NAACP: A Man Was Lynched Yesterday, And The Day Before That, Too

a man was lynched yesterday
“A man was lynched yesterday.” (Photo: NAACP)

Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Darkness.

Light.

Justice.

Peace.

Love.

Five officers killed in Dallas.

Five.

One sniper. Acting alone. While many, many #BlackLivesMatter activists marched peacefully.

Before that, however, the many lives lost in the African American community at the hands of law enforcement, which gave rise, finally, to #BlackLivesMatter.

We do not condone violence against African Americans.

We do not condone violence against police.

The overwhelming majority of African Americans want peace.

The overwhelming majority of police want peace.

The overwhelming majority of people want peace.

What sense can we make of the State of the Union? What is happening to us? Is this 1968 again?

Activists stormed the Democratic National Convention in 1968 and were met with brutality by police. Why did they not storm the GOP convention that year?

Because they knew the GOP would not listen anyhow.

A mere 12 years later, Ronald Reagan bowed down to “states rights” in Philadelphia, Mississippi, where, in 1964, civil rights workers had been murdered.

Ronald Reagan was calculating, the “great communicator,” remember?

He knew what he was doing. He knew to whom he was speaking. The Southern Strategy was alive and strong with this one.

The GOP has been stoking the fires of the Southern Strategy for decades. And the chickens have come home to roost. Talk about buyer’s remorse. Watch, as GOP leaders try, so desperately try, to distance themselves from Donald Trump. But many of these same leaders vowed, when President Barack Obama was elected, that they would not work with him at all.

And they spent the better part of eight years fighting each and every thing President Obama proposed, said, didn’t say.

Whatever.

From the moment that then-Senator Barack Obama declared his intention to run for POTUS, the number of hate groups in the United States began to grow. In 2011, for the first time ever, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported that the number of hate groups in this country topped 1,000.

Their number continues to grow.

And, now, with membership in the KKK growing, America’s oldest, most infamous hate group, we watch in horror.

For your consideration, from the NAACP:

Activists created the NAACP more than a century ago to fight racialized violence.

Then, we called it “lynching.” Today, we call it “police brutality,” but the effect is still the same — our lives are in danger. Endangered by some of the very people who are called to protect and serve us. We are all tense, angry, devastated, and grieving.

We grieve for Alton Sterling. We grieve for Philando Castile. And we grieve with the rest of the country over the senseless loss of lives in Dallas, too — because the execution of police officers does not end the execution of black Americans, and it will not put us on the path to change.

What will put us on the path to justice is the passage of the Law Enforcement Trust and Integrity Act (LETIA) and the End Racial Profiling Act (ERPA). Radical reform of policing practices, policies, and laws at all levels must be made — immediately — because the current system is taking too many lives.

We can take small solace in the fact that the outrage over this 21st century form of lynching is not isolated to the black community. Americans of all races and ethnicities are fighting to put an end to the epidemic of violence — gun violence in particular — in this country. Now is the time to come together as one in grief, in protest, and in pursuit of real, measurable change.

As an organization, we are doing everything we can to ensure justice is served, but we can’t do it alone. Stand in solidarity with your fellow activists, hand in hand with your community. Contact your elected officials to demand life-saving reforms to a broken system.

We can — and must — put an end to this together.

Cornell William Brooks
President and CEO

And, we remind ourselves again:

Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

A New Direction For Turning Left

Readers no doubt have noticed that I haven’t been posting much over the past several months.

Heck, over the past few years.

Turning Left is always in the back of my mind, but I really didn’t know what to do. What to write.

I didn’t want to be that snarky guy any more who just wrote for the sake of writing, that guy who just made fun of people, or went on rants.

I wanted to be more substantive than that.

I was so angry at times during the Bush years. Many of us were. But to look for people at which I could be angry, or to just be that angry guy during the Obama years, well, that didn’t make much sense.

And I was not always pleased with President Obama.

But, for the most part, I was.

I am.

So what to do with this blog, which has awesome page rank on Google despite the fact that I rarely touch it?

Found my solution today.

We need a new direction.

No, not right. Or center.

Let’s take direction as focus.

We need a new focus. A new plan.

And here it is…

We don’t want to become the anti-Fox News blog. We don’t want to become the anti-conservative blog.

We don’t want to discriminate against people because of who they are.

But we will be critical about people because of what they do.

That will be our new focus.

We will still laugh. We will still likely be snarky at times.

But we can’t be self-righteous. We can’t ignore our own faults.

