By Ricky Riley Sept 17 th 2016
Parker’s 1999 rape case has dominated the press for his upcoming Oscar contending film, “The Birth of A Nation” press.
The then 18-year-old Penn State University wrestler was acquitted in the rape of an allegedly unconscious woman.
You Might also like
In Colombia, the month of May is African Heritage month. All over the country you can see and experience events which celebrate the rich history of the community, as well as dialogues on the current state of affairs.
The 21st of May, in particular, marks an important moment in the sojourn of the population; known as “Dia de la Afrocolombianidad,” it’s the day slavery was abolished in the South American nation in 1851. Yet, even with these holidays in place, the reality is that the Latin-American nation is rife with systemic and cultural racism–and the over weekend, thousands marched in cities across the country to call out the prevalence of racial discrimination and to demand for the social recognition of these issues.
A group known as Marcha de la Comunion Afrocolombiana spearheaded the nationwide demonstrations. Taking inspiration from the Black Panther Party and movements such as the Million Man March and Black Lives Matter, they put together a 10-point list of demands and called for millions to come out and march in cities including Cali, Buenaventura, Pareira and Quibdo. The organizers also used the hashtag #PorEsoMarchamos (this is why we march) to encourage unity, spread awareness, and give examples of how racism pervades Colombian society.
I went to downtown Bogota on Sunday to cover the local demonstration. I saw many women in attendance wearing braids and headscarves in celebration of their roots. Out of the estimated 1400 people, it was inspiring to see that the majority of the crowd were teenagers and young adults. Shouting a variety of call-and-response chants and holding up signs of their demands, what struck me most was the sight of the gathering in the capital. Unlike the coastal cities where the majority of the Afro-Colombian population resides, Bogota often seems very whitewashed and frequenting certain areas as a black person you can blatantly be profiled or made to feel uncomfortable. While there was a large turnout in each participating city, ending the series of demonstrations with the march in the capital seemed to be the perfect way to cap-off the weekend.
The most recent census records report that around 12% of the Colombian population identifies as black or of African descent, yet some estimate that it is actually up to 30% with a large percentage of the ethnic group not being documented or choosing to identity as mixed-race/other. The local media adds to the erasure by promoting a euro-centric beauty standards and stereotypical images of black people, and to this day blackface is a widely accepted form of entertainment.
In the hope to live up to a self-perception as a multi-cultural racial utopia, many shun recognition or discussion of race, leaving those whose experience discrimination and colorism regularly to be silenced or outcaste. Still, the reality is undeniable. A recent study conducted by the Anti-Discrimination Observatory of Cartagena found that employers are more likely to hire white or light-skinned Colombians for high-ranking jobs. It´s also be found that those with light skin earn twice as much as those with darker skin, and this is reflected in the fact that most impoverished areas of the country are home to mostly African descendants.
As leaders and organizers rise up in the Afro-Colombian community to have their needs and rights met, it’s amazing to see the interconnectedness of the respective struggles throughout the diaspora. From the U.S. to the Caribbean to South America, since Africans were brought to the shores of the Americas, we’ve been in a constant fight for freedom, justice and equal rights. Living in Colombia for over a year now, I can see there is much to be done in respect to racial injustice. But, as this past weekend has showed me, the fighting spirit for change that has helped African descendants all over to push forward, is undoubtedly here within the Afro-Colombian community.
SHAHIDA MUHAMMADPost Views: 176
In a country where our ancestors were brought here as kidnapped captives, it’s important to know the stories that show the strength, courage, spirituality, of our forefathers. We live in a multimedia driven world, and images are important. That’s why from its early inception to now, images of Black people has always been negative, and very limited in the amount of stories or non-fictional accounts that show that show Black people taking control of their situations, or rebellions. A recent example is “The Birth of a Nation”, the story centering around the life of Nat Turner, and the story of the Haitian Revolution and the lives of Jean-Jacques Dessalines, Dutty Boukman, Toussaint Louverture, the project that Danny Glover has been working on and finding difficult. These and other stories need to be told and discussed, by our adults, then with our children. Stories of Black men and women fighting for FREEDOM, not equality, there’s a difference. Read and share the story below, and leave your comments.
WE MUST NEVER FORGET!!!
MILLIKEN’S BEND JUNE 7th 1863
LINCOLN’S PROCLAMATION NEVER FREED ANYONE, OUR ANCESTOR’S ACTED AGAINST WHITE SOUTHERNERS TO SECURE THEIR OWN FREEDOM!
