Reclaiming Our Way promoting the well-being of African American children & families

29Oct/150

Criminalizing Our Children in Schools and Classrooms – A Tragedy and Pattern

Schools, and the communities that sanction their policies and practices, are increasingly criminalizing our children and adolescents.

From yesterday's Democracy Now...

Cops in the Classroom: South Carolina Incident Highlights Growing Police Presence in Schools

We turn now to shocking new videos that have surfaced from inside a South Carolina high school where a police officer has been caught on camera slamming a teenage girl to the ground and dragging the student out of the classroom. The videos, which went viral on Monday, appear to show Deputy Sheriff Ben Fields approaching the student, who is seated at her desk, then wrapping his arm around her neck and flipping her and her desk to the ground. He then appears to drag her out of the classroom. The student was arrested. Another student who filmed the assault was also arrested and held on a $1,000 bail. The incident reportedly began when the student refused to give her teacher her phone. The incident is the latest in a series of cases of police officers in schools using excessive force against students. - Update: South Carolina authorities have announced the officer, Ben Fields, has been fired from his position.  (approximately 12 minutes)

Texas Student Spent 52 Days in Coma After Being Tased by Police at School

In one of the most shocking cases of police brutality inside a school, 17-year-old Noe Niño de Rivera spent 52 days in a medically induced coma after police tased him at school in November 2013. He was permanently brain injured. Last year Bastrop County in Texas settled a federal lawsuit for $775,000 with his family. We speak to his attorney, Adam Loewy.  (approximately 6 minutes)

Criminalizing the Classroom: Inside the School-to-Prison Pipeline

New York City has more than 5,000 police officers patrolling the city’s schools—that’s more than the combined number of school guidance counselors and social workers. Nationwide, more than 17,000 officers work in the school. What happens when students are arrested in the classroom? We look at what many experts call the "school-to-prison pipeline." (approximately 13 minutes)

12Jul/150

#StayStrong: A Love Song to Freedom Fighters — Bree Newsome

by Bree Newsome feat. 7thSoana (beat by Passion HiFi)
This song was initially inspired by the tragic events in Ferguson, MO in August 2014. As the title says, it's a love song to all the freedom fighters like myself around the world, an encouragement to stay strong and to keep fighting. Most especially, this song is dedicated to the many inspiring young organizers I've encountered in the field who are blazing the trail toward freedom. I love you all. #StayStrong #BlackLivesMatter

(Song released December 13, 2014)

9Jul/150

Bree Newsome: As SC Lawmakers Debate Removing Confederate Flag, Meet the Activist Who Took It Down

Our struggle will continue, and we shall win. There are courageous people among every generation who are willing to speak truth to power, and take an active stand against the historical and present-day racial injustices in this nation and throughout the world. Bree Newsome is one in that long tradition. This is what courage looks and sounds like.

As South Carolina state lawmakers begin debate on whether to remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of the state Capitol in Columbia, we are joined by Bree Newsome, the 30-year-old African-American woman who took down the flag herself. On June 27, 10 days after the Charleston massacre and one day after the funeral for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Newsome scaled the 30-foot flagpole at the state Capitol and took the flag in her hand. "I come against you in the name of God!" Newsome said. "This flag comes down today!" As soon as she reached the ground, she and fellow activist James Tyson were arrested. The protest went viral and was seen around the world. Newsome and Tyson join us to discuss their action in an extended interview.

From Monday, July 6, on Democracy Now

27Jun/150

Confederate Flag Take Down at the South Carolina State Capitol – #KeepItDown

bree newsome - taking down the confederate flag

Bree Newsome scales flag pole to remove the Confederate flag flying on grounds of South Carolina State Capitol

Below you can watch the video footage taken this morning as creative artist, organizer and activist Bree Newsome takes down the Confederate Battle Flag at the South Carolina State Capitol.

When you watch, also be sure and check out the last 25 seconds... People insisted that only the state legislature could authorize the flag's take down. Fortunately, there are still many people who seek authority from, and ultimately answer to, a higher and more meaningful Source.

This is yet another powerful example of the kind of maladjustment to racism and white supremacy Dr. King consistently reminded us of, and a principle that more and more individuals and groups among our younger generations are breathing new life into.

I'm impressed with Bree Newsome's courageous example, and also appreciative of all the planning and support that had to have gone into this.

A couple of additional photos below the video clip.

@BreeNewsome
www.breenewsome.com

Bree Newsome

missing confederate flag

22Jun/150

NewsOne Now Charleston Church Massacre Special Report Audio Podcast

Emanuel AME Church mass shooter Dylann Roof confessed to killing 9 people and told investigators he wanted to start a “race war.” Roland Martin and NewsOne Now bring you the latest details in the hate crime investigation and the latest details on the ground in Charleston, SC.

Why Are We Seeing An Increase In Hate In America? & The Rise In Acts Of Domestic Terrorism By “Lone Wolfs”

Lecia Brooks, Outreach Director of the Southern Poverty Law Center, joined Roland Martin on NewsOne Now to discuss why we are seeing an increase in hate crimes against minorities in America.

