Thursday, August 21, 2014

Thursday News

The National Guard troops have walked down the streets. Many of the National Guard troops in Ferguson had previously been in Afghanistan and Iraq. The National Guard has had a long history being used in America in the midst of controversies and crises. Back in 1855, the National Guard was used to suppress a riot by German residents of Chicago who objected to a law banning taverns from opening on Sundays and increasing fees for liquor licenses. Militia units were used to quell the New York City Draft riots of 1863 when racists protested Union members from being drafted to fight against the Confederacy. Many of these racists killed innocent black men, women, and children. Also, Brothers and Sisters defended themselves against white racist mobs too in NYC. The National Guard was used in labor movement events, and racial disturbances throughout the 19th and 20th centuries (like in Little Rock back in 1957 to integrate Little Rock Central High School, in the University of Mississippi in 1962, in Watts in 1965, in Detroit in 1967, all over the country after the evil assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968, in Kent State in 1970, in Los Angeles in 1992, etc.). The debate is how is the National Guard is being used, is the National Guard being used in Ferguson is necessary, and how to address the over militarization of society. This debate must be had in American society, because such policies involve us basically. That is why it is not farfetched for some to say that Ferguson, Missouri is experiencing a de facto martial law. Residents have been stripped heavily of the constitutionally guaranteed right to assemble and protests. Reporters have been arrested or banished in violation of freedom of the press. Police checkpoints have been set up at major intersections. Even on Monday night, there was a crackdown on overwhelming peaceful protesters who demanded justice in the killing of Brown. 78 people were arrested ostensibly for failing to obey a police order, for which there is no legal or constitutional basis, to disperse. Since the year 2000, we have seen the election controversy of the 2000 Presidential election, the Patriot Act (which sanctioned unbridled expansion of government spying of Americans including others in the world), the formation of the Homeland Security Department, and further militarization of the police. In 2013, we saw the Boston area experience a military police lockdown and civil liberties were curtailed for a while during the aftermath of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Obviously, the police should not use militarized gear to harass innocent, peaceful protesters at all. So, we have to know about these issues and there is nothing wrong with being a true civil libertarian either.

The police suppression of the rights of journalists is wrong and disgraceful. Many of the riot police in Ferguson, Missouri have arrested journalists for simply walking down the streets. The freedom of the press is guaranteed under the First Amendment. Nowhere does the First Amendment state that members of the press are subject to arrest if their cameras are “too small.” Unfortunately, that’s not what happened recentlyt in Ferguson when a cop reportedly ripped a press badge off of a Vice News reporter while proclaiming, “this doesn’t mean ****.” The journalist tweeted the following words: “…Cop just ripped a press badge off the Vice streamer and threw it to the ground. Just because he could…” (from Drew Coombs (@random_tangent) on August 19, 2014). For the past week, the police have harassed the pres rather overtly. St. Louis Co. SWAT team intentionally gassed an Al-Jazeera America news crew, which forced them to flee. They began to dismantle their camera equipment illegally before realizing that other media was capturing everything on tape. “Al Jazeera America is stunned by this egregious assault on freedom of the press that was clearly intended to have a chilling effect on our ability to cover this important story,” Kate O’Brian, president of Al-Jazeera America, wrote in a statement. “Thankfully all three crew members are physically fine.” This situation and all other likeminded incidents must be investigated too. Any form of misconduct done by anyone including officers should be handled. It is very clear that the police shouldn’t be dressed like the military to deal with peaceful protesters. Terrorism against the American people is nothing new. The events in Ferguson and nationwide prove that such terrorism exists today in 2014. America was founded via theft, conquest, genocide, and enslavement. We have the right to oppose any injustice that comes our way. We express a great deal of sympathy to any innocent victim of the extrajudicial murders of human beings. We are in solidarity with the family of Michael Brown, the family of Eric Garner, and Sister Marlene Pinnock (who suffered a brutal, excessive, and unjust beating by a California highway patrol officer) including her family too. I feel for Marlene, because this Sister was punched in the face at least ten times with her clothes ripped off in broad daylight by a sick, crooked officer (while hundreds of potential witnesses drove by). I send my respect to the cameraman who recorded the incident, because the brutish officer could have lied about what he did. We have to talk about these issues and stand up for justice. We know that many police have harassed black people, killed black people, and violated the civil liberties of not only black people (but people in general). The War on Drugs has failed to adequately the needs of the masses of people and it has contributed to mass incarceration and the violation of basic human freedoms too. All of this has been documented by people from across the political spectrum. We don’t need lectures from anyone who deny the injustices inflicted on society by crooked officers. That is commonsense.

