Building a #BlackXmas

Why #BlackLivesMatter Is Dreaming of and Building for a #BlackXMas in the Wake of Donald Trump and Why You Should Too Since its inception in 2013, Black Lives Matter has recognized the killing of Black people at the hands of the police as not simply a question of a few rogue officers, but a part of a system that is built on the backs of Black people. Chattel slavery sought to reduce our Ancestors to workhorses, mules, and dehumanized beings whose labor could be exploited and whose own bodies … [Read more...]

Black Lives Matter: Good at Raising Awareness — But That Won’t Reduce Police Killings

South Los Angeles this weekend, protests erupted over the LAPD killing of a black man long before there was enough information to say why, exactly, the officer had used lethal force or if he was justified in doing so. About two weeks earlier, the police killing of a black man in Charlotte, N.C., also triggered protests — again before all the relevant details were public. Both of the men who died were armed. It’s not hard to understand why some protesters act before all the facts are in. They … [Read more...]

#Whitechurchquiet: Anything But Outrage Is Complicity

September 20th, mere hours after the police shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina, pastor and professor Andre E. Johnson took to Twitter and started the hashtag #WhiteChurchQuiet to address the inadequacy of the white church in responding to police brutality and the harm that silence does to black communities. The hashtag soon went viral, generating hundreds of tweets and retweets and quickly becoming a Twitter trending topic.  After hearing the news that law … [Read more...]

Californians Split Over Extent of Police Abuse

A new survey commissioned by a consortium of public radio stations including KPCC has found Californians, like much of the nation, are divided by race when it comes to their views of police profiling and excessive use of force. When asked about racial profiling in the U.S., 68 percent of Californians said it is a “huge” or “significant” problem in the U.S. Twenty-five percent of state residents polled said it was a minor problem or not one at all. The survey was conducted by the … [Read more...]

Will Black Lives Ever Matter?

My son left the United States for a job in Japan last week. Even though he’s always had an interest in other cultures, I can’t help but wonder how much the pressure of living in America as a Black man influenced his decision to leave. Today, the stories are so frequent, the headlines so repetitive, the loss of life at the hands of police or others acting under the color of law so steady that we know the next one is as sure to come as Monday will follow Sunday. These things weigh heavily on … [Read more...]

Black Activists Don’t Ignore Crime

It has become a standard conservative talking point: Black activists focus on police brutality but ignore violent crime in black neighborhoods. Last month Rudy Giuliani said on Fox News: “If they meant ‘Black Lives Matter,’ they would be doing something about the way in which the vast majority of blacks are killed in America, which is by other blacks.” Claims like Mr. Giuliani’s aren’t just offensive or misplaced — they’re demonstrably wrong. While Black Lives Matter receives deserved … [Read more...]

Obama Says Black Lives Matter. But He Doesn’t Ensure They Do

Just days after several violent, deadly attacks on black people at the hands of the police, ABC invited families, organizers, officers and more to join Barack Obama in a town hall to discuss race relations in America. The idea was to offer space for reconciliation and those in attendance were told that we would have an opportunity to engage in a conversation on trust and safety in our communities. Among those in the room were pastor Traci Blackmon; Cameron Sterling, son of Alton Sterling, who … [Read more...]

Jackie Lacey Desecrates California Anti-Lynching Law

I was a high school senior when Emmet Till was lynched – mature enough for its horror to register with me. But the reality of lynching didn’t become deeply personal until June 22, 1964, at Miami University in Ohio when SNCC trainers announced to us SNCC trainees for the Mississippi Freedom Summer that James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner were missing, Even though their bodies were not uncovered until several months later, we immediately knew their being missing meant they were … [Read more...]

UTLA Meets Black Lives Matter

his February, I was attending the California Teachers Association Good Teaching Conference in Garden Grove with other educators when we learned that the Ku Klux Klan was staging a rally in nearby Anaheim. I was in the CTA Black Caucus meeting. The tension in the room was palpable. People were shocked. I wasn’t, but that may be because I grew up in an area in northeast San Fernando Valley that was home to an active Ku Klux Klan chapter. Over the years I have had colleagues and friends tell me … [Read more...]

The Matter of Black Lives

A new kind of movement found its moment. What will its future be? On February 18th, as part of the official recognition of Black History Month, President Obama met with a group of African-American leaders at the White House to discuss civil-rights issues. The guests—who included Representative John Lewis, of Georgia; Sherrilyn Ifill, the director-counsel of the N.A.A.C.P. Legal Defense and Educational Fund; and Wade Henderson, who heads the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights—were … [Read more...]