How Do We Confront Hate In America?

Roland Martin talked with Bishop Vashti McKenzie and Dr. Greg Carr about how we should confront hate in America in the wake of the Emanuel AME Church massacre.

Is America Ready To Have A Discussion About Race?

Roland Martin and the NewsOne Now panel, featuring Communications Specialist Jeff Johnson, Attorney Monique Pressley, Georgetown University Law Professor Paul Butler, and Managing Editor of Politic365.com Lauren Victoria Burke, discuss if America is ready to have a serious conversation about race in the aftermath of the Emanuel AME Church mass shooting.

From Friday, June 19, 2015...
TV One Now - CharlestonChurchMasacre

22Jun/150

Charleston AME Church Massacre: Additional Perspectives on Terror and White Supremacy

From today's edition of Democracy Now...

Segment 1:  Dylann Roof’s White Supremacist Views, Links to Hate Group Revealed After Charleston Church Massacre

Church bells tolled Sunday and hundreds filled the church’s pews of the historic Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, for the first service since Dylann Roof’s attack on a Bible session in its basement last Wednesday. An estimated 20,000 people formed a Bridge to Peace unity chain on the Ravenel Bridge to show solidarity with his victims. A website discovered Saturday called "The Last Rhodesian" shows photographs of Roof at Confederate heritage sites and hosts a 2,500-word manifesto he is believed to have written that explains why he chose to carry out his mass murder spree. "Roof might have been a high school dropout, but he was an excellent student, it seems, of the white supremacist world," says Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center. He is co-author of an editorial published today in The New York Times titled "White Supremacists Without Borders."

 

Segment 2:  "That Flag Represents White Supremacy": Confederate Flag Still Flies at South Carolina State Capitol

Wednesday’s massacre of nine African-American churchgoers by white supremacist suspect Dylann Roof have reignited protests over the Confederate flag, which still flies on the grounds of South Carolina’s Capitol. In photos posted online, Roof is seen posing with the flag and in front of a car with a front license plate that reads, "Confederate States of America." "People’s tax dollars ought not go into supporting the idea of the Confederate States of America," says Kevin Alexander Gray, a South Carolina civil rights activist and community organizer who edited the book "Killing Trayvons: An Anthology of American Violence." As former president of the state ACLU, he argued, "the flag flying on the statehouse dome was compelled speech. You were compelling people to support an ideology of white supremacy."

 

Segment 3:  "A Classic Case of Terrorism": Is FBI Ignoring White Violence by Refusing to Call Roof a Terrorist?

 Civil rights activist Kevin Alexander Gray and Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, discuss whether the shooting in Charleston was an act of domestic terrorism. "Dylann Roof was a human drone, and every Tuesday morning the Obama administration uses drones to kill people whose names we don’t even know and can’t pronounce," Kevin Alexander Gray says. "So I don’t know if I feel comfortable with the idea of expanding this word 'terror.'" But Richard Cohen calls the shooting "a classic case of terrorism." "It’s politically motivated violence by a non-state actor and carried out with the intention of intimidating more persons than those who were the immediate victims," Cohen says. "I think in some ways it’s important to talk about terrorism in that way, not so we can send out drones, not so we can deny people their due process rights, but so we can understand the true dimensions of what we’re facing."

20Jun/150

The Latest On The Charleston Church Shooting – Tragic Yet Historic & Normal American Racism on Display Here

The discussion below features some of the latest perspective and updates on the tragic Wednesday shooting in Charleston, SC, at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church.

Jamilah and Mychal are both absolutely right on point.

From HuffPost Live:

  • State Sen. Marlon E. Kimpson (Columbia, SC) (D) South Carolina
  • Jamilah Lemieux (New York, NY) Senior Editor, Ebony.com
  • Mychal Denzel Smith (Brooklyn, NY) Knobler Fellow at The Nation Institute

Originally aired on June 19, 2015

23Dec/140

S.C. Judge Says 1944 Execution Of 14-Year-Old Boy Was Wrong – Justice 70 Years Delayed

george stinney jr south carolina

George Stinney, Jr., a 14-year old boy in South Carolina, was convicted and executed in 1944 of killing two young white girls. The 14-year old boy didn't have a chance in the old south.

Stinney's trial lasted two hours.

He was convicted by a jury within 10 minutes.

Eighty-one days passed between his day of arrest in March 1944 and being convicted and executed on June 16, 1944. During that time his father was fired from his job, and the family forced to leave town under threat of lynching. He was left without the presence of active support throughout the process. But his family never gave up seeking justice in his case.

Stinney was exonerated this week on December 17, 2014, approximately 70 years after his unjust conviction and execution.

Constitutionally protected due process was not given... so says the court system some 70 years later. Practically everyone involved knew this was the reality at the time.

You can read more... via NPR coverage or via Washington Post coverage.