Tag Archives: race and ethnicity

Here’s How Badly Police Violence Has Divided America These Past Few Years

Mother Jones

In Shots Fired, the buzzworthy police drama premiering March 22 on Fox, federal agents investigate a black cop who has gunned down a young, unarmed white man. By the numbers, police actually kill more white people than they kill black people, but they kill black people at a far higher rate. Using population data from the Census Bureau and police shooting data from the Washington Post‘s 2015 database, we calculated that black men between the ages of 18 and 44 were 3.2 times as likely as white men the same age to be killed by a police officer. And while black men make up only about 6 percent of the US population, last year they accounted for one-third of the unarmed people killed by police.

We’ve obviously got some policing issues, but the Trump administration seems inclined to look the other way. Last month, in his first speech as attorney general, Jeff Sessions made clear that his Justice Department will curtail the monitoring of problem-plagued police departments that the Obama administration used as a tactic to combat civil rights violations by police. (Sessions suggested the monitoring had undermined “respect for our police and made, oftentimes, their job more difficult.”) Lest readers have forgotten just how divisive the racial disparities in law enforcement have been, and continue to be, we put together this brief history of recent police violence and backlash to it.

July 2013
Sickened by the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s killer, labor organizer Alicia Garza writes on Facebook, “I continue to be surprised at how little Black lives matter.” Her friend Patrisse Cullors turns the last bit into a hashtag.

Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire via AP Photo

March 2014
In a Pew poll, 46 percent of Americans agree that “our country needs to continue making changes to give blacks equal rights with whites.”
July 2014

Eric Garner is choked to death by an officer on Staten Island, New York. His last words, “I can’t breathe,” become a civil rights slogan.

Bruce Cotler/ Globe Photos/Zuma

Aug. 2014
A white cop in Ferguson, Missouri, kills black teen Michael Brown, sparking weeks of protest. Police deploy riot gear, armored vehicles, and sniper rifles, while demonstrators adopt a “hands up, don’t shoot” posture based on claims that Brown had his hands up when he was shot. On Twitter, #BlackLivesMatter takes off.
Oct. 2014
A Chicago cop shoots Laquan McDonald 16 times. Police officials claim the teen was approaching officers with a knife—a union rep says he “lunged”—but the city won’t release dash-cam footage.
Nov. 22, 2014

Tamir Rice, 12, is killed by a Cleveland officer as he plays with a toy gun in a park.
Nov. 24, 2014
A Ferguson grand jury declines to indict Officer Darren Wilson, Michael Brown‘s killer. More protests. Critics of #BlackLivesMatter respond with #AllLivesMatter.

Darren Wilson St. Louis County Prosecuter’s Office/Reuters

Nov. 30, 2014
Five St. Louis Rams players walk onto the field for a game in the “hands up” position.
Dec. 3, 2014
The NYPD officer who choked Eric Garner escapes indictment. Days later, LeBron James and other NBA players don “I Can’t Breathe” shirts at pregame warmups.

Jonathan Brady/ PA Wire via Zuma Images

Dec. 18, 2014
The White House announces a new task force to “strengthen trust among law enforcement officers and the communities they serve.”
Dec. 20, 2014
Two NYPD officers are ambushed. Their killer, a black man, had posted a photo of his gun on Instagram: “I’m Putting Wings On Pigs Today.”
Jan. 2015
#BlackLivesMatter tweets average 10,000 a day.

Erik McGregor/Zuma

March 2015
A Department of Justice report says Ferguson police employees sent racist emails and targeted black residents with nuisance citations to generate revenue.
April 2, 2015
A white sheriff’s deputy in Tulsa, Oklahoma, shoots black suspect Eric Harris after a foot chase. “I’m losing my breath,” Harris pleads in a video. “Fuck your breath,” another officer responds.
April 4, 2015

Walter Scott is fatally shot as he attempts to flee from Officer Michael Slager in North Charleston, South Carolina.

