Newswire – Report: Trump Administration labels Blacks concerned about police brutality as potential terrorists

By Frederick H. Lowe

demonstratorsshowmurderedbypolicesign
Demonstrators display Murdered by Police sign

Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from NorthStarNewsToday.com

(TriceEdneyWire.com) – The Trump administration, FBI and police unions have labeled Black men and Black women who are concerned, angry and distressed about the steady stream of news stories about White cops shooting to death unarmed Black men and not being held accountable for their actions, as possible terrorists who need watching because they may resort to violence in retaliation. The FBI labeled the Black men and Black women who are outraged over the deadly shootings “Black Identity Extremists,” (BIE), reported Foreign Policy magazine, which broke the story titled “The FBI’s New U.S. Terrorist Threat: Black Identity Extremists.
“Law enforcement calls it a violent movement. Critics call it racist.” Jana Winter and Sharon Weinberger wrote the article published in Foreign Policy’s October 6 issue. Foreign Policy reported Black Identity Extremists is a new term first appearing government documents nine days before the White supremacist march in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 11, where a counter demonstrator was murdered by a Alt-right supporter.
The FBI “assesses it is very likely that Black Identity Extremists perceptions of police brutality against African Americans spurred an increase in premeditated, retaliatory lethal violence against law enforcement and will likely serve as justifications to such violence.”
Except there is no “BIE movement but in the fertile mind of those within the Trump Administration,” reports The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School, which covered the Foreign Policy article. The Brennan Center’s article was written by Andrew Cohen. “No journalist or academics have discovered and chronicled such a movement. No such leaders have come forward to say they are part of a movement. No one has killed a cop in the name of such a movement. The only citations to the movement, the Foreign Policy piece tells us, come from internal law enforcement writings made over the past two months,” wrote the Brennan Center. Knowledge about the alleged movement comes after Trump supported white racists who marched in Charlottesville.
Conversely, Trump called Black National Football League players who took a knee during the national anthem “sons of bitches” who should be fired because he claims they are disrespecting the American flag and members of the U.S. military, which was far from the truth. The football players are protesting the murders of unarmed black men by white police officers who claim they feared for their lives. So far this year, police and shot and killed 748 people including 168 African Americans.

Anti-police brutality sign

“In this sense, the report is the FBI’s version of the cynical “war on cops” argument that President Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and police union officials have been pitching as a policy to justify ending the modest judicial reforms implemented by the Obama administration,” reported the Brennan Center. Foreign Policy cited the July 2016 shooting of 11 Dallas cops by Micah Johnson, a former U.S. Army reservist who was angry about police violence against blacks. The shootings occurred during a Black Lives Matter movement, but the FBI doesn’t mention the organization by name. “The tactic here is almost diabolical. To deflect legitimate criticism of police tactic to undermine a legitimate police protest movement that has emerged in the past three years to protest police brutality, the FBI has tarred the dissenters as domestic terrorists, an organized group with a criminal ideology that are a threat to police officers,” the Brennan Center said.
Critics argue Trump is shifting attention away from right-wing violence to countering Islamic terrorism. The Brennan Center asks if you become a member of BIE if you believe that police brutality is a significant problem hindering criminal justice? Do you become a member of the BIE if you believe that the police too often escape accountability for the use of excessive force on unarmed black civilians? Does the FBI consider every member of the “Black Lives Matter” movement, which actually exists, a member of BIE? The Brennan Center then turns to former FBI Director James Comey who Tump fired. Comey has spoken about the FBI’s racist history. Under former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, special agents ginned up evidence that the civil rights movement was a communist plot. Under Comey, there was a major change.

 

Black Caucus Chairman, other racial caucuses, demand justice from Trump Administration

By Jane Kennedy

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 New Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond (D-La.) joins with members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to demand justice for all Americans from the Trump Administration. 

(TriceEdneyWire.com) – The Congressional Tri-Caucus this week held a press conference to highlight red line issues they’re demanding the administration of President Donald J. Trump not cross.

Led by Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond(D-La.), Monday’s conference was initially called to express the lawmakers’ objections to the pending confirmation of Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, Trump’s controversial pick to head the U.S. Department of Justice. Sessions has been under fire for his previous stances on civil rights and racial issues. The Tri-Caucus is comprised of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC).

