Heartbroken World Mourns The Death Of John Lewis

John Lewis, a lion of the civil rights movement whose bloody beating by Alabama state troopers in 1965 helped galvanize opposition to racial segregation, and who went on to a long and celebrated career in Congress, died.

He was 80.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi confirmed Lewis’ passing late Friday night, calling him “one of the greatest heroes of American history.”

“All of us were humbled to call Congressman Lewis a colleague, and are heartbroken by his passing,” Pelosi said. “May his memory be an inspiration that moves us all to, in the face of injustice, make good trouble, necessary trouble.”

In a speech the day of the House impeachment vote of Trump, Lewis explained the importance of that vote.

“When you see something that is not right, not just, not fair, you have a moral obligation to say something, to do something. Our children and their children will ask us what did you do? what did you say?” While the vote would be hard for some, he said…

“We have a mission and a mandate to be on the right side of history.”

CLICK

Leesburg Stockade Girls Nominated For Presidential Medal Of Freedom

In 1963 in Americus, Georgia, 15 girls were jailed in a one room stockade with no running water for 45 days for their roles in Civil Rights Movement.

Ages 12 to 15, these girls had marched from Friendship Baptist Church to the Martin Theater on Forsyth Street. Instead of forming a line to enter from the back alley as was customary, the marchers attempted to purchase tickets at the front entrance.

Law enforcement soon arrived and viciously attacked and arrested the girls.

Never formally charged, they were jailed in squalid conditions for forty-five days in the Leesburg Stockade, a Civil War era structure situated in the back woods of Leesburg, Georgia.

Only 20 miles away, parents had no knowledge of where authorities were holding their children. Nor were parents aware of their inhumane treatment.

After they were released, the women didn’t speak of their ordeal for over 50 years.

CLICK

4th Of July Lament

The U.S. celebrates this Independence Day amid nationwide protests and calls for systemic reforms.

In this short film, 5 descendants of Frederick Douglass read and respond to excerpts of his famous speech…

“What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”

The speech asks all of us to consider America’s long history of denying equal rights to Black Americans.

CLICK

JUNETEENTH 2020: An Extraordinary Moment

The next election should focus on creating a framework to allow people calling for the abolition of modern prisons to begin the hard work of creating new institutions.

Americans need to vote to help activists continue anti-racist work that will allow us to envision the possibility of a society that is free of racism and sexism and homophobia and transphobia.

I don’t know whether it would have unfolded as it did if not for the terrible COVID-19 pandemic, which gave us the opportunity to collectively witness one of the most brutal examples of state violence.

This is an extraordinary moment which has brought together a whole number of issues.

CLICK

CONFEDERACY OF RACIST BUFFOONERY

Protesters in Richmond toppled a statue of Jefferson Davis that stood since 1907.

Police watched as a tow truck took the statue away. Protesters toppled the statue.

The statue of Davis, who was president of the Confederacy, was the 3rd to be torn down.

A statue of Confederate General Williams Carter Wickham was toppled from its pedestal. A statue of Christopher Columbus was torn down and dumped in a lake.

Good. Riddance.

CLICK

DEFUND DOC

I am an 85-year-old white man who watched Dr. Martin Luther King as he responded to being struck in the forehead with a rock by staggering and then singing.

We stood and sang and looked into the eyes of white people whose hatred I can still feel.

Fifty years later, George Floyd was murdered by police as other white cops stood by.

Same hate.

Cell phones may make the difference in this battle for human rights. Millions of Americans, led by young people, are responding to state violence, exposed by phone cameras, in a way that offers hope.

I wish we had cell phones and cameras in prisons.

For the past 25 years, I have visited and advocated for people in Illinois prisons. My best friends, outside my family, are all imprisoned. On a daily basis, everyone in prison, but especially those who are black and brown, are subject to disrespect and insidious treatment.

The prison culture is built on security and fear, not respect and rehabilitation.

CLICK

SIMULTANEOUS PANDEMICS: COVID-19 & RACIST INSANITY

If we are to examine what and who killed George Floyd, we have to talk about racism, America’s pre-existing condition. It is a cultural pandemic that has been steadily killing this country and, indeed, rotting away the very idea of America since chattel slavery began more than 400 years ago.

Much like the people who were exploited for free labor in order to build this country, the cause of its death may have been more natural had racism not introduced certain comorbidities.

Right now, the coronavirus and the police are posing lethal threats to protesters. COVID-19 is still killing black people disproportionately, at about three times the rate of white people nationwide.

How many people took risks with the virus on Memorial Day weekend, carelessly disregarding the provably inordinate risk to black communities? How many then joined the protests this past week and actually claimed that they’re fighting for black survival? How many cops keep shooting tear gas at people during a pandemic that strikes at the lungs, giving a newly tragic resonance to…

I Can’t Breathe.

CLICK

DE-MILITARIZE THE POLICE……NOW!!!

The thing that strikes me is that we all see this police violence and racism, and we’ve seen it all before, but nothing changes. That’s why these protests have been so explosive.

But without leadership and an understanding of what the problem is, there will never be change. And white Americans have avoided reckoning with this problem forever, because it’s been our privilege to be able to avoid it.

That also has to change.

CLICK

STATE OF EMERGENCY IN MINNEAPOLIS. STATE OF HEARTBREAK IN AMERICA.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has declared a state of emergency as rioting breaks out for the third night in the city while protests over George Floyd’s death spread across America.

Break-off protests over Floyd’s death are building, as questions continue to mount over why the police officers involved continue to walk free.

Floyd’s death has sparked outrage, after footage surfaced Monday showing white cop Derek Chauvin kneeling on the black man’s neck for eight minutes until he passed out and later died.

Authorities had claimed Floyd resisted arrest but new footage Wednesday cast fresh doubt on those claims, showing two cops forcibly removing him from his car and him appearing to comply with officers.

In Denver, shots were fired at the Colorado State Capitol where hundreds had marched to demand justice over Floyd’s death.

CLICK

MINNEAPOLIS PULLS ITSELF APART PROTESTING MURDER OF GEORGE FLOYD

Firefighters raced from one blaze to the next, often with police in tow for crowd control.

After someone started a fire at an AutoZone store at Minnehaha and Lake, firefighters worked to douse the flames, knocking down the majority of them.

But within a matter of hours, the store was ablaze again, as was a half-built affordable housing development that caught fire, sending flames more than a hundred feet into the air.

The mayor of Minneapolis is calling for charges against the white police officer who knelt on the neck of 46-year-old George Floyd, a black man who died Monday after being restrained.

“Why is the man who killed George Floyd not in jail?” Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said in a press conference Wednesday. “If you had done it, or I had done it, we would be behind bars right now.”

The National Guard was ordered to the 3rd Precinct police station to relieve Minneapolis police officers, as demonstrators encircled the precinct, chanting loudly and carrying banners demanding justice for Floyd.

For much of the night, the police radio squawked with call after call, as looting started first at the Target store across the street from the precinct, before spreading to other areas in the city.

CLICK