Hip-Hop and Politics http://hiphopandpolitics.com Tue, 27 Sep 2016 10:37:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6.1 Terror in Charlotte- Who Killed Justin Carr? http://hiphopandpolitics.com/2016/09/27/terror-in-charlotte-who-killed-justin-carr/ http://hiphopandpolitics.com/2016/09/27/terror-in-charlotte-who-killed-justin-carr/#respond Tue, 27 Sep 2016 10:37:32 +0000 http://hiphopandpolitics.com/?p=14188 Justin CarrWho shot Justin Carr? You are right now watching unapologetic ‘gas lamping’ take place, where folks who stood next to this young brother Tuesday night while they were out protesting police terror, are being made to feel like they are somehow crazy for what they witnessed..

You’re seeing people who should know better automatically accepting police narratives without question and adapting and normalizing police lingo..

Many were eager and quick to adapt police lingo and not present fair hearing and space for eyewitnesses who had differing accounts who witnessed Justin Carr’s murder..

Anyone using the term ‘protestor on protestor‘ violence, ‘civilian on civilian‘ violence or any variation have been pimped and seduced by the possibility of have proximity to power….

Anyone adapting and attempting to normalize ‘police speak‘ sounds just as backwards as those deceitful corporate backed journalist and media outlets who adapted military terms and tried to sound official when selling the public the false notion that weapons of mass destruction existed leading up to the War in Iraq..

Justin Carr was not a ‘civilian’ needing to be ‘contained’ or ‘ordered around’. He was not some faceless ‘civilian’ engaged in ‘protestor on protestor’ violence..

Justin Carr is not ‘collateral damage’ that was involved in a riot.. He was a young brother calling out police terrorism in his community..

You start to refer to him like the police as a nameless ‘civilian’ or ‘protestor’ you detach yourself from his humanity and his human response to the trauma they caused..

Sharleen in CharlotteCompare the way Justin Carr is described in the police narratives being pushed on us vs the way he was described by the young sister named Sharleeen who Rosa Clemente interviewed who was with Justin and witnessed him die the other night.. Don’t f–kin lose sight of your humanity people..

https://soundcloud.com/mrdaveyd/hkr-rosa-clemente-sharleen-in-charlotte-nc

And as a friend of mine most recently noted.. Justin Carr was a Black man.. He was a brother from the community who would not be dead if Charlotte police never shot and killed Keith Lamont Scott..

Justin Carr would not be dead if police weren’t shooting rubber bullets and tear gas at peaceful protestors..

Justin Carr would not be dead if those who we entrusted to protect and serve us physically, politically & culturally were not doing death dances with the devil….

]]>
http://hiphopandpolitics.com/2016/09/27/terror-in-charlotte-who-killed-justin-carr/feed/ 0
A Tale of 2 People Billy Jones & Jesse Romero and a DOJ Report http://hiphopandpolitics.com/2016/08/12/a-tale-of-2-people-billy-jones-jesse-romero-and-a-doj-report/ http://hiphopandpolitics.com/2016/08/12/a-tale-of-2-people-billy-jones-jesse-romero-and-a-doj-report/#respond Fri, 12 Aug 2016 10:29:50 +0000 http://hiphopandpolitics.com/?p=14175
Billy Jones

Billy Jones

Here’s a tale of two people and a DOJ Report (Department of Justice ) about a police department.. One story is about a man named Billy Jones, age 34. He’s from Sebastian County, Arkansas The boy was named Jesse Romero age 14. He lived in East Los Angeles, Boyle Heights to be exact.

 
Yesterday Billy Jones shot and killed a sheriff deputy named Bill Cooper in what police are describing as a possible planned attack. Jones who is career criminal was in a stand off for over 5 hours but when all was said and done, Jones was taken alive and will have his day in court.
 
We will find out what was behind Jone’s action. Was he mentally disturbed? Did he hold a particular anti-government/ anti police philosophy? Was he in trouble and defending himself? Whatever questions we have we will eventually find out in a trial.
 
Korryn Gaines

Korryn Gaines

The police who are no doubt suffering from the loss of their colleague Bill Cooper opted not turn off Facebook feeds and shoot Billy Jones to death like they did Koryn Gaines in Baltimore.

 
The police didn’t send in a robot with a bomb to kill Billy Jones the way Dallas police did Micah Xavier Johnson.
 
To date police union reps did not hold a press conference and blame the killing of Deputy Cooper on Black Lives Matter like they did in New York, Dallas and Baton Rouge..
 
The police for the most part, even with their lives in danger, handled a tough, tragic grueling situation professionally, fully aware there’s a possibility the day not end the way they want.. They eventually got their man.. Again Billy Jones who killed a cop will go to court..
 
Jesse Romero

Jesse Romero

In Los Angeles, 14 year old Jesse Romero who attended Hollenback Middle school, was accused of tagging a building. It’s not a cool thing to do, but it happens everyday in cities all over the country. People when caught are usually made to pay for the damage caused..

 
In this case members of a police gang unit saw Jesse who promptly ran away. Because Jesse wears sagging pants, as he sprinted he pulled up his pants and according to witnesses tossed something from his waistband. Police say it was a gun and lit Jesse up killing him on the spot. They claimed Jesse fired at them and they feared for their life.. Witnesses say otherwise. They say Jesse did not shoot at anyone..
 
Snoop and Game Meet with LAPD

Snoop and Game Meet with LAPD

This is the same LA police department about a month ago held a highly publicized meeting with rappers Snoop Dogg and The Game. Supposedly a truce was established and LAPD would be showing more restraint. Our people would be taken into custody and not killed. I guess the police who patrol Boyle Heights didn’t get the memo.

 
We heard this story before. It’s a a textbook boilerplate tale. All you have to do is fill in the blanks for name and location. 14 year old Jesse Romero becomes 13 year old Andy Lopez in Santa Rosa carrying a pellet rifle to return to a friend.
 
Andy Lopez becomes 12 year old Tamir Rice in Cleveland playing by himself with a toy gun..
 
Aiyanna Stanley Jones

Aiyanna Stanley Jones

Tamir Rice becomes 7 year old Aiyanna Stanley Jones sleeping in bed with her grandmother as police storm the house in the dead of night with a camera crew in tow looking for a murder suspect who was hunkered down at an adjacent house.

 
In the case of Tamir, Andy and Ayanna, the parents and victims themselves were blamed for their deaths. We blamed them for scarring seasoned officers who we pay to be trained so they can discern kids with toy guns and hardened criminals. We blamed them for running. We blamed them for not being perfect. We blamed them for living in bad neighborhoods where cops according to statistics, are rarely killed.
 
We cheered the police and even promoted them as we just saw in the Andy Lopez case. Anyone protesting these shootings are told they should be focusing on Black on Black / Brown on Brown crime.
 
Freddie Gray

Freddie Gray

This is also a tale about a police department in Baltimore where 6 officers were charged with killing a man who they falsely arrested named Freddie Gray. The police were accused of breaking his spine by driving him around unseatbelted in what is known as a ‘rough ride’..Although 6 cops were charged, all got off free. A man died in their custody and no one is going to jail.

That same Baltimore Police department was investigated by the Department of Justice who just issued a scathing report. It was discovered that the goal of this department was to stop and dehumanize as many Black people as possible. The report brought to light that many on the Baltimore police force did not see themselves as part of a community in which they were to protect, but instead saw themselves as people who were to control the community. The report noted that the culture of the police department was us vs them..I’ll let what was written in the report where an excerpt is shown below in the photo speak for itself..

God Bless ‘Merica
Baltimore Police department

 
]]>
http://hiphopandpolitics.com/2016/08/12/a-tale-of-2-people-billy-jones-jesse-romero-and-a-doj-report/feed/ 0
How Far Have We Come Since Mike Brown’s Death Two Years Ago? http://hiphopandpolitics.com/2016/08/09/far-come-since-mike-brown-death-two-years-ago/ http://hiphopandpolitics.com/2016/08/09/far-come-since-mike-brown-death-two-years-ago/#respond Wed, 10 Aug 2016 03:57:50 +0000 http://hiphopandpolitics.com/?p=14157 Mike BrownTwo years ago today (August 9th 2014) Mike Brown an unarmed teenager on his way back home from a local store was shot and killed by Fergurson police officer Darren Wilson

The residents of the Canfield Gardens complex where he lived were subjected to the spectacle of his dead body being left in the middle of the courtyard which is not all that big for all to see in the hot blistering sun for 4 1/2 hours..

It was like the police wanted to send a message of fear and terror to a community that had found itself constantly under siege, not just by Ferguson Police, but by the 50 or so police municipalities that resided nearby that routinely preyed upon residents with impunity.

Ferguson Memorial Mike BrownBlack people in Ferguson and North County were used as ATM machines by cash strapped cities and police departments who would issues tickets for anything and everything under the sun and then issue bench warrants when folks weren’t able to pay. At one point over 500 people in the St Louis area had bench warrants stemming from these tickets..

The ticketing of folks was the least of people’s problems. Folks in the Ferguson are were routinely subjected to all sorts of police terror ranging from humiliating remarks to beatings to false arrests. More than a few had met their fate at the hands of police. The killing of Mike Brown was the final straw. Police provoked stunned, grieving residents during a candle-light vigil and all hell broke loose.

