March 4, 2016
Contact: Rachel Noerdlinger/Jon Weinstein
By Attorney Roy Miller –Blacknews.com
Nationwide — When you begin building a structure that tilts from the ground up, like the leaning Tower of Pisa, it can never be made perfect, but will forever remain in its skewed position without falling. Race relations in America can never be ameliorated because of the founding document that undergirds U.S. laws. Although there is a lot of racial turmoil in America today, most Americans may want better race relations, but our laws prevent progress while at the same time aid the wishes of diehard racists.
The United States is constrained by the Paris Treaty of 1783, which gave America its independence when the Revolutionary War ended. The Paris Treaty was an agreement between the United States and England, but involved a host of other European nations. The United States can never make laws that conflict with the intent of the Paris Treaty, which is at the root of race relation problems in America. It is the foundation of our Constitution and an agreement that our Constitution can never breach.
The Paris Treaty and the U.S. Constitution combined are only a few pages long, but together they have been the genesis of large libraries filled with books, court rulings and laws. Because the Paris Treaty and the U.S. Constitution are “Documents of Implications” they imply policies based on what the Powers That Be deem to be expedient.
The Paris Treaty, which divides people by race, is still in effect. In it slaves were defined as property under the 7th Article, which states “All prisoners on Both sides shall be set at Liberty and his Britanic Majesty shall with all convenient speed, and without causing any Destruction or carrying away any Negroes or other Property of the American inhabitants.” Implying that Negroes were property placed an inferiority label on the African American race and also amounted to a forever inheritance of superiority to one race over another.
We know that the United States recognizes Native Americans as nations with designated territories and boundary lines. Thus Native Americans were forcibly made into a government- recognized nation by the United States according to the European definition. This was justification for America to conquer them and maintain ongoing treaties between nations. The Cambridge English Dictionary describes a treaty as “a written agreement between two or more countries, formally approved and signed by their leaders:” Such treaties would legally concede property and place Native Americans as inferior and subject to compliance with United States laws and forced civilization. Examples of such treaties are the 1778 Treaty with The Delawares, Article VI and the 1791 Treaty with the Cherokee, Article III.
America related to African Americans through their slave status and to Native Americans through forced nationhood and treaties, setting the stage for the flawed race relations that exist today. Indeed America could have healthier race relations, but the U.S. does not have the independent power to cure its racism. To violate the Paris Treaty would have international consequences because many nations prosper from the Golden Goose called the United States of America.
Our Preamble’s designation of “We the People” includes all other races except the Black American and the Native American in order to stay in compliance with the Paris Treaty. “We The People” can never include African Americans as equal therefore various forms of “Separate but Equal” type laws and divisive Constitutional amendments, based on race are used as justification.
America is a machine programmed for poor race relations and we cannot fix a machine that does not belong to us. America belongs to international investors who went along with injustice for the reward. I have examined the machine, but a cure is not an option for those who do did not retain the power to cure the illness of racism.
Today we see a malnourished plant called good race relations languish in fallow ground and wonder what’s wrong. To find a cure, we must first look beneath the surface and examine the root. For America, that would mean changing the wording of our Constitution and our laws to make it clear that every citizen is to be treated the same, and all laws implying difference in races should be modified to make it clear that every citizen of the United States of America is included in “We The People.” Then we can begin to fix America’s flawed racial equality system.
I woke up Wednesday morning to a slew of confused Facebook statuses and tweets. Most of them read something like this:
“So disappointed in my country right now. How could we let a blatant racist get so far in this election?”
Because this country is racist. I know it seems crazy, but your Facebook friend from high school isn’t the only one in the country who still calls black people monkeys and assumes all Hispanics are here illegally.
Before I get called un-American, or a hater or whatever else Trump supporters will put in the comments let me say that I love this country. I’ve grown up very fortunate and privileged to live in America and for that I am thankful. Truly. But growing up black I was taught a lot earlier than my beige complexioned friends that this country wasn’t built to protect people like me.
