The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

December 18, 2014
by terrance

Taking Money From Obamacare Won’t Cure What’s Wrong With Kansas

Conservative economic policy turned Kansas into a “smoking ruin.” Now, a cure for what’s the matter with Kansas is coming from an unexpected source.

In 2012, Kansas governor Sam Brownback signed into law a massive tax cut that he said would boost the state’s economy. Brownback even mused about eliminating income tax altogether. That’s how enthusiastic he was. Conservatives were enthusiastic too. Kansas was going to show America how it was done, and Sam Brownback would be a serious contender for the presidency. Never mind what we already know about tax cuts.

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December 16, 2014
by terrance

Digest for December 15th through December 16th

Here are some of the people writing about some of the stuff I wish I had time to write about, for December 15th through December 16th:

December 15, 2014
by terrance

Digest for December 10th through December 15th

Here are some of the people writing about some of the stuff I wish I had time to write about, for December 10th through December 15th:

  • Those Who Approved Torture Shouldn’t Be Above the Law – If we don’t hold our officials accountable for having authorized such conduct, we become complicit in it. The prisoners were tortured in our names. Now that the torture has been exposed in such detail, our failure to act would signify a kind of tacit approval.
  • The media treats Dick Cheney like the royals on vacation. He should be in jail | Trevor Timm – Torture architects have been allowed to explain away rape and detention of innocent people. If we can’t lock him up instead, shouldn’t we at least be able to hold the next Dick Cheney accountable?
  • Help Us, Dear God – Somewhere in our country lies an as yet undiscovered gravesite and an appropriate stone to mark the date of death and the burial of the brain of one Richard Cheney, the 46th Vice President of the United States, familiarly and deservedly known as Dick.
  • It’s Not the Law – but Prosecutors – That Give Immunity to Killer Cops – Of course, the feds and their state and local counterparts will not break their pact with the police – not until a people in angry, righteous motion create conditions of ungovernability in America’s cities that allows no other choice.
  • William E. Douglas, Jr.: I CAN’T BREATHE! – I felt this was larger than that poor man, a father and grandfather, being suffocated by the institutions meant to protect and serve him. I felt this howling wail issuing across the country was an expression of something deeper we have felt, but remained unconscious of.
  • What Sexual Assault Does To The Brain – Though we may never know what happened in this particular case, it's not uncommon for trauma survivors to have very fragmented recollections and difficulty with details, according to psychologist Dr. David Lisak, a forensic consultant and sexual abuse expert. This can sometimes lead to an incorrect retelling of the story.

December 9, 2014
by terrance

Digest for December 8th through December 9th

Here are some of the people writing about some of the stuff I wish I had time to write about, for December 8th through December 9th:

  • Why no justice in cop shootings – As the country searches its soul in the wake of the recent wave of questionable killings by police, Americans of all races are struggling with a distressing sense of deja vu. This is not the first time we have struggled with this anguish and it will not be the last. But there may be a new prospect for hope this time.
  • Op-ed: Undocumented, Queer, and Bullied – Imagine living in a world where every single part of your identity is constantly under attack.
  • 6 Things the Mainstream Media Won’t Tell You About the Berkeley Protests Against Abusive Police – In Berkeley, California, a second consecutive night of demonstrations against police brutality turned ugly late on Sunday when a handful of the 500 protesters who began marching hours before broke police car windows and began vandalizing corporate chain businesses on several commercial streets.
  • Grand Juries Should Be Abolished – Grand juries originated in 12th-century England to prosecute criminals; in the 20th century, England abolished them. Other members of the former British Empire—Scotland, Wales, New Zealand, Ireland, Australia, and Canada—have done the same, but not the United States. As demonstrated in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases, today’s state criminal grand juries serve no useful purpose and make a mockery of justice; they should be abolished. There is nothing grand about grand juries.
  • Retired Cop on What Went Wrong in Garner, Brown Deaths (VIDEO) – If there's anything the last few weeks have taught us, it is how difficult it can be to understand how things can go so wrong with interactions between the police and the public. One question we had at Youth Radio was how the training of law enforcement officers factors into the tragic incidents we've seen over the past year.
  • To my white male Facebook friends – A plea to the good guys in my world to stop being so defensive and listen to other people's experiences
  • This Case Cries Out for Disclosure – What can explain a Staten Island grand jury’s refusal to indict police officer Daniel Pantaleo for the chokehold death of Eric Garner? Even if any answer is speculative and inconclusive, asking the question is an appropriate and maybe cathartic effort—one that can help prosecutors address these difficult cases in a more effective way that inspires public confidence in the outcome.
  • I Was Sexually Assaulted: The Shocking Reasons My Attacker Didn’t Get Prosecuted – "The prosecutors explained to me that I wasn’t a very good victim"
  • Everything Rolling Stone did wrong: How it should have protected Jackie from getting torn apart by trolls – Finally, the magazine stops blaming Jackie and starts blaming itself
  • Historian links slavery and Ferguson: US has always criminalized ‘living while black’ – The “peculiar institution” of slavery directly contributed to the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown, according to one expert, because American law has essentially criminalized “living while black.”