Ferguson ProtestsThe world bore witness to heavily militarized police rolling army tanks through neighborhoods, shooting tear gas, arresting journalist and shredding the constitution, Bill of Rights and any other human rights law. The people of Ferguson rebelled for more than 100 days and forced the world to stand still for a moment in time..

Since Ferguson, we seen scathing reports issued by the Department of Justice. We’ve seen President Obama lay out Blue Ribbon Commissions We’ve seen scores of proposed laws both locally and on the federal level. We’ve seen police accountability activist visit the United Nations on 4 different occasions. We’ve seen scores of gatherings, conventions and panel discussions..

We’ve seen TV specials on the topic. We’ve sen hunger strikes…We seen the removal of several district attorneys and police chiefs and the election of others to office by those determined to win. We seen the development of a robust platform of demand from the Movement 4 Black Lives. The push back and organizing around ending police terror has been tremendous

We’ve seen hundreds of protests from coast to coast. Bridges have been shut down, freeways shut down and Presidential candidates interrupted and political rallies disrupted by those demanding an end to police terror.

We also seen since the death of Mike Brown an estimated 3k people shot and killed by police around the United States. We’ve seen no cops go to jail and very few indicted.

There’s a long list of names that have been killed in the most egregious manner, some even caught on film, by police who been set free. From Freddy Gray to Andy Lopez. From Sandra Bland to Rekia Boyd to Tamir Rice. From Mario Woods to Mariam Carey to Alex Nieto. There has been no conviction of the cops who killed them. In fact some have even gotten promoted.

FERG Stop Killing Us SignWhat we have seen since the death of Mike Brown is a number of activists, freedom fighters and organizers demanding police accountability get sent to jail. We should not forget the name of someone like Ferguson’s Joshua Williams who is serving 8 years. That’s longer then the sentence handed down to any cop who have killed any of our folks. Reflect on that for a moment.

Hardly any of the proposed laws to reign in police terror outside of body cameras have gotten passed. Since the killing of Mike Brown we’ve seen President Obama reverse his position on militarizing police.

Two months prior to Brown getting killed all but 7 members of the Congressional Black Caucus rejected an amendment put forth by Florida Congressman Alan Grayson that would’ve stripped the police of its military hardware. After Ferguson erupted many of those same lawmakers including some who had the nerve to speak at Brown’s funeral rushed to pass laws to stop police militarization even though they rejected the Grayson amendment.

Last month President Obama announced that he would reverse himself on banning military hardware to police. Police can now gear up again. We are back at square one. Its as if we have buffer class of people who are supposed to be on ourside who carry water for police departments and police unions and at every chance seem to hold up progress.

Over the past few months we’ve seen a flurry of laws Blue Lives Matter laws be proposed and in some places pass from coast to coast would give the police more power, make their actions less transparent and in some cases make it a hate crime to not only attack them, but speak ill of them.

FergusonOn the 2cd anniversary of Mike Brown’s death, we should all be asking what’s really changed since 2014? How did and why did the US become more of a police state under a Black president and Black Attorney General? Where do we go from here?

Lastly as we reflect on today , lets not lose sight of the family of those who have been gunned down by police. far too often in these aftermath of their loved ones being killed, the family members become political commodities.

Mike Brown's Parents

Mike Brown’s Parents

For some, the constant attention and movement around them as folks fight for justice may help keep their minds off what is unbearably painful. But its on days like this and in those quiet moments that the loss of a son, daughter, husband, wife, mother & dad all comes rushing back.

How they get through it one can only guess. So lets’ be sure to show them love and not treat the death of Mike Brown or any other person as just another casualty that can easily be brushed aside.
#staywoke #turnUp #shutemdown

]]>
http://hiphopandpolitics.com/2016/08/09/far-come-since-mike-brown-death-two-years-ago/feed/ 0
Dream Defenders Speak Out Against Pro-Israel Groups Who Condemned M4BL http://hiphopandpolitics.com/2016/08/09/dream-defenders-speak-pro-israel-groups-condemning-m4bl/ http://hiphopandpolitics.com/2016/08/09/dream-defenders-speak-pro-israel-groups-condemning-m4bl/#respond Tue, 09 Aug 2016 10:42:07 +0000 http://hiphopandpolitics.com/?p=14147 Davey-D-brown-frameSo apparently it’s ok for someone like Democratic stalworth Bakari Sellers at the urging of AIPAC to gather 60 Black Democrats who remained anonymous to sign a letter condemning the platform proposal put forth by Bernie Sanders and Cornel West around the treatment of Palestinians by Israel. You can read that HERE

Sellars’ effort was cheered, yet when a larger group of Black activists and leaders representing over 50 organizations including the Dream Defenders put forth an agenda with an opposite view that outlines a vision for the Black Lives Movement, they are not only deemed anti-semetic, but there were threats to economically and politically upend them in as many ways as possible. How lame is that?

Rosanne BarrThis weak response by AIPAC and Sellars to political debate reminds me of what took place last week when actress Rosanne Barr went ape shyt on myself and fellow journalist Chali Bay when we had an online discussion about Zionism and the treatment of Africans in Israel. The discussion didn’t even involve Barr, but she saw it on her timeline and waded into the conversation and made a bunch of unsavory offensive remarks and then blocked us before we could respond. Not only did she block us, but our accounts were down for a period..


We can only imagine what sort of strings are being pulled around this bold platform put forth by the Dream Defenders and the dozens of other groups who signed on for M4BL. Check out their statement below…

Davey D

Dream defenders defend Palestine.45 AM

Dream Defenders Statement on the Condemnation of M4BL Platform by Some Pro-Israel Groups

dream defendersOn Monday, the Dream Defenders along with 50 other organizations, representing hundreds of Black people across the country launched A Vision for Black Lives, an agenda that clearly defines policies, organizing tactics and resources to advance Black liberation. The platform included a call for the US government to divest from military expenditures and US aid to the State of Israel and instead, invest this war-making money towards building infrastructure to support Black and Brown communities in the US. Since our launch, some Zionist organizations have condemned the platform and have announced that they will cut all ties with the Movement for Black Live, going so far as to label some in the BLM movement anti-semitic.

Their response has made it all the more clear why we stand in solidarity with Palestine and with Black and Brown people around the world fighting for justice.

Those who have previously claimed to be allies of the Black lives matter movement have shown us that they are comfortable with our resistance so long as it fits within particular confines and restrictions. It is convenient to endorse black lives matter when it benefits you. And as long as we stay silent about Israeli apartheid, they will “stand” with Black liberation in the US. Now that our movement has taken a stand against all forms of white supremacy and oppression, Black lives no longer matter. We want no part in this quid pro quo form of politics. True solidarity does not come with strings attached.

We’ve been dealing with this type of hypocrisy with our supposed “allies” for generations. On the American left, there are many wolves in sheeps clothing. You have revealed yourselves. And now that we know who you are, we will not forget.

We remain steadfast in our condemnation of the State of Israel and their illegal occupation of the Palestinian people’s homeland no matter the consequence. Solidarity with Palestine is not a requirement, it is a choice” and is rooted in the basic understanding that the state violence we experience is directly tied to the violence facing Black and Brown communities in Palestine and around the world. While our struggles are not identical, we recognize that we are up against the same systems. What is happening in Palestine is a genocide and we will not allow anyone to bully us into sanitizing our words. In 1948, the State of Israel created a Jewish majority by destroying approximately 500 Palestinian towns and driving over 700,000 Palestinians out of their homeland.  Ethnic cleansing continues today in the form of expulsions, Jewish-only settlements, massive attacks in Gaza and across Palestine, in addition to over 50 Israeli laws that sanction discrimination and apartheid.

As Black and Brown people living in the US, the heart of global empire, we bear a particular responsibility for global liberation. It is our taxpayer dollars that are funding Israeli apartheid and a military industrial complex that is devastating entire peoples and communities throughout the world.  Having an international analysis, means we must call for the divestment of our support of Israeli apartheid and to the wars being waged in Africa, Latin America and throughout the Middle East, just like we are calling for a divestment from the policing of our neighborhoods and incarceration of our people. This is both an ideological and a strategic decision. Resources are needed to advance the Vision for Black Lives platform and there are plenty of resources to be distributed, they are just being spent on waging war against, rather than stabilizing, our peoples.This is why the Dream Defenders believe in Black and Brown solidarity and why we fight for the liberation of Palestine.

We have more work to do now than ever before. In moments like these, we must double down and fight on. Check out A Vision for Black Lives – it is full of information about potential legislative action at the local, state and federal level and campaigns to support our efforts to advance global liberation. Launch a Campaign in support of the Boycott Divest and Sanctions Movement to show the State of Israel that we do not support their oppression of the Palestinian people. If you want to see it for yourself, look to organizations who run delegations with a principled stance that would allow for a real look at the situation on the ground, not a manicured one. Read more about what Black Palestinian solidarity means and looks like here. Do not stay silent. We applaud Jewish organizations like, Jewish Voices for Peace, If Not Now and the Jews of Color Caucus  that have spoken out in this moment in solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives and have called upon others to do the same.

