Breaking Brown http://breakingbrown.com Sun, 26 Apr 2015 00:43:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.3 Black Vet Arrested for Walking While Black Files Lawsuit Against Seattle Policehttp://breakingbrown.com/2015/04/black-vet-arrested-for-walking-while-black-files-lawsuit-against-seattle-police/ http://breakingbrown.com/2015/04/black-vet-arrested-for-walking-while-black-files-lawsuit-against-seattle-police/#comments Sat, 25 Apr 2015 18:16:42 +0000 http://breakingbrown.com/?p=7861

Seventy year old William Wingate has filed a lawsuit against the city of Seattle and an officer for arresting him without cause while he was out walking last July.

Wingate, a military veteran, was arrested as he strolled down the street while using a golf club as a cane.

The lawsuit claims that Wingate was targeted due to his race.

“Officer Whitlatch’s racist conduct toward Mr. Wingate deprived him of his constitutional equal protection rights,” the lawsuit states, according to The Stranger. 

 

 

Video of the incident shows Wingate standing as Officer Whitlach pulls her patrol car to a stop in front of him. At one point, Whitlach can be heard telling Wingate, “You just swung that golf club at me,” to which Wingate replies, “No I did not.”

Whitlach still insists that Wingate swung on her and the elderly veteran is placed under arrest by Officer Chris Coles and charged with harassment and obstruction.

Seattle police later apologized to Wingate over the incident.

“Deputy Chief Best personally met with the man, returned his golf club, and offered an apology for his arrest. The officer who made the arrest received counseling from her supervisor, a course of action that the department believes to be an appropriate resolution,” according to The Stranger.

Watch the video below:


 

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Corporate Careerist Blacks Work Twice As Hard, Are Twice as Maniacal and Servile Just to Get Ahead?http://breakingbrown.com/2015/04/corporate-careerist-blacks-work-twice-as-hard-are-twice-as-maniacal-and-servile-just-to-get-ahead/ http://breakingbrown.com/2015/04/corporate-careerist-blacks-work-twice-as-hard-are-twice-as-maniacal-and-servile-just-to-get-ahead/#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2015 18:43:30 +0000 http://breakingbrown.com/?p=7854

While discussing on Facebook the report that Attorney General Loretta Lynch is making police morale, as opposed to police brutality, her top priority, a friend made the following observations:

Point blank, I have been surviving on this Earth for 42 years and finding a way to maneuver in the lower levels of corporate America to just make it in this world for a couple of decades now.

 

That being said, what I have found is that black people who try to achieve success in a Western society predicated on white supremacy and superiority are even more maniacal in their actions since they don’t have white privilege to rely upon to rise up the corporate ladder.

Hence, although black folks say that they have to work twice as hard as a white person to reach the same amount of success (which is true), they also must be twice as good at all the other things that make the white collar world, such as twice as much of a backstabber, twice as servile to people in positions of power and twice as hard on black folks in proving their allegiance to the basic tenets of white supremacy. The fact this woman has already planned on making a tour of these police precincts as a means of solidifying her place as top cop proves my point since none of her white predecessors felt the need to do the same thing…

What do you think? Do blacks who want to get ahead behave even more callously than their white counterparts due to the absence of white privilege?

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Attorney General Loretta Lynch Makes Coddling Police Her First Priorityhttp://breakingbrown.com/2015/04/attorney-general-loretta-lynch-makes-coddling-police-her-first-priority/ http://breakingbrown.com/2015/04/attorney-general-loretta-lynch-makes-coddling-police-her-first-priority/#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2015 16:31:44 +0000 http://breakingbrown.com/?p=7851

by Yvette Carnell

Given the number of African-Americans who’ve been injured or killed at the hands of police, one would assume that America’s first black woman attorney general would be singularly focused on holding law enforcement officers accountable. According to the New York Times, however,  the opposite is true. Loretta Lynch is reportedly planning to visit local police stations as a show of support for officers:

Ms. Lynch is expected to continue many of Mr. Holder’s efforts. But as a career prosecutor with a law-and-order reputation, she comes into office with strong relationships with many of the police groups who have felt unfairly criticized during a spate of high-profile episodes of African-American men dying at the hands of white officers.

