Environmental Justice

Viewpoint: It’s Easier to Remove a Confederate Flag Than a Racist Teacher | emPower magazine


After the massacre of 9 people in a South Carolina Black church, media outlets, politicians, and various leaders grasped at available narratives to regain control of a national devastated community. The one prevailing focus has been a piece of cloth designed to represent so much over the generations during and post United States Civil War. Yet behind this rambling distraction, the hashtag #WhoIsBurningBlackChurches, whispers, and noted silences signal that there is a lot to be done and highlights the confusion. Author Andre Perry draws upon this quagmire to note our malaise in allowing control of our education, health, and welfare to slip through our fingers. We leave our children naked and afraid with those who do not respect us and chastise these same youths for disrespecting their communities once they have survived captive racial attacks. But I digress… Perry says it best.

Andrew Perry:

Taking down the vestiges of a segregated past also means weeding out racist teachers from the profession and supplanting them with people who can produce more Bree Newsomes. Climbing the education flagpole also means that we must bring down curricula that ostensibly adjust students to injustice.


In his eulogy for Rev. Clementa Pinckney, one of nine church goers slain in the Charleston church shooting, President Barak Obama said, “Perhaps this tragedy causes us to ask some tough questions about how we can permit so many of our children to languish in poverty or attend dilapidated schools or grow up without prospects for a job or for a career. Perhaps it causes us to examine what we’re doing to cause some of our children to hate.”

via Viewpoint: It’s Easier to Remove a Confederate Flag Than a Racist Teacher – emPower magazine.

New App Is Helping Feed Hundreds of Thousands of Homeless People


Komal Ahmad created a new vehicle to get uneaten food to the people that need it the most.

Excess food wastage is a serious problem in the United States. Americans throw out more food than plastic, paper, metal and glass, and in 2012 (the most recent year with available data), Americans threw out over 35 million tons of food. Meanwhile, 1 in 6 Americans goes hungry every year.

As Ahmad said, excess food waste is “literally the world’s dumbest problem.” She noted that “Hunger is bad – it’s terrible everywhere – but in America, in the most prosperous, industrialized country in the world, this just shouldn’t exist.”

As Ahmad told the New York Daily News, “We need to figure out how to establish sustainable solutions that can distribute the food we already have faster and get it to people who need it faster and safely.”

via New App Is Helping Feed Hundreds of Thousands of Homeless People.

Crystal Valentine – “Black Privilege” (CUPSI 2015 Finals) – YouTube

Crystal Valentine performs her poetic analysis of Black Privilege. It will amaze you. Thrilling performance.

Performing for NYU during finals at the 2015 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational. NYU won the tournament.

via Crystal Valentine – “Black Privilege” (CUPSI 2015 Finals) – YouTube.

Eric Casebolt: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know | Heavy.com

McKinney, TX 2015

A McKinney, Texas, cop has been placed on administrative leave while his department investigates his actions in a video that shows him cursing at juveniles, violently detaining a 15-year-old girl and pointing his gun at two unarmed teens at a community pool party.

He has been identified as Corporal Eric Casebolt, a 40-year-old Navy veteran who has been an officer in McKinney for nearly 10 years, according to Fox 4 News.

Casebolt is white, while the teens he is seen arresting and yelling expletives at are black.

The video, posted to YouTube, went viral on social media, prompting police to review it and put Casebolt on leave. The incident happened Friday, June 5 and he was suspended Sunday.

via Eric Casebolt: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know | Heavy.com.

20 Inspirational Images for World Environment Day | Alternet

World Environmental Day

This year carries a simple but important theme: “Seven billion dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care.” More specifically, the goal of the global event is to get people to stop wasting so much food.

“Overconsumption of food is detrimental to our health and the environment,” said actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio. “Land degradation, declining soil fertility, unsustainable water use, overfishing and marine environment degradation are all lessening the ability of the natural resource base to supply food.”

via 20 Inspirational Images for World Environment Day | Alternet.

Spelling Race | Colorlines

… the narrative of cultural exceptionalism is misleading and harmful. It’s safe to say that all families place an emphasis on education and want their children to succeed. However, not all families have access to resources and institutions that enable their children to do well. When we rely on culture as the reason for success, we ignore the structural realities that prevent many children of color or poor children from reaching their goals. We also end up placing the onus on families to ensure academic achievement, rather than compelling the public and private sectors to also provide valuable services and benefits that can help all children succeed.

via Spelling Race | Colorlines.

Baltimore and the Human Right to Resistance: Rejecting the framework of the Oppressor | A Voice from the Margins

Malcolm X

by Ajamu Baraka

No rational person exalts violence and the loss of life. But violence is structured into the everyday institutional practices of all oppressive societies. It is the deliberate de-humanization of the person in order to turn them into a ‘thing’ — a process Dr. King called “thing-afication.” It is a necessary process for the oppressor in order to more effectively control and exploit. Resistance, informed by the conscious understanding of the equal humanity of all people, reverses this process of de-humanization. Struggle and resistance are the highest expressions of the collective demand for people-centered human rights – human rights defined and in the service of the people and not governments and middle-class lawyers.

That resistance may look chaotic at this point – spontaneous resistance almost always looks like that. But since the internal logic of neoliberal capital is incapable of resolving the contradiction that it created, expect more repression and more resistance that will eventually take a higher form of organization and permanence. In the meantime, we are watching to see who aligns with us or the racist state.

via Baltimore and the Human Right to Resistance: Rejecting the framework of the Oppressor | A Voice from the Margins.

South Africa’s new scapegoats |Pambazuka

Contrary to the US immigration debacle, South Africa’s legislative body welcomes its immigrant population with civil rights and social services. With firm legislation in place, social and economic troubles rise to the surface.  The buzzword or media go to is ‘xenophobia.’ This article cuts across most political speech and straight to the history and culture of the native vs immigrant argument in South Africa.

South Africa



On a longer view, in the two decades since the end of apartheid, South Africa has absorbed, largely peacefully, migrants comprising more than 10% of its 50m population. In such a situation many other societies would have developed outright xenophobia. The liberal climate in the multi-ethnic townships and informal settlements contributed to the integration of migrants.

So why is this positive model collapsing? Observers believe disappointment at the slow progress in public wellbeing, given the overly-high expectations raised post-apartheid, has led to frustration and anger now directed against foreigners—instead of questioning the performance and quality of South Africa’s own leaders.

via Pambazuka – South Africa’s new scapegoats.

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.

Baltimore violence follows in tragic pattern | Rachel Maddow – MSNBC

Baltimore violence follows in tragic pattern

Rachel Maddow reviews the recent history of civil unrest in response to police violence against people of color, exposed to the public by a series of mostly civilian sourced videos.

via Baltimore violence follows in tragic pattern | MSNBC.