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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 54,253

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America, You're Doing It Wrong


Pastor: "It is a tragedy that as a clergyperson I need a tear gas mask more than I need a collar"

REV. OSAGYEFO SEKOU: Yeah. Well, it is rather surreal to have spent the last six weeks as a scholar-in-residence at the Martin Luther King papers at Stanford and to get on a plane to fly home and to see the economic realities still at work some 50 years later, thinking about King responding to the Watts riots and the anger that he encountered when he went there by young people who were simply unconsolable when another young black man was shot down like a dog by a policing agency. And so, all of that added a bit of surrealness.

I was part of a group of local clergy. A lot of this work is led by local clergy, local organizations, like the Organization of Black Struggle. And so, we’ve been supporting, trying to calm young folks down, keep them out of harm’s way. I mean, it is a tragedy that as a clergyperson I need a tear gas mask more than I need a collar to be able to do the work that I feel called to do. And so, we’ve been attempting to kind of defuse the situation, de-escalate the young people’s anger, not because their anger is not righteous, that their indignation is righteous indignation, but we’re trying to protect them from the police. And so, in one of those instances—we’re attempting to do that. But let us be clear that we are engaging in work that should be not necessary in a democracy. We should not have to spend our time trying to protect children from police in their own community. And so, we’ve been engaging in that work. But the young people are unconsolable. Their hearts are broken. They’re in a tremendous amount of pain. A number of them we hear over and over again: "I’m ready to die because I don’t have anything to live for." And so, we’re attempting to engage that in such a way that we protect them, that they might be able to live and to be able to fight another day.

And lastly, I want to say that one of the things people can do nationally is, if you are coming here—and we need more boots on the ground—please contact local organizations, particularly the Organization of Black Struggle or the PICO Network and their local organizers here, to be able to be plugged into supporting the work that needs to be done on the ground. If you’re coming—at the risk of repeating myself, if you’re coming from out of town, please contact the Organization of Black Struggle and other local organizations so you can get your directives from them.

And that we’re asking the media to continue to do your job and to tell your truth and to be able to bear witness to as the Fourth Estate. You must hold accountable police agency and government officials.


Perry "Smug" Shot

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), who was indicted last week for abusing the powers of his office, surrendered to the Travis County Courthouse to be fingerprinted and have his mugshot taken.

After he surrendered, the Travis County Sheriff's Office released his mugshot:


Good freaking god, the president is not a "divisive figure." He has been made into a divisive figure

By Charles P. Pierce on August 19, 2014

Good freaking god, the president is not a "divisive figure." He has been made into a divisive figure. He and his people have to know that by now. The harder he preached his message of conciliation, the more his enemies made a figure of division out of him. The more people seemed to be buying that message, the harder its opponents worked to frame the message as, at best, camouflage for the president's "real agenda," and the harder they then worked to frame anything he did for African American citizens as "reparations." No matter how often he spoke about personal responsibility, the louder were the complaints about "Obamaphones." He placed himself in a kind of box because his rhetoric about racial reconciliation and one America failed to take into account the political utility of entrenched racism. Hell, everybody believes we've "gotten beyond" our racial problems in this country. Even the people rigging state election laws, or cheering on radicalized police forces, believe that. However, racism is still politically powerful and, therefore, politically useful. It is not a demographic fluke that 66 percent of the people in Ferguson are African American, but that only three of the cops are. That ratio is the result of deliberate political decisions, deliberately made, in which entrenched racism was politically useful to the people making them. That is what the president never really acknowledged, that was the poison in the apple. That's why he can't speak out the way he should speak out. No wonder he looks tired.

the rest:

Black is not the problem...


"You have the right to remain silent, underrepresented and poor."


Police to Al Jazeera journalist near Ferguson: "Don’t resist-I’ll bust your ass-I’ll bust your head"

Police to Al Jazeera journalist near Ferguson: 'I'll bust your head'
Producer Aaron Ernst looks back on an encounter with local police near Ferguson that almost led to his arrest
August 19, 2014 1:00PM ET
by Aaron Ernst @aaronernst

ST. LOUIS – It’s not every day that a police officer tells you he’s going to bust your head open.


As we drove near Ferguson’s border with the neighboring town of Kinloch, JP was recording Lee, while I was recording Joie. When the interview was over, we got out of the cab to record a shot of it driving by.

