Diversity Headlines

Officer Darren Wilson Lives in Crestwood, Black Population 1.3%

Colorlines - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 15:11
Officer Darren Wilson Lives in Crestwood, Black Population 1.3%

Ferguson's police department hasn't shared much about officer Darren Wilson, who they say shot and killed unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown on Saturday. But USA Today visited Wilson's home today in Crestwood, Missouri. 

The geographic difference between Ferguson and Crestwood is tiny--a short 26 miles away. But the demographic differences are severe. In 2012, the median household income in Ferguson was $36,121; it was nearly double for Crestwood, at $64,724. And while Ferguson is a largely black city where 64.9 percent of residents are black, Crestwood's black population is tiny, at just 1.3 percent. Wilson previously worked in nearby Jennings, where the black population is 86.1 percent.

Wilson has policed two cities with majority black working class populations. Cities that look nothing like the one he calls home.  


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Categories: Diversity Headlines

Officer Darren Wilson to Young Woman: 'Shut the F Up, Sit the F Down'

Colorlines - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 13:47

CNN's Don Lemon is in Ferguson today talking to local residents about new developments there related to Saturday's shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who we now know was shot and killed by Officer Darren Wilson. 

A young woman, whom Lemon fails to identify, shared a troubling story about her encounter with Officer Wilson about a month ago--in which she alleges that Wilson mistreated her, making her suffer the effects of a painful macing. She says Wilson also threatened her with arrest. 

"I looked at his nametag and I was telling myself that I'd never forget who he was and what he did to me," she explains. When she saw his name in the news this morning, the young woman says she knew exactly who Darren Wilson was. 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson Fled Town 'Days Ago'

Colorlines - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 13:47
Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson Fled Town 'Days Ago'

While police, armed and armored to the hilt, staged a paramilitary operation in Ferguson, Missouri this week, the officer who started it all had already left town. Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, a six-year veteran who shot and killed Michael Brown on Saturday, was nowhere to be found when USA Today reporters visited his home in Crestwood, Missouri today. A police officer stationed in front of Wilson’s home told the paper that “Wilson and his family left days ago,” USA Today reported.

Yamiche Alcindor, Marisol Bello and Aamer Madhani reported for USA Today:

A neighbor, who did not want to be identified, said that Wilson had moved into the neighborhood less than a year ago. She described him as ” tall and slim” and that she would see him walking his dog in the neighborhood of mostly single-story brick homes. She said she didn’t know he was the cop until this morning when Crestwood police informed residents that he was involved and the neighborhood would be getting attention.

Another neighbor, Ron Gorski, said he hopes Wilson gets a fair break.

“He’s a young guy,” Gorski said of Wilson. “Things happen and it’s a complicated situation. I feel for the family and the entire country.”

Complicated, sure. If police response thus far has been any indication, Wilson’s neighbors ought to be more concerned about the “fair break” Brown and his family and community will get.

Categories: Diversity Headlines

9 Things about Ferguson that Will Make You Go Hmmm

Colorlines - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 13:47
9 Things about Ferguson that Will Make You Go Hmmm

It was bad enough that a police officer shot and killed a black teenager in Ferguson, but the way the city has handled itself since leaves a lot to be desired.

Ferguson's been compared to a war zone and a police state--and headlines illustrate that people all over the planet are trying to make sense of what's happening in the United States. Missouri's governor, who took five days to finally arrive to the area,  is promising a different "tone" from police this evening; Attorney General Eric Holder, meanwhile, says that he's concerned at the militarization he's seen. 

Here are nine moments, starting from Saturday, that make you wonder how Ferguson got so much, so wrong:

Killing Michael Brown
Because the police, Justice Department and FBI haven't divulged details of their investigations into Brown's shooting, all we have to go by are eyewitness accounts. And those accounts indicate that Brown was essentially executed:

 

Militarizing the streets from day one
M-16s, armored trucks, tanks, tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper shots didn't just start today. As local residents have documented, police displayed a massive show of force just hours after Brown's shooting:

#Ferguson Regardless of what color you are; the militarized police response here is BONECHILLING pic.twitter.com/uumztSc6c8

-- LiNCOLN PARK (@linc0lnpark) August 10, 2014

 

Refusing to name Brown's killer
It's been five days since Brown was shot and killed by a police officer, and the Ferguson police department is still refusing to make the officer's name public:

