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Cress Welsing: The Definition of Racism White Supremacy

Dr. Blynd: The Definition of Racism

Anon: What is Racism/White Supremacy?

Dr. Bobby Wright: The Psychopathic Racial Personality

The Cress Theory of Color-Confrontation and Racism (White Supremacy)

What is the First Step in Counter Racism?

Genocide: a system of white survival

The Creation of the Negro

The Mysteries of Melanin

'Racism is a behavioral system for survival'

Fear of annihilation drives white racism

Dr. Blynd: The Definition of Caucasian

Where are all the Black Jurors? 

The War Against Black Males: Black on Black Violence Caused by White Supremacy/Racism

Brazen Police Officers and the Forfeiture of Freedom

White Domination, Black Criminality

Fear of a Colored Planet Fuels Racism: Global White Population Shrinking, Less than 10%

Race is Not Real but Racism is

The True Size of Africa

What is a Nigger? 

MLK and Imaginary Freedom: Chains, Plantations, Segregation, No Longer Necessary ['Our Condition is Getting Worse']

Chomsky on "Reserving the Right to Bomb Niggers." 

A Goal of the Media is to Make White Dominance and Control Over Everything Seem Natural

"TV is reversing the evolution of the human brain." Propaganda: How You Are Being Mind Controlled And Don't Know It.

Spike Lee's Mike Tyson and Don King

"Zapsters" - Keeping what real? "Non-white People are Actors. The Most Unrealistic People on the Planet"

Black Power in a White Supremacy System

Neely Fuller Jr.: "If you don't understand racism/white supremacy, everything else that you think you understand will only confuse you"

The Image and the Christian Concept of God as a White Man

'In order for this system to work, We have to feel most free and independent when we are most enslaved, in fact we have to take our enslavement as the ultimate sign of freedom'

Why do White Americans need to criminalize significant segments of the African American population?

Who Told You that you were Black or Latino or Hispanic or Asian? White People Did

Malcolm X: "We Have a Common Enemy"

Links

Deeper than Atlantis
Tuesday
Feb142017

Private prison companies Owned by Whites likely to be big beneficiaries of Trump's plan to detain more Non-White Immigrants

ChicagoTribune

When John Chavez peers through chain link and razor wire into the vast tent city that once housed one of the nation’s most notorious prisons for immigrants, he does not see a failed experiment. 

Two years ago, inmates set fire to the sprawling complex in protest of poor medical conditions, slashing holes in their tents and forcing the government to shut it down. Yet many people in this struggling south Texas county— like Chavez, who once worked as a security guard at the privately run prison — have high hopes the abandoned detention center will reopen.

“If Trump is going to crack down on immigrants, we’re going to have to process them somehow,” the stocky 55-year-old said as he stood outside the empty shell of his old workplace. “Maybe there’s a shot I could get my job back.”

Stocks for private prison companies have surged in the two weeks since President Trump signed an executive order calling for expansion of immigrant detention facilities at or near the border with Mexico, specifically authorizing the use of private contractors “to construct, operate, or control facilities” in what is expected to be a substantial ramp-up of the massive detention system that thrived under the Obama administration.

With the number of immigrant detainees already at historic levels, critics warn that rapidly expanding prisons will only exacerbate squalid living conditions and substandard medical care. The big beneficiaries, they say, will be stockholders and executives of for-profit prison companies.

Carl Takei, a staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Prison Project, predicts “an enormous boondoggle for the private prison industry.”

“The immigration system already lacks rigorous oversight and transparency,” he said, “and now there’s this perfect storm — a push to rapidly expand the system, a lack of existing oversight and the profit motive driving these companies.”

Private companies provide immigrant detention at a lower cost: about $144 per inmate a day, versus $184 in federally run Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities. Immigrant attorneys and human rights groups have long argued the profit motive spurs private companies to cut corners and cram inmates into shoddy and overcrowded facilities.

For critics, Raymondville’s Willacy County Correctional Center is Exhibit A in the case against private detention centers. Not long before it was forced to close in 2015, the ACLU dubbed it a “physical symbol of everything that is wrong with enriching the private prison industry and criminalizing immigration.”

