• Blackout For Human Rights: The time for action is NOW! #BlackoutBlackFriday
    Why is this important? BLACKOUT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (Blackout) is a nationwide network of high profile artists, activists and faith leaders, who stand against human rights violations. We’ve watched in outrage, frustration and sadness as Michael Brown, Akai Gurley, Oscar Grant, Tanisha Anderson, Eric Garner, Ezell Ford, John Crawford, and so many others met their deaths at the hands of police officers. We mourn the loss of life and the absence of justice for Trayvon Martin, Renisha McBride and Jordan Davis, killed by private citizens, in a climate where police action demonstrates this as acceptable. Blackout for Human Rights (Blackout) is our collective decision to meet this devastation with positive energy and empowerment. We must stand up together to fight these injustices and correct the power imbalance that keeps so many of us from having a fair shot. On Monday, a St. Louis Grand Jury failed to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the killing of Mike Brown. Brave community members across the country took to the streets to organize and express their legitimate moral outrage at the devastating decision and corrupt, discriminatory justice system that failed Brown and fails all Americans—in the worst of ways—every single day. An affront to any citizen’s human rights threatens the liberty of all. So, we participate in one of the most time honored American traditions: dissent. We demand an immediate end to the brutal treatment and inhumane killings of our loved ones; the lives of our friends, our parents and our children have value and should be treated with respect. Our human rights are secured not only by our humanity, but are protected both federally and internationally by the Constitution of the United States of America and the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Similarly, we stand in solidarity with Walmart workers in demanding that working Americans earn enough to live our lives with dignity. The fights for civil rights and economic justice are two branches of the same tree. As Dr. King once said, “What good is having the right to sit at a lunch counter if you can’t afford to buy a hamburger?” Everyday, millions of parents fear for their children, worried that they’ll be the next victims of police brutality, while millions of parents must also worry about finding the next meal for their children. In an effort to stand up against human rights violations in America, we’re working with ColorOfChange and other organizations to build a powerful network. We’re inspired by the thousands of people across the country who speak truth to power and stand up to demand a better life and treatment that respects our basic humanity. We are making Black Friday (November 28, 2014) a nationwide day of action and retail boycott. Our movement is too powerful to stop at the bare minimum. As a nation, we must demand better, dignified lives for all of us. If enough of us act together, it will change the conversation around human rights and economic justice. We have the power to make a difference and ignite change. Join Blackout for Human Rights on #BlackoutBlackFriday. Don’t spend: take action. Your dollars matter and so does your voice. Will you join us? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9u2gjGuwxIk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bl_-Jv89vS8
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  • Justice for Dontre Hamilton: Hold the Milwaukee Police Department accountable!
    On April 30, 2014, my brother Dontre Hamilton was shot 14 times and killed by Milwaukee Police Officer Christopher Manney. Six months have passed and my family is still waiting for the investigation into his murder to be done and for legal action to be taken. The police department and District Attorney's office have failed to release any evidence supporting the officer’s claims that my brother was a threat. We the family, along with our attorneys, have seen pictures of Christopher Manney that show no indication of injury. It only proves to us that Dontre’s death was unjustified and totally preventable. This unbearable situation has led me to fight for justice for Dontre, who deserves to rest in peace with the truth being revealed. No officer should be above the law, especially when he violates policy and procedures over and over again. Christopher Manney had a history of complaints against him for excessive force before he killed Dontre Hamilton. [1] We cannot stand for injustice. The time for unity has come. Police violence doesn't just hurt one individual or family. When the community lives in fear of the police, good police work is impossible. The Coalition for Justice is organized to end this pattern of injustice in Milwaukee. Our mission is to inspire courage and build a movement to transform the city of Milwaukee. We support the empowerment of marginalized communities and dismantling of systems of oppression that erode community trust, dignity, and agency. By focusing on racial and social justice we hope to create innovative and sustained solutions that make our communities safer and equitable places to live. It is our goal to build alliances among community organizations and mobilize people dedicated toward the fight for justice. Join us in changing Milwaukee. Let's empower ourselves by having a voice. Help support the cause against police brutality and laws that protect the Police when they take a life unjustly. We seek donations in any form to move ahead in getting justice for Dontre and other families that lost someone to an unlawful hand and creating change throughout our community. One Love in One Nation is the goal. Lets reach this together. References 1. "Officer Manney: Six citizen complaints filed against him in his 13 years," Fox6 News, 10-22-14, http://fox6now.com/2014/10/22/officer-manney-six-citizen-complaints-filed-against-him-in-his-13-years/ Stay in Touch with the Coalition for Justice! Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/justicefordontre Follow us on Twitter @justice4dontre and Instagram @thecoalition4justicemke
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  • FL GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATES: How will you end youth criminalization?