Rev. Jamal Bryant questioning why Ferguson police won't release name of officer who shot Mike Brown. Urges peace. pic.twitter.com/UCN0hYCgBY

-- Trymaine Lee (@trymainelee) August 12, 2014

 

Declining to interview key witnesses
Dorian Johnson was walking down the street with Brown as a police car approached them on Saturday. Moments later, Brown was killed. But Johnson says local police have declined to interview him about what he witnessed:

 

Declaring a no fly zone
Although it was soon lifted, the Federal Aviation Administration initially agreed to restrict flights over Ferguson. The agency claimed it was for the safety of officers involved--but it also restricted airspace for media helicopters:

.@FAA lifted flight restrictions moments ago. The airlines will resume normal flight paths. #flystl

-- Lambert-STL Airport (@flystl) August 12, 2014

 

Attacking journalists with tear gas
SWAT officers aimed tear gas at Al Jazeera reporters--who had to run away and leave behind their own equipment:

 

Arresting journalists
In an attack on the First Amendment, police entered a McDonald's and arrested two journalists:

Arresting an alderman
Antonio French has been the most visible and consistent community journalist on the ground in Ferguson. Is that why he spent a night in jail?

After a night in the #Ferguson jail, I'm free. My staffers who were also arrested last night are also free. Thank you for all the support.

-- Antonio French (@AntonioFrench) August 14, 2014

 

À la 1964, Ferguson police chief claims 'outside agitators'
It's reminiscent of the Civil Rights Era 50 years ago. In an interview with Sean Hannity on Fox Wednesday, Ferguson's police chief, Tom Jackson, claimed "outside agitators are causing the violence" (you can forward to 05:28 to hear it):

Watch the latest video at <a href=”http://video.foxnews.com”>video.foxnews.com</a>

Categories: Diversity Headlines

J. Cole Honors Mike Brown, Releases New Song 'Be Free'

Colorlines - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 13:47
J. Cole Honors Mike Brown, Releases New Song 'Be Free'

J. Cole has a new song out that speaks directly to the rage following Mike Brown’s murder in Ferguson. The track is called “Be Free” and features cover art of the widely circulated social media image of Brown’s body sprawled on the sidewalk after he was shot and killed by a police officer. On it, J. Cole sings his painful plea: “Can you tell me why/every time I step outside I see my niggas die?/ I’m letting you know, that it ain’t no gun that they make that can kill my soul.”

Cole released a written message with the song: “Rest in Peace to Michael Brown and to every young black man murdered in America, whether by the hands of white or black. I pray that one day the world will be filled with peace and rid of injustice. Only then will we all Be Free - Cole”

Within the first 6 hours after it was uploaded to Soundcloud, the track has been played more than 62,000 times. 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

What White St. Louis Says About Ferguson

Colorlines - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 13:47
What White St. Louis Says About Ferguson

Julia Ioffe has done something that reporters rarely do. She went to one of St. Louis' predominantly white suburbs and asked residents what they think these days about neighboring Ferguson, scene of the fatal shooting last Saturday of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown by officer Darren Wilson. Their comments lack empathy. And notably, no one reveals their name for publication. Never mind. What's important is that Ioffe asked white St. Louis residents what they thought in the first place.

Too often, white perspectives go missing when national media reports on a "race story." They show up at a remove in surveys about white attitudes, studies about the criminal justice system, or as anonymous or ranting opinions in an online comments section--but less so as real people quoted in the reported story. This absence especially shouldn't happen in Ferguson.

Early reporting situates this week of protest within racially skewed power dynamics, regional disinvestment, residential segregation and racial profiling by local police to say the least. White St. Louis residents probably have a lot to say about that--and not all share views with those anonymous folks in Ioffe's reporting. But first, let's hope other reporters even ask. They are a crucial part of the Ferguson story, too.

(h/t The New Republic)

Categories: Diversity Headlines

We Did Not See This Coming, But We See Where It Came From

New America Media - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 13:31
Photo by Wiley PriceWith deep humility, we admit we did not see this coming, and not where it came – in a ring suburb, rather than in the city – though we can see where it came from.North St. Louis... Staff http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

NABJ, NAHJ Condemn Reporter Arrests in Ferguson, Mo.