The Dream Defenders remain committed to a world in which ALL people are free. As Black people fighting for our freedom, we are not thugs and our Palestinian brothers and sisters are not terrorists. For the children who are met with tear gas and rubber bullets as they walk home from school, for the families of those we have lost to police violence, for the communities devastated by economic violence and apartheid walls, we fight. To all those who believe in a world in which all people are free, join us. For those who no longer stand with Black people because of this belief, goodbye. We do not need nor want you in our movement.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dq6Y6LSjulU

 

]]>
http://hiphopandpolitics.com/2016/08/09/dream-defenders-speak-pro-israel-groups-condemning-m4bl/feed/ 0
Why are Bay Area District Attorneys Reluctant to Charge Police on Rape Case? http://hiphopandpolitics.com/2016/08/08/bay-area-district-attorneys-reluctant-charge-police-rape-case/ http://hiphopandpolitics.com/2016/08/08/bay-area-district-attorneys-reluctant-charge-police-rape-case/#respond Mon, 08 Aug 2016 19:52:18 +0000 http://hiphopandpolitics.com/?p=14152 The following statement listed below is coming from the Anti Police-Terror Project: Folks need to pay attention and see how these elected officials respond.. Pay close attention to the actions or lack thereof of district attorneys Nancy O’Malley (Alameda County) Mark A Peterson (Contra Costa County) and George Gascon (San Francisco)
Bay Area District Attorneys
WHERE ARE BAY AREA LAW MAKERS?

Anti-Police Terror ProjectWhy no charges for Bay Area law enforcement sexual exploitation, corruption and conspiracy?

Coalition members to retrieve signed promises to prosecute criminal cops from District Attorneys

In the 3 months since the public learned of the Bay Area-wide sexual exploitation and misconduct by law enforcement, no charges have been brought against any officers or staff involved in the commission or cover-up of crimes and departmental policy violations. Why aren’t our District Attorneys dedicating the same resources toward this gang activity as they would if it were conducted by civilians?

On Thursday, August 4th, members of the Take Back Oakland Coalition dropped off letters to the District Attorneys in Alameda, Contra Costa (Richmond office) and San Francisco Counties demanding the following:

Prosecute all sworn officers who committed or had peripheral involvement in crimes or the conspiracy to cover up those crimes.

Investigate with the intent of pressing charges and jailing criminal cops — and enumerate the reasons why DAs chose not to file charges for any officers they have already cleared.

Charges to pursue include but are not limited to:

California Penal Code:

52.1 Police brutality and coercion

186 California Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention Act (gang enhancement)

236.1 False imprisonment/human trafficking of a minor

261.5 Statutory rape

266i Pimping and Pandering

182 Conspiracy

118.1 Perjury

Weapon enhancements for all of the above
Federal law:
Criminal street gangs (18 U.S.C. 521)
Coercion And Enticement of a Minor (18 U.S.C. 2422)
Perjury (18 U.S.C. 1621)

Announce a full investigation by an outside agency that will examine how many people have been wrongfully incarcerated due to cases touched by these officers, as well as the depth and breadth of corruption within each department.

Acknowledge the imbalance of power that always exists between police officers and the general public and state that the coercion and enticement of a minor is never the fault of the child.

It is time for our District Attorneys to behave like elected leaders and work on behalf of the people. They have a duty to charge and convict these officers to combat the existing culture that allows them to simply quit or transfer when they’re caught abusing their power and preying on civilians.

The Coalition indicated that members would return on Tuesday, August 9th to pick up the DAs’ signed agreements to honor the demands brought forth in the letters. Coalition members and representatives from allied organizations will visit each office simultaneously at 10:30am this Tuesday to accept our elected officials’ commitment to uphold the law as they are sworn to do.

]]>
http://hiphopandpolitics.com/2016/08/08/bay-area-district-attorneys-reluctant-charge-police-rape-case/feed/ 0
The Police Feel Good PR Campaign-Does it Help Heal & Rebuild Trust? http://hiphopandpolitics.com/2016/08/08/police-feel-good-pr-campaign-help-rebuild-trust/ http://hiphopandpolitics.com/2016/08/08/police-feel-good-pr-campaign-help-rebuild-trust/#respond Mon, 08 Aug 2016 18:40:26 +0000 http://hiphopandpolitics.com/?p=14144

Davey-D-purple-frameLast week I was alerted to an inflammatory story from Bay Area ABC news reporter Dan Noyes that basically sought to disparage the Black August celebrations. The story noted that ‘police source’s had leaked a memo to him stating that prison guards and police were gonna be attacked by members of the Black Guerilla Family in celebration of Black August. Many found the allegations to be outlandish.

For those who are unaware, Black August is a month that is held to high esteem by many in the Black community who celebrate the resistance movements that have long been a part of our history for the past 300 hundred years. It also seeks to bring attention and calls for political prisoners here in the US to be set free.

Black AugustThis Black August as in the past, the organizing committees have called for folks to fast and reflect, but according to this ABC Report there is a call for the killing of police. To get an in depth history of Black August please read the following articles from;
Malcolm X Grassroots Movement–>HERE
Former Black Panther Party member Mama Ayanna Mashama –> HERE

In addition to smashing on Black August, this ABC news story cited the SF Bayview newspaper and basically accused it of being a contributing source to tensions between inmates and law enforcement because of articles it ran pointing out that California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation was responsibility last year’s tragic killing of longtime prisoner and freedom fighter Hugo Pinell.

SF Bayview publisher Mary Ratcliff noted that such accusations put the lives of all Black people in danger especially if they protest or express disdain about police brutality. It also undermines the work the SF Bayview does which includes among other things facilitating letter writing campaigns to political prisoners, publishing works of art, poems and short stories in their popular ‘Behind Enemy Lines‘ series from those who are incarcerated and shining light on controversial cases.

The Bayview has been an important lifeline between those locked up and the community at large. Ratcliff sent a letter to Dan Noyes and ABC asking to see this leaked memo, as of the time of this writing one has yet to be presented. You can read the ABC news story—> HERE.

POLICE FEEL GOOD STORIES: DO THEY HELP HEAL & REBUILD TRUST ?

Police dancingThe decision by ABC to run this story where they are essentially mouth pieces for police brass speaks to a larger issue in play, the cozy relationship between corporate media and police departments.

Here’s a couple of things that are going on right now that all should know. First, we have two nationwide PR campaigns. One campaign is designed to bolster the image of beleaguered police departments. Folks may have noticed in recent weeks a slew of feel good news stories on local news outlets all over the country, where we are presented with images highlighting the police doing ‘nice’ things for the community.

The stories range from police officers dancing with kids to holding BBQs to improve community relations to officers doing heroic things like buying shoes and clothing for the homeless to helping abused single mothers find housing to officers pulling people over to give them ice cream cones. How can one be mad?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xWkHW5Gy24

The stories of police doing good deeds are endless with many of us in media seeing a marked increased on these types of stories being pitched. The pitches are accompanied with requests to interview retired police officers and law enforcement experts eager to provide a counter narrative to the onslaught of troubling stories of police terrorism, many which have been caught on tape, unjustified killings of unarmed individuals and racial and sexual harassment scandals attached to numerous police departments.

For some, the highlighting of police doing nice things is a good thing. It’s reassurance that things aren’t as bad as they seem. It’s a reassurance that police violence is an aberration with a few bad apples as the cause vs being something systemic. The feel good stories enhance the long held narrative that police are fair and just who are stern but friendly folks stationed in our community to protect and serve.

For many others, such stories have not erased the scars of brutality many have suffered or witnessed. If anything, the stories come across as hurtful because they are seen as an attempt to sanitize egregious transgressions committed by police officers where there has been little or no accountability, punishment and even admission of wrong doings.

Time will tell if these feel good stories are genuine attempts by police to bridge a gap, heal shattered communities and rebuild trust or if they are shallow PR moves attached to a larger agenda where police look good on the front end while doing dirt on the back.

black lives matter insultFor example, the video of a good-natured police officer delivering ice cream to a woman he pulled over stands in sharp contrast to the mean-spirited, disingenuous tone def photo/ article in San Francisco’s police union published in their newsletter where they use two dogs to extol the virtues of All Lives Matter over their deliberately distorted and antagonistic view of the Black Lives Matter movement. You can read about that—> HERE

Such hostile rhetoric and articles by police outlets like the one here in San Francisco do very little to put folks at ease especially knowing that there have been more than a dozen officers connected to a hateful racist text scandal where no one was fired or the the fact that officers got off Scott free in the execution style killings of Mario Woods, Alex Nieto and most recently Jessica Williams.

The Jeckyl and Hyde nature of police where they do a nice PR campaign while pummeling citizens when the camera are off can best be illustrated with the nationwide attention that was given to SFPD a couple of years ago when they help turn San Francisco into Gotham City for a young cancer survivor named Miles Scott affectionately known as Batkid.

The city of San Francisco was shut down and the red carpet rolled out as thousands came out to witnesses staged events where Batkid fought crime alongside SFPD officers who played key roles. At the end of the day there wasn’t a dry eye in the city. People fell in love with Batkid. The image of SFPD was boosted and former police chief Greg Suhr was deemed a hero.

