In a bizarre-sounding story, a police sergeant in London was cleared of misconduct this week for ordering his officers to strip search a philosophy lecturer who was detained after reportedly trying to give a 15-year-old a legal contact during a search. There’s a lot here, so bear with me.
The Guardian reports that Konstancja Duff, a lecturer at Nottingham University, was arrested in May 2013 during a stop-and-search sweep at an East London estate. Duff had reportedly been trying to hand a 15-year-old a card with legal services contacts and advice, when she was arrested by Metropolitan police. The card was given to her by a police watchdog organization, and at a recent Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) panel, Duff testified that she’d been trying to help the teen.
Aunty Lee’s memory is a bit cloudy regarding whether the first time she cast her ballot was in an election for local politicians or a presidential race, but one thing she knows for sure is her pastor at the time inspired her to exercise her constitutional rights and fulfill her civic duties. He said, “When it’s time to vote, make sure you vote. When it’s time to do grand jury, make sure you go.”
At age 20, Aunty Lee understood the magnitude of her pastor’s advice, given the disenfranchisement of Black folks that she witnessed growing up in Millers Ferry — including poll taxes, literacy tests, and outright violence and intimidation that prevented Black people from voting. To be a Black citizen in America but denied full citizenship rights epitomizes the hypocrisy of American democracy. This is a sad truth that I repeat like a blues refrain to my students.
While we celebrate that a record number of women are running for office, it’s worth considering the shit they put up with just to be heard. A group of current and former candidates talked to the New York Times about the harassment they’ve dealt with while campaigning. Their stories are depressing and sometimes frightening, the harassment predictable.
From Mya Whitaker, a Democrat running for City Council in Oakland, California:
“Being a black woman and existing, in some cases, is enough to piss people off.”
And Kim Weaver, an Iowa Democrat who dropped out of a race against white supremacist Rep. Steve King in 2017 in part because of the threats against her and her family:
Six LGBT activists have found a way to fly the Pride flag in Russia – by wearing football shirts in the rainbow colours.
The country has had a law banning the spreading of “gay propaganda” among under-18s since 2013.
The Pride flag is a symbol celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, but displaying it in Russia can get you arrested.
Bloomberg reports that the Trump administration will announce its withdrawal from the United Nations Human Rights Council, citing “hypocrisy and criticized as biased against Israel.”
According to their sources, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, will announce the United States’ departure Tuesday at 5 p.m. While the United States has long threatened to leave this arm of the United Nations, its final straw may have been the council dunking on the Trump administration’s wildly inhumane child separation policy. Or this is, once again, the administration acting impulsively on its own tempers and whims. Or just John Bolton fulfilling a decade-long dream. Who the fuck knows.
And even before Sessions announced that the new policy was official, parents were allegedly being separated from their kids at the border, a practice that a federal judge called “brutal, offensive, and fails to comport with traditional notions of fair play and decency”:
Ms. L explained that she wanted to apply for asylum and passed a crucial interview with an asylum officer. She was then taken and held in a detention center in the San Diego area.
Less than a week after arriving at the border, her daughter, called S.S. in court documents, was forcibly taken from her and brought to a detention facility in Chicago for minors who are unaccompanied, the lawsuit states.
“When S.S. was taken away from her mother, she was screaming and crying, pleading with guards not to take her away from her mother. That was the last time Ms. L saw her daughter,” the lawsuit reads.
During his speech, Sessions recited from a well-rehearsed script, repeating talking points central to the administration’s worldview and subsequent policies. Sessions warned of the “tens of thousands” of undocumented workers crossing American borders, conflating immigrants with criminals. He spoke of the “shootings, stabbings, and beatings,” as well as the rapes and murders committed by MS-13, the Trump administration’s preferred monster. Sessions warned in his speech that the gang was “recruiting illegal aliens as young as 15.” Danger, it seems, lurked in every corner. He warned, too, that the “porous” Southwest border was impacting the rest of the United States, telling law enforcement in the audience that the lack of security at the border “makes your job that much harder.”
When my 9-year-old son told me that he had been thrown out of his fourth-grade class for kneeling during the Pledge of Allegiance, I was mildly surprised by his actions, but furious with his teachers.
Their instinctive responses were harsh reminders of how deeply white supremacy is embedded in the classroom. But more important for me in that moment were the shaming and intimidation tactics used against my child.
A new study from the University of Southern California (USC) suggests that there is a correlation between an increase in violence at protests and tweets with “moral content” concerning what the protest is about—like, say, police violence. But dig a bit deeper, and you’ll find that the study’s implications are more complicated than that.
The research paper, which was published in the journal Nature Behavior last week, states, “When people encounter others who share their moral attitudes, those attitudes are validated and reinforced and, as moral beliefs become more intransigent, the likelihood of advocating or enacting violence to achieve desired moral ends (for example, topple a corrupt government, alter policing practices, stop the removal of a statue or defend the purity of one’s race) may increase.”
The Yippies filed for an outlandish permit for a citywide festival at the same time as the convention, and told news media that the party would involve events such as nude swimming in Lake Michigan and dumping LSD into the water supply. The permit request and open invitation to the nation’s youth outraged Mayor Daley, a law-and-order politician and influential Democratic Party strongman who ruled the city with an iron fist. He may not have taken the threats literally, but he loathed the thought of the city being overrun with hippies, and prepared the police department for an invasion. He also stalled on distributing any permits, including to Dellinger, Davis, and Hayden.
Davis appealed to Justice Department official Roger Wilkins, who recognized his sincerity and attempted to negotiate with the mayor. “About five minutes into the conversation,” Wilkins remembers, “red started coming up from Daley’s collar, all up on these jowls, which seemed larger and larger and larger to me. And he launched into a monologue which lasted, I believe, 25 minutes. And when I started to interrupt and say, ‘But Mr. Mayor,’ he would just raise his voice.