Posts tagged with "racism"

Rita Azar illustrates article on white militia and violence for 360 MAGAZINE

ARMED WHITE MILITIA VIOLENCE

Leading national racial justice organizational leaders issued a joint statement on armed white militia violence and police camaraderie with militia members following the arrest of a militia member in connection with the killing of two police accountability protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

“Tuesday night, two protesters who were advocating for accountability following the horrific police shooting of Jacob Blake were allegedly shot and killed by a 17-year-old associated with a white militia group. We are outraged by these killings. The ability of a minor to travel from another state at the urging of adult white supremacists organizing on Facebook highlights the corrosive and dangerous convergence of race, police violence, and the presence of these violent groups. That this volatile cocktail was allowed to develop led directly to one of the most violent nights in the city’s history. In light of the fact that the suspect apparently crossed state lines in order to commit this crime, the federal government should launch an investigation to determine whether he was involved in an interstate criminal conspiracy.
“We are equally outraged by videos showing Kenosha Police Department Officers exhibiting camaraderie toward militia members – who were out in violation of the curfew before the shootings — and also seemingly ignoring protesters who tried to identify the shooter in this incident. Police solidarity with white militia members is abhorrent and intolerable – and it represents a highly dangerous threat to the lives and rights of people of color. In addition, the fact that Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis blamed protestors for the killings is another example of the racially disparate treatment that Americans across the country have been protesting against since May and for decades before. We call on Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul, to immediately investigate and prosecute these killings, the shooting of Mr. Blake, and the increasingly pervasive issue of armed white militia members confronting and attacking protesters demanding police accountability. They must also demand the immediate removal of Chief Miskinis.

“Finally, turning to Facebook, the prevalence of armed white militia groups organizing on the platform is not new. Facebook must also be held accountable for its inaction while these violent groups have been allowed to grow and organize. Facebook must take immediate steps to ensure that its platform is not used to foment violence and hatred — and to take immediate and comprehensive action to put an end to groups using its services to organize activities that perpetuate racism and cause harm.”
 
The following leaders signed the statement:
 
·       Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
·       Reverend Al Sharpton, founder and president, National Action Network
·       Melanie L. Campbell, president and CEO, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Convener, Black Women’s Roundtable
·       Kristen Clarke, president and executive director, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
·       Vanita Gupta, president and CEO, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
·       Derrick Johnson, president and CEO, NAACP
·       Marc H. Morial, president and CEO, National Urban League
 
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute (TMI) is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Follow LDF and TMI on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.
 
National Action Network is one of the leading civil rights organizations in the Nation with chapters throughout the entire United States. Founded in 1991 by Reverend Al Sharpton, NAN works within the spirit and tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to promote a modern civil rights agenda that includes the fight for one standard of justice, decency and equal opportunities for all people regardless of race, religion, nationality or gender. For more information go to www.nationalactionnetwork.net.
The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP), founded in 1976, is one of the most active civil rights and social justice organizations in the nation “dedicated to increasing civic engagement, economic and voter empowerment in Black America.” The Black Women’s Roundtable (BWR) is the women and girls empowerment arm of the NCBCP. At the forefront of championing just and equitable public policy on behalf of Black women, BWR promotes their health and wellness, economic security & prosperity, education, and global empowerment as key elements for success. Visit www.ncbcp.org and follow us on Twitter @ncbcp and Instagram @thenationalcoalition.
 
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. Now in its 56th year, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is continuing its quest to “Move America Toward Justice.” The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and voting rights.
 
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 220 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.
 
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s largest and foremost grassroots civil rights organization. The mission of the NAACP is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons. Members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights and social justice in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work by visiting naacp.org
 
The National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities. The National Urban League spearheads the efforts of its 90 local affiliates through the development of programs, public policy research and advocacy, providing direct services that impact and improve the lives of more than 2 million people annually nationwide. Visit www.nul.org and follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @NatUrbanLeague.

Violence Spikes in Major Cities

By Eamonn Burke

Last month, 65 people were shot in New York City and 87 in Chicago over the course of the 4th of July weekend. Six children were killed that weekend as well. The holiday may have been a peak in homicides, but numbers of shootings and deaths have been trending upward as the nation handles a pandemic and a historic recession. The amount of shootings in NYC from January to July exceeded the total for the entire year of 2019. Other major cities are experiencing high rates of gun violence as well, such as Philadelphia, where more than 240 people have been killed this year and which now has the 2nd highest homicide rate in the nation. Chicago saw a violent July, with 584 shootings and 105 deaths. Even smaller cities like Pheonix and Omaha are seeing rises.

