Wednesday, July 23, 2014
RIP Eric Garner
For years, we have shown facts after facts of police brutality, discrimination, economic exploitation, and racism. Yet, the words from some of these cops (in various social media disrespecting Eric Garner) confirm everything that I have ever typed about the brutality against Eric Garner. The murder of Eric Garner was evil and it was brutally done by terroristic cops. Cops have terrorized our people in America for a very long time. The words from the cops found in social media represent a mentality (of embracing hate, racism, selfishness, authoritarian thinking, etc.) commonly found among many police officers worldwide, not just nationwide. Notice how these cops, in their comments, disrespected Eric Garner’s humanity and his family, so I have no respect for evil, crooked officers at all. The cops who made these remarks ought to be fully investigated and punished, because we pay their salaries. We have every right to wisely stand up for our human dignity and to wisely stand up for our human rights. The EMS did an extremely poor job in handling the life of Eric Garner. The EMS individuals did not even act like they were in a rush. They acted timid almost and that was very evil in my view. The harassment of black people and the murder of black people by the NYPD unfortunately are common realities. It is a shame that innocent people have been brutalized by crooked officers. There are similarities between both occurrences (of the death of Eric Garner and the scene of the death of Raheem from the Movie "Do the Right Thing"). One difference though is that the scene from Spike Lee's classic movie has shown a fictional account of what occurs against black people for real and the unjust death of Eric Garner is a real life event. The death of Eric Garner is real and we have to be not only educated on the system of white supremacy & we should be educated on how the police acts. We have to be educated on the law too, so we can find ways to abolish unjust laws. We have the right to stand up for our rights, condemn police brutality, and build up our own institutions. There has to be real accountability made in this situation. This accountability means that the officers involved in the Brother’s death must be punished (for real). I send my condolences and prayers to the family & friends of Eric Garner.
First, I want to send my total respect to the activists protesting against the water shutoffs. Their courage and their activism have been inspiring and an excellent display of standing up against oppression. The Detroit water shutoffs have been an atrocity against human life. The 15 day temporary suspension of the shutoffs is very disrespectful to the plight of citizens of Detroit. This came about because of the pressure sent to the emergency manager and the other people controlling Detroit. Obviously, this is a pause not a real moratorium. We know the truth about this situation. Nearly 40 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, and the constant rate increases have made Detroit water bills among the highest in the nation. Many want to privatize the public resources in Detroit. Many of the actions of the big banks using derivatives, free trade deindustrialization, and other factors contributed to the issues found in Detroit. The great activists (who are fighting for water as a human right) should continue to make their voices heard and they should continue to fight for real short term and long term solutions for the city of Detroit. We know this is a public relations move and this action doesn’t adequate address the overall infrastructure problems in Detroit. After the two week hiatus, the Detroit officials will continue their shutoffs. In fact, in order to qualify, residents will have to provide documents proving the need for assistance, officials said, and they would have to enroll in some kind of payment plan. To have service restored, residents typically must pay 30 percent of their outstanding bill (often hundreds or even thousands of dollars) and keep present bills current in order to qualify for a 36-month plan to pay off their balance—or face another shutoff. This is virtually impossible for most of the residents. The pause is dealing with the bankruptcy restructuring plan where pensions from people are stolen as a means for the corporate interests to dominate the city’s infrastructure. There have been mass school closings, and the collapse of essential services too from fire protection to emergency medical services. The money have been taken from the people and sent into the financial elites and the big banks. There should be a strong reconstruction plan that helps the people of Detroit. I have no issue with a mass public works program as well. The city is strong and I do have hope that the city will be stronger in the future. People have the right to allow their voices to be heard on this issue. Some folks scapegoating people and dismissing the concerns of the people in Detroit solves nothing. The status quo obviously doesn't work, so other solutions are needed. There should be an end to the emergency manager rule of most functions of the city, so a more democratic governing process is made. There should be a total audit of the infrastructure in Detroit, so plans can be instituted to benefit the people directly. Article I, Section 8 gives Congress the right to provide for the general welfare of society. There ought to be an urban reconstruction plan in Detroit organized by the state and the local governments (based on public works programs, improving the city, and dealing with poverty). Also, there can be an extension of the moratorium, so a better solution can exist to solve the water crisis. If the federal government can send billions of dollars to Wall Street banks, then it can assist local government in unique ways. The President can declare the situation in Detroit as an emergency too.
