In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his iconic "Letter from the Birmingham Jail," a profoundly important message that King's adviser and friend Dr. Clarence B. Jones called a "symphony of social justice." In 2018, Oakland composer Zachary Watkins (Black Spirituals) wrote Peace Be Till for the contemporary classical group Kronos Quartet, in honor of Dr. King's activism. The staggering excerpt above features Dr. Jones, currently director of the University of San Francisco Institute for Nonviolence and Social Justice, reads from the "Letter from the Birmingham Jail."
Film edited by Evan Neff.
Peace Be Till premiered on January 19, 2018, at New York City's Carnegie Hall during "The ’60s: The Years that Changed America" festival. Read the rest
This was on Fox News, as reported by a number of reporters and viewers: a chart showing upticks in the S&P 500 stock index after killings of black people and the acquittal of the police offers filmed beating Rodney King. The defense is that it's a fact. Facts can't be racist, can they? There's no element of choice in how facts are identified, put in context and presented, is there? Maybe Fox News is actually critiquing capitalism!
I have revised the old joke from The Simpsons to bring it up to date. ↓
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“We, the National Football League, believe Black Lives Matter.”
This is sure an interesting Friday, with Reddit and Facebook and now Amazon CEOs and founders speaking about Black Lives Matter and the protests surrounding the police killing of George Floyd. Read the rest
Yes, we regret to inform you that Large Adult President Donald Trump said something stupid again on the Twitters. Read the rest
"Black lives matter," said Mark Zuckerberg today. Read the rest
• Founder to leave Reddit, saying resignation can be ‘act of leadership’
• Reddit promises to update content moderation policies to “explicitly address hate” within weeks
Earlier today, we told you that Reddit's Alexis Ohanian was resigning from the Reddit board, asked the company to fill his seat with a Black candidate, and said he'd donate further proceeds from Reddit to anti-racism causes beginning with a $1M pledge to Colin Kaepernick's “Know Your Rights Camp.”
Now, Reddit has responded.
Reports Hannah Murphy at the Financial Times:
In a lengthy statement later on Friday, Steve Huffman, Reddit’s chief executive, said that the company would “honour” the request by Mr Ohanian that his successor be a black candidate.
He added the company would update its content moderation policies to “explicitly address hate”, adding that the timeline would be “weeks, not months” if moderators of individual forums engage in the process.
“[Our] current policy lists only what you cannot do, articulates none of the values behind the rules, and does not explicitly take a stance on hate or racism,” he said. “We will update our content policy to include a vision for Reddit and its communities to aspire to, a statement on hate, the context for the rules, and a principle that Reddit isn’t to be used as a weapon.”
Reddit pledges to appoint black director after Ohanian quits
[ft.com] Read the rest
An autopsy of George Floyd, who was killed by police officers in Minneapolis, shows that he'd tested positive for COVID-19 in April, and had recovered -- only to have his life cut short by those who vow to “protect and serve.” Read the rest
East Bay artists: got mural-painting skills? I've been informed by a friend-in-the-know that a loosely organized group has formed to cover up pre-primed window boards with art in downtown Oakland, California. They're looking for help and supply donations. Read on.
Redditor mtweiner shares some details:
We have 2-3 dozen spots boarded and primed, ready for any artists who want to come through. Most folks are out 10a-3pmish every day, starting at 13th & broadway.
Meet us at the Tribune Tower if you'd like to volunteer! Supplies can be provided for any artists who would like to join in. Spaces are ready to be painted!
...for those of you asking about donations, we currently don't have a specific fund set up. If you're local, any spray cans, ladders, poles, brushes, or paint you have around that you would like to donate please swing by 13th & Broadway - theres a building open collecting supply donations. Same goes for Tribune Tavern on Franklin & 13th.
Calling all Oakland Artists! We need help painting murals downtown from oakland
art/image by @dimebagdarla, used with permission Read the rest
• Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison increased the charge against Derek Chauvin, and charged Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao with aiding and abetting second-degree murder in the death of George Floyd.
On Wednesday, three additional Minneapolis police officers were charged in the killing of George Floyd, and charges against Derek Chauvin were elevated to second degree murder. Read the rest
Tries to convince everyone it was 'more for an inspection'
Her name is Keke Palmer.
She is amazing. She's an actor in Los Angeles, and an activist. Read the rest
Yesterday, Ella Jones became the first black, and first female, elected mayor of Ferguson, Missouri where an uprising kicked off
in 2014 after a white police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, and was not indicted. From the New York Times
Ms. Jones, 65, and her opponent, Heather Robinett, 49, had both vowed to continue changes enacted after the 2014 shooting of Mr. Brown, including a federal consent decree, a legally binding agreement requiring reforms to a police department.
“I’ve got work to do — because when you’re an African-American woman, they require more of you than they require of my counterpart,” Ms. Jones said after her victory, in a video (below) posted online Tuesday night by the journalist Jason Rosenbaum of St. Louis Public Radio. “I know the people in Ferguson are ready to stabilize their community, and we’re going to work together to get it done.”
image: Ferguson City Council directory
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“Silence Is Not an Option”
“I Cannot Remain Silent,” former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen writes in an Atlantic op-ed today, “Our fellow citizens are not the enemy, and must never become so.” Read the rest
"I fucking love this country." — Rahul Dubey