 

Mr. Holder recently completed a nationwide tour of minority neighborhoods to discuss policing. Ms. Lynch plans a similar tour of police departments, signaling a change in approach…

 

Ms. Lynch is concerned that morale in police departments has declined and that officers are being unfairly tarnished by episodes that do not reflect all of policing, several aides and friends said.

Once again, putting symbolism ahead of substance has its consequences. Black groups, such as the NAACP and Al Sharpton’s National Action Network (NAN), fought for Lynch when her nomination appeared stalled, but to what end?

Wall Street targeted African-Americans with sub-prime schemes and suffered no consequences under the Obama administration, and they have nothing to fear with Loretta Lynch either, as Bruce Dixon at Black Agenda Report noted previously. Lynch worked to shield HSBC, a bank caught laundering drug money, from prosecution and stiff fines.

Lynch also takes a tougher stance on marijuana than President Obama, something she admitted during her hearing.

“I certainly don’t hold that view and don’t agree with that view of marijuana as a substance,” Lynch said. “I think the president was speaking from his personal experience and personal opinion, neither of which I’m able to share. But I can tell you that not only do I not support legalization of marijuana, it is not the position of the Department of Justice currently to support legalization, nor would it be the position if I were confirmed as attorney general.”

Given the number of blacks behind bars for weed possession, Lynch’s position is worrisome. The new AG can’t get behind legalization of pot or penalizing Wall Street crooks, but law enforcement officers? She’s willing to go on a nationwide tour to prove she has their back.

Update: For those who doubt my analysis, please keep in mind that Loretta Lynch was law enforcement’s pick for the job. Republican Rudy Giuliani, who defended the killing of Amadou Diallo, campaigned for Lynch to become attorney general. -yc

 

h/t: Vox

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White Horse Thief Receives $650,000 Settlement Only 2 Weeks After Beatinghttp://breakingbrown.com/2015/04/white-horse-thief-receives-650000-settlement-only-2-weeks-after-beating/ http://breakingbrown.com/2015/04/white-horse-thief-receives-650000-settlement-only-2-weeks-after-beating/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 21:30:54 +0000 http://breakingbrown.com/?p=7845

A white horse thief whose beating was caught on video will receive a $650,000 settlement from San Bernardino County.

The county’s Board of Supervisors announced the settlement on Tuesday.

Francis Jared Pusok’s beating by police on April 9 was caught on video.

“The sole purpose of this agreement for both parties is to avoid the costs involved in litigation,” board Chairman James Ramos said, according to KTLA. “This agreement is a fair outcome for everyone involved, including the taxpayers.”

Pusok, 30, led officers on a chase after they tried to serve a warrant at a home in Apple Valley. Pusok allegedly stole a car, then fled on foot, then escaped atop a stolen horse. Video shows Pusok lying on the ground as armed officers beat and kicked him.

Pusok’s case settled much quicker than similar police brutality cases, observed Stetson University’s College of Law professor Charles Rose, according to the Orange County Register.

“I can’t believe the case is already settled,”  Rose said. “Civil cases normally take an extended period of time with a great deal of argument, not only over liability, but also damages. Not even two weeks, and you’ve got a $650,000 settlement. I would go so far as to say it is almost unheard of.”

Pusok’s attorneys said the settlement was based on the video.

“This settlement is remarkable as there was essentially no investigation nor any indictments,” said Pusok’s attorneys in a statement, according to the Los Angeles Times. “Rather it is based on a video which depicts a violent and brutal attack by San Bernardino County deputies on a private citizen.”

Watch video of the incident below:

 

 

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Dr. Cornel West Addresses Michael Eric Dyson’s “Character Assassination”http://breakingbrown.com/2015/04/dr-cornel-west-addresses-michael-eric-dysons-character-assassination/ http://breakingbrown.com/2015/04/dr-cornel-west-addresses-michael-eric-dysons-character-assassination/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 13:41:52 +0000 http://breakingbrown.com/?p=7840

The internet has been abuzz about Michael Eric Dyson’s intensely personal critique of Cornel West all week. West, however, had not responded to the criticism… up until now. West addressed Dyson’s piece in a Facebook post published this morning:

The escalating deaths and sufferings in Black and poor America and the marvelous new militancy in our Ferguson moment should compel us to focus on what really matters: The life and death issues of police murders, poverty, mass incarceration, drones, TPP (unjust trade policies), vast surveillance, decrepit schools, unemployment, Wall Street power, Israeli occupation of Palestinians, Dalit resistance in India, and ecological catastrophe.