Walter Scott in his Coast Guard days Courtesy of the Scott family

April 19, 2015
Freddie Gray dies of his injuries after a “rough ride” in a Baltimore police van.
May 2015
“I have heard your calls for ‘no justice, no peace,'” prosecutor Marilyn Mosby says as she announces charges against six officers in the Gray case. The White House task force releases its report: Police must “embrace a guardian—rather than a warrior—mindset.”

Alex Brandon/AP Photo

June 2015
Rapper Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” video depicts him being shot by police. It garners about 70 million YouTube views and wins two Grammys.

July 2015
BLM activists seize the mic at a Democratic candidate forum to grill Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders on police violence.
Oct. 2015
Rapper Vic Mensa’s video for “16 Shots,” a song about Laquan McDonald, goes viral.

Nov. 19, 2015
A judge orders the release of dash-cam footage that appears to show McDonald walking away from police when he was shot. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel fires his police chief the next month.
Nov. 22, 2015
Presidential candidate Donald Trump tweets out a chart of fabricated crime statistics suggesting that black criminals are responsible for the vast majority of homicides against white people. It’s entirely bogus. Here’s Politifact’s summary:

Feb. 7, 2016
Beyoncé’s dancers adopt a Black Panther look for the Super Bowl halftime show. Police unions call for a boycott of the star.

via GIPHY

Feb. 24, 2016
BLM activists disrupt a Hillary Clinton fundraiser, demanding she apologize for her racially charged comments about “super predators” during the 1990s. Clinton appears irritated, but the next day she does just that.
May 2016
The first state “Blue Lives Matter” bill passes in Louisiana. Attacking a cop is now a hate crime.
June 2016
The police-van driver in the Freddie Gray case is acquitted.
July 5, 2016

Alton Sterling is fatally shot by police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, while officers have him pinned to the ground.
July 6, 2016
During a traffic stop, a Minnesota cop shoots Philando Castile as he reaches for his wallet—that’s according to Castile’s girlfriend, who livestreamed his demise on Facebook: “You told him to get his ID, sir!”

July 7, 2016
A black gunman kills five cops at a Dallas protest against police violence. He holes up in a parking garage, where police kill him with an explosives-bearing robot.
July 12, 2016
President Barack Obama defends Black Lives Matter at a memorial for the slain officers. “We have all seen this bigotry in our lives at some point,” and “none of us is entirely innocent,” he says. “That includes our police departments.”
July 17, 2016
A black military vet who ranted online about the treatment of black people by police assassinates three officers (one of them black) in Baton Rouge.
July 18, 2016
At the Republican National Convention, Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke, who is black, proclaims that “blue lives matter.” In an op-ed the same day, he calls Black Lives Matter the “enemy.”

Mike Segar/Reuters via ZUMA Press

July 18, 2016
A police officer in Florida shoots a black caregiver who was lying in the street with his hands up. A union rep explains that the officer had been aiming at the man’s autistic patient, whose toy truck he mistook for a firearm.
July 27, 2016
After further acquittals in the Freddie Gray case, charges are dropped against the remaining officers.
Aug. 2016
49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick starts sitting out the national anthem to protest police violence. A few pros and countless high school and college athletes follow suit.

Kevin Terrell/AP

Sept. 2016
Clinton debates Trump: “I think implicit bias is a problem for everyone, not just police,” she says. Critics pounce. “Yes, Hillary Clinton called the nation racist,” writes a Washington Times columnist.
Oct. 2016
Attorney General Loretta Lynch says the DOJ will (finally) start collecting national data on police use of force.
Dec. 2016
A jury of 11 whites and one African American deadlocks in the trial of Michael Slager. A retrial is scheduled for late August 2017. A separate federal trial, to determine whether Slager violated Walter Scott’s civil rights, is slated to begin in May 2017.

Mic Smith, File/AP Photo

Feb. 2017
In his first speech as attorney general, Jeff Sessions suggests that the Justice Department, under his watch, will discontinue its practice of monitoring police departments suspected of violating people’s civil rights.
March 2017
A new drama series, Shots Fired, debuts on Fox. “There were a lot of people who never saw Trayvon Martin as a kid,” one of the show’s co-creators tells Mother Jones. “He was painted as the victimizer, and Zimmerman Martin’s killer got donations from all over the country. So in doing a show that deals with police violence, the question was how do we make those people who sent in the donations see this kid as a human being? One of the things we came up with was to make one victim white.”

