Judge Tashima (WW2 ethnic Japanese internment camp victim) upholds Arizona ban on Chicana/o studies

The long history of US racial oppression is challenged by ethnic studies in schools. Such critical studies are now illegal in Arizona

The history of US racial oppression is exposed and challenged by ethnic studies in schools. Such critical studies are now illegal in Arizona

Arizona on our mindsRacism Legalized

by Rodolfo F. Acuña,  March 18, 2013

U.S. Circuit Judge A. Wallace Tashima has made his decision to uphold disparate treatment of Mexican Americans, and the constitutionality of HB 2281. The purpose of this law was to destroy Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican American Studies Program. In doing so, Tashima returned us to the times of Joseph McCarty.

The Arizona law broadly banned courses that promote the overthrow of the U.S. government, foster racial resentment, were designed for students of a particular ethnic group or that advocated ethnic solidarity.

The penalty if Tucson did not comply was that the district would lose 10 percent of its annual funding — some $14 million over a fiscal year.

Tashima ruled that the plaintiffs “failed to show the law was too vague, broad or discriminatory, or that it violated students’ first amendment rights.” On the positive side, he held that courses made-to-serve students of a particular ethnic group were not unconstitutional, which seems to imply that it is alright to ban ethnic studies programs.

building chicanaThe ruling raised more questions than it answered. The judge’s legal reasoning and wording was not consistent with his previous decisions, and it left me with the feeling that it had been written by law clerks and that the decision was not properly vetted by Tashima who has been more precise in previous rulings. A survivor of the Japanese internment camps, he had been expected to be sensitive to the rampant racism in Arizona.

Tashima noted that Attorney General Tom Horne’s anti-Mexican American Studies ardor bordered on discriminatory conduct, saying that Horne’s “single-minded focus on terminating the MAS (Mexican-American Studies) program” raised concerns.

Then Tashima engaged in mental gymnastics: “Although some aspects of the record may be viewed to spark suspicion that the Latino population has been improperly targeted, on the whole, the evidence indicates that Defendants targeted the MAS program, not Latino students, teachers or community members who participated in the program.” This conclusion is mind boggling.

This wrongheaded logic would condone the bombing of a village as long as the villagers were not targeted. Continue reading

Another Black LA cop speaks out

Ex-LA Cop Brian Bentley on Dorner Manifesto: ‘Not Only do I Believe it, but I Lived it’

Ex-LAPD officer speaks out about the LAPD, racism, and Christopher Dorner   
by Jasmyne A. Cannick, EURweb
Brian Bentley

[Ex-LAPD Officer Brian Bentley today in Los Angeles, Calif.]
*Brian Bentley, 49, doesn’t agree with what Christopher Dorner — the ex-cop at center of a massive manhunt for the killings of three people—has done, but he certainly understands it.
As a former LAPD officer, Bentley, who is now an author, says that a Dorner-like situation was just a matter of time.
“It took longer than I thought it would for something like this to happen.”
In fact, Bentley says that when he was a police officer, there were frequent postings of “look out” bulletins on the walls at police stations featuring officers who’d been terminated and who were believed to have vendettas.
“When the Department terminated you, they intentionally tried to ruin your life,” Bentley explains.  “That’s how they discredited you.  Dorner isn’t the first ex-police officer to have a manifesto or some sort of hit list.”
And he should know.
Brian Bentley

[Ex-LAPD officer Brian Bentley]
Brian Bentley left the LAPD in 1999 after serving ten years with the Department. He was a police officer in 1992 during the uprising and was assigned to guard O.J. Simpson’s house in Brentwood during the infamous trial.  He served under police chiefs Daryl Gates, Bayan Lewis, Willie Williams, and Bernard Parks.  However, he was fired for writing the book One Time: The Story of a South Central Los Angeles Police Officer that detailed the massive misconduct and racism he witnessed during his time at the LAPD’s Southwest and West L.A. divisions.
He says that when he left the Department he had a manifesto of his own.  Not one that involved killing anyone, but a list of people who had wronged him during his time at the Department. Continue reading

The South Is Risen: Old Jim Crow Thrives Inside Oregon Prisons

Kevin ‘Rashid’ Johnson

By Kevin Rashid Johnson, Oregon prisoner

In her book, The New Jim Crow, legal scholar Michelle Alexander did a masterful job of exposing the U.S. criminal (in)justice system for what it is: namely, an updated, more sophisticated, continuation of repression and containment, and profiting  off the misery, of New Afrikan/Black people. Her work, and that of other critical race writers like Tim Wise, counter the b.s. of those who pretend that Amerika is finally a race-neutral society.

