“On the surface they seem unrelated: you’ve got racist white citizens who are attacking black people in the streets, and then years or decades later, you have the police acting violently in the black community.
In response to all those riots in the 1910s and 1920s, civil rights commissions were set up in cities, and there was pressure on both local and federal governments to address white vigilantism and white rioting against blacks. And while it was not particularly effective, it certainly had this censuring quality to it. And then what historians would agree happened is that, in so many cities, the police became the proxy for what the white community wants.
So one of the answers is that police became the front line of the white community — or, at least, the most racially conservative white community. It’s the police that are called out, for example, when black people try to integrate white neighborhoods. It’s the police that become that body that defends whites in their homes.
We start the war on crime in 1965, which, of course, is very much in response to these protests by black people. Because politicians decide that protests against things like police brutality are exactly the same thing as crime — that this is disorderly. This is criminal.
And so, police are specifically charged with keeping order and with stopping crime, which has now become synonymous with black behavior in the streets. The police, again, become that entity that polices black boundaries. And I will tell you that one of the most striking things about the media coverage of Ferguson is that they are absolutely doing what they did in the 1960s in terms of the reporting: “This is all about the looters, this is all about black violence.”
Until black life is valued to the same extent white life is by members of law enforcement and by the criminal-justice community, there will be this question of legitimacy of the police and their actions, particularly among black folks who are routinely stopped. And then, people get angry. And then, people do start throwing rocks and bottles. But make no mistake about it: the police don’t use rubber bullets. It’s never a fair fight.
Most people are not being arrested for raping and robbing, murdering and stealing. It’s this low level, oppressive policing of black communities on the basis of marijuana possession. Low-level drug busts. Riding up on people. Throwing them against cars. Not because blacks do drugs more than whites, not because they possess it more, but because black communities are where the over policing is.”—
The ugly history of racist policing in America: For Ferguson and St. Louis, it’s much more about the fact that there is an absolute unwillingness to deal with the core issues in American society about equality in the streets: [the principle that] a black citizen and a white citizen really do have equal rights under the laws. Black citizens don’t believe it. They shouldn’t believe it. It’s not true that they have equal rights under the laws. It’s not true that they have the same assumptions of innocence. It’s not true that they have the same assumptions of peaceful countenance.
“To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.”—James Baldwin. I feel it in my bones right now. RIP to Vonderrit Myers. (via socialjusticekoolaid)
This was how the myth of Black criminality started, for the record. After the abolition of slavery, a lot of states made laws targeting Black people specifically, and then put them on chain gangs to get free labor from them.
Oh, and the US is still disproportionately incarcerating Black people and private prisons are making huge amounts off them.
BREAKING: September 9th will be officially an entire month since the murder of Ferguson African-American unarmed teenage Michael Brown, at the hands of racist Ferguson PD Officer Darren Wilson. In this entire month, Officer Darren Wilson hasn't been heard from, he has literally disappeared. He still has not been arrested, charged, or indicted in the murder of Michael Brown.
Mike Brown was shot almost a full month ago and Darren Wilson is still a free man. This is despite 3 other Ferguson officers being fired. This is despite all “facts” of his injuries being proven false. This is despite the FBI and national organizations getting involved.
“from Ferguson to Gaza,
These days that we’re going through now are the days that define our movement world wide,
A year ago Maya Wind and I drove across the US and warned many of you in the United States that you are next in line, next in line to be under occupation, armored vehicles in your neighborhood, a curfew on your streets, today I ‘m here to tell you that the israeli army also used chemical weapons in Gaza, any of you willing to say that you will not be the next one they try
new weapons with chemical ingredients on?
These days, in the Winds blew from Ferguson Missouri to Gaza in Palestine,
It is essential to remember that we are all together in the same struggle under the same oppression all over the world, And if there is anything that scares the authorities everywhere more than a mob in the street it is an organized mob in the street that is aware of his power and of his rights, a mob with a history from Emmett Till to Michael Brown to Bassem abu rahmeh and Salem Shammaly,
an hungry mob that Unite together against oppression ,.
Despite what they are trying to sell to us in the mainstream media.
Our problem is not an angry mob on the street, our problem is that there is not enough
Masses taking to the streets, Our problem is that people still think they can win if they play by the rules and they do not realize that the game was never for us, we are just puppets in it.
this coming week I will write a detailed article on the use of chemical ingredients in Gaza, I will appear on democracy now, and at the beginning of next week i will appear on Breaking the Set with Abby Martin to discuss extensively about Gaza.
On September 24 I will appear as a witness in the special Russell Tribunal on Palestine Gaza session in Belgium.
Our desire for liberation from oppression can not be shut down by tear gas or rubber bullets. Yearning for freedom from oppression and demanding equality and dignity for all is necessary, and indeed it will come true.”—Eran Efrati (via momo33me)
Dillon Taylor and Mike Brown both unarmed both shot by police.
You might or might not have heard about the white man who was shot and killed by police in Utah around the same time as Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. He was wearing headphones and could not hear commands by police. The…
In New York City, 123 people have been killed by law enforcement officials since Sean Bell was slain in 2006.
These are just some of the lives that were stopped short due to police encounters. Look at their faces. Read their stories. Know their names. This is just the tip of the iceberg that is police brutality. Even though their lives were taken from us, do not allow them to be forgotten.
One of the troubling ideas that I see among photographers is that somehow when they are engaged in street photography, they have a “neutral gaze” where they simply “observe” and do not impact the surroundings. This myth is…