Cmnd+F: MLK Day

Everything worth reading for Jan. 16, 2017


^This talk is really good.

This interview is a really good read:

I shall never forget the grief and bitterness I felt on that terrible September morning when a bomb blew out the lives of those four little, innocent girls sitting in their Sunday-school class in the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. I think of how a woman cried out, crunching through broken glass, “My God, we’re not even safe in church!” I think of how that explosion blew the face of Jesus Christ from a stained-glass window. It was symbolic of how sin and evil had blotted out the life of Christ. I can remember thinking that if men were this bestial, was it all worth it? Was there any hope? Was there any way out?

Haley: Do you still feel this way?

King: No, time has healed the wounds — and buoyed me with the inspiration of another moment which I shall never forget: when I saw with my own eyes over 3,000 young Negro boys and girls, totally unarmed, leave Birmingham’s 16th Street Baptist Church to march to a prayer meeting — ready to pit nothing but the power of their bodies and souls against Bull Connor’s police dogs, clubs, and fire hoses. When they refused Connor’s bellowed order to turn back, he whirled and shouted to his men to turn on the hoses. It was one of the most fantastic events of the Birmingham story that these Negroes, many of them on their knees, stared, unafraid and unmoving, at Connor’s men with the hose nozzles in their hands. Then, slowly the Negroes stood up and advanced, and Connor’s men fell back as though hypnotized, as the Negroes marched on past to hold their prayer meeting. I saw there, I felt there, for the first time, the pride and the power of nonviolence.

I would like to reply with another rhetorical question: Why do white people seem to find it so difficult to understand that the Negro is sick and tired of having reluctantly parceled out to him those rights and privileges which all others receive upon birth or entry in America? I never cease to wonder at the amazing presumption of much of white society, assuming that they have the right to bargain with the Negro for his freedom. This continued arrogant ladling out of pieces of the rights of citizenship has begun to generate a fury in the Negro. Even so, he is not pressing for revenge, or for conquest, or to gain spoils, or to enslave, or even to marry the sisters of those who have injured him.

The conflict between King and the Freedom Riders is one to remember as the need for resistance persists more than half a century later. “We all had different roles,” said Dennis, who has spent the last two decades trying to bridge the education gap in America while also traveling the country speaking about the civil rights movement and how to achieve those dreams in the 21st century. “King’s role was different. Nobody could articulate the issues in the movement the way he did. His role was to do what he did. There were farmers, and workers in cities who had roles and couldn’t go to jail because they had families to take care of. The students had their roles, too. We all had different things we needed to do to achieve our goals. Nobody was more important than anyone else.”

The New York Times editorial board blasted King for linking the war in Vietnam to the struggles of civil rights and poverty alleviation in the United States, saying it was “too facile a connection” and that he was doing a “disservice” to both causes. It concluded that there “are no simple answers to the war in Vietnam or to racial injustice in this country.” The Washington Post editorial board said King had “diminished his usefulness to his cause, his country and his people.” In all, 168 newspapers denounced him the next day…

King had long considered himself a socialist, In 1966, he told staff at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference that “there must be a better distribution of wealth and maybe America must move toward a democratic socialism. Call it what you may, call it democracy, or call it democratic socialism, but there must be a better distribution of wealth within this country for all of God’s children.”

Inauguration Protests

Washington will in effect transform into a series of chaotic demonstrations along the two-mile route Trump will travel from the U.S. Capitol to the White House after he is sworn in as the 45th President…

A group known as Antifascists of D.C. plans to shut down the roads at strategic traffic points on Inauguration Day, but it is unclear where or when they plan to carry it out. Actions are expected to occur early in the day…

The protest groups are making no secret about their plans. Last Sunday, they invited the public to attend a meeting publicized on Facebook. Over three hundred showed up–including plainclothes police officers who took photographs of the attendees…

[I]f you’re not planning to go to DC because it’s too far or too hard or not right for you and your family, check out options for local marches. Nearly 600,000 people are planning to attend more than 280 marches around the U.S.

If you aren’t attending a local march or the national march, please consider donating to the cause. You can still help even if you aren’t the marching type.

Trump and Related

The warrant adds that he referred to the incident as a “misunderstanding,” which is the wrong word: Grabbing a colleague by the genitals is sexual assault, a fact which is seemingly understood by everyone but von Keyserling.

The woman also told police that she’d heard of him acting in a similar way toward other employees, and that he’d been referring to the groping as “a joke.” She felt obligated to come forward to prevent similar things from happening to other women, the warrant said.

Climate Change

On (the) Media

They use classic clickbait headlines, actively seek to confirm far-right ideology, and exploit bigotry and biases. Social media analytics site BuzzSumo, which tracks social media engagement levels for websites, shows that half of American News’ 10 most shared stories — which collectively boasted more than 4 million Facebook engagements — featured fearmongering about Muslims. Among these was an anti-Muslim fake news story claiming that a Texas man was forced to remove the U.S. flag from his house because it was a “threat to Muslims.”

I wanted to go and see the human toll for myself and be able to communicate that. We just disappear these people from society. Most prisons are pretty distant physically from our cities, which makes it easier for society to ignore that we have so many people warehoused in them. Families are having a hard time reaching them physically, and the emotional toll, the financial cost for our society and our communities, is tough to watch. I would cry but also be very pissed off. We need to get pissed off. We need to understand that what we do in America is radically oppressive. We are the leading incarcerator in the world. There’s nobody better at locking people up than we are. We need to confront that, because that’s being done in our name. Our money pays for it; our politicians are enacting these laws. If that’s what the land of the free and the home of the brave is known for, why aren’t we saying more to do something about it?
 — John Legend

I want to talk about what you ended the question with: low-level crimes. There’s this narrative about low-level, nonviolent drug offenders. We’ve been saying it for years: Let’s let those people go free. When do we start talking about populations of people that maybe did something violent — not because they are violent people, but because they lived in a place where their day-to-day was consumed by violence, their conditioning since they were kids was kill or be killed? In a flash, they do something violent, but that doesn’t make them “violent offenders.”…
 — Adam Foss

One of the reasons I’m excited about being a human rights lawyer working in tech is because we can bear witness in ways that were unimaginable before. Our mobile devices have changed the conversation around police brutality, and that has become a public-square conversation. We are now able to use technology to bear witness to each other’s lives, to document abuse not just within one community, or one country, but in a global context — and then share it on these global platforms. I think about what happened in Ferguson, or Baton Rouge. Technology is about being borderless. It’s about surmounting walls. I mean, if the 20th century was the history of how walls and boundaries define us and diminish us in so many ways, the 21st century is about how we can surmount those walls. Tech is part of what allows us to do that. Every human rights abuse, every genocide, every act of rape, every war crime happens in an atmosphere of isolation and silence. Tech allows us this powerful opportunity to disrupt that silence, to disrupt that isolation, so that we understand what is happening.
 — Malika Saada Saar

SB782 aimed to repeals the statutory prohibitions on same-sex marriages and civil unions in the Commonwealth, specifically dealing with Virginia state laws 20–45.2. and 45.3.

National Archives via NY Times

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