As a whole, homicides are up 24% in the nation since last year. Data shows homicides and shootings trending upward sharply since late May in major cities across the US. However, as a national study shows, gun violence was creeping upward even before the pandemic began.

President Trump blames the rise in violent crime to “radical” Democratic politicians , such as Major Bill DeBlasio, despite signs that this is a bipartisan issue. DeBlasio himself blames the shootings on the virus, among other factors such as the BLM protests and faults in the criminal justice system that have recently been exposed. The Council on Criminal Justice also concluded that the virus is the root issue, and that it must be stopped first in order to reduce homicides. A chart of homicides in Chicago does in fact show a major spike after the beginning of the protests, and the BLM protests in 2014 and 2015 had a similar effect on gun violence. However, further analysis of police data instead points to a decrease in gun-related arrests as a potential cause, as well as the increase in gun purchases in recent months.

Police say that many of these crimes are gang related, and a shortage of staff due to the virus have made it harder to crack down on crime. DeBlasio was adamant about getting back on top of the gun crisis through the courts: “Our courts not only need to reopen, they need to reopen as fully and as quickly as possible.” Chief administrative judge Lawrence Marks fired back, saying the blame of courts was “false, misleading and irresponsible.”

A strange finding amongst this gun crisis is that rates of other crimes such as burglaries have not followed the same trend, and have even decreased in some cases. As this is extremely odd, it’s possible that it’s a matter of what is getting reported given the complications of COVID-19 and the BLM protests on policing.

Mike Ramos illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Police Kill Mike Ramos

By Eamonn Burke

New footage of the shooting of 42 year old Mike Ramos in Austin, Texas was released by the Austin Police Department last week. On April 24 of this year Ramos was shot after being cornered by police when a 911 was placed reporting two people (the other was his girlfriend) doing drugs in a car. Despite yelling that he was unarmed, which it was later proved he was, the police fired non-lethal bullets at Ramos. He then tried to flee the location in his car, but was shot and killed. His girlfriend survived the altercation. 

Ramos became one of the names that was chanted in the streets of Austin during BLM protests over the death of George Floyd. There were demands for the termination of Austin Police Chief Brian Manley as well as calls for more systemic changes such as defunding the police in the city, which has a history of inequality and racism. 

The new videos of the murder from four different body cameras do not show the shots that killed Ramos, but they can be heard. The video was reviewed by the District Attorney Margaret Moore, and the Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit alongside Texas Rangers are working to determine whether there will be charges against Officer Christopher Taylor, who fired the bullets that killed Ramos. The attorneys for Taylor say that the video is misleading and should not have been released to the public. “No judge has ever even ruled on whether or not evidence the government has released will even be admissible at trial” said attorney Doug McConnell

Mike Ramos’ mother Brenda Ramos is devastated and believes that the killing was unjustified. “I’m going to be in pain for the rest of my life,” she says, and states that she is unable to watch the videos.

Ellen DeGeneres illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Ellen’s Reputation

By Eamonn Burke

The reputation of Ellen Degeneres and her show, The Ellen Degeneres Show, are unstable after employees of the production alleged there was a “toxic work environment.” This included citations of being fired after medical leave, bullying, racism, and sexual misconduct by producers. While there were rumors of Ellen’s toughness, this is the first time a proper investigation has been done internally. 

Of the report, released in July, Ellen said in a statement: “We all have to be more mindful about the way our words and actions affect others, and I’m glad the issues at our show were brought to my attention.”

This report is not the only scratch on Ellen’s reputation, as it is the culmination of multiple years of rumors. Back in 2018, in an interview response to the Hollywood stories of Ellen not being as cheerful and kind as she appears on television, she called the rumors an “outright lie.” In early 2019, she was criticized again for pardoning Kevin Hart of his previous homophobic comments in an interview with him. A photo of her talking with George Bush in late 2019 drew distaste again, though she defended herself and said that they were friends despite different political beliefs. 

The closer examination of Ellen started with a November interview with Dakota Johnson, in which Johnson awkwardly calls out Ellen for lying about not being invited to her birthday party. It led to a viral Twitter thread including ugly stories about Ellen’s meanness which further damaged her reputation. Lastly before the report was an April scuffle with Ellen’s audience as she insensitively compared quarantine to being in jail while she sat in her mansion. It was also reported that her employees had been told very little about the future of the show. 

Most recently was a Daily Mail article revealing that Ellen may leave the show or be “cancelled” and that employees are terrified of this scenario. “The show feels done” says a source, despite producer Andy Lassner asserting that “No one is going off the air” in a tweet. It is possible that James Corden will replace Ellen on her daytime television slot.