In the eyes of most, and even of these writers, the overt old Jim Crow forms of racism and national oppression, e.g. government-enforced segregation such as “whites only” eating facilities, Blacks seated in the backs of buses, and so on, are practices of a bygone era. Even I thought as much. That is, until I found myself imprisoned within the Oregon Department of Corrections (ODOC) Continue reading

Police killings in USA: “Anaheim, Everywhere”

by nancy a heitzeg

In the aftermath of Anaheim — that anti-thesis of Disneyland – we will add the names of Manuel Diaz and Joel Acevedo to that endless list of those struck down by “extra-judicial killings by police, security guards or self-appointed law enforcers.”

Diaz is just the latest in a long line of police shootings of unarmed people of color. His name has come to symbolize the ongoing struggle against police violence in poor black and brown communities, for which authorities are almost never held to account. In Anaheim, where tension between police and the Latino community has been building for years, Diaz is the match that lit the fire which has spread throughout the city.

His shooting sparked an immediate protest by area residents who demanded answers from police. When some in the crowd allegedly hurled bottles and rocks at officers, police responded by shooting rubber bullets and pepper spray and releasing (apparently by accident) a K-9 attack dog into the crowd of mostly parents and small children. The chaos was captured on video by a KCAL news crew showing screaming mothers and fathers shielding their children in horror.
The following day a second Latino man, 21-year-old Joel Acevedo, was shot and killed by Anaheim police, who said Acevedo was shot after firing at police during a foot chase.

We say the names to honor the dead and the living — but their individual stories whatever their power, tell a collective tale as well. That is the story of unchecked — no routinized, normalized. even glorified – systemic structural violence targeting communities of color.

Lethal Police Violence and Communities of Color
While local state and Federal law enforcement agencies keep absolutely accurate records of the number of police officers killed or assaulted in the line of duty (typically less than 60 killed per year), there is no comparable systematic accounting of the number of citizens killed by police each year.

This data is not nationally gathered or reported, The task is left to individual researchers to cobble together local and state – level data (much of which has removed racial identifiers) and report what police only seem to be concerned about in light of potential litigation, Anywhere from 350 to 400 civilians are killed by police each year — an average of one per day. This number is certainly an undercount since it is based on police shootings and does not include deaths by choke-holds, hog-ties, tasers, reactions to chemical sprays or injuries sustained in beatings. Continue reading

Stop-and-Frisk Goes to Frisco

By Glen Ford, Tuesday, 07/03/2012

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The “progressive” Chinese-American mayor of “liberal” San Francisco is considering instituting stop-and-frisk – which no doubt is already informally practiced by his city’s police. Mayor Ed Lee’s intention to endorse legal apartheid puts him in the historical American mainstream, since “stop-and-frisk never stopped in the United States.” The practice stretches, unbroken, from slavery times. “If the laws are applied unequally, then there is no law, and the police are nothing but an occupying army enforcing martial law” – selectively, against Black and brown people.

Stop-and-Frisk Goes to Frisco

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

If skin color is treated as reasonable suspicion, then that is an apartheid state.”

The Mayor of San Francisco, the first Chinese-American to hold that office, is considering instituting stop-and-frisk [6] – but mostly in minority neighborhoods, of course. Mayor Ed Lee is all excited about joining the Church of the New Jim Crow, whose leading deacons are New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Philadelphia’s Michael Nutter. Like them, Lee claims he just wants to get rid of guns, although after ten years and the humiliation of literally millions of Black and brown men on the streets of New York, Mayor Bloomberg can come up with no compelling statistics on stop-and-frisk and gun crimes. Neither can Mayor Nutter, a stop-and-frisk fiend, whose city is under a court consent decree [7] to curb the practice.

San Francisco’s mayor describes himself as a “progressive,” but we all know that word doesn’t mean much of anything anymore, certainly not in the Age Of Obama. The cops in his city are already practicing stop-and-frisk on the same people and neighborhoods the mayor wants to target, and have doubtless stepped up their racial profiling since hearing about the mayor’s remarks. The fact is,stop-and-frisk never stopped in the United States. Stop-and-frisk was invented in the slaveholding states as a matter of daily practice, when Black people carried around permission from their masters to move outside his property, and free Blacks had to show papers proving their status. Stop-and-frisk was part of the Black Codes following Emancipation. The Old Jim Crow was designed to control Black people’s physical and social movements, and African Americans who could not prove that they were employed, through documentation or some white person’s word, were sent to prison work camps – the genesis of the penal system in the South. There’s nothing new about stop-and-frisk, although it is central to the New Jim Crow, a racial caste system whose primary institution is mass Black incarceration. Stop-and-frisk was the hallmark of apartheid in racist South Africa. A variant is enforced in Israeli-occupied Palestine.

