Warning To POC: The Jim Crow Laws Of The North

***Warning To People Of Color***

Stumbled on a NYT opinion piece that discussed the selective enforcement of Quality of Life Laws.  Laws created to arrest POC in public places, such as Starbucks or even one’s backyard. They are called the new Jim Crow laws of the North.  However, these laws were always in the book and selectively enforced in the North.

The difference between the North and the South is a matter of nuanced versus overt racism.

Am I paranoid when I express concern about being profiled and followed by a cop while driving the back roads to my home? How about the dagger stares from white women I received while eating dinner?

First time in years, I felt the utter hate of white people. White women attempting to intimidate me with their hateful stares. The chef even got in on the hatred. I ordered a rare prime rib, my friend a medium rare. His was medium rare, mine overcooked and dry looked like leftovers. When I pointed out the prime rib was not rare the chef claimed my prime rib came from the end part as if that was my problem.

I caution people of color to be careful around white people. They have laws that can be used to selectively imprison  and even murder black people.  Not all whites are dangerous but please exercise caution as you cannot tell the good ones from the bad ones based on looks.

Last month in Philadelphia, a white Starbucks manager summoned police officers to confront a pair of African-American men after one asked to use the restroom before he had purchased a drink. About two weeks later, at Lake Merritt Park in Oakland, Calif., a white woman called police to report a black family that was grilling food for a picnic.

In both instances, the victims were accused of violating laws or rules governing conduct in commercial establishments and public spaces. In the first case, it was for trespassing or loitering. In the second, it was for using a charcoal grill outside of the designated areas.

“Quality of life” laws serve as a potent instrument of racial segregation. They provide commercial establishments, law enforcement officers and everyday citizens with tools enabling them to police racial boundaries while at the same time claiming to simply be upholding the law.

In contrast to the Jim Crow laws of America’s dark past, these laws supposedly apply to everyone. But in practice, they clearly don’t. Like most middle-aged white people, I have spent countless hours in Starbucks without buying anything. Plenty of white people have barbecued, blasted music and drunk alcohol at that same Oakland park, without anyone calling the police.

 

Take public beaches. In the South, white officials literally drew color lines in the sands and the waters off shore. In the “racially liberal” Northeast, towns devised elaborate, and ostensibly colorblind, procedures for determining who could access public shores, and what they could bring and do once inside, and then proceeded to enforce them for black and brown people only.

In the 1930s, Long Branch, N.J., passed an ordinance requiring all residents to apply for a pass that would allow access to only one of the town’s four public beaches. Town officials claimed the rule was meant to prevent overcrowding. Without exception, though, black applicants were assigned to the same beach and were denied entry to the others.

Full story at  The North’s Jim Crow

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StarBucks and Jim Crow Laws
StarBucks and Jim Crow Laws

Sign Petition To Disbar Aaron Schlossberg

Aaron Schlossberg is no professional. Not only should he be disbarred any case he touched should be reviewed.  Let’s inundate NY with petitions to disbar him.  (How to Complain About Lawyers and Judges in New York CityDisbarment)

The following is a petition to disbar Aaron Schlossberg:

I’m Ronen Kauffman, a fellow MoveOn member, and I started a petition after seeing some absolutely despicable video footage of a racist and xenophobic lawyer in New York City cursing at, threatening, and otherwise berating members of the public on multiple occasions.1

Sign the petition demanding the New York State Unified Court System investigate and disbar Aaron Schollberg for his unprofessional, unethical conduct.

Aaron Schlossberg was caught on camera multiple times making hateful, racist comments to complete strangers. His unethical and dangerous conduct makes it clear that he is not fit to be a credentialed lawyer. He must be investigated and disbarred.

Sign Ronen’s petition

Schlossberg is on camera yelling at women for speaking Spanish and says that they should be “kicked out of my country.” Another video shows him yelling at a couple on the street, “I’m a citizen here. You’re not. You’re an ugly, f***ing foreigner, so f**k you!”2

It should come as no surprise that Schlossberg donated hundreds of dollars to the Trump campaign and is now apparently one of the many bigots emboldened by the administration’s racist and xenophobic agenda.3

Sign my petition now to demand a full investigation into Schlossberg’s racist and xenophobic history and for him to be disbarred, so that he can no longer practice law.

