I’ve never been female but I have been black my whole life and so let me perhaps offer some insight from that perspective because there are many similar social issues related to access to the equal opportunity that we find in the black community as well as the community of women in a male-dominated—white male-dominated society—and I’ll be brief because I want to get and try and get more questions.
When I look at throughout my life, I’ve known that I’ve wanted to do astrophysics since I was nine years old, that first visit to the [unintelligible] planetarium. I was a little younger than Victor at the time, although he did it before I did. And so, I got to see how the world around me reacted to my expression of these ambitions, and all I can say is the fact that I wanted to be a scientist, an astrophysicist, was hands-down the path of most resistance through the forces of nature, through the forces of society. Any time I expressed this interest, teachers would say “Don’t you want to be an athlete? Don’t you want to—?” I want to become something that was outside of the paradigms of expectation of that, of the people in power. And so, fortunately, my depth of interest in the universe was so deep and so fueled and rich that every one of these curveballs I was throwing in, fences built in front of me and hills that I had to climb, I just reached for more fuel and just kept going.
Now here I am, one, I think, one of the most visible scientists in the land, and I want to look behind me and say “Where are the others who might have been this?” and they’re not there. And I wonder how. Who was the blood on the tracks that I happened to survive, that others did not, simply because of the forces of society that prevented at every turn, at every turn to the point where I have security guards following me as I go through department stores, presuming that I am a, that I’m a thief.
I walked out a store one time and the alarm went off and, so they came running to me. I walked through the gate at the same time a white male walked through the gate, and that guy just walked off with the stolen goods, knowing they would stop me and not him. That’s an interesting sort of exploitation of this—[Woman next to him: “That’s horrible.”] Yeah, that was! People should do that more often, alright?
So, my life experience tells me that when you don’t find blacks in the sciences, you don’t find women in the sciences, I know that these forces are real, and I had to survive them in order to get where I am today. So before we start talking about genetic differences, you got to come up with a system where this equal opportunity, then we can have that conversation.
Fron an article where Malcolm X was interviewed. Taken from February 1965: The Final Speeches (Page 33). We all have to be aware that the West uses the press to make the criminal the victim and the victim the criminal.
An example of how this was used was in the Congo in Africa. The imperialist agent Thsombe murdered Patrice Lumumba while the press lied to boost Thsombe’s image at the expense of Lumumba who was the rightful leader. If we’re not careful with the press, we’ll end up loving our enemies and hating our friends. It’s the same pattern against all the dark skinned people all over the world.
Nine Wonderful Words About Words from 25 things you had no idea there were words for
the english student in me has such a boner right now
A Catholic priest who said an officer put him in a chokehold and slammed his head into a glass door. A woman who said she shouldn’t have been handcuffed when officers arrested her.
A father who claimed officers beat him in the hallway outside of his child’s hospital room until his head was bloody. A bank robber who was shot by officers after a high-speed chase. A man whose head was slammed into something so hard that the bones in his face broke.
In each situation the Oakland Police Department was sued. And in each one, the City of Oakland chose to settle out of court rather than take the case to trial.
A review of Oakland City Attorney lawsuit data and hundreds of federal and state court cases has found that since 1990, Oakland has spent $74 million dollars to settle at least 417 lawsuits accusing its police officers of brutality, misconduct and other civil rights violations.
Oakland spends more on civil-rights police lawsuits than nearly any other California law enforcement agency, with multimillion-dollar settlements coming directly out of funds that could go to libraries, police and fire services or road repair.
Supporters of the Oakland Police Department say that high number is a reflection of the city’s willingness to settle at any cost. But Oakland Police Beat’s analysis found that the City of Oakland has successfully defended itself against many lawsuits it considers to be unfounded.
Our investigation found that more than 500 officers were named in those lawsuits. At least 72 of those officers were named in three or more of the suits. Settlement amounts per lawsuits range from $100 to the nearly $11 million paid out following the so-called Riders scandal, where more than 100 plaintiffs accused officers of beating, kidnapping and planting evidence on suspects.
Historically, the number of OPD-related lawsuits filed against the city varies from year to year. But over the last three years the number of cases settled dropped, leaving some — like Oakland civil rights attorney Jim Chanin — cautiously hopeful that long-sought-after reforms are beginning to impact the Oakland Police Department.
(Pictured: An Occupy Oakland protester is arrested in the early morning hours of Thurs, November 3, 2011 in Frank Ogawa Plaza. Lawsuits alleging excessive force by OPD officers during the demonstrations have cost the city more than $6 million in settlements. Photo by Elijah Nouvelage)
Bold for emphasis. To demonstrate that there is no accountability held to those responsible, if they can continue in their position of power to perpetuate this violence again and again.