- Afropunk Army
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Justice for Chance David Baker NowBeing mentally ill and Black in public is not a crime, nor is it a justification for murder. A life-and-death decision was carried out by Sgt. Goodman within 155 seconds, this points to the undoubtable prejudice against Blackness and mental illness. This is the very prejudice that causes a non-violent Black 22-year-old with a BB gun to be murdered whereas a White 19-year-old who killed 17 people be taken alive by police. Nikolas Cruz was characterized by his lawyer and media as a “broken child,” that “lacks impulse control.” In this country white terrorists are offered the fullest humanity and reprieve because white supremacy has institutionalized their superiority and protection. White Police Officers like Goodman benefit from white supremacy as well. How is a decorated officer trained in de-escalation, who murdered two people allowed to remain on active duty? His only consequence to date was administrative leave. Officer Goodman has served for 15 years and is trained in de-escalation. It is within reason to believe a trained officer would take appropriate measures to connect Chance with Portland Police mental health liaisons. This is not an isolated injustice. It speaks to the on-going realities of police brutality and criminalization of Black bodies in this country. In fact, Sgt. Goodman's actions reflect the violent training of officers: “There is no such thing as ‘we’re going to shoot the gun out of their hand or shoot them in the thigh,’” said Portland Police Chief Sauschuck. “I’m not training them to, nor do our policies and procedures state that they should wound somebody. They are trying to hit this individual in a lethal location,” Sauschuck. (BDN, Feb. 22, 2017) The police continue to mistreat, terrorize, and murder people of color and are able to walk away free. We need to talk about Chance, share pictures of his sweet smile, and remind each other what we continue to lose when we uphold a system that won’t punish people who kill Black children and adults. We affirm that all Black lives matter. We affirm that Chance David Baker’s life matters. We stand in solidarity with Chance’s family and community. And as his concerned community, we demand Attorney General Mills release a report and find Sgt. Goodman guilty for the reckless murder of Chance David Baker. We will not settle for task forces or body cameras, we want justice and we need it NOW.
Boycott Companies that Advertise on Fox News: Who support racism in exchange for profitAs a person of color, my life is regularly made more difficult and unpleasant due to the nature of the content propagated by Fox News. Fox News brings out the worst in people by preying on their fears and prejudices, bolstering people's preexisting stereotypes, and espousing and encouraging racist, homophobic, islamophobic, misogynistic, and ignorant behavior. I will not support any company that supports an entity such as Fox News that seems to be in direct opposition to all of my values and thinks of me--and tries to convince others to think of me--as lesser, dangerous, lazy, and unintelligent due to the color of my skin. People may think it is not worth it and they are only making their own lives harder by boycotting because so many companies advertise on Fox News and nothing will change that, but my life is already made difficult by Fox News, including all the companies that support it, so I have no problem taking it upon myself to make decisions that align with my self-interest and may be difficult. If we do nothing, what is going on in society and politics will only continue, so we might as well speak up for ourselves and hit the companies where they'll notice it: the wallets!
Tell DA Candidates: SHOW US YOUR RECEIPTS!!My name is Brittany and I am emailing you from Dallas, Texas on behalf of Faith in Texas, an organization that moves entire congregations to action through powerful policy campaigns. We are organizing a LIVE FREE DFW campaign to hold our District Attorney (DA) candidates accountable for making our criminal justice system just and fair. That is why we are demanding that all DA candidates SHOW US THEIR RECEIPTS! If their budget platform is moral then they need to make it public! But they need to hear from all Dallas County residents on and offline. Will you join our fight? As a community, we understand that a budget is a moral document that reflects a District Attorney’s priorities. The proposed budgets of our candidates will allow us to see clearly whether their priorities lie on programs that will restore our communities, or merely punish them. Is Dallas County's next DA seeking to fund restorative justice or merely the punishment of Black, Hispanic and poor people? This is why Faith in Texas has issued a clear message to each candidate: If your budget is moral, make it public! In addition to our petition, we are hosting an in-person action to speak with candidates directly. It is on Sunday, February 25th from 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM, can you join us? More details below: EVENT: Faith in Texas District Attorney Forum: Show Us Your Receipts! DATE & TIME: February 25, 2018 @ 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM LOCATION: St Luke Community UMC, 5710 E RL Thornton Fwy, Dallas, TX 75223. At the DA forum, Faith in Texas will present our Criminal Justice priorities and highlight what is at stake for ALL of our communities. You will also experience art, music and powerful messages from directly-impacted people and clergy leaders. Most importantly, Dallas County DA candidates have this opportunity to present their proposed budgets for the District Attorney's office, directly to the public, before the March Primary Election. LIVE FREE DFW is a campaign of Faith in Texas, working to bring an end to mass incarceration, community violence, and the targeting of black, brown and low-income people by our criminal justice system. Steps towards this include passing robust Fair Chance Hiring and Housing policies, passing policies that end arrests for low-level, non-violent misdemeanors, and scaling-down mass incarceration in the state of Texas. Do you believe in driving down mass incarceration for Black folks in Dallas?
