Why blacks are urging a Black Friday boycott

By Soledad O’Brien and Rose Arce, CNN,  Wed November 26, 2014

(CNN) — Once again, the streets are electric with anger after a white police officer evades charges for fatally shooting a black man. Sirens screech and wood batons push back marchers protesting from Missouri to New York to Los Angeles. This time the cadence of “No Justice, No Peace” has been replaced with “Hand’s Up. Don’t Shoot.”

Protesters gather on the steps of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington on Tuesday, November 25. A grand jury's decision not to indict Darren Wilson, a white police officer, in the August shooting death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, has prompted demonstrations across the country.

Protesters gather on the steps of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington on Tuesday, November 25. A grand jury’s decision not to indict Darren Wilson, a white police officer, in the August shooting death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, has prompted demonstrations across the country.

But there was another sign raised above the crowd in a recent protest in New York: “Doing Nothing with Saying Nothing. Changes Nothing.” The mathematics of this one are clear. Something’s gotta give.

A loose network led by African Americans in the film and arts world has emerged from the fog of tear gas to call for a quiet riot in response: a boycott of Black Friday shopping.

Ryan Coogler, who directed the 2013 film about police brutality called “Fruitvale Station,” told us he was confounded by the eruptions of “human rights violations committed by public servants.” Continue reading

Resisting the War Against the Black and Brown Underclass

A system cannot fail those it was never meant to protect. — WEB Dubois

November 25, 2014

Why We Won’t Wait

by ROBIN D.G. KELLEY

Wait. Patience. Stay Calm. “This is a country that allows everybody to express their views,” said the first Black president, “allows them to peacefully assemble, to protest actions that they think are unjust.” Don’t disrupt, express. Justice will be served. We respect the rule of law. This is America.

We’ve all been waiting for the grand jury’s decision, not because most of us expected an indictment. District Attorney Robert P. McCulloch’s convoluted statement explaining—or rather, defending—how the grand jury came to its decision resembled a victory speech. For a grand jury to find no probable cause even on the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter is a stunning achievement in a police shooting of an unarmed teenager with his hands raised, several yards away. Distilling 4,799 pages of grand jury proceedings to less than twenty minutes, he managed to question the integrity of eyewitnesses, accuse the 24-hour news cycle and social media for disrupting the investigation, and blame alleged neighborhood violence for why the removal of Mike Brown’s body from the pavement had to wait until morning. McCulloch never indicted a cop in his life, so why expect anything different now?

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Michael Brown jury: putting a value on a black life in the United States

Protestors hold signs in Ferguson

Protestors in Ferguson, Missouri. ‘When black kids fill the jails and the morgues so disproportionately we are in a state of extreme dysfunction.’ Photograph: Michael B. Thomas/AFP/Getty Images

Is there a price to pay for summarily killing a man, or is it just what happens in Ferguson when one man has a badge and the other too much melanin?

 

 

In September 1955, an all-white jury took just 67 minutes to acquit Emmett Till’s killers. Till, 14, said either “Bye, baby” or wolf-whistled at a white woman in a grocery store in Mississippi. Three days later his body was fished out of the Tallahatchie river with a bullet in his skull, an eye gouged out and his forehead crushed on one side. “If we hadn’t stopped to drink pop,” said one juror, “it wouldn’t have taken that long.”

In 2014, racism is more sophisticated but no less deadly. The grand jury investigating the killing of Michael Brown is taking its time. Brown, 18, was unarmed when he was fatally shot by police officer Darren Wilson in the St Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri, in August. Wilson has been suspended on full pay and has not been charged. The four-month period that a panel usually convenes for expired last month. The judge gave the grand jury 60 more days to make a decision, so it has until January 7 to decide whether to indict Wilson. That’s a lot of pop.
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