New America Media - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 12:53
The National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists released statements condemning the oppression of news media that took place in Ferguson, Missouri on Wednesday, in response to last week’s police shooting of unarmed African-American teenager... New America Media http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Unarmed Black Man, Ezell Ford, Murdered by Police in LA

New America Media - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 10:47
While the country is still reeling from the news and aftermath of the fatal shooting by police of unarmed Ferguson, Mo., teen Michael Brown, KTLA is reporting that a 25-year-old mentally challenged man was shot and killed in Los Angeles... Stephen A. Crockett Jr. http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

American Muslims Sue for Being Watchlisted Without Due Process

Colorlines - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 10:31
American Muslims Sue for Being Watchlisted Without Due Process

On Thursday, five American Muslims filed a lawsuit in federal court charging that they were added to the federal watchlist of "known or suspected terrorists" without due process. 

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Yaseen Kadura, Naji Abduljaber, Abdus Samad Tootla, Alaa Saade and Ahmed Saleh Abusaleh by the Michigan chapter of the Council and American Islamic Relations (CAIR) to challenge "the government's broad and unchecked power to secretly label individuals as 'known or suspected terrorists' without concrete facts, but based on only a vague standard of 'reasonable suspicion,'" said CAIR attorney Lena Masri in a statement. 

"The federal government has unjustly and disproportionately targeted American Muslims by routinely adding their names to the Terrorist Screening Database without affording them their rights to due process," Masri said.

The lawsuit asked that the federal government notify those who are being placed on the watch list, and offer an opportunity to challenge their placement on it. Some 1.1 million people were on the watchlist by the end of 2013, AP reported. Dearborn, Michigan, with a large Muslim population, ranks second on a list of cities with the largest representation of those on the federal terrorist watchlist.

The lawsuit was filed just weeks after The Intercept first reported that the federal government had been secretly monitoring the email of American Muslims.

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Why Did Ferguson Explode?

Colorlines - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 10:19
Why Did Ferguson Explode?

Ferguson escalated last night and first thing across my screen this morning was a powerful, soul searching editorial from black weekly, The St. Louis American. Outsiders don't know Ferguson or St. Louis like they do. They answer the million-dollar question: Why did Ferguson explode? "With deep humility we admit we did not see this coming," it begins. But from there it documents abandonment, disinvestment and persecution experienced by a generation of perhaps poorly educated but observant and intuitive young people. The St. Louis American is today's essential reading on what's happening in Ferguson. 

On schooling:

It may take a village to raise a child, but many administrators and parents in better-resourced parts of our region had no problem saying quite publicly that Michael Brown and his brothers and sisters [who wished to transfer from their unaccredited districts] did not belong in their village.

On police-community relations:

In many North County municipalities, it seems police run contests to see how many young black men you can pull over, flaunting the officers' power and the motorists' powerlessness....

But Michael Brown was not pulled over while driving. He was told to get out of the street while walking. For offering what was initially, according to an eyewitness, the mildest of resistance to a rude and unnecessary police order, this unarmed teen was shot in the middle of the day, and his bullet-riddled body left by police to lay in the street for hours, as if to provide a grisly example.

That did it. That's what drove people (not just young people) to act out their pent-up rage. That's what drove people to demonstrate (which is within their rights). 

Read the rest at The St. Louis American.

 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

'Black America's CNN': 10 Rappers Who Are Tweeting About Ferguson

Colorlines - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 10:19
 10 Rappers Who Are Tweeting About Ferguson

In the late 1980s, Public Enemy's Chuck D famously declared that "Rap is CNN for black people." To the extent that that's true nearly three decades later, rappers across the country have been tweeting in reaction to the police violence that's been unleashed on the black residents in Ferguson in the aftermath of Mike Brown's killing. Some, like Bambu and Jasiri X, are actively involved in community organizing. Others, like Jean Grae, have reached back into their personal histories to talk about the legacies of state-sanctioned violence. And then there's Questlove, who's not a rapper, but as influential as any musician in America right now. No matter the message, thousands of fans are tuned in. 

Obama ... Mike Brown could've been your son ... We need help here.

-- Tef Poe/FootKlan (@TefPoe) August 14, 2014

Dudes be quiet abt racism & brutality for years but got words of wisdom for so called "rioters?" Yea ok

-- Talib Kweli Greene (@TalibKweli) August 14, 2014

We trust what we are told by our oppressors entirely too much. We are too quick to blame ourselves for our oppression.