If there is equal protection under the law, then stop-and-frisk is illegal.”

Stop-and-frisk is necessary wherever racial supremacists want to separate those whose human rights are to be respected from those who are outside of legal protection.

If there is equal protection under the law, then stop-and-frisk is illegal. Period. The law applies in those sections of New York and Philadelphia and San Francisco that have high crime rates, just as it does in Bloomberg’s and Nutter’s and Lee’s neighborhoods. At least, that’s what the U.S. Constitution says. If the laws are applied unequally, then there is no law, and the police are nothing but an occupying army enforcing martial law. As one of the signs in New York’s recent “Silent March” against stop-and-frisk read: “Skin Color Is Not Reasonable Suspicion [8].” If skin color is treated as reasonable suspicion, then that is an apartheid state.

Mayor Lee will surely caution his police to be courteous as they enforce apartheid on Black and brown San Franciscans, just as Mayor Bloomberg is now urging his cops to do. But there is no fundamental distinction between polite applications of apartheid and the rougher kind. How do you politely tell someone that they are lesser human beings, existing outside of constitutional protections, exceptions to the rule of equal treatment under the law?

Either stop-and-frisk is a crime against humanity, or Black people have no rights that police are bound to respect. There is no gray area, just as there is no white law.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com [9].

Vikki Law: Resisting Gender Violence Without Cops or Prisons

Resisting Gender Violence Without Cops or Prisons
–An interview with author Victoria Law
By Angola 3 News

Activist and journalist Victoria Law is the author of “Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women” (PM Press, 2009). Law has previously been interviewed by Angola 3 News on two separate occasions. Our first interview focused on the torture of women prisoners in the US. The second interview looked at how the women’s liberation movements of the 1970s advocated for the decriminalization of women’s self defense. Taking this critique of the US criminal “justice” system one step further, Law presented a prison abolitionist critique of how the mainstream women’s movement, then and now, has embraced the same “justice” system as a vehicle for combating violence against women.

While citing the important work of INCITE: Women of Color Against Violence, Law argues that “today, abuse is treated as an individual pathology rather than a broader social issue rooted in centuries of patriarchy and misogyny. Viewing abuse as an individual problem has meant that the solution becomes intervening in and punishing individual abusers without looking at the overall conditions that allow abuse to go unchallenged and also allows the state to begin to co-opt concerns about gendered violence.”

Furthermore, “the threat of imprisonment does not deter abuse; it simply drives it further underground. Remember that there are many forms of abuse and violence, and not all are illegal. It also sets up a false dichotomy in which the survivor has to choose between personal safety and criminalizing and/or imprisoning a loved one. Arrest and imprisonment does not reduce, let alone prevent, violence. Building structures and networks to address the lack of options and resources available to women is more effective. Challenging patriarchy and male supremacy is a much more effective solution, although it is not one that funders and the state want to see,” says Law.

In our new video interview, Law builds upon her earlier prison abolitionist critique by discussing practical alternatives for effectively confronting gender violence without using the prison system. She cites many success stories where women, not wanting to work with the police, instead collectively organized in an autonomous fashion. Law stresses that at the foundation of these anti-violence projects is the idea that gender violence needs to be a seen as a community issue, as opposed to simply being a problem for the individual to deal with. Continue reading

Zionist Racism on display: Anti-African Rally in Tel Aviv

[Once again, the Jewish-exclusivist settler-colonialist/apartheid state of Israel reveals its racist character (routinely directed against the indigenous Palestinians, but in this case, against African migrants from Sudan.) — Frontlines ed.]

December 12, 2011–Rally against Sudanese refugees in Tel Aviv, calling to “restrict their movement” and set up concentration camps.

Human Rights, the Occupy Movement, and Lessons from the Ella Baker Model of Organizing

by the US Human Rights Network

The financial and economic collapse that began in 2007-2008 became the essential catalyst, domestically and internationally, for the rebellion against neoliberalism that we are witnessing today. Neoliberalism, in its very essence is a violation of human rights. According to Elizabeth Martinez of the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (NNIRR), the components of neoliberalism include: the rule of the market; cutting public expenditures for social services; deregulation; privatization; and eliminating the concept of the public good and replacing it with individual responsibility.” To implement these repressive policies governments around the world have invested in the construction of massive repressive agencies and criminalized and/or otherwise alienated millions in order to protect the interests of the ruling elites.