However, moments before the afternoon press conference began, Vice President Mike Pence cast a history making, tie-breaker vote to confirm another one of President Trump’s most contentious nominees – incoming Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

DeVos, a Michigan billionaire, faced fire from teachers unions and public education advocates and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle primarily because of what many considered to be a shocking lack of qualifications to serve at the helm of the Education Department and her advocacy of anti-public school policies. Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Susan Collins (Maine) voted against her nomination, forcing the vice president to break a tie for a cabinet confirmation for the first time ever.

“It’s unprecedented that a vice president has had to help confirm a nominee for secretary of Education. I expect that Mrs. DeVos will have an incredibly harmful impact on public education and on Black communities nationwide,” Richmond said. “The Congressional Black Caucus will be watching her actions very closely and if she proves to be as extreme as advertised, we will fight her every step of the way.”

The Louisiana lawmaker had equally harsh words for Sessions, whose confirmation unlike DeVos’, is expected to win unanimous Republican support. Echoing sentiments expressed when he testified at one of Sessions’ confirmation hearings, Richmond declared that the Alabama senator is not a friend of Lady Justice or of communities of color.

Sessions was famously denied a federal judgeship in 1986 when the very chamber he now serves failed to clear him through committee because of accusations of racism. According to the CBC’s Richmond and the chairs of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, little if anything has changed about Sessions’ views on race and he cannot be counted on to provide equal justice for all.

In his remarks Richmond noted the Alabama lawmaker’s disdain for the Black Lives Matter movement and his publically stated belief that consent decrees, such as the one received by the Ferguson, Missouri, police department to provide citizens relief from civil rights violations, are a ‘dangerous exercise of raw power.’ Richmond also questioned whether he can be relied upon to enforce and protect voting rights for all Americans.

“Those are just some of the issues that we have with Sen. Sessions and his record and no matter how much time has passed, history has not changed and his actions have not changed,” Richmond said.

Democrats are both flummoxed and frustrated by many of Trump’s cabinet picks, some of whom, like Sessions, have records that are seemingly contrary to the mission of the agencies they’ve been chosen to lead, or who like DeVos, are also woefully unfamiliar with their agency’s key issues, policies and laws. The latter, said California Rep. Barbara Lee, “is just another example of the Trump administration not understanding that we’re a country of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

So, they also are preparing themselves to go to battle against any attempts to go backward and to forcefully challenge controversial and discriminatory proposals in committee rooms. Confirmation, Richmond warned, does not end the fight.

“We’ve been through fights our entire career and we will use our positions on our various committees, our role as oversight, our role as appropriators and everything else to make sure that we hold this administration accountable. And one thing we will do is make sure that there’s daylight and transparency and that we call out the things that are done in the dark and done with discriminatory purpose,” he said.  “And, we’re going to make sure that we hold this administration to the standard of the presidency and make sure that they understand that the role of president is that you’re president for all of America.”

 

 

 

Black Lives Matter is not a hate group

July By B19, 20BJ. Richard Cohen is president
of the Southern Poverty Law Center

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HUNTS POINT, BRONX, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES – 2016/07/17: On the second anniversary of the death of Eric Garner by NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo, the Black Lives Matter community organized the Stop The Violence Rally, March and Healing Circle in the South Bronx to remember Eric Garner and other victims of police brutality with a peaceful demonstration around the neighborhood culminating the march at the 41th Precinct where participants held a moment of silence followed by chanting “I CAN’T BREATHE” 11 times as Eric Garner did before his tragic death by an illegal choke-hold. (Photo by Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

 

Each year, the Southern Poverty Law Center, of which I am the president, compiles and publishes a census of domestic hate groups. Our list, which is cited extensively by journalists, academics and government officials alike, provides an important barometer—not the only one, of course—to help us understand the state of hate and extremism in America.

