Attention fellow New Yorkers: please sign & share.

From our friends at Refuse Fascism and Stop Mass Incarceration Network [NOTE: I live in the 6th Precinct]. [NOTE: I live in the 6th Precinct.]

Iris —

#RiseUp!
eNewsletter of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network NYC * March 25, 2017

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Drop the Charges Against the Stonewall 4!

WE DEMAND – DROP THE CHARGES ON THE STONEWALL 4

Monday, March 27, the trial of the Stonewall 4 is scheduled to start.  The Stop Mass Incarceration Network is calling on everyone to stand up in support and demand that NYC drop all the unjust charges against them.

Who Are They?

The Stonewall 4 are members of the NYC Revolution Club who were part of a Refuse Fascism contingent at the February 4 Solidarity Rally at the Stonewall Inn, a beautiful outpouring of thousands who rallied to protest the Muslim Ban & come together in support of LGBTQ rights.

At the end of the rally and as the Revolution Club was packing to leave, they were confronted by NYPD officers for no apparent reason and 4 Revolution Club members were arrested.  They are charged with 7 misdemeanor crimes including Obstructing Governmental Administration and Resisting Arrest which carry a possible year’s sentence on Riker’s Island.  The charges are outrageous.  People of conscience must not stand aside while dissent is criminalized.

Take these actions in support:

SIGN the Petition!

Add your name to the Petition to NY District Attorney Cyrus Vance and Mayor DeBlasio: Stonewall 4 – DEMAND ALL CHARGES DROPPED!   Spread this widely on social media, to your friends, family and colleagues.

Court Support!

Monday, March 27, 8:30 a.m. – COME TO COURT!  Rally in front of 100 Centre Street, and come into the courtroom with the Stonewall 4.   We will show the Court that we have their backs and that there are people throughout the community who will not be silent in the face of this attack. Invite on facebook. Facebook Event

DONATE!

DONATE  for legal expenses. $3,000 is needed.  Your donation of $100, $50…even $10 will make a difference.


Sunday March 26 Potluck: Meet the Stonewall 4!

Please note time date and time change

6:30 – 8:30 pm Location: Asian American Writers Workshop, 112 West 27th Street 6th Floor, Manhattan (between 6th and 7th Avenues).  Trains: F/C/E to 23rd Street; #1/R to 28th Street

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Demand the NYPD Stop the surveillance and political suppression of Revolution Club and Refuse Fascism activists!

Demand the DA drop these outrageous charges immediately

Stonewall4@100Centre

Originally published from March 21, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

There is a pattern of NYPD stalking and surveilling political speech coming to light— from the moment Refuse Fascism first published a full page ad in the New York Times individuals have been targeted for political and legal persecution for spreading the urgently needed political message, “NO! In The Name Of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America!”

What you can do:

  • We need to raise $2,500-$3,000 to cover legal costs for a mainly volunteer legal team so please donate generously here: https://RefuseFascism.org/donate and indicate it is for legal expenses.

  • Sign and spread this petition and video on social media.

  • Next Monday, March 27, pack the courtroom.

  • Join a fund-raising potluck on Sunday, March 26.

On January 4, the day that Refuse Fascism printed a full-page ad in the New York Times, Refuse Fascism activists including several Revolution Club members went outside Fox News headquarters in New York City with a five-foot tall enlargement of the New York Times ad. As they were marching down the sidewalk towards the subway they were followed by NYPD vans, flashing their lights, and an entourage of around 8-12 NYPD officers. These stalkers followed them throughout the city, and all the way 35+ blocks downtown to a Refuse Fascism meeting happening in Greenwich Village, making sure to switch to cops from a different precinct as they got closer downtown and entered that precinct’s jurisdiction on the way to the meeting.

