Legislature

How Police Reform Has Been Blocked in Maryland | The Intercept

Baltimore, MD

The bills will allow police to wear body cameras, increase the liability cap for lawsuits against government employees, and encourage the state to collect more data on police behavior.

But more substantial reforms, including legislation to add a civilian review process and to have state prosecutors investigate all killings by police, were shot down during a legislative hearing in Annapolis earlier this year.

via How Police Reform Has Been Blocked in Maryland – The Intercept.

Addicting Info – Former Mississippi Republican State Senator Switches To Democratic Party Because Of Obamacare (VIDEO)

Mississippi State Senator Tim Johnson has just jumped ship from the Republican Party. On top of that, he also announced in a press conference held last Wednesday that he will run for Lt. Governor of Mississippi in the next election. He cites failure to accept a five million dollars from the federal government as part of the Medicaid Expansion component of Obamacare as a major part of his reason for leaving the party.

via Addicting Info – Former Mississippi Republican State Senator Switches To Democratic Party Because Of Obamacare (VIDEO).

Addicting Info – President Obama Gives Workers An Easier Way To Unionize

Addicting Info – President Obama Gives Workers An Easier Way To Unionize

The new reform will include limits to some of the litigation that can precede a union election, which will make it harder for groups or individuals to stall or drag out the process. It will also allow unions to file election petitions via email, and they will now require employers to provide the unions with the email addresses and phone numbers of workers who are eligible to vote. Not surprisingly, big business employers who are vehemently opposed to the reform, instead favor the older, slower election process, as it gives them more time to coerce and intimidate union employees into not unionizing.

via Addicting Info – President Obama Gives Workers An Easier Way To Unionize.

Obama Pushes Back Against Comcast and Verizon By Urging Strong FCC Action On Net Neutrality


An open Internet is essential to the American economy, and increasingly to our very way of life. By lowering the cost of launching a new idea, igniting new political movements, and bringing communities closer together, it has been one of the most significant democratizing influences the world has ever known.

“Net neutrality” has been built into the fabric of the Internet since its creation — but it is also a principle that we cannot take for granted. We cannot allow Internet service providers ISPs to restrict the best access or to pick winners and losers in the online marketplace for services and ideas. That is why today, I am asking the Federal Communications Commission FCC to answer the call of almost 4 million public comments, and implement the strongest possible rules to protect net neutrality.

via Obama Pushes Back Against Comcast and Verizon By Urging Strong FCC Action On Net Neutrality.

Do Black People Have Equal Gun Rights? – NYTimes.com | #OYRchallenge

Gunrights

The Cheetum family in Doerun, Ga., in 1950. Credit Bettmann/Corbis

There was a question posed to an African American group opposed to gun rights in America. “If your entire block died from drinking too much Kool-Aid, would your next electoral platform be to ban Kool-Aid from the open market in America?”

CONVENTIONAL wisdom holds that firearms are the preserve of conservative white men. You would never know this at my local shooting range, which happens to be in a majority African-American area, and has a clientele that reflects that fact. There, as a white man, I’m often in the minority; just one more guy who likes to fire weapons — another person to chat to and share stories with. It is, I’d venture, how things should be.

via Do Black People Have Equal Gun Rights? – NYTimes.com.

Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson Booed Off Stage in Ferguson Missouri – YouTube | #OYRchallenge

This video brought me back to a “Black people don’t vote” meeting held in one of the most federally reliant cities in the Capital Region, NY. The message was, African Americans do not vote, therefore if you are arrested and not a registered voter or have not recently voted, – you are disregarded. Another was, African Americans do not have collective issues such as other communities and groups. One of the attendees, a young child replied that her mother, with a Master’s degree, could not find employment –  “because she is Black.” The room went silent.

The speaker moved on with his agenda, pushing forward “his” chosen candidates, which was really the point of this advertised “empowerment” meeting. Who were these candidates? One woman who the speaker noted refused to personally address African American speaking engagements – the other, a woman who personally told me, when asked two years ago, how she stood on African American issues that she was only concerned with women and seniors. I left the meeting assured that these candidates would be elected on the African American vote since they were advocated through white Democratic-manufactured Black community leaders.