In recent weeks, we’ve received a number of requests to name Black Lives Matter a hate group, particularly in the wake of the murders of eight police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge. Numerous conservative commentators have joined the chorus. There is even a Change.org petition calling for the hate group label.
In our view, these critics fundamentally misunderstand the nature of hate groups and the BLM movement.
Generally speaking, hate groups are, by our definition, those that vilify entire groups of people based on immutable characteristics such as race or ethnicity. Federal law takes a similar approach.
While it’s no surprise, given our country’s history, that most domestic hate groups hold white supremacist views, there are a number of black organizations on our hate group list as well.
A prime example is the New Black Panther Party (NBPP), whose leaders are known for anti-Semitic and anti-white tirades. Its late chairman, Khalid Abdul Muhammad, famously remarked: “There are no good crackers, and if you find one, kill him before he changes.” Bobby Seale, a founding member of the original Black Panther Party, has called the NBPP a “black racist hate group.”
We have heard nothing remotely comparable to the NBPP’s bigotry from the founders and most prominent leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement and nothing at all to suggest that the bulk of the demonstrators hold supremacist or black separatist views. Thousands of white people across America—indeed, people of all races—have marched in solidarity with African Americans during BLM marches, as is clear from the group’s website. The movement’s leaders also have condemned violence.
There’s no doubt that some protesters who claim the mantle of Black Lives Matter have said offensive things, like the chant “pigs in a blanket, fry ‘em like bacon” that was heard at one rally. But before we condemn the entire movement for the words of a few, we should ask ourselves whether we would also condemn the entire Republican Party for the racist words of its presumptive nominee—or for the racist rhetoric of many other politicians in the party over the course of years.
Many of its harshest critics claim that Black Lives Matter’s very name is anti-white, hence the oft-repeated rejoinder “all lives matter.” This notion misses the point entirely. Black lives matter because they have been marginalized throughout our country’s history and because white lives have always mattered more in our society. As BLM puts it, the movement stands for “the simple proposition that ‘black lives also matter.’”
The backlash to BLM, in some ways, reflects a broad sense of unease among white people who worry about the cultural changes in the country and feel they are falling behind in a country that is rapidly growing more diverse in a globalizing world. We consistently see this phenomenon in surveys showing that large numbers of white people believe racial discrimination against them is as pervasive, or more so, than it is against African Americans.
It’s the same dynamic that researchers at Harvard Business School described in a recent study: White people tend to see racism as a zero-sum game, meaning that gains for African Americans come at their expense. Black people see it differently. From their point of view, the rights pie can get bigger for everyone.
Black Lives Matter is not a hate group. But the perception that it is racist illustrates the problem. Our society as a whole still does not accept that racial injustice remains pervasive. And, unfortunately, the fact that white people tend to see race as a zero-sum game may actually impede progress

The Black Lives Matter Movement’s political moment

By: Atlantic Monthly Magazine

 

Protestors yell as they are escorted out as U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event in Radford

Protestors yell as they are escorted out as U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event in Radford, Virginia February 29, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Keane – RTS8ND6