On January 12, New York police [from the 6th precinct] stalked, arrested, and brutalized a young person associated with Refuse Fascism and the Revolution Club. She and a friend were walking through Greenwich Village, on their way to a publicly announced Refuse Fascism event. She was carrying Refuse Fascism posters tucked under her arm. When her friend went into a store to pick up some food, a woman walking behind her read her sign aloud: “Stop Trump/Pence.” Seconds later, this woman—an NYPD cop in plainclothes—and two other cops, also not in full police uniform, grabbed the young woman and began manhandling her. Several police cars arrived, and the assembled NYPD force pushed her up against a car, and shoved her face against the trunk. The police subjected this woman to hours of abuse—political, physical, sexual, and psychological. And in addition to this she has been charged with three misdemeanors facing up to a year in jail. To read the fuller account, go to revcom.us.

On February 4, 2017, as the “LGBT Solidarity Rally” at the historic Stonewall Inn was drawing to a close, four people, revolutionaries with the NYC Revolution Club, and volunteers with Refuse Fascism, were brutally attacked and arrested by the NYPD. They are being charged with seven misdemeanor crimes carrying up to a year’s sentence on Rikers Island.

In a statement Noche Diaz and the other defendants said, “We were at Stonewall to stand with people against the first iteration of the inhumane Muslim Ban. We challenged and connected people with the need to confront the fascist nature and direction of this regime, and that protest alone would not be enough; we need to build a movement and drive the regime from power, and do so not just for ourselves, but in the name of humanity. We were attacked for bringing out this message. We have previously been stalked and arrested by the authorities, followed, and harassed by police and Trump fanatics.”

The stakes of these cases are very high—a key part of fascism is the trampling on and tearing up of civil and legal rights, and there are moves across the country to further criminalize protest, to erode and eliminate the room to even oppose the moves by the regime against the people and the planet. [Read more]

Should the NYPD be able to get away with stalking, harassing and arresting those people who are putting before society the horrors facing humanity with the installation and consolidation of the fascist Trump/Pence regime? NO! THIS CANNOT STAND!

Should the message of Refuse Fascism—the necessity to drive out this fascist regime—be politically and legally suppressed? NO! THIS CANNOT STAND!

Should those people who recognize the horrific consequences for humanity and the planet and are acting to bring this to millions more be surveilled, targeted, brutalized and thrown into prison? NO! THIS CANNOT STAND!

Should the message of those revolutionaries who while doing this sharply put before people the real history of this country, the nature of the system and how things could be radically different, be silenced and suppressed? NO! THIS CANNOT STAND!

This struggle against repression is an important part of the overall struggle to drive out the Trump/Pence regime and YOU are needed.

We are calling on all people of conscience to express their outrage at the illegitimate suppression of political speech, to demand that these charges be dropped, and the surveillance, in particular by the 6th precinct, of Refuse Fascism and the Revolution Club members be STOPPED. StopMassIncarceration.NYC http://www.stoppoliceterror.org/

Stop Mass Incarceration Network
Box 941 Knickerbocker Station
New York , NY 10002, United States

#muschniwogdowis of the day: “parallel construction.”

It is simply an invariable truth in the history of politics, in the history of government, that whenever a new power is acquired in the name of some threat, it always — not sometimes, not often, not usually —it always extends beyond its original application, beyond its original justification.
Glenn Greenwald (video @36:30)

Hey kids, it’s time to revisit the World’s Bestest Ever and Most Useful Ever Acronym Ever: #muschniwogdowis! And it will continue to be the bestest ever and most useful ever acronym ever until it is no longer true that Most US Citizens Have No Idea What Our Government Does Or Who It Serves.

Today’s fun topic is “parallel construction.” It comes to our attention via this piece in The Daily Beast:

AT&T Is Spying on Americans for Profit, New Documents Reveal
The telecom giant is doing NSA-style work for law enforcement—without a warrant—and earning millions of dollars a year from taxpayers.

Continue reading

The beginning of the end of police violence?

Talk is notoriously cheap of course, and at particularly cut-rate discount when it comes from the mouths of government officials. But this sounds really, really good to me.

