School resource officers contribute to violence in schools

#AssaultAtSpringValleyHigh: a school resource officer slams a student and her desk to the floor.

#AssaultAtSpringValleyHigh: A school resource officer slams a student and her desk to the floor.

At a high school in South Carolina on Oct. 26, an insubordinate student was thrown out of her desk and dragged across the floor by a policeman. It’s far from the worst overreach of force demonstrated recently, but it’s deeply emblematic of America’s police problem. The so-called “school resource officer” was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. Unless that investigation determines the girl had a bomb around her waist, the violence was completely uncalled for.

Disturbing video of the incident, which was widely shared on social media, certainly offers nothing to condone the officer’s actions. According to a local report, the girl was being disruptive in class and didn’t cooperate when her teacher and an administrator asked her to leave. So the officer handled the situation the only way increasing numbers of cops seem to know how – by becoming physically violent. Continue reading

Bree Newsome is a hero to us all

Bree Newsome commits one of the most iconic acts of defiance, patriotism and civil disobedience in decades.

Bree Newsome commits one of the most iconic acts of defiance, patriotism and civil disobedience in decades.

As politicians hem and haw about removing the Confederate flag from the South Carolina capitol building, one activist decided she’d take matters into her own hands – literally. On June 27, Bree Newsome, an activist and artist who’s spent a lifetime opposing injustice, climbed the flagpole, removed the flag and was arrested promptly upon hitting the ground. Continue reading

Confederate flag discussion distracts from what really happened in Charleston

The new face of American terror: white males worried about minorities taking over

The new face of American terror: white males worried about minorities taking over “their” country.

Even as mass shootings in America have become almost a banality, last week’s massacre in Charleston, South Carolina manages to stand out. White supremacist Dylann Roof brought a concealed handgun into an African-American church, issued a series of terrifying proclamations about a race war, and murdered nine people. He intentionally left witnesses so they could repeat his words. Later research uncovered a trove of racism, including a detailed manifesto and pictures of the shooter wearing patches of racist African regimes on his jacket.

Any sane person could acknowledge that our gun culture, combined with venomous and widely proliferated rhetoric about black “takers” and “thugs,” were the ingredients for this act of terror. Yet in the tragedy’s immediate aftermath, conservatives threw their hands up in the air, offered meaningless condolences and said, essentially, “Who knows what went wrong or what we can do about it?” Continue reading