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Here’s How Badly Police Violence Has Divided America These Past Few Years

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Anti-Muslim Hate Groups Have Tripled With the Rise of Trump

Mother Jones

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The number of anti-Muslim hate groups in America tripled last year, according to a report released Wednesday by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a watchdog organization that tracks political extremists. Between the beginning and end of 2016, the number of anti-Muslim groups increased from 34 to 101—by far the largest spike since SPLC began tracking the category in 2010.

The surge coincides with a 67 percent increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes last year, a level of violence not seen since the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Documenting hate crimes is challenging (both in terms of legal definition and incidents that may go unreported), and most hate groups don’t release membership statistics—two reasons why SPLC views the number of anti-Muslim groups as an important metric.

Notably, the steady rise in these hate groups began around the launch in mid 2015 of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Though the Syrian refugee crisis and terrorist attacks from Paris to Orlando may have fueled some increase in Islamphobia, Trump’s repeated invocation of the threat of “radical Islamic terrorism” and move as president to ban immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries has clearly fanned the flames.

“The rise in anti-Muslim groups in the last year I think demonstrates just how much the presidential campaign influenced the radical right in the US,” says Ryan Lenz, a senior writer for the SPLC’s Intelligence Project. “We have not seen this level of anti-Muslim rhetoric in quite some time, and Trump has done the lion’s share of infusing the anti-Muslim movement in the US with energy, which had been waning for years.”

Breitbart News, the far-right publication formerly led by Trump senior strategist Stephen Bannon, has written dozens of stories about Muslim “rape gangs,” the supposed threat of Sharia law in the United States, and alleged conspiracies by the Council on Islamic Relations, a moderate civil rights organization that Breitbart characterizes as a “front group” for terrorists.

Until stepping down from Brietbart News in August 2015 to lead the Trump campaign, Bannon hosted a Sirius XM radio show, Breitbart News Daily, where he conducted dozens of interviews with anti-Muslim extremists. One of Bannon’s guests on the show, Trump surrogate Roger Stone, warned of a future America “where hordes of Islamic madmen are raping, killing, pillaging, defecating in public fountains, harassing private citizens, elderly people—that’s what’s coming.”

Bannon also said on his show that George W. Bush’s statement after 9/11 that “Islam is peace” was “the dumbest” comment Bush made during his presidency. Bannon told listeners that the United States and Europe are engaged in a “global existential war” and suggested that a “fifth column” of Islamist sympathizers has infiltrated the US government.

Since his election, Trump has tapped several leaders with track records marked by anti-Muslim views. Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump’s now ex-national security adviser, has described Islam as a “malignant cancer” and tweeted that “Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL.” As a student at Duke University, senior Trump advisor Stephen Miller co-founded the Terrorism Awareness Project, which promoted “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week.” And Trump’s CIA chief, Mike Pompeo, has embraced apocalyptic views of Islam.

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Anti-Muslim Hate Groups Have Tripled With the Rise of Trump

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America Has a Lot to Learn From This Muslim Fashion Blogger

Mother Jones

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In sixth grade, Hoda Katebi decided she would start wearing the hijab.

It was a bold move. She’s American born, but her parents immigrated from Iran. Theirs was one of few minority families—let alone Iranian ones—in her small Oklahoma town. The September 11 attacks were only about five years in the rearview mirror, and her classmates were hitting the age when kids become more aware of the world—and of their parents’ political viewpoints, which in this case leaned pretty conservative.

To some of her schoolmates, Islam seemed scary, freakish. The hijab made Katebi a target for taunts, and worse. One middle-school student, after calling her “terrorist” all day at school, punched her in the face. A few years later, in high school, a peer pulled off her hijab, demanding to see her hair. Katebi never reported the assaults. She was convinced her teachers would look the other way rather than try and defend her. It was up to her to convince people around her that she was not to be feared, and that she largely shared their values.