    Florida is home to some of the worst policing practices in the country. Described as "New York City stop-and-frisk on steroids," Miami Gardens Police have stopped and questioned more than half of the city's population, thousands of them kids, some of them as young as 5 deemed "reasonably suspicious" while playing outside. (1) Often, unjust police stops turn violent and deadly. Florida also leads the country in youth criminalization. Second only to Texas in the highest number of private prisons, Florida's entire youth prison system is privatized. Every day, Black and brown teens targeted by a deeply racist and discriminatory criminal justice system are forced to face abuse, torture, and neglect at the hands of private companies. (2) We don't want to live in a world where you have to put a bullet proof vest on your child in fear of fatal police or vigilante violence. We must take action to address this devastating criminalization targeting Black and brown Florida youth. Florida's important Governor election is fast approaching and our state's next leadership must be committed to addressing these key issues facing our communities. On October 21st, Gov. Scott and former Gov. Charlie Crist will hold a debate, and moderators Jake Taper and Kent Justice are will have an opportunity to clarify the candidates position on Florida's for-profit prisons and systemic police violence. During last week's debate, we succeeded at garnering enough widespread public pressure to ensure that candidates were asked about Florida's notorious "Stand Your Ground Law," but we need candidates to answer to much more. The stakes are high. To ensure youth criminalization is on our next Governor's agenda and to secure transformative change after Election Day, we must call on Jake Tapper and Kent Justice to ask the questions that matter to our community. References: 1. "Florida City’s ‘Stop & Frisk’ Nabs Thousands of Kids, Finds 5-Year-Olds ‘Suspicious,’" Fusion 09-22-14 Fusion http://fusion.net/story/5568/florida-citys-stop-frisk-nabs-thousands-of-kids-finds-5-year-olds-suspicious/ 2. "Too Good to be True: Private Prisons in America," (.pdf) Sentencing Project, 01-2012 http://www.sentencingproject.org/detail/publication.cfm?publication_id=384
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  • Enough! Justice for John Crawford, Tamir Rice, Tanisha Anderson & an end to OH police violence
    Ohio elected officials need to send a message that they believe #BlackLivesMatter. After the tragic deaths of John Crawford III, Tanisha Anderson, and Tamir Rice here in our state, Attorney General Mike Dewine's silence has sent a message that police officers can kill black people with impunity in Ohio. John Crawford III was killed by Officer Sean Williams .36 seconds after seeing him with a toy gun that he picked up from the shelf at a Walmart in Beavercreek, Ohio. His last words were "it's not real."1 Not only was Sean Williams not indicted, Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine failed to act and change this brutal shoot-first protocol and just a few months later, a 12 year old boy named Tamir Rice was killed by Cleveland Police in a similar situation. Will you join us to help build power behind structural changes to Ohio's political system to help end militarized, discriminatory police violence? In a harrowing video, with haunting similarities to the killing of John Crawford, Cleveland police officer Timothy Loehmann fatally shot 12-year-old Tamir as he played in the playground in front of his house with a BB gun and then told his mother to "calm down" as she tried to reach her son. (2) It was also the Cleveland Police who killed Ms. Anderson who suffered from schizophrenia. She was threatened with a taser and slammed into the pavement as her brother looked on in horror. (3) Just this week her death was ruled a homicide. (4) If Attorney General Mike DeWine had listened to Black Ohio youth and taken action after John Crawford was killed he could have prevented these tragic deaths at the hands of law enforcement. Justice for John Crawford, Tamir Rice, and Tanisha Anderson means accountability for their deaths and a fundamental change in the relationship of power between law enforcement and communities. Secret grand juries are held and produce the same outcome time and time again — prosecutors systematically do not prosecute to the full extent of the law when it comes to white officers taking Black lives. We need increased oversight, fair and equal justice for Black and brown communities, and systemic reforms to end discriminatory and abusive policing practices across the state. Join me in turning up the pressure on Attorney General DeWine and US Attorney Stewart to take immediate action to secure Justice for John Crawford, Tamir Rice, Tanisha Anderson and an end to the policies and police culture that led to these tragic killings. Enough is enough. The challenges we face are deep seated and we need widespread public pressure to hold our politicians accountable for protecting our communities and taking concrete action to end Ohio’s discriminatory policing crisis. Gov. Kasich recently announced a policing task force; but we need more than commissions. We need systemic change to end the killing of Black and brown youth, and justice for