President Obama Reacts to Harvard Arrest Says Police Acted Stupidily

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daveyd-raider2It was just last week that President Obama spoke at the NAACP  Convention and gave an incredible speech that received a rousing standing ovation. He covered a lot of ground, but frustratingly he never made mention of police brutality and the high number of incidents that have taken place with young Black and Brown people being shot or mistreated. He has gone out of his way to comment on almost all police killings including the ones in Oakland, Pittsburgh and last week in Jersey City.

Since that speech we have seen Jersey City police kill a woman who had a knife , but was never warned before being shot to death. Her husband, residents and witnesses accuse the police of wrong doing.  

We’ve heard about the false and dubious arrests of prominent Hip Hop figures and community activists like; Paradise Gray of X-Clan and Wise Intelligent of Poor Righteous Teachers.

We’ve heard about Black police officers in Philadelphia suing fellow white officers for posting up and running a website full of racist rants called Domelights. What was the final straw that prompted the lawsuit was white officers referring to the young Black kids who were recently discriminated by a white run country club as ‘Ghetto Monkeys’ .

Since the NAACP speech, we’ve seen the angry white pundits like Pat Buchanan and even some Senators make over the top racist remarks about Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. Buchanan was so angry that he came on a primetime news show and called Sotomayor a Minor Leaguer and stated that white men weren’t getting a fair shake. He said the race pot needed to be stirred up.  He then went and made the outrageous assertion that this country and its wars were built and fought 1005 by white people.

Since that speech we’ve seen KKK square off with the New Black Panthers in Paris, Texas after they attempted to disrupt a rally being held to protest the freeing of two white men accused of dragging a young man Brandon McClelland to death.

On that same day Henry Louis Gates the prominent 58 year old Harvard Professor who heads up the African studies department was arrested in his own home after police initially approached him accusing him of breaking into his own home.

I guess President Obama has heard enough and finally said something. He accused Cambridge Police of acting stupidly. It took me by surprised. Now I hope it calls up Attorney General Eric Holder and has him start investigating police misconduct and start holding folks accountable. They better start holding those serious conversations about race and do this quick before Holder or Obama get arrested and mistreated over a minor incident by police who are resentful about these two Black men holding so much power.

That may seem like a off the cuff remark, but I remind people as I close out that back in the late 1800s after slavery had ended, Black folks were moving into positions of power. We were getting into elected offices. We even had a Black senator. We were moving on up as jealous and resentful white folks saw the upward move as a threatening. This was called the Reconstruction period. Enter DW Griffith and his movie Birth of a Nation. This was where the Ku Klux Klan was introduced and depicted as heroes who saved this country from ‘Uppity Negroes’ getting power.

It wasn’t too long after Birth of a Nation came out that the KKK increased its membership in huge numbers and that mobs of white people started rioting, burning down and even bombing Black cities and neighborhoods. From Chicago to Cincinnati to Tulsa, Oklahoma, roving mobs of angry whites came through and destroyed these cities and the people within them. After that came along period of lynchings. These things happened almost everyday in places throughout the country prompting singer Billie Holiday to do the song ‘Strange Fruit’.

Let’s not wake up and find ourselves repeating history as more and more racist shed their masks and start showing their true colors and expressing their true hatred for Black and Brown people.

Something to Ponder

-Davey D-

Mass. policeman who arrested Gates won’t apologize

Prominent College Professor Henry Louis Gates was mistreated in his own home by a white police sergent who refuses to apologize

Prominent College Professor Henry Louis Gates was mistreated in his own home by a white police sergent who refuses to apologize

NATICK, Mass. – A white police sergeant accused of racism after he arrested renowned black scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. at his home insisted Wednesday he won’t apologize for his treatment of the Harvard professor, but President Barack Obama said police had acted “stupidly.”

Gates has demanded an apology from Sgt. James Crowley, who had responded to the home near Harvard University to investigate a report of a burglary and demanded the scholar show him identification. Police say the 58-year-old at first refused and then accused the officer of racism.

Gates said Crowley walked into his home without his permission and only arrested him as the professor followed him to the porch, repeatedly demanding the sergeant’s name and badge number because he was unhappy over his treatment.

Obama said Wednesday he didn’t know what role race played in the incident but added that police in suburban Boston “acted stupidly” in arresting Gates even after he offered proof that he was in his own home.

Looks like President Obama has had enough of all these police terrorism incidents-he has finally spoken out by saying the police acted stupidly

Looks like President Obama has had enough of all these police terrorism incidents-he has finally spoken out by saying the police acted stupidly

“I think it’s fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry,” Obama said. “Number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home. And number three — what I think we know separate and apart from this incident — is that there is a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately, and that’s just a fact.”

He said federal officials need to continue working with local law enforcement “to improve policing techniques so that we’re eliminating potential bias.”

Crowley said Wednesday he’s disappointed by the heated national debate triggered by the incident and insisted he followed proper procedures in arresting Gates last week in Cambridge on a charge of disorderly conduct. The charge was dropped Tuesday.

Officers were responding to the home Gates rents from Harvard after a woman reported seeing “two black males with backpacks” trying to force open the front door, according to a police report. Gates, who had returned from a trip overseas with a driver, said he had to shove the door open because it was jammed. He was inside, calling the company that manages the property, when police arrived.