But we can write.

We invite you to join us for the ride. Please visit often, enjoy, and, please, feel free to share our posts.

We have something to say that needs to be said.

We have words that need to be heard.

We are Turning Left

ThinkProgress: Alabama Lawmakers Vote To Bring Back the Electric Chair

From ThinkProgress:

The Alabama House passed a bill this week that would allow the state to once again put people to death by electric chair if the currently low supply of lethal injection drugs runs out or if the Supreme Court places limits on which drugs can be used to execute inmates in a case currently pending before the justices.

The vote came just days after a majority Utah’s legislature approved a bill to bring back the practice of executing people by firing squad. Other states are debating the merits of using gas chambers.

After the European Union banned exports of drugs used to kill human beings in 2011, states have been scrambling to find a reliable supply, often turning to secret, poorly regulated sources.

These bills to revive older methods of execution were proposed following a series ofbotched executions in which inmates suffered long and seemingly painful deaths — calling into question whether the drugs are as effective and “humane” as their supporters claimed.

Yet medical experts say the electric chair — which was used for hundreds of years — is an even more torturous and gruesome method of execution. Because the equipment is old and few people know how to operate it, it has often malfunctioned.

How sad. How so terribly sad.

Read more here

Video: President Obama Torpedoes a Loaded FOXNews Question

From our friends at Occupy Democrats:

BRET HENRY: President Obama, as you grappled here with all these national security challenges, I have two questions. One, back home we’ve learned that 40 military veterans died while they were waiting for health care, a very tragic situation. I know you don’t run the Phoenix Office of Veterans Affairs, but as Commander-in-Chief, what specifically will you pledge to fix that?

And, secondly, more broadly — big picture — as you end this trip, I don’t think I have to remind you there have been a lot of unflattering portraits of your foreign policy right now. And rather than get into all the details or red lines, et cetera, I’d like to give you a chance to lay out what your vision is more than five years into office, what you think the Obama doctrine is in terms of what your guiding principle is on all of these crises and how you answer those critics who say they think the doctrine is weakness.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, Ed, I doubt that I’m going to have time to lay out my entire foreign policy doctrine. And there are actually some complimentary pieces as well about my foreign policy, but I’m not sure you ran them.

Here’s I think the general takeaway from this trip. Our alliances in the Asia Pacific have never been stronger; I can say that unequivocally. Our relationship with ASEAN countries in Southeast Asia have never been stronger. I don’t think that’s subject to dispute. As recently as a decade ago, there were great tensions between us and Malaysia, for example. And I think you just witnessed the incredible warmth and strength of the relationship between those two countries.

We’re here in the Philippines signing a defense agreement. Ten years ago, fifteen years ago there was enormous tensions around our defense relationship with the Philippines. And so it’s hard to square whatever it is that the critics are saying with facts on the ground, events on the ground here in the Asia Pacific region. Typically, criticism of our foreign policy has been directed at the failure to use military force. And the question I think I would have is, why is it that everybody is so eager to use military force after we’ve just gone through a decade of war at enormous costs to our troops and to our budget? And what is it exactly that these critics think would have been accomplished?

My job as Commander-in-Chief is to deploy military force as a last resort, and to deploy it wisely. And, frankly, most of the foreign policy commentators that have questioned our policies would go headlong into a bunch of military adventures that the American people had no interest in participating in and would not advance our core security interests.

So if you look at Syria, for example, our interest is in helping the Syrian people, but nobody suggests that us being involved in a land war in Syria would necessarily accomplish this goal. And I would note that those who criticize our foreign policy with respect to Syria, they themselves say, no, no, no, we don’t mean sending in troops. Well, what do you mean? Well, you should be assisting the opposition — well, we’re assisting the opposition. What else do you mean? Well, perhaps you should have taken a strike in Syria to get chemical weapons out of Syria. Well, it turns out we’re getting chemical weapons out of Syria without having initiated a strike. So what else are you talking about? And at that point it kind of trails off.

In Ukraine, what we’ve done is mobilize the international community. Russia has never been more isolated. A country that used to be clearly in its orbit now is looking much more towards Europe and the West, because they’ve seen that the arrangements that have existed for the last 20 years weren’t working for them. And Russia is having to engage in activities that have been rejected uniformly around the world. And we’ve been able to mobilize the international community to not only put diplomatic pressure on Russia, but also we’ve been able to organize European countries who many were skeptical would do anything to work with us in applying sanctions to Russia. Well, what else should we be doing? Well, we shouldn’t be putting troops in, the critics will say. That’s not what we mean. Well, okay, what are you saying? Well, we should be arming the Ukrainians more. Do people actually think that somehow us sending some additional arms into Ukraine could potentially deter the Russian army? Or are we more likely to deter them by applying the sort of international pressure, diplomatic pressure and economic pressure that we’re applying?