We Demand Representation! Call A Special Election for Michigan's 13th Congressional DistrictGov. Rick Snyder is denying the people of Michigan’s 13th Congressional representation. Instead of valuing the right to representation of the people living in Michigan’s 13th Congressional District Rick Snyder has decided it is too expensive to respect their right to representation, he has cited costs as his reason to delay any special election for this congressional district. In 2012 Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed legislation calling for voter ID in Michigan, earning praise while Michigan was redrawn into one of the most gerrymandered states in the United States. Our voting power was diluted to the point that a voter ID law wasn’t necessary to suppress our power. Now Gov. Snyder is following in the Republican model and simply refusing to hold an election because he believes he wouldn’t like the outcome. Everyday we are not represented, we are without an advocate for the needs of our community. Our tax dollars are being collected while without a representative of the people to have any input in how they are to be applied. Constituent services are not being carried out to answer the needs of Black people who must interact with any number of federal agencies here in Detroit. We need a representative who will advocate for our community in the face of an unprecedented assault. We must show Gov. Snyder that we will not quietly allow him to deny our right to representation and force him to call a special election now. Gov. Snyder’s decision to deny the people of the 13th district of Michigan representation is un-democratic. We continue to see Republicans across the country bend, break, or simply invent rules to try and create a political system where they can’t lose. We have fought for our right to voter freedom throughout every iteration of these bigoted attacks and we will not stop now. Together we will send a message to Gov. Snyder and the entire nation, our voices will not be silenced.
Tell NYC Mayor to Stop Tolerating Racism in SchoolsIt's been more than a week since the Daily News broke a story about a white teacher in the Bronx who, in a lesson on slavery and the Middle Passage, made Black students in several classes lay face down on the floor and even stepped on a female student while asking "see how it feels to be a slave?" It's been more than a week, and the city has still not taken any steps to ensure that this type of degrading and traumatic incident will not occur again. When asked by press about what the city is doing to make sure this type of incident never occurs again, Mayor de Blasio has said that the city already offers training on cultural competency. The truth is that those trainings are currently offered to just 450 out of 77,000 teachers - less than 1% of NYC teachers. For over a year, parents have been demanding that Mayor de Blasio provide leadership in our schools and implement a comprehensive program of Culturally Responsive Education, including cultural competency trainings for teachers and school staff, in order to avoid just this kind of traumatic incident. Now, the responsibility for this incident rests firmly on the Mayor's shoulders. We know that racism and bias in schools is a national crisis. " White teachers have lower expectations for students of color, and are significantly less likely to expect Black students to finish high school and college " School staff frequently perceive Black boys as threatening and dangerous for the same behaviors that are seen as innocent for White students. " In 2015, only 15% of children's books were written by African-American or Latino authors, or focused on African-American or Latino characters " Over 80% of public school teachers are White women, though a majority of public school students are people of color. In New York City, for example, that means that 266 NYC schools have 0 or just 1 Latino teacher, 327 have 0 or just 1 Black teacher, and 690 have 0 or just 1 Asian teacher Given these statistics, in how many other classrooms across the city are Black children are learning about slavery in a degrading way? And in how many classrooms across the city are Black children learning that their ancestors were kings and queens, fighters against enslavement, strategists and spies, scientists and inventors, doctors, healers and entrepreneurs? Culturally Responsive Education is a research-based strategy that helps teachers build social and emotional connections with their students across racial and cultural differences, and root learning in students' culture and prior experiences. It has shown to have impressive impacts on student achievement in Tucson, San Francisco, and other districts across the country. But Mayor de Blasio, who claims to be a national progressive leader, has dragged his feet and been slow and timid to embrace this approach. Parents need him to step up and take action, to get justice for those students in the Bronx, and to make sure no child has to experience that again.