U.S. police chiefs group apologizes for ‘historical mistreatment’ of minorities

Continue reading

Gangs of New York.

Over at The Nation, Simon Davis-Cohen has a piece up that will surprise no one who follows #blacklivesmatter. What’s new here, at least to me, is not the NYPD’s over-the-top militarization, or the disproportionate targeting of communities of color for aggressive over-policing. It’s not even that in the United States of La-La-Land, the criminal justice system does not work the way we whites think it does, the way were propagandized to believe it does. It’s that as the system’s tactics morph, new and different harms continue to befall these communities in unexpected—and unexpectedly devastating—ways. With apologies to our cephalopod friends for the unfair comparison, the tentacles of state violence are constantly shape-shifting without reason, compassion or constraint.

Continue reading

Korryn Gaines #SayHerName #BlackLivesMatter

The following is a post by my friend and Freethought Blogs colleague Nathan Hevenstone. Nate requested that it be reposted far and wide. I am happy to oblige.

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Just when I thought I could start posting lighter stuff…

Cops shoot, kill woman barricaded with little boy wounded in Baltimore standoff (I don’t know if the video in the link shows the shooting… I can’t get it to play. I’m sorry. Be wary just in case.)

In a fit of road rage, Anthony Vigilotti pointed a handgun directly at a police officer, but was arrested later that day without incident. From his mugshot, it doesn’t even look like he received a scratch in the process.

Jed Frazier pointed his handgun directly at police, but “officers and medics took shelter and continued to make contact with Frazier. Shortly before 3 a.m. Police say they broke the windows in the truck and extricated Frazier. Frazier was treated for minor injuries before being taken to the Lawrence County Jail.”

In a quick search, I found a dozen similar stories from July alone. White men, be they mass shooters like Dylann Roof (Charleston), James Holmes (Aurora), or Jared Lee Loughner (Tucson) — or men like William Bruce Ray, Anthony Vigilotti, or Jed Frazier — all live to face a jury of their peers.

Korryn Gaines doesn’t have a violent history. She was a cosmetologist and, according to her friends and family, a doting mother. She should’ve received the treatment that all of those armed white men received. Somehow, in each of those cases, police found in their hearts to overcome their fears without unloading their guns on those men.

That’s white privilege.

It should be noted that at least 682 people have been murdered by the police this year.

korryngaines

Korryn Gaines posing with her son over her back. Both look very happy.

I really want to say more. I’d like to say how enraged I am, how every time I post something like this, I do it through tears. And that is 100% true. I’m in tears now.

But so fucking what? What do my rage and my tears accomplish?

For those who are already dead, nothing.

I can support Black Lives Matter, and they are still dead.

I can post about them, and they are still dead.

I can show pictures of them being people, and they are still dead.

I can vote, and they are still dead.

I can donate money, and they are still dead.

I can talk about my white privilege, and they are still dead.

I can get out in the streets, and they are still dead.

These people, whose lives did fucking matter, at least to me, are now dead, never to see their children grow up, never to see or meet their grandchildren, or great grandchildren, never to see how there lives would progress into the future…

Because they were murdered by the damn state. Everything I try to do to make some kind of small change, to support a future where this doesn’t happen, doesn’t help the ones who are already dead.

But it can help those who are still alive, and still in danger. I can at least do something for all of you still breathing because, so far, the cops have seen fit to let you live.

God I’m sorry. It means nothing, but I’m sorry. We white people have to make it stop. Things have to change. And I’ll keep using my privilege and my platform to speak up, for those of you who are still alive, because your lives DO FUCKING MATTER. And until this country accepts that, I won’t stop saying it.

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Thank you, Nate.

blacklivesmatter

 

NYC FTW.

One of the things I love most about this city is that it is constantly recycling itself. If you’re a fan of urban hiking, you can walk the same streets day after day and almost always discover something new. Sometimes you notice something old that somehow escaped your attention. And sometimes, if you’re really lucky, you get yelled at by the police for taking pictures with your iPhone in a public fucking building.

