A white racist gunman targeted and killed ten African Americans in a supermarket in an African American community in Buffalo, New York. The 18-year-old shooter, Payton Gendron, has been heavily influenced by the white supremacist ideology of replacement theory which encourages violent attacks against African Americans and other nationalities in the United States. According to reports, Gendron drove more than 200 miles in New York state to this location where on several occasions, he visited the store in order to map out his murderous attacks against innocent people. One witness said that he had talked to Gendron the day before outside the supermarket for over 90 minutes. This massacre follows numerous incidents over the last few years where gunmen motivated by racist beliefs have carried out mass shooting aimed at killing as many of a particular targeted group as possible.
At 43 and 45 years old, husband and wife farmers Angie and Wenceslaus Provost, Jr., hope they live to see age 70. They don’t fear terminal illness or a farm accident that could consign them to an early grave. Instead, they fear stress could do them in. Years of trying to protect family land from encroaching banks and government agencies have worn on them, despite their love of farming. After years of mounting debt with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and a bank, the New Iberia, La. sugar cane farmers filed a September 2018 lawsuit against a USDA-approved lender. The suit alleges that Wenceslaus, known as “June,” was all but run out of the profession in 2015 after the bank reduced his crop loans over successive years, effectively underfunding his farm operation.
The decriminalization which is sweeping across the US carries with it the obvious facts that (a) pot is not and never has been a dangerous drug, and (b) criminalizing drugs has never brought anything positive. This suggests that those who have been victimized were done so wrongfully and therefore should be compensated for the wrongs done to them. However, victims have been predominantly people of color and American racism reappears during the decriminalization phase in the form of trivializing harms done and offering restitution that barely scratch the surface of what is needed. Prior to addressing the shortcomings for wrongful damages for marijuana laws, the US should publicly apologize for the wrongheaded and thoroughly racist “War on Drugs” and pledge to compensate those who have suffered from it in ways that are comparable to cannabis-related issues below.
In the wealthy Washington, DC suburb of Bethesda, Maryland, just off River Road, there is an asphalt parking lot that covers the graves of hundreds African Americans. That parking lot is the subject of a lawsuit in which descendants of individuals buried in the Moses Cemetery, the Pastor of the Macedonia Baptist Church, and the Bethesda African Cemetery Coalition have asked a court to prevent the Montgomery County Housing Opportunities Commission (“HOC”), the quasi-governmental agency that owns the parking lot, from selling the parking lot and the adjacent land and building to a developer for $51 million. Under the terms of the sales agreement, the developer would have been free to continue to use the burial ground as a parking lot, to build another structure on top of the burial ground, or even to convert the burial ground into a dog park.
Providence, Rhode Island - Terrell Osborne knows well what happens when urban renewal comes to communities of color. As a child growing up in Providence, Rhode Island, in the 1950s and 1960s, huge swaths of his neighborhood of Lippitt Hill, a center of Black life at the foot of the stately homes of the city’s elite East Side, were taken by eminent domain for redevelopment projects. Hundreds of Black families and dozens of minority small businesses across some 30 acres were bulldozed. In their place rose an apartment complex catering to downtown workers and students and faculty at nearby Brown University, as well as a shopping plaza now anchored by a Whole Foods and a Starbucks. Meanwhile, Black families like the Osbornes were scattered across the city and never compensated.
Atlanta, Georgia – Carrying signs decrying “racist traitors,” about a hundred civil rights activists marched and chanted at Georgia’s Stone Mountain on Saturday to protest at the return of an annual celebration of the Confederacy at the foot of a towering monument to the heroes of the South’s pro-slavery past. As dozens of state and local police, including SWAT teams with armored trucks, looked on, the state chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) with 200 supporters gathered for its celebration, which it says honors the sacrifices of their forebears. The Atlanta NAACP and other civil rights supporters, some using megaphones to try to shout down the event, which it views as a salute to the South’s legacy of racism.
It is no secret that the United States is an organized death cult. The U.S. is the unquestionable leader in total COVID-19 deaths. Life expectancy has been trending downward for the past several years. Mass shootings are a common occurrence. And U.S. foreign policy is marked by an obsession with violent and destructive interventions for hegemony and corporate profit. What often isn’t discussed is how this organized death cult is driven by the U.S.’s racist roots which have yet to be discarded. Premature death is organized by the ruling class into worthy and unworthy victims. The U.S.’s corporate media coverage of Ukraine during Russia’s military operation is a case in point. Ukrainian casualties in the Russia-Ukraine conflict are worthy victims and have been repeatedly referred to in the Western media as “Europeans” with “blonde hair and blue eyes.”
There is a steep price to pay for having a conscience and more importantly the courage to act on it. The hounds of hell pin you to the cross, hammering nails into your hands and feet as they grin like the Cheshire cat and mouth bromides about respect for human rights, freedom of expression and diversity. I have watched this happen for some time to Alice Walker, one of the most gifted and courageous writers in America. Walker, who was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for her novel The Color Purple, has felt the bitter sting of racism. She refuses to be silent about the plight of the oppressed, including the Palestinians. “Whenever I come out with a book, or anything that will take me before the public, the world, I am assailed as this person I don’t recognize,” she said when I reached her by phone.