Fredo Bang – Monsters

“’Monsters’ is a record about people who hide their true nature and intentions. In life you come across many different monsters… from being in this business to the average person you meet. With everything happening around justice and equality, it’s my way of letting people know to be careful of who you trust.” – FREDO BANG


“Fredo delivers his nastiest effort to date. Most Hated is equal parts grimy and triumphant.”  – DJ BOOTH

“With the 2015 arrest that threatened to derail his rising career now decidedly in the rearview, Fredo is back with a newfound sense of purpose: more viral, more hardworking, and more determined to advance than ever before.” – FADER 

“New Gen Winter 2019–His city’s favored up-and-comer and its most versatile rising act. Songs like ‘No Mo’ show his penchant for soul-searching narratives and music-as-medicine melodies; the success of ‘Oouuh’ proves he has a one-of-a-kind ability to reach all sides of the hip-hop and R&B spectrum.” – HYPEBEAST

“Known for his tales of life in the streets, the rapper behind records like “Story to Tell” and “Oouuh” shows just how it goes down in his hometown.” – XXL 

Fredo Bang, whose non-stop string of viral street anthems have generated over 154 million streams in the U.S. (over 165 million globally), keeps the momentum boiling this summer with “Monsters,” the brand new single + video available today via Def Jam Recordings.

LISTEN TO “MONSTERS”
VIEW THE “MONSTERS” VIDEO


With over 79 million global streams, Most Hated (released in April), Fredo’s fourth mixtape in less than two years, was his most successful to date. Included on Most Hated are “Get Even” featuring Lil Baby, “Trust Issues,” “Saucy,” “Waitin 4,” “Vest Up,” and “Yo Slime.”  Most Hated was executive produced by Moneybagg Yo, who appears on the tracks along with Lil BabyYNW MellyTee Grizzley, and Ceefineass.   Rolling Stonemagazine named Fredo #1 on its ‘Breakthrough 25’: The Fastest Rising Artist Of The Month list for April 2020.
 

LISTEN TO MOST HATEDHERE
 

Fredo Bang made his mixtape debut in 2018, with 2 Face Bang (containing “Oouuh”). Fredo’s brand was established on Big Ape, his eponymous 20-song mixtape (with “Story To Tell” (Remix) and “Gangsta Talk” featuring NLE Choppa). Shortly after entering a partnership with Def Jam in the fall, Fredo issued the 16-song Pain Made Me Numb, containing the singles “Cap A Lot” and “Slidin.”

Prior to the Covid-19 hiatus, Fredo was looking forward to hitting the road as the highest-billed supporting act on Moneybagg’s 26-city cross-country “Time Served Tour,” with dates running from March through May. Details of the rescheduled tour will be announced soon.

ABOUT FREDO BANG:
With his deep, barking drawl and a natural affinity for melody, Fredo Bang (Fredrick Givens) is the next rhymer to rise out the Bayou. The highs and lows of his life encompass turning down a scholarship at Texas Southern U. in order to study closer to home, and a stiff jail sentence for aggravated battery that was commuted in 2018. At age 23, the Baton Rouge native’s rhymes have now won the South. He has collabo­ra­ted with everyone from YNW Melly to Moneybagg Yo to Kevin Gates. 2018’s 2 Face Bang mixtape put Fredo on the map with the breakout single “Oouuhh” and a streak of hits including “Shootas on the Roof” and “Father” (over 22 million YouTube views). The street took deeper notice in 2019, with the Big Ape mixtape and a non-stop string of regional single + video hits that included “Oouuh” Remix featuring Kevin Gates, “Gangsta Talk” featuring NLE Choppa, and “Story To Tell” (Remix) featur­ing Moneybagg Yo. Fredo entered into a partnership with Def Jam in the fall 2019. The hits continued unabated with “Face Down” and “Vest Up,” then “Yo Slime,” and “Waitin 4” (with a beat from Hard­body B-Eazy and DJ Chose). Fredo’s next mixtape, Pain Made Me Numb hit in November, with the single + video releases “Cap A Lot” and “Slidin.” April 2020 brought the back-to-back releases of the single + video “Trust Issues,” and Fredo’s fourth mixtape, Most Hated. Fredo’s next string of new releases, “Receipts,” “Top,” and “Monsters” point the way to his fifth mixtape, In The Name Of Gee, coming soon.

John Lewis illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

John Lewis Funeral Procession Reaches DC

By Eamonn Burke

Civil rights icon and Democratic John Lewis will lie in state in Washington D.C. following his death on July 17. The funeral procession, which began on Saturday, included the Edmund Pettus Bridge, where a state trooper broke Lewis’ skull during a march, and a stop in Selma. It culminated in the arrival to the U.S Capitol and the ceremony held at 1:30 pm today, and it will continue until Thursday, when he will he laid to rest in Atlanta.