That is how Trump is winning in the polls.
People aren’t voting for him as a joke, they actually believe in this man. I’m just trying to figure out how it is such a shock to those who don’t want to see him elected.
“The sudden concern people have because of Trump’s approval confuses me. To me, his success is obvious.”
America was not built to protect the people that Trump denounces. That’s why when three black Muslims were murdered, execution style, in Fort Wayne, Indiana last week the police said there was “no reason to believe this is any type of hate crime or focus because of their religion or nationality.”
It’s also why George Zimmerman has six mugshots (and counting because let’s be honest, he’s not done yet) but is free to live and Trayvon Martin is dead. And it’s definitely why mostly white men still have the power to decide what a woman does and doesn’t do with her body.
America may technically be a melting pot, but it was founded by white men, who considered people of color three-fifths of a person. Although we’ve come a long way since then, we do still refer to a Constitution that may be a tad bit out of touch.
With all that’s happened in this country to the very people that Trump disrespects, his success at the polls shouldn’t be a surprise. He’s not speaking to those of us that believe in equality and justice for all. He knows his audience hates all things that might even be considered politically correct. That’s why he pretends to not be familiar with the KKK. It’s why he keeps talking about a wall that Mexico definitely is not going to pay for, and it’s why he’s winning.
The sudden concern people have because of Trump’s approval confuses me. To me, his success is obvious. This country has been having a constant conversation about race for almost two years now. More than we have before. Trump comes in and ignores all of that. He speaks to the people who don’t believe that black and brown lives matter and for the people who think their unemployment is due to someone from Mexico coming to America and “stealing” opportunities from them.
Just because slavery is abolished and we have a black president doesn’t mean as a country we are absolved from our racist past (or our current racist tendencies). It’s ingrained in our culture. It’s called systemic racism.
I hate to be the one to break this to you all, but this country is filled with bigots and some of them have power, one of them is running for the highest elected position in the country. I can’t promise you that voting for someone else is going to ensure he doesn’t win, nor can I say whether or not someone else would do a better job, but I encourage everyone to educate themselves. Not just on the issues of this election and where the candidates stand, but on our nation’s history, systemic racism and how it manifests. A lack of education and understanding is what’s allowing this man to win states overwhelmingly.
Let’s make it stop.
by Jason Lee –theGrio.com
“Waaaaaake UP!” This was the challenge South Carolina voters got from Chiraq Director and newly minted Bernie Sanders supporter, Spike Lee, in a radio ad released by Sanders’ presidential campaign last week.
Clearly intended to improve Sanders’ flagging support amongst South Carolina’s black voters, Lee screamed the famous line from his 1988 film School Daze to draw black attention to Sanders’ oft repeated but valid critiques of Wall Street and the “rigged economy.”
If we look beyond the yelling, however, Spike Lee’s ad speaks to a much deeper and discouraging reality about the Democratic Party’s relationship to black voters. Almost since their candidacy announcements, and especially after this year’s Democratic Presidential Primary moved beyond the lily-white electorates of Iowa and New Hampshire, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders have been locked in an intense and often ludicrous, competition to win the “Black Vote.”
For full article click here.
Concerned that there may be dramatic drop off in the record turnout of Black voters that propelled Barack Obama to the Presidency eight years ago, a group of veteran New York political and civil rights operatives launched Black Votes Matter PAC in an effort to maximize Black voter turnout and candidate attention to issues critical to Black communities and families in the battleground states of Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Virginia. Drop-off in Black voter turnout in those states will put in jeopardy policies important to the Black community and result in the election of a President and other elected officials antithetical to the interests of Black Americans.
In a muggy, cramped Baptist church here Tuesday night, five grieving mothers —- all of whom have lost a child to gun violence or allegations of police brutality -— sat on stage beside Hillary Clinton, Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly for a roundtable where they shared their stories, made a plea for gun control and offered their heart-felt endorsements of the Democratic presidential candidate.
