VIDEO: “Dear unborn black son, don’t jaywalk, don’t eat sandwiches…”

Minneapolis Southwest High School student Laye Kwamina reads his poem “Letter To My Unborn Black Child” at the Human Rights Day Rally on December 6, 2014. His poem, laden with references to violence against blacks such as Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Eric Garner, held the crowd spellbound. In it, he contrasted the stark realities of life for blacks in America with the unending love parents have for their children. He read, “Dear unborn black child, Don’t jaywalk. Don’t eat sandwiches. Continue Reading

Michael Cavlan: Star Tribune article misrepresents the truth

This is a response to the Star Tribune article November 27th by Strib writer Paul Walsh titled “Driver who hit protester was fleeing ‘the mob’ but is considered suspect” about an incident at Lake Street and Hiawatha outside the 3rd Precinct Police headquarters rally. In response to the Grand Jury acquittal of the Ferguson, MO police officer who killed Michael Brown.I was there and in fact got knocked over by the driver myself.This is a Community Voices submission and is moderated but not edited. The opinions expressed by Community Voices contributors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the TC Daily Planet.First, the title itself is a flat out lie. The article does not get any better. The initial title was “Driver who hit protester was fleeing ‘the mob.” Continue Reading

What we have learned from Michael Brown and Eric Garner

Something is wrong with the law if those entrusted to enforce it repeatedly violate it. This is the troubling story of race and Michael Brown and Eric Garner, and police brutality in Cleveland, Ohio. But these three examples raise even more profound stories about the role of the law in a democratic society regarding whose legal norms are enforced and how. It is the story of legal legitimacy. Continue Reading

It’s not over

On the day that President John F. Kennedy was shot, November 22, 1963, a classmate told me that she could see why I was upset, as I was a Democrat, like the president. But why should she, a Republican, feel bad? Something like that is going on now, with the Ferguson/Michael Brown grief and protests. Now, as in 1963, the voices that say “their sorrow, their problem, not mine” are wrong. We are all in this together. Continue Reading

Reflections of New Minnesotans: Immigration reform and criminalization in the wake of #Ferguson

This week’s guest is Emilia Gonzales Avalos. The discussion continues to explore President Obama’s recent executive order on immigration. How does the order figure into the criminalization of people of color? What does the Ferguson grand jury’s decision not to indict former officer Darren Wilson for the killing of Mike Brown mean for immigrant communities?

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Taking over Hiawatha Avenue

Thousands of protesters responding to the Ferguson, MO, grand jury decision gathered Tuesday night in south Minneapolis. But the local headline fodder was the story of the pedestrian protester struck and injured by a car at the intersection of Lake and Minnehaha. Continue Reading

VIDEO – Ferguson reaction in Minneapolis: Intense, peaceful, diverse crowd protests

More than 300 solemn demonstrators rallied in front of a Minneapolis Police station on Tuesday to protest the refusal of a grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri, to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the the killing of Michael Brown, a black teen. “Michael Brown! Michael Brown! Michael Brown!” chanted the crowd in unison. “Grand Jury — Phony Way To Clear Killer Cop” read one of the handmade signs. Continue Reading