The arrival of the procession prompted many regulations including street closings and prohibited items in the city of Washington D.C.. The ceremony was private, put public viewings were available as well, in addition to crowds around the hearse as it made its way to the Capitol Rotunda. Those who were inside and invited, mostly House and Senate members, sat apart in circles. Speakers such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell remembered the life of Lewis.

“John was revered and beloved on both sides of the aisle, on both sides of the Capitol” said Pelosi. McConnell remembered the “respect and love” that Lewis showed everyone. The speeches were followed by a performance of “Amazing Grace” by Christian singer Wintley Phipps. Finally, Lewis’ son John-Miles-Lewis led the conclusion of the service.

John Lewis was a founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, a powerful civil rights organization, and later became the chairman. He also helped organize the 1963 March on Washington at which Dr. Martin Luther King gave his famous “I have a dream” speech.

Ski Mask The Slump God Burn The Hoods for 360 Magazine

Ski Mask The Slump God – Burn The Hoods

Florida’s Ski Mask The Slump God raps about racism, injustice, and inequality on his new single “Burn The Hoods.”

“Over production that feels ripped right from a horror movie score, he maniacally manipulates and massacres the beat with off-kilter rhyme patterns and incisive infectiousness,” reads a press release.

“Burn The Hoods” is the rapper’s first release of 2020 and precedes the release of his second full-length album, dropping in the near future.

Listen to the brand new single here.

FOLLOW SKI MASK THE SLUMP GOD: Instagram | YouTube | Twitter | Facebook

Sara Sandman, Black Lives Matter, illustration, 360 magazine, protest, rebellion, looters, riot, civil rights, human rights

BLM Mural Vandalized Again

By Eamonn Burke

Two women have been arrested in connection with vandalization of the Black Lives Matter mural outside the Trump Tower, the second time in the last 24 hours and the third time in the last week.

The women smeared black paint on a newly painted yellow mural after it was attacked on Friday, an incident which involved 10 people with blue paint. Red paint was used on Monday in another defacement.

A shirt worn by one of the women read “All Lives Matter” and claimed that the mural should read the same. Video captures her yelling “Refund the Police” as she was being arrested. Meanwhile, others witnessing the scene chanted in the opposing favor of their actions. Mayor of NYC Bill De Blasio called it a “nice try” in a tweet, and said that the movement can not be undone. Trump, however, has repeatedly called the mural a “symbol of hate.” Fellow Democrats such as Hank Newsome, leader of the BLM movement, and New York governor Andrew Cuomo are less extreme, but are also not entirely in favor of the mural.

“I like this project because it annoys Trump, but we don’t need de Blasio to sign streets. We need him to sign legislation,” said Newsome, expressing sentiments that the governor agreed with.

The women were charged with criminal mischief and released with an appearance ticket.

Rhea Roberts-Johnson in 360 MAGAZINE talks about Coachella and Goldenvoice.

Goldenvoice Black – Trailblazer

By Neecole Cockerham

Rhea Roberts-Johnson is the first Black woman to be promoted to a VP position at Goldenvoice, an AEG subsidiary. The new executive is also a new mother to an energetic toddler named Story, with her husband industry impresario Marcus Johnson.

As if having a career and being a full-time mom doesn’t take up enough time in the day, Goldenvoice staff and vendors have been forced to postpone Coachella, one of the world’s leading music festivals, due to the COVID-19. The coronavirus disease has created an unprecedented pandemic.

In the midst of the quarantine, the abnormally shut in citizens of the United States, witnessed via a cell phone recording, the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, who pressed his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and forty six seconds. At that moment Black people in the United States were forced into a position that challenged our civil liberties and stripped away our dignity as if we were inhumane. People of all races, from all walks of life took to the streets – men, women and children. The coordinated, mostly peaceful marches were organized by activists and the Black Lives Matter Movement. The protesters began to mobilize and protests began across the U.S and and on every continent around the world. People banded together for an unprecedented globalization of civil unrest and demanded change for the rights of Black people in America against the country’s systemic oppressed law enforcement agencies, and the society that inadvertently supported their actions.

The times are somewhat changing – as universal corporate offices have taken a short but hard look at themselves and the systemic racism that they have promoted through the years. Corporations are challenged with how they hire, retain and promote people of color within their organizations. They are being held to task to begin to fill openings with qualified Blacks and other people of color instead of continually engaging in white employment nepotism, frat boys and a Becky in tow.