In the wake of President Donald Trump’s executive order banning immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries (including Iran), Katebi, now 22, finds herself in the position of having to explain her culture to people all over again. Indeed, it’s part of her job. A year out of college, she heads up communications for the Chicago branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which says Trump’s immigration order targets Muslims directly—despite the administration’s claims to the contrary. CAIR is working with lawyers and other civil rights organizations to help people who have been detained in airports or stranded overseas as a result of the ban.

But Katebi was working to bridge the gap between America and the Middle East long before CAIR hired her. In her hometown, people were always looking to her to speak on behalf of all Middle Easterners—on everything from the history of Islam to the Israel-Palestine conflict. Their questions compelled her to study up on Muslim history and culture so she could push back against her peers’ misguided views.

Continuing discrimination led her to develop a “don’t give a shit attitude” that later gave way to a healthier outlet for her frustrations. Recognizing the power of the hijab to dictate how people viewed her, Katebi became interested in the use of clothing as a political statement. So, the summer after her freshman year at the University of Chicago, she launched a fashion blog, calling it JooJoo Azad (“Free Bird” in Farsi). “Fashion is inherently and deeply political,” Katebi writes, and not many Americans understand just how complex and diverse fashion for Muslim women can be. She told me she wanted to “yell in a productive way” and tackle the nexus of clothing, Islam, and feminism—a topic she now lectures on.

From Tehran Streetstyle Hoda Katebi

For her undergraduate thesis, Katebi chose Iran’s underground fashion scene, and she traveled to Tehran during the summer of 2015 to research the topic. The Iranian designers she met were trending toward traditional motifs and designs, but also creating pieces that technically violated the country’s Islamic dress code. Iranian law requires women to cover their heads and to dress modestly, usually keeping their torsos, waist area, and a good part of their legs covered with large, loose garments. Rules on acceptable colors fluctuate depending on who is in charge, as does the zeal of the Gashte Ershad (morality police), who enforce the rules. Punishments can range from a warning or a ticket to arrest, in extreme cases.

During her trip, as many Iranian women do, Katebi tested the limits of the dress codes. She found that the Gashte Ershad rarely enforced it, and that violations are common. One officer saw her wearing a tight crop-top shirt that didn’t cover her waist area. He simply yelled that she should “cover up,” and then he drove away, she recalls.

Alongside her thesis work, Katebi collected material for her 2016 book, Tehran Streetstyle. The designers wanted Katebi to expose their art to the rest of the world, and her Western blog audience was clamoring for a window into Iranian fashion. The result was a collection of images of a sort Americans seldom see—Iranian women clad in vibrant colors, with creative designs and trendy accessories. While Katebi and most of the designers she spoke with dislike the dress codes, their feelings are complicated. “There’s a level of resisting the hijab law, but also wanting to resist Western cultural hegemony that exists globally,” Katebi explains.

From Tehran Streetstyle. Hoda Katebi

At a time when the US government is projecting a sinister view of Islam to the public, Katebi’s work pushes in the opposite direction, helping open-minded Americans appreciate the nuances and diversity in Muslim culture. It’s been a constant tug of war, and the fact that few Americans even bother to learn the basics of Islam before forming an opinion has not made her job easier.

In fact, the rhetoric of the 2016 campaign and beyond, combined with the recent attacks in Europe and the United States, have contributed to a notable resurgence of Islamophobia here. Hate crimes against Muslims spiked 67 percent in 2015, according to FBI data, and there have been many troubling incidents since the election. In late January, as the White House issued its immigration ban, a mosque in Texas was burned down and a gunman attacked the Quebec Islamic Cultural Center in Canada, leaving six people dead and five hospitalized. President Trump, Katebi says, continues to use the same divisive rhetoric against Muslims in the name of national security that leaders employed after 9/11. “Muslims are just recovering,” she says, “from the effects of what happened in 2002.”

At least 18 people were detained at O’Hare International Airport thanks to Trump’s executive order. Protesters—including Katebi and others from CAIR—flooded the airport with signs and chants demanding that detainees be allowed access to lawyers and that they be admitted into the country. A judge issued a stay to Trump’s order, but that injunction is temporary. Organizers are still scrambling to protect people left in limbo, including a friend of Katebi’s, a Stanford doctoral student who had to cancel his flight to the United States and now can’t get back to school. For Katebi, the past week has been a nonstop work frenzy. As she put it, she’s been running on “water and Starbursts.”