those who we have lost. Outraged and devastated by John Crawford’s death, I and countless others led by the Ohio Student Association joined together to stand up proclaim that Black lives matter. We stood vigil, led a 12-mile pilgrimage, and a three-day occupation of the Beavercreek Police station. Since, we have organized ongoing actions to build power and catapult the growing national movement to end anti-Black policing and systemic police brutality; we met with President Obama in December. (5) It will take nothing short of a massive, people-powered movement to transform the role of police in today's society. Our power in the past few months has been in our perseverance. We refuse to stop, or to go away quietly, as politicians hope we will. Please join us to move our state leaders to action. Together, we have the power to create the transformative change we need to end racist, police brutality. 1. "No Charges in Ohio Police Killing of John Crawford as Wal-Mart Video Contradicts 911 Caller Account," Democracy Now, 09-25-14 http://www.democracynow.org/2014/9/25/no_charges_in_ohio_police_killing 2. "Tamir Rice's mom: "I'm looking for a conviction," CBS News 12-08-14 http://www.cbsnews.com/news/tamir-rice-shooting-mom-of-boy-shot-dead-by-cleveland-cop-looking-for-a-conviction/ 3. "Daughter of mentally ill Cleveland woman who died in police custody hopes for change," Cleveland.com 11-18-14 http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2014/11/daughter_of_mentally_ill_cleve.html 4. Tanisha Anderson Death Ruled Homicide; Cleveland Woman Died In Police Custody," Huffington Post 1-02-2015 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/02/tanisha-anderson-homicide_n_6407416.html 5. "Breaking: Ferguson activists meet with President Obama to demand an end to police brutality nationwide," Ferguson Action 12-01-2014 http://fergusonaction.com/white-house-meeting/
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  • Florida Governor Candidates: will you protect the right to vote?
    Florida is the epicenter of the right wing attack on the rising new majority's freedom to vote. Since 2011, the far-right in Florida has tried to pass more than 180 laws intended to restrict voting rights and keep youth, women, Black and Latino communities from the polls. In 2012, Governor Scott slashed the early voting period resulting in some voters waiting in lines as long as 9 hours. Scott has also repeatedly attempted to illegally purge the ballot rolls using unproven methods that result in suppressing the votes of legitimately registered voters. Since the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act in 2013, Florida is no longer under federal protections from right-wing attacks on our right to vote. A state constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to vote would subject voting laws to the highest level of scrutiny to ensure that elections officials and politicians cannot manipulate the rules to keep our communities from voting. One of the most vicious laws attacking our communities ability to vote is Florida's laws banning formerly incarcerated people from voting. Of the 6 million people nationwide who are disenfranchised by previous criminal convictions, one-quarter of them are in Florida and nearly 23% of Florida's Black voting age population is barred from voting. (1) The state constitution should be amended so that voting rights are restored once a citizen has completed his or her time in prison and not be subject to Florida's long waiting periods where very few ever have rights restored. On October 15th, the candidates will debate at Broward College, followed by a debate in Jacksonville on the 21st. These are tremendous opportunities to make sure that both candidates answer to Florida voters about whether they will protect our right to vote. The debate moderators should ask both candidates if they will support amendments to the Florida constitution that ensure the right to vote is guaranteed and cannot be infringed upon and secondly, an amendment that allows previously incarcerated people to vote. Moderators for October 15th: Elliot Rodriguez, Rosemary Goudreau, Frank Denton, Bob Gabordi, Manny Garcia, Patricia Mazzei, and Jeremy Wallace Moderators for October 21st: Jake Tapper and Kent Justice References (1) http://truth-out.org/buzzflash/commentary/felon-disenfranchisement-the-new-jim-crow/17952-felon-disenfranchisement-the-new-jim-crow
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  • Governor Nixon: Don't let officer Darren Wilson get away with murder; secure justice for Mike Brown
