More than a year has passed since Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot and killed by a white police officer, in Ferguson, Missouri. The event sparked violent protests and almost immediately after, racial tensions surfaced throughout the U.S.
In these times, many of us are asking how we can support our communities and where we can find sources of positive change. Let me offer an unusual but effective way to bring hope and opportunity to our underserved communities: Chess.
The Ferguson Uprising has galvanized leaders, organizers and advocates to put their bodies, ballots and bucks on the line of defense for a more just America--one that doesn't create neighborhoods for some, but rather communities for all.
Extensive public opinion research has shown stark differences in how blacks and whites perceive the police -- differences documented in survey research going back to polling conducted in response to the Kerner Commission report on the 1967 race riots.
FERGUSON COVER-UP will blow the roof off the current narrative which America and the world has been fed around this story. People need to get the truth about this internationally relevant story, and this film will be the counter-narrative that everyone needs to hear.
Somehow, and despite our distance and disparate backgrounds, we quickly ascertained a kindred spirit, a mutual respect, and she was enthusiastically on board.
Cecily's case is one of the most egregious of the more than 7,000 arrests that were documented during the crackdown on the Occupy movement.
For a little while America can view these early campaign months as what one of my dear friends puts it: "an incredible piece of [political] theatre!" But given the escalating threats against world order, the allowance for humor or tolerance of those who extol ignorance as virtue must be short.
In a TMFS sketch, the head of the pro-police group, Cops Are Always Right, praises the New York Times for promoting the Ferguson Effect, aka, the idea that #BlackLivesMatter protests against police violence lead to more violence.
I was just at a party and someone asked me what I was working on. I said, "Nothing. I published my 25th book last Fall. I'm taking time off." He looked at me like I was a slacker or something. But that's not an unusual response.
The mayor's election is officially non-partisan, but Hayward is a Republican and can sound like the pro-business CEO he was: "We are a first class city that will compete regionally, nationally, and internationally for jobs, investment, and talent," he says, explaining that he sees his constituents as shareholders in the future of his city. Move over Donald Trump!
Earlier this year, a federally-mandated homeless count revealed that Los Angeles' homeless population increased, even though the city and county housed 10,000 people who were homeless in the past three years.
When we as a nation look upon the uprisings in Ferguson and Baltimore, and the marches in New York and Boston, the narrative denies these people the honorific title of patriots. But that is in fact what they are: patriots, people who love and strongly support or fight for their country.
President Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing, charged with improving police-community relations and reducing crime, has largely overlooked one of the elements most essential to accomplishing this goal: the need to reform drug policy.
Elders ask questions and learn how to build intergenerational movements, even when they do not understand younger generations. Elders build. Old people? They die. They judge and die. I submit that they kill young people in the process.
Much work still lies ahead. Reducing excessive court fines and fees would not have saved the life of Michael Brown. Reducing excessive court fines and fees will not stop the racially biased policing.
This #blacklivesmatter movement may not be our parent's or grandparent's political modus operandi. It is not far from it. It has benefited from it. No, the #blacklivesmatter movement may not be our momma's or daddy's movement, but it is on the same civil rights movement continuum.
As the country continues to deal with racial strife, fatal police encounters, and dogged economic inequality, the Watts protests has instructional value for advocates of racial justice and their adversaries. For the former, short-term improvements can prove to be fruitful and can be an important respite from the daily onslaught of racial oppression.
Long gone are the childlike days when I viewed the police as heroes. The notion that I could mind my own business and not be persecuted in the streets from a policeman was stripped away from me on August 9th 2014.
Parenting in the era of #BlackLivesMatter means that we are prisoners of circumstance with no way of escaping. Not even our total innocence can guard us from a fog of suspicion. It means each day I kiss my son goodbye, I do so like it could be the last time.