In 1997, a jury in Harris County, Texas, sentenced Duane Buck to death. I know because I was one of the prosecutors.
I am speaking out against his execution because the Texas criminal justice system cannot allow considerations of race to be placed in front of the jury, as it was in this case.
The jury was told that Mr. Buck was more likely to pose a future danger to society because he is African American. This inappropriate and offensive reliance on race was so improper that in 2000, the Texas Attorney General said that all seven defendants who had racially inappropriate evidence presented against them were entitled to new, fair, and color-blind sentencing hearings. Mr. Buck is the only one of the seven defendants who has not received a resentencing.
Mr. Buck must be punished for his crime, however, the former Texas Attorney General was correct when he said that ‘it is inappropriate to allow race to be considered as a factor in our criminal justice system.’ Mr. Buck should not stand alone as the only one of the seven defendants who has not received his new sentencing hearing.
The Harris County District Attorney’s Office has a unique moment to demonstrate that Harris County will be guided by equality and justice – particularly when the ultimate punishment is on the line.
Read more at: http://www.naacpldf.org/case-issue/duane-buck-sentenced-death-because-he-black
Listen to the surviving victim of Duane’s crime explain why she does not want him to be executed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaxotc241BQ
Senior Assistant County Attorney
(Please click the headline to sign the petition.)
White Citizens Councils, the political wing of the Klu Klux Klan, detested federal taxes because they were used to promote economic fairness for blacks in the South. Government spending on economic opportunity had upset the pre-existing racialized economic order. So in speech after speech, Reagan promised to “turn back the clock” and won in a landslide.
Once in office, Reagan did as promised. He re-constructed a system which took money from the employed poor and working class—who are disproportionately black and brown—and gave it to a mostly white minority who were already wealthy.
The result of Reagan’s policies—which were turbocharged under George W. Bush—is that the top 1 percent have a greater share of national income than at any point in American history. And 97 percent of the top 1 percent are white. Yet poverty is stuck at decades-high levels. One out of three blacks and one out of four Latinos is poor.
Reagan’s policies, largely followed by his predecessors in both parties, have left us a country where a child born in poverty in any other advanced economy on the planet has a better chance of becoming rich than one born in the United States.
This is blatantly wrong to the vast majority of Americans, regardless of race. They would not allow this injustice to stand, if spoken to plainly about it.
But since Reagan’s success in winning office off of white supremacist notions, the U.S. has struggled to be honest with itself about the racial impact of its economic choices. The trouble is that you can’t solve a problem that you don’t admit exists.
We Can’t Fix Our Economy Without Confronting White Supremacy (via jayaprada)
Where is my “slow clap” gif?
Talk to someone who has never dealt with the cops about police behaving badly, and he or she will inevitably say, “But they can’t do that! Can they?” The question of what the cops can or can’t do is natural enough for someone who never deals with cops, especially if their inexperience is due to class and/or race privilege.
But a public defender would describe that question as naïve. In short, the cops can do almost anything they want, and often the most maddening tactics are actually completely legal.
There are many reasons for this, but three historical developments stand out: the war on drugs provided the template for social control based on race; 9/11 gave federal and local officials the opportunity to ensnare Muslims (and activists) in the ever-increasing surveillance and incarceration state; and a lack of concern from the public at large means these tactics can be applied, often controversy-free, to anyone who resists them.
What follows are 10 of the innumerable tactics the police can use against a population often incapable of constraining their behavior….. READ MORE»
On Thursday, Romney campaign co-chair advanced the theory that Gen. Colin Powell endorsed President Obama because he’s black. But this isn’t the first time Sununu or even Mitt Romney’s campaign have introduced Obama’s race into the election. The former New Hampshire governor has repeatedly suggested that Obama or his policies are “foreign,” European, and something less than American. Here are some of his greatest hits:
– Obama is foreign. Obama doesn’t understand the “American system” because “he spent his early years in Hawaii smoking something, spent the next set of years in Indonesia, another set of years in Indonesia, and, frankly, when he came to the U.S. he worked as a community organizer, which is a socialized structure.” [Fox News, 7/17/2012]
– Obama doesn’t know how to be an American. During a conference call, Sununu claimed, “The men and women all over America who have worked hard to build these businesses, their businesses, from the ground up is how our economy became the envy of the world. It is the American way. And I wish this president would learn how to be an American.” [Conference call, 7/17/2012]
– Obama is a lazy idiot. Sununu described Obama’s debate performance as “babbling,” “lazy,” and “disengaged,” and dismissed the possibility that he could do better in the future. “When you’re not that bright you can’t get better prepared.” [Fox News, 10/4/2012]
– Obama has no class, just wants to be cool. “That moment of using the B.S. word was kind of a self-defining moment for the president,” he told Sean Hannity. “No class, wants to be cool. Sacrifices the dignity of the presidency for appearing cool to a magazine that works for some of his base.” [Fox News,10/25/2012]
Romney has never publicly rebuked Sununu’s racial remarks, though Sununu has previously issued retractions of some of his statements.
h/t: Igor Volsky at Think Progress