The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Rep. Karen Bass of California, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, discussing the Justice in Policing Act which seeks to reimagine public safety.
(In this week’s address, Chair Karen Bass of the Congressional Black Caucus discussed Congressional Democrats’ newly unveiled legislation, the Justice in Policing Act, which advances key steps to achieve transformational, structural change to end police brutality in America.)
“When society does not invest in communities, police officers are left to pick up the pieces. Police officers are the first to say it is unfair, that they are not trained to be social workers or health providers.
“Homelessness, mental illness and substance abuse are health and economic problems. The Justice in Policing Act reinvests in our communities and empowers them to shape the future of public safety through grants to community-based organizations to develop innovative solutions.
“We all want to be safe in our communities. We all want the police to come to our rescue when we are in trouble. We all want to support the brave men and women who put their lives on the line every day for us. And, when we interact with police, we all want and expect to be treated with respect, not suspicion – and we should not be in fear of our life when interacting with officers.
“We are here to answer the calls of thousands who are marching.
“Today is an opportunity. An opportunity to reimagine public safety so that it is just and equitable for all Americans.
The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Senator Doug Jones of Alabama weighing in on the need for change to achieve social justice.
(As Americans peacefully protest across our nation against racial injustice, Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) delivers this week’s Weekly Democratic Address. Senator Jones begins by connecting today’s protests to the protests in Alabama nearly 60 years ago that helped spark the Civil Rights Movement. Senator Jones closes by asking Americans to join him in listening and learning so that we can become a stronger and more just society.)
“I spoke Sunday afternoon at a rally for justice at Kelly Ingram Park in Birmingham – where 57 years ago, in the shadow of the 16th Street Baptist Church, the Birmingham Police turned fire hoses and vicious dogs on peaceful demonstrators – many of them schoolchildren – who were making a stand for equal rights and importantly a stand for dignity. The scenes from Birmingham at that time – and around the world – made it clear that the inequity in our society could no longer be ignored. Sadly, the legislative changes that came from that movement have been eroded over the years in far too many ways.
“There is a clear and direct path from the shadow of the 16th Street Baptist Church where four little girls died in a bomb blast to the death of George Floyd, just a week or so ago – and centuries of injustice that preceded both. […]
“The test we all face today is not only in changing our laws. We must commit ourselves to personal and systemic change. Can we see the dignity and the humanity of those who in some way are not like us? Can we have hope for others and work for their success? We must pass this test together. And we must maintain as a sense of urgency at reforming the laws and institutions that have perpetuated inequality and injustice.”
Morning meese…I know I haven’t been around much and plan on fixing that here shortly. I guess I’ve taken my getting axed from that place where the sun only seems to rise for the purists a little harder than expected. So as long as everyone bears with me for a little longer you’ll see more of my obstinate and sunny personality.
We knew coming into this mess that has been created by bigotry,misogyny,racism,lackadaisicalness, and stupidity, from the electorate as a whole and the untrustworthy of those on the left that voted for someone of the caliber of Jill Stein who stated Tuesday…”Why would we have a tie on such an egregious nominee? Because Democrats serve corporate interests”, that it was going to be an up hill battle. Well yesterday was a VERY bright spot in our stopping Dump and his agenda of divisiveness.
So since I fought this format for a week you all are getting a smorgasbord, which when it comes down to it isn’t any different than I always do…lol…and as always I’ll end up with the woman that brought us all together…Thanks…Love ya all!
@ananavarro Ryan and the GOP are enabling/using a maniac to enact their political agenda. May God forgive them, because I never will.
In this week’s address, Vice President Joe Biden commemorated the lives of the five police officers who were killed and the seven people who were wounded in Dallas. The police officers were providing safety to those who were peacefully marching against racial injustices in the criminal justice system – and the shocking images of the lives lost in St. Paul and Baton Rouge. Echoing the remarks of Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Police Chief David Brown, the Vice President called on the American people to act with unity and to stop the violence. He emphasized that it is the responsibility of everyone to speak out against disparities within the criminal justice system, just as much as it is the responsibility of everyone to stand up for the police who protect us every day. Because together, we as a nation will persevere and overcome.
The White House hosted a panel discussion on criminal justice reform with law enforcement officials.
(President Obama hosts a panel discussion on criminal justice reform in South Court Auditorium at the White House. October 22, 2015.)
The president made a point of explaining Black Lives Matter, a movement and a hashtag that are often misunderstood, sometimes willfully:
“I think the reason that the organizers used the phrase “black lives matter” was not because they were suggesting nobody else’s lives matter,” [President Obama] said. “What they were suggesting was, there is a specific problem that is happening in the African-American community that’s not happening in other communities. And that is a legitimate issue that we’ve got to address.”
… the meaning of the phrase has been perverted by media pundits and some members of law enforcement, who argue that it is inflammatory rhetoric. The phrases “all lives matter” and “blue lives matter” sprang up in direct response to activists who have mobilized against police brutality and attacks on black lives.
“It started being lifted up as ‘these folks are opposed to police, and they’re opposed to cops, and all lives matter.’ So the notion was somehow saying black lives matter was reverse racism, or suggesting other people’s lives didn’t matter or police officers’ lives didn’t matter,” he said.
Obama then pointed out that saying “black lives matter” is not about reducing the importance of other groups.
He also spoke about the need to take the onus off the law enforcement community:
I think there’s been a healthy debate around police-community relations and some of the episodes that we’ve seen around the country, but we, as a society, if we are not investing in opportunity for poor kids, and then we expect just the police and prosecutors to keep them out of sight and out of mind, that’s a failed strategy. That’s a failure on our part, as a whole.