The round table at Goldenvoice was a diverse group of people who acknowledged the repugnant feeling of what their eyes had seen and everyone’s heart had felt.

I sat down with Roberts-Johnson, to ask the down to earth, prestigious executive a few questions over a Zoom conference. I’ve known Rhea for a number of years, so it was easy to dive into a conversation that was just as she is – honest and candid.

Can you explain GV Black?

“Goldenvoice Black was birthed from round table discussions of Black employees, who for some time, have exchanged views of working as Blacks in a predominantly white environment – it is the voice of the people. GV Black has become a source of comfort to communicate what being Black means in today’s climate. Our social responsibility is to have acknowledgment from the corporation in which we work, the need to bring equality and more diversity to our workforce and to outline and monitor productive steps to insure that this equality is met.”

Do you have any fear in being a part of a revolutionary entity within the internal confines of a corporate environment?

“As a woman we are already marginalized in this environment. As a Black woman and a mother of a Black male child, I am more interested in social equity not just for now but for the future of those who come after me. I had no mirror to show me insight into how to maneuver in the world of behind the scenes entertainment. The conversations we were having at Goldenvoice were more than just about talking. We were all hurting just like many people and it was important for us to say something and even more important to agree on the actions that we would take to support diversity, elevate youth and develop community under the Goldenvoice umbrella.”

The music festival Coachella released its first statement ever about their position on injustice. The declaration issued by Coachella would be the words of Rhea Roberts-Johnson.

The poetic rhyme scheme is just 5 lines shy of a Sonnet and reads like a mission statement of hope:

We do not stand for injustice.

We do not stand for racism.

We do not stand for bigotry.

We stand for music.

We stand for celebration.

We stand for love.

We stand for unity.

We stand for Black Lives.

They Matter.

~Coachella

Now that the protesting has come to a halt, the pandemic is at an all time high; Goldenvoice employees are working from home or either furloughed… Goldenvoice recently posted on social media and received backlash from a few public critics, because of the word “bodies”..Can you comment on it?

“I’m actually glad that you asked this question. Before I go into what it means, I have to mention that the statement was written by Black employees, and had the public known that, it may have been received differently. Surprise! There are Black people that work at Goldenvoice (I’m sure that’s shocking to some since in its early days the company booked a lot of punk rock bands). We used the word “bodies” as a metaphor to draw attention to the objectification of Black people. Many types of Black and brown people in this country are dehumanized and not allowed the luxury of full humanity as so many others are. We also used it to emphasize the history of physical violence against Black people in our country whether it be through slavery, lynching, police brutality, etc. It’s a common term used by social justice activists, and having come from one of them, there probably wouldn’t have been a peep. Coming from a festival, some people were taken aback.”

Rhea I think to be silent nowadays is to be in agreement. Maybe those taken “aback” will be propelled into recognizing the truth and understanding the ladder is merely semantics.

What is next for GV Black?

“Without giving up too much too soon, we along with our non-Black allies at the company, are working diligently to create an even more inclusive environment for our employees, fans, artists, vendors, etc.”

Rhea Roberts-Johnson is a rare breed. She has a silent strength that exists when you can only imagine the amount of pressure that is being experienced to incite change. As we wait to see what’s next to come you can feel a glimmer of hope. Goldenvoice, GV Black and Coachella are consciously pioneering trailblazers for utilizing their platform to be all inclusive and unite people as one just as music does.

George Floyd illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

George Floyd Family Suing

By Eamonn Burke

The family of George Floyd will sue the city of Minneapolis, claiming his rights were violated during his arrest, consequently allowing racism and brutality to fester in the city’s police force. This comes as newly released body cam footage clearly shows Floyd pleading with officers and telling them he cannot breathe. The lawsuit will target financial reparations for Floyd’s children and siblings.

The family’s attorney, Mr. Crump, is calling the murder of Floyd “torture” and calling the disproportionate killing of black people by police a “public health crisis”. He cites “deliberate indifference” from the city of Minneapolis on this issue.

“Everything seems to have stopped and got shut down in America during the coronavirus pandemic except racism and discrimination and police brutality against Black and brown people.” says Crump. “This is the tipping point for policing in America.”

Crump is hoping this case will set a precedent for future lawsuits by establishing the damaging financial repercussions that the wrongful killing of marginalized people can incur. Additionally, he anticipates major changes in policing, which have already begun as Minneapolis takes steps to abolish the police

Meanwhile, the killers of George Floyd – ex-officers Derek Chauvin, Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao – have all been charged with aiding and abetting in 2nd degree murder, and await their trial date on March 8, 2021. Their lawyer declined to comment on the topic.