With its swath of shuttered shops, empty cafes, dwindling crowds and shimmering seaside vistas, San Francisco’s Embarcadero resembles an abandoned amusement park in the post-pandemic era, but a century ago this tourist attraction was known as the “slave market,” where dozens of longshoremen would gather each weekday hoping to land a job loading and unloading the freighters docked in the bay. Seldom were there enough jobs to go around, however, and the hiring boss who was assigned by the shipping companies to choose the daily work crews would often go about the task with the same contemptuous air that an overseer might display while inspecting chattel slaves at auction, sneering as he rejected some longshoremen while doling out preferential treatment to others, many of whom had agreed to kick back a portion of their wages to him.
Prophet and GOAT status holder, James Baldwin, wrote in his opus, No Name in the Street, “Muhammad Ali, formerly Cassius Clay, is a vivid example of what can happen to a Black man who obeys the American injunction, be true to your faith, but his press has been so misleading that he is also an unwieldy and intimidating example.” Brother Jimmy continues, “Muhammad Ali is one of the best of the ‘bad niggers’ and has been publicly hanged like one…” Without knowing it (or maybe he did, he was, afterall, a prophet), Baldwin adroitly portrayed the baleful conditions associated with being a profound, unapologetic (as it was written by the dear and brilliant sister Charlene Caruthers) , and non-tone policed Black person in the United Statesian climate/environmental “movement,” and the nonprofit industrial complex writ large.
The U.S. recently deployed troops to Peru to shore-up the coup in that country, followed by the deployment of troops to Ecuador and the bizarre AFRICOM plan to insert Kenya and Rwanda forces all the way from Africa to Haiti to support the illegitimate Ariel Henry puppet government in that nation. This is madness, but desperate madness! Experiencing their worst nightmare, the French are in the process of being expelled from their African empire. They have desperately drawn the line in Niger, where they had been forced to redeploy their troops after being expelled from Mali.
I greet you in the name of each common ancestor whose bones remain restless at the bottom of the Caribbean and Atlantic Oceans. I hope this brief note finds you in excellent health as it deals with an urgent crisis which requires that we summon superior collective wisdom, intelligence and, above all, courage. As you read this note, in the town of Jeremi (South-West Haiti/ Grandans), corpses are being pulled under collapsed rubble. The region was hit by a 4.9 magnitude quake early this morning. This occurred a few hours after floods had devastated large parts of the North, West and South of Haiti, causing loss of human lives, animals and property.
The debate over America’s symbols and monuments has sharpened with the growing mass movement for racial justice in the past decade. The lionization of slave-owners and genocidaires has been pointed out by many as in contradiction to the ideals of democracy and racial justice so often touted as national core values. In the midst of this debate, the decision by the US Treasury to place Harriet Tubman alongside Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill starting in 2030 has incited controversy. Howard University professor of political science Clarence Lusane joins The Chris Hedges Report to discuss the Harriet Tubman dollar bill, and the stakes of the debate over national symbols in righting the historical wrongs of slavery and white supremacy.
The horrific choking murder of 30-year-old Jordan Neely by a white MTA rider on May 1, 2023, in the New York City subway sparked mass outrage, with demonstrators converging on subway stations while cops brought “force and chaos” to a vigil in his memory. The murder has put a renewed spotlight on carceral logics of the state that assume the disposability of Black, poor and unhoused people — in particular those said to be in “mental health crisis.” New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s response to Neely’s killing deflects from the white supremacist violence and ongoing lack of accountability for the killer, and instead medicalizes Neely’s death: “People who are homeless in our subways, many of them in the throes of mental health episodes, and that’s what I believe were some of the factors involved here.
In recent days there have been widely reported stories about individuals in the United States who were shot because they were in the “wrong” location. The most prominent case was that of Ralph Yarl in Kansas City, Missouri. Yarl is a Black 16-year old who went to the wrong address to pick up his younger siblings. He was shot by an 84-year old white man, Andrew Lester, who said he was “scared to death” upon seeing a Black person ringing his doorbell. Yarl is recovering from his wounds but others were not so lucky. A young white woman named Kaylin Gillis suffered a fatal gunshot wound when she and her friends pulled into the “wrong” road in upstate New York.