Thanks!

–Ronen Kauffman

Sources:

1. “New York attorney in racist rant has history of confrontations,” CNN, May 17, 2018

https://act.moveon.org/go/39600?t=17&akid=207008%2E27882242%2EqScSBF

2. Ibid.

3. “Lawyer who threatened to call ICE about Spanish speakers is now target of complaint,” The Washington Post, May 17, 2018

https://act.moveon.org/go/39601?t=19&akid=207008%2E27882242%2EqScSBF

 

Source of image:  Pinterest

Cambridge, MA: Police Brutality at Harvard University

This post is a copied and pasted letter found on  the website of  Harvard Black Law Students Association.

The letter is about police violence at Harvard.   Briefly, a naked Harvard black student was spotted on campus on April 13, 2018.  Harvard University Health  Services (HUHS) was called and turfed the call to Cambridge Police Department (CPD).

The cops arrived.  Three officers pinned the naked Harvard student to the ground, cuffed him and then proceeded to beat the hell out of him.  The Cambridge Police Department while violently assaulting the student prevented student witnesses from recording the incident. Later the officers issued a false report about the facts of the event.  They charged the student with indecent exposure, disorderly conduct, assault, and resisting arrest.  The letter is in response to the CPD false report.

This event occurred at Harvard in front of black law students and many other Harvard student witnesses.  The event was videotaped.

Notable Points: 1.  Had the student not been naked would he be alive?   The officers might have mistaken a pen in his hand for a weapon and killed him.

  1.  Harvard University Health Services should be aware of police violence towards people of color.   To call the cops on an innocent black student or a mentally ill student might be a death sentence.  He hadn’t threatened anyone and appeared to be in need  mental help.   Shouldn’t Harvard University Health Services be on the scene to help/protect the student?  Certainly, students pay enough to attend the prestigious Harvard University to feel protected.   #policebrutalityatHarvard
  2.  The student was naked, cuffed and pinned, why did the Cambridge police officers proceed to inflict violence on him.  Was it necessary?   How were they threatened?  A pool of blood remained in the street after he was transported by ambulance.

The letter from BLSA follows:

 

Police Brutality at Harvard, April 13, 2018

To:     The Harvard University Community and the Broader Cambridge and Boston Community

From:    Concerned Members of the Harvard Community

Date:    April 14, 2018 ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Firstly, we recognize the broader political implications of this incident for all of our students, and the broader Boston community. However, out of respect for the privacy and needs of the victim and his family at this time, we are not contextualizing this event in the broader instances of police violence.

Secondly, we must address the incorrect reports of the Cambridge Police Department (CPD) released today. On the evening of April 13th, a number of our current Harvard Black Law Students Association (HBLSA) members and admitted students witnessed a brutal instance of police violence at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Waterhouse Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A naked, unarmed Black man, stood still on the median at the center of Massachusetts Avenue across from Harvard-Epworth United Methodist Church. He was surrounded by at least four Cambridge Police Department (CPD) officers who, without provocation, lunged at him, tackled him and pinned him to the ground. While on the ground, at least one officer repeatedly punched the student in his torso as he screamed for help. The officers held him to the ground until paramedics arrived, placed him on a stretcher, and put him in the ambulance. A pool of blood remained on the pavement as the ambulance departed. Shortly thereafter, firefighters came and cleaned up the blood with bleach and water.

This victim of police violence happened to be a Harvard student. The University has ample resources that could have, and should have, been mobilized to come to the student’s aid prior to CPD getting involved. Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) were the first to be called for help prior to the arrival of CPD. Instead of sending staff to support the student, HUHS transferred callers to CPD, who then responded as police often do whether cameras are rolling or not — by failing to appropriately respond to the individual needs of the person concerned and resorting to violence unnecessarily and with impunity. By involving CPD, HUHS put this student at great risk of being killed by the police.

Again, we are interested in protecting the privacy of this victim of police violence. We ask that those who know the victim’s name not share it with others, that his name not be included in internal or external conversations about this incident and that, in response to this letter, our conversation be focused on the broader issues of police violence against Black and Brown people and the following demands, and not this particularized incident, which is a symptom of a larger, systemic problem.