Demand DA Faith Johnson Support Bail ReformThe cash bail system in Dallas County discriminates against poor Black people in the most harmful ways. Black families are stripped of community, financial resources and a sense of basic human dignity. Black people remain in cages for weeks, months and sometimes years at taxpayer expense. And oftentimes, Black people are jailed with no evidence they have committed a crime. This is a crisis that can no longer continue. In the past, I have had many family members who were forced to serve time simply because they did not have the money to make bail or were not given enough time to produce the money. In many cases, the amount requested for bail did not fit the crime. Families in the Dallas community like mine are tired of losing their loved ones to the criminal “injustice” system. To make matters worse, District Attorney Faith Johnson is routinely locking up Black people for crimes of poverty. It has been reported by multiple sources that Johnson has received thousands of dollars from the bail industry and even sits on the board of the Dallas County Bail Bond Board. Her silence on the bail reform cannot be tolerated. By pressuring District Attorney Faith Johnson to renounce the bail industry and to refuse political donations from these corporations we get one step closer to ending money bail’s exploitation of poor, Black people in Dallas County. There are many in our community who, not only believe in ending money bail, but are also working to make this come true. It is time for Faith Johnson to do right by her constituents. Join us in demanding Faith Johnson to renounce the bail industry and return all political contributions to bail corporations!
Our Voices Matter! Appoint Monique Baker McCormick, Wayne County Commissioner District 6Our voices Matter! We Matter! Our belief is that the ultimate authority in government whether it be national or local lies with the people. It is our understanding that the Wayne County Commission District 6 seat will be vacated by the Hon. Commissioner Burton Leland and an appointment will be made without public input. The people in Wayne County should have a voice on who governs us. We want someone who will stand-up for us like Monique Baker McCormick . She is the most qualified and experienced person for the position of Wayne County Commissioner in District 6. Ms. McCormick, a veteran of the U.S. Army is a lifelong resident and business owner in District 6 and for over 10 years has supported District 6 and fought for working families, for students and seniors, for jobs and small business growth and development in Detroit. In 2011, Detroit Public Schools (DPS) Emergency Manager tried to close down Ms. McCormick childhood school and one of the best middles schools in the State of Michigan, Ludington Middle School. Ms. McCormick, two daughters also attended Ludington and as President of the parent organization she organized and lead a protest of hundreds of parents and students to successfully keep Ludington open. Most recently in 2016, as President of Cass Tech Parent Title-One Organization, Ms. McCormick joined a class action lawsuit compelling DPS to improve conditions in all Detroit Public Schools. Additionally, Ms. McCormick has challenged voter and civil rights issues in Wayne County all the way to the Michigan Supreme Court. Ms. McCormick, has a wealth of community, social and political experience that would be of great value to this county. She is a member of Peace Peddler (army vets and police officers) and an honorary member of the Tuskegee Airmen. She is a graduate of District 6 Henry Ford High School and earned her Bachelor Degree in Business Administration from Davenport University and has a Master Degree in Business from Walsh College of Business and Accountancy (1996). In 2015 as a rising star in the Democratic Party, Ms. McCormick was nominated by Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence to represent the 14th Congressional District in the prestigious Congressional Black Caucus Leadership Institute in Washington, D.C. In addition, as a Young Democrat she worked for the Kerry-Edwards Presidential campaign helping win Michigan and was elected 13th and 14th Congressional District Vice-Chair. She has been an elected Precinct Delegate in the 13th Congressional District for over 15 years. Ms. McCormick has been actively involved in numerous boards and organizations, Matrix Human Services, Detroit Repertory Theatre Board of Trustees, Walsh College Alumni Board, Pathways Development Board and the Community Coalition. She is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., Women Informal Network, Coleman A. Young American Legion Post 202, Citadel of Praise and honorary member of the Tuskegee Airmen. Our voices matter! Appoint the best person to the Wayne County Commission! Appoint Monique Baker McCormick as Wayne County Commissioner in District 6.