She reminded us of the words of Senator Edward M. Kennedy, whose seat in the Senate she now occupies, connecting the Civil Rights movement to electoral politics. April 9, 1964 floor speech in support of the Civil Rights Act of 1964:
“This is not a political issue. It is a moral issue, to be resolved through political means.”
Senator Warren spoke about racial justice, economic justice, and voting rights and pointed out that economic justice alone is not enough to make black Americans feel safe in their own country.
Economic justice is not – and has never been – sufficient to ensure racial justice. Owning a home won’t stop someone from burning a cross on the front lawn. Admission to a school won’t prevent a beating on the sidewalk outside. But when Dr. King led hundreds of thousands of people to march on Washington, he talked about an end to violence, access to voting AND economic opportunity. As Dr. King once wrote, “the inseparable twin of racial injustice was economic injustice.”
The tools of oppression were woven together, and the civil rights struggle was fought against that oppression wherever it was found – against violence, against the denial of voting rights, and against economic injustice..[…]
In the same way that the tools of oppression were woven together, a package of civil rights laws came together to protect black people from violence, to ensure access to the ballot box, and to build economic opportunity. Or to say it another way, these laws made three powerful declarations: Black lives matter. Black citizens matter. Black families matter.
Fifty years later, we have made real progress toward creating the conditions of freedom-but we have not made ENOUGH progress. […]
Fifty years after John Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke out, violence against African Americans has not disappeared.
And what about voting rights? Two years ago, five conservative justices on the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act, opening the floodgates ever wider for measures designed to suppress minority voting. Today, the specific tools of oppression have changed-voter ID laws, racial gerrymandering, and mass disfranchisement through a criminal justice system that disproportionately incarcerates black citizens. The tools have changed, but black voters are still deliberately cut out of the political process. […]
Violence. Voting. And what about economic injustice? Research shows that the legal changes in the civil rights era created new employment and housing opportunities. In the 1960s and the 1970s, African-American men and women began to close the wage gap with white workers, giving millions of black families hope that they might build real wealth.
But then, Republicans’ trickle-down economic theory arrived. Just as this country was taking the first steps toward economic justice, the Republicans pushed a theory that meant helping the richest people and the most powerful corporations get richer and more powerful. I’ll just do one statistic on this: From 1980 to 2012, GDP continued to rise, but how much of the income growth went to the 90% of America – everyone outside the top 10% – black, white, Latino? None. Zero. Nothing. 100% of all the new income produced in this country over the past 30 years has gone to the top ten percent.
She concluded her remarks:
The first civil rights battles were hard fought. But they established that Black Lives Matter. That Black Citizens Matter. That Black Families Matter. Half a century later, we have made real progress, but we have not made ENOUGH progress. As Senator Kennedy said in his first floor speech, “This is not a political issue. It is a moral issue, to be resolved through political means.” So it comes to us to continue the fight, to make, as John Lewis said, the “necessary trouble” until we can truly say that in America, every citizen enjoys the conditions of freedom.
Racial justice, economic justice, fair and honest elections that include all citizens … goals that align with Democratic Party principles.
Winning elections is how we gain the political power to effect change. Elections matter: in 2016, they will matter more than ever before.
This is a column about three words of moral cowardice:
“All lives matter.”
Those words have risen as a kind of counter to “Black lives matter,” the movement that coalesced in response to recent killings and woundings of unarmed African Americans by assailants — usually police officers — who often go unpunished. Mike Huckabee raised that counter-cry last week, telling CNN, “When I hear people scream ‘black lives matter,’ I’m thinking, of course, they do. But all lives matter. It’s not that any life matters more than another.”
As if that were not bad enough, the former Arkansas governor and would-be president upped the ante by adding that Martin Luther King would be “appalled by the notion that we’re elevating some lives above others.”
When Radazz Hearns was shot seven times by police in Trenton, New Jersey earlier this month, police claimed the 14-year-old pulled out a gun and attempted to shoot them while running. Now, the attorney general’s office says those allegations are unsupported, and an eyewitness says Hearns was actually unarmed and trying to pull up his pants as he ran.
According to the attorney general’s office, Hearns was one of three teenage boys questioned by three Targeted Integrated Deployment Effort (TIDE) officers near an apartment complex, after a shooting was reported nearby. An anonymous police source alleged Hearns ran away from the cops and reached for what the officers thought was a gun. At one point, they say, Hearns turned around while running and attempted to shoot at them. The three officers opened fire, hitting Hearns seven times in the legs and butt.
Eyewitness Rhonda Tirado, who watched the chase and shooting from her home, paints a different picture of what happened. Tirado alleges the boys were laughing and joking for 15 minutes before the cops arrived near her house, and agrees that the three males were confronted by the officers. She also contends Hearns tried to flee. But Tirado says the teenager looked like he was trying to pull his pants up — not grabbing a weapon.
“Those police were amped and they didn’t give that little boy a chance,” she explained to NJ.com. “There was no room for no chase. They just shot that little boy right there.”
In this week’s address, the President spoke about the work the Administration is doing to enhance trust between communities and law enforcement in the year since the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson. In May, the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing released their final report setting out concrete proposals to build trust and enhance public safety. And across America local leaders are working to put these ideas into action in their communities. The President noted that while progress is being made, these issues go beyond policing, which is why the Administration is committed to achieving broader reforms to the criminal justice system and to making new investments in our children and their future.