Tony Jones, COUSIN of Oscar Grant, Shot In The Back by Oakland Police

Oakland police shot and wounded the cousin of the late Oscar Grant last weekend.

As you might recall, Oscar Grant was gunned down by Bay-Area Transit Police Officer Joseph Mehserle in 2009. Mehserle shot Grant in the back while he was laying down on the ground. Mehserle was subsequently convicted of involuntary manslaughter rather than murder, sparking violent demonstrations.

24 year-old Tony Jones was also shot in the back after allegedly fleeing from a police car at 11:45pm on Sunday. The officers say he was carrying a gun, and was attempting to run from a car that was under suspicion of having been involved in a robbery.

Jones’ attorney begs to differ.

Crime and Punishment: What’s it really about?

Can we really say the the legal and justice systems in America are about crime, punishment, and rehabilitation? Are they remotely about bringing justice?

If universities, banks, and major corporations are hoarding money and opportunity, starving the people of surrounding communities, why do the police protect these institutions and inflict violence on the people and communities that speak and rise against them in protest, when they should instead be protecting them?

If White people in America are 4 times more likely to be in possession of drugs, then why are Black and Latino drivers 3 times more likely to be stopped and searched by the police? Also, why do Black and Latino people on average serve substantially more time in comparison to Whites for the same non-violent drug offenses?

Surprise: Too Short is a Dirty Old Man

I understand the outrage at rapper Too Short’s latest comments. But should we be so up in arms? Since dropping his first song, the rapper has consistently degraded and disrespected women in his music. But it wasn’t his lyrics that drew the ire of the media and the general public over 20 years ago when he first released his single “Freaky Tales”. Instead, we listened. We allowed it, we allowed him to flourish. We allowed his ascent, consuming his music whole, misogyny and all, authenticating his persona. He ushered in the first wave of misogynistic hip hop in the 1980s and we allowed it.

We created the monster.

So why do we get up in arms behind the statements he made in an interview?

REPORT: Only 4 Percent of College Students are Black Males

According to a recent study by the Washington, D.C.-based Council of the Great City Schools, Black males account for only 4% of college students in the United States.

Meanwhile, in New York State for example, over 50 percent of prison inmates are Black males.

Poverty is clearly a major factor perpetuating the school-to-prison pipeline. But many community activists  point specifically to a lack of male role models in the lives of young men, and intervention that comes too little and too late.

A variety of youth programs and colleges are working hard to counteract these trends, but is it enough?

Catching 5.0 Slippin’

Among the many ways in which Black youth continue to be treated unlawfully, nothing proclaims that the constitution was not writen for us more than illegal search and seizures. Angered by my inability to protect my brother from the unreasonable treatment of police, I decided to do some reasearch. As I suspected, the police are not allowed to conduct searches at whim; the direction of these situations purely depends on the consent of the person that owns the car or lives in the house. I want to encourage my brothers and sisters to excercise their right to say no.

Raising Girls in Public

This week has been the week of concern for young girls everywhere. From the death of Whitney and the fear of the consequences for her daughter to the examples of Too $hort and RiRi, it is no question why many are in distress. In an age where youth regardless of gender are tuned into the media almost as much as they are into school, there has to be a bigger to do about the lessons they are being taught. It cannot be a question of whether or not the intent is to represent a role model but more so a realization that youth will emulate who and what they perceive to be cool. Like it is said, with great power comes great responsibility. 

Supreme Court Will Hear Case Challenging Affirmative Action

Today the Supreme Court announced they will once again hear a case challenging the constitutionality of Affirmative Action.

This particular case involves whether or not the University of Texas at Austin can consider race during the admissions process. The last time the Supreme Court heard a case challenging the policy was in 2003, regarding the admissions process at the University of Michigan Law School.

And proponents of Affirmative Action may have some cause to worry, as it is being reported that Elena Kagan, an Affirmative Action supporter, it likely to recuse herself from the case.