Posted: Mar 05, 2014 2:33 PM EST
A shouting match erupted in a South Florida neighborhood after two homeowners decided to display icons of hate on their property.
The men behind the flags associated with the Ku Klux Klan have said they are simply exercising their First Amendment rights, but so are some neighbors who screamed in anger about the flags. “You are a racist pig!” shouted Susan Wantz. “That flag represents that you are a racist pig!”
"I don’t care about other people’s opinion," said Kelsey Hayes.
Hayes owns one of two homes in a West Boca Raton neighborhood that has flags associated with the Ku Klux Klan in their front yards.
2014, yall. Florida. American racism. Lynch law. White supremacy.
As my friend wrote: “Apparently you can only legally “stand your ground” in Florida if you are murdering an unarmed Black boy, but if you are a Black woman showing your abusive ex that he needs to back the fuck off, you deserve 60 years in prison.”
Marissa Alexander had been serving 20 years for firing what she described as a warning shot at an abusive husband, but that sentence could triple after her retrial.
Today would have been Jordan Davis’ 19th birthday, but instead we mourn the loss of his life, and are in awe at the lack of value placed on black bodies in a system that claims it was designed to serve and protect. Our hearts go out to the Davis family and community of supporters. The fight is not over. —> http://cnn.it/1lXdbvA
It’s fucking bad enough that Florida has yet again sanctioned the vigilante lynching of unarmed innocent Black youth at the hands of a racist White scumbag.
But how fucking dare the NY Times run this article with a headline which categorically asserts that the case was about a dispute over “loud music.” This reflects an editorial decision on the part of the Times to advance as fact the absurd notion that the murder was not a product of racist hate, but rather a non-racial clash over the volume of a car stereo. But even the killer admitted that it was not simply loud music he was opposed to, but the “thug music” emanating loudly from a car filled with Black youths.
When mainstream liberal media like the New York Times fail to explicitly call such racist acts of barbaric violence by their true name, it only provides cover for such racist violence to continue under the ruse of euphemism.
Michael Dunn, a white man who admitted shooting Jordan Davis, a black 17-year-old, was convicted of three counts of second-degree attempted murder, but not first-degree murder.
… Coming on the heels of the failure to convict Mr. Zimmerman in July, the verdict was a blow to Ms. Corey, who was the special prosecutor in the Zimmerman case.
“The verdict won’t sit well with the black community in Jacksonville,” said Ken Jefferson, a vice president for Operation Save Our Sons, a group that tries to help young men in Jacksonville, where blacks make up 30 percent of the population. “There is a feeling of being able to shoot black people and get away with it,” he said, particularly after the Zimmerman case.
Florida “justice system” lets the racist killer of Trayvon walk free, but wants to lock up a young Black woman for the “crime” of firing a WARNING shot at her abusive husband.
Stand Your Ground, my ass. Jim Crow ain’t dead in Florida.
Florida Special Prosecutor Angela Corey has filed a motion to revoke the bond of Marissa Alexander, claiming she violated conditions of her parole by running errands, reports First Coast News.
As previously reported by NewsOne, Alexander, a 33-year old Jacksonville mother of three, has spent the last 2 years behind bars serving time for a domestic violence dispute during which she fired a warning shot at her estranged husband, Rico Gray, Sr. who admitted that he had threatened to kill her.
Marissa Alexander, the black Florida mother who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot against her abusive husband, will get a new trail this spring. But her supporters were calling for the charges to be dropped altogether.
As we’ve previously covered, Alexander had a restraining order against her husband when he yelled, “Bitch, I will kill you!” and charged toward her during the incident in 2010. She fired a single shot into the ceiling, and no one was hurt. The sentence Alexander received would seem absurdly harsh in general, but especially since we’re talking about Florida here, where the right to “stand your ground” apparently applies to aggressors “threatened” by a bag of Skittles, but not to abused black women.
