In response to a Cleveland grand jury decision to not indict two white police officers in the murder of 12 year old Tamir Rice, some on social media have adopted the hashtag #NoJusticeNoLeBron. The hashtag represents a twitter campaign designed to encourage Cleveland Cavalier’s basketball megastar LeBron James to boycott NBA games in an attempt to pressure the Department of Justice “imprison the murderers of Tamir Rice”
Many see this as an action similar to the remarkably successful boycott undertaken by the University of Missouri football team — which resulted in the resignation of the university system President. In reality, the circumstances are vastly different — a boycott runs the risk of doing more harm than good and is ultimately unfair to LeBron James. (more…)
Breaking: The #illridewithyou is being used this morning as Australians offer solidarity to Muslims who may feel unsafe riding public transportation in traditional or religious clothing. Australians are offering solidarity with Muslims after a siege at a Sydney cafe this morning where hostages were taken. During the siege a black flag with Arabic writing was held up in the cafe window. Residents became concerned about the safety of their fellow Australians who might be wearing traditional or religious Muslim garb on public transport. One woman, after noticing a fellow traveler silently remove her hijab, told her to put it back on, and said “I’ll walk with you.” After hearing about this on Twitter user Tessa Kum offered to ride with anyone in religious attire who didn’t feel safe and started #illridewithyou. Since then the hashtag has grown with many other Twitter users chiming in to show their support. The seige ended when the cafe was stormed by police officers. At this time it is unclear how many were wounded. Click here for updates.
The Mike Brown tragedy has brought to surface a number of systemic failures that contribute to the oppression of Black Americans. From political disenfranchisement which allows a city two-thirds black to be represented by a city council that’s 80 percent white to the militaristic police-state response used to control and limit the agency of black people (also, everyone), systemic racism and prejudice pervade every aspect of American life.
Particularly fascinating is our collective and pervasive fetish with portraying black victims as menacing. In the case of Mike Brown, the image most widely shared has him standing stoically on a porch, the camera angle such that Brown — already 6’4″ — looms even larger over the viewer. He’s wearing a red Nike tank that reveals beefy muscular arms — one of which is raised chest level with his hand contorted into a peace (gang?) sign. He is not smiling. Brown looks much older than his eighteen years.
Needless to say, one look at this image and a lot of folks think they know exactly what happened between Mike Brown and the police officer that shot him dead. A picture is worth a thousand words and the story some get from this one is that Mike Brown had it coming. (more…)