DJ Paris Williams

DJ Paris Williams was brutally beaten by police for riding his bike on the same day SFPD was being celebrated for helping a cancer survivor named Batkid

While the eyes of the nation focused on Batkid and the ‘heroic’ efforts of SFPD, what didn’t get caught on camera that day less then a mile a way from city hall where the celebration took place, was the sieging of a neighborhood and the brutal beatings by SFPD of residence living in Valencia Gardens.

What sparked off the incident was 20 year old college student D’Paris Charles Williams aka DJ had just returned from the Batkid event. He rode his bike on the sidewalk from the street to the front door of his home when he was accosted by an undercover officer who didn’t identify himself but demanded DJ come over to him as he entered his home.

Williams was dragged from his home and beaten badly as other residents not sure who was attacking Williams got involved and they too were beaten by plain clothes and uniformed officers arriving on the scene.

Williams was arrested for riding his bike on a public sidewalk and resisting arrest. The charges were later dropped but set off a city wide Taking a Stand for SF campaign where Black, Brown and poor residence of SF brought attention to the onslaught of police brutality incidents that were often gone unpunished and hidden behind the city’s progressive and social justice image. You can read about that incident —>HERE

Cover art for the story on Police sex crime scandal called Badge of Dishonor

Cover art for the story on Police sex crime scandal called Badge of Dishonor

The feel good police PR stories fall flat when you have more than 30 cops in what major news outlets euphemistically call a ‘sex scandal’ involving officers ‘sleeping’ with a 17 year ‘sex worker’. You can read that story-as reported by ABC reporter Dan Noyes –>HERE .

Compare that read with the original investigative report from community newspaper the Eastbay Express that brought all this to light. It’s called Badge of Dishonor.

The choice made by mainstream reporters to use sanitizing words like ‘sex scandal’ as opposed to ‘rape’ or ’sleeping with’ as opposed to ‘human trafficking’ or ‘sex worker’ as opposed to ‘prostitute’, ‘rape victim’ or sexually exploited minor is rooted in what seems to be an all costs desire by many to see police as heroic figures who are a front line defense protecting us from crime and other dangers. No one wants to see their heroes fall or be put in bad light. Police departments know this and have acted accordingly.

Blue Lives MatterPart of their PR campaign seems to be an attempt to put a good face to law makers who are now being aggressively lobbied by police unions all over the country to put into place so-called Blue Lives Matter bills. These bills written with the goal of making police a protected class of people and anyone attacking them being subjected to hate crime laws. Read about the array of bills being pushed nationwide –> HERE

The PR campaign also serves to discredit and demonize the Black Lives Matter movement and associate anyone protesting the police, no matter how tame, outlandish or aggressive as being card carrying member acting on the directions its leaders. Such attacks are dangerous and designed to squelch dissent. We’ll come back to that in a minute.

THE SYMBIOTIC & BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN POLICE & MEDIA

One thing this is at play which is rarely talked about is the on going symbiotic and business relationships many media outlets have with police departments. In some cities we have smiling officers giving us up-to-date information on traffic.

In other places like Los Angeles, we have retired police officers who are embedded in newsrooms and on call to serves as ‘experts‘ to provide keen insight to to SWAT stand offs and wild car chases which are routinely shown on TV. Read about that HERE

As we sit, mesmerized through a live car chase, our opinions are shaped by the police narrative which is often the sole voice that goes unchallenged.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Hence a ‘troubled’ suspect, who may be having a mental breakdown and in need of help and understanding is transformed before our eyes into a ‘dangerous perp‘ who should be stopped and taught a harsh lesson, maybe even shot and beaten for fleeing.

This embedding kicked off an era where we have celebrity cops who become media darlings. They range from folks like the late LA Police chief Darryl Gates who had his own radio show to tough talking Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio to Sheriff David Clarke who recently spoke at the Republican National Convention. Some well known athletes and actors are now police officers including: Shaquille Oneal, Steven Seagal and Lou Ferrigno to name a few.

In many places, police blotters seemingly tailored made for news reporters to read on air, help cash strapped outlets fulfill ‘if it bleeds it leads‘ ethos. The prevailing train of thought is: ‘Why send a reporter out to investigate or unearth a news story when one can simply read story after story from a police blotter and interview a media savvy police spokesperson to fill in the details?

This type of endeavor is justified by news directors who assert that on the front end the incessant reporting of crime is a community service of sorts, where they are helping keep the public safe by getting the word out on behalf of the police and raising awareness about possible dangers we should be on the look out for in our neighborhoods. On the back-end it saves news outlets lots of money as police departments come to serve as defacto news reporters.

Many corporate media outlets seek to court favorable interactions with the police in order to get an edge up on other businesses ventures they are involved in. For example, many outlets seek to increase their visibility by sponsoring and producing concerts and festivals. In many cities the police have tremendous power under the guise of public safety, in recommending who gets permits or is allowed to play in a venue. In some instances, the police get to determine who even shows up on stage or what songs are sung.

We all know about what happened 25 years ago when the rap group NWA released the song F–Tha Police and police departments put the smash on the group forbidding them to perform the song in venues the police had jurisdiction. The group decided to push back and defy the ban when they did a show in Detroit which resulted in 20 plain clothes cops bum rushing the stage and effectively shutting down the concert.

Beyonce on police carFast forward to 2016, we have a singer like Beyonce release a song like Formation where she calls for the police to stop killing Black folks. Police unions all over the country put the call out to boycott her World Tour and not provide security at venues where they had jurisdiction. Read about that–> HERE

A few months prior to Beyonce releasing Formation, film maker Quinton Tarrintino found himself in the cross hairs of police unions and on the receiving end of a boycott after he attended a Stop Police Terrorism rally in New York City and said the following from the stage:

I’m a human being with a conscience. And if you believe there’s murder going on then you need to rise up and stand up against it. I’m here to say I’m on the side of the murdered.

When I see murders, I do not stand by … I have to call a murder a murder and I have to call the murderers the murderers.

Police unions didn’t stop at a boycott, they called for police officers not to consult with Tarrintino and threatened there would be a ‘surprise’ (payback). Tarrintino to his credit did not back down stating he would not be intimidated. You can read about that –> HERE

Beyonce, one of the biggest stars in the world, also didn’t back down, but both her and Tarantino found themselves having to explain their remarks. This left folks wondering if mega stars could be put on blast by police, who else has been put in the cross hairs and made completely silenced?

SFPD southern stationBack in my Clear Channel/ KMEL days SFPD’s South of Market (Southern Station division) dictated to nightclubs in the areas which radio stations they could and couldn’t get to sponsor them. Our station was shut out of many nightclubs because the police captain at the time determined we attracted a ‘bad crowd’ and for public safety reasons they would pressure clubs not to use us. Those who went against their recommendations were required to spend a couple thousand dollars hiring officers to sit in front of a nightclub to make sure our ‘bad crowd‘ was contained.

At one point we actually had a big meeting with that SFPD division, they came to the station, sat down and read off a list of incidents involving clubs that advertised with us.. We in turn gave them an equally long list of incidents at clubs that had nothing to do with us. The meeting went nowhere quick, after my boss at the time informed the captain we would not be purchasing tickets or helping sponsor some sort of police golf charity they were putting on.

But needless to say as a media outlet maintaining a ‘good relationship‘ with the police became an in-house priority, especially when the influence of police spilled over to them having the final word on who did and didn’t get to perform at our signature Summer Jam event. For a period time, all acts had to be run through local police departments because of the so-called ‘bad crowd ‘we attracted. They would give a yeah or nay to our acts.

Many of the local acts we wanted were erroneously dinged and subsequently banned because police intelligence said they were gang affiliated or they known to ‘attract a bad crowd‘. One year we had a back and forth with police about having A Tribe Called Quest who they claimed had gang ties… We won that battle but many we had to let go…

DEMONIZING THE BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT

Black Lives MatterGranting permits, influencing sponsorships of festivals and other outdoor events all play a role in how corporate media dances and depicts local police departments. That in turn means that when a PR campaign pops up where there is a call to highlight feel good stories of police departments many outlets will enthusiastically jump on them.

At the same time, you will see the unchallenged parroting of police departments demonizing protests and protestors. Most notably in recent times has been Black Lives Matter. If a local activist gets up and says the Police have been infiltrated by white supremacist and rogue elements and have become a terrorist entity in many communities, such claims will be laughed at, dismissed and not even reported or investigated by many mainstream outlets. If anything such claims will lead to news outlets working overtime to discredit or disproving those making these claims.

On the other hand, if a police agency either through its command staff or their police union assert organizations like Black Lives Matter are dangerous and the root cause of police getting killed or harmed in the line of duty, its held up and treated as a fact with little or no attempt to set the record straight either about the organization or the exaggerated notion that police are under significant threats. News outlets will go out of their way to frame a story in line with police narratives while ignoring or downplaying blatant, juvenile and insidious attacks made by police against organizations they deem hostile.

For example, we are constantly hearing about the police who were killed in Baton Rogue and Dallas with the prevailing narrative being the individuals who did the killing were ‘inspired‘ by Black Lives Matter. What’s left out of the narrative is that in between the Baton Rogue and Dallas killings, two officers were killed in Berrien County, Michigan by a white man named Larry Darnell Gordon who was a career criminal.

Larry Darnell Gordon

Larry Darnell Gordon

Many media outlets in their desire to appease police departments made no move to challenge or put into context the Pro-Police/ Anti-Black Lives Matter narratives constructed and dictated by police unions and PR firms.

