Liberation is a 3-step process: Broadening activism’s scope in the wake of the Movement for Black Lives

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?

What you need to know about Chicago’s ‘gang database’ and the lawsuit from local activists

In a “broken windows” fashion, the Chicago Police Department sustains a gang database of its residents. They say this is in efforts to stay ahead on crime. They also seek to punish those on the list to the fullest extent of the law when the opportunity presents itself.

As of last week, CPD and it’s gang database are at the center of a recent lawsuit after Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raided the home of Wilmer Catalan-Ramirez. This happened after incorrect information about him surfaced through this database, identifying him as a gang member. Not only is the department being hit with a lawsuit, they will also be answering to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request about how the database is used. The suit was filed on behalf of BYP100, Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD), and the MacArthur Justice Center.

Simply, the gang database is an excuse to justify further surveillance and excessive force against Black and Brown folks in this very sensitive time regarding citizenship.

How a Chicago mayor’s proposal to make post-grad plans a requirement for graduating harms Black & Brown students

Not content with over-policing Black folks in the streets and at their schools, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is now extending these practices into their academics. Earlier this week, the mayor shared his bright idea for requiring Chicago Public Schools students to produce a letter of acceptance from a 2 or 4-year university, vocational school, a branch of the military, or a job before receiving their diploma–starting with this year’s freshman class.

Hawaiian Rep. Beth Fukumoto’s Departure from GOP Raises Questions About Millennials and the Republican Party

News stories about GOP women feeling “betrayed” by the Republican Party have been breaking since late 2016. Sometimes the breakups come with drama and fanfare. At other times, GOP women, like Hawaiian Rep. Beth Fukumoto, choose clear and measurable actions that inevitably lead them to seek political asylum with the Democratic Party. But, what do these recent shifts say about the Republican Party, millennials, and women?

This Cover of TIME Came and Went, but it has a Message for Our Movement

On the cover of TIME Magazine’s special February edition is a faceless white man behind bars. At first glance, I assumed this was an issue about millionaires and billionaires who deserve jail time for getting over on society, but after a double take I saw that it is actually about wrongful convictions, celebrating 25 years of the Innocence Project.

Why You Can’t Understand Black History Without a Critique of Capitalism

Many of our Black history idols have been immortalized for their work against racism carried out by whites, from the federal government on down. They have been applauded for their magical strengths and abilities to overcome insurmountable odds. Their legacies are contextualized through brief chapters in k-12 history classes, where examples of racism are narrowed down to physical harm and explicit parameters that describe what Black people could and couldn’t do “a long time ago”. As a result, many of us were socialized to understand Black history in a way that has been whitewashed or sanitized. The stories we are fed as young people that immortalized, or mainstreamed, our Black figures of inspiration conveniently left out important details, such as the anti-capitalist leanings of their work.

We are in a time where need the full story of the experiences and perspectives of our ancestors, and we need to reclaim those radical beliefs so that we can create space for true progress not just against racism, but also against capitalism.

5 Things I Would Rather Write About than Donald Trump

I write for The Black Youth Project blog about twice a week. I love news media and think a free and fair press is essential to holding centers of power accountable. But it seems like, as of late, the only center of power dominating the press cycle is dumpster fire of a president Donald Trump.

Now, I have covered Trump. Extensively. And I believe it is my job as a political writer, particularly someone with the perspective of political science, to highlight the injustices and incompetence of the Trump administration.

Base To Dems: Get With It Or Get Lost

What do you call a party that refuses to represent the interests of its base in an increasingly critical time in U.S. politics?

Soon to be over.

Since the beginning of this decade, the Democratic Party has continuously grown more and more out of touch with their base. We saw it in the 2014 midterms, when the decision to swing to the center and distance themselves from Obama resulted in sound defeat in Congressional races. We saw it in the heavily contested Democratic primary, as more and more traditionally left-leaning people began to critique, if not outright reject, the political establishment.

Remembering Our Black Radical History: The MOVE 9

On May 13, 1985, Philadelphia city leadership and the Philadelphia Police Department carried out an attack on a group of Black radical individuals and families, bombing and killing 11 people – including 5 children. The group was the MOVE organization, founded by John Africa and emphasizes family and our life’s connection to nature – the attack was carried out after years of mounting tensions between the police and MOVE.