One of the fiercest battles of the Civil War was fought in Milliken’s Bend, Louisiana between Confederate troops and black regiments of the Union Army. Most of the black infantry had minimal training, were outnumbered and ill-equipped. Nevertheless, in close hand-to-hand combat, they defeating Confederate soldiers at Milliken’s Bend, in the critical battle for Vicksburg.
In most cases, these Black troops were allowed only two to three weeks of military training before being thrown into battle against the war-tested Confederate veterans and their vicious and spiteful commanders. Black men faced a peril unknown to their white soldier’s on the Union side. Slaves one day, soldiers fighting against their former masters the next, these black men excited the wrath and contempt of the vicious Confederate generals like Ku Klux Klan founder Nathan Bedford Forrest and Pierre Beauregard, the man who started the war at Fort Sumter, South Carolina on April 15, 1861. Black men falling into the hands of such generals were either put to death immediately or returned to slavery, rather than being accorded the status of prisoners of war.
The men who fought at Milliken’s Bend were literally fresh off the plantation, and none had been in the service for more than a month when the battle occurred. Some had just entered the service days before, and had not even been issued weapons. A significant factor in the battle was the lack of training of Union troops. Even the white officers were learning their new duties. Even without the pressure of a Confederate attack, the Union forces were undermanned and in disarray.
The fact that these men managed to fight at all is something of a small miracle. That they fought well, with minimal training and poor weaponry – and in fact, earned praise from the Confederate commander – makes their attempt to stand at Milliken’s Bend significant.
Confederate Lt. Gen. John C. Pemberton and his army were besieged in Vicksburg, Mississippi, by Union commander Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and the Army of the Tennessee.
In an effort to cut Grant’s supply line and relieve the city, the Confederates attacked the Union supply area at Milliken’s Bend up the Mississippi. The Milliken’s Bend area, 15 miles to the northwest of Vicksburg, had until recently served as a staging area for Grant’s Vicksburg Campaign. It was a site of supply depots and hospitals, many of which were manned and guarded by black soldiers, some of whom were recently recruited men who were freed slaves. At Milliken’s Bend were 1410 soldiers, only 160 of them white (i.e., the 23rd Iowa regiment). The rest were three newly recruited Black Regiments—The First Mississippi (African Descent) and the Ninth and Eleventh Louisiana (Corps d Afrique, or African Corps). They were attacked here on June 7, about 8 o’clock in the morning, outnumbered by a brigade of Confederate troops, about 2,500 in number. In one of the bloodiest battles of the war, African American troops engaged attacking Confederates in fierce hand-to-hand combat, fighting with bayonets, fists, and rifle butts, or firing their weapons at extremely close range.
Brigadier General Henry McCullough, who commanded the Confederate forces, later noted that his
“charge was resisted by the negro portion of the enemy’s force with considerable obstinacy, while the white or true Yankee position ran like whipped curs almost as soon as the charge was ordered.”
The African American troops paid dearly for their bravery. Heaviest hit was the 9th Louisiana Infantry. Almost 45 percent of the unit’s men were killed or mortally wounded — the highest percentage of a regiment killed in a single battle in the entire war. Finally, with their backs to the Mississippi, they received the support of a Navy gunboat, and their line held.
Absent from the schoolbooks and television miniseries about the Civil War, however, are those truly great battles fought and won by the Black volunteers in Mississippi and Louisiana and elsewhere in the South. In most cases, these Black troops were allowed only two to three weeks of military training before being thrown into battle against the war-tested Confederate veterans and their vicious and spiteful commanders. Today Milliken’s Bend lies largely forgotten, Neither Ulysses Grant nor William Sherman gave Milliken’s Bend much attention in their autobiographies. Grant gave perfunctory acknowledgement to the black troops in saying that this was the first real test of black troops in combat. And that they had passed the test quite admirably. Yet, only six-months before Grant’s crossing of the River south of Vicksburg, near Port Gibson, Milliken’s Bend had served as his main base of operations. As late as January 20,1863, he had tried to launch an assault against Vicksburg from Milliken’s Bend and Young’s Point, 11 miles to the south, but his forces were repulsed savagely at Chickasaw Bayou north of Vicksburg.
A letter from Captain M. M. Miller at MILLIKEN’S BEND to his aunt stated:
I never felt more grieved and sick at heart than when I saw how my brave soldiers had been slaughtered, one with six wounds, all the rest with two or three, none less than two wounds. Two of my colored sergeants were killed, both brave, noble men; always prompt, vigilant, and ready for the fray. I never more wish to hear the expression, “The niggers wont fight.” Come with me 100 yards from where I sit and I can show you the wounds that cover the bodies of brave, loyal, and patriotic soldiers as ever drew bead on a rebel.
