If Our Freedom is Criminal, We Must Change the Laws

Original artwork by Taijhet Nyobi

 By Kai M. Green

 

I remember the night Troy Davis was lynched. I remember the anxiety I felt — the sadness and the worry. And then I remember thinking that I had no right to feel so much. I imagined what Davis and his family must have felt and I wanted to respect and honor that.

Just before the lynching, I went for a jog around my neighborhood in South Los Angeles. I remember running, sprinting, trying to rid myself of all that “so much” that I felt.

I was running towards a freedom of my mind, spirit and body. But my stride was halted when a police car crept up beside me.

Congressmen Introduce “End Racial Profiling Bill” in the Wake of Zimmerman Verdict

Representative John Conyers (D-MI) and Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) have introduced a new bill to put a stop to racial profiling once and for all. 

And in the wake of the George Zimmerman verdict, the unveiling of  the “End Racial Profiling Bill of 2013” could not be more timely.

From the Grio:

“It is the right thing to do,” Sen. Cardin said. “It is against the values of America to single out a person because of race.”

Hundreds of NYC Fast Food Workers Are on Strike

Fast food workers across New York City are on strike, demanding better pay and the right to unionize.

The are railing against what they say are “abusive labor practices,” and demand a pay increase from $7.25 to $15.

From the Grio:

It’s noisy, it’s really hot, fast, they rush you. Sometimes you don’t even get breaks. All for $7.25? It’s crazy,” said Nathalia Sepulveda, who works at a McDonald’s opposite Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, where one protest took place.

Tavis Smiley Blasts President Obama for Trayvon Martin Speech

Tavis Smiley has blasted the President over his Trayvon Martin remarks last Friday, criticizing the amount of time it took him to speak out, and questioning his motives.

On Meet the Press yesterday, Smiley doubled down on this sentiments, arguing that the White House is spinning a false narrative around the POTUS’ actions.

From the Grio:

Smiley began by accusing the president of only speaking out on Trayvon Martin because he was “pushed,” saying: “I appreciate and applaud the fact that the president did finally show up. But this town has been spinning a story that’s not altogether true.

North Carolina 4th of July Parade Marred by ‘White History Month’ Float

A Fourth of July parade in a small North Carolina town took a disturbing turn when a “White History Month” float made its way into the parade procession.

After receiving multiple complaints from spectators, the town of Hope Mills explained that the owner of the float misled the parade committee in order to receive a permit.

The committee vows to reassess their procedures for next year’s parade.

From the Huffington Post:

The Fayetteville Observer reported Saturday that Hope Mills, N.C. parade included a float attached to a John Deere tractor, driven by local farmer Donnie Spell. The float included a large wagon filled with watermelons, and featured a sign that read “White History Month. Hug WTE PPL.” A Confederate flag was also attached to the tractor.

LeVar Burton Explains How He Avoids Being Shot by the Police

While being featured on CNN’s recent “n-word” discussion, LeVar Burton shared his protocol for dealing with being stopped by the police.

From Think Progress:

Listen, I’m gonna be honest with you, and this is a practice I engage in every time I’m stopped by law enforcement. And I taught this to my son who is now 33 as part of my duty as a father to ensure that he knows the kind of world in which he is growing up.

Lauryn Hill Rails Against Racism, Oppression and IRS in Open Letter

Ahead of her three month jail sentence for tax evasion, Lauryn Hill posted a lengthy open letter on her Tumblr.

In it, Hill breaks down and dismisses the concept of “reverse racism,” addresses the continued oppression of African Americans, and discusses her tax troubles and trial.

The concept of reverse racism is flawed, if not absolutely ridiculous. Most, if not all of the negative responses from people of color toward white people, are reactions to the hatred, violence, cruelty and brutality that they were shown by white people for centuries.

Rep. Hank Johnson: Clarence Thomas is Worse Than NSA Leaker Eric Snowden for Gutting VRA

Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) slammed Clarence Thomas in a recent interview, admonishing him for voting to essentially gut the Voting Rights Act.

According to Johnson, Thomas’ horrific vote ranks below the actions of Eric Snowden, the NSA contractor wanted by the government for leaking classified information about U.S. surveillance programs.