“Nobody reached out to us. Nobody listened to us. Nobody said black lives matter until this brave and powerful woman stood up for us,” Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed teenager who was killed by George Zimmerman in 2012, said about Clinton at the Central Baptist Church in Columbia, S.C.
Fulton is one of the five women who call themselves the “Mothers of the Movement,” referring to a growing, national effort to end racial violence and to reform the criminal justice system. The group also includes the mothers of Eric Garner, Dontre Hamilton, Jordan Davis and Sandra Bland.
For full story click here.
Actor and director Spike Lee lent his voice to a radio campaign ad this week, throwing his support behind Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders. This endorsement comes just before the Democratic South Carolina primary this weekend.
In a radio ad that will begin running on Tuesday in the state, Lee calls on South Carolinians to “Wake up” and vote for Sanders.
“I know and you know the system is rigged. For too long we’ve given our votes to corporate puppets,” Lee says in the ad. “Ninety-nine percent of Americans were hurt in the Great Recession of 2008 and many are still recovering.”
That’s why, Lee tells listeners, he’s voting for Sanders who “takes no money from corporations — nada.” Lee goes on to recount some of the times Sanders has shown his loyalty to the progression of social justice, “no flipping, no flopping.”
“When Bernie gets into the White House he will do the right thing,” Lee declares, referencing his 1988 film “Do the Right Thing.”
Lee’s recent film “Chi-raq,” which was in cinemas this past December, explored race politics and the working class in Chicago.
According to the Hill, Sanders’ campaign denied telling reporters how much money was spent on the ad.
Other influential African-American leaders and icons, like NAACP President Ben Jealous, Harry Belafonte, Cornel West and Ta-Nehisi Coates, have already publicly endorsed Sanders.
African-Americans, who will make up more than half of the South Carolina voters turning out for the Democratic primaries according to the Guardian, are a crucial demographic for Sanders’ campaign.
BY JESSE JACKSON
February 23, 2016
In the presidential campaign, we’ve seen labels on immigrants, fear
mongering about Syrian refugees, arguments over Medicare for All and al
Obamacare, concerns about big money corrupting our politics and more.
But too little attention has been paid to the one thing on which there
should be consensus within and between the parties: the need to rebuild
We didn’t need the horrors of children at risk from fouled lead pipes
in Flint, Mich., to know that our infrastructure is dangerously
decrepit. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) issues a report
card every four years on our infrastructure, detailing the level of our
investment deficit. According to the most recent report card, issued in
2013, simply to get the country’s drinking water — drinking water — in
safe shape would cost more than $1 trillion over the next 25 years.
The report card pegged the immediate cost of fixing at-risk bridges at
$76 billion. Add fixing unsafe schools, repairing mass transit,
disposing of hazardous waste and maintaining other basics, and ASCE
estimated an infrastructure price tag of $3.6 trillion by 2020.
That is simply to repair what is. But we face a far larger investment
deficit. If we are ever to enjoy widely shared prosperity, we will need
a far more competitive real economy. That means 21st century broadband,
fast trains, modernized airports, efficient mass transit and a
modernized electric grid, just for starters.
And, as Flint demonstrated, we have communities in distress that need
special, targeted investment. Community health clinics to replace
hospitals that have closed. New schools with modern facilities and
equipment. New water systems. New affordable mass transit that makes
getting to jobs in the suburbs possible. Public parks that provide a
place for children to play.
And now catastrophic climate change is causing hundreds of billions of
dollars in damage. We need significant research and development to
generate the next generation of efficient appliances, cars, buildings
and factories. We need public/private partnerships, and public
investment, to help retrofit buildings and apartment houses for
efficiency and alternative energy.
The need is clear. But the price tag should be seen as an opportunity,
not a barrier. We still have not recovered from the financial collapse
in 2008. Millions have dropped out of the work force. Some 17 million
are still in need of full-time work. We pay to imprison too many and
educate and employ too few.