‘The enemy charged us so close that we fought with our bayonets hand to hand. I have six broken bayonets to show how bravely my men fought. The Twenty-third Iowa joined my company on the right, and I declare truthfully that they had all fled before our regiment fell back, as we were all compelled to do.
‘Under command of Colonel Page I led the Ninth and Eleventh Louisiana when the rifle-pits were retaken and held by our troops, our two regiments doing the work.
‘I narrowly escaped death once. A rebel took deliberate [aim] at me with both barrels of his gun, and the bullets passed so close to me that the powder that remained on them burned my cheek. Three of my men who saw him aim and fire thought that he wounded me each fire. One of them was killed by my side, and he fell on me, covering my clothes with his blood, and before the rebel could fire again I blew his brains out with my gun.
‘It was a horrible fight, the worst I was ever engaged in, not even excepting Shiloh. The enemy cried, “No quarters,” but some of them were very glad to take it when made prisoners.
‘Colonel Allen, of the seventeenth Texas, was killed in front of our regiment, and Brigadier General Walker was wounded. We killed about 180 of the enemy. The gun-boat Choctaw did good service shelling them. I stood on the breast-works after we took them, and gave the elevations and direction for the gun-boat by pointing my sword, and they sent a shell right into their midst, which sent them in all directions. Three shells fell there and 62 rebels lay there when the fight was over.
‘My wound is not serious, but troublesome. What few men I have left seem to think much of me because I stood up with them in the fight. I can say for them that I never saw a braver company of men in my life.
‘Not one of them offered to leave his place until ordered to fall back; in fact, very few ever did fall back. I went down to the hospital three miles today to see the wounded. Nine of them were there, two having died of their wounds. A boy I had cooking for me came and begged a gun when the rebels were advancing, and took his place with the company, and when we retook the breast-works I found him badly wounded with one gunshot and two bayonet wounds. A new recruit I had issued a gun to the day before the fight was found dead, with a firm grasp on his gun, the bayonet of which was broken in three pieces So they fought and died defending the cause that we revere. They met death coolly, bravely; not rashly did they expose themselves, but all were steady and obedient to orders.
millikensbend.orgPost Views: 217
The Associated Press
Sam DuBose was pulled over near the University of Cincinnati campus for a missing front license plate. Walter Scott got stopped for a broken taillight in South Carolina.
Neither black man got out of the traffic stops alive.
Former university police Officer Ray Tensing, 26, is on trial for murder in Cincinnati in the July 2015 fatal shooting of DuBose, 43. Former North Charleston, South Carolina, officer Michael Slager, 34, is on trial for murder in Charleston in the April 2015 fatal shooting of Scott, 50. Both officers, who are white, have pleaded not guilty.
The cases are among a series across the country since mid-2014 — from the fatal shooting of a 12-year-old boy in a Cleveland recreation area to that of a 66-year-old woman in her Bronx, New York, apartment — that have raised a national debate over race and policing.
A summary of other deaths of black people after police encounters:
The 43-year-old man died in July 2014 in New York City after a white officer placed him in a chokehold during an arrest for selling loose cigarettes. A grand jury declined to indict the officer who put Garner in the hold or any of the other officers involved in the arrest. The city agreed to pay a $6 million civil settlement.
The 18-year-old was shot and killed in August 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. A grand jury declined to indict Darren Wilson, the white officer who shot him. The Department of Justice also opted against bringing civil rights charges against Wilson. The death of Brown, who was unarmed, led to months of sometimes-violent Ferguson protests and became a catalyst for the Black Lives Matter movement, which rebukes police treatment of minorities.
JOHN CRAWFORD III
Police in the Dayton, Ohio, suburb of Beavercreek responded to a Wal-Mart store in August 2014 on a call of a man waving an apparent rifle. A white officer fatally shot Crawford III, 22, who was carrying what turned out to be an air rifle from a store shelf. Police said they believed it was a real gun and that he didn’t respond to their commands to put it down. A grand jury declined to indict the officers. The U.S. Justice Department has been reviewing the case.
Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke is charged with first-degree murder in the Oct. 20, 2014, shooting death of black teenager Laquan McDonald. Van Dyke, who is white, was charged in November 2015 on the same day that the city, under judge’s orders, released dashcam video showing the 17-year-old McDonald being shot 16 times. Van Dyke has pleaded not guilty and is free on bond. The video has prompted local and federal investigations of both the shooting and the Police Department.
