We need to remember that policing is but a single component of the larger system of oppression so acutely felt in the Black community.
Civil Rights Movements in Our Time
In the aftermath of the protests and unrest in Baltimore yesterday, President Obama described the situation as a “slow rolling crisis.” This is a unique and significant moment in the history of our nation. At a conference this weekend on Othering & Belonging, New York Times columnist Charles Blow observed that “we are in the … Continue reading »
The Black Record: Why we don’t know how often police kill
In Killing Them Softly, comedian Dave Chappelle explained how fearful he was to call the police when someone broke into his house. Now why would someone in a free country like America be afraid to call the police to their own home if they were the victim? Although a modest home, the house was too nice, Chappelle joked, “and they’d never … Continue reading »
How Many Black Boys Have to Die?
Although the “facts” are still in dispute, it’s not presumptuous to add Michael Brown of Ferguson, Missouri to the list of young black men and boys killed by overzealous police or armed civilians: Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Sean Bell, Amadou Diallo, Oscar Grant, Jordan Davis and so many more, including young women like Renisha McBride. The … Continue reading »
What is nonviolence?
Having taught nonviolence at Berkeley for over a quarter of a century, I feel called to respond to the judgment of Chancellor Birgenau and UC police Capt. Margo Bennett that the students who linked arms to keep police from dismantling a tent outside Sproul Hall on November 9th were, as Chancellor Birgenau put it, “not … Continue reading »