When Oregon democrats introduced a new state domestic terrorism bill in February, civil rights groups were reminded of a similar piece of legislation — and began sounding the alarm. Georgia expanded its state domestic terrorism statute in 2017 in response to the mass shooting perpetrated by white supremacist Dylann Roof against Black churchgoers in neighboring South Carolina. Atlanta legislators claimed that broadening their own state’s domestic terror laws to include certain attacks on property would somehow keep the public safe from far-right violence. Critics of the legislation in Georgia said at the time that it could be used to target environmentalists and anti-racist activists as well.
In January, we began infiltrating the Southern Sons Active Club (SSAC), a racist group operating in the Carolinas and in Georgia that is part of the broader “Active Club” network. With this two-part report, we identify twelve SSAC members and two former members. We also discuss a Georgia participant in the “Revolutionary White Brotherhood” (formerly “Blood and Soil Crew”), a regional neo-Nazi youth group with close ties to SSAC. We document SSAC’s ties to a white supremacist now facing charges for his part in a bank robbery conspiracy. In another instance of the club attracting violence-prone neo-Nazis, we discuss an underground cell in North Carolina dedicated to “direct action” whose members were previously in SSAC.
July 1, 2023 will fall on a Saturday. In Jackson, Mississippi, it’s likely to be a very hot day, or a rainy day, or both. It’s also the day when House Bill 1020 will take effect, and that the whole of the City of Jackson will be no more — at least with respect to the administration of its criminal legal system. Instead, the city will be partitioned into unequal halves: a Capitol Complex Improvement District (CCID) and an unnamed nowhere land. The bill was introduced and shepherded by Rep. Trey Lamar, a Republican and chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, assisted by the house speaker who, exercising his prerogative, sent the bill there instead of to the Judiciary Committee.
Jackson, Mississippi - A white supermajority of the Mississippi House voted after an intense, four-plus hour debate to create a separate court system and an expanded police force within the city of Jackson — the Blackest city in America — that would be appointed completely by white state officials. If House Bill 1020 becomes law later this session, the white chief justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court would appoint two judges to oversee a new district within the city — one that includes all of the city’s majority-white neighborhoods, among other areas. The white state attorney general would appoint four prosecutors, a court clerk, and four public defenders for the new district. The white state public safety commissioner would oversee an expanded Capitol Police force, run currently by a white chief.
In recent years, the concept of white supremacy has been associated with extreme racist groups and ultranationalists, as well as high profile acts of associated racial terrorism, particularly in Western countries. Some examples are: the massacre of nine African-American worshippers at Mother Emmanuel AME Church in South Carolina (USA), the violent white nationalist march in Charlottesville, Virginia (USA), the mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand that killed 51 people and injured 49, the Hanau, Germany attack that killed nine people and wounded six others, and the shooting deaths of eleven congregants in a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA), among many others. There has also been a renewed rise of right-wing movements, politicians, and governments who espouse and advocate for ethno-nationalist and white supremacist policies.
The accuracy of this commentary’s title is borne out by statements made and actions taken by the Ukrainians themselves. In 2020 millions of people around the world protested against racism in the wake of the police murder of George Floyd. Ukrainians made it clear that they were not to be included amongst that mass of humanity and in fact expressed their support for white supremacy. In June 2020, a group of football fans at a match in Ukraine unfurled a banner reading, “Free Derek Chauvin .” Chauvin is the man who murdered George Floyd. Not to be outdone, members of the neo-Nazi group Nazionalny Sprotyv, National Resistance, marched on October 14, 2020 with a banner that made the point very clear.
The prevailing, militaristic conception of “national security” is steeped in racism and perpetuates white supremacy. The Racism-Militarism Paradigm is a way of looking at the world, widely shared among the U.S. policymaking community and much of the public, that arises from a largely unacknowledged doctrine of white supremacy and the necessity of using violence to uphold it. This paradigm establishes a rigid hierarchy, based on race, that values white lives more than any other—at home and abroad. It embraces militarism as the most effective mechanism to guarantee this ordering of society and the world.