Black Agenda Radio Week of March 2, 2015
Triumph for Internet Neutrality
The Federal Communications Commission last week ruled that the Internet should be regulated like a public utility, with no fast or slow traffic lanes. “The Verizons and Comcasts of the world wanted to create a class system on the Internet,” said Kevin Zeese, of Popular Resistance. Far from opening the way for a government “takeover” of the Internet, “this is more like the First Amendment for the Internet, where people have freedom of speech and equal access.”
Black Self-Determination Requires Control of Police
The Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations has issued a call for Black community control of police. “We need to have the ability to hire, fire, train, set standards of behavior, fund, defund and establish the role of this force, so that it becomes a part of the fabric of the community, itself,” said chairman Omali Yeshitela. Control of police is a right of self-determination, he said.
Trayvon Martin Case Closed
Three years after George Zimmerman killed Black teenager Trayvon Martin, the U.S. Justice Department has leaked that it will not bring federal charges against the vigilante. “The feds are held out as that dangling thing that will give you justice after you’ve just been punched in the gut by the local cops,” said Carl Dix, of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network. “But, Malcolm told us that “the federal foxes cannot be relied on to deal with the injustice that the local wolves are bringing down on you.” The whole system needs to be dismantled.
No Quick Fix in Movement-Building
Kevin Alexander Gray, the Columbia, South Carolina activist and author who edited Killing Trayvons: An Anthology of American Violence, cautions that it takes time to build a movement. “The police are about introducing people into the criminal justice system, where they are tracked all their lives,” said Gray. “It’s about making people cower to power.” Building a sustainable movement to ensure that Black lives really matter, is a process. “It’s going to take a little bit longer than just two or three years,” said Gray.
No Justice in Benton Harbor
Rev. Edward Pinkney, the Benton Harbor, Michigan, activist who was sentenced to 2 ½ to 10 years in prison for allegedly tampering with an elections petition, said judges and prosecutors must be made to answer for their crimes against Black people. “In Berrien County, they have one job: to send every single Black person to prison,” said Pinkney, now housed at the state prison in Marquette. “In the Sixties, it was called Negro Removal. In Bosnia, it was called ethnic cleansing.” Pinkney incurred the wrath of police and prosecutors when he resisted the Whirlpool Corporation’s gentrification efforts in mostly Black Benton Harbor.
Denver Cops Kill Transgender Latino Youth