Sunday Open Thread

I hope you enjoy this weekend with family and friends.

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62 Responses to Sunday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    Black people are saying, Where are our leaders? Who are we voting for?’

    There is a sense of political disengagement among black and minority-ethnic people in Britain – nearly 20% are not even registered to vote. What can be done to overcome this disaffection?
    Anxious, atomised… and not in it together: the state of Britain in 2015
    Britain Uncovered survey results: the attitudes and beliefs of Britons in 2015
    What would happen if Britain left the EU?

    When the UK elected its first black MPs just 28 years ago, there were those already in the House of Commons who felt their presence brought the institution into disrepute. A few well established MPs remarked that parliament’s proud history was now tainted – one complained that the new cohort of black MPs were “sycophantic, subservient and grovelling, always coming to white people with their begging bowls”.

    At least this is how Bernie Grant – the late MP for Tottenham, whose response was to show up for the state opening of parliament in full African regalia – remembered it, according to the biography written by his father.

    On 8 April, a promising spring night in north London, 15 years to the day since Bernie Grant’s death and less than a month before the general election, Grant’s life is being commemorated at the arts centre named after him, a calm cube of a building. Today’s black MPs have gathered to answer questions about race, equality, democratic representation and how far, or not, things have come.

    The picture is a mixed one. Of the MPs elected alongside Grant, one, Paul Boateng, is now a peer, having become the first black minister under Tony Blair. Diane Abbott ran for leadership of the Labour party against Ed Miliband and is now contesting – against current Tottenham incumbent David Lammy – to be Labour candidate for London mayor. Asian MP Keith Vaz, also elected in 1987, is chair of the influential home affairs select committee.

  2. rikyrah says:

    Expanding the pattern for black actresses in all-female “Blood Quilt”

    By Nelson Pressley April 17

    Meeya Davis plays Amber in “The Blood Quilt” by Katori Hall at Arena Stage. The play includes an all-female team of actors and directors. (Andre Chung/for The Washington Post)
    If there were plenty of rangy and surprising parts for black women on American stages, Katori Hall might not have become a playwright. But while taking a class in college, Hall and an acting partner were stumped trying to find plays with scenes for two young black women.

    “From that moment, I committed myself to truly trying to excavate what the black female experience is in America,” Hall says before rehearsals of her new play, “The Blood Quilt,” which comes with big parts for five African American women of differing generations and interests. “It is kind of my mission statement in terms of why I write.”

    The Memphis-raised Hall adds with one of her infectious, explosive laughs, “That means I’m going to be writing forever!”

    “The Blood Quilt” involves four sisters — all with the same mother, now deceased, but with different fathers — meeting for their annual quilting reunion off the coast of Georgia. The premiere at Arena Stage marks a first for Hall and for director Kamilah Forbes: They’ve never been part of a show so entirely powered by black women (cast, writer, director).

    That novelty gives rise to questions about opportunities, none more central than those for performers. Afi Bijou’s initial reply is a huffy are you kidding me? snort.

  3. rikyrah says:

    How riding your bike can land you in trouble with the cops — if you’re black
    April 17, 2015 3:46pm

    If the tickets are any indication, Tampa residents must be the lousiest bicyclists in Florida.

    They don’t use lights at night. Don’t ride close enough to the curb. Can’t manage to keep their hands on the handlebars.

    In the past three years, Tampa police have written 2,504 bike tickets — more than Jacksonville, Miami, St. Petersburg and Orlando combined.

    Police say they are gung ho about bike safety and focused on stopping a plague of bike thefts.

    But here’s something they don’t mention about the people they ticket:

    Eight out of 10 are black.

    A Tampa Bay Times investigation has found that Tampa police are targeting poor, black neighborhoods with obscure subsections of a Florida statute that outlaws things most people have tried on a bike, like riding with no light or carrying a friend on the handlebars.

    Officers use these minor violations as an excuse to stop, question and search almost anyone on wheels. The department doesn’t just condone these stops, it encourages them, pushing officers who patrol high-crime neighborhoods to do as many as possible.

    There was the 56-year-old man who rode his bike through a stop sign while pulling a lawnmower. Police handcuffed him while verifying he had, indeed, borrowed the mower from a friend.

    There was the 54-year-old man whose bike was confiscated because he couldn’t produce a receipt to prove it was his.

    One woman was walking her bike home after cooking for an elderly neighbor. She said she was balancing a plate of fish and grits in one hand when an officer flagged her down and issued her a $51 ticket for not having a light. With late fees, it has since ballooned to $90. She doesn’t have the money to pay.

    The Times analyzed more than 10,000 bicycle tickets Tampa police issued in the past dozen years. The newspaper found that even though blacks make up about a quarter of the city’s population, they received 79 percent of the bike tickets.