Last month, a court overturned Alexander’s original guilty verdict, and activists have called for the charges to be dropped. Instead the state is going to prosecute her once again. Alexander, who has already been in jail for three years while this all plays out, will find out next week whether she will be released on bail. The Free Marissa Now campaign will be fundraising to cover her legal costs for the new trial in March. The goal is to raise $10,000 by the end of the year, and you can help here.
Nathan B. Forrest High School in Jacksonville, Florida, home to the fighting Confederate Rebels, is named after a former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard and confederate general. It has been since 1959, when administrators changed the name to show their defiance to school integration laws enforced by Brown v Board of Education. But town residents, fed up with kowtowing to racial extremists, are looking to change that.
One Jacksonville resident launched a Change.org petition that has so far garnered over 150,000 signatures, asking the Duval County School Board to change the name.
Lying in a hospital bed the night after he was shot by Escambia County sheriff’s deputies in his own front yard, Roy Middleton only had one question: Why?
Middleton, 60, of the 200 block of Shadow Lawn Lane in Warrington, was shot in the leg about 2:42 a.m. Saturday while trying to retrieve a cigarette from his mother’s car in the driveway of their home.
A neighbor saw someone reaching into the car and called 911. While he was looking into the vehicle, deputies arrived in response to the burglary call.
Middleton said he was bent over in the car searching the interior for a loose cigarette when he heard a voice order him to, “Get your hands where I can see them.”
He said he initially thought it was a neighbor joking with him, but when he turned his head he saw deputies standing halfway down his driveway.
He said he backed out of the vehicle with his hands raised, but when he turned to face the deputies, they immediately opened fire.
“It was like a firing squad,” he said. “Bullets were flying everywhere.”The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office declined to comment on the incident Saturday.
Must-read speech by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor on the prospects of the development of a mass movement for racial justice in the wake of the outpouring of protest in solidarity with Trayvon Martin and against the criminal IN-justice system.
The bitter anger that greeted the not-guilty verdict for Trayvon Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman, continued into a second week with vigils outside federal buildings in more than 100 cities on Saturday, July 20. The call for demonstrations by Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network and other liberal organizations—and even a rare acknowledgment of the issue of racism by President Barack Obama—showed the wide scope of discontent about the injustice in Sanford, Fla. At the protests, Sharpton and other speakers focused on the upcoming rally in Washington, D.C., to mark the 50th anniversary of a high point of the civil rights movement: the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
With the latest protests, activists are asking whether this marks a new movement against racism. At a forum on July 17, Rats, Riots and Revolution: Black Housing in the 1960s, discussed what the Zimmerman verdict tells us about racism in America today—and what the struggle against bigotry and discrimination needs to take up., a Chicago activist and author of the forthcoming
… Though it was supposed to be a trial to determine the guilt or innocence of George Zimmerman, it quickly turned into a trial of Trayvon Martin, his family and his friends. The way they were put on trial exposed the racism of George Zimmerman and his lawyers, of course, but also the racism of the system itself.
On one of the last days of the trial, some woman testified who had two Black youngsters break into her house—as if that somehow had anything to do with what happened to Trayvon Martin the night he was murdered. But this was allowed. So was the defense lawyers holding up a picture of Trayvon Martin with no shirt on—to say that this was the beast that confronted George Zimmerman.
There was clearly an attempt by the defense to appeal to the racism of the jury and invoke every racial stereotype in the book to try to legitimize George Zimmerman’s claims that he found Trayvon Martin suspicious, and had to follow him, and ultimately kill him.
But at the same time, the judge ruled that the issue of race couldn’t be discussed—because, he said, there was no evidence that George Zimmerman had ever made a racial insult or ever mentioned race. And therefore, if race isn’t mentioned, that means that racism isn’t a factor in the situation.
But for most of us, we know that whether it’s mentioned or not, racism is always involved in the criminal justice system, as it most certainly was in this case.
