Quote of the Day: Sojourner Truth

African-American abolitionist and women’s rights advocate Sojourner Truth (born Isabella Baumfree) was born into slavery in New York in 1797. In 1826, she escaped to freedom with her infant daughter. In 1843 she changed her name to Sojourner Truth, becoming devoted to Methodism and the abolition of slavery. She is perhaps best known for the speech she gave on racial inequality and womens rights, “Ain’t I a Woman?“, delivered at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention in 1851.

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Quote of the Day: Sojourner Truth
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Police Brutality Link Round-Up 10.9.14

“You’re black. This family is white. You can’t possibly live here. Prepare to be pepper sprayed!”

Stacy Tyler said she had left her home unlocked because she knew her foster son, DeShawn Currie, would be arriving home from school. When neighbors spotted Currie, who is black, entering the Tyler residence, they immediately called police.

When they arrived, they ordered Currie to put his hands on the door. “For what?” he said he replied. “This is my house. Why are y’all here?”

Officers then pointed to a photograph on the mantel of the Tyler’s natural born children, all of whom are white, at which point Currie became angry. After a brief argument, officers pepper-sprayed Currie in the face.

Stacy Tyler arrived home to find Currie being treated by EMS for the pepper-spray, and quickly cleared up the confusion with the officers, who told her that her foster son had been threatening and belligerent.

Currie insisted he was merely offended by the officer’s suggestion that he could not possibly be part of the Tyler family.

“I had moved into my room, and I’m feeling like I’m loved,” he said. “And then when they come in and they just profile me and say that I’m not who I am. And that I do not stay here because there was white kids on the wall, that really made me mad.”

Yeah, I’d be kinda mad too.  The police of course were under the coughcoughracistcoughcough assumption that home that looks to be owned by white people couldn’t possibly be the home of a black person and that if a black person is entering, they are clearly a burglar.  So rather than try to get the situation figured out (by, say calling Stacy Tyler…cell phones? What are those?), they figure “let’s pepper spray the black guy who’s getting angry that we’re treating him like a criminal.  Clearly he doesn’t know his place.  You are not supposed to get angry at the police. You’re supposed to be an obedient slave and know your place.”

* * * *

Road Rage fueled police officer draws gun on family in minivan

A Beverly Hills couple had contacted 911 on Friday at around 7 p.m. after someone cut off their minivan, and then began driving erratically. At some point, the man allegedly rolled down his window and brandished a firearm at them.

On Monday, Birmingham police Cmdr. Terry Kiernan said that his department had asked the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office for a warrant to arrest the 43-year-old Detroit officer.

“We’re told the officer rolled his window down and pointed the gun in their direction,” Kiernan explained. “Whether he was pointing the gun directly at them is something that still has to be determined.”

The suspect identified himself as an officer when he was later stopped by Royal Oak police, and then was turned over to Birmingham police. A .40 caliber Glock pistol was recovered from his vehicle.

The officer’s name was being withheld until the prosecutor announced formal charges.

According to state records obtained by WXYZ, the officer was forced to undergo driver improvement examination earlier this year because he was deemed “unable to operate vehicle safely.”

The guy needs to undergo anger management therapy too, bc brandishing a gun at people who are not an immediate threat to you is fucked up.  I wish we lived in a country where such actions meant people would no longer be legally allowed to own a gun.  This is an example of police brutality, police state mentality, and gun owner irresponsibility.  A trifecta of horribleness!

* * * *

WATCH: NYPD cops pistol-whip cowering teenage pot suspect after foot chase

Surveillance video posted online by DNAinfo New York shows the officers catch up to 16-year-old Kahreem Tribble following a brief foot chase Aug. 29 in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood.

The teen slows up and turns to face one of the officers, Tyrane Isaac, who immediately takes a swing at Tribble – but the teen manages to duck the roundhouse punch.

Tribble backs up against a wall with his hands raised in surrender as both officers approach him.

The second officer, Officer David Afanador, smashes the teen in the face with a handgun, and the first officer punches him in the head moments later.

A third officer arrives on the scene and stands watch while Isaac places the teen in handcuffs and Afandor jogs away to retrieve Tribble’s bag — which he smacks the teen with in the face when he returns.

Tribble, who was charged with possession of 17 small bags of marijuana and disorderly conduct, appeared in court afterward with cracked teeth and bruises.

He pleaded guilty to a violation in the case.

Investigations were launched by the police department’s Internal Affairs Bureau and the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office after the video was discovered.

Police initially spotted the teen peeking into the window of a parked minivan and said he tossed away a small canvas bag and fled as they approached.

