Why America's police look like soldiers

Vox made a video that explains why cops in the US look like soldiers. Read the rest

NASCAR investigating noose found in Bubba Wallace's garage stall at Alabama race

A noose was discovered in the garage stall of Black race car driver Bubba Wallace at a NASCAR race in Alabama on Sunday, less than two weeks after Wallace advocated successfully for NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag at all tracks and facilities. Read the rest

A powerful portrait series of Black Americans killed by police that uses time as a visual medium

Adrian Brandon is a Seattle-raised and Brooklyn-based visual artist, whose "Stolen" collection was originally displayed at his first public solo show in November 2019 at 263 Bowery in New York. It's stunning visual art project both in its concept, and its execution. I'll allow the artist to explain:

This series is dedicated to the many black people that were robbed of their lives at the hands of the police. In addition to using markers and pencil, I use time as a medium to define how long each portrait is colored in. 1 year of life = 1 minute of color. Tamir Rice was 12 when he was murdered, so I colored his portrait for 12 minutes. As a person of color, I know that my future can be stolen from me if I’m driving with a broken taillight, or playing my music too loud, or reaching for my phone at the wrong time. So for each of these portraits I played with the harsh relationship between time and death. I want the viewer to see how much empty space is left in these lives, stories that will never be told, space that can never be filled. This emptiness represents holes in their families and our community, who will be forever stuck with the question, “who were they becoming?” This series touches on grief and the unknown.

Brandon's pen-and-ink work is phenomenal. But when you see how much — or how little — color art is added to the lives of these people of color, it really drives the point home. Read the rest

It's not ok to use the term "slave," and the "B" in Black should be capitalized

On this Juneteenth, I thought I'd share two things I've just learned:

1. It's not ok to use the word "slave." It's dehumanizing. We should use "enslaved" instead. Watch the video with Ta-Nehisi Coates and Oprah to understand why better.

2. It's time we start using a capital B for Black:

...Temple University journalism professor Lori L. Tharps had this to say: “When speaking of a culture, ethnicity or group of people, the name should be capitalized. Black with a capital B refers to people of the African diaspora. Lowercase black is simply a color.”

Tharps’s argument highlights the fact that Black people have a common cultural identity of history, art, community, and shared experiences. Most Black Americans lack a specific geographic identity, as they are unable to conclusively trace roots back to a specific country of origin due to enslavement. That lack of shared geography is actually part of what binds Black people together. And while “African American” is a fine terminology choice, it is sometimes considered inadequately representative by Black Americans with recent Caribbean or British lineage, for example, or those who have recently emigrated to the United States from Africa.

Thanks, A! Read the rest

Homeland Security analyst filmed telling black teen girl, “You don’t deserve to be here”

This gentleman, identified as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services analyst Lee Jeffers, behaved bizarrely toward a group of teenagers who were driving a golf cart in their Florida neighborhood. Jeffers yelled at the teens, spoke in tongues, shared his extensive knowledge of US states where adults can marry teens, threatened to have the kids arrested, and told a 15-year-old black girl, "You do not deserve to be in here.”

From The Palm Beach Post:

The teen’s grandfather, Tony Nelson, spoke with The Post Tuesday about the clash. Breonna and four friends -- two boys and two girls -- were riding in a golf cart and had stopped at the neighborhood’s security gate. Almost immediately, Nelson said, a man the teens didn’t know began following them closely, almost hitting them at one point.

Frightened, the boys left the golf cart and ran, but the three girls continued walking to Breonna’s house, Nelson said.

That led to the confrontation in the Nelson family’s driveway, with the man now identified as Jeffers yelling at the teens, threatening to call the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office to have them removed from the neighborhood and then denying any threat when questioned by Nelson.

Read the rest

Black Sabbath makes Black Lives Matter T-shirt

Black Sabbath is selling a Black Lives Matter T-shirt inspired by the band's iconic logo.

100% OF THE NET PROCEEDS WILL BENEFIT BLACK LIVES MATTER GLOBAL NETWORK FOUNDATION, INC.

In support of Black Lives Matter, an official t-shirt themed after Black Sabbath’s iconic Master Of Reality album cover is now available.

Read the rest

Apartment complex employee suspended for barring black residents from swimming pool

A black woman posted a video on Twitter showing her interaction with an apartment complex employee in Knoxville, Tennessee who would not allow her to enter the community swimming pool, even though the employee was allowing white people to enter without challenging them. The Root reports that the employee has since been suspended:

When asked by the black woman why she thinks she doesn’t live there and why white residents are being let in without question, Swimming Pool Sarah reached all the way to the peak of Mount Caucasity for a response and said, “I know everybody that lives here.”