For example, while media outlets ran with the BLM inspired the killing of police narrative, very few looked into the role the military may have had on the lives and subsequent actions taken by Micah Xavier Johnson and Gavin Long the two men who were accused of the police killings in Dallas and Baton Rogue.

We heard no investigation into the military units they belong to or what sort of things were being taught or exposed to. There’s been little or no discussion on mental health. There’s been relative silence…

However, many news outlets delved deeply into what sort of readings they did on line and what type of music or artists they listened to and admired. A large net was drawn around folks and organizations who may have come upon these gentlemen casually or in passing.

We didn’t see this type of digging and mass associating when discussing Larry Darnell Gordon. There’s been little or no discussion into what may have influenced career criminal him? Was he affiliated with a anti-government/ militias, white supremacist organizations. After all, such outfits are not uncommon in a state like Michigan. Was Larry Gordon connected to a prison gang that had it out for the police and law enforcement?

Some may say such a question is far-reaching until you actually do some research and discover it was just two years ago, in April of 2013, that white supremacist prison gangs were accused of ordering the killing of a Texas district attorney Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia.

The killing of an assistant prosecutor named Mark Hasse was supposedly ordered two month prior by the same white prison gang. That slaying also took place in Texas. All 3 killings came on the heels of Colorado prison chief Tom Clements being killed at his home. Again that same white supremacist prison gang was at the center of the killings. Read about that HERE

With all that’s been said, we can better understand why there wasn’t a rush by both police and corporate media outlets to connect the killings done by Gordon with movements and organizations he may have been connected to and demonize them..

Richard Lewis Dear

Richard Lewis Dear

Sadly we saw similar patterns unfold after the tragic shooting of a Colorado Springs police officer named Garrett Swasey at the hands of Robert Lewis Dear who shot up a Planned Parenthood Center in November 2015.

Dear not only killed a police officer but also two civilians and injured 9 others. In the aftermath we did not see police unions characterize anti-abortion groups as violent organizations that needed to be curtailed. We didn’t see police rush to establish a Blue Lives Matter laws.

Dear’s terrible actions were isolated and framed by both police and corporate media as an aberration to the Pro-Life Movement vs something as systemic and part of that movement’s ethos. Such latitude has not been granted to the BLM Movement as shown via proposed policies and increased hostile rhetoric even as we are bombarded with feel good police stories.

CONCLUSION

So where do we go from here? First we need to be aware of what’s going on. We have to be crystal clear that much of corporate media is built around PR and advertising campaigns and not investigative truth telling that challenges and holds accountable systems of power. This is particularly true when it comes to police. We have to not only be aware but call it out and move in precise directions to counter. The sad reality is many media outlets are now owned those power brokers.

Second, we can not be lured into the trap of having feel good stories be a substitute for justice. Yes, it’s great to see cops dancing with kids, giving out ice cream cones and helping those in dire straits. In fact more actions like that should be encouraged, but for many, the smiles will be slow in coming if we see those who we grant with so much power, not be held accountable when they violate our communal truth. We should not be satisfied with benevolent actions under oppressive conditions that can be likened to a dictatorship of sorts. We need to have genuine system of checks and balances.

Jump out BoysSo when a news outlet like ABC wants to bring to light a leaked memo about police concerns around Black August, we should asking were there leaked memos and concerns about gangs dubbed social cliques with alleged white supremacists ties in police departments like; The nation wide Jump Out Boys, 3000 Gang, The Vikings, The Nomads, Sunset Incorporated (SI) and a many others? You can read about some of that—> HERE

We should be asking if these mainstream news outlets are doing investigations into those organizations and putting systems in place where they can get leaked memos to follow up on their insidious activities. We should be checking to see if some of these reporters when they get before lawmakers will press them and vigorously follow up about what sort of actions they intend to take to curtail police wrong doing. Far too often media outlets serve as glorified stenographers for police departments and that’s got to change.Until then #staywoke

written by Davey D

]]>
http://hiphopandpolitics.com/2016/08/08/police-feel-good-pr-campaign-help-rebuild-trust/feed/ 0
The PR Campaign to Uplift Police & Demonize Those who Call for Accountability http://hiphopandpolitics.com/2016/08/08/pr-campaign-uplift-police-demonize-call-accountability/ http://hiphopandpolitics.com/2016/08/08/pr-campaign-uplift-police-demonize-call-accountability/#respond Mon, 08 Aug 2016 17:59:13 +0000 http://hiphopandpolitics.com/?p=14113

Davey-D-purple-frameLast week I was alerted to an inflammatory story from Bay Area ABC news reporter Dan Noyes that basically sought to disparage the Black August celebrations.  The story noted that ‘police source’s had leaked a memo to him stating that prison guards and police were gonna be attacked by members of the  Black Guerilla Family in celebration of Black August. Many found the allegations to be outlandish.

For those who are unaware, Black August is a month that is held to high esteem by many in the Black community who celebrate the resistance movements that have long been a part of our history for the past 300 hundred years. It also seeks to bring attention and calls for political prisoners here in the US to be set free.

Black AugustThis Black August as in the past, the organizing committees have called for folks to fast and reflect, but according to this ABC Report there is a call for the killing of police. To get an in depth history of Black August please read the following articles from;
Malcolm X Grassroots Movement–>HERE
Former Black Panther Party member  Mama Ayanna Mashama –> HERE

In addition to smashing on Black August,  this ABC news story cited the SF Bayview newspaper and basically accused it of being a contributing source to tensions between inmates and law enforcement because of articles it ran pointing out that California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation was responsibility last year’s tragic killing of longtime prisoner and freedom fighter Hugo Pinell.

SF Bayview publisher Mary Ratcliff noted that such accusations put the lives of all Black people in danger especially if they protest or express disdain about police brutality. It also undermines the work the SF Bayview does which includes among other things facilitating letter writing campaigns to political prisoners, publishing works of art, poems and short stories in their popular ‘Behind Enemy Lines‘ series from those who are incarcerated and shining light on controversial cases.

The Bayview has been an important lifeline between those locked up and the community at large. Ratcliff sent a letter to Dan Noyes and ABC asking to see this leaked memo, as of the time of this writing one has yet to be presented. You can read the ABC news story—> HERE.

POLICE FEEL GOOD STORIES: DO THEY HELP HEAL & REBUILD TRUST ?

Police dancingThe decision by ABC to run this story where they are essentially mouth pieces for police brass speaks to a larger issue in play, the cozy relationship between corporate media  and police departments.

Here’s a couple of things that are going on right now that all should know. First, we have two nationwide PR campaigns. One campaign is designed to bolster the image of beleaguered police departments.  Folks may have noticed in recent weeks a slew of feel good news stories on local news outlets all over the country, where we are presented with images highlighting the police doing ‘nice’ things for the community.

The stories range from police officers dancing with kids to holding BBQs to improve community relations to officers doing heroic things like buying shoes and clothing for the homeless to helping abused single mothers find housing to officers pulling people over to give them ice cream cones.  How can one be mad?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xWkHW5Gy24

The stories of police doing good deeds are endless with many of us in media seeing a marked increased on these types of stories being pitched. The pitches are accompanied with requests to interview retired police officers and law enforcement experts eager to provide a counter narrative to the onslaught of troubling stories of police terrorism, many which have been caught on tape, unjustified killings of unarmed individuals and racial and sexual harassment scandals attached to numerous police departments.

For some, the highlighting of police doing nice things is a good thing. It’s reassurance that things aren’t as bad as they seem. It’s a reassurance that police violence is an aberration with a few bad apples as the cause vs being something systemic. The feel good stories enhance the long held narrative that police are fair and just who are stern but friendly folks stationed in our community to protect and serve.

For many others, such stories have not erased the scars of brutality many have suffered or witnessed. If anything, the stories come across as hurtful because they are seen as an attempt to sanitize egregious transgressions committed by police officers where there has been little or no accountability, punishment and even admission of wrong doings.

Time will tell if these feel good stories are genuine attempts by police to bridge a gap, heal shattered communities and rebuild trust or if they are shallow PR moves attached to a larger agenda where police look good on the front end while doing dirt on the back.

black lives matter insultFor example, the video of a good-natured police officer delivering ice cream to a woman he pulled over stands in sharp contrast to the mean-spirited, disingenuous tone def photo/ article in San Francisco’s police union published in their newsletter where they use two dogs to extol the virtues of All Lives Matter over their deliberately distorted and antagonistic view of the Black Lives Matter movement.  You can read about that—> HERE

Such hostile rhetoric and articles by police outlets like the one here in San Francisco do very little to put folks at ease especially knowing that there have been more than a dozen officers connected to a hateful racist text scandal where no one was fired or the the fact that officers got off Scott free in the execution style killings of Mario Woods, Alex Nieto and most recently Jessica Williams.

The Jeckyl and Hyde nature of police where they do a nice PR campaign while pummeling citizens when the camera are off can best be illustrated with the nationwide attention that was given to SFPD a couple of years ago when they help turn San Francisco into Gotham City for a young cancer survivor named Miles Scott affectionately known as Batkid.