-- Talib Kweli Greene (@TalibKweli) August 14, 2014

If you as a celebrity wait for CNN & Fox to talk about problems in our community before you do then YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM.

-- Talib Kweli Greene (@TalibKweli) August 14, 2014

wow, strange to see the power/reach of the net: other territories (turkey/palestine) giving #Fergeson citizens advice on dealing w tear gas

-- Questlove Gomez (@questlove) August 14, 2014

wow. i just read what i wrote: palestine and turkey are giving ST LOUIS citizens TIPS on how to survive tear gas attacks....

-- Questlove Gomez (@questlove) August 14, 2014

------TEAR GAS ATTACKS. in this this country. OTHER countries, are offering advice on how to survi---man....im just....man.

-- Questlove Gomez (@questlove) August 14, 2014

My parents self-exiled to the US after the Soweto uprising in 1976. Murdering kids, race war, tear gas, rubber bullets. Hello, 2014 America.

-- Jean STFU Grae (@JeanGreasy) August 14, 2014

That sound cannon that the police is using in Ferguson was used in Iraq and Somalia and causes permanent hearing loss

-- Jasiri X (@jasiri_x) August 14, 2014

twitter activism is wack. marches don't work anymore. police should be forced to wear recording devices.

-- childish gambino (@donaldglover) August 14, 2014

If the community is angry at the police state in their neighborhood, why would you send more police in?

-- BAMBU (@BambuDePistola) August 12, 2014

We helped build you for free. Then we are asked to pay taxes. Violence is what you taught us America. You are the aggressor historically.

-- DAVID BANNER (@THEREALBANNER) August 10, 2014

Lets not forget that NYPD killer cop Daniel Pantaleo is still free. It was ruled a homicide! Its been 27 days since Eric Garner was murdered

-- RodrigoStarz (@RodrigoStarz) August 14, 2014

.@RobReaves1 If Black People don't make controlled URBAN media accountable, they will continue to fuel& foster a climate killing our youth

-- Chuck D (@MrChuckD) August 14, 2014
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Ferguson Names Shooter But is Still Doing it Wrong

Colorlines - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 10:03
Ferguson Names Shooter But is Still Doing it Wrong

Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson finally released the name of Michael Brown's shooter this morning: Darren Wilson. But in doing so, he took the opportunity to distribute still images and video from a robbery that he says occurred Saturday morning before Brown was shot and killed. Ferguson has already failed on multiple levels since Brown's shooting. Today's development just adds to that list.

In the images and video released to the media this morning, someone who is purported to be Brown is seen pushing another person assumed to be a store clerk. We're told that the person identified as Brown stole a box of little cigars.

The problem here is that the supposed images of Brown, along with the unverified allegation that he carried out a "strong-arm robbery," primes the media--and its readers--to focus on the wrong suspect.

Rather than releasing images of Darren Wilson--who's suspected of something far more serious than theft-- this emphasis places blame on the victim. Even if it's confirmed that Brown took a box of cigars and pushed a store clerk in one place, he was killed in another--and witnesses claim the 18-year-old was essentially executed in cold blood

Aside from not having images of Wilson, we don't even know how many shots he fired. We lack basic facts about the investigation into Wilson, assuming one is truly under way. 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Stay Alive, Black Men, Stay Alive

New America Media - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 10:00
This is what I do whenever I see flashing lights in my rearview mirror: I put on my hazard lights and pull over as soon as safely possible. Then I put the car in park, roll down both front windows... T.J. Holmes http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson: Trans Pioneers, BFFs, Film Stars

Colorlines - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 08:46

Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson were two trans activists whose contributions to the 1969 Stonewall Riots were somewhat lost to history. Now, two modern-day activists have raised more than $25,000 on Kickstarter to bring the story of their radical friendship to new audiences.

Reina Gossett and Sasha Wortzel wrapped up the successful crowdsourcing campaign for "Happy Birthday, Marsha," a short narrative film based on the hot summer day in June of 1969 when the two friends helped make history. 