The current, national Occupy Wall Street movement received its inspiration from the wave of rebellions that swept North Africa beginning in December 2010 and spread from there to the Middle East and Europe. Here in the U.S., we have been inspired by the actions of tens of thousands of Wisconsin workers and youth who descended on the grounds of the state Capitol in February of this year to oppose a budget proposal that would strip government unions of most bargaining rights. Deeper still, these actions are part and parcel of an escalating wave of resistance to neoliberalism that commenced with the onset of the global financial and economic crisis. This resistance has included acts of civil disobedience to escalating food prices in numerous countries throughout the world, worker occupations of factories in Europe and Asia, housing occupations in the US and Europe, massive student strikes in Latin America (including Puerto Rico) and Europe, and massive demonstrations against the corporate takeover of the world’s water, oil, and other natural resources. Without question, the inequities of the global capitalist system and the harsh excesses of its accompanying neoliberal ideology have become the target of the anger of the vast majority of the peoples’ of the world.

Occupy Wall Street (OWS) first took shape in New York City in September and the Occupy Movement has since spread to 70 major cities and 600 communities. Using the slogan “We are the 99%!,” the corruption, speculation, and exploitation of the corporations and banks and their domination of the political system has been the central theme. There have been numerous demonstrations, actions, and arrests which have occurred across the country. On November 2, for example, the Port of Oakland was shut down by demonstrators that included support from Oakland’s largest union, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1021, along with the Oakland Education Association (OEA), International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 10, and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters.

Many organizations in the US Human Rights Network (USHRN) believe this is an excellent opportunity to introduce the human rights framework into the discussion about the long-term vision of this movement and where it should be headed next. A sampling of some of the engagement of Network members clearly illustrates this point. Continue reading

A Hidden America–Children of the Plains

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Lakotas to Diane Sawyer: Let Lakotas tell their story

By Brenda Norrell, Censored News
http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com

While some Native Americans said they appreciated Diane Sawyer’s “Hidden America, Children of the Plains,” others said it was pathetic and paternalistic. They said Lakotas must tell their own stories, rather than allowing a corporation to spoonfeed a contrived program of sugar-coated sympathy that refuses to document US colonization.

Debra White Plume, Lakota from Pine Ridge, S.D., points out that this type of television program leaves out the issue of colonization, and is based on the perspective of the corporation.

“Remember when Tom Brokaw did a show like Diane Sawyer is doing. His was called ‘Tragedy at Pine Ridge,’ about 20 years ago. Brokaw’s showed a lot of drunkenness and White Clay, cops busting folks intoxicated, etc. These video journalists rarely interview anyone who speaks of colonization, and how the drinking and drugging is colonized behavior, and that booze and drugs are white man’s poisons. Hmm, these journalists show what the corporation they work for wants them to show.” Continue reading

Libya: Better Not Be Black

[The pro-US/EU interventionist media has routinely failed to provide news coverage to the widespread attacks on African migrants and black residents and citizens of Libya, other than to characterize, falsely, that all such black Africans have been mercenary soldiers for the fallen Gaddafi regime.  The history of sub-Saharan migration to Libya–and by way of north Africa, to Europe–has not been told in non-xenophobic or non-racist terms, nor have the imperialist efforts to foster divisions and antagonisms between Africans and the Arab world been exposed.  Genuine revolutionary and anti-imperialist forces must challenge such xenophobia and manufactured antagonisms. — Frontlines ed.]

The New Libya

by PATRICK COCKBURN, Counterpunch

Tripoli, August 30, 2011–Yassin Bahr, a tall thin Senegalese in torn blue jeans, volubly denies that he was ever a mercenary or fought for Muammar Gaddafi.

Speaking in quick nervous sentences, Mr Bahr tries to convince a suspicious local militia leader in charge of the police station in the Faraj district of Tripoli, that he is a building worker who has been arrested simply because of his color. “I liked Gaddafi, but I never fought for him,” Mr Bahr says, adding that he had worked in Libya for three years laying tiles.

But the Libyan rebels are hostile to black Africans in general. One of the militiamen, who have been in control of the police station since the police fled, said simply: “Libyan people don’t like people with dark skins, though some of them may be innocent.” Continue reading

School district disgraced by top cop’s racist slurs, replaces him with cop who killed Black man

[An article in OAKLANDSEEN in February, 2011, described the killing of Raheim Brown: 

