Race

Vernon Madison and the Death Penalty

On April 18, 1985 Mobile County Police Officer Julian Schulte responded to a report of a missing child. Upon arriving at the home of Cheryl Ann Green, Schulte was informed that there had been a miscommunication — the child was not missing and was on her way home thanks to a family friend. While Schulte waited in his police car for a second unit to arrive at the home, an argument broke out between Ms. Green and her then-boyfriend Vernon Madison. Schulte intervened, requesting that Madison calm down and leave the residence. Madison left briefly, but returned shortly after with a gun and shot Officer Julian Schulte twice through the driver side window of his unmarked police vehicle. A week later, Corporal Julian Schulte — by all accounts a good officer and better person — was pronounced dead.

Two weeks ago on Thursday, May 12. Vernon Madison was supposed to die.

If someone were to make an argument against the death penalty, Vernon Madison may indeed be the poster child. Not because there’s ambiguity in the crime — he most certainly murdered Officer Julian Schulte — but because Madison’s story highlights so many of the flaws which come along with state-sanctioned executions.   (more…)

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The Civil Tube: Blake Lively’s L.A. Ignorance

I know it’s not Friday, but whatever. Recently Blake Lively thought it’d be funny to go on instagram and post photos of herself with the caption “L.A. face with an Oakland booty”. Because white women are beautiful and glamorous and live in Los Angeles while black women are ghetto and have big butts and live in Oakland.

The more I think about this, the angrier I get.

I’m tired of living in a world where people stumble into racist, anti-Black sentiments that blatantly set up whiteness to mean ‘beautiful’ while blackness is reduced to exotic and oversexualized body parts.

But Lively’s comments up the ante even further, not only claiming beauty for whites while dismembering black bodies but also giving it a geography. Somebody needs to let the 3.8 million black people in LA know that they’re living in a city synonymous with white beauty. Don’t they know their place is in Oakland?

There’s so much more to say on this… but for right now I’ll leave you with Franchesca Ramsey and crew to talk about the pernicious evil of white beauty standards.

Mass-Incarceration and the Clinton Golden Years

Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has said that her husband, former President Bill Clinton, would play a major role in helping to revitalize the economy in a Hillary Clinton administration.

Bill’s economic performance during his tenure as President is held to almost mythical levels in certain circles and much of his current popularity stems from how people remember the economy under his watch. However, as Hillary wraps up the Democratic nomination, it’s important to call into question just how great the late 1990s were — especially for African-Americans.   (more…)

Trump Rules

With Donald Trump all but wrapping up the GOP presidential nomination, many voices in the political landscape have already crowned Hillary Clinton as the next president of the United States (see here and here).

But after the absolute spectacle we just watched in the Republican primary, I’m much more hesitant to call this one over. Too many rules have been broken in this election season to take anything for granted. Donald Trump has revealed a number of truths about our country — truths that we really already knew but perhaps never realized their full depth or weight. (more…)

The Civil Tube: The Impact #Desegregation had on Schools

A few years ago, investigative journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones reported on the rising levels of school segregation in America’s public education system. “In Tuscaloosa today,” Hannah-Jones noted, “nearly one in three black students attends a school that looks as if Brown v Board of Education never happened.”

The negative implications for this retrenchment for black and Latino children are sizable, leading to higher levels of absenteeism, lower levels of access to after-school and summer learning programs, and drastically lowered chances at attending college. 

This week’s Civil Tube video is a TedX talk from Dr. Rucker Johnson, Associate Professor at UC Berkeley who has devoted much of his research to understanding the benefits to school desegregation and what it means to fall further away from the spirit of Brown v Board of education.