Last Thursday, 42-year-old Bayna-Lehkiem El-Amin was sentenced to nine years in prison plus three more under supervision for his role in an altercation in 2015. His case is a cautionary tale about just how well white gay men and white women have cultivated progressive language around gender and sexuality to mask the violence of their whiteness.
The semester before I started classes at the University of Missouri, two students were arrested for throwing cotton balls across the lawn of the Black Culture Center. During my second semester there, a student spray-painted the words “N****r Month” on a statue directly outside of my residence hall. A year after I graduated, students finally had enough and initiated a boycott that led to the UM System President Tim Wolfe resigning.
My alma mater is no anomaly. The events leading up to the 2015 protests are all too common on college campuses across the nation. The most recent to come out to condemn these actions that are usually dealt with in the dark is American University in Washington D.C.
There have always been stories of people becoming seriously disillusioned when they reach a certain level of fame. Part of this may be because they’re living a level of privilege most of us will never reach. But that doesn’t justify being so out of touch that you’re convinced racism doesn’t exist. Unfortunately, that’s the predicament Lil Wayne has gotten himself into.
Since 2004, Chicago has spent $642 million on police-related legal claims. Between 2012 and 2015, the City paid out a total of $210 million to settle police misconduct lawsuits, many on the receiving end of the settlements were Black and Brown folks. This is now the same city that will be hiring more police officers, putting more Black and Brown Chicagoans at risk. There is no nice way to say this, but Chicago is wasting its time – and money – hiring more police officers.
This article was originally posted on Water Cooler Convos.
This past Sunday, a New York Times article asked, “How Can We Ever Recover From Donald Trump?” The inquiry and subsequent piece posit that Donald Trump’s run for the presidency has uniquely and catastrophically tarnished American politics, that he made nativism mainstream, and has the “bigots emboldened.” But, the fact is: we won’t ever recover from Donald Trump because he isn’t the problem. We are.
We might do well to look at popular children’s fiction for an explanation why.
On Thursday, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates announced in a memo that, over time, the DOJ will end its contracts with private prison companies that operate 13 facilities within the Bureau of Prisons (BOP). While this is a significant move given the times we live in, these contracts, with Corrections Corporation of America and GEO Group Inc., only account for 7% of the industry’s revenue.
We’ve covered Cam Newton extensively. More specifically, we’ve covered the racism that’s specifically targeted him as an outwardly confident black man on one of the world’s grandest stages. We’ve also looked at how that means that he can’t be too emotional because it may make the wrong people uncomfortable.
Now we’re going to talk about Cam Newton’s amnesia.
On July 5, the number on The Guardian’s police killings ticker The Counted went up. On July 6, it went up again. The Guardian, like many other news outlets, with genuine intentions has made the effort to look at the numerous surveys, polls, and research behind racial disparities in policing in the country. My question is: who does the data usually benefit? Even more importantly: what is being done about it?
Yesterday, my partner and I planned a day trip. We were thinking about just getting away from it all after a tough week of violence against Black people and the racist mainstream news cycle to accompany it. We looked up some spots that were within an hour driving distance from Chicago, thinking this might be a good opportunity to let the kids experience something new. Then, we remembered that we are Black and we are unsafe everywhere.
Jesse Williams’ speech at the BET Awards was an instant classic. It was a quotable, resonating soliloquy that brought attention to many people who have been obscured in past and present movements for black lives, including women, on-the-ground activists, and young people. However, many on Twitter asserted that people were excited about the speech primarily because Williams is a light-skinned, light-eyed black actor. Some tweets claimed that black men of darker skin tones had spoken on these issues in this manner before, and had not received nearly the attention that Williams had received.