 

Character assassination is the refuge of those who hide and conceal these issues in order to rationalize their own allegiance to the status quo. I am neither a saint nor prophet, but I am a Jesus-loving free Black man in a Great Tradition who intends to be faithful unto death in telling the truth and bearing witness to justice. I am not beholden to any administration, political party, TV channel or financial sponsor because loving suffering and struggling peoples is my point of reference. Deep integrity must trump cheap popularity. Nothing will stop or distract my work and witness, even as I learn from others and try not to hurt others.

But to pursue truth and justice is to live dangerously. In the spirit of John Coltrane’s LOVE SUPREME, let us focus on what really matters: the issues, policies, and realities that affect precious everyday people catching hell and how we can resist the lies and crimes of the status quo!

 

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Toni Morrison: “My father Was Very, Very Serious in His Hatred of White People”http://breakingbrown.com/2015/04/toni-morrison-my-father-was-very-very-serious-in-his-hatred-of-white-people/ http://breakingbrown.com/2015/04/toni-morrison-my-father-was-very-very-serious-in-his-hatred-of-white-people/#comments Wed, 22 Apr 2015 19:21:09 +0000 http://breakingbrown.com/?p=7791

In a recent interview with NPR, acclaimed novelist Toni Morrison credits her Toni Morrison3.jpgmother with teaching her to look beyond race. Morrison says her father’s interaction with the worst kinds of racism led him to hate white people:

[My father] was very, very serious in his hatred of white people. What mitigated it was my mother, who was exactly the opposite, who never rejected or accepted anybody based on race or color or religion or any of that. Everybody was an individual whom she approved of or disapproved of based on her perception of them as individuals.

 

My father saw two black men lynched on his street in Cartersville, Ga., as a child. I think seeing two black businessmen, not vagrants, hanging from trees as a child was traumatic for him.

That would’ve been traumatic for anyone. And even vagrants don’t deserve to hang from trees. Sadly, what Morrison’s father experienced was not unique. As the Equal Justice Initiative revealed in a bombshell report, Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of
Racial Terror,
the number of lynchings in America have been underestimated by historians.

EJI researchers documented 3959 racial terror lynchings of African Americans in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia between 1877 and 1950 – at least 700 more lynchings of black people in these states than previously reported in the most comprehensive work done on lynching to date.

And EJI also characterized lynchings as forms of terrorism as opposed to isolated hate crimes:

Lynching in America makes the case that lynching of African Americans was terrorism, a widely supported phenomenon used to enforce racial subordination and segregation. Lynchings were violent and public events that traumatized black people throughout the country and were largely tolerated by state and federal officials. This was not “frontier justice” carried out by a few marginalized vigilantes or extremists. Instead, many African Americans who were never accused of any crime were tortured and murdered in front of picnicking spectators (including elected officials and prominent citizens) for bumping into a white person, or wearing their military uniforms after World War I, or not using the appropriate title when addressing a white person. People who participated in lynchings were celebrated and acted with impunity.

So this should serve as some explanation to people who are trying to understand black anger. It doesn’t begin or end with lynchings, but this is as good a place as any to start to understand black resentment.

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College Protester Wanted by Police After Stomping on U.S. Flaghttp://breakingbrown.com/2015/04/college-protester-wanted-by-police-after-stomping-on-u-s-flag/ http://breakingbrown.com/2015/04/college-protester-wanted-by-police-after-stomping-on-u-s-flag/#comments Wed, 22 Apr 2015 16:09:19 +0000 http://breakingbrown.com/?p=7832

A Valdosta State University protester who made news for walking on the American flag is now wanted by police.

Police say a gun was found in the backpack of Eric Sheppard, who outraged ‘patriotic’ Georgians last week by leading a protest where fellow students stepped on the American flag in opposition to white supremacy.

