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More of This HBCUs won this election
Before Kamala Harris and Stacey Abrams broke barriers in the country's political landscape, they thrived at historically Black colleges and universities.
Students and alumni from HBCUs around the country are celebrating the vice president-elect's success, hoping it will change the misconceptions around the institutions' quality of education and graduates' social mobility.
Harris, a Howard University alumna, has regularly credited her education and even referred to it when she accepted the Democratic party's vice presidential nomination.
"When you attend an HBCU, there's nothing you can't do," Harris tweeted last month.
But she's only one of several female politicians and activists who have become trailblazers, years after attending HBCUs. Abrams, the former Georgia gubernatorial candidate, attended Spelman College in Atlanta and Keisha Lance Bottoms, the Atlanta Mayor and a surrogate for the Biden-Harris campaign, went to Florida A&M University.
Cori Bush, a Harris-Stowe State University alumna, became the first Black woman to represent Missouri in Congress.
"This is certainly symbolic of the great possibilities that can happen in America," Elwood Robinson, chancellor for Winston-Salem State University, told CNN affiliate WXII.
Read the story on CNN
Feel Good How Black Oakland organizers in dismantled school police
One winter night in Oakland nine years before a police officer knelt on George Floyd’s neck, Raheim Brown and his friend Timesha Stewart, both 20, were smoking weed in a Honda, hazard lights blinking. It was 9 p.m., and two cops who had been patrolling a school dance near Skyline High School approached the car. They were Barhin Bhatt and his partner, Jonathan Bellusa, both sergeants with the Oakland School Police Department. At the time they did not know the Honda had been stolen. They would claim they decided to investigate because they thought the car was parked in a strange spot.
Pretty much everything that happened next is still in dispute. Bhatt walked up to the driver’s side, where Stewart was seated, and began speaking to her. Brown told her to drive away, reaching over and jamming a screwdriver into the ignition. Bellusa opened the passenger door and grabbed Brown by the collar to stop him. When Brown resisted, a violent struggle ensued. Bellusa believed Brown was stabbing him in the upper chest, though Stewart insists the screwdriver never left the ignition, and a forensic analysis found no strike marks on Bellusa’s shirt or vest.
“Shoot!” Bellusa yelled. He says he spotted a revolver in the passenger door, though Stewart insists there was never a gun in the car and that the one found by police had been planted after the fact. “Gun!” Bellusa shouted. Bhatt shot Brown seven times. Stewart would later recall her friend’s plea: “Help me, sis.” He passed away in that passenger seat, his hands resting on his lap.
Brown’s family demonstrated in front of Oakland Unified School District headquarters with dozens of people, calling for the disbanding of the city’s school police force. Brown’s mother, Lori Davis, described her son as a “very beautiful, loving, bright, intelligent, respectful human being.” She called his killing an “assassination.” She and Raheim’s father sued the district and eventually received a settlement, but no reforms were made to the Oakland School Police Department.
A former police lieutenant hired by the school district to conduct an investigation found that Bhatt had been “in reasonable fear” and was thus “justified in shooting Brown.” Bellusa later alleged that the school district tried to cover up the incident. Nevertheless, Bhatt was promoted to interim school police chief just months after Brown’s death; the previous chief, Peter Sarna, had resigned after he told a Black police sergeant during a drunken exchange that “the only good nigger is a dead nigger and they should hang you in the town square to prevent any other niggers from coming in the area.” Bhatt lasted just one month. He now runs a private security firm.
Read the story on Mother Jones
Speaking Of… Joe Biden should appoint a racial justice czar
The results of the Nov. 3 election indicate that a small majority of Americans no longer want a white nationalist to run this country. This is a great relief, especially to the millions of people of color who have been the target of some of the worst racial attacks since the Jim Crow era. From profanity-laced diatribes about Black countries, the Muslim ban, and caging children, to the murderous vigilantes Trump has inspired in Pittsburgh, El Paso, and Kenosha his administration has been a spectacle of white supremacy. Voting Trump out of office, however, is only one step in confronting America’s ongoing racial crisis.
There are numerous calls for the nation to unify and heal its divisions, but how can that occur without confronting the racial chasm that has been the most consistent source of conflict since the country began?
The start of the Biden-Harris administration would be the ideal time to attempt something that has never been done before, which is to name, confront, and end white supremacy.
Read the story on Boston Globe
Read This All the transphobic bills and judicial decisions of 2020
Chase Strangio is a lawyer and Deputy Director for the ACLU’s Transgender Justice Program. He has argued before the Supreme Court.
Less of This Conservative Justice just gave a frightening partisan speech
Erwin Chemerinsky is dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law.
Amy Coney Barrett repeatedly told the Senate Judiciary Committee at her confirmation hearings in October that she could not answer any question that even touched remotely on matters that could come before her as a justice because that would indicate a prejudgment on the case. Most people accepted her refusal as part of the script.
Yet, in a stunning speech to the Federalist Society on Thursday, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. stated his views on many matters that are pending or will soon be before the Supreme Court. His candor should forever end the pretense by judicial nominees that they are merely neutral umpires calling balls and strikes as well as their claim that it is inappropriate to share their views.
Alito clearly offended the norm of judges not taking a public position on issues before their courts, but he violated no rules of judicial conduct because none exist for Supreme Court justices. Nor was anyone surprised by the positions he expressed. In his 15 years on the Supreme Court, he has been unfailingly very conservative.
In his speech, he condemned state restrictions on attendance at religious services during the COVID-19 pandemic as an assault on religious freedom. On Thursday, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn filed an emergency request asking the justices to grant it relief from attendance limits at church services ordered by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Alito’s words leave no doubt as to how he will rule on this and on other challenges to closure orders to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Read the story on Mother Jones
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