Anyway.

On Friday I had some business at the New York County court house at 60 Centre Street. The subways on the West side don’t get you very close, so when you come up from the station on Chambers Street you have to zig and zag your way North and East for several blocks. I guess I had never taken this particular path before, or at least not for a long time, because I stumbled on something striking: the African Burial Ground National Monument.

IMG_5665

It reads:

For all those who were lost
For all those who were stolen
For all those who were left behind
For all those who were not forgotten

From the plaque by the street:

A Place of Remembrance

From the 1690s until 1794, an estimated 15,000 enslaved and free Africans were laid to rest in the African Burial Ground. In 1991, during construction of the Ted Weiss Federal Building, 419 skeletal remains were exhumed. The rediscovery of the cemetery sparked vigorous efforts to preserve this hallowed ground. In 1993 a small portion of the original 6.6 acre cemetery became the first below-ground New York City landmark and a national historic landmark. African Burial Ground National Monument was proclaimed on February 27, 2006. Widely regarded as one of America’s most significant archaeological finds of the 20th century, it is also a place of remembrance and reflection.

Ancestral Reinterment Ground

On October 4, 2003, the exhumed ancestral remains were reburied on this site. The bones and accompanying artifacts were placed in hand-carved wooden coffins made in Ghana and lined with Kente cloth. The coffins were placed in seven crypts as close as possible to the original burial positions with heads facing west. Seven burial mounds mark the locations of the reinterments. If you wish, you may place flowers on top of the burial mounds.

The plaque also gives an overview of the layout:

plaque

Circle of the Diaspora

The African Diaspora is the forced removal of Africans from their homeland to different parts of the world. It is also Africans’ unwavering spirit and ability to adapt. This circular wall, ramp, and interior court display cultural and spiritual images from Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, and other areas throughout the Diaspora.

Ancestral Chamber

The 24-foot-high Ancestral Chamber represents the soaring African spirit and the distance below ground from which the ancestral remains were exhumed. It is made of Verde Fontaine green granite from Africa. The heartlike Sankofa symbol from West Africa means “Learn from the past to prepare for the future.” The interior recalls a ship’s hold and provides a place for individual contemplation and prayer.

I found all of this quite moving.

It was a cool gray day, raining on and off. There was a long line to get inside the visitor center, but the monument itself was practically deserted: I saw only two people, both black, come and go separately. (You will be happy to learn that I waited until they were well out of sight before I started snapping pictures like a maniacal tourist.) The monument’s web site has some interesting resources, but I’d really like to explore the visitor center when I have a little more time. It has a book store, which I’m hoping houses a treasure trove of titles that can rarely be found all in one place.

I love New York City, and I’ve learned over the years that its history has at least as many facets as people. Sometimes its stories are sad or strange, sometimes surprising or even exhilarating. But at the rate this city reinvents itself, it seems unimaginable to me that any one person could learn all that much about it, relatively speaking, even over the course of a lifetime.

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A few blocks away, I was standing in line to clear security in the lobby of the court house. It’s pretty much the standard airport security theater setup: x-ray for bags and coats and whatnot, walk-through metal detectors and a phalanx of people in uniform, inside-joking with each other while waiting for someone to set of an alarm. Except unlike TSA agents, these d00ds were armed—NYPD, I think—and I couldn’t help wondering if they were also waiting for an opportunity to pull their guns. You know: to break up the monotony of Keeping Us Safe™ by killing someone.

As I waited my turn, I took in the stunning architecture, not for the first time. Soaring columns, vaulted ceilings, gorgeous details—lit up, unfortunately, by a monstrous chandelier ablaze with fluorescent glare.

IMG_5669

“Hey! Hey! You can’t do that!” I heard one of the uniformed gentlemen barking. I ignored it —it couldn’t possibly be directed at me—as I snapped another shot with my iPhone.

IMG_5668

“HEY!” Much more emphatic this time.”YOU CAN’T TAKE PICTURES IN HERE!”