While she’s encouraged by the crowds showing up at the airport to protest Trump’s immigration move, Katebi has taken to her blog to challenge misconceptions even among Americans who support Muslim immigration. Consider the viral image of the woman clad in a stars-and-stripes hijab. The artwork was intended as a show of solidarity, but Katebi pointed out that it was the work of a white (non-Muslim) man—Shepard Fairey, the same artist who did the Barack Obama “Hope” poster—and noted that the woman who modeled for the poster does not normally wear the hijab.

She also made the point that, given the fraught history of American military actions in the Middle East, the image sends a decidedly mixed message. “I understand the good intentions,” Katebi wrote, “but my liberation will not come from framing my body with a flag that has flown every time my people have fallen. And I hope yours will not either.”

As the Trump regime ramps up, Katebi is dreading the prospect of having to play teacher all over again. “Educating people on the very basics, like ‘Islam is a religion of peace; this is what I believe,’ it’s incredibly emotionally taxing!” she says. “Having to deal with all of that and be able to respond in a very polite, educational manner is harder than people think.”

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America Has a Lot to Learn From This Muslim Fashion Blogger

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The Long History of "Nazi Punching"

Mother Jones

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By now many have seen the video of an unidentified man punching white nationalist Richard Spencer in the face during inauguration weekend. Much in the way that the new president’s vicious campaign rhetoric gave voice to the deeper resentments of some of his supporters, the assault on Spencer seems to have offered a cathartic and even comedic outlet for those on the left who were angered by thoughts of Trumpians goose-stepping through the streets of DC as Trump entered the White House. Since the video emerged, social media users have set the footage to Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” and the Hamilton soundtrack, and comedian Tim Heidecker even wrote his own tune to celebrate the bashing. Former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau tweeted, “I don’t care how many songs you set Richard Spencer being punched to, I’ll laugh at every one.” Journalists for the New York Times and other major outlets were soon mulling over the question at hand: “Is it OK to punch a Nazi?” A website, isitokaytopunchanazi.com, answered with a gleeful loop of the attack, with one neon-yellow word superimposed atop it: “Yes.”

Yet, this was more than just a morbid social-media sideshow: The attack on Spencer is part of a perennial conflict that may again be escalating. For decades, far-right extremists have faced the militant wrath of “antifas” (short for anti-fascists). With Trump’s campaign having summoned all sorts of white supremacists and other trolls from under their bridges, the old war—which I first got a front-row glimpse into a decade agoappears ready to re-ignite.

This beef goes back to before World War II, when in Europe, a nascent authoritarian movement inspired by Hitler, Mussolini, and Francisco Franco squared off against a popular front coalition of liberals and radicals. At the Battle of Cable Street, in October 1936, Oswald Mosley brought 2,000 members of his British Union of Fascists to march through London’s Jewish East End neighborhood and 100,000 anti-fascists showed up to oppose them. In the resulting melee, Jews, Irishmen, Communists, anarchists, and socialists beat Mosley’s men with sticks, rocks, and sawed-off chair-legs. Local women dumped their chamber pots out of windows onto the heads of Mosley’s men.

Similar conflicts played out several decades later in America. In 1979, in Greensboro, North Carolina, the American Communist Party organized a rally called “Kill the Klan Day.” TV crews filmed as a nine-car caravan of Klansmen and neo-Nazis suddenly showed up and shot at marchers, murdering five participants, though no one was ever convicted of the crime. (In 2014, one self-proclaimed participant, Frazier Glenn Miller, went on a shooting spree at a Jewish cultural center in Kansas, murdering three people. The 74-year-old had just been diagnosed with lung cancer; he said that he “wanted to make damned sure I killed some Jews or attacked the Jews before I died.”)