Over two weeks after Patrick Lyoya, 26, was stopped, chased, tackled and shot in the back of the head by a Grand Rapids patrolman, killing him instantly, there still has not been any punitive action taken against the white officer responsible for the death of the Congolese immigrant. The City of Grand Rapids has refused to even release the name of the officer since he has not yet been charged with a crime. This incident in a major midwestern municipality clearly illustrates the systematic refusal by the local, state and federal government agencies to address the ongoing deaths at the hands of the police. Two years since the brutal shooting deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and many others, the relevant authorities responsible for the funding and oversight of law-enforcement have refused to take any action to reform the operational culture of the police.
On Wednesday, March 23, NDN Collective filed a federal civil rights class action lawsuit against the Grand Gateway Hotel for refusing service to Native Americans in Rapid City. This lawsuit comes after the owner of the hotel, Connie Uhre, made public statements on social media stating her intent to ban all Native Americans from the hotel and the attached Cheers Lounge after a shooting occurred at the hotel over the weekend involving Native Americans, stating she can’t tell “who is a bad Native or a good Native.” Following the statements made by Uhre, Native American staff of the NDN Collective were denied rooms at the Grand Gateway Hotel on two separate occasions. NDN Collective Director of Racial Equity Sunny Red Bear attempted to book a room on Monday, March 21, and was told by the front desk attendant that the Grand Gateway Hotel does not allow local residents to book hotel rooms, stating that this was a policy due to the fact that rooms allegedly were getting “trashed” by locals.
Hundreds of protestors marched in the streets and gathered outside a South Dakota courthouse Wednesday to celebrate the filing of a lawsuit against a Rapid City hotel whose owner said she would ban Native Americans from property. The demonstrators marched through downtown Rapid City with drums and carried tribal flags and banners, including one that read “We will not tolerate racist policies and practices.” The march was organized by three advocacy organizations — NDN Collective, the American Indian Movement and Cheyenne River Grassroots Collective — that also filed the federal civil rights class action lawsuit. Attorney Brendan Johnson, a former U.S. attorney who represents the plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit, said the “rest of the world” needs to know what’s going on in Rapid City, according to a report by the Associated Press.
Russia has been the subject of intense outrage in the West following its decision to wage a military offensive against Ukraine. The military operation caught many by surprise. While the Western foreign policy establishment exploited the development as a “told you so” moment, the general public was thrown into a state of utter confusion. A particularly comforting explanation for the conflict has been a singular and decontextualized “Russian aggression.” At the heart of the confusion and outrage is a tidal wave of chauvinism that has come crashing from all sides of the Western political spectrum. That the West is saturated with anti-Russian racism should come as no surprise. Western imperialism, led by the United States, is a racist project that requires a systematic dehumanization campaign on a scale unseen in human history to justify its violent history of colonial conquest, slavery, and genocide.
Hajjah, Yemen – “We’re brutally bombed every day. So why doesn’t the Western world care like it does about Ukraine?!!… Is it because we don’t have blonde hair and blue eyes like Ukrainians?” Ahmed Tamri, a Yemeni father of four, asked with furrowed brows about the outpouring of international support and media coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the lack of such a reaction to the war in Yemen. Over the weekend, a member of Tamri’s family was killed and nine relatives injured when their family home was targeted in a Saudi-led Coalition airstrike in the remote al-Saqf area in Hajjah Governorate. Tamri claims that al-Saqf has been subjected to a brutal Saudi bombing campaign for the past seven years – more so, he says, than all of Ukraine has endured since it was invaded by Russia.
The United Nations has admitted that some non-Europeans refugees have faced discrimination while trying to flee to safety at Ukraine borders after their experiences were dismissed as lies and “Russian disinformation” by online commentators. Filippo Grandi, the organization's High Commissioner for Refugees, acknowledged their plight during a press conference on Tuesday afternoon. “You have seen reports in the media that there are different treatments – with Ukrainians and non-Ukrainians. Now our observations, and we possibly cannot observe every single post yet – but our observations is that these are not state policies – but there are instances which it has happened,” he said. “There has been a different treatment (...).
Being a respected news outlet comes with much responsibility, especially one that heavily covers race relations — take it from us! One of the longest-running publications that also happens to serve a predominately Black audience is the Baltimore Sun, and it recently drew public attention to a past history of racism that’s gone ignored for the newspaper’s entire 185 years in print. That is, until now. Lifting the paywall that usually requires readers to subscribe to read online articles, the Baltimore Sun editorial board released a lengthy apology in article form last week to call out its own legacy rooted in its founder, Arunah S. Abell. Here’s an excerpt from the opening paragraph of the Baltimore Sun‘s explanation below.