None of the current local or world issues was addressed at this meeting. The audience sat fearful of offending the speaker, thus projecting animosity towards the only Black city council official who had organized this meeting. The question begs, how is a city with a dormant Affirmative Action program addressed by hiring more white women, limited access to private industry employment, currently publicized race-based physical and psychological workplace attacks, and an African American community held hostage by Black representatives to manage city-wide issues affecting their health and well-being? This video may be a start. It has been proven that churches, the old stand-by, are not the answer. Community groups throwing civil service jobs, poverty programs and bread to the hungry are not the answer. One woman stated, “The birds are getting fat,” after shouting, “bread, bread, bread.” Black history month is coming fast upon us. Are we going to dig out worn photos of historic Black firsts in American establishments and politics? Or are we finally going to hold ourselves up to the mirror? If not now, then when?

Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson Booed Off Stage in Ferguson Missouri – 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.

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.

‘The Teacher Wars’ Author Talks Race and Gender in American Education – COLORLINES | #OYRchallenge

Scholars interested in this book may also want to research the 1960s and 70s NY policy; “live in your work community,” where NY police and teachers are still given incentives on home purchases and other amenities within the inner city communities where they are employed. This was hoped to address the timely complaint by African American community leaders that African American communities should be served by teachers and police officers of their culture. It was partially successful. Also, look up the JDL response through Brooklyn’s Union College. This is one history, Dana Goldstein would not, could not dare include in Her history. Interesting story regardless.Race and Education

What surprised you most about the history of race and education?One of the really big things that surprised me was that the roots of this “no excuses” reform ideology that is so popular today was actually in black educational theories and ideas dating back to the 19th century. We often mischaracterize those movements today as something that white people are imposing on communities of color. Yet what I found is that in the ideas of Anna Julia Cooper, Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois—figures who disagreed with each other on a lot of things and had a fertile debate—[valued] “no excuses,” strict discipline and academic rigor. Those things were, to a certain extent, areas of agreement among black educational leaders.You can quite easily trace how the founders of the “no excuses” movement, for example the founders of the KIPP network of charter schools, Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin [who are both white], were explicitly influenced by a female black teacher who they observed using these “no excuses” strategies. And there is a translation process that happens there, where this set of ideas of was mostly being used by teachers of color with children of color. Now a multi-racial group of teachers is using these strategies. When someone from your community says to you, “Look, there are no excuses,” that is very different from when someone from outside your community is telling you “no excuses.” Although these are very old ideas, what they mean in practice today is has changed.

via ‘The Teacher Wars’ Author Talks Race and Gender in American Education – COLORLINES.

#OYRchallenge

Lincoln’s Back to Africa Solution by HL Gates, Jr. – The Root | #OYRchallenge

The Amazing love African Americans held for former President Abraham Lincoln has often been proven to be misplaced. Little does anyone realize that his first knee-jerk, and heartfelt reaction to African freedom was, “You can always leave.”

This article by Henry Louis Gates, Jr revisits the events of surrounding Lincoln’s meeting with African American delegates.

Amazing Fact About the Negro No. 92: When President Abraham Lincoln met with free black leaders in 1862, what did he propose?Today marks the anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s “shot heard ’round the world.” I’m referring, of course, to the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation he fired off from the White House on Sept. 22, 1862, five days after the real bullets had been fired 70 miles outside of Washington, D.C., at the Battle of Antietam then and now the bloodiest day in American history, with close to 23,000 casualties. 

What little Union victory there was in Gen. Robert E. Lee’s withdrawal from Maryland gave Lincoln the opening he needed to issue the Confederacy his ultimatum: If it remained in a state of rebellion come Jan. 1, 1863, he would sign an executive order rendering “all” of its “slaves … then, thenceforward, and forever free.”

Read more at:  Lincoln’s Back to Africa Solution – The Root.