The city of San Francisco was shut down and the red carpet rolled out as thousands came out to witnesses staged events where Batkid fought crime alongside SFPD officers who played key roles. At the end of the day there wasn’t a dry eye in the city. People fell in love with Batkid. The image of SFPD was boosted and former police chief Greg Suhr was deemed a hero.

DJ Paris Williams

DJ Paris Williams was brutally beaten by police for riding his bike on the same day SFPD was being celebrated for helping a cancer survivor named Batkid

While the eyes of the nation focused on Batkid and the ‘heroic’ efforts of SFPD, what didn’t get caught on camera that day less then a mile a way from city hall where the celebration took place, was the sieging of a neighborhood and the brutal beatings by SFPD of residence living in Valencia Gardens.

What sparked off the incident was 20 year old college student D’Paris Charles Williams aka DJ had just returned from the Batkid event. He rode his bike on the sidewalk from the street to the front door of his home when he was accosted by an undercover officer who didn’t identify himself but demanded DJ come over to him as he entered his home.

Williams was dragged from his home and beaten badly as other residents not sure who was attacking Williams got involved and they too were beaten by plain clothes and uniformed officers arriving on the scene.

Williams was arrested for riding his bike on a public sidewalk and resisting arrest. The charges were later dropped but set off a city wide Taking a Stand for SF campaign where Black, Brown and poor residence of SF brought attention to the onslaught of police brutality incidents that were often gone unpunished and hidden behind the city’s progressive and social justice image.  You can read about that incident —>HERE

Cover art for the story on Police sex crime scandal called Badge of Dishonor

Cover art for the story on Police sex crime scandal called Badge of Dishonor

The feel good police PR stories fall flat when you have more than 30 cops  in what major news outlets euphemistically call a ‘sex scandal’ involving officers ‘sleeping’ with a 17 year ‘sex worker’. You can read that story-as reported by ABC reporter Dan Noyes –>HERE .

Compare that read with the original investigative report from community newspaper the Eastbay Express that brought all this to light. It’s called Badge of Dishonor.

The choice made by mainstream reporters to use sanitizing words like ‘sex scandal’ as opposed to ‘rape’ or ’sleeping with’ as opposed to ‘human trafficking’ or  ‘sex worker’ as opposed to ‘prostitute’, ‘rape victim’ or sexually exploited minor is rooted in what seems to be an all costs desire by many to see police as heroic figures who are a front line defense protecting us from crime and other dangers. No one wants to see their heroes fall or be put in bad light. Police departments know this and have acted accordingly.

Blue Lives MatterPart of their PR campaign seems to be an attempt to put a good face to law makers who are now being aggressively lobbied by police unions all over the country to put into place so-called Blue Lives Matter bills. These bills written with the goal of making police a protected class of people and anyone attacking them being subjected to hate crime laws. Read about the array of bills being pushed nationwide –> HERE

The PR campaign also serves to discredit and demonize the Black Lives Matter movement and associate anyone protesting the police, no matter how tame, outlandish or aggressive as being card carrying member acting on the directions its leaders. Such attacks are dangerous and designed to squelch dissent. We’ll come back to that in a minute.

THE SYMBIOTIC & BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN POLICE & MEDIA

One thing this is at play which is rarely talked about is the on going symbiotic and business relationships many media outlets have with police departments. In some cities we have smiling officers giving us up-to-date information on traffic.

In other places like Los Angeles,  we have retired police officers who are embedded in newsrooms and on call to serves as ‘experts‘ to provide keen insight to to SWAT stand offs and wild car chases which are routinely shown on TV.  Read about that HERE

As we sit, mesmerized through a live car chase, our opinions are shaped by the police narrative which is often the sole voice that goes unchallenged.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Hence a ‘troubled’ suspect, who may be having a mental breakdown and in need of help and understanding is transformed before our eyes into a ‘dangerous perp‘ who should be stopped and taught a harsh lesson, maybe even shot and beaten for fleeing.

This embedding kicked off an era where we have celebrity cops who become media darlings. They range from folks like the late LA Police chief Darryl Gates who had his own radio show to tough talking Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio to Sheriff David Clarke who recently spoke at the Republican National Convention.  Some well known athletes and actors are now police officers including: Shaquille Oneal, Steven Seagal and Lou Ferrigno to name a few.

In many places,  police blotters seemingly tailored made for news reporters to read on air, help cash strapped outlets fulfill  ‘if it bleeds it leads‘ ethos. The prevailing train of thought is: ‘Why send a reporter out to investigate or unearth a news story when one can simply read story after story from a police blotter and interview a media savvy police spokesperson to fill in the details?

This type of endeavor is justified by news directors who assert that on the front end the incessant reporting of crime is a community service of sorts, where they are helping keep the public safe  by getting the word out on behalf of the police and raising awareness about possible dangers we should be on the look out for in our neighborhoods. On the back-end it saves news outlets lots of money as police departments come to serve as defacto news reporters.

Many corporate media outlets seek to court favorable interactions with the police in order to get an edge up on other businesses ventures they are involved in. For example, many outlets seek to increase their visibility by sponsoring and producing concerts and festivals. In many cities the police have tremendous power under the guise of public safety,  in recommending who gets permits or is allowed to play in a venue. In some instances, the police get to determine who even  shows up on stage or what songs are sung.

We all know about what happened 25 years ago when the rap group NWA released the song F–Tha Police and police departments put the smash on the group forbidding them to perform the song in venues the police had jurisdiction. The group decided to push back and defy the ban when they did a show in Detroit which resulted in 20 plain clothes cops bum rushing the stage and effectively shutting down the concert.

Beyonce on police carFast forward to 2016, we have a singer like Beyonce release a song like Formation where she calls for the police to stop killing Black folks. Police unions all over the country put the call out to boycott her World Tour and not provide security at venues where they had jurisdiction. Read about that–>  HERE

A few months prior to Beyonce releasing Formation, film maker Quinton Tarrintino found himself in the cross hairs of police unions and on the receiving end of a boycott after he attended a Stop Police Terrorism rally in New York City and said the following from the stage:

I’m a human being with a conscience. And if you believe there’s murder going on then you need to rise up and stand up against it. I’m here to say I’m on the side of the murdered.

When I see murders, I do not stand by … I have to call a murder a murder and I have to call the murderers the murderers.

Police unions didn’t stop at a boycott, they called for police officers not to consult with Tarrintino and threatened there would be a ‘surprise’ (payback). Tarrintino to his credit did not back down stating he would not be intimidated. You can read about that –> HERE

Beyonce, one of the biggest stars in the world, also didn’t back down,  but both her and Tarantino found themselves having to explain their remarks. This left folks wondering if mega stars could be put on blast by police, who else has been put in the cross hairs and made completely silenced?

SFPD southern stationBack in my Clear Channel/ KMEL days SFPD’s South of Market (Southern Station division) dictated to nightclubs in the areas which radio stations they could and couldn’t get to sponsor them. Our station was shut out of many nightclubs because the police captain at the time determined we attracted a ‘bad crowd’ and for public safety reasons they would pressure clubs not to use us.  Those who went against their recommendations were required to spend a couple thousand dollars hiring officers to sit in front of a nightclub to make sure our ‘bad crowd‘ was contained.

At one point we actually had a big meeting with that SFPD division, they came to the station, sat down and read off a list of incidents involving clubs that advertised with us.. We in turn gave them an equally long list of incidents at clubs that had nothing to do with us. The meeting went nowhere quick, after my boss at the time informed the captain we would not be purchasing tickets or helping sponsor some sort of police golf charity they were putting on.

But needless to say as a media outlet maintaining a ‘good relationship‘ with the police became an in-house priority, especially when the influence of police spilled over to them having the final word on who did and didn’t get to perform at our signature Summer Jam event.  For a period time, all acts had to be run through local police departments because of the so-called ‘bad crowd ‘we attracted. They would give a yeah or nay to our acts.

Many of the local acts we wanted were erroneously dinged and subsequently banned because police intelligence said they were gang affiliated or they known to ‘attract a bad crowd‘.  One year we had a back and forth with police about having A Tribe Called Quest who they claimed had gang ties…  We won that battle but many we had to let go…

DEMONIZING THE BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT

Black Lives MatterGranting permits, influencing sponsorships of festivals and other outdoor events all play a role in how corporate media dances and depicts local police departments. That in turn means that when a PR campaign pops up where there is a call to highlight feel good stories of police departments many outlets will enthusiastically jump on them.

At the same time, you will see the unchallenged parroting of police departments demonizing protests and protestors. Most notably in recent times has been Black Lives Matter.  If a local activist gets up and says the Police have been infiltrated by white supremacist and rogue elements and have become a terrorist entity  in many communities, such claims will be laughed at, dismissed and not even reported or investigated by many mainstream outlets. If anything such claims will lead to news outlets working overtime to discredit or disproving those making these claims.

On the other hand,  if a police agency either through its command staff or their police union assert organizations like Black Lives Matter are dangerous and the root cause of police getting killed or harmed in the line of duty, its held up and treated as a fact with little or no attempt to set the record straight either about the organization or the exaggerated notion that police are under significant threats.  News outlets will go out of their way to frame a story in line with police narratives while ignoring or downplaying blatant, juvenile and insidious attacks made by police against organizations they deem hostile.