“On Saturday, January 22nd, 20 year old Raheim Brown was shot and killed by the Oakland Unified School District’s police force outside Skyline High School. Police statements and media have reported that Brown tried to stab an officer with a screwdriver, and a second officer shot Brown five times—once in each arm, once in his chest, and twice in his head—in defense of his partner….On Thursday, February 3rd, outside the OUSD headquarters, Brown’s mother, Lori Davis, spoke at a press conference. Calling the killing an “assassination” she was horrified by the excessive use of force by school police officers. Davis believes that Sergeants Barhim Bhatt and Jonathan Bellusa, the two cops identified at the rally as the two involved in Brown’s killing, should ‘never to be able to work in another police department ever.’ Tamisha Stewart, the only civilian witness to the killing who was in a car with Brown outside Skyline High, spoke for the first time publicly about the event. The screwdriver Brown was accused of using as a weapon, according to Stewart, was being used in an attempt to hotwire a car, and it “never left the ignition.” While hotwiring a car might be cause for police attention, it is not cause for five bullets, including two to the head. Stewart added that “There was nothing that Raheim did that he deserved to die.” According to statements at the press conference, after Brown was killed Stewart was beaten badly and jailed for almost a week.”

Nearly seven months later, the cop who killed Raheim Brown was named Chief of the Oakland Schools Police force, replacing a chief who had blurted too many racist slurs (at Black cops!) to be ignored any further. 

The only justice in this story is in the ongoing struggle of the people in the streets. — Frontlines ed.]

————————————————————

Oakland schools’ top cop quits over slurs

Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer

Thursday, August 18, 2011

OAKLAND — The Oakland school district’s police chief, accused of aiming racist remarks at an African American sergeant during a drunken outburst after a charity golf tournament, resigned from the department Wednesday.

The departure of Pete Sarna, 41, from the force he led for two years also means the end of an investigation that the Oakland Unified School District began earlier this month into his alleged comments, said district spokesman Troy Flint. Continue reading

Norway massacre suspect aired anti-Muslim, pro-Israel views

Anders Behring Breivik: Norwegian Islamophobe, Zionist, anti-communist, anti-multiculturist (i.e., white supremacist)

[This article on the Norway massacre appeared today in the leading English-language Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post.  Many Western media outlets initially spread unfounded claims that the bombings and shootings were by “Islamic terrorists.” Later accounts have focused on the perpetrator as a deranged, psychotic personality.  More accurately, people world-wide are recognising that the acts have been committed by a deranged, psychotic Zionist, racist, and Islamophic culture and politics. In apparent anticipation of this recognition, and the backlash it will inevitably create, the Jerusalem Post article informs its readers (many of whom are likely adherents of similar Zionist views) about the views of Anders Behring Breivik. — Frontlines ed.]

 

By BEN HARTMAN, Jerusalem Post
24/07/2011   — 1,500 page manifesto credited to Anders Behring Breivik, accused of killing spree, lays out worldview including extreme screed of Islamophobia, far-right Zionism, and venomous attacks on Marxism and multiculturalism.

Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian who killed nearly 100 people in a combined terror attack Friday that included car bombings in Oslo and a shooting rampage at an island summer camp, held fiercely anti-Islamic and pro-Israel views, according to a 1,500 page manifesto he uploaded before his killing spree Friday.

In the 1,500 page tome, which mentions Israel 359 times and “Jews” 324 times, Breivik lays out his worldview, which includes an extreme, bizarre, and rambling screed of Islamophobia, far-right Zionism, and venomous attacks on Marxism and multiculturalism.

In one passage, he lashes out at the western media which he accuses of unfairly focusing on the wrongdoing of Jews, saying “western journalists again and again systematically ignore serious Muslim attacks and rather focus on the Jews.” Continue reading

US: “The Lesson Of The Rodney King Beatings: Don’t Record Cops”

March 3, 2011

By William K. Wolfrum

It was 20 years ago today in Los Angeles that four police officers, all of them white, struck African-American Rodney King more than 50 times with their wood batons and shocked him with an electric stun gun following a brief high-speed car chase.

Ordinarily, the story would end there. The beaten suspect would be tossed in the back of a cruiser, and that would be the end of it. But it wasn’t, because someone nearby videotaped the beating, and within two days that video was shown to a national audience.

The fall-out of the video was intense, to say the least. A few months later, the four policemen that beat King – Theodore Briseno, Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind and Stacey Koon – walked out of a courthouse free men after they were acquitted of police brutality charges by an all-white jury that was deadlocked on the charges against Powell.

The ensuing riots engulfed Los Angeles, leaving 55 people dead and more than 2,000 hurt. King’s earnest request of “Can’t we all just get along?” became one of the great quotes of the century.

In the two decades since the King beating, things have changed in the United States. Not in the way many would have anticipated, of course. Baby steps have been made to improve race relations. And some steps have been taken to reduce the heinous act of police brutality. But the main change is this – police departments around the nation have worked overtime to make it a crime to videotape cops. Continue reading