According to local affiliate FOX 5, police say “unmistakable evidence has now been located by law enforcement linking the gun to Eric Sheppard.”

Police stopped Sheppard only hours earlier after receiving 911 calls that Sheppard had threatened someone. During Sheppard’s interaction with police, which was captured on video, he can clearly be heard telling an officer that he doesn’t have a gun.

“You are the ones making threats right now,” Sheppard told officers.”You have guns; we have no firearms, no pistols.”

Officers told Sheppard they’d received reports that he was making threats.

“Matching your description,” one officer explained to Sheppard, “standing on the front steps of the library, threatening to shoot people.”

Sheppard had outraged many on campus prior to this incident for burning and stomping on an American flag because it “represented white supremacy.”

According to police, Sheppard’s rhetoric was initially peaceful but grew violent after the flag protest.

Valdosta State did not interrupt Sheppard’s campus protests.

“We respect the rights of people to peacefully assemble and voice their opinions. Our primary concern is the safety of our students, faculty and staff and our ability to carry out our responsibilities to all our students on campus. We are monitoring the situation.”

Michelle Manhart, a white woman who interrupted the peaceful protests on Saturday, has become a hero of the right wing.

Watch the video below:

 

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Poll: 65 Countries View the U.S. as Greatest Threat to World Peacehttp://breakingbrown.com/2015/04/poll-65-countries-view-the-u-s-as-greatest-threat-to-world-peace/ http://breakingbrown.com/2015/04/poll-65-countries-view-the-u-s-as-greatest-threat-to-world-peace/#comments Tue, 21 Apr 2015 22:17:46 +0000 http://breakingbrown.com/?p=7798

When American policymakers discuss why keeping nuclear weapons out of the hands of Iran is a good thing, they routinely use the talking point that Iran is a threat to peace in the Middle East. But as linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky recently noted during an interview with RT, most of the world views the U.S. as the greatest threat to world peace:

Everyone in the United States — every leading commentator, every presidential candidate and so on, recently Jeb Bush — says Iran is the greatest threat to world peace. That’s repeated over and over.

 

There’s also another opinion on the matter. Namely, the world’s opinion, and we know what that is because there are polls taken by the leading US polling agencies. The Gallup organization has international polls. And they ask the question, “Which country is the greatest threat to world peace?” The United States is way ahead of anyone else. No other country is even close. But Americans are protected from that. The US media simply refused to print it. This major poll, I think it was December 2013, it was reported by BBC. But not a single word in the major American media. So if the world thinks that, so much for the world. We say Iran is the greatest threat to world peace, therefore that is true. We can repeat it over and over.

Here are the numbers, as published in the International Business Times in 2014:

International Business Times

h/t: Zero Hedge

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Exonerated Man to Prosecutor: “I Can’t Forgive You”http://breakingbrown.com/2015/04/exonerated-man-to-prosecutor-i-cant-forgive-you/ http://breakingbrown.com/2015/04/exonerated-man-to-prosecutor-i-cant-forgive-you/#comments Tue, 21 Apr 2015 18:51:47 +0000 http://breakingbrown.com/?p=7793

by Yvette Carnell

About a week ago CNN’s Anderson Cooper discussed with Walter’s Scott’s family a topic that has become all too common among black victims and their families–forgiveness.

After black teen Jordan Davis was gunned down by Michael Dunn, a CNN anchor also asked the slain teen’s parents about their plans to forgive their son’s killer. Jordan’s father was honest in his answer: No. Still, the pressure is usually on black victims to forgive, as opposed to pressuring their assailants to be worthy of forgiveness.

One exonerated inmate who spent most of his life behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit has no plans to forgive the prosecutor who ruined his life.

Glenn Ford spent 30 years on death row after being convicted of a murder he didn’t commit. Ford’s story is made all the more tragic by the recent revelation that he has stage 4 lung cancer and isn’t expected to survive past six months.

So, when the man who put him behind bars, former prosecutor Marty Stroud, came to visit Ford, the exonerated man made it clear that he wasn’t in a forgiving mood.

“I want you to know that I am very sorry,” Stroud said during a tense meeting. “It’s a stain on me that will be with me until I go to my grave.”