“Oh. Really?” I was a bit miffed. What Sooper Seekrit stuff could there possibly be in the lobby of the same building where millions of New Yorkers serve jury duty, FFS.

“I’m sorry,” I said, “I didn’t know.” It’s not like there was a big sign that said NO CAMERAS or anything. I slipped the phone into my pocket. “Did you want me to delete them?”

“WHAT?” he snapped back.

“The pictures, do you want me to delete them?”

He seemed to think about it for a second or two before shaking his head in exasperation. Or disgust. Hard to tell, really.

Later I wondered if I were black whether he might have opened fire instead.

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On my way back to the subway via a different route, I spotted a Lot-Less store. It’s one of those discount/closeout/outlet operations that pepper the city, promising (and often delivering) all kinds of brand-name retail items, from food to shoes to housewares to electronics at, like, 80% off. I’ve always been a sucker for these shops, not least because when I’ve been poor, I could always score a deal there on some necessity. And when I’m not-poor, I take pleasure in paying a small fraction of the retail price for my gym socks and bathroom rug. Another opportunity to stick it to The Man!

I decided to take a quick swing through. And lo, it came to pass that I did scoreth The Deals.

For myself, I found an amazing dress for $20.

lotlessdress

It fits me really well, which is a small miracle because there are no fitting rooms at Lot-Less and also because NOTHING EVER DOES GODDAMMIT. I almost didn’t buy it. But then I figured what the hell: worst case, I donate it to Housing Works with the tags still on it. (They’d probably get more than $20 for it too.) It seems well made, of 97% cotton 3% spandex, and it has deep pockets. WIN.

But this dress? This dress is nothing compared to what I scored for My Amazing Lover™. That’s right, people: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles boxer underwear—with a detachable cape! As I’m sure you can imagine there were precious few of them left, so I breathlessly pawed through the racks hoping to find a pair in his size. And find them I did.

tmnturtlesboxers

L-R: front view, back view, back view with cape. 

I cannot fathom how one could possibly experience more joy for $3.99. Unless it’s happy hour, obviously. And yes, he loves them and will wear them to work under his business suit.

Possibly sans cape.

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Speaking of happy hour, I was shortly back in my neighborhood, treasures in tow, and headed for one of my local watering holes for a late lunch and some very good Rosé. The weather here this winter has been all kinds of fucked-up, but somehow the Bradford pear trees have rallied to put on their annual show of snowy white blossoms.

christopher&gay

The streets of the West Village never look more magical than they do in the spring, even on a dreary day. Soon all the white petals will fall to the sidewalks, and everything will seem snow-covered for a day or two. But the breezes will be warmer. And then I’ll get to wear my new dress, with open-toed shoes.

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[cross-posted at death to squirrels]

Satire is dead. Again.

Maybe it’s just me, but I find it harder and harder to distinguish national “news” stories from those in The Onion. Take this one, in yesterday’s Washington Post:

U.S. blocks some anti-drug funds for Mexico over human rights concerns

Fifteen percent of the money provided for the Mexican military and police is subject to provisions that the country make progress on protecting human rights, including enforcing rules against torture and prosecuting people for forced disappearances.

This would be finger-wagging by the same United States that instituted a worldwide torture regime and rendition program—and still refuses, in violation of its international treaty obligations, to prosecute the architects? The same country that holds vast numbers of its enormous prison population in solitary confinement? Yes, we’re lecturing Mexico about torture and human rights, and refusing to give it some money to fight its powerful drug cartels—the very existence of which is a direct result of US demand. Jeezus fucking Christ.

