On August 22nd , over 50,000 people hit the streets of Brazil to protest the killings of Black Brazilians as a result of the drug war. Similar to protests happening in Ferguson, the Second National March Against the Genocide of Black Peoples called out an epidemic of police violence that makes the US’s pale in comparison.
Brazil’s population is a third smaller than that of the US, but it has almost five times as many killings by police. “Police violence is only replacing what the drug gangs carried out before.”
The violent policing of low-income communities of color speaks closely to what is happening in Ferguson, reminding us that though racism looks different throughout the Americas, the legacies of slavery and white supremacy continue to threaten Black and brown lives in similar ways.
Wondering why women victims of state violence do not get the same media attention as men, Verónica wrote last month:
“I want to mourn the deaths of Mike Brown and Eric Garner and Trayvon Martin, and I want to question why the deaths of Renisha McBride and Islan Nettles and Kathryn Johnston haven’t gotten similar traction. Why the beating of Marlene Pinnock isn’t on all of our lips. Why the nation is not familiar with the names of Stephanie Maldonado, or of Ersula Ore. And how many women’s names do we not know because they don’t dare come forward?”
D’Angelo x The Roots || Burnin’ and Lootin’ (The Wailers Cover)
|—||This Bridge Called My Back; Writings By Radical Women of Color (via chicanafem)|
Michael Brown remembered as a ‘gentle giant’ (St. Louis Post- Dispatch)
Michael Brown posted a haunting message on Facebook last week as he prepared to enter a new phase in his life: college. “if i leave this earth today,” he wrote to a friend, “atleast youll know i care about others more then i cared about my damn self.”
Dozens arrested during protests over Ferguson police shooting (Al Jazeera America)
At least 50 were arrested in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, according to police and local media, after a second night of protests over the death of an unarmed African-American teenager shot to death by a police officer.
Police use tear gas in Ferguson, people jam church for moment of silence (St. Louis Post- Dispatch)
Tension stayed high and raw Monday as the St. Louis region waited for answers in the fatal shooting of an unarmed teenager by a municipal police officer.
Police use tear gas on crowd in Ferguson, Mo., protesting teen’s death (Washington Post)
For a third night, summer rage pitted the people of Ferguson against those sworn to protect them. On Saturday, officers shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown. On Sunday, resident protests turned to riots, marked by looting and the burning of several local stores.
Fifteen arrests were made. St. Louis city alderman Antonio French posted a series of videos and pictures on Twitter documenting the police response. Young people were seen holding their hands up in the same manner that some witnesses have suggested Brown was at the time of the shooting.
“I saw the barrel of the gun pointed at my friend,” said Dorian Johnson, 22. “Then I saw the fire come out of the barrel.” He added that “what began as an order by a police officer to ‘get the f— onto the sidewalk’ quickly escalated into a physical altercation and then, gunfire.”
The FBI is opening an investigation into the shooting of unarmed Missouri teenager Mike Brown by a police officer in suburban St. Louis, officials said on Monday.
The last moments of Michael Brown’s life were filled with shock, fear and terror, says a witness who stood just feet away as a police officer shot and killed the unarmed teen. “I saw the barrel of the gun pointed at my friend,” said Dorian Johnson, 22. “Then I saw the fire come out of the barrel.”
The people of Ferguson are angry. Outraged. The officer’s story is dubious. Any black kid with sense knows it is futile to reach into an officer’s vehicle and take his gun. That story is only plausible to people who believe that black people are animals, that black men go looking for cops to pick fights with. Absurdity. Eyewitness accounts like these make far more sense.
As a black person in America, it’s getting exhausting to still have to explain, in the year 2014, your right to exist in this country. To explain that you are a human being whose value sits no lower than anyone else’s. To explain our basic humanity. And perhaps worst of all, to explain exactly why we are outraged.
The vicious slaying of Mike Brown by Ferguson, Mo., police has once again shown that the narrative the media paints surrounding black people in America more often than not includes depicting us as violent thugs with gang and drug affiliations. It’s safe to say that Brown has become a victim of what I like to refer to as the “Trayvon Martin effect” in the media.
Michael Brown’s Death Didn’t Happen in a Vacuum (ColorLines)
Residents of Ferguson, Missouri, the black St. Louis suburb where Brown lived and died, confronted police officers on Sunday in a scene that’s since been described by the national media as one that quickly devolved into “looting.” In photos, black residents stood in front of police with their hands up to show that they were unarmed. They chanted the slogans we’ve all become too used to over the years: “What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!”
Did they say, “Kill the police?!” As long as that’s the way you heard it, they did. And that is what AP will wire out to every mainstream news outlet who can be bothered to report the death of another unarmed black son on a Saturday night. Their truth is not our truth.