Rula Jebreal has been disrespected by many supporters of imperialism & Empire. Her being slandered by some is a disgrace. She is super moderate. I admire her strength. She has never shown a massive, offensive, and slanderous anti-Israeli bias in my view ever. She is also a great reporter. She has always been fair and balanced in her coverage of Middle East affairs. If these extremists slander Rula Jebreal as an anti-Semite (when she is a Palestinian woman), then you know that these apartheid policy lovers are truly wrong. Rula Jebreal just told the truth that the neo-cons and AIPAC have heavy influence in the political affairs of the West (and they are intimidating reporters from showing both sides on this important foreign policy issue). Unfair checkpoints, brutal militarized tactics against civilians in Gaza including other occupied territories, and racist policies against black Israelis have every right to be shown in any media period. Also, there are many Jewish people even who oppose the current reactionary regime in Israel. This is a great issue to talk about since we should condemn oppression against our people in America and we should condemn injustice anywhere. People from many backgrounds want real peace in the Middle East via a political solution. People in the Middle East deserve peace and justice. Islamophobia is unfortunately common place in many sectors of America. We have seen it immediately after 9/11 when mosques were vandalized by criminals and even some Muslims were detained. We have seen here in Tennessee when false accusations and smears have existed against a Muslim candidate. A story about a Muslim candidate in the South being lied about like this reminds me that we should not only condemn Islamophobia, but we should advance the values of tolerance, human dignity, freedom, and justice. It is not a secret that the policies of Israel towards the Palestinian people are similar to the evil apartheid regime in South Africa and the evil Jim Crow system in America. This is not just me mentioning this legitimate, historical reality. Other Brothers and Sisters have made the linkage like Margaret Kimberley, Alice Walker, Glen Ford, Kevin Alexander Gray, Teju Cole, Dream Hampton etc. The Palestinian people have suffered a lot of brutality. Even today, the Palestinians experience violence, legal disenfranchisement, racism, forms of segregation, checkpoints, etc. We, who are African Americans, have been strongly in favor of international solidarity with the Palestinian peoples and using divestment programs too. It is obvious that bombs have harmed hospitals in Gaza and many civilians dying during the conflict is a war crime. American war crimes should not be omitted, because the U.S. killed an American citizen named Anwar al-Awlaki in 2011 without due process at all. A 2006 Israeli Supreme Court decision ruled that targeted assassination of hundreds of Palestinians were legal and did not violate international law. Obviously, that court is wrong. There terrorism in Gaza has been exploited by the West as an excuse to continue with imperialism worldwide. At the end of the day, Israel must end all attacks on civilian targets in Gaza. They should end all attacks on medical facilities and personnel in Gaza. The international community should provide access to the dead and injured as required by international, humanitarian law. Israel should end military attacks and occupation, so rational people can form a long lasting political solution to this crisis. Jewish people and Arabic people should not be enemies. We are all part of the same human family at the end of the day.