In 1982, a street gang in Minneapolis named the Baldies began committing what they described as “righteous violence”—a term apocryphally attributed to Henry David Thoreau to describe John Brown’s attack at Harpers Ferry—against neo-Nazis who had started to appear in the city. The Baldies and their opponents both adopted the fashion of British punks—bomber jackets, bald heads, boots and braces—and kicked the Nazis, quite literally, out of town. On one occasion they even collaborated with now Congressman Keith Ellison, then a law student at the University of Minnesota, to lead a protest. “I remember he and the rest of the Black Law Student Association were friendly with us,” a founder of the Baldies told the Minneapolis City Pages. “I think they were just intrigued because we were so young and because we were anti-racist skinheads, which was weird to them.”

The battles in the Twin Cities were followed by a wider spread of neo-Nazi violence. In 1988, three members of a gang called White Aryan Resistance beat a 28-year-old Ethiopian student named Mulugata Serew to death in Portland, Oregon. In 1998, skinheads murdered Daniel Shearsty and Spit Newburn, a pair of anti-racists and best friends from Las Vegas—one black, one a white Marine—in the Nevada desert. The next year, a member of the racist cult World Church of the Creator went on a shooting spree in Indiana, gunning down nine Orthodox Jews, an African-American man, and a Korean graduate student before killing himself.

Anti-fascist groups like Anti-Racist Action, Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice, and the Love and Rage Anarchist Federation fought back. Their members advocated “direct action” against white supremacists, eschewing legislative efforts in favor of physically preventing Nazis from organizing, distributing literature, and speaking in public. To their supporters, these groups merged the moralism of America’s abolitionist tradition with the nihilism of punk rock, and boiled the culture wars down to their most primal element: vicious brawls over racism, sexism, and homophobia. The logic of their direct action was that, if a white-supremacist leader inspired someone to commit a hate crime, police couldn’t intervene until after a violent action had taken place. Anti-fascists wouldn’t wait. “Racism is an idea,” one anonymous ARA member said in the 2000 documentary Invisible Revolution, but “fascism is an idea mixed with action. It took fascism to establish Jim Crow and before that, slavery….Anti-Semitism has been around a long time but it took fascism to make the Holocaust….When you cross that threshold, you negate your rights to a calm, collective conversation.”

My own introduction to what anti-fascism looked like took place in South Philadelphia in 2004, where I attended a house party arranged around a half-keg of High Life in the kitchen. At the center of the gathered crew of mohawked kids was a man named Joe, whose skinny crimson suspenders strained over a swell of jiggling belly. A leader of ARA’s Philadelphia chapter, Joe regaled us with a story about a stranger in a pub who’d once called him a faggot. “So I grabbed this motherfucker by the collar,” he said, “and I dragged him outside.” In the parking lot, Joe explained, he beat the man unconscious. The tale was horrific. But it was also surprising—because Joe was gay, it turned out, as were many of his Philly ARA comrades. He wasn’t insulted by being called a faggot; he was insulted that someone would think there was anything wrong with being one.

“How does it feel!” Joe thundered, when he’d gotten to the climax of his yarn, in which he knocked his antagonist down and kicked him in the head repeatedly. Everyone laughed as Joe pantomimed his victory over the man by stomping the floor of the kitchen with his steel-toe combat boots: “How does it feel to get your head kicked in by a faggot?”

With the dawn of the Trump era, the Joes of the country may be stirring, and Spencer and his fans seem to sense it. On Tuesday, Spencer’s supporters offered a $3,000 bounty to anyone who could identify the alt-right leader’s assailant, and Spencer called for the formation of alt-right vigilante squads to prevent future attacks. “The ANTIFA thug who violently assaulted Spencer hid his face behind a mask,” an anonymous commenter said, “but some think they caught a glimpse of his face. There’s not much to go on—but let’s identify the ANTIFA criminal who punched Richard Spencer.”