Political conventions have always attracted political protests, and the history of Black organizers protesting at major party conventions stretches back decades. Mass protests led by the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, then-Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee leader and current Representative John Lewis, and activist Fannie Lou Hamer at the 1964 Democratic Convention helped bring the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into existence and hasten the exit of white conservatives from the Democratic Party.
The 1968 Democratic Convention was upended by mass protests and riots from a collection of counterculture and civil rights groups, including anti-war demonstrators, black nationalists, and the nonviolent remnants of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Poor People’s Campaign. The surveillance, protests, and a political plot at this convention captured the fraught racial climate of the United States in the wake of King’s death and the ensuing riots.
With the 2016 Democratic and Republican conventions approaching, America’s mood is perhaps not quite as tense as it was after the anti-black violence of the 1964 Freedom Summer or the fear and destruction of the 1968 King riots. But it is still characterized in part by anger from black activists. Donald Trump’s campaign has fomented protests from black organizers across the country, and his racist posturing has led to renewed calls for protests against the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Black Lives Matter, a movement that dominated headlines last year in protests against police violence, has always been political, but the conventions provide much more direct avenue to electoral politics. Black activism could be a major force in shaping or disrupting the agendas of both parties.
Will the Democrats’ gathering in Philadelphia look anything like its 1964 or 1968 predecessors? Prominent activist and member of Campaign ZERO DeRay Mckesson stated that he expects organizing in Philadelphia to reflect young black disillusionment over Clinton’s candidacy and the Democratic platform, as well as the precedent set by a recent sit-in in Congress led by Lewis. Philadelphia activists affiliated with Black Lives Matter have confirmed their intent. Erica Mines of the Philadelphia Coalition for REAL Justice—known for challenging Bill Clinton about his crime bill at a rally in April—says her group and other black activists in the area will have a presence at the convention in late July. “We definitely plan on having a protest,” Mines told me.
The issues this time around aren’t solely the criminal-justice demands that Black Lives Matter and associated organizations like the Coalition for REAL Justice have made in the past. Mines told me she and fellow protesters are following Philadelphia’s strong tradition of activism and movements like Martin Luther King Jr.’s Poor People’s Campaign, which his successor Ralph David Abernathy  led at the 1968 convention after King’s assassination. They are pressing some very Philadelphia-specific issues, in keeping with the decentralized and local nature of many black protest movements.
According to Mines, the most important issues are “economic development, housing, poverty, jobs, and the lack of funding in Philadelphia.” One policy specific to Philadelphia was a new regressive sugar tax passed by the city council that can add as much as a dollar charge to packs of soda. “We have this new sugar tax that’s not a good tax at all,” Mines said. It “falls on the backs of the poor and disenfranchised communities.” Philadelphia activists have also forged an identity that echoes the city’s history of radical black activism. A 1985* incident in which police helicopters dropped bombs on black activists in the radical MOVE organization shapes how groups there operate. “We are in direct relationship and solidarity with the MOVE Family,” Mines told me. That means protesting at the convention to free MOVE activists such as Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted of murder in 1981 but who many black activists view as a political prisoner.
The plans in Philadelphia echo a familiar history of black protests at the Democratic conventions. But will that same spirit of protest also spur Black activists at the Republican Convention in Cleveland? The people planning it certainly think so. Planners in Cleveland have used much of the $50 million event grant from Congress on surveillance of black protesters and have purchased a Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) for use in crowd control. The original anti-protest rules for the Cleveland convention were so strict that liberal and conservative grassroots joined forces to defeat them in court. But Cleveland-area groups affiliated with Black Lives Matter would not go on the record about any specific plans.
Black activism could be a major force in shaping or disrupting the agendas of both parties.
Their reticence to go on record reflects a fear of surveillance among black organizers. After numerous protests in Cleveland in 2015, FBI officials intimated that they were closely surveilling the city’s activists. The Secret Service has also rolled out a muscular intelligence apparatus in Cleveland in advance of the convention. While most of their efforts are dedicated to addressing threats of terrorism, law-enforcement officials are also monitoring the social-media activity of Black Lives Matter activists.
Despite the increased security, black protesters will almost surely show up. Cleveland became a center of black organizing against police brutality after police killed Tamir Rice in 2014. The city has also been the target of a Justice Department probe into police brutality. The first major Black Lives Matter conference was held in Cleveland last year, marred by an incident in which a transit officer pepper-sprayed demonstrators.
Not all black protesters who show up in Cleveland or Philadelphia will be working for the same exact goals. Shanelle Matthews, the director of communications for the Black Lives Matter network, said the organization does not publicize direct action in advance, and the conventions do not have a blanket significance nationally. “Because we’re decentralized and all of the chapters work autonomously, to each of the chapters in their regions [conventions] mean something different,” Matthews said. Some chapters or affiliates that choose to protest might focus on police violence. Others may focus on economic justice. Still others may focus on environmental justice.
This is a critical summer for Black Lives Matter as an organization and a broader movement—as Matthews notes, it is “still in its infancy.” Local activists are seeking to build their advocacy networks and figure out what causes and methods make sense for them. Both conventions will provide opportunities for Black activists to make their mark on electoral politics, if they are so inclined. “I think this is a time for us as black and brown people in this country to really understand what it means to be part of the democratic process,” Mines told me. “It is a pivotal time for us especially for the DNC and Philadelphia historically. Understanding this is the birthplace of democracy and this is a once in a lifetime thing, we have to get our issues addressed.”
While these activists will undoubtedly draw from the legacies of 1964 and 1968, the thoroughly decentralized, intersectional Black Lives Matter movement may well add something new to the history of protests and conventions. After months of being overshadowed by the election, Black protesters will likely make headlines again in July.