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We cannot rest

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Posted at the St. Louis American website: Thursday, February 12, 2015 8:18 am

Under-sung sistah warrior Ella Baker inspired Sweet Honey in the Rock to write “Ella’s Song.”
Under-sung sistah warrior Ella Baker inspired Sweet Honey in the Rock to write “Ella’s Song.”

On Monday, February 9, the Board of Aldermen’s Public Safety Committee was getting the last round of input on the Civilian Oversight Board bill #208. I could not help but think about Governor George Wallace’s infamous words in 1963, as I have throughout the struggle for local control: “I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”

I saw Gov. Wallace deliver that inaugural speech as a young teen, and it had a visual and psychological impact. Here was a white man of authority, openly denying the rights of black people to the world. He did so with unapologetic arrogance and seemingly without censorship from other white people in authority. I watched the white people around him co-signing his threats and nodding in support.

To a kid up North watching on a black and white TV, the situation was clearly about blacks and whites. It seemed like there was no hope for black people in Alabama. The formidable Civil Rights Movement busted up the most open and egregious forms of white supremacy, but the struggle continues to eliminate all vestiges of hate, discrimination and racial inequities across the society.

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STL cops can’t contain their bullying

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Led by their fearless and confused leader Jeff Roorda, some of St. Louis cops couldn’t contain themselves at the Civilian Oversight Board Bill hearing at City Hall tonite. The hearing was sponsored by the Public Safety Committee to get input on the new bill. Tensions were heightened as more people expressed their general support for the bill and the cops reacted. Roorda, head of the St. Louis Police Officers Association (SLPOA), allegedly push a black female as he tried to make a speedy exit. Before leaving, he took a swipe at Alderman Terry Kennedy by demanding that he get some order. Kennedy, politely but sternly, replied he didn’t need Roorda telling him how to run his hearing.

The disruption was wrong on so many levels and reflects the plantation politics in St. Louis. If there was any good to be found, it was that Roorda and his gang successfully made the case as to why this City needs police oversight. ft they would carry on their bullying tactics in a room full of people and cameras, imagine what they would do in a dark alley with no witnesses. It’s a scary scenario.

I testified tonite. My last sentence was “the St. Louis Police Officers Association needs to come up to 2015.” This group, along with others of the white racist elite,  are hell bent on maintaining the status quo and treating black folks as if they 3/5 of a human. These people don’t understand that it’s a new day.

Check out the KSDK video.

 

Photo by Wiley Price.

 

 

 

 

 

Selma is Now: A review of the movie

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In 1988, as a supporter of Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaign, I traveled throughout the South organizing and writing. Selma, AL was one of my stopping points. My schedule put me in the historic town right at the time of the annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee, which commemorates the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery. (That’s the civil description; I prefer to call it “Bloody Sunday,” which most vividly and accurately describes the event.)

Read the rest of the review at Jacobin.