    It’s been nearly two months since Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed 18-year-old, unarmed Black teenager, Mike Brown, and County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch has done everything in his power to avoid holding Wilson accountable, while state Governor Jay Nixon stands idly by. We at the Organization for Black Struggle have been working day and night demanding justice for Mike Brown and so many others who have been unjustly killed as a result of systemic racial bias and violence against black and brown communities. Black lives matter, and we can’t let Wilson get away with murder! And now, reports have surfaced that a jury member has broken the grand jury secrecy rules by tweeting that there is not enough evidence to arrest Wilson.(1) Public discussion of confidential jury proceedings is serious misconduct, and now it's up to Governor Nixon to show that justice is possible in Missouri. He must get rid of McCulloch for his disgraceful and corrupt handling of this national tragedy. McCulloch could have charged Wilson immediately, but chose to convene a grand jury instead. He then refused to recommend charges to the grand jury, a move that discourages jurors from indicting.(2) In 23 years as County Prosecutor, McCulloch has not prosecuted a single police shooting.(3) Given this shameful history of denied justice, it’s clear that McCulloch is incapable of securing justice for Mike Brown. The world is watching, and the one person with the power to do something is Governor Nixon, who has a responsibility to the Black voters that supported him. It’s time for him to act. Join us in demanding that Governor Nixon remove McCulloch from this train wreck of a case, and appoint a special prosecutor to take over. Since Brown’s death, we’ve been out on the streets facing Ferguson’s militarized police as we peacefully demand justice for Mike Brown. Time and again, local officials have shown us that Black lives don’t matter. We refuse to accept that message. An indictment could happen by October 15, so we must act now to change the story here in Ferguson. Governor Nixon has been given enough time to intervene and restore integrity and justice in the case against Officer Wilson. Help us create enough widespread public pressure to ensure that Governor Nixon appoints a special prosecutor by October 15. We demand Justice! P.S. Join OBS, ColorOfChange.org, and thousands of others standing shoulder to shoulder in Ferguson, Missouri for a Weekend of Resistance Oct. 10-13: http://fergusonoctober.com References 1. “Grand jury considering the Ferguson shooting is being investigated for misconduct,” Washington Post 10-01-2014 http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2014/10/01/grand-jury-hearing-ferguson-shooting-is-being-investigated-for-misconduct/ 2. “Ferguson tragedy becoming a farce,” Washington Post 09-12-2014 http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/dana-milbank-ferguson-tragedy-becoming-a-farce/2014/09/12/e52226ca-3a82-11e4-9c9f-ebb47272e40e_story.html 3. See reference 2.
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  • TELL DETROIT TO TURN THE TAPS BACK ON: WATER IS A HUMAN RIGHT!
    It's a crisis. The city of Detroit has unjustly shut off the water of thousands of low-income Black and brown Detroit residents, threatening their health, safety, and livelihood. And matters are only set to get worse.(1) Residents who owe as little as $33 are having their water shut off with no warning. Seniors, the sick and injured, and families with special needs are left without running water and working toilets. People recovering from surgery cannot wash and change bandages. Children cannot bathe and parents cannot cook. And while the people suffer, the corporations are protected. The city of Detroit provides water at wholesale price to the wealthy suburbs; however city residents pay retail price for the water they receive. The city of Detroit provides water at wholesale price to the wealthy suburbs; however city residents pay retail price for the water they receive. Palmer Park Golf Course owes $422,000 the VA Hospitial $131,000, yet they continue to have water.(2) As well, Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr gave Gov. Snyder a pass on the Michigan's $4.5 million unpaid water bill of by reducing the state's debt to $113,000. Only $19,000 has been paid to date. Entire families and their livelihoods are on the line. If parents cannot afford to restore water service within 60 days they are at risk of having Social Services remove their children from the home.(3) If water bills remain unpaid a lien can be placed on the home and the home can be sold. (4) This must stop NOW! The plan to cut off water to 150,000 households by the end of the summer is part of efforts sell off and privatize Detroit’s water system for corporate profits.(5) In order to make the utility attractive to investors, lower-income households are being forced to pay exorbitant rates for their water and sewer services, or see their access cut. Water rates have risen in Detroit by 119% in the last decade.(6) With unemployment rates at a record high, and the poverty rate at about 40%, Detroit water bills are unaffordable to a massive portion of the community. (7) Hundreds of thousands of low-income Black families are at risk. The city's water shut offs are in line with decades of racially discriminatory policies targeting Black and brown Detroiters, which have resulted in unjust home seizures, the separation of children from their parents, and the creation of serious health risks to entire neighborhoods.(8) By allowing thousands of people to be denied access to water and sanitation services, the U.S. government is violating the United Nations resolution codifying the human right to water and sanitation. Show your solidarity with the people in Detroit and join Progressive Democrats for America, National Nurses United, NetRoots attendees, and local Detroit activists for a rally at Hart Plaza at 1pm on Friday, July 18th where we will make send our message loud and clear to Gov. Synder and Emergency Manager Orr. References: 1. "We the People of Detroit," Facebook https://www.facebook.com/wethepeopleofdetroit/posts/764130140275688 2. "Detroit Water Shutoffs," Politics Progressive 07-11-2014 http://www.blogtalkradio.com/svs/2014/07/11/detroit-water-shutoffs 3. See reference 1. 