    Some riders have been stopped more than a dozen times through the years, and issued as many as 17 tickets. Some have been ticketed three times in one day.—if-youre-black/2225966

  4. Ametia says:

    U.S. NEWS
    Baltimore Officials Begin Criminal Probe into Freddie Gray’s Death
    Mr. Gray manifested severe spinal injuries, fell into coma and died following arrest


    “always hearing about cops killing a black man in custody or escaping. what about White man. 0


    • Liza says:

      These beatings by 21st century cops in the US who have taken an oath to uphold the law surely must rival anything the Gestapo ever did to anyone. Or any “terrorist” group you can think of.

      Who are these cops?

      And when is the Department of Justice going to recognize this as a crime and prosecute some of these killers? Who in the blazing, f****** hell do they think is going to do it if not them?

  5. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    Statement from Freddie Gray’s family attorney( William “Billy” Murphy, Jr.)
    April 19, 2015, 3:09 pm

    “On last Sunday morning at about 8am, the police chased Freddie Gray, a 27 year old healthy man, without any evidence he had committed a crime. His take-down and arrest without probable cause occurred under a police video camera, which taped everything including the police dragging and throwing Freddy into a police vehicle while he screamed in pain. While in police custody, his spine was 80 percent severed at his neck. He lapsed into a coma, died, was resuscitated, stayed in a coma and on Monday, underwent extensive surgery at Shock Trauma to save his life. He clung to life for seven days and died today at approximately 7am. We believe the police are keeping the circumstances of Freddie’s death secret until they develop a version of events that will absolve them of all responsibility. However, his family and the citizens of Baltimore deserve to know the real truth; and we will not stop until we get justice for Freddie.”

  6. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    The movement for justice will continue on and on and on. It will not be silenced.

    The movement for justice will become larger and larger. More and more people will join it.

    • Liza says:

      Freddy Gray is a murder victim. But what about those who survive these police beatings and live with disabilities? Is anyone counting? Does anyone follow up? How many of them receive court settlements sufficient to sustain them and pay their medical bills? How many of these events get reported at all?

      And, what about those who do not have physical disabilities but live with psychological and emotional trauma? I keep thinking of Martese Johnson, the honor student at UVA who was savagely beaten by cops because when asked the zip code on his ID, he didn’t get it right. Prior to this happening, Martese probably thought he was doing well in this country and he was. Then, just like that, in a single moment he is in Emmett Till’s America, totally unprepared.

  7. Liza says:

    For those who are interested, Amy Goodman of “Democracy Now” has 24 pages on her website of stories she has done related to police brutality. I don’t know of any other news source that is this comprehensive on this subject.

  8. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    Joining w/ family & friends of Freddie Gray at Western District #FreddieGray #March2Justice #BlackLivesMatter— Justice League NYC (@NYjusticeleague) April 19, 2015

  9. yahtzeebutterfly says:


    • Liza says:

      I can’t describe it in one word. But I have always said that America will be destroyed from within. This brand of domestic terrorism, which is essentially the last gasp of white supremacy, and the concentration of wealth that creates inequality that is incomprehensible, are the two most destructive forces in 21st century America.

  10. Liza says:

    Well, well, well. Ask God for some answers and sometimes you get them. What do you call five resignations from cops who don’t like a black mayor? A GOOD START. Ha ha, LMAO. Good riddance, racist coppers.

  11. Why Hillary Needs Black Women to Win

    After Ferguson (and Staten Island and North Charleston), black women want to hear some answers from Hillary that white women don’t.

    On the day Hillary Clinton launched her second presidential campaign, coverage of her dominated most major media outlets. But on just about every news program Clinton’s campaign ended up sharing the spotlight with another story: the aftermath of the death of Walter Scott, an unarmed black man who was filmed being shot in the back multiple times by a police officer.

    The shooting of Scott appears to have marked a turning point in the debate over the relationship between law enforcement and communities of color. The tragedy is already sparking self-reflection and serious discussion of policy changes by those within the law enforcement community. Former New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly announced his support for body cameras on all police officers because of the shocking Scott footage, which he called a “game changer.”

    Americans of all races have expressed outrage and grief at Scott’s death. But the anguished reaction of his mother, Judy, served as a stark reminder that while there are universal struggles, hopes, and dreams that women of all races share, there remain some experiences that resonate more greatly in communities of color. Being a woman who lives in fear that your father, brother, husband, or son may be harmed at any moment by those sworn to serve and protect us all is one of them. Which presents a potential challenge for Hillary Clinton as she seeks to woo the voters that President Obama most owes his election to: black women.

    In recent elections it has been possible for a candidate to argue that the issues that are most important to women are those that largely transcend racial lines, such as the economy, pay equity, affordable child care, access to birth control, etc. But as discussions of race, law enforcement, and police brutality have begun to dominate political discourse within the last year it is no longer realistic to assume that when women of different races walk into a voting booth, they are pulling the lever for the same reasons.