Two Kinloch officers in a patrol car stopped and asked what we were doing. I identified JP and myself as a cameraman and producer working for Al Jazeera America for the show America Tonight. The officer who was driving told us to leave the area. When we asked why, he only said that it wasn’t safe to be there and we had to leave. Puzzled, we got in the cab and did as requested. A little further down the road, we saw a sign that JP wanted to shoot for our story, so we stopped and again got out.

The same officers, who had been following our car, pulled up and joined us in the street. Lee got out and asked the officers what was wrong.


After Lee asked the officer for his name, which he refused to divulge, the officer threatened to tow the cab for illegal parking. And then, he turned to us.

JP: I need to shoot the sign.

Officer 1 (To JP]: You don’t need to shoot nothing. Take a hike.

JP: No, I need to shoot the sign for our story.

Officer 1: (To me] You need to take a hike.

Me: We need to shoot the sign first.

Officer 1: No, you don’t.

Me: Yeah, we do.

Officer 1: No, you don’t. You come back when it’s daylight.

Me: Sir could you …

Officer 1: Did you hear what I said? … You want to go, we’ll go.

At this point, the officer approached me and grabbed my wrist.

Officer 1 (Holding my arm]: Don’t resist. I’ll bust your ass. I’ll bust your head right here.

Me: (To JP] Are you filming this?

Officer 1: Film it! I don’t give a sh*t. Because you’ll go, and I’ll sure confiscate your film for evidence.

JP: No, what I’m saying is …

Officer 1: I’m asking you to leave!

Officer 2: Go now, or you get locked up!

Officer 1: That’s it.




PLEASE LISTEN: To understand the sheer terror of what Ferguson residents have been living through

Elon James White, creator and host of This Week in Blackness has been in Ferguson, Missouri to cover the ongoing protests.

Last night he was live streaming as the This Week in Blackness team became trapped in a residential neighborhood where police were indiscriminately firing tear gas. To understand the sheer terror of what Ferguson residents have been living through, night after night, I encourage you to listen to the entire broadcast.

Doesn't even look they're aiming it at protesters … they're just gassing neighborhoods ... It was like they were trying to exterminate roaches ... If they see a human being, they throw a gas canister.

We can't let the truth be ignored. You can't gas people like their pestilence. This has to stop.

I am still shaking - they are genuinely TERRIFIED!!!


Ta-Nehisi Coates: Reparations For Ferguson - Total Police Control Over Black Bodies...

Reparations for Ferguson
Total police control over black bodies has echoes in American history.



Among the many relevant facts for any African-American negotiating their relationship with the police the following stands out: The police departments of America are endowed by the state with dominion over your body. This summer in Ferguson and Staten Island we have seen that dominion employed to the maximum ends—destruction of the body. This is neither new nor extraordinary. It does not matter if the destruction of your body was an overreaction. It does not matter if the destruction of your body resulted from a misunderstanding. It does not matter if the destruction of your body springs from foolish policy. Sell cigarettes without proper authority and your body can be destroyed. Resent the people trying to entrap your body and it can be be destroyed. Protect the home of your mother and your body can be destroyed. Visit the home of your young daughter and your body will be destroyed. The destroyers of your body will rarely be held accountable. Mostly they will receive pensions.

It will not do to point out the rarity of the destruction of your body by the people whom you pay to protect it. As Gene Demby has noted, destruction is merely the superlative form of a dominion whose prerogatives include friskings, detainings, beatings, and humiliations. All of this is common to black people. All of this is old for black people. No one is held accountable. The body of Michael Brown was left in the middle of the street for four hours. It can not be expected that anyone will be held accountable.

We are being told that Michael Brown attacked an armed man and tried to take his gun. The people who are telling us this hail from that universe where choke-holds are warm-fuzzies, where boys discard their skittles yelling, "You're gonna die tonight," and possess the power to summon and banish shotguns from the ether. These are the necessary myths of our country, and without them we are subject to the awful specter of history, and that is just too much for us to bear.


......We introduce the police into our communities, the way you might introduce a predator into the food chain. This is not the singular, special fault of the police. The police are but the tip of the sword wielded by American society itself. Something bigger than Stand Your Ground, the drug war, mass incarceration or any other policy is haunting us. And as long we cower from it, the events of this week are as certain as math. The question is not "if," but "when."

There has always been another way.

Thanks once again Mr. Coates for clearing away the fog:
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