Race and Racial Justice

NEW YORK — The story might sound familiar. A white couple, Harry and Doris Hopper, residents in a quiet suburb of Macon, Georgia, urgently called the police one evening to report a crime. Someone had broken into her car and stolen her handgun, a .22 caliber pistol, from the glove compartment. The police, two officers, arrived and asked Doris Hopper if she could identify the thief. It was a young black man, she said.

Monday’s viral video of a young student being flipped and flung from her desk by Deputy Ben Fields at South Carolina’s Spring Valley High School, is certainly not the first to expose the growing concern for the overreaction and over policing of children, and in particular children of color.

While questions remain for some, America can no longer bare the cost of these continuing acts of assault upon those to whom we as adults are obligated to protect.

In January, the fourth Extreme Energy Extraction Summit came to Biloxi, Mississippi, and brought with it organizers and activists from across North America who face issues such as coal mining and mountaintop removal in Appalachia, uranium mining in New Mexico, fracking in Pennsylvania and North Dakota, and tar sands mining in Canada. To kick-off the gathering, Cherri Foytlin with Bridge The Gulf organized a day-long tour that grounded participants in some of the extreme energy challenges facing Gulf Coast communities.

More than 500 years ago, before the arrival of the first Europeans, vast civilizations flourished in what is now called the Americas.

Trade routes and commerce had long been established across the Rockies and the Andes, from the farthest northern to the farthest southern regions of the Americas. It has been said that this was the time of union for Indigenous Peoples, the time of the Condor and the Eagle.

The Condor represents the Indigenous Peoples of the south, while the Eagle represents the Indigenous Peoples of the north.

I had a Professor of Economics in college tell his students "there is a lot of money to be made when dealing with poor people and children. Neither are in control of their own future and both allow others to make decisions for them. Businesses are allowed to build and tear down housing projects to move them around like nomads all in the name of good. While those in charge of solving the poverty problem are not interested in doing so because if they did their jobs would disappear.

This video was made in April 2014, at a US Human Rights Network hearing on human rights abuses, part of the Mobile Center for Fair Housing’s Regional Justice Leadership summit. I told the story of Africatown’s founding, the introduction of the paper industry and pollution in the 1940's, decline of the industry in the 1990's, and attempts to bring in new industry in 2014.

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