Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday News in late April 2015 (The news in Baltimore and throughout the Earth)

The Freddie Gray case is continuing. The Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake recently spoke on late April 2015 about seeking answers. She asked why the police didn't immediately send Gray to the hospital. She wants to know what has happened and she said that people deserve answers involving this tragic situation. The mayor sent condolences to the family of Freddie Gray. The mayor is African American, Gray is African American, and Baltimore is mostly African American, so we can't ignore the class and racial dynamics of this situation. The cops in modern day society will readily receive the benefit of the doubt by the establishment. That is the way it is among Western society. So, it is very immoral for the cops involved in the death of Gray to be only be suspended without pay. Yet, I’m not surprised by this erroneous action. Gray, before he died, was obviously in a lot of pain. Why wasn’t he placed into a hospital immediately? He was with the police for over 30 minutes before he was carried into the hospital. Witnesses said that Gray was yelling for medical attention, because video footage shows him in pain. The slander against the protesters (being said by reactionaries) in Baltimore is similar to how the racists slandered the protesters in Ferguson & NYC. Witnesses said that before Gray was sent to a police van, Gray was subjected to a horrific form of torture and he was folded up. He was unable to walk on his own. We know that Baltimore has a long history of police brutality, which has resulted in $5.7 million in payouts to victims since 2011. The Baltimore Sun reported that “Victims include a 15-year-old boy riding a dirt bike, a 26-year-old pregnant accountant who had witnessed a beating, a 50-year-old woman selling church raffle tickets, a 65-year-old church deacon rolling a cigarette and an 87-year-old grandmother aiding her wounded grandson.” The death of Gray is similar to the death of Dondi Johnson. Johnson had his spine fractured after he was given an intentional “rough ride” in a police van that arrived at the station in half the time it would have taken if it were driving at the speed limit. His family received a $7.4 million judgment, which was subsequently reduced to $200,000. Not giving handcuffed prisoners seat belts have caused people to be paralyzed. Many cops act as occupying forces. The militarized police have been used in Ferguson and throughout America. Baltimore has lost more than 84 percent of its manufacturing jobs since 1970. Its official poverty rate is more than 25 percent. There is a controversial curfew law and Baltimore wants to shut off the water supplies of some of its residents. The working class and the poor have protested police brutality in Baltimore. There is no massive tracking of police killing in the national level, while some in both parties have transferred billions of dollars in military hardware to local police. That’s a problem. That is why we are opposed to war, inequality, and oppression. We want justice and a true egalitarian form of society.

There is an U.S. drone strike which killed 2 Al-Qaeda hostages. The story is a tragedy. Yesterday, the President Barack Obama announced that the U.S. counterterrorism operation in January had killed 2 men. They were prisoners by Al-Qaeda in Pakistan near the border with Afghanistan. The family of Weinstein was sent to the terrorists and then the demands changed. One of the men who was killed was Warren Weinstein, who was an American university professor. He worked as a contractor for a U.S. government aid program in Pakistan and the other man being murdered was Giovani Lo Porto. Port was an Italian humanitarian aid worker. He helped earthquake victims in that country. Press reports cited unnamed officials that the attack was a drone missile strike, which was directed by the CIA. The U.S. government notified the families of Weinstein and Lo Porto and the Italian government of their deaths. Now, there is a debate on the drone program itself. The drone program has killed many civilians including children all over the Earth. There are details being sorted out on the deaths of the 2 men. Obama said, “As president and commander-in-chief I take full responsibility for all counterterrorism operations, including the one that inadvertently took the lives” of Weinstein and Lo Porto.” The Department of Justice has issued a legal finding to try to justify the CIA and Pentagon launching drone missile strikes against any target selected by the President. Many drone strikes are done by signature strikes. The signature strikes involve observing men in turbans with guns (not necessary an identification of specific individuals). It is done as a product of monitoring certain behavior patterns. These drone attacks occur in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Africa, etc. Drone strikes have killed thousands of innocent people. We know of untold Pashtuns, Yemenis, Africans, etc. who have died as product of drone strikes without any mention of the corporate-dominated mainstream media of the West. By one recent estimate, one set of drone strikes targeting 41 alleged Al Qaeda leaders—some of whom survived the attacks—killed 1,147 people. The overall death toll from US drone missile strikes was estimated at 4,700 in 2013, and there have been dozens of strikes since then. Dr. Weinstein’s wife, Elaine, issued a statement that said the family was “devastated” and criticized the attitude of both the Pakistani and American governments. Pakistan had treated the hostage as “more of an annoyance than a priority,” while US government assistance to the family was “inconsistent and disappointing.” “We hope that my husband’s death and the others who have faced similar tragedies in recent months will finally prompt the US government to take its responsibilities seriously and establish a coordinated and consistent approach to supporting hostages and their families,” she said. The government refused to negotiate for the release of hostage, which some view as contributing to the killing of journalists like James Foley in Syria, Luke Somers in Yemen, etc. The drone program overtly violates the Fifth Amendment regardless of Eric Holder says. An American citizen according to that Amendment may never be deprived of life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness without due process of law. Al-Qaeda operatives Ahmed Farouq and Adam Gadahn (or Azzam the American) were killed by the strike in January 2015. Drone strikes killing civilians are readily war crimes.