For Harvard University, HUHS, and HUPD:

We demand that Harvard University create an internal crisis response team to support students, faculty, and staff that does not involve CPD.

We likewise will require support from the school, fellow students and our instructors to put pressure on the CPD for the following.

For the CPD:

We demand that the officers who assaulted this man while he was naked, fully subdued and bleeding on the ground be investigated and held accountable.

Additionally, we demand that CPD respect the rights of civilians recording police conduct. The CPD policy recognizes that ‘individuals have the right under the First Amendment to openly record police activity in public in a peaceful manner’ and that ‘[o]fficers shall not under any circumstances threaten, intimidate or otherwise discourage an individual from recording police officer enforcement of activities or operations, or intentionally block or obstruct cameras or recording devices . . . .’ It was clear to our Harvard BLSA members that CPD officers were not following these procedures. But for our members’ persistence in defying police attempts to obstruct videotaping this incident, there would be no record.

The conduct of the CPD on the evening of April 13, 2018 was unacceptable. We are reminded, as soon-to-be-graduates of an elite law school that we cannot protect our bodies with our degrees — and that is why we also call our current students and alumni to embrace these demands as inclusive to all Black people, not just Harvardians.

We imagine a world where the most marginalized people in our society are not subject to systematic violations of their bodily autonomy and civil rights, and the CPD has failed the Cambridge community in this regard.

For any further media inquiries regarding this response, please contact hblsapresident@gmail.com or 2017-2018 HBLSA President Jazzmin Carr (601.937.0665) and 2018-2019 HBLSA President Lauren Williams (631.942.5211).

Sincerely,

Concerned Members of the Harvard Community

Supreme Court: It’s Legal For Police Officers To Kill Americans When They FEEL Threatened

Some days it’s not worth getting out of bed. The news always seems terrible, and as a woman of color, I feel estranged from the greater society.

The stories I read are insane. This morning I read a story that the Supreme Court made it legal for trained cops to murder unarmed civilians if a cop feels threatened. Cops only need to utter the words without proof. Cops cannot be sued and officially have a license to murder innocent people by just uttering the phrase, ‘I felt threatened.’ Police officers are public servants trained and paid by tax dollars to protect and serve the public not themselves. Do you think the supreme court made the right decision in giving police officers the right to murder Americans at will?

Do you think self-defense can be employed to protect Americans against police violence?

How can an armed and trained cop feel threatened by a kid running away from him? How can an armed and trained cop feel threatened when they outnumber the suspect? Why are armed and trained cops mostly threatened by unarmed POC and not by armed whites?

If armed and trained cops can feel threatened by an unarmed black man, can you imagine how threatened an unarmed black man feels when he sees a cop? Can a black man who feels threatened by a white police officer murder him in self-defense? Wouldn’t that equal justice?

Silence

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. -Martin Luther King Jr.

In the US, we have many living dead and their silence deafening in the midst of cries for justice.  Fortunately, not everyone is silent.

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Winning

Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible. -George Orwell

They always do until time works its magic through nature or exposure.

Now, big corporations’ powerful partnerships with government including the criminal system of LEOs, prosecutors and judges seem invincible, the ultimate organized crime ring.  Emboldened by a corrupt judicial system of bias, murderers are set free to commit more crimes while victims are defamed and blamed for their deaths using government-supported mainstream media.

Seems impossible to get justice when selling 50 cent cigarettes on a street corner or stealing a can of soda is justification for a death sentence.    In seconds without evidence, cops decide who lives and who dies without regard to human rights or guilt.

Corruption is the undisputed declared winner today.  Wall Street stock markets surging to new highs as more and more groups targeted for marginalization are gunned down by cops, the media and politicians. PoC, people with mental illnesses or developmental delays, the poor and the homeless are, in plain sight, discarded in graves or prisons, whichever more profitable.

How will those marginalized groups ever defeat such power?   Greed and corruption create a culture that is unsustainable. Time and solidarity are the underdogs’ friend. What do you say?

 

Freedom 

Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows. -George Orwell

Freedom to speak the truth is tempered by etiquette  and strangulated by censorship.  Why is freedom to lie not?  #TrumpLies

 

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