    • Liza says:

      Last night I asked my husband if he knew why (some) white men want to kill and maim black men. Sometimes he has a unique perspective and can offer something that you didn’t expect. He grew up in southern California in the 50s and 60s, right on the Mexican border. According to him, folks got along back then, and I’ve heard the same thing from older Mexican Americans. But, in answering my question, he said he just didn’t know.

      But still I ask why. Why do this to another person? There are individual reasons to be sure, but this has been going on for so long that there must be common threads when you consider the aggregate. Why do so many of these white men who want to kill and maim black men end up being policemen?

      Every time I think about this, it’s like running into a brick wall.

      • Could this be it? A conspiracy to kill off black men to eliminate the gene pool?

        So You’re About To Become A Minority…

        According to the U.S. Census Bureau, white people have another 30 years to enjoy being America’s majority race. But come 2045, the white population will make up less than 50 percent of the American population for the first time ever.

        white people a minority

      • Liza says:

        I think that is definitely a piece of the puzzle, SG2. It dovetails with white fear that, without their vigilance, the day may come when white people are forced to pay for the sins of the their ancestors. I don’t know how pervasive that fear is, I just know that it exists.

      • Ametia says:

        Fear plays on one’s base instincts.

        Fear-mongering brings PROFIT$.

      • majiir says:

        I think part of why they do it, Liza, is because of their enduring belief that black lives are less important than the lives of others in the U.S. Contributing to this belief are history, racism, discrimination, scapegoating, and white privilege, to name a few. Since the history of this nation, it has been acceptable to abuse blacks and get away with doing it, and it has been the custom for some whites to pass this belief , and these actions, on to their progeny. The recent spate of some white fraternity members expressing racism against blacks overtly, the increased racial animus that has been expressed toward our president and Black Americans, and the fact that rarely is anything done when a young black male is wrongly gunned down by police officers/others exemplifies this belief.

        If the police were gunning white males down in our streets, members of Congress would have passed a law to stop it before now, but they don’t care. Most of them are white, and they also believe that black lives are less valuable than those of other Americans. If I live to be 100, I’ll never forget that when PBO was working on healthcare reform, Lindsey Graham took his ass on national TV to oppose it and made the comment that most of the people in SC who would benefit from the ACA were blacks. He knew better. He also knows that there are more whites living in poverty in SC than there are blacks. He didn’t want to insult them by mentioning that they’d benefit from the ACA, too, but he wasted no time singling out blacks in SC. He’s a racist, too, and he has also fully embraced the stereotypes about blacks, and he’s not above engaging in scapegoating blacks, too, as are most of the other white, male republicans in Congress. They’re not fooling us. They don’t seem to realize that we know racism very well, and their veiled racism is like them flashing a big red sign in front of us. It’s because of these types of things that I believe they’re very afraid of how they’ll be treated in the very near future when America no longer has a majority-white population. These suckers are expecting payback, and it shows in their every word and action.

      • Liza says:

        Thank you, majiir, for such a thoughtful response.

        I keep thinking that I understand the fear and the ignorance and even the hatred that perpetuates this problem. It’s not really that I understand it, but I have seen so much of it that I cannot deny its existence.

        But then I look at the Eric Garner video, for example. The man was standing on a sidewalk in broad daylight not doing much of anything and within minutes he is murdered by a gang of cops. Why are cops breaking necks and legs and severing spinal cords and tasing people to death? Why are they smashing heads into brick streets and shooting people in the back? Citizens are filming police brutality and murders and the cops are just getting worse.

        If this is some kind of racial cleansing then we are all doomed sooner than I thought. I mean the whole nation. Something evil is going on, for sure. I look at what happened in Tulsa, and IMO they’re hiding the truth.

    • yahtzeebutterfly says:

      I am so upset and sick!

      The police who did this to Freddie need to be held accountable.


      So heartbreaking! Another precious Black life snuffed out. I feel so sick inside.

    • Ametia says:

      these sick mofos killed Freddie, just like they did the others, Walter Scott, Tamir Rice, etc, so he couldn’t speak out against them

    • Liza says:

      Every single day, every single f****** day this happens. What in the blazing hell does it take to stop this?

      • Ametia says:

        JUSTICE. The arrest and incarceration of these filthy, evil, ignorant, murderers.

      • Kathleen says:

        I think it will take relentless pressure on police to follow rules of evidence and procedures and lobbying prosecutors to prosecute. It will also take local social networking outlets to put pressure on the local media to cover it. Organized, focused, vocal, unrelenting pressure.

    • yahtzeebutterfly says:

      He was brutalized…tortured

  12. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

  13. Ametia says:

    Oop, HERE IT IS!

  14. Ametia says:

    Still watching ‘Mad Men.’ One more episode in season 2.

    That episode where Don Draper has taken on the life of the dead Don Draper is mind-blowing.

  15. Good morning, Chicas!

    We had a Southern Fried Fish Fry yesterday and I am so tired.
    Southern Fried Fish Fry

    Fish Fry2

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