“You don’t know everybody that lives here just because you live here,” @royaal_e responds. “Just because you don’t remember me doesn’t mean that I don’t live here. That’s very rude of you to just assume that I don’t live here.”

Pigeon-lip Peggy responds, “I do know everybody. Bitch, you haven’t even come in and done your paperwork, right?”

...

The next day, Knox Ridge posted an acknowledgment of the incident to its Twitter account.

“Knox Ridge is aware of the incident that occurred [yesterday] involving a staff member and resident,” the statement reads. “We have placed the employee on disciplinary leave while we review this matter further. As a community, we have absolutely no tolerance for discrimination – inadvertent or otherwise. We intend to revisit our training program for all staff, in order to do our part to prevent situations like this happening in the future.

Read the rest

White lawyer who spat on black high schooler charged with hate crime

Stephanie Rapkin, the Wisconsin attorney who was recorded spitting on a 17-year-old at an anti-racism rally in Milwaukee was charged with a hate crime, reports AP.

From AP:

According to the criminal complaint, Rapkin told an investigating officer she was a cancer survivor and felt threatened because she was surrounded by protesters who were not wearing coronavirus protective masks. Video shows Rapkin did not wear a mask.

Shorewood police went to Rapkin’s home the following day in response to an altercation. She resisted arrest and kneed one officer in the groin, the complaint said.

Image: YouTube Read the rest

NASCAR banned the Confederate flag, prompting calls for a boycott

NASCAR is an activity in which humans sit in wheeled, self-propelled boxes and hold contests to see who can roll the fastest. Other humans surround the rolling boxes and cheer for their favorite. The humans who run this lucrative enterprise have decreed that it is no longer acceptable for the wheeled boxes to display images of the Confederate flag, a banner that was used by enslavers who wanted to form a country that allowed ownership of people. They fought a war and lost, and a few of the losers are still sore about it, so they continue to display the flag on cars, shirts, and bikinis. The sore losers are now angry at NASCAR for banning their flag and have vowed to boycott it.

From Pensacola News Journal:

"The presence of the confederate flag at NASCAR events runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry," a league statement read. "Bringing people together around a love for racing and the community that it creates is what makes our fans and sport special. The display of the confederate flag will be prohibited from all NASCAR events and properties."

Image; The eBay Read the rest

Roger Goodell admits NFL was wrong for banning NFL players' kneeling protests of anti-Black police brutality

“We, the National Football League, believe Black Lives Matter.”

Amazon's Jeff Bezos proclaims support for 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

'NO KNEELING!' — Donald Trump, who couldn't kneel if he tried

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' —Mark Zuckerberg, who says Facebook may change policy on state violence, voter suppression

"Black lives matter," said Mark Zuckerberg today. Read the rest

Reddit to honor Ohanian's request to appoint Black director, and address anti-Black hate

• 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.”

Read more: Reddit pledges to appoint black director after Ohanian quits [ft.com] Read the rest

Man who aimed bow and arrow at Salt Lake City protesters charged with three felonies

Brandon E. McCormick says he brought a hunting bow and a large knife to a Salt Lake City protest because he wanted to protect the police. Instead of protecting cops, he was beaten by protestors when he drew his weapon on them and has been charged with three felonies. If he gets convicted and sent to prison, he won't have to acclimate to life as an inmate.

From The Salt Lake Tribune:

Now the 57-year-old Taylorsville man, who has spent nearly two decades of his life behind bars in California and once was convicted of battery against a public safety officer, faces three felony counts for, widely shared video has shown, aiming his weapon at protesters.

...

McCormick, whose Facebook page says he is originally from Barstow, Calif., has shared his views before on the social media website, posting racist memes and talking about wanting to go back in time to “take out” former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when they were “in the crib.”

In a May 21 post, McCormick shared with his followers that "if you didn’t grow up during the cold war and or you and or your anaesters [ancestors] are here ileagely [illegally]. You shouldn’t be alloud [allowed] to vote!!!!” (Bracketed spellings have been corrected.)

Image: YouTube Read the rest

Autopsy shows George Floyd tested positive for COVID-19 in April

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

"Explaining the Pandemic to my Past Self," Part 2

First, watch part one, in which Julie Nolke travels back in time from April to the pre-pandemic era and freaks out her earlier self. Then, watch this video on which today's Julie Nolke travels back in time to give April's Julie Nolke a heads-up on what's to come. Nolke is donating all the revenue from the video to the George Floyd Memorial Fund and other programs assisting people of color.

  Read the rest

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