I read the rest of the article on theGrio (about Hotep Twitter). The jest of the article is that hypocritical people (who claim to be conscious) actually try to use disturbing rhetoric against black women and other minorities (which is ironically the same agenda of white supremacy which these faux “conscious” people claim to oppose). To assume that every black feminist wants to dominate and harm black men in an oppressive fashion is stupid and ignorant. To assume that a patriarchal supremacist order can liberate black women is foolishness. At the same time, there is nothing wrong with using real programs in improving the conditions of black families. There is nothing wrong with promoting black unity either. It is true that some white women in the suffrage movement were racists. Also, the caricature from Hotep Twitter is blatantly offensive since it depicts black women who voluntarily choose to be feminists as monolithically oppressive and embracing misandry completely, which is not the case at all. The image shows a black woman in a disrespectful fashion. Some black women call themselves womanists too. Many memes, as shown in social media, focus on demonizing people instead of inspiring people. I have looked at many memes on Instagram accounts that mock the physical appearances of black people in general (in disrespectful ways). Some of these reactionary extremists (who use “black consciousness” as a cloak) do blame the victim for rape, etc. One thing that these extremists rarely do is that they refuse to expose capitalist exploitation or how classism including racism has oppressed the black community. We have to promote more compassion with our people not make a sport out of degrading people in a vicious fashion. That is what realness is all about, because beauty is compassion. We can agree to disagree without using callous, evil invective. We can be progressive, conscious, and authentic without misogynistic and xenophobic rhetoric (and white supremacists ironically embrace that evil rhetoric to the fullest). Promoting true altruism is what real living is all about. Also, we should never stereotype everybody in the black conscious community as anti-intellectual, retrograde people. There are countless sincere, courageous black male and black female people in the conscious community (like Sister Soujah and Solomon Comissiong) who have written great books, have stood up against white supremacy, and are helping black people in communities worldwide. Their work should be acknowledged and honored. At the end of the day, we, as black people, want freedom and justice.

The question itself shows that some people are more concerned with the dating habits of people than freedom and justice. Also, the maker of the video wants to insult the intelligence of black women. We know that black women will treat anyone with respect regardless of ethnicity. We know tons of black women who have treated black men and men in general with honor, respect, and compassion. We know that women in general have every right to fulfill their own destinies and live out their lives as human beings. I didn’t look at the video. I did check out the owner of the YouTube account (who has shown that video). The person who owns the YouTube account has many videos in his page filled with misogynoir. That shows me what agenda that the person is trying to spew. The video is an attack on black women straight up. Black women and any human being have the right to date who they want. Me personally, I am attracted to my own people romantically (of the opposite gender). Yet, I will never restrict the right of any human being the choice to date who they love. Ultimately, love deals with trust, commitment, common ground, and perseverance. Relationships are diverse. There are tons of black couples who are loving too. I find that many of those folks who constantly demonize black women are people with low self-esteem, self-hatred issues, and they have other massive issues. At the end of the day, black people are dealing with the issues of police brutality, unemployment, health care, education, etc. We don't need distractions (as shown by that video). We want constructive action. Black people want liberation. The Black Lives Matter movement is certainly growing. First, it is not racist for black people in their own communities to execute self-determination. Even Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. believed in self-determination being executed by black people. We know that there is classism and economic exploitation must be discussed. The police institution follows the interests of the oligarchy. Yet, there can be no solution unless racism and economic oppression are addressed. Class oppression and racism are linked. When other ethnic groups form their own infrastructures peacefully (like developing their own stores, cultural centers, etc.), they are not readily called racists. When black people use our God-given right to unify and build in our communities peacefully and without showing malice to others, then we (as black people) are slandered as racists. That slander is wrong and it's evil. Glen Ford has every right to call for the resistance against oppression in our communities. Also, we have to address poverty and corporate exploitation including imperialism. If someone is not against the system of white supremacy, then that person is not seeing the whole picture. All of humanity should be free. Police terrorism is in epidemic levels in America. This system is not just promoting privatization and corporate corruption. The system promotes the criminal injustice system, discrimination, and ecological terrorism too.

The Republicans candidates overtly have shown that they are in league with corporate power. Wall Street banks have funded the GOP leadership for a long time. We see how the candidates from Rubio to Jeb Bush refuse to endorse a living wage, refuse to promote a real progressive foreign policy, refuse to promote immigrant rights, and refuse to strengthen the social safety net (that people fought and died for). The oligarchy certainly loves an austerity agenda, so their plutocratic profits can increase at the expense of the interests of the working class. The Koch Brothers and the one percent are aiding the political machine that dominates both major parties. Lawrence Wilkerson is right to say that people should talk about Ferguson, the prison industrial complex, and other real issues important to African Americans including all freedom loving peoples. Also, there is nothing wrong with political independence either. We live under an austerity system today. The bipartisan austerity agenda has not worked to end poverty in America. The recommended $4 trillion in cuts made by the deficit reduction commission is barbaric and obscene. The 2011 US/NATO bombing campaign against Libya was not only evil, but a war crime. We have seen the West aid terrorists who have caused the raping, lynching, and murder of black Libyan men, women, and children. That is not just. We have seen the expansion of evil proxy wars in Syria, Yemen, etc. This is definitely not just. A kill list is wicked and funding Wall Street via record bailout is a wrong policy to pursue. We see that the Western intelligence surveillance of American citizens that has grown since 2001. Also, we face the epidemic of police terrorism. We need information and we need more than that. We need police officers who are guilty of crimes to be tried, convicted, and jailed for their crimes. There must be systematic change in a comprehensive, expansive way. Racial justice and economic justice are needed. We not only want jobs, but we want justice too. We want an end to Empire, so society can reach its highest potential and experience the Promised Land for real.

By Timothy

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