For example, we are constantly hearing about the police who were killed in Baton Rogue and Dallas with the prevailing narrative being the individuals who did the killing were ‘inspired‘ by Black Lives Matter. What’s left out of the narrative is that in between the Baton Rogue and Dallas killings, two officers were killed in Berrien County, Michigan by a white man named Larry Darnell Gordon who was a career criminal.

Larry Darnell Gordon

Larry Darnell Gordon

Many media outlets in their desire to appease police departments made no move to challenge or put into context the Pro-Police/ Anti-Black Lives Matter narratives constructed and dictated by police unions and PR firms.

For example, while media outlets ran with the BLM inspired the killing of police narrative, very few looked into the role the military may have had on the lives and subsequent actions taken by Micah Xavier Johnson and Gavin Long the two men who were accused of the police killings in Dallas and Baton Rogue.

We heard no investigation into the military units they belong to or what sort of things were being taught or exposed to. There’s been little or no discussion on mental health. There’s been relative silence…

However, many news outlets delved deeply into what sort of readings they did on line and what type of music or artists they listened to and admired. A large net was drawn around folks and organizations who may have come upon these gentlemen casually or in passing.

We didn’t see this type of digging and mass associating when discussing Larry Darnell Gordon There’s been little or no discussion into what may have influenced career criminal him? Was he affiliated with a anti-government/ militias, white supremacist organizations. After all, such outfits are not uncommon in a state like Michigan. Was Larry Gordon connected to a prison gang that had it out for the police and law enforcement?

Some may say such a question is far-reaching until you actually do some research and discover it was just two years ago, in April of 2013,  that white supremacist prison gangs were accused of ordering the killing of a Texas district attorney Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia.

The killing of an assistant prosecutor named Mark Hasse was supposedly ordered two month prior by the same white prison gang. That slaying also took place in Texas. All 3 killings came on the heels of Colorado prison chief Tom Clements being killed at his home.  Again that same white supremacist prison gang was at the center of the killings. Read about that  HERE

With all that’s been said, we can better understand  why there wasn’t a rush by both police and corporate media outlets to connect the killings done by Gordon with movements and organizations he may have been connected to and demonize them..

Richard Lewis Dear

Richard Lewis Dear

Sadly we saw similar patterns unfold after the tragic shooting of a Colorado Springs police officer named Garrett Swasey at the hands of Robert Lewis Dear who shot up a Planned Parenthood Center in November 2015.

Dear not only killed a police officer but also two civilians and injured 9 others. In the aftermath we did not see police unions characterize anti-abortion groups as violent organizations that needed to be curtailed. We didn’t see police rush to establish a Blue Lives Matter laws.

Dear’s terrible actions were isolated and framed by both police and corporate media as an aberration to the Pro-Life Movement vs something as systemic and part of that movement’s ethos. Such latitude has not been granted to the BLM Movement as shown via proposed policies and increased hostile rhetoric even as we are bombarded with feel good police stories.

CONCLUSION

So where do we go from here?  First we need to be aware of what’s going on. We have to be crystal clear that much of corporate media is built around PR and advertising campaigns and not  investigative truth telling that challenges and holds accountable systems of power. This is particularly true when it comes to police.  We have to not only be aware but call it out and move in precise directions to counter. The sad reality is many media outlets are now owned those power brokers.

Second, we can not be lured into the trap of having feel good stories be a substitute for justice.  Yes, it’s great to see cops dancing with kids, giving out ice cream cones and helping those in dire straits. In fact more actions like that should be encouraged,  but for many, the smiles will be slow in coming if we see those who we grant with so much power, not be held accountable when they violate our communal truth.  We should not be satisfied with benevolent actions under oppressive conditions that can be likened to a dictatorship of sorts. We need to have genuine system of checks and balances.

Jump out BoysSo when a news outlet like ABC wants to bring to light a leaked memo about police concerns around Black August, we should asking were there leaked memos and concerns about gangs dubbed social cliques with alleged white supremacists ties in police departments like; The nation wide Jump Out Boys, 3000 Gang, The Vikings, The Nomads, Sunset Incorporated (SI) and a many others?  You can read about some of that—> HERE 

We should be asking if these mainstream news outlets are doing investigations into those organizations and putting systems in place where they can get leaked memos to follow up on their insidious activities.  We should be checking to see if some of these reporters when they get before lawmakers will  press them and vigorously follow up about what sort of actions they intend to take to curtail police wrong doing. Far too often media outlets serve as glorified stenographers for police departments and that’s got to change.Until then #staywoke

written by Davey D

]]>
http://hiphopandpolitics.com/2016/08/08/pr-campaign-uplift-police-demonize-call-accountability/feed/ 0
There’s More to Election 2016 than Donald Trump http://hiphopandpolitics.com/2016/08/04/theres-election-2016-donald-trump/ http://hiphopandpolitics.com/2016/08/04/theres-election-2016-donald-trump/#respond Thu, 04 Aug 2016 14:17:32 +0000 http://hiphopandpolitics.com/?p=14103 Davey-D-brown-frameBy now most people whether they are into politics or at are at the very least, remotely aware of the circus Election 2016  has become. The presidential race is bananas. Soap operas can’t compete with all that’s unfolded. Donald Trump and all his over the top antics are in the news every hour, every minute and damn near every second.

His recent disparaging remarks against the family of a soldier who died in combat and happened to be Muslim has resulted in a vicious firestorm and huge backlash. Folks who are fearful and absolutely hate the brand of politics Donald Trump stands for have been gleeful that all that push back against him has moved his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton up 10 points in the polls. Many are gleeful that the Republican Party seems to falling apart at the seams as more and more prominent figures are distancing themselves from Trump.

Some Republicans are publicly stating they are pledging support for Hillary Clinton citing that they see Trump as unfit. Is that a good thing? Does that mean Hillary will even further abandon her base to cater to an appeal to new right wing arrivals? Will she be gentrifying the Democratic Party?

Gary Johnson is gaing ground among Republicans angry at Trump

Gary Johnson is gaining ground among Republicans angry at Trump

Still others are staying they will either sit this election out or throw their support behind Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson who is on the ballot in all 50 states and is scheduled to be featured in a CNN backed Town hall.

With all this political turmoil going on at Trump’s expense, there have been a more than few who have done some premature celebrating. bad move. Don’t do it..

If there is one thing we should’ve learned over the years from 9-11 to Katrina to major storms and earthquakes, it is in times of chaos that dirt gets done. It’s in times of chaos that moves are made in relative silence by the most powerful among us. The political chaos caused by Donald Trump is no different. If anything it seems a bit manufactured. It keeps the corporate press focused on his antics vs investigating key issues and the merits of proposed policies

Karl Rove has quietly started a Shadow RNC and plans to toss unlimited amounts of money at specific contests

Karl Rove has a Shadow RNC and plans to toss unlimited amounts of money at specific contests

While we have been focusing on the Presidential election clown fest, we should be asking ourselves who are we NOT hearing anything from? For example, where is Karl Rove these days? Once touted as the brains behind President Bush and a master strategist for the GOP who has raised hundreds of millions, we should be asking why is seemingly so quiet? Did he pick up all his marbles and go home after Jeb Bush who he publicly backed was soundly defeated?

We should be asking ourselves what are the Koch Brothers up to? These are the guys who backed the Tea Party Movement, flipped lots of elections and have been key investors in ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) which have led to all sorts of regressive state side and voter suppression laws being passed.  Many people gave huge sighs of relief when it was made known the Koch Brothers would be sitting out the Presidential contest and not supporting Donald Trump. But did they totally disappear?

A recent article that appeared in Alter Net shows clearly their formidable ground game and Get Out the Vote apparatuses are set and will be in full effect come November. You can read that HERE.

There are  many who have been turned off by electoral politics who have famously asserted that it doesn’t matter who is in the White House. Many like to quote Malcolm X who noted Democrat or Republican are the same.  Thats probably true on a number of levels, but truth be told Malcolm wasn’t the only one who believed that.  Many others including the folks I mentioned Rove and Koch Brothers) understand that it doesn’t matter who sits in the oval office as long as you control the economics and politics of your community. That’s something Malcolm pushed us to do as well. How are we doing that in 2016?

Blue Lives matter bills are being proposed all over the country

Blue Lives matter bills are being proposed all over the country

So why are some of these powerful aforementioned forces and individuals so silent? Because while everyone is talking about Donald Trump, they have been steadily investing time, energy and laying out strategies to rule the day by winning stateside and local races. In short these folks haven’t disappeared they are literally out in these streets grinding. They’re allowing Trump to be the clown that everyone laughs at while they make sure hard-hitting, ruthless lawmakers are pushing and passing laws like the recent slew of Blue Lives Matter bills designed to give police even more power.

The latest was proposed in New York which would make police a protected class of citizens where hate crime status could be applied to any attacks on them. The person who proposed this is NY Assemblymen Ron Castorina who blames Black Lives Matter for the recent polkice shootings. How do we plan to counter those bills and what will we do to law makers proposing them?

smash the police state-001Powerful forces like the Koch Brothers and Karl Rove  are looking into local races in key cities where they can flip school boards and further privatize education. They are looking at local city council races where they win contracts to control water, electricity and other entities and institutions that effect our day-to-day life.

