A good read on Hillary Rodham Clinton's videotaped backstage encounter with BLM activists. On balance I think it helps her. Many black activists are agreeing with her.
My latest column for Bay Windows looks at how home-grown fanaticism is isolating the Jewish state. Here is an excerpt:
A pair of recent atrocities by Israeli terrorists (which is what they must be called) underscores the futility of diverting attention from the country's oppression of Palestinians by emphasizing its pro-gay policies.
The fatal stabbing of 16-year-old Shira Banki at Jerusalem Pride, and the firebombing death of Palestinian Sa'ad Dawabshe and his baby son, Ali Dawabshe, in a West Bank village, point to increased Israeli fanaticism. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appropriately denounced the attacks, but that is small comfort coming from a man who has done so much to stoke the extremism that led to the crimes.
The deluge of threats against Israeli President Reuven Rivlin after he condemned the violence demonstrates that vigils for the victims are not enough. The present situation disturbingly echoes the one 21 ago when a right-wing extremist killed Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin as he left a peace rally. At the time, Netanyahu eloquently said that bullets would not be allowed to determine the course of government, but in fact they did.
Israel is isolating itself more and more, including from American Jews, and failing to address internal threats for which it has planted the seeds. Netanyahu's pledge in March never to return occupied land was not just an election ploy. Israel continues to build new West Bank settlements while knocking down Palestinians' houses and cutting down their olive groves. In light of this, expressions of horror are unconvincing.
White supremacy, racism killed Sandra Bland http://t.co/AonDFJbt33— Washington Blade (@WashBlade) August 3, 2015
I neglected to post this commentary last week. Our friend Lateefah Williams illuminates the structural racism behind the death in custody of Sandra Bland by sharing her own degrading experiences. Thanks to her for sharing this personal testimony. Those of us privileged enough not to face such treatment need to learn from those who do.
More on the Stonewall era.
A commendable sentiment, but hard to enforce amid an occupation accompanied by illegal settlements that amount to a slow annexation of the occupied territory.
Also: Aeyal Gross in Haaretz on Why the Israeli government’s condemnation of Jerusalem Gay Pride attack is hollow.
This asshole cop deserves to have the living crap beaten out of him, as does every single other cop or (for that matter) private citizen who defends this harassment and thereby enables it. They need to knock this shit off, fire cops who do this, or abolish the police altogether. Cell phone cameras are revealing so much of this sociopathic behavior by law enforcement officers that we can only presume that the behavior has been going on for years, and is only now coming to light because of cameras being ubiquitous and videos being easily shared on social media. This behavior by police is intolerable. There cannot be peace without justice. Public officials need to be put on notice: show the backbone to put a stop to this or leave office.
Above is the chilling body cam video of University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing shooting Samuel DuBose in the head after stopping him for a missing front license plate. Contrary to Tensing's claim, DuBose did not threaten him in any way. Below, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters discusses the murder indictment against Tensing.
Anonymous issues a warning that it will "name and shame" police who murder with impunity. This is an example of the power of social media.
Hatred kills. Mourning is not enough. We must fight for justice and work for understanding and respect. We all have a right to live and thrive in our difference. There are many more India Clarkes, all of whom deserve to pursue their happiness in safety. When we say we are not done, this is an example of what we mean.
Ted Cruz is by no means the only Republican leaping before looking in reaction to the mass shooting of Marines in Chattanooga. Considering that the suspect is dead, the only reason for all the posturing is politics. The portrayals of President Obama as soft on terrorism are awfully brazen considering his hawkish record on that score. CNN reports on the investigation.
Much more needs to be done to reverse the irrational excess of harsh drug laws, but the president's commutations today for 46 non-violent offenders are a beginning.
Well this is disturbing. NBC4 reports:
In one week in D.C., police say, a woman abandoned a baby in a stroller alongside a busy D.C. street -- and a young man who had been in college just a year ago stabbed a passenger on a Metro train 30 to 40 times.
The two crimes were tied together by the drug police believe the suspects may have been using: synthetic marijuana....
Mayor Muriel Bowser will sign into law the "Sale of Synthetic Drugs Emergency Amendment Act of 2015" Friday at noon.
My latest column looks at the momentous events of last week and at how justice comes from recognition, as the president put it, of ourselves in each other. Here's a portion:
President Obama had the best week of his career last week, with victories on trade, fair housing, healthcare and marriage equality that cemented his legacy. But instead of taking a victory lap, he capped his week with a eulogy in the form of a sermon on grace.
Black churches have figured prominently in my thoughts lately. On Stonewall Sunday, going through my Twitter feed, I found a joint Father's Day sermon delivered the week before by the Revs. Otis Moss II and III at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. In addition to being LGBT-affirming, Trinity is famous for its tradition of prophetic preaching, thanks to video loops of its previous pastor, Jeremiah Wright, that roiled the 2008 presidential campaign.
Near the close of Justice Anthony Kennedy's marriage opinion, he gave a nod to Jim Obergefell: "As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death." Outside the court, Obergefell held a photo of his late husband and took a call from the president. The Gay Men's Chorus of Washington sang "The Star-Spangled Banner," tacitly embracing the words above the court's entrance: "Equal Justice Under Law."
The act of domestic terror that took the president to South Carolina later that day was intended by its perpetrator to start a race war. As Obama noted, however, when Dylann Roof murdered pastor and state senator Clementa Pinckney and eight other members of Charleston's Emanuel A.M.E. Church at a Bible study meeting, he did not account for the power of grace.
DeRay Mckesson is, in my opinion, one of the most gifted young activists in our country. I began to follow him last summer when his voice emerged during the street protests in Ferguson, Missouri. Here he puts his trolls (whose attacks on him are a backhanded tribute to him) in their place.
The president's remarks were entirely appropriate, as far as I am concerned. I do wonder if @POTUS and @Pontifex (AKA Pope Francis) are in a competition over who can stir up more controversy just by speaking truth.
I have heard Mrs. Clinton speak this well once before, when she went to Geneva as our Secretary of State to announce an LGBT global initiative. Here she is in San Francisco talking to the 2015 U.S. Conference of Mayors.
The Senator from Jasper spoke recently about the murder of Walter Scott, of Doubting Thomases, and of the need for body cameras on police. The pleasure of listening to this gifted speaker is now mixed with sorrow, compounded on this Father's Day by the thought of his widow Jennifer and his daughters Malana and Eliana. His chair at Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church was draped in black today. Yet still he speaks. Good night, sweet prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.