Peter Liang, a rookie New York City police officer, was convicted Feb. 11 of manslaughter in the November 2014 death of the 28-year-old Gurley. Liang was patrolling a public housing high-rise with his gun drawn in 2014 when he fired and a bullet ricocheted off a wall, hitting Gurley. Liang, an American of Chinese descent, said he had been holding his weapon safely when a sound jarred him and he accidentally fired. In April, a judge reduced the conviction to negligent homicide and sentenced Liang to five years’ probation and 800 hours of community service. An attorney for Gurley’s family said in August that New York City reached a settlement of more than $4 million with the family.
Twelve-year-old Tamir Rice was fatally shot by a white Cleveland police officer near a gazebo in a recreational area in November 2014. Officers were responding to a report of a man waving a gun. The boy, who had a pellet gun tucked in his waistband, was shot right after their cruiser skidded to a stop a few feet away. A grand jury in December 2015 declined to indict patrolman Timothy Loehmann, who fired the fatal shot, and training officer Frank Garmback. The city in 2016 agreed to settle a federal lawsuit filed by Tamir Rice’s family for $6 million.
The 25-year-old man entered a Baltimore police van in April 2015 shackled but alive. He died of severe neck injuries suffered during the ride that followed. His death led to rioting. Prosecutors in July 2016 said they were dropping charges against the remaining police officers awaiting trial, leaving no convictions against six officers who were charged initially in the case. Gray’s family agreed to a $6.4 million settlement with the city in September 2015.
Former Tulsa County volunteer sheriff’s deputy Robert Bates, age 74, was sentenced in June to four years in prison on a second-degree manslaughter conviction in the April 2015 death of Harris, 44, an unarmed and restrained black man, during a sting operation. Bates, who is white, has said he confused his stun gun with his handgun. That shooting led to the temporary suspension of the reserve deputy program after a report found poor training of the volunteer officers, a lack of oversight and cronyism. Bates is appealing his conviction.
WILLIAM CHAPMAN II
Former Portsmouth, Virginia, Police Officer Stephen Rankin was sentenced Oct. 12 to 2½ years in prison for fatally shooting William Chapman II, 18. Rankin shot the unarmed Chapman on April 22, 2015, after responding to a shoplifting call outside a Wal-Mart store. Prosecutors allege Rankin killed Chapman “willfully, deliberately and with premeditation.” Chapman’s body was delivered to the medical examiner with handcuffs still bound behind his back, according to news reports at the time. Some witnesses said Chapman was combative, and one said he knocked away Rankin’s stun gun, according to the reports. Rankin, who is white, was fired after the shooting.
Michael Slager faces 30 years to life in prison if convicted of murder in the shooting death of Scott in April 2015 in South Carolina. The shooting was captured on cellphone video by a passer-by. Slager told investigators Scott had grabbed his Taser and pointed the stun gun at him as they fought on the ground. Slager was fired by the North Charleston Police Department. There has been a $6.5 million settlement between North Charleston and the Scott family. Slager also faces federal charges including for allegedly violating Scott’s civil rights.
Ray Tensing faces 15 years to life if convicted of murder of Sam DuBose, killed in July 2015 near the University of Cincinnati campus. Tensing’s body camera captured much of the traffic stop, although the two sides dispute what conclusions can be reached. Tensing’s attorney says DuBose was using his car as a weapon that could have killed him. The university fired Tensing, hired outside consultants, and restructured its public safety department. The school also reached a $5.3 million settlement that includes free undergraduate tuition for DuBose’s 13 children.
A federal prosecutor announced in September there was insufficient evidence to file civil rights charges in the July 2015 fatal shooting of Stewart, 19, by Officer Connor Schilling. Schilling, a white Memphis, Tennessee, police officer, shot Stewart during a struggle following a traffic stop that escalated after an attempted arrest for outstanding warrants. Schilling has said he shot Stewart because he feared for his life. He retired due to a disability, police said, in a move that allows him to receive disability pay. A grand jury in November 2015 declined to charge the officer.
Jeremy McDole, 28, was sitting in his wheelchair when he was shot and killed in September 2015 in Wilmington, Delaware, after police received a 911 call about a man with a gun. A bystander’s cellphone footage showed officers repeatedly telling McDole to drop his weapon and raise his hands, with McDole reaching for his waist area before shots erupted. The Delaware attorney general’s office decided against criminal charges against four Wilmington police officers involved, although investigators concluded one officer showed “extraordinarily poor” police work.