Officials in Willacy County are still banking on being a place to lock up immigrants, even though the county has filed a lawsuit against the private company whose “abysmal management,” it claims, caused inmates to riot.

“Everybody here wants it back because they need jobs,” Eliberto “Beto” Guerra, a Democratic Willacy County commissioner, said of the facility. “It means security for a lot of families.”

Well-paid jobs are scarce in Raymondville, a Rio Grande Valley hub of cotton and sugarcane fields whose main street is dominated by loan stores and pawn shops. More than a third of Willacy County residents live below the poverty line.

The idea for an immigrant detention center was born 15 years ago, when a large construction company approached local officials with a pitch to revitalize their economy: borrow $65 million from the public debt markets to build prisons.

In 2006, as President George W. Bush pushed to crack down on illegal immigration, the county hired a Texas construction company to build the detention center on a cotton field on the outskirts of town. It then contracted with a Utah-based company, Management & Training Corp., to run the complex.

This has become a common arrangement. As ICE detention has exploded in recent years — reaching more than 41,000 beds last November — about 65% of ICE detainees are now held in facilities operated by private, for-profit contractors.

As Joe Alexandre, Raymondville’s former mayor, remembers it, county officials were assured they would earn more than they needed to recoup their multimillion-dollar investment.

Built in just a few months, the sprawling complex, dubbed Tent City, could hold 2,000 inmates and was the largest immigrant detention camp in the country. Ten huge tent domes, made of Kevlar stretched over metal frames, were erected over concrete pads. Each oval tent held 200 men or women, with no partitions dividing the toilets or showers.

Almost immediately, there were problems. Inmates complained of rotten food, unsanitary conditions, poor medical care and limited access to the law library and telephones. [MORE]

Monday
Feb132017

Court Refuses to Reinstate Trump's Muslim Ban, Says "No Evidence" of Attacks from 7 Listed Countries

Democracy Now

In a major victory for civil rights advocates, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has unanimously refused to reinstate Donald Trump’s executive order that banned people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States and sparked nationwide protests. The judges ruled that the administration "has pointed to no evidence that any alien from any of the countries named in the order has perpetrated a terrorist attack in the United States." Trump has vowed to appeal the case, possibly to the U.S. Supreme Court. We get reaction from Vincent Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights. "It is the veracity of the administration that is at stake," Warren says.

Sunday
Feb122017

U.S. court curbs solitary for Pennsylvania inmates no longer facing execution

Reuters

A federal appeals court on Thursday said Pennsylvania prisons cannot keep housing inmates in solitary confinement on death row after their death sentences had been vacated, without meaningful reviews of whether such conditions remained necessary.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia said the inmates have a constitutional due process right against such confinement, unless it was required for security and safety reasons, and could be justified on a case-by-case basis.

"Inmates in solitary confinement on death row without active death sentences face the perils of extreme isolation and are at risk of erroneous deprivation of their liberty," Circuit Judge Theodore McKee wrote for a three-judge panel.

"Accordingly, they have a clearly established due process right under the Fourteenth Amendment to avoid unnecessary and unexamined solitary confinement on death row," he said.

The appeals court nonetheless agreed with two lower court judges that prison officials who were sued over the old policy deserved qualified immunity, because they interpreted that policy reasonably and might not have known it was suspect.

Thursday's decision arose from lawsuits by Craig Williams and Shawn Walker, respectively convicted of first-degree murders in 1988 and 1992.

They each sought damages for having spent several years in solitary confinement after their death sentences had been vacated, but before they were resentenced to life in prison.

The office of Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, which defended the prison officials, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

James Bilsborrow, a lawyer for Williams and Walker, in an interview said that despite the qualified immunity finding, the decision "should give prisons pause before confining inmates in solitary confinement indefinitely."

Many critics of solitary confinement fault what the appeals court called its "dehumanizing effect," quoting a 2015 opinion from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.

The more conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in a separate 2015 opinion with regard to solitary confinement that "years on end of near-total isolation exact a terrible price," and the judiciary might eventually consider "whether workable alternative systems for long-term confinement exist."

McKee said solitary confinement can trigger "devastating psychological consequences," and side effects such as anxiety, depression, panic and suicidal thoughts.