The officers said they feared the teen had a weapon.

It’s the same excuse we hear all the time:  cops assume a black person is a threat. They don’t have any reason to think that. As always, the black person has far greater reason to fear the police than vice versa. The well documented cases of police brutality across the United States are testament to that fact.

* * * *

‘Get it on film’: NYC cop under investigation for punching teen out over a cigarette

Another New York City police officer was under investigation on Wednesday for allegedly punching a 17-year-old boy who was already laying down on the ground, WABC-TV reported.

The family of Marcel Hamer also filed a $5 million civil rights lawsuit against the police department and released video of Hamer’s encounter with the unidentified plainclothes officer on June 4.

The 55-second clip begins with Hamer on the ground and being held by one arm by the officer, saying, “Mister, it was just a cigarette, sir. It was just a cigarette.”

The Brooklyn Paper reported that the incident began when the officer got out of his car after seeing Hamer — who was 16 years old at the time — smoking while walking down the street, and accused him of smoking marijuana.

The camera moves just as the officer allegedly punched Hamer, but a loud thumping noise can be heard in the background. Hamer’s body appears to be limp for the remainder of the clip.

“Yeah, get it on film,” the officer can be heard saying, before being told by witnesses that Hamer was unconscious and asked to wake him up. The officer then attempts to lift Hamer before another man tries to rouse him.

We’re seeing more and more civilians filming police officers engaged in brutal acts against civilians, which is a good thing. But we need more. We need them to be accountable for their actions. We need the court system to punish these cops and we need the government to send a message to law enforcement that these actions are intolerable.

Gonna start holding my breath on all that.

* * * *

Here’s a story that could easily have led to a case of police brutality.  Thankfully this civilian knew what the cop was trying to do:

Man Effectively Flexes his Rights After Being Profiled for… Frisbee Golfing

In a video uploaded to YouTube on October 2, a man receives a written warning for having his headlights off. Then he meets the “friendly, good cop”, just your old buddy who is out to make small talk- which may allow him to violate some rights.  Luckily, the driver knew exactly how to handle the situation.

After handing the driver the written warning, the cop proceeds to make conversation- asking him if he plays frisbee golf.  The driver states that he does and next we see the true motives of the seemingly casual banter.

“I need you to answer me a question; why is it, everybody that plays frisbee golf smokes weed?” the officer asks.

The driver explains that it is not everybody, that it’s a select few, to which the officer replies “it’s everybody, man.”

We all know where this is heading.

“You can’t tell me you’ve never smoked weed before,” the officer continues.

The driver keeps his cool and does not answer the officer one way or another.

“How much weed do you have in the car tonight,”? the cop asks, as if he is an old friend.

The driver informs the officer, who is seemingly desperate to make quota, that there is nothing in the car, to which the officer begins the “so if i searched your car…” bit.

“You understand you’re free to go and everything, but you wouldn’t have a problem with me looking through your car?”

On what planet should someone who’s free to go, consent to a search? Does this line work?

The driver refuses the search, which according to the officer, means he must have weed on him.  He then claims the driver admitted to having smoked weed in the past, which was an absolute lie.  The driver simply asserted his right not to answer.

As he explained this to the officer, correcting his false claim, the officer again states that his refusal to answer equals a yes.

The man informs the cop that he is being filmed and the officer finally wraps up his attempt at trapping them into an illegal search.

Police Brutality Link Round-Up 10.9.14

LGBT News Round-Up 10.8.14

Kennedy orders temporary stay in Idaho, Nevada same-sex marriage rulings

Justice Kennedy, lost in thought as he considers “Do I continue to deny Americans the right to marry, or do I do the right thing and allow LBGT people to get married. I’ll wear my pensive face for this photo so that people may see how tough a decision this is.”

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy on Wednesday temporarily blocked an appeals court ruling that declared gay marriage legal in Idaho and Nevada.

Kennedy’s order came a little more than an hour after Idaho filed an emergency request for an immediate stay and about 10 minutes before the state said that state and county officials would otherwise have been required to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The order also applies to Nevada, where marriage licenses to same-sex couples were going to start to be issued later Wednesday.

The delay could last just a few days. Kennedy’s order requested a response from the plaintiffs involved in Idaho’s gay marriage lawsuit by the end of day Thursday.

The full court almost certainly would weigh in to extend the delay much beyond the weekend. That has been the justices’ practice in other cases in which a single justice initially blocked a ruling from taking effect.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco declared gay marriage legal in Idaho and Nevada on Tuesday. A day earlier, the Supreme Court let similar rulings from three other appeals courts become final and effectively raised to 30 the number of states where same-sex couples can marry, or soon will be able to do so.

