Breaking Brown


29/04/13 Race & Racism , ybw #

Rank Restored to Miami Firefighter Demoted Over Offensive Trayvon Martin Facebook Post

Rank Restored to Miami Firefighter Demoted Over Offensive Trayvon Martin Facebook Post

by Yvette Carnell

A Miami firefighter who was demoted for making derogatory comments about Trayvon Martin recently had his rank restored by an arbitrator, according to The Miami Herald.

Brian Beckmann had been demoted two ranks, from captain to firefighter, after ranting that “urban youths” are the products of “failed, sh–bag, ignorant, pathetic, welfare dependent excuses for parents.”

Beckman also maligned Angela Corey, the prosecutor who charged George Zimmerman with second degree murder for fatally shooting Trayvon Martin.

In a Tuesday ruling, arbitrator Mark I. Lurie found that the county’s action constituted a breach of Miami-Dade’s contract with the firefighters union since it gave authority to the mayor and not the fire chief.

Read more here:

In a written statement, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said he was “disappointed by the arbitrator’s finding in this case.” He added, “We must always hold our County employees to a higher standard, and given the offensive and inflammatory remarks made by Mr. Beckmann – a member of a diverse organization that serves an equally diverse community – a quick slap on the wrist just isn’t good enough.”

Unarmed teen Trayvon Martin was shot to death by neighborhood vigilante George Zimmerman in February.

Sadly, this incident demonstrates the limits of allowing token gestures to posture as public policy in this country. Members of organizations tend to bind together and protect one another unless there is a law or policy in place to prevent such pack-like behavior. So when the community turns up the heat on out of line officials, their superiors make a token gestures to tamp down outrage, then overturn those symbolic gestures once the cameras leave.


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26/04/13 Black Politics , ybw #

Fox News Host: Rep Keith Ellison is a Dangerous Muslim Apologist

Fox News Host: Rep Keith Ellison is a Dangerous Muslim Apologist

Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN)  has never been a favorite of  Fox News, mostly because Ellison took his oath of office on a Koran and not the Bible. But the disdain Fox News held for Rep. Ellison surely edged up after Ellison allowed himself to be goaded into a contentious argument with Sean Hannity that ended with Ellison calling Hannity “the worst excuse for a journalist” he’d ever seen. Now the hosts of the Fox News talk  show The Five are openly suggesting that Rep. Ellison is “dangerous” because he’s Muslim.

Fox News host Eric Bolling said that Rep. Ellison has been “the Muslim apologist in Congress for a long time” but, and this is key, Bolling offered no specific instances of wrongdoing by Ellison.

To piece together the attack on Ellison, Democratic co-host Bob Beckel implied that there should be no separation of church and state since Muslims tie so many of their beliefs to the operation of the state.

So now we have arrived back at the same political space we were in prior to 9/11, where Muslims are viewed with suspicion based solely on their religion. This sort of blanket contempt is partly what led the ‘mapping’ of Muslims by New York’s finest.

A bit about the impact of surveillance on New York Muslims from The Atlantic:

Parents are anxious about the effect on their children, and nag them accordingly. A college student said “his parents did not want him to go to Muslim Student Association events or wear his Muslim hat.” Another student “who wears the niqab, or face veil,” noted that “her mother asked her to stop wearing all black because she worried her dress would draw police scrutiny.”

The land of the free seems headed here again.

Watch the video:

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25/04/13 Black Politics , ybw #

President Obama’s Secret Wars and Torture Camps

President Obama’s Secret Wars and Torture Camps

In 2011 The Nation’s Jeremy Scahill presented a damning indictment of the CIA’s use of secret prisons in Somalia. The prisoners housed at the CIA facility, located underneath Somalia’s National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters, are suspected of being members of Shabab – a militant group that has pledged allegiance to al Qaeda. Many of the prisoners were snatched from the streets of Kenya and rendered to Somalia without trial or due process. In a Wednesday interview with Democracy Now, Scahill provides even more in depth information about the use of death squads and mercenary forces by the Obama administration.

Scahill compares what the Obama administration is doing, aiding dictators and right wing governments, to what the Reagan administration did in the 1980’s. According to Scahill the CIA had ratcheted down covert operations due the assassination scandals of previous years,  but 9/11 changed all that. The world is now viewed as a battlefield and both the Bush and Obama administrations have given their military and intelligence apparatus the authority to deploy resources to areas all over the world in anticipation of future battles.

The Obama administration has also doubled down on the view of the executive branch as a dictatorship, allowing only minimal oversight by Congress. For example, there are three sets of kill lists, and a group of people who add names to that list, but there is no real Congressional oversight for the process or implementation of the drone assassination program.

Most stunning though is Scahill’s thorough outlining of how the CIA employs torture techniques on detainees around the world. High value targets are held incommunicado for months at a time while they’re being interrogated and the interrogators who have opposed these practices have been blackballed and even threatened. Journalists have not escaped imprisonment in these bed bug infested U.S. torture camps.

Watch the full interview:


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24/04/13 Race & Racism , ybw #

91% of D.C. Marijuana Charges Are Filed Against Blacks, Only 6% Against Whites

91% of D.C. Marijuana Charges Are Filed Against Blacks, Only 6% Against Whites

One of the bright spots of  the 2012 election cycle for  liberals, especially black liberals, was the success of marijuana legalization efforts in Washington and Colorado. Black legalization advocates weren’t lifted because blacks smoke more weed than whites, but because blacks are disciplined much harsher than their white couterparts.

To drive that point home, consider this statistic from the Washington City Paper:

D.C.’s dope divide is just as striking when you zoom out. According to arrest numbers obtained from the Metropolitan Police Department and crunched by a statistician, between 2005 and 2011, D.C. cops filed 30,126 marijuana offense charges. A staggering number of those—27,560, or 91 percent—were filed against African-Americans. Only 2,097 were filed against whites.

Lady justice has removed her blindfold, or so it seems. On close inspection it appears that D.C.  police look the other way when D.C.’s elite light up a joint, but pile on when D.C’s. poorer and darker residents puff, puff, and pass.

As the article notes, the trend is continuing.  Marijuana charges filed against blacks rose 6 percent  between 2005 and 2011, but declined 10 percent for whites during that same period, despite evidence which indicates that drug use among whites and blacks in the city is relatively equal.

Another interesting anomaly in all this is that gentrification in the city has driven blacks out, reducing the city’s black population,  to make room for white D.C. dwellers. So how can D.C. police account for the arrest disparity?If they have a defense, they should certainly be willing to share it with the rest of us.


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