He said Williams and Walker were kept in their cells at least 22 hours a day, and when allowed out Williams was often put in a locked cage while Walker faced invasive strip searches.

Pennsylvania argued that such treatment fell within the "normal range" of permissible conditions, and was no more harsh than what similar inmates faced.

The cases are Williams v. Secretary Pennsylvania Department of Corrections et al, 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 14-1469; and Walker v. Farnan et al in the same court, No. 15-1390. 

Sunday
Feb122017

Florida Legislature Taking Steps to Resume Death Penalty Cases

NBC

With death penalty cases grinding to a halt across the state, the Florida Legislature is finally taking its first - and probably only steps - to fix the law so prosecutors can resume cases once again.

]Legislators are moving ahead with a measure that would require a unanimous jury verdict in cases where the death penalty is being sought.

Just a year ago legislators rejected the idea, but the state Supreme Court last October struck down a 2016 law that said the death penalty could be imposed after a 10-2 jury vote.

A Senate panel on Monday approved a bill requiring a unanimous jury verdict and a similar measure is being considered in the state House. The legislation could be among the first bills passed and sent to Gov. Rick Scott when the session officially kicks off in March. [MORE]

Sunday
Feb122017

A bill requiring the government to obtain a warrant to search your email just flew through the House

TechCrunch

A bill set to update online privacy laws dating back three decades just cruised through the House by unanimous vote for the second time. The bipartisan bill known as the Email Privacy Act (H.R. 387), introduced by Colorado Rep. Jared Polis and Kansas Rep. Kevin Yoder, would require the government to seek a warrant in order to access the email of American citizens.

As it stands, ambiguity surrounding the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) — a law passed in 1986 — lets the government exercise warrantless searches if emails are more than 180 days old and live on third-party servers.

Last year, the same bill passed in the House before stalling out in the Senate, partly at the hands of Trump-appointed attorney general and then Senator Jeff Sessions from Alabama. Last June, Sessions proposed an amendment to the reinvented ECPA that would create exceptions for “emergency disclosures.” That surveillance-friendly loophole was just one of the tweaks that caused the bill to stall out before it could come to a vote.

Following the vote, Google Director of Law Enforcement and Information Security Richard Salgado issued a statement praising the House and urging the Senate to seize the “historic opportunity” for reform:

“The Email Privacy Act updates the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) to require the government to obtain a warrant before it can compel companies like Google to disclose the content of users’ communications. Since 2010, Google has testified before Congress four times in support of this reform, which will protect all users, and we are proud of our efforts…

This Act will fix a constitutional flaw in ECPA, which currently purports to allow the government to compel a provider to disclose email contents in some cases without a warrant, in violation of the Fourth Amendment. The Email Privacy Act ensures that the content of our emails are protected in the same way that the Fourth Amendment protects the items we store in our homes.

This is consistent with the practice around the country already and what the Constitution requires; the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals concluded in 2010 that ECPA is unconstitutional to the extent it permits the government to compel a service provider to disclose to the government a user’s electronic communications content without a warrant. Today’s vote demonstrates that this conviction is widely shared.”

In a statement on the bill, the ACLU’s Neema Singh Guliani also commended the House for once again passing the Email Privacy Act and implored the Senate to do the same:

 

“Last year, this bills’ progress was derailed by Senate efforts to water down its provisions and attach amendments that would have weakened Americans’ privacy. We urge the Senate to not repeat past mistakes; instead it should act quickly to pass legislation that ensures that Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights are protected in the digital age.”

With Sessions out of the way, the Email Privacy Act may find less friction in the Senate — but in 2017’s uncertain political climate, that doesn’t exactly have digital privacy advocates resting easy.

Sunday
Feb122017

Racist Treasurer Mandel backs bill to ban sanctuary cities, hold officials criminally liable

Dispatch

Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel today backed a proposed state law to ban "sanctuary cities" in Ohio and hold municipal officials criminally and civilly liable for crimes committed by undocumented immigrants.

Mandel said he supports legislation to be introduced by a fellow Republican, freshman state Rep. Candice Keller of Middletown.

"This is about protecting parents and protecting kids here in Ohio," Mandel said in a telephone conference call this morning. "I believe we must have zero tolerance policy when the safety of our kids are at stake."

