642 Million Reasons Chicago Doesn’t Need More Police

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.

No, We Can’t Recover From Donald Trump

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.

Don’t Celebrate Just Yet, The Private Prison Industry Will Still Thrive

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.

Cam Newton Suddenly Forgets Racism Exists

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.

This Is What Can Happen When Data Meets The Movement For Black Lives

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?

It matters that people are afraid to travel in the US due to police violence

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.

Why We Need to Talk about Light-Skinned Privilege

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.

Trump’s Fear Mongering is Nothing New

Only one day after the horrible attacks at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Donald Trump wielded a tried and true political strategy in American presidential politics: fear-mongering and xenophobia.

On June 13th, Trump once again called for a ban on Muslim immigration to the United States and suggested that President Obama is not a real American and that he may have been, in some vague and pernicious way, involved in the attacks. The scary part about Donald Trump’s strategy? It works.

The Harsh Reality Of Being Black, Woman, and Abroad

“If it gets to be too much, or if you start feeling like you’re in danger, you call the university and tell them to bring you right back to Chicago.”

I was on the phone with my mother discussing my upcoming study abroad trip to Europe. “I hope they like Black people there”, I joked with a tinge of seriousness. Though I spoke solid French, I deliberately chose to complete my minor in a German-speaking country: Austria. After committing to the program, I caught up with a friend who had recently studied abroad and he shared the rampant racism he both witnessed and experienced in Mexico.