When the truth is known about the migrant crisis, the truth becomes clearer. This crisis deals with U.S. imperialism. The policies of the White House towards Latin American immigrants document that both parties adhere to the same neoliberal doctrines. The leadership of both major parties is allied on immigration. The crisis is not a product of these mostly children coming into America. This crisis is a product of conditions in Central America (caused heavily by the U.S./CIA foreign policy measures including the policies from reactionary regimes). It is a historical fact that CIA backed mercenaries murdered hundreds of thousands of the indigenous peoples found in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. We see that both parties have members who love neoliberalism, globalization, etc. Imperialism has been loved by the Democratic and Republican Party. The Democratic Party calls itself more progressive while the Republicans have expressed extreme positions. The Republicans have members who are overtly racist and sexists, while the Democrats covertly express their own neoliberal agenda. We can see U.S. imperialism’s role in the migrant crisis. The current administration has deported more than 2 million human beings. We see that Central America is heavily influenced by the CAFTA free trade agreement, which is similar to NAFTA (that privileges Western corporate interests at the expense of the sovereign agricultural and industrial development in the region). The U.S. military maintains a large presence in Central America as a means to fight in the disastrous War on Drugs. The U.S. sponsored the 2009 Honduran coup. We know about the US military aid and intelligence in the age of Reagan sponsored death squads and counter-revolutionary militaries to destabilize the revolutions in Central America. In other for anyone to understand this crisis, there must be an understanding of the geopolitical and economic context of this issue. The lust for capital by the capitalist elite along with the bigoted scapegoating of the migrant is certainly a sad development. The good news is that many people are educating and mobilizing the people to understand the truth. The truth is that the exploitation and harm done to the immigrants are part of the same racist, imperial order. Yes, we do have the right to believe in justice. Migrants’ rights is human rights. All immigrants and all human beings have the right to have basic human rights. Ningún nino es ilegal.
More and more people from the Left and the Right are in agreement that the criminal justice system and the War on Drugs (which has grown militarism in Latin America & violates the human rights of Americans including other human beings) have harmed communities and ruined so many lives in the black people. There must be a change period. The status quo is not only wrong, but it doesn’t work. We have tried the neo-liberal status quo for over three decades. The War on Drugs as it is now has not worked to radically improve the conditions of society. Giving people second chances is great if it is done in a fair fashion. There is no rational justification for nonviolent drug offenders to receive sentences greater than murderers, rapists, pedophiles, or other heinous criminals at all. I don’t even believe in minimum mandatory sentences, because of the complexities found in crime. This recent policy from the administration is rather centrist and some people are acting like it is the end of the world, which is not. A lot of the people with nonviolent drug convictions aren’t even drug dealers. Many of them have been arrested for possession. People in those circumstances need a second chance. A second chance is never about being naïve or allowing people to do what they want to do. It is about giving people job and other economic opportunities. It is about restoring voting rights to all felons who paid their debts to society. It is about eliminating laws that contribute to the harm of our communities. We should not only create sentence fairness, but we have to address poverty and address the socio-political issues in the world. We have to focus more on treatment not obsess with mass incarcerating nonviolent people (in long sentences) with mere possession. We need real investments in real education and the reconstruction of poor urban including rural communities. We need a radical transformation of society. There have been many people who advocate common ground among people of different ideological background. My view is that we unite on many issues to fight for justice, but we should never forsake our core convictions. Most people do agree that corporate corruption should end including corporate welfare. I don’t want select corporations lobbying in an inappropriate way or having influence to directly create our laws and policies. Most of us don’t agree with record bailouts sent to the big banks, the Empire filled policies of the military industrial complex, and tax cuts for the super wealthy. There should be no personhood of corporations at all. We agree that our basic civil liberties must be preserved and that unjust laws like the Patriot Act ought to be banned. The National Security State blatantly has harmed our rights (and secret programs and wars have expanded in the Bush years including the Obama years too). The War on Drugs has been a total failure and it must end. Bad trade deals have harmed workers’ rights, environmental standards, etc. We need fairer trade policies that people from across the political spectrum have supported. Wall Street criminals should be punished as well. Most Americans want an increase of the minimum wage, which I support too. At the end of the day, the people not select corporate interests should run the nation. This doesn’t mean that we ally with outright extremists like the Koch Brothers (who represent not only corporate interests, but seek to advance anti-human rights policies). So, we can unite with people who sincerely want problems solved, but we should not sell out our principles and join extremists. So, that is clear.