4. "Detroit's Water War: a tap shut-off that could impact 300,000 people," The Guardian 06-24-2014 http://www.theguardian.com/environment/true-north/2014/jun/25/detroits-water-war-a-tap-shut-off-that-could-impact-300000-people 5. "Important Tax Lien Information," Detroit Water and Sewage Department http://www.dwsd.org/pages_n/billpay.html 6. "What Happens When Detroit Shuts Off the Water of 100,000 People," The Atlantic 07-17-2014 http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/07/what-happens-when-detroit-shuts-off-the-water-of-100000-people/374548/ 7. See reference 3. 8. See reference 5. 9. See reference 3. 10."Against Austerity in Detroit: 'Water Is a Human Right'" The Nation 07-11-2014 http://www.thenation.com/blog/180625/against-austerity-detroit-water-human-right#
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  • Mayor Kenney: Restore Transparency on the Police Brutality Database in Philadelphia
    Heads up - it just became a lot, lot harder to find out if the police officers in your neighborhood are brutalizing Black and Brown communities. When Jim Kenney was elected mayor, he recognized the lack of trust between communities and their police, in a city with massive over-policing (1) and prosecution of Black and Brown people. So in 2017, he followed the lead of other major cities like Chicago (2) and New York, and signed an executive order mandating that data on police complaints would be published online every month - instead of just available to see in person at the Internal Affairs Bureau of the police department. But news outlet Billy Penn is reporting (3) that the Mayor has removed “grim or embarrassing” reports from the database, and that the database will now strip all identifying information about the offending police from the records, making it all but impossible for neighbors to know what cops are acting out - and for watchdogs and journalists to tell the story of police brutality in Philadelphia. Billy Penn reporters Ryan Briggs and Max Marin provided a harrowing example of the differences between the reports after their whitewashing - a Black man run off his bicycle by plainclothes cops in an unmarked car, then handcuffed and detained for hours before receiving medical treatment. See if you can spot the differences: "The complainant, TW, 36/B/M, states that he was physically abused by Officers W and G, 17th District. According to the complainant, on 5-24-15, at 10:10 PM, he was riding his bicycle near 20th & Wharton Streets when someone called to him from a car. He continued riding his bicycle and was struck him from behind by the vehicle. The complainant was knocked from the bicycle to the ground. He was then handcuffed and searched by the occupants of the vehicle before being transported to the hospital for treatment by two uniformed officers. The complainant maintains he did not know the operators of the vehicle that knocked him from his bicycle were plainclothes officers. He maintains they did not identify themselves to him as police officers, nor was he arrested or charged with a crime in connection with this incident." But after the whitewashing, the complaint looks like this: According to the complainant, on 5-24-15 at 10:10pm, they were physically abused by officers assigned to the 17th District. Summary reports of alleged police abuse in Chicago (4) are far more detailed than either style of report we have in Philly, with reports sorted into categories for analysis by watchdogs, press, and the public. But in Kenney’s new version of summary reports for Philly, we don’t have anything: the initials of the officers, the race of the person the police allegedly knocked off his bike, or any details of the brutal story that lets us even try to hold police accountable. In a city where at least 300 police officers were shown to be putting racist, violent, and homophobic content onto their personal social media feeds (5), we need more public accountability for police and their behavior to Black, Brown, queer, immigrant, and poor people, not less. Sign this petition to Mayor Kenney: move right now to restore all the data to the police accountability database. For more information: (1) “In racially diverse 14th District, Philly police target black drivers 3 times more than whites, analysis shows,” By Bobby Allyn and Maura Ewing, January 11, 2019, WHYY. https://whyy.org/articles/in-racially-diverse-14th-district-philly-police-target-black-drivers-3-times-more-than-whites-analysis-shows/ (2) Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA), City of Chicago: Publications. https://www.chicagocopa.org/news-publications/publications/ (3) "After promising increased transparency, Philadelphia is redacting police complaint records." Max Marin and Ryan Briggs, July 26th, 2019, Billy Penn. https://billypenn.com/2019/07/26/after-promising-increased-transparency-philadelphia-is-redacting-police-complaint-records/ (4) COPA: http://copadev.wpengine.com/investigations/how-to-read-a-case-summary-report/, https://www.chicagocopa.org/news-publications/publications/summary-reports/2019-summary-reports/ (5) "13 Philadelphia Officers to Be Fired Over Racist, Violent Facebook Posts," by Alicia Victoria Lozano, July 18th, 2019, NBC 10. https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Philadelphia-Police-Officers-Facebook-Posts-512891921.html