It’s why Martin was considered suspicious in the first place—because he was Black. It’s why the police believed Zimmerman, even though he was standing over the dead body of a 17-year-old boy—it was because Martin was Black. It’s why the police didn’t bother to find out if a teenager was missing from the nearby apartment complex where Martin was staying, and instead took his body and marked it as a John Doe—because he was Black. And it’s why it took it took 44 days for Zimmerman to be arrested in the first place.All of these things happened because Trayvon Martin was Black.
A GROUP of employees at a Tasty Buddha restaurant in Gainesville, Fla., began picketing outside the restaurant July 20 after discovering that their paychecks bounced due to “insufficient funds.”
Workers say that this is not the first time this has happened—but they finally became fed up, and decided to strike and make their grievances public. “When this stuff happens, our bills become delayed, and then we have to pay them late, and then you are stuck paying late fees and things like that,” grill cook Andy Rodibaugh, explained to the Gainesville Sun.
Some workers say they also have had to endure sexual harassment and an inappropriate workplace environment.
On the restaurant’s Facebook page, owner Parker van Hart defended himself, writing, “The people who work for me are my family, and until this morning, I believed they had my back and knew that I was doing everything I can to make sure we all stay employed.”
Striking server Marissa Jane Pollack told the Sun: “It’s pretty insulting to see our owner sort of talking out of two sides of his mouth. He claims that we are family to him, yet meanwhile, he doesn’t have the respect to pay us on time. We are human beings, we have bills to pay.”
According to Rodibaugh, the strike is designed “to shut down production as much as possible, give them the least amount of business until our demands are met.” He said supporters were stopping by to deliver water and food to the striking workers.
reports from the occupation of the Florida state Capitol in Tallahassee, where activists are demanding that lawmakers pass the Trayvon Martin Act.
AS DAY Two of the occupation of the Florida state Capitol drew to a close on July 17, activists from the Dream Defenders were calling on Gov. Rick Scott to call a special legislative session to examine the criminal justice system, including repeal of the “Stand Your Ground” law that protects racist murderers like George Zimmerman. The demonstration continued for a third day as this article was prepared for publication.
The Dream Defenders, an anti-racism group of Black and Brown youths, was founded last year after the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla.
On July 16, at 10 a.m., Dream Defenders chapters and supporters from all over Florida showed up at the Capitol in Tallahassee, with more than 100 people pouring into the lobby. As they headed toward the governor’s office, they chanted, “Whose world is this? The world is ours! Whose state is this? The state is ours!”
Once they were in the governor’s office, the Dream Defenders read their list of demands. The list was read again every hour, on the hour, during the occupation:
The Dream Defenders demand:
— Fully repeal Stand Your Ground;
— Require law enforcement agencies to develop written policies defining and prohibiting racial profiling;
— Mandate law enforcement training on racial profiling;
— Repeal zero-tolerance policies in schools;
— Issue civil citations for first misdemeanor offenses for minors;
— Promote restorative justice programs for youth.
We call on Gov. Scott and the Florida legislature to pass these policies as the state’s Trayvon Martin Act. Together, we are united in ensuring Trayvon’s unjust death was not for nothing. Our anger in the face of gross injustice has led us to take action, but it is the love of our people, our community that pushes us forward. We will remain here, standing OUR ground, for Trayvon, for justice, until our demands are met.
"We are here today to demand justice for the Trayvon Martin case. We are at the Florida state Capitol, in Rick Scott’s office, and we plan on staying the night to get our demands met," said Daniel Agnew from the Dream Defenders Communications Team.
The Dream Defenders are organizing against racism on many fronts, linking issues like poverty, the school to prison pipeline, immigration and racial profiling. They see these issues as interconnected and part of the systematic oppression of people of color in this country.
Another unarmed black teen killed. Another perpetrator claiming self-defense. Will he walk too?
A white man named Michael Dunn shot and killed an unarmed black teenager named Jordan Davis in Florida last year after a brief dispute. The prosecutor overseeing the case is Florida state attorney Angela Corey. Dunn, who will be tried for murder, claims the shooting was in self-defense. Sound familiar?