The War on Drugs is an abject failure by any reasonable metric. You know it, I know it, and the US government has long known it too:

In 1986, the U.S. Defense Department funded a two-year study by the RAND Corporation, a private organization with a long and close relationship with the U.S. government, which found that the use of the armed forces to interdict drugs coming into the United States would have little or no effect on cocaine traffic and might, in fact, raise the profits of cocaine cartels and manufacturers. The 175-page study, “Sealing the Borders: The Effects of Increased Military Participation in Drug Interdiction,” was prepared by seven researchers, mathematicians and economists at the National Defense Research Institute, a branch of the RAND, and was released in 1988. The study noted that seven prior studies in the past nine years, including one by the Center for Naval Research and the Office of Technology Assessment, had come to similar conclusions. Interdiction efforts, using current armed forces resources, would have almost no effect on cocaine importation into the United States, the report concluded.

President George Bush Sr. disagreed, arguing that “the logic is simple. The cheapest way to eradicate narcotics is to destroy them at their source….We need to wipe out crops wherever they are grown and take out labs wherever they exist.”

We’ll bomb everywhere! It’ll be cheap! Let’s turn all the fertile land and jungles of Central and South America into ash-charred barren deserts. THE LOGIC IS SIMPLE, PEOPLE. There’s just no denying that.

It is perhaps worth mentioning here the fact that before serving two terms as veep in the Reagan administration, George H.W. Bush was a Director of the CIA. Anyway:

During the early- to mid-1990s, the Clinton administration ordered and funded a major cocaine policy study, again by RAND. The Rand Drug Policy Research Center study concluded that $3 billion should be switched from federal and local law enforcement to treatment. The report said that treatment is the cheapest way to cut drug use, stating that drug treatment is twenty-three more times effective than the supply-side “war on drugs”. President Clinton’s drug czar’s office disagreed with slashing law enforcement spending.

Obviously the drug war is wildly successful as a pretext for the exploitation of Latin America on behalf of US-based banks and multinationals, and generates an endless stream of profits for weapons manufacturers and private prisons. WIN-WIN. Nevertheless, the very premise of the entire Post article requires us all to pretend that there is a military, law enforcement and incarceration solution to the illicit drug trade, when over here in the real world, there just… isn’t.

Similarly, as I’ve noted before, domestic mass surveillance programs do not work for their alleged purposes, and they are being used on targets that have nothing to do with terrorism whatsoever. Don’t you think those two facts should be highlighted in every news report about these programs? Headlines like these should be the norm:

Failed terrorist surveillance programs now targeting reporters and editors at The Associated Press.

NSA’s useless terrorist surveillance data now used to secretly tip off local police to suspected drug activity: cops paper over source of information, claim it’s only about 60 percent accurate anyway.

NSA, FBI and CIA agents say they can flush out terrorists by playing World of Warcraft all day: “deconfliction” groups ensure they aren’t accidentally spying on each other instead. 

If the truth is not Onion-worthy, well, I don’t know what is.

So let me get this straight.

ahmedmohamedBy now everyone in the world with an Internet connection knows the story: 14-year-old Muslim student Ahmed Mohamed was arrested at his Texas high school for the unconscionable crime of bringing in a home-built clock to show his engineering teacher. Teachers, administrators and police pretended the clock might be a bomb (because OMFG he’s a Muslim! HELLO?!!!), but of course they never for one second believed any such thing. Otherwise the school would have been evacuated immediately, and a bomb squad sent in. Instead, five regular cops showed up and proceeded to physically handle the scary, scary clock, search all of Ahmed’s belongings, confiscate his tablet, and then sit around with the principal interrogating the kid. When he was first pulled out of class to meet the officers, one whom the teen did not recognize leaned back in his chair and said: “Yup. That’s who I thought it was.” The principal threatened to expel him if he did not make a written statement.

“They were like, ‘So you tried to make a bomb?’” Ahmed said.

“I told them no, I was trying to make a clock.”

“He said, ‘It looks like a movie bomb to me.’”

OH NOEZ NOT A MOVIE BOMB!!!11!!!!!

Ahmed’s clock was decorated with a hologram tiger image on the front, which to me suggests a movie time machine, not a movie bomb, but what do I know? I am not a professional law enforcement officer trained to spot movie bombs (but not clocks).

