Mass Incarceration

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.

Black Autonomy Federation Radio – Gender and Black Autonomy | BLACK TALK RADIO NETWORK™

gender and black autonomy

Gender and Black Autonomy

Throughout their history in America, women and girls of African descent have been routinely subjected to racism, patriarchy, sexism and other forms of gender oppression, denied jobs and equal access to health services, among other problems. Join us for a discussion with members of the Black Autonomy Federation Women’s Commission about why black women must assert their right to independently organize around and address issues of specific concern to them.

via Black Autonomy Federation Radio – Gender and Black Autonomy | BLACK TALK RADIO NETWORK™.

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.

Mike Brown’s shooting and Jim Crow lynchings have too much in common. It’s time for America to own up | Isabel Wilkerson | Comment is free | theguardian.com | #OYRchallenge

Ferguson Lynching

At left: Ferguson, Missouri, 2014, where a body was left in the street for four hours in the August sun. At right: Paris, Texas, 1893. Photographs: JB Forbes / St Louis Post-Dispatch via AP; Wikimedia Commons

the guardian photo

Not terribly long ago in a country that many people misremember, if they knew it at all, a black person was killed in public every four days for often the most mundane of infractions, or rather accusation of infractions – for taking a hog, making boastful remarks, for stealing 75 cents. For the most banal of missteps, the penalty could be an hours-long spectacle of torture and lynching. No trial, no jury, no judge, no appeal. Now, well into a new century, as a family in Ferguson, Missouri, buries yet another American teenager killed at the hands of authorities, the rate of police killings of black Americans is nearly the same as the rate of lynchings in the early decades of the 20th century.

 

via Mike Brown’s shooting and Jim Crow lynchings have too much in common. It’s time for America to own up | Isabel Wilkerson | Comment is free | theguardian.com.

– These Kids Are About To Charge The Chicago Police Dept. With Genocide At The United Nations VIDEO | #OYRchallenge

The charge of Genocide has been levied upon various countries across the globe. We watch the horrors broadcast on American television, and we return to our lives without recognizing the historical genocide attempted against African Americans in the US. The United States refused to sign the UN Convention on Social and Economic Equality. Mike Brown was sacrificed, but his life will now have meaning as the question of national genocide by authorities is no longer a question. The children are fighting for their lives. The UN is their only hope. Support them in their efforts. The ultimate #OYRchallenge
via – These Kids Are About To Charge The Chicago Police Dept. With Genocide At The United Nations VIDEO.

A group of youth social justice leaders plan to go to Geneva, Switzerland this November to deliver testimony about the experiences of young people, people of color and other marginalized communities who face targeted violence by police in the Chicago area.The grass-roots group who call themselves, We Charge Genocide, will speak before the United Nations Against Torture. Their name comes from a petition that was delivered to the United Nations in 1951. Using stories and data from their Youth Hearing On Police Violence the delegates where they will speak out against the crimes against humanity that  are the norm for minority groups in Chicago and across the nation.

This Town Needs a Better Class of Racist – Atlantic Mobile

The question Cliven Bundy put to his audience last week—Was the black family better off as property?—is as immoral as it unoriginal. As both Adam Serwer and Jamelle Bouie point out, the roster of conservative theorists who imply that black people were better off being whipped, worked, and raped are legion. Their ranks include economists Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell, former congressman Allen West, sitting Representative Trent Franks, singer Ted Nugent, and presidential aspirants Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann.

via This Town Needs a Better Class of Racist – Atlantic Mobile.

Portugal Decriminalized All Drugs Eleven Years Ago And The Results Are Staggering | Business Insider

Portugal’s move to decriminalize does not mean people can carry around, use, and sell drugs free from police interference. That would be legalization. Rather, all drugs are “decriminalized,” meaning drug possession, distribution, and use is still illegal. While distribution and trafficking is still a criminal offence, possession and use is moved out of criminal courts and into a special court where each offender’s unique  situation is judged by legal experts, psychologists, and social workers. Treatment and further action is decided in these courts, where addicts and drug use is treated as a public health service rather than referring it to the justice system (like the U.S.), reports Fox News.

via Portugal Decriminalized All Drugs Eleven Years Ago And The Results Are Staggering | Business Insider.

FBIs Most Wanted Assata Shakurs Open Letter to the Pope | Kulture Kritic

Assata Shakur

Back in 1998, the state of New Jersey wrote a letter to the Pope asking for his help in extraditing Shakur back to the United States.  She was arrested and incarcerated in 1973 for allegedly shooting two New Jersey state troopers, and escaped from prison in 1979.    Shakur wrote this letter to the Pope to explain her situation and the work she has been doing to fight against well-documented corruption among police and governmental agencies within the United States.  She also speaks about mass incarceration of African Americans and a series of racial disparities that have helped her garner support from around the world.

via FBIs Most Wanted Assata Shakurs Open Letter to the Pope | Kulture Kritic.

Hundreds Still on Hunger Strike in California Prisons As Situation Becomes Increasingly Dire – Solitary Watch

Christian Gomez died while hunger striking at Corcoran in 2012

The CDCR has been harsh in the response to the present hunger strike. All participants had their cells searched after three days of hunger striking in order to remove any items purchased from the prison canteen, including vitamins, Kool-Aid, and coffee. Individuals found to be drinking Kool-Aid are officially not considered to be on hunger strike, so it is expected that the current figure of 564 is lower than the actual number of hunger strikers. The cell doors of participants have also been blocked by objects, according to CDCR spokesperson Terry Thornton, the Public Information Officer (PIO) at Corcoran State Prison, and multiple reports from Tehachapi State Prison. Hunger strike leaders at Pelican Bay and Corcoran have been removed to other sections, prompting one striker, Michael Dorrough described the situation as an ” absolute madhouse.”

via Hundreds Still on Hunger Strike in California Prisons As Situation Becomes Increasingly Dire – Solitary Watch.