When Marsha and Sylvia, self-proclaimed "street queens" - homeless, Black & Latina trans women - ignite the Stonewall Rebellion, they change LGBT politics forever. It's a hot summer day in June, 1969. Marsha throws a party, but no one shows up. Meanwhile, Sylvia gets stoned and forgets the party after unsuccessfully introducing her lover to her family. Throughout the difficult day, the friends struggle with harassment and alienation before converging at the Stonewall Inn to finally celebrate Marsha's birth. Unbeknownst to them, the NYPD has plans to raid the bar that night.Happy Birthday, Marsha! is the story of two brave best friends and the everyday decisions they made that changed the course of history.

As Wortzel says in the Kickstarter video, the film is about "the everyday choices that can change the course of history." It's currently in pre-production, according to a tweet from Wortzel:

Thank you for making @hbdmarsha @kickstarter a huge success! On with pre-production with @reinagossett! pic.twitter.com/B3sSuv6Org

-- Sasha Wortzel (@SashaWortzel) August 15, 2014
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Michael Brown's Shooter: Darren Wilson

Colorlines - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 07:50

It's taken nearly a week to reveal the identity of the Ferguson police officer that shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown last Saturday. His name is Darren Wilson, an officer who's served on the force for six years.

Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson police disclosed Wilsons's name in front of the local QuikTrip, which was burned down on Sunday during clashes between police and demonstrators.

Jackson also referred to a "strongarm robbery" that Saturday--although it's unclear if it had any connection to Brown's killing. The mention of a "suspect" in connection to this case appears to have angered local residents attending the press conference this morning in Ferguson. 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

No. Michael Brown Couldn't Have Been Obama's Son

Colorlines - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 07:35
No. Michael Brown Couldn't Have Been Obama's Son

Last July President Obama addressed the nation about the shameful George Zimmerman verdict delivered in Sanford, Florida. He famously claimed that Trayvon Martin could have been his son and went into detail about how "very few African-American men" could say that they haven't been racially profiled:

"You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago. And when you think about why, in the African American community at least, there's a lot of pain around what happened here, I think it's important to recognize that the African American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn't go away."

A little over a year later the president addressed the nation about the Ferguson, Missouri, police killing of 18-year-old, unarmed Michael Brown. The remarks stand out for what the second-term president left out. He didn't once mention race. 

This strategy defies logic. Ferguson is not one of those instances where racism exists only in the eyes of the oppressed. Mainstream outlets such as the Washington Post have reported that racism and segregation play a role in Ferguson policing. Race informs the posts of thousands of social media users--including those using the #IfTheyGunnedMeDown hashtag. If that's not enough, Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson announced on Wednesday that "race relations" are now a "top priority" for the department. This year alone we've seen the police-involved deaths or attacks on unarmed black people including Eric Garner, John Crawford IIIMarlene PinnockUrsula Ore and Ezell Ford*. Even the jackasses who accuse people of "playing the race card" would agree that race is a factor in the Brown shooting and its aftermath. And yet we have the First Black President of the United States avoiding even the slightest mention of race and racism when discussing Michael Brown. 

The president hit all the obligatory marks: He called the Brown death "tragic." Of course he exhorted some protestors stating, "There is never an excuse for violence against police or those who would use this tragedy as a cover for vandalism and looting." He celebrated the leadership of Missouri Governor Jay Nixon who let five days pass before arriving in Ferguson. And (thankfully) he said, "There is also no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protests or to throw protesters in jail for lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights." And yet we couldn't even get a euphemism about race in the Brown case.

The answer may lie in two factors: 1) Unlike Martin, Brown was killed by a police officer rather than a random neighborhood watch fanatic. And 2) There has been rioting in response to Brown's slaying. From the former we see how Obama won't take on the intersection between race and police violence as an issue, even in urgent situations. From the latter we see what appears to be the politics of respectability at work.

I get the optics; Obama can't in any way identify with civil unrest. But what about telling the truth about police brutality against black people? In his remarks he instructed listeners to "remember how this started. We lost a young man, Michael Brown, in heartbreaking and tragic circumstances." That's the understatement of 2014. Brown wasn't "lost" to us; he was snatched from his family and community by a still-unnamed cop. The circumstances aren't just "heartbreaking" and "tragic." They are unacceptable. But we won't see the president pull out that folksy tone he uses when chiding black audiences for making excuses and blaming colonialism for Africa's economic problems. For Michael Brown, he emphasizes law and order--even though a policeman was the one who pulled the trigger.

