August 26, 2013

August 26, 2013

Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks at the North American Board Meeting for the Union for Reform Judaism on May 31, 2013, in New York City.  Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images. Photo source: www.slate.com

It is poverty that kills. But Mayor Bloomberg, defending his stop-and-frisk policy that was shot down by federal Judge Shira Scheindlin as racist and unconstitutional, would have us believe it is blacks and Latinos who are the murderers. While claiming to be protecting black and brown people, Bloomberg drags them out as the bogeyman in the stop-and-frisk controversy to scare whites. His words sully minorities, but the numbers don’t lie.

New Edition Marching Band at the United Workers community BBQ at James McHenry Recreation Center. Photo by: Casey McKeel.

On Thursday, August 15th, the United Workers held a community BBQ at James McHenry Recreation Center. After the city's recent preliminary approval of the Harbor Point TIF on Monday, August 12, the group's youth-led Human Rights Committee wanted to celebrate fair development and demonstrate the need to work together and continue to organize. The local talent featured the New Edition Marching Band, which is a community group that uses the Recreation Center as it's practice space.

Todd Heisler/The New York Times. See: "Following King’s Path, and Trying to Galvanize a New Generation," New York Times, August 24, 2013.

We have a tendency to view the history of the Civil Rights movement through a messianic lens, as if Christ came in the form of a King and paid the price for us. But the reality is that there is a price we must each pay today because the work is not yet done. If we are to truly overcome and secure social justice and racial equity, if we are to triumph over the triple evils of racism, materialism, and militarism, if we are to seize power over the Wall Street oligarchs and corporate plutocrats, then we must set aside the dominant yet dangerous superficial and superstitious reading and understanding of the struggle for African American liberation.

On Wednesday afternoon, August 21, 2013, Pfc. Bradley Manning’s attorney David Coombs held a press conference at a hotel in Hanover, MD. It is located just minutes from Fort Meade, where his client the Wikileaks whistle-blower had earlier received a 35-year prison sentence from the trial judge, Col. Denise Lind.

Sketch of Chelsea Manning's trial. (Drawing by Clark Stoeckley)

“I want people to see the truth … regardless of who they are … because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public.” – Chelsea Manning weeks after she leaked the “Collateral Murder” video and just days before military police arrived to arrest her on May 29, 2010.

On August 28th 1963, the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom galvanized hundreds of thousands in the streets of the nation’s capital. On August 25th 1925, A. Philip Randolph helped to establish the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters in Harlem, NY. It was in August 1791 that the Haitian Revolution first broke the chains of French colonialism. August marks the Nat Turner Rebellion of 1831 and Watts Uprising of 1965.

Thousands gathered this weekend for the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. (Photo by Paul J. Richards, AFP/Getty Images)

As Americans commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of The March on Washington, our nation will reflect on Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream, a utopian vision which placed emphasis on one's character, not color.

Many will make the journey to relive this historic moment, envisioning what America was like fifty years ago when Dr. King gave America’s version of The Sermon on the Mount.