These forces are looking to see who they can win key US Senate seats to continue controlling the senate as well as win key congressional seats to continue locking down the house. They are looking to see who will be district attorney and who will be sitting on benches as a judge?  The game for them is down ticket candidates and measures which has been a pretty effective for GOP over the past 6 years. The question we should all be asking how are we locking down the community on a local level?

Several City Council Seats are up for grabs in November

Several City Council Seats are up for grabs in November

In the city of Oakland there are 5 city council seats up for grab. What’s are thoughts on this? Did all those running for re-election do right by us on key issues? Were they on the right side for issues like Gentrification? Police accountability? etc..

In June, San Francisco saw a huge surge for progressive candidates. Does that momentum carry over in November? Who gets rewarded who gets booted? What’s our electoral strategy to leverage those contests and get whats needed in our community?

There are local elections ranging from Bart Board to state Assembly and Senate seat? What’s our relationship with the candidates running. Some of them are friends and steady do work in our communities are we supporting a Lateefah Simon or a Jane Kim over opponents who haven’t done right by us?

Are we talking to people like Nicole Lee of the Black Movement law Project about electable judges?

Are we talking to people like Nicole Lee of the Black Movement Law Project about electable judges?

With respect to judges. We saw a lot of attention being given to Judge Aaron Persky who gave a light sentence to a convicted rapist and former Stanford student Brock Turner. There is currently an attempt to recall this judge. But what do we know about other judges who are up for election  in November. Have we been speaking with folks from the National Lawyers Guild or the recently formed Black Movement Law Project or the NAACP Legal Defense to find out which judges are social justice minded vs corporate or prosecutorial minded?

Now is the time we should be sharing information with one another, making up voting guides and figuring out all the ways we can control our community from top to bottom, from dog catcher to mayor, from congressional rep to state and US senator. Leave no stone un-turned. Some will need to be political punished and ousted or recalled while others are rewarded with the clear understanding you will hold feet to the fire..

So again don’t be fooled by the silence of the Karl Roves and Koch Brothers types. They are plotting and scheming and plan to run the table in November, While we’re laughing at Trump, they intend to install people who hold ratchet views like Trump but can look and sound ‘respectable’. #staywoke #beprepared

]]>
http://hiphopandpolitics.com/2016/08/04/theres-election-2016-donald-trump/feed/ 0
2016 Races Heat Up as Jill Stein Names Ajamu Baraka as VP Pick http://hiphopandpolitics.com/2016/08/02/2016-races-heat-jill-stein-names-ajamu-baraka-vp-pick/ http://hiphopandpolitics.com/2016/08/02/2016-races-heat-jill-stein-names-ajamu-baraka-vp-pick/#respond Tue, 02 Aug 2016 18:31:33 +0000 http://hiphopandpolitics.com/?p=14097 Ajamu-Baraka-finalThe 2016 presidential race just got more interesting as Green Party candidate Jill Stein announced her running mate. It will be long time freedom fighter and human rights activist/scholar Ajamu Baraka.

Many may be familiar with Baraka’s work throughout Africa  and as a member of the Green Shadow Cabinet. Others may be familiar with his writings which our frequently highlighted on the  Black Agenda Report. Whatever the case, Stein has picked someone who pulls no punches and stays locked with an uncompromised, principled commitment to liberation.

Here’s a short blurb that Stein put on her website:

“I am honored and excited to announce that my running mate in the 2016 presidential election will be Ajamu Baraka, activist, writer, intellectual and organizer with a powerful voice, vision, and lifelong commitment to building true political revolution,”

“Ajamu Baraka is a powerful, eloquent spokesperson for the transformative, radical agenda whose time has come – an agenda of economic, social, racial, gender, climate, indigenous and immigrant justice. Ajamu’s life’s work has embodied the immortal words of Dr. Martin Luther King: Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,”

“In this hour of unprecedented crisis, we are honored to lift up a unified movement for justice in the only national political party that is not held hostage by corporate money, lobbyists and super-PACs. We look forward to bringing this agenda for justice to the American people in the exciting race ahead.”

Ajamu Baraka is an internationally recognized human rights activist, organizer and geo-political analyst. Founding Executive Director of the US Human Rights Network (until 2011) and Coordinator of the U.S. based “Black Left Unity Network’s” Committee on International Affairs, Baraka has served on the boards of various national and international human rights organizations, including Amnesty International (USA) and the National Center for Human Rights Education. He has served on the boards of the Center for Constitutional Rights; Africa Action; Latin American Caribbean Community Center; Diaspora Afrique; and the Mississippi Workers’ Center for Human Rights.

Jill Stein

Jill Stein

Stein noted that there was speculation that would run with Bernie Sander‘s top surrogate Ohio State Senator Nina Turner who was done dirty at the DNC (Democratic National Convention)  Stein noted the conditions weren’t right.

“Turner wants to ‘save the soul’ and further push the Democratic Party”, Stein noted in her press release.

Stein also noted that long time journalist Chris Hedges, healthcare activist and US Senate candidate Dr. Margaret Flowers (Green – Maryland), economic justice advocate Kevin Zeese of PopularResistance.org, and Green Party activist and former Black Panther Party leader, Aaron Dixon were all considered for the VP spot.

Below is an interview done earlier today by long time journalist, freedom fighter and former Green Party presidential candidate Dr Jared Ball on his popular radio/TV show I Mix What I Like.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqGfXF28wps#t=742

 

]]>
http://hiphopandpolitics.com/2016/08/02/2016-races-heat-jill-stein-names-ajamu-baraka-vp-pick/feed/ 0
10 Cool Photos of Public Enemy at the Art of Rap Show http://hiphopandpolitics.com/2016/08/01/10-cool-photos-public-enemy-art-rap-show/ http://hiphopandpolitics.com/2016/08/01/10-cool-photos-public-enemy-art-rap-show/#respond Mon, 01 Aug 2016 14:52:04 +0000 http://hiphopandpolitics.com/?p=14056 Public Enemy Art of Rap-097

What would Hip Hop be like without Public Enemy? For many, Hip Hop would be a stale genre that died off a long time ago. Many like to reduce Chuck D, Flavor Flav, Professor Griff,  DJ Lord and the S1Ws and the team to just being a ‘conscious‘ rap group that gave this culture political swag.

Yes, while it’s true there’s no denying Public Enemy broke ground as a politically minded group, it should be noted they were by no means the first to drop science.  Nor were they the only ones to drop science, during the Golden Era in the late 80s, early 90s when they first hit the scene. Groups like KRS-One, Poor Righteous Teachers, X-Clan and Queen Latifah to name a few,  all came to the table with message oriented raps. Prior to them we had groups like Grandmaster Flash, Whodini, Run DMC and Kool Moe Dee who gave us songs to grow on…

What often gets overlooked about Public Enemy is their innovativeness on a number of fronts. First and foremost they elevated the art of sampling and created a style called cram sampling. They made music that was built upon layers and layers of sound that was carefully curated. The group would spend hours hunting down obscure records and then chopping them up only to have them buried under other obscure records they chopped up and buried.

Group members like Professor Griff, the Minister of Information would spend hours combing through speeches and archival footage that would layer be woven into each Public Enemy song.  This was on top of the cuts and scratches  done by team members like Johnny Juice, Terminator X and now DJ Lord.

All that was complimented with the booming voice of Chuck D which cut through the noise and the well timed vocal punches, adlibs and quick verses of Flavor Flav.  The group took sound in directions music hasn’t gone before.

The way they made records via their production team called The Bomb Squad which included brothers Hank and Keith Shockalee along with Eric ‘Vietnam’ Saddler was done so that you heard something different each time you listened to a song and album. Public Enemy made living breathing recordings which we havent seen the likes of to this day.

Once the industry evolved and put laws in place that curtailed sampling, Public Enemy flipped the script and started using a live instruments and to this day travel the world with a live band called The Banned which is headed up by Professor Griff.

Public Enemy broke ground by seeing the world as their stage.  There were others who came before them that broke ground internationally, but PE took this to new heights. They have long called  themselves global citizens with Chuck D constantly advocating for us to get passports and see the planet. The group has circled the globe on world tours over 100 times with no end in sight.  Each  country and city visited was never such in which the group stayed holed up in a fancy hotel, but instead these were grounds where they fostered strong relationships that have lasted over their 30 years as a group.

We haven’t even gotten into the major ground Public Enemy broke in terms of the internet. They pioneered recording and using the internet as a distribution platform.  They been on the web long before most even heard of the word internet.  On their 5th album Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age, Chuck D and long time friend Harry Allen aka the Media Assassin recorded a song which was actually a phone conversation called ‘Harry Allen’s Interactive Super Highway Phone Call to Chuck D‘ where the two talk about the future of music and how it would play out over the internet. What was said in that song recorded in 1994 has since come to pass with eerie accuracy.

The show Public Enemy put on the other night during the Art of Rap tour in San Francisco was one to marvel at as they showed and proved the heights Hip Hop has and can continue to make. There’s is no wonder why the group has been inducted into the Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame. Below are photos I took as they got busy. Enjoy

Public Enemy Art of Rap-098

Public Enemy Art of Rap-043

]]>
http://hiphopandpolitics.com/2016/08/01/10-cool-photos-public-enemy-art-rap-show/feed/ 0