The epidemic of Ebola spreading in Africa is linked to economic inequality and many people ignore the plight of Africans because of racism too. Ebola continues to spread all over Western Africa. Some in America are using fear mongering and even racism about the situation. Ebola is obviously a deadly disease. The symptoms of it include a hemorrhagic fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and internal plus external bleeding. Ebola is caused by a virus that is spread via contact with fluids (like saliva, blood, etc.).There are no known cases of airborne transmission unlike other deadly diseases like influenza. Many fear mongers like some in FOX News have said that: “…"The deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa poses a threat to America." Other choice headlines include, "Here are the 35 countries one flight away from Ebola-affected countries," and "Ebola outbreak: Deadly foreign diseases are 'potential major threat.'" These are lies of course, because the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization both agree that there is no chance at this moment of an Ebola outbreak in America or in any nation with sufficient medical infrastructure. In previous outbreaks, infected individuals have returned to their home countries with no further transmission there. The two American missionaries were flown back to America after they contracted Ebola during the most recent outbreak. There has been little alarmism about these 2 Ebola infected people. Reactionaries like Donald Trump and Breitbart spread fear mongering and racism by wanting to stop flights come to America from West Africa. We know that the vast majority of humans infected acquire Ebola from contact with the bodily fluids of other infected humans. Furthermore, doctors believe that humans can only transmit the disease after they begin to show symptoms. We need cogent information not fear mongering. The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the most deadly in history. Over 1,000 people have died and over 2,000 cases have come about. We know that Ebola are usually contained in remote villages, far from cities. Now, the outbreak is spreading into sprawling urban centers in several West African countries. Urban overcrowding and inadequate health facilities in urban centers (like in Liberia, Sierra Leon, Guinea, etc.) has spread the illness too. So, we have to address economic disparities. The White House refused to send zMapp treatment to Liberia or Nigeria, except for a few doctors. That is why people need access to healthy living conditions and quality health care for all.

The only way for a solution to be made is for all of us to be honest about the existence of racism & economic injustices in the world today (and to teach people to eliminate faulty biases, to educate people on real beauty of the cultures of humanity, etc.). We're anti-police brutality. We want all people to experience justice. Some people just believe in the denial of many black people suffering oppression. That is just wrong. It is a fact that crooked police officers have assaulted, harassed, and killed unarmed black people for years and decades. RIP Aiyana Jones. We should improve our lives individually (e.g. There is nothing wrong with our families being strengthened, and us using our individual power to make a difference in the lives of humanity). We should also oppose the structural problems of society too like discrimination, racism, environmental problems, health care issues, imperialism, poverty, etc. In other words, the system must change, because the status quo is not working. As black people, we have a long way to go (in seeing real justice and revolutionary improvements in our communities), but the crime rates in the black communities of America have decreased in the past three decades. Crime is complex and diverse. Also, even people from across the political spectrum want to use policies to handle unfair mandatory minimum sentencing (addressing these issues can help America). We need solutions that address crime in a constructive way. I have no issue with people who reject police brutality, who respect the free speech rights of peaceful protesters and journalists, and who seek dialogue (so, we can have firm, cogent debates in finding answers). Some people want solutions and some people just want to blame blacks collectively for the sake of advancing some political agenda (which is nefarious in my eyes). Denying that racism exists solves nothing as you have written.

It is important for us to maintain our political independence. We know about the nefarious policies from the Republican Party. That is self-explanatory. Also, we should realize the errors of the Democratic Party too. We see that the Democrats depend on black votes, but some of them are afraid of mentioning certain things as a means to not offend the ruling class. For the past decades and beyond, many Democrats have made concessions to the ruling class as a means to advance a neoliberal agenda. We need more of the tradition of revolutionary radicalism in America. We have seen the growth instead of the reactionary movement in America. The Republican right could take over the Senate in November. Most of them control the House, the Supreme Court, and most of the federal courts. There is the growth of the BRICS movement too (which includes the nations of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). Many progressive changes going on in the world exist from external forces not necessarily from internal forces like from Jim Crow. The movement for change came from black people marching and from international public opinion, African liberation movements, working class movements in Europe and in Asia, etc. We see that the two party system has given us limited choices. The paradox is that the Democrats heavily dare dependent on black votes, but in the Deep South, most white Americans vote for Republicans across class lines. During the 1991 election for governor in Louisiana, 55 percent of white Americans voted for a Nazi, David Duke, a Nazi and a Klansman, for governor. Many Democrats attack their own base of support as a means for them to try to get more votes. This is what Bill Clinton has done. Many Democrats have been hawkish as a means to gain credibility among the ruling class (who are very hawkish). One example is that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Samantha Power, UN ambassador Susan Rice, and other supported the NATO bombing of Libya during 2011. The President made an error by supporting that policy and now conflicts have spread into Mali (which has French intervention), Niger, etc. The White House is not progressive on foreign policy matter, immigration, and on civil liberties. The ironic thing is that most Americans take progressive positions on so many issues. Most Americans reject preemptive wars, most Americans want the super-rich to pay higher taxes, and most Americans want a strong social safety net. Most Americans even want a higher minimum wage. Working class people are in both parties and the issue is that Wall Street interests dominate both of the parties as a means to prevent radical social progress in America.

By Timothy


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