Gates was accused by police of “tumultuous” behavior toward the officers. But Gates countered by saying Crowley was clearly responding to racial profiling and “couldn’t understand a black man standing up for his rights, right in his face.”

source:http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090723/ap_on_re_us/us_
harvard_scholar_disorderly

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M-1 of dead prez-Report Back from Gaza -Why we should be concerned w/Palestine and International Struggles …

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M-1 of dead prez reports back from his trip to Gaza

M-1 of dead prez reports back from his trip to Gaza

We caught up with M-1 of the group dead prez to find about his recent trip to Gaza. For folks who don’t recall, last week M-1 made headlines along with former Green Party Presidential candidate and Cynthia McKinney, New York City Councilman Charles Barron and UK Parliament member George Galloway.. They along with over 200 people defied a blockade and warnings from the Israeli government and went to Gaza to bring humanitarian aid.

We spoke with M-1 about how he hooked up with Viva Palestina which was the organization that made the trip. M-1 explained that he has been involved with Palestinian causes for a number of years. He broke down the history of his involvement  and spoke about how the organizations and people he has rolled with have been equally involved in struggles African Americans are dealing with here. We will be posting that up later this afternoon

In the meantime we are posting up two portions of our long interview. The first is M-1 addressing a nagging question that frequently pops up:

Why should Black people in America be concerned about political happenings in far off places like Iran or Palestine when we have problems here at home? M-1 gave us a history lesson and reminded us that the Black struggle has always been international from the days of Paul Robeson to Malcolm X wanting to take our case before the United Nations to Martin Luther King dealing with Vietnam on up to the foreign aid that came to help us when we went through Katrina. M-1 goes into detail about why Black folks had better be concerned about international struggles. He lets us know that our struggle at home would’ve been seriously hindered if we weren’t internationally connected. He also encouraged us to see our selves as part of a larger movement without borders.

In this next video clip we speak to M-1 about what he experienced while visiting Gaza. He talks about the conditions there and how the people are and the role his fellow rappers in Palestine are fairing … We also spoke to M-1 about why he felt he was a hostage in Egypt. The government kept people in the country from 5-10 days and then made them jump through all types of hoops to get out of the country.  He also talked about the totalitarian state of Egypt and how it was ironic that Obama spoke at a country that does not allow free speech.  If dead prez was living in Egypt espousing the political views that they do here they would be in jail.. below is the interview segment from that..

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Did White People Build This Country? A False Assertion Gets Corrected

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daveyd-raider2The challenge we have with today’s news media is that far too often it is driven by ‘expert’ punditry. We see this all the time where people holding lofty titles like ‘Professor’, ‘journalist’ and ‘doctor’ are invited onto shows as pundits and are assumed to be the definitive expert in the topics being discussed. As a result anything they say is taken as fact and hence gets repeated and passed along to others as gospel.

Far too often people holding other perspectives that are widely shared by members of particular communities are excluded from these discussions which leaves folks who do not fully understand or critically think about media matters to assume the following;

1-There are no other perspectives to consider but those of the pundit

2-When other perspectives are presented they are ‘alternative’ at best and on the fringe and out of sync at worse.

3-If a person who looks or says he/she is a member of that marginalized or often excluded community does appear on a mainstream news show what they say is given addition weight and taken as the predominant view of the community.

Over the years I’ve heard these types of  handpicked  leaders say outrageous things on behalf of the community ranging from ‘we are against immigration reform’ to ‘racism and discrimination has ended and we no longer need to talk about such matters’. We’ve heard age old myths that have long been proven wrong like ‘The majority of Black people are in jail as opposed to college or the majority of Brown people in this country are here illegally. We’ve heard conservative women come on shows and say things like; fighting for equal rights to pay is not needed at this time.woman should stay home and take care of family. I am still hearing handpicked Black pundits pushing outdated assertions like; Black people from the hood don’t do well in school because they are afraid of appearing to ‘act white’ . Can we please require this myth which first emerged in the late 80s when during an interview with film maker Spike Lee?

We can take these misperception closer to home-with false assertions like; President Obama is a Muslim or President Obama is a socialist.

This continued misrepresentation of communites has spawned the media reform and media justice movements that has pushed for major changes and overhaul of systems in place that routinely assualt people who do not have a seat at the table where they can speak to the masses and provide a counter or more balanced view.

Rachel Maddow Corrects False Assertions made by Pat Buchanan

Rachel Maddow Corrects False Assertions made by Pat Buchanan

In the clip below we will show you haw this works and one of the rare times someone in mainstream media returned to the airwaves to correct what was uttered, widely heard and subsequently listened to and believed. This centers around the debate that took place the other day between conservative pundit Pat Buchanan who appeared on the Rachel Maddow Show and made the outrageous assertion that this country was built by 100% white people. He said that the Civil war, World War  I and II were fought by all white people and basically rewrote American history.  This was a conversation between two white people and Buchanan’s remarks went unchallenged and uncorrected until yesterday when Rachael Maddow came on her show and spent 10 minutes correcting the assertions made by Buchanan.

As I said this rarely happens. As you listen to this keep in mind how many people were left believing what Buchanan said was fact. Hopefully we all learn to think about what is presented on the news more critically. Check out the clip below.

-Davey D-

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