This is justice delayed. Again.

Update:

Justice Kennedy allows same-sex marriage to commence in Nevada

* * * *

Kentucky town rejects a non-discrimination ordinance 

The proposal failed on a 5-3 vote Tuesday night in the Kentucky town in the Appalachian foothills, according to media reports. The meeting drew a standing-room-only crowd, and others filled a former service station next door to watch the deliberations via television.

The measure would have prohibited discrimination against gay, lesbian and transgender people in housing, employment and public accommodations.

Councilwoman Violet Farmer, who opposed the measure, expressed support for the concept of treating everyone fairly but questioned the need for “another protected class.”

Chester Powell, another council member who voted against the proposal, cited a lack of documented complaints of discrimination based on sexual orientation. “I’m not seeing any reason for the ordinance,” Powell said.

Next time you’re looking for discrimination, why not try asking the LGBT people who have experienced it. For fuck’s sake, this is a town that denies that discrimination exists.  Do you people really think you’re that damn special? Do you think you live in some sort of bubble that prevents homophobia and discrimination from affecting the citizens of your town? Homophobia is a widespread problem and it occurs in Anywhere, USA. That you don’t see it is due to your heterosexual privilege, which allows you to navigate through life oblivious to the difficulties faced by LGBT people for their sexuality and gender identity.

* * * *

 Nevada Democratic State Senator Kelvin Atkinson proposes to his long time partner

“I’m black, I’m gay, I have dealt with a lot of what you folks are talking about,” Atkinson told his fellow Senators. “I know some of you,” he said, for first time are “hearing me say that, that I am a black gay male.”

Atkinson added he had “heard some people say some nasty, ugly things, because they didn’t know” he was gay.

Yesterday, speaking at an event hosted by Freedom Nevada at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada, Atkinson again surprised his audience who were celebrating the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling striking down marriage bans in Nevada and Idaho.

“I didn’t want to go to another state,” Sen. Atkinson told the audience.

He said he always felt he’d stay in Nevada and would “stick it out,” until marriage came to his state, “and hopefully Woody would stick it out with me and we’d wait until this was done so that I could do what I thought that I wanted to do, and that was to propose to him.”

The crowd began to cheer, and Woody, Atkinson’s partner of six and a half years, Sherwood Howard, smiled, and looked surprised.

Atkinson observed that the cameras were “live right now,” and the audience screamed, “Do it!”

Howard nervously made his way on stage, and Atkinson said, “Woody, I know it has been six years, they haven’t alays been great, but we’ve been great partners.” He added that Woody does a lot of his political work and he is “the one person I trust the most toy be there with me, to be there for me, to be that confidant, to be my friend, and my partner.”

“So I’ll say it in front of everybody, will you marry me?”

Howard said “Yes”.  Hoo-Ray!

* * * *

Black America wants gay weddings protected from discrimination despite opposing gay marriage

Even though only around 4 in 10 African Americans support same-sex marriage, new research has found that a majority of them still feel that it is wrong for businesses to be legally able to refuse to provide goods and services to gay couples who are getting married.

The Pew Research Center found that 61% of the African Americans they surveyed agreed that it was wrong for for-profit businesses to deny same-sex couples goods and services based on the owner or employee’s religious beliefs.

In comparison only 45% of White Americans thought businesses should not be allowed to deny wedding related services to same-sex couples.

This was despite 53% of White Americans saying they supported the legalization of same-sex marriage.

Researchers at the Pew Research Center believe the high level of support among African Americans for gays and lesbians to be legally protected from discrimination may be a result of their shared experience of being discriminated against.

Why do I think the opposition to same-sex marriage is religiously based? LGBT Americans have the same rights as enumerated in the Bill of Rights.  To deny that is to deny citizens of this country basic human rights.  To deny rights to a segment of the population based on their sexuality is homophobia. It’s bigotry. I don’t care what your justification is.  Even if your god existed, it would still be bigotry.

LGBT News Round-Up 10.8.14

Racist Caricature of The Day Finale: The Nigger

Over the last week or so, I’ve been highlighting racial stereotypes of African-Americans. These horrible stereotypes, largely established during the time of slavery in the United States, have become rooted in popular culture and have seeped into the consciousness of Americans everywhere.  White, Black, Asian, Hispanic, Indian, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Gay, Heterosexual, Rich, Middle Class, Poor, Right Wing, Left Wing, Progressive, Libertarian, Young, Middle-aged, Elderly–these racial stereotypes have been absorbed to varying degrees in people of all backgrounds.  In the protests over the death of Michael Brown, you’ll find these stereotypes.  In the righteous furor over the death of Trayvon Martin, you’ll find these stereotypes.  In the media-music, television, movies, comics-you’ll find these stereotypes. The Coon. The Nat. The Jezebel. The Brute. The Sapphire. The Tragic Mulatto. The Picaninny.  The Mammy. The Golliwog. The Tom. And there’s one more.  The one that is perhaps the most well known:  The Nigger.

