Photo by Joshua Cox
As rumors circulated Friday morning that the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacists planned to rally in downtown Durham, N.C., in response to the toppling of a Confederate statue on Monday by racial justice advocates, counter-protesters showed up in number, crowding the streets and forcing local and government businesses and buildings to shut down for the day.
Read “Did a Crowd of Counter-Protesters in Durham, NC Scare Off The Ku Klux Klan?“
Handcuffed prisoner in jail (iStock)
In which Josie Duffy-Rice gives us the human side of supposed “violent offenders” and how that label impacts who benefits from criminal justice reform and who doesn’t.
Reform advocates have spent years trying to get the public to pay attention to the injustices of America’s merciless criminal justice system. The good news is it seems to be working, albeit slowly and fitfully, with public perception shifting across the political spectrum. There’s a long way to go—we still imprison more people than any other country in the world and the system is full of inhumanities—but there have been some important, if tiny, triumphs.
But even these minor victories have costs. To make justice reform digestible, we’ve had to draw black-and-white lines that obscure the shades of gray. Take, for example, the binary split between nonviolent and violent offenders. Because nonviolent offenders are much more sympathetic, they’ve received almost all the reform attention. Any mercy the system has demonstrated has gone almost exclusively to those we can safely lump into this nonthreatening category, a group we’ve separated rhetorically from the “violent” types who are generally considered beyond redemption or mercy.
Read “My Brother, the Violent Offender”
Photo Credit: Katrina Parker
On Monday evening during an anti-white supremacy rally, demonstrators in Durham, N.C., toppled a Confederate statue that had been standing in front of the old courthouse in the city’s downtown area. On Tuesday morning, Takiyah Thompson, the black woman who tied the noose around the statue’s neck so it could be pulled down was one of the first to be arrested for her part in the demonstration.
Three more demonstrators were arrested on Wednesday morning, and on Thursday morning, activists who believe law enforcement officials are targeting racial justice organizers gathered en masse to turn themselves in as well.
Read “Durham Activists Stand In Solidarity, Crowds Gather To Turn Themselves In For Toppling Confederate Statue“
A recent analysis conducted by The Marshall Project confirms what most of us have known, or at least suspected, all along: when a black man is killed by a white person in America, their killer is less likely to face legal consequences, and the killing is more likely to be deemed justifiable.
Read “Killings of Black Men More Likely To Be Deemed Justifiable: Report“
A throw back to yesterday when I was really feeling myself
Some days you have one of those “I’m feeling really cute today” days. Yesterday was one of those days.
On last night’s episode of Insecure, Molly quipped that she thought open relationships were some white people shit. OK, she didn’t say it exactly like that, but that was indeed her point.
Consensual non-monogamous relationships are are not just for white people. I wrote a piece on The Root discussion my own experience with it.
Many of us were raised on the idea that we would grow up and find one person that we would marry and be with forever until death do us part. We would have children with this person, buy a home with this person, and build a life with this person that would look like some combination of all the ‘perfect’ families we watched on television and live happily ever after in monogamy.
Read “No, Open and Non-Monogamous Relationships Are Not Just For White People“
When you wake up in the morning feeling yourself
If there’s a cure for this, I don’t want it. If there’s a remedy, I’ll run from it.
With so much craziness happening in this country this weekend, I took long breaks from social media over the weekend and indulged in self-care in the form of multiple orgasms. It was glorious.
I’m usually plugged in and connected all the time, but I found myself disconnecting a lot this weekend, locked in my apartment with a lover who was working here for the weekend and therefore got to bypass my usual ‘no overnights’ rule because when I see him, it’s always special, and we like to make it last.
And then, the morning after he leaves, I wake up feeling like this — blissful and ready to tackle whatever the day throws at me.
And even though I think I’m full and I’ve gotten all I can take, love in the form of an almost 3-hour phone call from someone else shows up, and pushes me further into the “Bitch, you on now!” mood.
Cause I am on. I looked at myself in the mirror this morning and said, “Fuck that; I’m on.”
I put on this shirt that Jae gave me. Parted my hair and put some handmade bows in it. Put on red lipstick.
Sat on the unmade bed that is still covered in his scent, and took pictures of myself in my t-shirt and panties because I’m on, bitch.
Nothing can top this mood today.
Today, I am unstoppable.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNA – AUGUST 21, 2014: Mario Bautista (middle ) along with other members of “Stop LAPD Spying Coalition), holds a press conference outside Los Angeles City Hall on August 21 in downtown Los Angeles. The group is saying the use of drones would violate the privacy rights of Angelenos and further “militarize” local law enforcement. Later, the group tried to present a letter to Mayor Eric Garcetti for a timeline regarding setting a policy for the LAPD to make a decision regarding drones. The group is demanding a prohibition onthe use of drone technology by the Los Angeles Police Departement. (Photo by Gary Friedman/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
At Tuesday’s meeting of the Los Angeles Police Commission, the Los Angeles Police Department said it wanted to test the use of drones in a one-year pilot program. The announcement was met with immediate resistance from a group of activists who gathered to denounce the use of any drones by the department.
Read “Should Police Departments Be Able To Use Drones? “
Former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager (Photo by Grace Beahm-Pool/Getty Images)
The South Carolina prosecutor who tried the now former North Charleston police officer responsible for shooting and killing the 50-year-old black unarmed motorist Walter Scott said in a pretrial hearing last year that Michael Slager’s shooting of Scott was a “close call” between manslaughter and murder, but that a case could be made for either criminal charge.
Read “#WalterScott: Prosecutor Believed It Was a ‘Close Call’ Between Manslaughter and Murder“
Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images
When Mike Brown was killed in Ferguson, Mo., on Aug. 9, 2014, I was still in journalism school at Arizona State University, learning more about the effective use of social media and blogs and the impact they can have on social movements. I was not aware of how important that information was going to become for me until months later, when the movement to save black lives came to the forefront of our collective social conscience.
Read “Mike Brown, Ferguson, Mo., and How the Movement to Save Black Lives Changed the Way I Do Journalism“
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Earlier this year, Education Secretary and super-rich white woman Betsy DeVos put her foot in her mouth when she said HBCUs were “real pioneers when it comes to school choice.” Because she has never had to worry about not having access to education, it was clear she didn’t understand that those early schools were, in fact, the only choices black people had.
Read “Betsy DeVos Tries to Backpedal on Her HBCU Comments, but She’s Still a Dummy Who Doesn’t Care About Black People“
LeVar Burtond (Photo by Andrea Bracaglia/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
In today’s episode of Black People Can’t Have a Damn Thing, Not Even if We Played a Major Role in Building It From the Ground Up, actor LeVar Burton is being personally sued by a Buffalo, N.Y., public broadcasting station that wants to stop him from using a Reading Rainbow catchphrase on his new podcast.
Read “LeVar Burton Is Being Sued by a Public Broadcasting Station Over Reading Rainbow“