In these circumstances, a bold plan to rebuild the country will put
people to work, generate demand, and boost a flagging economy.
Modernizing our infrastructure would help us compete in the global
economy. With interest rates near zero, reputable economists argue that
this will pay for itself in increased productivity, employment, wages
and tax revenue. If not, we can easily afford it by requiring the
wealthy and the corporations to pay their fair share of taxes.
This is not and should not be a partisan question. Republican Abraham
Lincoln built the railroads and the land grant colleges even in the
midst of the Civil War. Republican Dwight Eisenhower built the
interstate highway system in the 1950s. The conservative Chamber of
Commerce joins with the AFL-CIO to endorse a major infrastructure plan.
Yet, to date, the presidential candidates haven’t stepped up.
Republican talk about infrastructure is focused on Trump’s promise to
build a wall on the border and get the Mexicans to pay for it. Marco
Rubio promises to spend $1 trillion more — but on the military, not on
rebuilding America. Hillary Clinton’s proposal on infrastructure — $275
billion over five years — is below what President Barack Obama has
called for. Bernie Sanders proposal — $1 trillion over five years — is
still far short of the ASCE accounting.
As Flint has shown, the human costs and risks of allowing our
infrastructure to decline are immense. The economic costs are far
greater in lost productivity than the price tag of making the
investment. Consider this a simple measure of our future. America’s
decline will continue for as long as we fail to rebuild the country.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS & OUTREACH, PRESS OFFICE
400 MARYLAND AVE., S.W.
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20202
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
FEB. 23, 2016
PRESS OFFICE, (202) 401-1576 OR [email protected]
_ED Data Demonstrates Need to Address Widespread Disparities in Special Education_
The U.S. Department of Education took a critical step today toward addressing widespread disparities in the treatment of students of color with disabilities, proposing a new rule to improve equity in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
The nation’s special education law, IDEA, aims to ensure fairness in the identification, placement, and discipline of students with disabilities. Yet disparities persist, and students of color remain more likely to be identified as having a disability and face harsher discipline than their white classmates.
In order to address those inequities, IDEA requires states to identify districts with “significant disproportionality” in special education — that is, when districts identify, place outside the regular classroom, or discipline children from any racial or ethnic group at markedly higher rates than their peers. According to a new analysis by the Department of data states submitted under IDEA, hundreds of districts around the country with large racial and ethnic disparities go
unidentified. For example, 876 school districts gave African American students with disabilities short-term, out-of-school suspensions at least twice as often as all other students with disabilities for three years in a row. But, in 2013, states identified fewer than 500 districts in total with “significant disproportionality.”
“We have a moral and a civil rights obligation to ensure that all students, with and without disabilities, are provided the tools they need to succeed, regardless of background,” said Acting U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. “IDEA exists for the purpose of ensuring that students get the unique services they need, and we owe it to them
and to ourselves to uphold all of the law’s provisions.”
“At its core, My Brother’s Keeper is about making sure all of our kids know they matter and have a clear pathway to achieve their dreams, regardless of where they come from, or the circumstances into which they are born,” said Broderick Johnson, cabinet secretary and chair of the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force. “Today’s Equity in IDEA announcement brings us a critical step forward in closing the startling opportunity gapsthat limit far too many of our children’s potential.”
The proposed Equity in IDEA rule would, for the first time, require states to implement a standard approach to compare racial and ethnic groups, with reasonable thresholds for determining when disparities have
become significant. That determination is critical to ensuring students get the supports they need and deserve. Once identified as having a significant disproportionality, the district must set aside 15 percent of its IDEA, Part B funds to provide comprehensive coordinated early intervening services. Further, the policies, practices, and procedures
of the district must be reviewed, and, if necessary, revised to ensure compliance with IDEA.
The proposed rule would also provide identified districts with new flexibility to support the needs of students. The Department has proposed to broaden the allowable uses of the 15 percent set aside, currently used to fund early intervening services, to include services to students with and without disabilities, from ages 3 through grade 12.