Now that the state’s nationally televised and notorious self-defense case has ended with the acquittal of defendant George Zimmerman, a next potentially high-profile test of the state’s criminal-justice system may come when Dunn goes on trial for first-degree murder this September. And while Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground gun law didn’t in the end figure into the Zimmerman decision, it may be tested in the Dunn case.
The killing took place in November 2012, while Dunn was parked at a gas station convenience store, waiting for his girlfriend to emerge from inside. Four teenagers, including 17-year-old Davis, were parked* next to Dunn’s car in an SUV. After an argument over the teens’ loud music, Dunn fired on the boys from his car, killing Davis. Dunn claims he opened fire only after one of the teens threatened his life, brandished a gun, and started to exit the SUV. Later he told police that he had “never been so scared” in his life.
Stevie Wonder says he won’t perform in Florida or anywhere else that recognizes the “Stand Your Ground” law, following the acquittal last weekend of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
It’s a stark sign of the enduring racism of U.S. society that the killer of an unarmed Black teenager could emerge from court in the coming days a free man. Does anyone doubt for a moment that if Zimmerman had been killed and Martin accused of murdering him, that the teen wouldn’t be on his way to jail for the rest of his life—or worse?
If Zimmerman is acquitted—or even convicted of the lesser manslaughter charge—it will be bitter proof to people across the U.S. who were outraged by the racist murder last year of how little justice is to be found in the American injustice system.
… Then there’s the question of the jury that will deliberate in this case. There isn’t a single Black person on it—even though Sanford, a suburb of Orlando, is nearly 30 percent Black, roughly the same as Orlando.
Failing to get even one African American among the six jurors and four alternates isn’t the only mistake made by prosecutors. The fact that Zimmerman is the son of a retired magistrate judge doesn’t inspire confidence in the state’s commitment to getting a conviction. As Roxanne Jones, a founding editor of ESPN The Magazine and award-winning journalist, pointed out:
[T]he prosecution—Richard Mantei—appears to be lying low and taking too many punches. Could it be that Mantei himself buys into the theory that Zimmerman is some misunderstood do-gooder in the community? It’s just puzzling.
Words matter, as we have seen over the course of the trial. So when Mantei told the court before resting his case: “There are two people involved here. One of them is dead, and one of them is a liar,” I was shocked. This is a murder case. One person is dead, and the other person is a murderer. Those words more accurately describe the facts presented in the case. There is no question that Zimmerman killed Martin, so there’s no reason to tiptoe around the words.
The issue of Trayvon’s drug use came up again at the trial, with Zimmerman’s defense attorney suggesting that even small amounts of marijuana can cause “aggression.”
But almost nothing has been said, before or during the trial, about Zimmerman’s many arrests and run-ins with the law. As Auset Marian Lewis wrote at the Indypendent Reader:
Although George Zimmerman was a wannabe cop, he was more likely to be a police suspect than a police officer. Between 2005 and 2006, he was arrested three times: a domestic violence arrest, “resisting an officer with violence,” and a charge for speeding. With a violent history, packing a gun, this son of a Florida judge was not charged with the murder of this Black teenager for two months, until after a community petition and outrage.
And, Lewis continued, for anyone who has any doubt about the role played by race in this trial:
Picture George Zimmerman Black and Trayvon Martin white. An armed Black man shooting an innocent white teenager in a vigilante killing. Can you picture that? I think we can all agree that Black Zimmerman would have been handcuffed on the spot and thrown into jail, never to see the light of day until he had served his plea-bargained sentence foisted upon him by some lackluster, hack public defender.
Anyone who cares about challenging racial profiling and vigilante justice needs to be prepared to take a stand in response to the Zimmerman trial verdict—to tell the truth about what happened to Trayvon Martin, and to rekindle the determination of the movement that arose to demand justice for him last year.