Ford said Stroud’s words aren’t worth much now.

“Right,” Ford, who was too weak to stand, shot back, without even looking up at Stroud. “But it still cost me 31 years of my life and then nothing at the end but death because they give me from six to eight months to live.”

“I’m sorry,” Ford added. “I can’t forgive you.”

 

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Yvette Carnell: The White House Visitor Log Explains Michael Eric Dyson’s Takedown of Cornel Westhttp://breakingbrown.com/2015/04/yvette-carnell-the-white-house-visitor-log-explains-michael-eric-dysons-takedown-of-cornel-west/ http://breakingbrown.com/2015/04/yvette-carnell-the-white-house-visitor-log-explains-michael-eric-dysons-takedown-of-cornel-west/#comments Tue, 21 Apr 2015 16:23:11 +0000 http://breakingbrown.com/?p=7782

by Yvette Carnell

Yesterday morning, the stale debate between Cornel West and Michael Eric Dyson was the last thing on my mind. Moments earlier, I’d written a quick story about a black man who’d died after Baltimore police broke his back during an arrest. And prior to that, I was one of the millions of Americans who flinched at the sight of a black man being shot in the back multiple times while fleeing from police during a traffic stop. So you can imagine my disbelief when presented with an article that sought to reignite the Cornel West v. Michael Eric Dyson beef.

I love my black academics, I really do, so long as their published research remains in the arena where ideas clash, not personalities.  If, in his now infamous piece, The Ghost of Cornel West, Michael Eric Dyson had deconstructed the efficacy of calling Obama “a Republican in black face” or claiming that Obama has a “fear of free black men”, then I could’ve offered a tip ‘o the hat to Mr. Dyson. Regrettably, that didn’t happen. Here’s what we got instead:

West had a huge crush on the R&B singer Anita Baker, and I got us tickets to see her perform in New Jersey. After a brief backstage introduction to the singer I had finagled, West relived his high school track glory and sprinted up the street in glee.

And:

Despite the profusion of prophecy in his texts and talks, West has never bothered to tell us in rich detail what makes a person a prophet. He doesn’t offer a theory of prophets so much as announce their virtues and functions while grieving over their lost art and practice.

Do we really give two f**ks about West’s Anita Baker moment or black “prophetic instincts”, whatever the hell that means, given the current racial and political climate in this country?

Dyson later makes the point that West is getting sloppy in his comparative analysis, boldly making assertions without the empirical data to back them up. From where I sit, that’s more true than false. But that’s a topic you bring up among fellow academics, or with West himself, not in the pages of The New Republic. This is all inside baseball. Even worse, it’s inside baseball that doesn’t matter. Or at least Dyson wasn’t successful at making his case for why inauguration tickets and missed White House phone calls still matter.

So if this wasn’t an attempt by Dyson to grapple with West’s most repeated talking point, that the plutocrats are coming and Obama, MLK bust in the White House notwithstanding, is one of them, then what was this piece about?

It felt personal, which is ironic given that West is the one most often accused of getting his boxers in a bunch over inauguration tickets. Most political observers are writing the final scorecard as they move in the direction of a post-Obama era, but Dyson is still here. Still committed to this PhD’s Gone Wild sort of spat with West. Why?

I think the White House visitor log may have something to do with it:

 

white house visitor record

Mr. Dyson, who recently called attention to police brutality in the New York Times with an article titled, “Racial Terror, Fast and Slow”, has met with the most powerful man in America more than a handful of times. Did Dyson mention racial terror when he was schmoozing with Obama? I haven’t a clue, but I do have a clue who Dr. Cornel West was referencing when he said “we live in the age of the sellout.” That comment was directed at Dyson, and others like him who’ve lost sight of their principles under the guise of supporting the first black president. It was a harsh criticism, garnished with all the over the top gesticulation and animation that West is known for. Dyson’s New Republic essay was his answer to that shot fired by West.

If Dyson wants to answer that charge, fine by me. Just don’t bring the entire black community into the fray. We have more important issues to deal with than a PhD who is still picking up the pieces of a bromance gone bad.

Yvette Carnell is founder of BreakingBrown.com. She can be reached at editor@breakingbrown.com

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