I am neither a man nor a person of color, but this past year I’ve worked in a program for men of color. I was a case manager with Make It Happen, a Brooklyn-based therapeutic services program for young men of color who have been impacted by violence.
The Greek play “Antigone” tells the story of a defiant woman sentenced to death by a king who refuses to practice mercy. After a bitter civil war that pitched brother against brother, newly crowned Creon honors one with burial and leaves the other to rot.
Netflix’s highly anticipated limited series, Ava DuVernay’s “When They See Us” is now out. It chronicles the story of the infamous Central Park Five case: how five teenage boys of color from Harlem were wrongly convicted of the rape of a white woman in 1989 and their 25-year fight for justice.
The weapon of incarceration that terrorizes black families has been turned against people from South and Central America who are fleeing unspeakable violence. Racism — the lifeblood of the Trump presidency — fuels and sustains both systems.
Many fans of hip-hop have commented on Joyner Lucas’ remix of Lil Pump’s hit record, “Gucci Gang.” There is also a considerable online buzz and reaction to Lucas’ video and rap song “I’m Not a Racist.”
The NAACP launched an online petition this week, inviting people to lend their names to a campaign to end the use of pepper spray on students in Birmingham, Al. public schools. “As long as we continue to treat students like criminals, they will grow up to become criminals,” said NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous, in a written statement. The NAACP argues that Mace and pepper spray may be legitimate parts of an adult or crowd policing strategy, but are not acceptable for use on school children. Birmingham’s public school population is overwhelmingly African-American.
Urban Outfitters Inc. owns the popular indie stores Anthropologie, Free People, and Urban Outfitters. The company runs roughly 2,000 of these stores around the globe, employs thousands of people and has received several awards for efforts to preserve history through their products. Who could have a problem with such a great corporation? Well, many people could, and many people do. Urban Outfitters managed to upset the NAACP, the Anti-Defamation League, LGBT advocacy groups and women advocacy groups.
When I was a kid, around 10 or 11, I loved fantasy novels, especially The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia. I read these books over and over, and with my friend Michael would act out the various scenes of the books. We would run around the yard with toy swords and trash can lids for shields, battling monsters until it got too dark to play any longer. One day we were pretending we were wizards, casting spells and dispensing vague wisdom to our imaginary comrades. As part of our costumes we made hoods out of pillow cases, and were blithely going about our business when my dad came home.