Choking back tears, Ahmed was hauled through the hallways in handcuffs to shocked looks and gasps from other students and his guidance counselor. He was taken to a juvenile detention facility for processing: mug shots, finger prints, the whole deal—plus another round of interrogation by police, again with neither his parents nor a lawyer present. The ordeal ended when his parents arrived to pick him up.

Police have admitted they did not alert the bomb squad because, just like the teachers and school administrators, no one ever actually suspected Ahmed’s clock was a bomb. They arrested him because, they say, “he could offer no ‘broader explanation’ for his clock besides describing it as a device that measures time.”

I have to admit they’ve got me there. I am sitting here scratching my head, trying to come up with a broader explanation for a clock besides, you know, a device that measures time. But try as I might, I cannot for the life of me conceive of any other explanation. Any Ph.D. physicists among my Many Tens of Loyal Readers™ who would care to enlighten me? Because apparently the Irving Texas police department understands something about a broader explanation for clocks that I…I just don’t get. :(

So then the flaming asshole principal sent a self-righteous ass-covering letter to district parents, posing as the Great and True American Hero™ of this colossal farce:

In Irving ISD and at MacArthur High School, your child’s safety and well-being is always our top priority [unless your child is named Ahmed Mohamed, obviously] and we want to maintain open, honest and timely communication with you [and/or lie to you to cover up our comical negligence and overt racism and bigotry]. If there was ever an imminent threat to your child [again, unless your child is named Ahmed Mohamed], we would take immediate and necessary precautions [except for evacuating during a bomb scare], and we would inform you immediately. [Or maybe not: we might call the police instead, and then we’ll all sit around interrogating, searching and bullying your child.]

Irving Police Department responded to a suspicious-looking item [person] on campus yesterday. We are pleased to report that after the police department’s assessment the item [person] discovered at school did not pose a threat to your child’s safety [except if your child is named Ahmed Mohamed—then of course all bets are off].

Our school is cooperating fully with the ongoing police investigation [!!!?], and we are handling the situation in accordance with the Irving ISD Student Code of Conduct and applicable laws [which CLEARLY prohibit all clocks, watches and any other devices by which students might discover the time of day]. Please rest assured that we will always take necessary steps to keep our school as safe as possible [for those students who are not named Ahmed Mohamed. In case that wasn’t clear].

If the principal were not a case study in Conservative Personality Disorder, the letter might have read something more like this one, at the blog Without Bullshit:

I need to run a school in a town with a community of Muslims and a few Muslim-haters, too. Please stop thanking me and the police chief for our vigilance. I know this looks bad. In the future, I’ll try to hassle students of all races and religions equally.

Have a conversation with your kids about making friends with people who are different from themselves. That’s the best way to make sure we all know what’s going on, and can tell a boy with a clock from one with an assault rifle.

Sincere but stressed, your principal

Yeah. And maybe include in that conversation with your kids the fact that “over the last three decades, 90 percent of high school or elementary school shootings were the result of White, often upper-middle class, perpetrators.” Which reminds me of this:

racistturbanwhiteguymovietheaterorschoolThe criminal charges against Ahmed were eventually dropped but the school still gave him a three-day suspension, presumably for being able to tell time on campus.

CPCCrPjU8AI_5bJThe upside for Ahmed is that the Twitterverse rose mightily to the occasion: he now has a personal invitation from our American Muslim child murdering president to bring his clock to the White House, an invitation from Mark Zuckerberg to meet with him at Facebook, and invitations from MIT and Harvard to tour their physics labs. An anonymous donor has paid for a scholarship for Ahmed to attend Space Camp. YAY.

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Meanwhile, here is a story about another 14-year old boy, who built a fucking nuclear reactor in the lab at his school. Not a clock, mind you, and not a movie bomb (or even a movie nuclear reactor). No. AN ACTUAL NUCLEAR FUSION REACTOR. Not surprisingly, officials at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy took a keen interest, which is why his belongings were confiscated and he was arrested, searched and interrogated multiple times, without his parents or a lawyer present.