#OurVoiceOurChief: Demand transparency in the Police Chief searchA fair, open and transparent selection process that is guided by the needs, concerns and experiences of a broad spectrum of residents – particularly youth and people of color – will ensure that the City of San Diego hires a police chief who is equally concerned with the dignity of all San Diegans as s/he is with upholding the law. A 2016 SDSU study [link to study] on racial profiling determined that Black and Latino drivers were twice as likely to be stopped and searched by San Diego police officers, but less likely to have contraband than White drivers. SDPD is currently facing litigation [link to VOSD coverage] for illegally stopping a Black minor and obtaining his DNA without a warrant. These and other troubling issues of over-policing and unfairly biased policing will be among the challenges our next Chief of Police must address. Building the necessary public trust to meet these challenges starts with how impacted communities are engaged in the selection process. Decades of secret back room deals and broken promises have served to erode public trust and confidence in our elected representatives. If Mayor Faulconer is truly committed to the vision and values of “one San Diego,” he will ensure that members of impacted communities have a real voice and consequential role in this selection process. He will be transparent by identifying the selection panelists; he will be inclusive by adding community members and youth to the currently exclusive panel of mayoral staff and unidentified law enforcement experts; and he will be fair by allowing the community and youth to meet with the final three candidates before a final decision is made. Mayor Faulconer, keep your promise: include the community in this important process.
Stop The Dismantlement of the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice at NCATWe write on behalf of the alumni and the current students of the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice of North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University. Our department has been operating for 49 years with a commitment to the behaviorist teaching model. Since 1969, we have produced competent scholars in the public and private sector committed to serving communities through justice and democracy. Although we are proud of the success of our department, we are deeply troubled that you are dismantling our department and moving political science to a department committed to humanities. This is even more troubling since the behavioralist approach is one more consistent with the STEM focus articulated in the “Preeminence 2020” vision. The behaviorist approach is also consistent with the historical and progressive direction of the discipline of political science and its commitment to an empirical trajectory to studying political behavior. We need more clarification on the rationale for proposing a change made with little discussion or consultation with the stakeholders who will be impacted. In this crucial moment in history, the Department of Political Science needs to continue to exist to provide scholarship and clarity on the critical political issues facing the community, state and nation. The Open Meeting Laws state, in part that the Board of Trustees meet “solely to conduct the people’s business -- it is the public policy of North Carolina that the hearings, deliberations and actions of these bodies be conducted openly” In reviewing the processes followed by the University and the Board of Trustees when discussing the dismantling of the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice, we believe the board met secretly in person, electronically, and by phone to make decisions in an effort to avoid the strict sanctions of the Open Meeting Laws. We remind you the law defines an “Official meeting” as “a meeting, assembly or gathering together, at any time or place the simultaneous communication by conference telephone or other electronic means of a majority of the members of a public body for the purpose of conducting hearings, participating in deliberations, or voting upon the public body.” Of course we are aware that purely social and informal gatherings are not necessarily “official meetings.” But the statute expressly provides such gatherings cannot be called or held to evade the spirit and purpose of this Article. Signed, Tyler Swanson Alexis Davis Delaney Vandergrift Nadiya Pope Braxton Brewington Jasmine Smith Nigeria Ravenel Destiny Sharpe Myles Heath Mustafa Parks Yusef Robinson Tylik McMillan DuRanda Smith Elliot Rawls Wilbert Thomas Bryson Richardson Love Caesar Vashti Hinton Dominique Sanders Veleria M Levy William H. Clayton, II Shauntai D. Dudley Stephen Brown Oliver Thomas Daniel Davis Montica Talmadge Chrystal Lee Vaden Joseph Frierson Jr Madison Gibbs Deandrea Newsome CJ Brinson