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Racist Caricature of The Day Finale: The Nigger

Racist Caricature of The Day: The Jezebel

Content Note:  The subject matter in this post contains images, words, and phrases of a racist nature, some of which may be graphic.

Those of African descent have long been ‘othered’…treated as if they aren’t part of the human race…treated as subhuman…or only part human; certainly not deserving of the same rights as everyone else (often read as white people). This othering has resulted in racist caricatures of Blacks. These denigrating caricatures treat Black people in a dehumanizing manner. One such racist caricature is The Jezebel:

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Racist Caricature of The Day: The Jezebel

Racist Caricature of the Day: The Mammy

Content Note:  The subject matter in this post contains images, words, and phrases of a racist nature, some of which may be graphic.

Those of African descent have long been ‘othered’…treated as if they aren’t part of the human race…treated as subhuman…or only part human; certainly not deserving of the same rights as everyone else (often read as white people). This othering has resulted in racist caricatures of Blacks. These denigrating caricatures treat Black people in a dehumanizing manner. One such racist caricature is ‘The Mammy’:

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Racist Caricature of the Day: The Mammy

Racist Caricature of the Day: The Tragic Mulatto

Content Note:  The subject matter in this post contains images, words, and phrases of a racist nature, some of which may be graphic.

Those of African descent have long been ‘othered’…treated as if they aren’t part of the human race…treated as subhuman…or only part human; certainly not deserving of the same rights as everyone else (often read as white people). This othering has resulted in racist caricatures of Blacks. These denigrating caricatures treat Black people in a dehumanizing manner. One such racist caricature is ‘The Tragic Mulatto’:

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Racist Caricature of the Day: The Tragic Mulatto

Racist Caricature of the Day: The Golliwog

Content Note:  The subject matter in this post contains images, words, and phrases of a racist nature, some of which may be graphic.

Those of African descent have long been ‘othered’…treated as if they aren’t part of the human race…treated as subhuman…or only part human; certainly not deserving of the same rights as everyone else (often read as white people). This othering has resulted in racist caricatures of Blacks. These denigrating caricatures treat Black people in a dehumanizing manner. One such racist caricature is ‘The Golliwog’:

agatha

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Racist Caricature of the Day: The Golliwog

Racist Caricature of the Day: The Nat

Content Note:  The subject matter in this post contains images, words, and phrases of a racist nature, some of which may be graphic.

Those of African descent have long been ‘othered’…treated as if they aren’t part of the human race…treated as subhuman…or only part human; certainly not deserving of the same rights as everyone else (often read as white people). This othering has resulted in racist caricatures of Blacks. These denigrating caricatures treat Black people in a dehumanizing manner. One such racist caricature is ‘The Nat’:

Continue reading “Racist Caricature of the Day: The Nat”

Racist Caricature of the Day: The Nat

Racist Caricature of the Day: ‘The Tom’

Content Note:  The subject matter in this post contains images, words, and phrases of a racist nature, some of which may be graphic.

Those of African descent have long been ‘othered’…treated as if they aren’t part of the human race…treated as subhuman…or only part human; certainly not deserving of the same rights as everyone else (often read as white people). This othering has resulted in racist caricatures of Blacks. These denigrating caricatures treat Black people in a dehumanizing manner. One such racist caricature is ‘The Tom’ (I find this caricature especially offensive because the Tom in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin was portrayed as a father who was physically strong, young, and loyal to the men he called master. He was also a principled man who tried to live by the values he believed were embodied in Christianity. As you’ll see from this article, the nature of the Uncle Tom changed over time to become one of an older man, with no children, who was not physically strong. He was also a simple man with no depth nor principles, who was loyal to his white master, and disloyal to other blacks. This version of Uncle Tom stripped the character of his roots. The alteration of the Uncle Tom to a man who was docile and passive, who wouldn’t rebel or complain was meant to show that slaves didn’t have it that bad.  It was as if this version of the Tom caricature sought to retcon slavery. This attitude is still found today in politicians who claim that slaves didn’t have it that bad.  I find this deeply offensive and reprehensible.)

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Racist Caricature of the Day: ‘The Tom’