I’m just kidding. DHS and DoE offered that kid technical assistance, equipment and an invitation to submit a grant proposal. The kid paraded around with his fusion reactor at a bunch of science fairs to much acclaim, and won over $100,000 in prizes, a trip to Switzerland and a tour of the Large Hadron Collider.

Care to guess what color his skin was? Go ahead, guess. I’ll give you a hint: his name is Taylor Wilson.

Via Gawker, here are seven clock-building students not named Ahmed Mohamed “who got off scot-free for the heinous crime of DIY timekeeping, plus a bonus kid who brought an actual inert bomb to school.” He wasn’t even suspended.

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Anyway, I fucking love this Ahmed Mohamed kid.

Fortunately, Ahmed has no plans to return to his shitty high school. “I’m thinking about transferring from MacArthur to any other school,” he says. Good thinking there, Ahmed. Perhaps you might consider transferring to any other country. I highly recommend Costa Rica! :D 

Ahmed Mohamed embodies everything that used to be great about this country: education, innovation, opportunity, ambition, optimism, freedom. Now, he represents what we have become: a fascist, racist police state.

Welcome to post-racial ‘Murikkka, people. Nothing to see here.

palacefuckyouFUCK YOU, CONSERVATIVES.
#IStandWithAhmed

Have a nice day.

palacehappyface

Two police encounters, in black and white.

radazzhearnsOn Friday night, in Trenton, New Jersey, a black, unarmed, 14-year old boy was shot seven times by police officers while attempting to run away. Incredibly, Radazz Hearns survived and remains in stable condition. At about 10:20 p.m., two state troopers and a county sheriff’s officer were responding to a report of shots fired when they spotted Radazz walking with two other males. Witness Rhonda Tirado, sitting in front of her home at the time, said the three were laughing, joking and didn’t appear to be in any hurry when the officers, driving an unmarked gray minivan and dressed in plain clothes, abruptly stopped their vehicle and came out to question them. Radazz ran, the officers briefly gave chase, and then they shot at him at least ten times.

According to the Attorney General’s office, which is investigating the shooting, witnesses said they saw Radazz “reach for his waistband” before two officers opened fire.

Rhonda Tirado said she did not see Radazz with a gun, and that as he turned and ran he grabbed his sweatpants to keep them from falling down. “Those police were amped and they didn’t give that little boy a chance,” she told a reporter from NJ.com on Wednesday, while re-enacting the shooting. “There was no room for no chase. They just shot that little boy right there.” Tirado said no one from law enforcement has interviewed her about the events she witnessed on Friday night. The Hearns family’s lawyer, Samuel A. Anyan Jr., said he’s spoken to multiple witnesses who also saw the shooting and who would testify that Radazz never had a gun.

Around 10 a.m. the next morning—12 hours after Radazz was shot—a handgun was suddenly discovered under a nearby car. The Attorney General’s initial statement on the shooting said the .22-caliber pistol was recovered “later,” but upon further questioning admitted that “later” meant 12 hours later. According to the AG’s office, “darkness and the vehicle both impaired the ability of investigators to find it.”

The sun rose on Saturday morning at 6:03 a.m.

__________

josephparkerAt a traffic stop in Revere, Massachusetts, during the early morning hours on Tuesday, Joseph Parker, 34, threatened to kill police, punched 57-year-old Lt. Jeremian Goodwin in the head—knocking him out—and injured six other officers, two of whom were hospitalized. He violently resisted arrest while being taken into custody at the scene. Later on Tuesday, he pleaded not guilty to assault and other charges, and was ordered held on $25,000 bail. He is due back in court on Sept. 15.

^THIS IS WHAT WHITE PRIVILEGE LOOKS LIKE.

“Unfortunately, it’s becoming the new normal in law enforcement in America these days,” opined Chief Joseph Cafarelli of the Revere PD.

No. It is anything but “the new normal” for black people.