The point is that for some reason many who were proponents of what I consider to be a disastrous decision to go into Iraq haven’t really learned the lesson of the last decade, and they keep on just playing the same note over and over again. Why? I don’t know. But my job as Commander-in-Chief is to look at what is it that is going to advance our security interests over the long term, to keep our military in reserve for where we absolutely need it. There are going to be times where there are disasters and difficulties and challenges all around the world, and not all of those are going to be immediately solvable by us.

But we can continue to speak out clearly about what we believe. Where we can make a difference using all the tools we’ve got in the toolkit, well, we should do so. And if there are occasions where targeted, clear actions can be taken that would make a difference, then we should take them. We don’t do them because somebody sitting in an office in Washington or New York think it would look strong. That’s not how we make foreign policy. And if you look at the results of what we’ve done over the last five years, it is fair to say that our alliances are stronger, our partnerships are stronger, and in the Asia Pacific region, just to take one example, we are much better positioned to work with the peoples here on a whole range of issues of mutual interest.

And that may not always be sexy. That may not always attract a lot of attention, and it doesn’t make for good argument on Sunday morning shows. But it avoids errors. You hit singles, you hit doubles; every once in a while we may be able to hit a home run. But we steadily advance the interests of the American people and our partnership with folks around the world.

A full, complete, thoughtful, reasoned response.

Man Framed by New York Detective to Get $6.4 Million

Wow.

Wow.

And more wow.

From the New York Times:

A man who was framed by a rogue detective and served 23 years in prison for a murder he did not commit will receive $6.4 million from the City of New York in a settlement that came before a civil rights lawsuit was even filed, lawyers involved in the case said on Thursday.

A $150 million claim filed last year by the man, David Ranta, was settled by the city comptroller’s office without ever involving the city’s legal department – which the lawyers involved in the negotiations described as a “groundbreaking” decision that acknowledged the overwhelming evidence the city faced.

More here.

Palestine: A Land Forgotten; Isreal: The One Forgetting

Peace in Palestine!

Palestine.

How much thought have you given Palestine recently?

We live in a country (USA! USA!) where celebrity news trumps news of the suffering in the world. News of the starving in the world. News of those still facing genocide. Still facing abuse. Still lacking basic human rights.

And we thrive to news of celebrity arrests, as if they matter one damn.

At all.

Had lunch with a now old friend, my friend is very young (comparable to my scalp line), but very, very wise.

And very empathetic.

My friend just returned from a half-month trip to Israel and Palestine (notice I’m naming them separately, as the two separate states the are, should be, shall be, Insha’Allah.

God willing, that is.

I will share with you in this space some of the amazing, alarming, and jaw-dropping things I learned from my friend today.

Israel, the state (not all Israelis, not all Jews), but Israel is persecuting the Palestinians.

And this must be stopped.

Did you know, for example, that Israel controls all water and electricity into Palestinian regions?

And, did you know, that Israel frequentlly cuts off all water and electricity if one Palestinian “misbehaves?”

Did you know that it is illegal for an Israeli to enter Palestine? Did you know that, on average, Israel demolishes four Palestinian home a day?

Did you know that Israel will not do trash pick-up in any region inhabited by Muslims, whether in the Old City, or Palestine?

Did you know that the Israeli government then uses that reality to refer to the Palestinians as filthy, dirty animals?

In short, did you know that Israel, to put it mildly, discriminates against the Palestinians, that the officials of the Israeli state refer to all Palestinians as “terrorists.”

Did you know that, at the Dome of the Rock, Israeli soldiers guard the entrance, allowing only a certain number of Muslims to enter each day to pray?

And did you know that Palestinians just want to live?

To own property?

To build homes (which is illegal now)?

To be human?

Thank you to my friend.

More to follow.

Insha’Allah.

Obama Continues to Kick Ass as POTUS: U.S. Says Navy SEAL Team Captures Shabab Leader in Somalia

From the NYTimes:

A Navy SEAL team targeted a senior leader of the Shabab militant group in a raid on his seaside villa in the Somali town of Baraawe on Saturday, American officials said, in response to a deadly attack on a Nairobi shopping mall for which the group had claimed responsibility.