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  • National Day of Mourning, 19 February 2018
    Our hearts are heavy. We feel the pain of insult from our own President. In the interest of all our moral and emotional health, we ask you to reserve Presidents’ Day 2018, Monday, February 19, as a National Day of Mourning. We need one another. We need people who profess no particular faith in addition to religious community leaders. They may want to call attention to our psychic need to embrace our sorrow in your services on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Let’s all find time on that Monday to connect with people of all backgrounds, and including the most vulnerable, like Salvadorans and Dreamers, but not only them, because we are all hurting. You may want to share messages that inspire you on social media platforms. Perhaps even more powerful will be inviting people into your home, or creating larger assemblies for the purpose of lament. Let’s all pause at 2PM EST/11AM PST for a collective moment of silence.
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  • Oprah 2020 means hope!
    Oprah’s powerful speech opened the door for a 2020 presidential run.
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  • Boycott SiriusXM over Breitbart
    Fascism and Nazism has to be stopped. Breitbart is the original "fake news" that promotes hate, lies, and divisiveness
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  • Rescind Trump's Invitation To The Opening Of The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum
    Imagine you have worked tirelessly for the creation of a Mississippi Civil Rights Museum for decades and it's finally opening. Imagine you are being honored for your decades of civil rights work, an honor that is long overdue. Imagine that the governor has the audacity to suggest you sit onstage with a President who believes Nazi protesters are "very fine people." Imagine being forced to sit through his bungled speech full of lies and racist language. Close your eyes and picture Medgar Evers, Fannie Lou Hamer or Dr. Martin Luther King sitting on stage with Donald Trump. Can you imagine their innermost thoughts? Their level of gut twisting anguish? We can not allow this to happen. Inviting the President to the opening of Mississippi Civil Rights Museum is an insult and affront to those being honored. These heroes fought against hate and for justice and equity in our state. Their families and friends gave their lives in dedication to their belief in equality. Within the walls of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, the heroes of a generation are being honored. Heroes who gave their all to further racial progress in Mississippi and our country at large. Fannie Lou Hamer, Hollis Watkins, Jimmie Travis, and many more were beaten and jailed. Many more, men like Vernon Dahmer, Medgar Evers, and Wharlest Jackson lost their lives. Hundreds of everyday people were a part of the historic work that lives on today. They deserve to be honored. The next generation must have a place to preserve this history. To invite a man like Donald Trump to speak, when these icons and forgotten everyday heroes are being honored can only be seen as a classic white supremacy power move akin to raising confederate statues in the city square after reconstruction. Allowing this President to overshadow those who fight for equity and justice screams "Yes, you can have this museum but men like us will always control things." Time and time again, Donald Trump has failed to respect and honor people of color, exhibiting a special disrespect for black people. His political career was built on disrespecting and insulting our first African American President, Barack Obama. From his tone deaf visit to the National African American History Museum to engaging in racist rhetoric while honoring Native American veterans he has repeatedly proven he can not be trusted in people of color centered spaces. Donald Trump demands the attention be on him, distracting from the sacred spaces he has the privilege of occupying. He is supported by many racist groups including the KKK, neo-nazis and white nationalists. All of which show up to support him when he makes appearances. They have no place here. Why would Mississippians want to encourage this bigotry by inviting this man to such a momentous occasion? President Trump's record on human rights, racial justice and equity should, most definitely, exclude him from being included in this opening. Donald Trump should not be who Mississippi wants to be. His ideas are vestiges of the past. He isn't representative of where those of us united for a better Mississippi want to go. Governor Phil Bryant needs to make this right and rescind the invitation he made to President Trump immediately.
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