Boston Police Union throws a tantrum over Black Lives Matter at school week

Boston's got a bad reputation when it comes to race. And unfortunately, much of it's deserved. Of course, there are people who are trying to fight and make a positive difference despite the segregation that's left the predominantly black neighborhoods behind in schooling and socializing. Which is why the Boston Teacher's Union planned a week-long series of events in coordination with Black Lives Matter, to help educate students on inclusion and restorative justice. After all, February is Black History Month. So that all sounds good, right?

The Boston Police Patrolmen's Association disagreed, and sent a letter to BTU President Jessica Tang condoning the events. In the letter, BPPA President Michael Leary refers to Black Lives Matter an "anti-police organization" who has endangered the lives of Boston police officers. This is demonstrably untrue. But BPPA refuses to let the facts get in the way of their feelings. The letter continues on about the "irrational hatred" of BLM, accusing them of "inaccurately demonizing police as racists who kill innocent people" before passive-aggressively warning about the potential dangers of not cooperating with Boston Police, like some kind of mob protection racket.

BPPA is also upset about an education initiative to provide more funding for guidance counselors, instead of just shoving more police officers into schools to solve behavioral problems by threat of force. Read the rest

This simple timeline puts the long, long history of slavery in perspective

The Twitter account @gloed_up shared this historical meme:

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Family records for slavery-era black Americans to be made available, free, online

The records will be online by late next year, to coincide with the opening of the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall in Washington.

Parliament Funkadelic Mothership soon to be on display at Smithsonian

The Mothership made famous in George Clinton's Parliament-Funkadelic golden years will soon be available for viewing at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC. Read the rest

Black History Month, and the history of America spying on Black civil rights leaders

"February is Black History Month and that history is intimately linked with surveillance by the federal government in the name of 'national security," writes Nadya Kayyali at an Electronic Frontier Foundation blog post today. 

"Indeed, the history of surveillance in the African-American community plays an important role in the debate around spying today and in the calls for a congressional investigation into that surveillance. Days after the first NSA leaks emerged last June, EFF called for a new Church Committee. We mentioned that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was one of the targets of the very surveillance that eventually led to the formation of the first Church Committee."

"This Black History Month, we should remember the many African-American activists who were targeted by intelligence agencies. Their stories serve as cautionary tales for the expanding surveillance state.

Read: The History of Surveillance and the Black Community. [EFF.org] Read the rest