December 8, 2014
by terrance

Digest for December 4th through December 8th

Here are some of the people writing about some of the stuff I wish I had time to write about, for December 4th through December 8th:

December 4, 2014
by terrance

Digest for December 3rd through December 4th

Here are some of the people writing about some of the stuff I wish I had time to write about, for December 3rd through December 4th:

  • White America’s moral disaster: From Eric Garner to Mike Brown, a destructive view of “justice” – Eric Garner is just one example of black life devalued. Here's how white victimization is tearing the nation apart
  • The real problem in Ferguson, New York and all of America is institutional racism | Vincent Warren – Black men are not dying at the hands of (mostly) white cops – nor are those cops being excused from legal responsibility – because of mutual ‘distrust’
  • 10 Ways the System Is Rigged Against Justice for People Wrongly Killed by Cops – As passions and protests flared on the streets of New York City following a Staten Island grand jury’s decision Wednesday not to indict the white NYC police officer whose chokehold and rough arrest killed Eric Garner, an unarmed black man, a key question emerges: Why is the justice system so biased against holding abusive officers accountable?
  • Choking on the News – Is the U.S. a police state? Sometimes it feels it's headed that way. Reading the news about the Eric Garner grand jury decision coming so soon after the Ferguson grand jury farce left me breathless and shocked.
  • The Eric Garner Case Shows Body Cams Don’t Mean Much – You'd have to actually believe in police abuse for cameras to be effective.
  • Everyone But Us – The announcement that the St. Louis Grand Jury's decision would not indict Darren Wilson was about much more than his potential prosecution; yes, it was yet another reminder of America's creed, where justice for African Americans remains a dream deferred and where politically, culturally, and morally black lives don't matter.
  • America Can’t Breathe – While the case of Eric Garner's killing without a doubt reflects on the need for improved law enforcement practices, it also calls into question our legal system, and demonstrates the need for reforms throughout the entire legal process.
  • Why We All Need Affirmative Action – We should care about affirmative action because recent headlines have jarred the nation's consciousness to the immediate, lethal consequences of racism. Three recent highly publicized murders of black teenagers—Trayvon Martin in 2011 in Sanford, Fla.; Jordan Davis in 2013 in Jacksonville, Fla.; and Michael Brown this year in Ferguson, Mo.—demonstrate how racism can effectively condemn someone to death.
  • An Open Letter To Charles Barkley – Once you were not afraid to ask that all-important question: “Who’s afraid a large black man?” Tragically, it now seems like the answer might be you.
  • An Invitation to White People – Imagine you are a black woman and you have a daughter named Jade who is in elementary school. One day she comes home and asks you, "Mommy, what does 'nigger' mean?" Your heart stops as the weight of this moment hits you. Do you stick with a short answer — "It's a mean word for black people" — and pray to God that she doesn't ask you the inevitable toddler question "Why?" Or perhaps you take a deep breath and decide that you'd rather be the one to tell her the truth about being black in America.

December 3, 2014
by terrance

The President’s Too Modest Proposals Won’t Prevent Another Ferguson

As a grand jury in New York decides not to indict the police officer who killed Eric Garner with an illegal chokehold, the president’s too modest proposals fall short of the change America needs. The problems highlighted by Ferguson require more than body cameras and “oversight” for militarized police departments. President Obama should look to history for the response America needs.
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December 2, 2014
by terrance

Digest for December 2nd

Here are some of the people writing about some of the stuff I wish I had time to write about, for December 2nd from 16:02 to 16:09:

December 2, 2014
by terrance

Ferguson: A Perverted Process

Editor’s Note: Following my posts about the Ferguson grand jury decision, a few people have asked why I — and many, many others — still say an injustice occurred. This series of posts attempts to offer some answers.

St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch’s perversion of the grand jury process in Ferguson yielded an unsatisfying imitation of justice.

Perverted Process

After referring the case to the grand jury, and declining to recommend charges against Darren Wilson, Bob McCulloch’s attempt to shoehorn a jury trial into the grand jury process, without the elements that help to ensure a fair trial, was an intentional “misuse of a grand jury.”

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December 2, 2014
by terrance

Digest for November 28th through December 2nd

Here are some of the people writing about some of the stuff I wish I had time to write about, for November 28th through December 2nd:

  • Allen L. Roland: Why Ferguson Matters – Fourteen teens have been killed by the police since Michael Brown was gunned down on August 9th and young African Americans are killed by cops 4.5 times more often than people of other races and ages. We are obviously watching our police shift their mission from saving lives to prosecuting drug wars, social injustice and an increasingly visible militarized police state
  • ‘The closet is a terrible place…’ How coming out transformed five lives – Gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, it’s hard to be happy when you have to lie about who you are
  • Rudy Giuliani Doesn’t Understand Crime As Well As He Thinks – On Sunday, during a Meet the Press panel on the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, Rudy Giuliani reminded the world that he is an unserious person.
  • Black Men Don’t Need a Guardian Angel. Who We Need Is Our Guardian Slave. – From 12 to 50 it's assumed we're packing, assumed that like the Hulk or zombies we possess superhuman, virtually unstoppable destructive power. So where an average citizen may disagree, even argue and berate a police officer, treating them as the public servant that they indeed are, a black man, if he wishes to continue living, must channel his ancestors. His slave ancestors. He needs to forget there is a black president and remember that the default position of cops, cop wannabes like George Zimmerman, and the population at large is to view him as a perpetual deadly threat.
  • Fury After Ferguson – This is about whether black boys and men, as well as the people who love them, must fear both the criminal and the cop.
  • Darren Wilson and Cops of His Ilk Are Guard Dogs for White America – Darren Wilson is not a monster; he is the mundane face of white supremacy.