Tell The FBI: Preserving Black Lives is NOT Terrorism! White Nationalism Is Terrorism.http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/10/06/the-fbi-has-identified-a-new-domestic-terrorist-threat-and-its-black-identity-extremists/ In August of 2017, the FBI's Counter-Terrorism Division report entitled, “Black Identity Extremists Likely Motivated to Target Law Enforcement.”, obtained and released released by "Foreign Policy", stated: “The FBI assesses it is very likely Black Identity Extremist (BIE) perceptions of police brutality against African Americans spurred an increase in premeditated, retaliatory lethal violence against law enforcement and will very likely serve as justification for such violence.” Incidents of “alleged police abuse” have “continued to feed the resurgence in ideologically motivated, violent criminal activity within the BIE movement”. This issue proliferates as racial tensions have increased and become more mainstream during the Trump Administration. This would be an optimal time for the President to utilize his platform and leadership to condone racism while utilizing the FBI to dismantle actual domestic terrorists and their racist and detrimental practices. Instead, efforts are spent deflecting the legitimate criticism of policing and labeling citizens exercising their 1st amendment right to protest as domestic terrorists- an organized faction that now pose threat to police officers. The Black Lives Matter movement is not a domestic terrorist movement. Martin Luther King Jr. was not a communist. But if we do not hold our government and its agencies accountable, history will repeat itself. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has a history of implementing Draconian and often illegal and/or immoral practices within the black community. Similar to the use of COINTELPRO in the 1960's, the actions of black activists are criminalized and, consequently, the narrative focuses on isolated violent responses instead of the organized peaceful tact of official movements. With intrusive surveillance legislation such as CISPA and The Patriot Act, it is imperative for the black community to protect itself from political persecution by galvanizing lawmakers and applying political pressure on government agencies and officials.
Betty Price Is Unfit To Serve & Should ResignOn Friday, October 20th at a Study Committee Meeting on Health Policy in Georgia, you made comments recommending people with HIV be quarantined, essentially turning back the clock on years of progress we have made in the treatment and care of individuals living with HIV. And on behalf of the 47,000 Georgians and the nearly 1.2 million Americans living with HIV, we demand that you resign your seat in the Georgia State House of Representatives immediately. Your statement calling for more government resources to quarantine Georgians living with the virus is not the first time you have used your position to slam the HIV community. In fact, on February 28, 2017, in a Health and Human Services Committee Hearing, you joined other Republicans to block a vote on a bipartisan bill that would have made information about PrEP and PEP, both proven methods of preventing new HIV infections, more readily available. Furthermore, we know that you are not alone in your disturbing perspective on HIV, as your husband Tom Price, disgraced former Health and Human Services Secretary under Donald Trump, proposed $202 million in cuts to various federal HIV programs. While at the same time mismanaging taxpayer money on private jets and elaborate travels. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), both Metro Atlanta and the State of Georgia ranks no. 5 in the U.S. for new cases of HIV. The CDC also estimates that 1 in 51 Georgians will become HIV positive over their lifetimes. And despite HIV being a serious public health challenge for all Georgians, the virus has a particularly heavy impact on marginalized communities of color. In fact, Emory University determined that young Black gay men in Atlanta have a 60 percent chance of becoming HIV positive before their 30th birthday. While constituents expect their leaders to work to reduce these statistics, offering quarantine as a possible solution in a state that already criminalizes people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) is a dangerous proposal that could have significant consequences. Your behavior as a legislator towards the community of PLWHA, in the face of disturbing statistics that indicate that Georgia is leading the nation in new cases of the virus, illustrates that you are unfit for public office. And the fact that you are a physician just adds insult to injury. As a lawmaker you should be looking to develop solutions in concert with PLWHA to help reduce new cases of the virus. As a physician, you should be rooted in stigma-free healthcare that encourages people to seek the care they need to live healthy lives. Your behavior thus far has illustrated that you are unable to serve our community in either capacity. As a community of PLWHA, advocates, public health professionals, and concerned constituents we will not tolerate public officials using their platform to spread stigma and hatred. Rather than using your position to make reckless public policy suggestions that can negatively impact PLWHA, you and other elected officials should use your platforms in Georgia and across the nation to uplift and support policies like the expansion of Medicaid which can reduce stigma, increase access to care, and ensure optimal health outcomes, particularly in marginalized populations hit hard by the epidemic. Finally, we are looking for leaders who support expanding access to PrEP and PEP, increasing resources to help PLWHA stay in care and achieve viral suppression, ending HIV criminalization, and fighting the stigma. Representative Betty Price, you are not one of those leaders and thus why we can no longer afford for you to hold elected office anymore.