The SEAL team stealthily approached the beachfront house by sea, firing on the unidentified target in a predawn gunbattle that was the most significant raid by American troops on Somali soil since commandos killed Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, a Qaeda mastermind, near the same town four years ago.

The Shabab leader was believed to have been killed in the firefight, but the SEALS were forced to withdraw before that could be confirmed, a senior American official said. Such operations by American forces are rare because they carry a high risk, and indicate that the target was considered a high priority. Baraawe, a small port town south of Mogadishu, the Somali capital, is known as a gathering place for the Shabab’s foreign fighters.

Read more here.

Suffer the Soccer Children: Crestwood Mayor Lou Presta is a Real Piece of Work

Village of Crestwood
First the water, now the vindictive mayor.

It wasn’t too long ago we were all saying, "If you go to Crestwood, don’t drink the water."

Now?

"If you go to Crestwood, beware the mayor."

Especially if you play soccer.

Play soccer in a league that has been in existence for more than 40 years.

A league that is its own not-for-profit (NPF).

Do you get that?

An independent corporation.

In existence for more than 40 years.

Feel so, so very sorry for this Illinois village, stuck with a mayor hell-bent on stepping on children for political gain, clawing his way to the headlines, making a name for himself as a perpetrator of political vendetta.

The mayor wants to see the books.

The mayor wants a cut of the pie.

The mayor has a political vendetta.

Suffer the children.

Here’s some background from Phil Kadner’s recent contribution to the Southtown Star, Kadner: Mayor picks fight with soccer club.

I like and enjoy reading Phil Kadner. Please make a point of reading him.

Ahem. Yes. The background, from Phil Kadner:

At issue are the soccer fields just south of 138th Street and Lavergne Avenue, which are on ComEd land overlooked by high-tension towers.

According to soccer club board members, 32 years ago former Mayor Chester Stranczek agreed to let the club use the property rent-free after the village signed an agreement with the utility company for use of its easement.

Volunteers with the soccer club leveled the land by hand, raised money to construct a $22,000 fence and gate, more money to buy soccer goals and an additional $13,000 to build a garage to house equipment.

The village cuts the grass on the field. But, for 20 years, the field has been in use by the not-for-profit Crestwood Soccer Club, composed of "more than 500 children signed up for its fall season; about 70 percent Crestwood residents and the rest from the surrounding suburbs," according to Kadner.

Seventy percent is an amazing figure for a club, and political suicide for anyone to mess with. Especially a 20-year agreement.

But why should that stop Lou Presta?

There are 40 recreation teams and five travel teams in the club.

That’s amazing.

So why, pray tell, is the mayor, Louis Presta, messing with this fine organization, and the 500+ children (70% from Crestwood) who are members?

First, Crestwood Trustee John Toscas is president of the not-for-profit (NFP) Soccer Club.

And Toscas, it appears, is not a strong-enough supporter of the mayor.

The proposed solution?

Again, from Phil Kadner:

A proposed village ordinance would create a new seven-member parks commission appointed by the mayor, and create a new position of director of parks and recreation.

Presta told me the position would be filled by a current village employee at no increase in salary.

But the ordinance says compensation for the director “shall be established by the board of trustees annually.”

Get this straight.

Crestwood does not own the land. ComEd owns the land. Kids play under high tension wires. ComEd leases the land to Crestwood.

Now Presta wants to call that land a park.

A village park.

Even though Crestwood does not own the land.

And there’s more, and it’s about money:

Not only that, Presta indicated he wants the soccer club to share the money it raises with the rest of the village’s recreational programs.

“Some recreation programs make money and some don’t,” Presta said. “I believe the money should be spread around so that those that make money can help support those that don’t to provide opportunities to everyone.

Of course. So this private corporation must now open its books to the village.

And pay, pay, pay.

Because Lou Presta, mayor of Crestwood, is a real piece of work.

A real, real piece of work.

Please read Phil Kadner’s entire column here.

The Muppets Attack Fox News: Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy Speak (Video)

Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy hit back at Fox News during a UK press conference following the London Premiere of their new film. Fox had publically criticized the film for supposedly pushing a ‘dangerous liberal agenda’ at kids.

Kermit mocks their blatant and pointless fear mongering before Miss Piggy offers her own opinion on Fox News.

Camera and Post by Russell Nelson.

So, so cool.

Tip of the hat to Media Matters for America.