted. He was also fired by the highway patrol on Friday.

via Video Shows South Carolina Cop Shooting Black Man Without Any Apparent Provocation | ThinkProgress.