*This post has been updated since publication. 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Following Ferguson: Thursday's Roundup

Colorlines - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 07:34
 Thursday's Roundup

A new eyewitness last night shared her account of the shooting death of unarmed teen Michael Brown by a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer. Tiffany Mitchell's description of Brown is graphic, cautions local station KMOV, and matches the statement given by Brown's friend, Dorian Johnson. After last night's arrests and tear-gas volleys and today's presidential address, the court of public opinion is in highest gear. Here's what to keep in mind as you wade through (and for those just joining, start here):

The militarization of local police forces has a long history--and libertarian Sen. Rand Paul is calling for its end. In St. Louis County, according to an August 2013 report, about neighbors shaken up by the sight of heavily armed officers, police have been using SWAT teams to serve felony warrants, no matter what they're for. This June, the ACLU issued a comprehensive report, War Comes Home--and they don't mean St. Louis.

Ferguson is not Watts, 1965. It's not even Crown Heights, 1991. Today's St. Louis American editorial provides perhaps the best first draft of history you'll read explaining why Ferguson residents stood together in the hours following Brown's death. Ferguson fits into the well-documented history of police abuse triggering demonstrations and riots. But pay attention too, to Ferguson's differences. They may indicate whether we're witnessing something new.

Among many African-Americans, feeling themselves drown in a waterfall of murdered unarmed men and women, pushback against the Obama model is gaining fresh ears. From Duke University professor Mark Anthony Neal:

Six years into the Obama Presidency, we now realize that pulled-up, belted pants, neatly-pressed dress-suits and bow-ties are apparently a policy initiative intended to save Black men and boys. President Obama was seemingly shamed into the creation of My Brother's Keeper (MBK), in the aftermath of the Trayvon [Martin] shooting and with the stark realization (via every index imaginable) that the lives of Black youth were not significantly better under his leadership, and perhaps worse.

Finally, consider how Michael Brown's death in suburban, out-of-the-way Ferguson became news in the first place--and be wary of threats to the spread of that information. Zeynep Tufekci's*, "What Happens to #Ferguson Affects Ferguson" is a great primer on legislative and corporate efforts to further restrict Internet freedoms. Also, the arrest-and-release of mainstream journalists rightly provoked the Twitterati's furor last night and drew President Obama's attention today. But many if not most journalists capturing the pulse of communities like Ferguson do not work for mainstream media. They're freelancers or citizen journalists like Alderman Antonio French, also arrested and held last night. From Tufekci*:

The citizen journalists held on, even as choked from the gas, some traditional media started going live from the region, and today, [Ferguson's] on the front page of many newspapers.

As always, feel free to share your own must-click links. See you back here tomorrow.

* Post has been updated.

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Brown's Shooter's Name Released, Panama Canal Turns 100 and Downton's Plastic Bottle

Colorlines - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 07:09
Brown's Shooter's Name Released, Panama Canal Turns 100 and Downton's Plastic Bottle

Here's what I'm reading up on this morning: 

  • Michael Brown's shooter has been identified as Darren Wilson. 
  • Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Malaki steps down
  • Is Amazon the new Ministry of Truth? George Orwell's executor thinks so after the retail giant publishes a letter full of doublespeak. 
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Vigils Sweep the Country to Remember Victims of Police Violence

Colorlines - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 06:57
Vigils Sweep the Country to Remember Victims of Police Violence

Thousands of people took to the streets of American cities on Thursday night to remember the victims of police violence. They hoisted the names of images of people whose youth and blackness made them targets: Mike Brown, Ezell Ford, Eric Garner, Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin. And they wondered aloud if they, or their brothers or cousins or best friends, would be next.

The events represented an almost unprecedented degree of quick-thinking online organizing led by Feminista Jones. Protestors took to the streets of cities like New York, Chicago, Oakland, Denver and Decatur to stand in solidarity with residents of Ferguson, the St. Louis suburb that's been awash in demonstrations and police violence since an officer shot and killed unarmed 18-year-old Mike Brown last Saturday.

Here are some of the images from last night's vigils.

[<a href="//storify.com/JamilahKing/nmos14-remembering-victims-of-police-violence" target="_blank">View the story "#NMOS14: Remembering Victims of Police Violence" on Storify</a>]
Categories: Diversity Headlines
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