I fanatically loved the critically acclaimed Baltimore-based television drama The Wire, which ran for five seasons from 2002-08. It is difficult to even imagine my pop-cultural brain without the presence of Omar Little, Stringer Bell, Bunk and “McNutty”. When I started doing my sports radio show eight years ago, I scheduled interviews with as many of the actors as I could for no other reason than I wanted to breathe their air. Talking to Michael K Williams about the method of Omar's “long game” while he aggressively chewed on a sandwich will forever remain a career highlight.
If you don't understand baseball's Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, then you can't understand why the Maryland city exploded this week. If you don't understand Oriole Park at Camden Yards then you can't understand why what happened in Baltimore can replicate itself in other cities around the United States.
In California, the local chapter of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union has vowed to shut down ports on May 1 in a historic protest against police brutality, Democracy Now! reported. In a statement, the union said: "It is fitting that on May Day, International Workers Day, Bay Area ports will be shut down to protest the racist police killing of mainly black and brown people."
Democracy Now! on the anger that has exploded in Baltimore. The trsnscript is below. ***
Protesters demanding widespread reform of the police took the streets on April 14, as killings of unarmed black men have become all-too frequent in US headlines. Activists from various civil rights groups rallied in different cities throughout the country. Signs carried by the protesters in New York read: “Stop Police brutality and mass murder.” Protesters spread the message on social media websites using hashtags, including the popular #BlackLivesMatter.
A new police murder of an unarmed Black man in the United States has received global attention. It comes as the #BlackLivesMatter movement has swept the country since the police murder of an unarmed Black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri last August. On April 4, officer Michael Slager in North Charleston, South Carolina, shot 50-year-old Walter Scott in the back as he was fleeing. The police initially tried to whitewash the incident, with the all-too-familiar assertion that Slager was assaulted by Scott and feared for his life. So the killing was justified. Q.E.D.
It is difficult to imagine two more different university towns in the United States than Madison, Wisconsin, and Norman, Oklahoma. Madison has a reputation stretching back decades as liberal ― even radical ― territory. That ain’t Norman. In recent days, however, both communities were connected by the resistance of Black students ― and supporters ― against racism. Madison and Norman are bringing together different aspects of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. It demonstrates how this struggle is firmly implanted among the young ― including young athletes.
US bars UN torture investigator from jails and Guantanamo The United Nations special investigator on the use of torture criticised the US on March 11 for stalling for over two years in granting the international human rights body access to inmates at Guantanamo Bay and other federal US prisons.
The Justice Department’s investigation of the Ferguson Police Department has uncovered an array of racially discriminatory practices that were commonplace in the St Louis, Missouri, suburb, Jack Holmes wrote at TheDailybeast.com on March 3. Holmes said: “Along with systemic issues, a pattern of personal racial bias among members of law enforcement was uncovered, perhaps best evidenced by a number of racist emails released with the report.”