With November’s elections failing to achieve a change in leadership, the year 2014 was disappointing for progressives.
Obviously and unfortunately, there are many similarities among the matters involving Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Eric Garner in New York and the Dontre Hamilton situation here in Milwaukee.
Actually, it is even clearer than in the other two cases that the victim — Dontre Hamilton — was not approached by a police officer based on an alleged reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, as there was no suspicion of crime in Mr. Hamilton’s case, and still the interaction led to the same outcome — his death at the hands of a police officer.
Formalizing a decision already hinted at in 2013, the National Basketball Association included as a condition of the Milwaukee Bucks’ sale that a new arena be constructed to house the team. If a new arena was not constructed, the league could buy back the team, potentially resulting in Milwaukee losing the Bucks as our professional basketball franchise.
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We as human beings had the ability to dig ourselves into this ditch of racism and we can dig ourselves out. Here are seven things I know for sure about racism:
The midterm elections and their aftermath show the extent to which our democracy is failing. In the primary races leading up to Nov. 4, a record low of only 7 percent of Americans said they had “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in Congress. Yet nearly all incumbents survived their primary challenges.
ColorOfChange.org, the nation’s largest online civil rights organization, is urging both local and national media to be particularly mindful of their coverage of the protests in Ferguson, Missouri and across the country in the wake of the grand jury’s impending decision regarding Officer Darren Wilson.
Recognition of the dangers posed by a hostile media climate for Black people is crucial at this very important juncture in our nation’s history. In the wake of yet another young life lost to police violence, hundreds of thousands have taken to the streets to express their outrage and demand better of law enforcement, as well as our justice system. This is a constitutional right. Our media should aid in the protection of those rights, rather than contribute to a racist drumbeat against them.
Congrats are due to two bona fide lesbian geniuses: artist Alison Bechdel and legal eagle Mary L. Bonauto. Both received prestigious MacArthur Foundation genius grants in 2014.