Former Columbus, Mississippi, police officer Canyon Boykin, who is white, was indicted in September for manslaughter in the shooting death of Ricky Ball, 26. Boykin, facing trial Nov. 28, has said he shot Ball because the man appeared to point a gun at him during a foot chase in October 2015. The city fired Boykin as he was trying to resign, saying he had broken department policy by not turning on his body camera, by inviting his fiancee to ride along without permission, and by making derogatory social media posts about African-Americans, women and disabled people. Boykin has sued the city, claiming violations of his constitutional rights.
A Florida grand jury cleared two police officers in September who fatally shot Semer, an unarmed black motorist, in April 2016 as he fled. Prosecutors said the man’s actions gave the officers a reasonable belief that their lives were in danger. The St. Lucie County Grand Jury cleared Fort Pierce police Sgt. Brian MacNaught and officer Keith Holmes for the shooting of Semer, 21, during a traffic stop. Prosecutors say their investigation showed he refused to get out of his car and then tried to drive away, clipping Holmes and dragging MacNaught. Both officers are white.
Sterling, 37, was shot to death July 5, 2016, as two white officers pinned him to the pavement outside a convenience store where he had been selling CDs. The killing was captured on cellphone video and circulated widely online, sparking widespread demonstrations across Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II were placed on administrative leave. Neither officer has been charged in the case, which was turned over to federal investigators.
Castile was shot and killed July 6 by officer Jeronimo Yanez, who is Hispanic, after being pulled over as he drove through a St. Paul, Minnesota, suburb with his girlfriend and her young daughter in the car. His girlfriend began livestreaming on Facebook shortly after the shooting and said Castile, 32, was shot while reaching for his ID after telling the officer he had a gun permit and was armed. Yanez and his partner, Joseph Kauser, who was present for the shooting, were placed on administrative leave. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has turned its findings over to a county prosecutor, who will review the case.
The 13-year-old Ohio youth was fatally shot by a Columbus police officer Sept. 14 after running from police investigating a reported armed robbery. Police said he a pulled a BB gun that looked like a real firearm. Officer Bryan Mason, who is white, was put on administrative desk duty while the investigation into Tyre King’s death continues. The attorney for his family has asked for a Justice Department review.
KEITH LAMONT SCOTT
The North Carolina State bureau of Investigation is reviewing the fatal Sept. 20 shooting of Scott by a black Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer. Scott, 43, was sitting in his vehicle in the parking lot of his Charlotte apartment complex when he was shot by police trying to find a different man. Police video showed officers shouting for Scott to drop a gun numerous times as he slowly backed out of an SUV. Scott’s family said he did not have a gun and was reading a book. The shooting, part of which was recorded by his wife and shared widely on social media, caused days of violent protests and a state of emergency to be declared in Charlotte.
Tulsa, Oklahoma, police Officer Betty Jo Shelby was charged with first-degree manslaughter on Sept. 22 in the shooting of Crutcher, an unarmed man. Shelby, who is white, shot the 40-year-old Crutcher on Sept. 16 shortly after she arrived on a street to find his SUV stopped in the middle of the road. Crutcher was seen without a weapon and with his hands up on videos from a patrol car dashboard and a police helicopter before Shelby shot him. Police Chief Chuck Jordan has said that Crutcher did not have a gun on his body or in his SUV when he was shot. Shelby has pleaded not guilty and is on unpaid leave.
In the San Diego suburb of El Cajon, a police officer opened fire on Ugandan refugee Alfred Olango within a minute of arriving at the scene on Sept. 27. Olango’s sister had described her brother as mentally unbalanced in multiple 911 calls. Video released by police shows the officer approached the 38-year-old man with gun drawn, as Olango paced in a strip mall parking lot. Olango pulls something from his pocket, takes what police call a “shooting stance,” and aims something at the officer, who then fires his gun. A second officer fired his Taser simultaneously. The object in Olango’s hands turned out to be a 4-inch electronic cigarette device. The two officers were placed on leave as the district attorney investigates.
New York police were responding Oct. 18 to a 911 call about an emotionally disturbed person when Sgt. Hugh Barry encountered Danner, 66, in her Bronx apartment. The mentally ill woman picked up a baseball bat in her bedroom and tried to hit Barry, who fired shots that killed her. New York’s mayor rebuked him publicly the next day, and he has been stripped of his badge and gun and placed on desk duty while the state attorney general’s office determines whether the case falls under its authority to investigate police shootings of unarmed civilians. Police are also investigating the officer’s actions.Post Views: 199