The St. Louis suburb of Ferguson where the working-class, majority-black population has been clashing with law enforcement for the last three days has 53 commissioned police officers. According to the city’s police chief, three of them are black.
When We Are Young (Crunk Feminist Collective)
When we are young, often too young to fully understand the anxiety in their voices and the fear in their eyes, many of us listen to our parents tell us how to behave when, not if, we are stopped by the police.
Missouri teen Michael Brown was unarmed when police gunned him down. We don’t need to keep talking about his college plans to communicate that his killing was dead wrong.
Michael Brown and Anti-Black Violence (The Feminist Wire)
Black life matters. Yet the police and their media support team have already begun to execute their standard playbook in the aftermath of yet another slain black youth.
National Moment of Silence Will Remember Victims of Police Brutality (Feminist Majority Foundation)
This Thursday, a National Moment of Silence will be held in cities across the country to remember the lives lost and impacted by police brutality. In the wake of two deadly police-involved shootings in less than a week, online activist Feminista Jones and individual Twitter followers were able to coordinate the event in a single day.
How social media helped facilitate a national moment of silence to honor victims of police brutality, show solidarity with their families, and allow communities to come together in a moment of mourning and support.
Ferguson Police have dogs and shotguns. The unarmed crowd is raising their hands.
For anyone not following the Mike Brown story on Twitter: a 17 year old black boy named Mike Brown, who was supposed to start college tomorrow, was shot to death in Ferguson, Missouri by police while jaywalking. He was unarmed. He was shot 9 times.
Initial media reports claimed that an 18 year old black man had been shot and killed while fleeing police after shoplifting.
People in the neighborhood, including members of Mike Brown’s family, came out of their homes and began to protest, shouting “no justice, no peace,” and keeping their hands in the air.
Media reports claimed that a violent mob quickly formed around the shooting location shouting “kill the police.”
Spread this. Tell the truth about what happened to this boy. Tell the truth about what is happening NOW. The police and the mainstream media is painting him as a criminal, and his community as a violent mob.
SPREAD THIS. Don’t let them lie.
Stop demonizing riots.-@zellieimani
On April 15, 2014, two College Park white male officers assaulted Mary Hooks. Mary Hooks is a mother, sister, friend, community organizer, and a lover of her people. She witnessed an aggressive and excessive police interaction between 4 officers with their guns drawn and 2 younger Black women pulled over behind her car at a gas station. Mary came their aid by asking the women if they knew their rights and if anyone needed to be contacted.
When the two male officers approached Mary, she assured them she was standing back, she was only videotaping, and placed her hands up. These offices continue toward her, grabbed her and slammed her into the pavement, pushed her head into the ground with their knees, resulting in a scrab on her head and a fractured elbow.
Subsequently, she was arrested, her truck was impounded, and she was charged with obstructing and public disorderly conduct. Both having fines and possible jail time.
On behalf of Mary Hooks, community we are asking for your support to raise $3,500.00 cover her legal fees and fines.
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I woke up this morning hungry, but with no appetite. Knowing that I should take the opportunity of my sleeping son to cook, bathe, something other than smoke a cigarette and stew in troublesome emotions. I am a failure sometimes, and sometimes I succeed as I fail. It’s complicated.
I woke up this morning feeling alone and knowing that I am not. Experiential realities can be deceiving. Perceptions can tell lies, and I can be quite gullible. Someone told me that my efforts to build community have not been successful. Is this true? Have the past four years been for nothing? I might as well jump off a bridge, throw in the towel, call it quits?
I don’t know what it would look like for me to give up. I couldn’t bring myself to end my own life, though I have visions of suicide almost weekly. before I became a mother, they were more frequent, more tempting. Now they are like scenes from a novel I never got around to writing. An alternate reality.
I don’t know what I will do if I am not able to build community around myself in a way that supports me to do my work in the world. I might become one of those stifled, unfulfilled, resentful mothers who has lost herself completely in the tasks of mothering. I might resent my son, his father, and everyone else in my life who has either figured it out, or who plods along on their childless paths with freedom that I once took for granted. I might put on a cloak of self loathing and not enough-ness. I might become blank, lose the life in my eyes, and live a zombie half-life of unfinished projects and untapped potential.
I am not built to do this alone. I was born into a society that does not encourage collaborative living, parenting in community, or authentic expression. I was born into generational poverty as a dark brown girl told to be quiet too many times. I have overcome a lot, and I am powerful, but not of that matters unless I can direct that power through action.
I am unwilling to discard my dreams of living in community, of parenting in community, and of becoming the greatest, grandest version of myself. I am between a rock (the people in my life who don’t believe, can’t see me, or who can’t collaborate for one reason or another) and a rough cement wall (my own self-doubt), repeatedly scraping my skin as I try to wiggle free, my blood soiling the wall and the rock and me, making a big ole mess and more drama than is necessary.