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It is important to know where the flaws in the system are before you are faced with a headline-grabbing instance of police brutality in your city. If your police system has these sizeable gaps in civilian protection (and chances are they do) then there are issues of police misconduct and brutality happening in your city right now, whether you hear about them or not.
It was back to the edit room to update yet again a video that is heartbreakingly more relevant than ever. We can only pray that it will never need another revision. Sadly, we're pretty damn sure it will.
Whether you are a Hollywood executive, a corporate sponsor, a progressive Police Chief, or a common Jane or Joe that wants to see a less divided society, we will all play a role in creating a new and better future. If we choose to cast ourselves in that role.
Parker J. Palmer is an author, educator, and activist who focuses on issues in education, community, leadership, spirituality and social change, with nearly 10 books and countless articles to his credit.
We live in a society that sorts out and channels Black and Latino youth into poorly performing schools where they must pass through metal detectors on a daily basis, into dead-end low paying jobs where and when jobs are actually available, and too often, into prison.
Despite past voting obstacles, there are compelling reasons for blacks in Ferguson to rush to barricades this time to vote. One is the prospect of a regime change. Another is they could move to dump the racket that city officials have run for years that criminalizes virtually the city entire black population. Another is there's no excuse.
My heart goes out to every officer and their families killed in the line of duty. That is a pain I wish on no one. But like Fannie Lou Hamer famously said, I am also sick and tired of being sick and tired -- of the denial of institutional racism, even in the midst of overwhelming evidence.
Goldsmith's writing and performance of "The Body of Michael Brown" is problematic, not because he does not have the "right" to use the text, but because his use of it is fundamentally false.
Jack* and I opted into the discomfort of racism, prejudice and the history of law enforcement in America among black and brown communities and Jesus met us there. We were honest about our fears, limitations and ignorance about the other because of our cultural lenses.
It was for a jury of citizens, in a public trail, to judge whether Officer Wilson's justification defense was trustworthy and viable; and ultimately for a jury of citizens to render final judgment about whether Wilson should be held accountable for the death of Michael Brown.
Overall, white Americans believe that discrimination against whites (i.e., "reverse racism") is a more prevalent phenomenon than the racial discrimination African Americans face. That's why the Justice Department's investigation of the police department and the municipal court system in Ferguson, Missouri, is so important.
My point of view in life is perfectly valid, but my aim as a songwriter and communicator is to sing about my reality in a way that resonates with you, because at the end of the day, the human experience is collective.
Last year's jury decisions in racially-charged investigations were only the most recent to reveal the schism in the country's perceptions of how race intersects with justice. From the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research archives, here is a look back over more than twenty years of data on race and the jury system.
As North Carolina spawned the lunch counter sit-ins that put the Civil Rights movement directly in the faces of ordinary Americans 55 years ago, the state is also giving America an effective model for social justice organizing in today's society -- the Forward Together movement.
The challenge in addressing race relations in America has always been struggling to find the right place and time. In order to effectively embark upon that journey, police may need to be their own first respondents in addressing race and ethnicity within their own communities.