Remember when politicians weren’t able to attack reporters and still run in an election the very next day? Republican U.S. House candidate Greg Gianforte was issued a citation by a Montana sheriff – who also donated $250 to his campaign – after he “body slammed” a reporter from The Guardian.
Contrary to popular belief, the Movement for Black Lives is not solely about police brutality. Bigger than body cameras and electoral politics, the Movement is about Black liberation and freedom for all Black people.
Liberation and freedom are unconventional in the sense that the system under which society currently operates makes those two realities impossible. In order to achieve them we need radical transformation, but how do we get there?
Yesterday, the Supreme Court struck down North Carolina’s 2011 congressional district map, where large blocs of black voters had been subject to racial gerrymandering and placed in oddly shaped districts. The Court determined that there was no compelling racial interest to permit the boundaries of these districts. The vote was decided by Justice Kagan, Justice Thomas (surprise), Justice Ginsburg, Justice Breyer, and Justice Sotomayor.
Over the past couple of weeks, New Orleans has been at the heart of the debate of free expression vs. “erasing history.” For decades, the city has been home to multiple monuments to the pro-slavery Confederacy.
Eventually, city council voted to remove them. This decision came with plenty of controversy from Confederacy sympathizers and those who would wish to revise history and separate slavery from its integral role in the American CiviL War.
Before removing the final of four monuments, a statue of General Robert E. Lee, Mayor Mitch Landrieu delivered an address to speak on the controversy. Some are praising it as an honest take on race relations in contemporary America and the significance of the indisputable history that helped shape it from an unlikely source.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is pointedly undoing the progress that anti-prison and criminal justice reform advocates have worked for over the years.
Betty Jo Shelby has been found not guilty of first degree manslaughter charges connected to the fatal shooting of Terence Crutcher.
In another controversial ruling following an equally controversial shooting, the Tulsa, Okla. police officer was apparently “elated” after jurors read the ruling. Meanwhile, Crutcher’s family was escorted out of the courtroom due to their emotional reaction, according to CBS News.
The state Senate in Texas unanimously passed the Sandra Bland Act last week. The gesture was meant to show that the state was unofficially claiming responsibility in her death in a Texas county jail in 2015. However, Bland’s family has come out to criticize the bill for being a stripped version of what it once was.
I am a non-voter who has the audacity to still be upset that my people are dying. I have been told innumerable times that I am not supposed to be allowed this. “If you don’t vote, you can’t complain” is perhaps the most common non-voter shaming refrain I’ve heard, right up there with “your ancestors died for the right to vote.”
But I am not generally one to accept what society allows me to do as gospel.
I learned this from those very same ancestors, who, as even non-voter shamers acknowledge, lost their lives so that I could do what they weren’t allowed. Some say their deaths were only for my right to vote, but I know they died to get closer to freedom. I know they died also to be able to refuse the vote if it does not work towards that freedom. I know that my people are still dying–still died even when I did vote–and, if anything, my ancestors lost their lives so that I would never let anything get in the way of raising hell about it.
The statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Va. was surrounded by adoring eyes that reflected the flickering flames of lit torches. Chants of “You will not replace us” and “No more brother wars” could be heard from the crowd of Confederate sympathizers, according to NBC News.
This incident didn’t happen during the Reconstruction era or the near-century of Jim Crow. No. This happened this past weekend in 2017.