Meanwhile, the same day that Spencer was assaulted, a 25-year-old anti-fascist was shot in the stomach during an inauguration protest at the University of Washington, allegedly by an alt-right sympathizer. New groups adopting an anti-fascist outlook such as Redneck Revolt, John Brown Militia, and the Bastards Motorcycle Club appear poised to revive the direct-action tactics of the 1980s and ’90s in order to confront white supremacists emboldened by Trump. Anti-Racist Action’s 20 or so chapters around the country have also promised to join the fray. The day after the inauguration, ARA’s branch in Louisville, Kentucky, posted on their website:

For decades, white supremacists were the face of the enemy and only a minute few dared show their true colors in public. This made them easy to dismiss, easy to ignore…However, recent events have proven that the fascist ideology has not only survived but thrived…Now, their labors of hatred have been rewarded with a sympathetic President-Elect and a federal Congress that is, at best, indifferent to their evil.

A warning to those who wish to destroy what we hold dear; We will resist you in the streets, in the poll booths and in the townhouses. Whether it’s in the bars, the concert halls, the conference centers or even City Hall, we will not allow a platform for your dangerous and divisive ideas. We will not allow history to repeat itself. We will shut you down everywhere you go. We will block your marches. We will interrupt your speeches. We will protest your legislation. We will be the thorn in your side. The glass in your bread. The pain in your ass.

Trump’s presidency is already promising to turn back the clock on American progress in multiple ways, with women’s rights, racial justice, and environmental protections under siege. The return of the war between fascists and anti-fascists is another expression of our current political atavism. This time, given a uniquely pugilistic president of the United States, the battle may rage hotter than ever.

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The Long History of "Nazi Punching"

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Cops’ Feelings on Race Show How Far We Have to Go

Mother Jones

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This week, the Pew Research Center released a report entitled “Behind the Badge,” a comprehensive survey of nearly 8,000 law enforcement officials across the United States examining their attitudes toward their jobs, police protests, interactions with their communities, racial issues, and much more. The report states that it is appearing “at a crisis point in America’s relationship with the men and women who enforce its laws, precipitated by a series of deaths of black Americans during encounters with the police.”

According to 2016 University of Louisville and University of South Carolina study, police fatally shoot black men at disproportionate rates. Since the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, the last few years have been marked with protests leading to a national discussion around race and policing. This report explores how law enforcement officers in the United States view the intersection of policing and race—often, not surprisingly, with very different perspectives between white and black officers.

Here are some of the highlights:

Racial equality: When asked about racial inequality in the country, 92 percent of white officers answered that the United States does not need to make any more changes to achieve equal rights for black Americans. Only 29 percent of black cops agreed. This is in sharp contrast to white civilians, the report notes: Only 57 percent of white adults believe that equal rights have been secured for black people; a mere 8 percent of black people agree, Pew found in a separate survey.
Demonstrations against police: Sixty-eight percent of the officers interviewed say demonstrations against police brutality are motivated by anti-police bias, and 67 percent say the deaths of black people at the hands of police are isolated incidents. Once more, there is a significant racial divide between the respondents: 57 percent of black cops think the high-profile incidents point to a larger problem, while only 27 percent of their white colleagues agree.
Police involvement in immigrant deportation: During the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump supported local law enforcement having more of a role in deporting undocumented immigrants, and a small majority of cops agree. Overall, 52 percent of police officers believe they should have an active role in immigration enforcement; 59 percent of white cops agree, compared with 35 percent of black officers and 38 percent of Hispanic police officers.
Community policing: The idea of training police officers to work with community members to achieve better policing has become the center of the conversation surrounding police reform since President Barack Obama organized a task force around the “community policing” concept. But 56 percent of all police officers interviewed consider an aggressive approach to policing more appropriate in certain neighborhoods than the approach of being courteous. There was no racial breakdown for this result.
Physical confrontation: For most police officers, according to the report, physical confrontations do not occur every day, but one-third of those interviewed reported having a physical struggle with a suspect who was resisting arrest within the last month. Thirty-six percent of white officers reported having such an incident, while 33 percent of Hispanic officers reported the same thing. Only 20 percent of black officers said they had a physical altercation with a suspect.

The report also includes police officers attitudes on job satisfaction and police reform proposals. “Police and the public hold sharply different views about key aspects of policing as well as on some major policy issues facing the country,” the report concludes.

Read the full report here.

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Cops’ Feelings on Race Show How Far We Have to Go

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