Up until now, identified districts could only use these funds to support students without disabilities, and only in grades K through 12, severely limiting the use of interventions that might address early needs and reduce disparities in the placement and discipline of students with disabilities.
However, data clearly show that IDEA’s mandate, as currently implemented, does not fulfil its intended purpose, resulting in limited implementation of early intervening services. That’s why the Department is taking action today.
In 2013, the Government Accountability Office released a report  showing the status quo has resulted in virtually no action to address this issue. Accordingly, the Department has found that, from year to year, only 2 to 3 percent of districts nationwide are identified with significant disproportionality, and required to take action. Further,
the Department’s analysis makes clear this figure fails to represent the true scope and breadth of significant disparities we currently see in special education.
Many children of color — particularly Black and American Indian youth – are identified at substantially higher rates than their peers. It is critical to ensure that overrepresentation is not the result of misidentification, which can interfere with a school’s ability to provide children with the appropriate educational services required by law.
Disparities are also prevalent in the discipline of students of color with disabilities. With the exception of Latino and Asian-American students, more than one out of four boys of color with disabilities (served by IDEA) — and nearly one in five girls of color with disabilities — receives an out-of-school suspension.
Because of these disparities and their lasting impacts on children’s lives, President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Task Force identified restoring equity for students with disabilities as a key priority.
Today’s announcement delivers on that commitment.
New York City police Officer Peter Liang was convicted of manslaughter Thursday in the 2014 shooting death of an unarmed black man in a darkened Brooklyn public housing project stairwell.
Liang’s single gunshot killed Akai Gurley, 28, who was walking down the stairs on Nov. 20, 2014.
NYPD said after the jury’s verdict that Liang had been fired from the department. He faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced on April 14.
Liang said he drew his pistol as he and his partner patrolled the darkened 8th floor stairwell of the Louis H. Pink Houses in Brooklyn. He said he flinched when he was startled by a noise, which he said caused the gun to fire.
The bullet ricocheted off of the stairwell wall and struck Gurley, who was on the seventh floor. Gurley, who was unarmed, died from a wound in his chest.
Liang tearfully recounted the shooting in court, claiming his finger was never on the trigger.
“I was panicking. I was in shock, in disbelief that someone was actually hit,” he told jurors.
Prosecution evidence contradicted the claim and showed pressure had to have been applied to the trigger in order for the weapon to fire. To test this notion, the judge allowed each of the 12 jurors to take turns pulling the trigger of Liang’s handgun.
Liang and his partner testified they didn’t realize anyone had been shot for several minutes and said they didn’t try to perform CPR on Gurley because they felt untrained.
Gurley’s family was unmoved by the rookie’s tears.
“Peter Liang, my son was no accident,” Sylvia Palmer, the victim’s mother, said Monday. “You murdered my son. I need justice for my son. I need a conviction of Peter Liang.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio called Gurley’s death a “tragedy.”
“The jury has now spoken, and we respect its decision,” de Blasio said. “We hope today’s outcome brings some closure to the Gurley family after this painful event.”
Patrick J. Lynch, head of the city’s police union, criticized the jury for what he called “an absolutely wrong decision.”
“This was a terrible and tragic accident and not a crime,” said Lynch, the Police Benevolent Association president. “This bad verdict will have a chilling effect on police officers across the city because it criminalizes a tragic accident.”
Convictions of police officers involved in shootings are exceedingly rare. The last time an NYPD officer was convicted in a shooting death of a civilian was 2005, when Bryan Conroy was convicted of criminally negligent homicide in the killing of Ousman Zongo, an unarmed African immigrant.
Sanctions for the use of lethal force are also rare. A 2014 New York Daily News investigation found that out of the 179 people killed by on-duty police officers during 15 years, just three of those deaths resulted in indictments.
This article has been updated to include Lynch’s comment.