The bill would prohibit cities from sheltering refugees and immigrants who may be in the country illegally.

Mandel, who again is seeking the Republican U.S. Senate nomination in 2018 to run against incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown, singled out Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther and Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, both Democrats, as targets of the legislation.

"They are putting families at risk," Mandel said. "What they're doing is playing partisan politics and this is a non-partisan issue."

Columbus has not declared itself a sanctuary city, but has said it would not use resources to enforce efforts to expel immigrants.

Mandel accused Ginther and Cranley of "totally ignoring" incidents in Europe causes by terrorists and "sticking their head in the sand."

Cranley issued a statement in response to Mandel, saying, "Josh Mandel continues to falsely declare Cincinnati is violating federal laws — that is a blatant lie. We have not and will not violate federal laws. Mandel's proposal is a straw man for his political ambitions, demonizing refugees fleeing oppression in the process. We are standing with refugees and disagreeing with President Trump's executive orders, which is our First Amendment right to do. Mandel's attempt to jail people who disagree with the president is an outrageous attack on the First Amendment."

The proposal, which has not been introduced in the General Assembly, would make city officials criminally liable if a crime was committed by an undocumented immigrant. The crimes that would trigger a violation were not specified.

Officials could be charged with a fourth-degree felony, punishable by up to 18 months in jail and a fine up to $5,000. A public official could he held personally liable for up to $1 million in damages if a person is injured by an immigrant.

Information provided by Mandel said the law would prohibit "any local jurisdiction from adopting or implementing a law, ordinance, rule, policy, or plan or taking any action that limits or prohibits an elected official, employee, or law enforcement officer from communicating or cooperating with an appropriate public official, employee, or law enforcement officer of the federal government concerning the immigration status of an individual residing in the state."

It would also prohibit "any local jurisdiction from deliberately obstructing immigration enforcement, restricting interaction with federal immigration agencies, or shielding illegal aliens from detection."

Mandel, who said recently that Cincinnati would become a sanctuary city "over our dead body," has repeatedly lashed out at "radical Islamic terrorists."

It is the first bill to be introduced by Keller, who was elected last fall.

She blamed immigrants and their "culture" for committing crimes, including assaults and rape, and bringing in "sexually transmitted diseases."

"My phone has been ringing off the hook with constituents in my district who are concerned about this," she said.

She said refugee resettlement is "not about humanitarianism, but about importing "cheap labor" and violence.

Kent Scarrett, executive director of the Ohio Municipal League, said he had not seen the Mandel-Keller proposal. However, he said it would "almost certainly be an encroachment on the home rule powers granted to cities by the Ohio Constitution." [MORE]

Sunday
Feb122017

Ohio governor postpones executions amid challenge to lethal injection procedure

[JURIST]

Ohio Governor John Kasich [official website] on Friday put on hold [press release] eight executions after a magistrate for the US District Court of the Southern District of Ohio [official website] on Wednesday refused to lift a stay [JURIST reports] on the first three of Ohio's scheduled executions. Ohio has since appealed the stay, initiated by death row inmates, to the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit [official website], which is unlikely to issue its ruling before February 15th, the next scheduled execution date. Kasich said in a press statement:

While Ohio is confident its appeal will ultimately be successful given the United State Supreme Court [official website] decision in Glossip v. Gross [SCOTUSblog materials], the appellate court's scheduling will not allow the matter to be resolved in time to allow the state to move forward with its current execution dates. Accordingly, these delays are necessary to allow the judicial process to come to a full resolution, and ensure that the state can move forward with the executions.

Judge Michael Merz's grant of stay was premised on his finding that "use of midazolam as the first drug in Ohio's present three-drug protocol will create a 'substantial risk of serious harm' or an 'objectively intolerable risk of harm.'" Ohio's position is that the three-drug combination does not violate the Constitution [JURIST report] and that it should be allowed to go ahead with the executions. A revised schedule for the executions has been listed on the governor's website. There are currently 140 people on death row [NPR report] in Ohio.

Numerous states have switched to the three-drug protocol, which uses midazolam as a sedative before administering a second drug to paralyze and stop breathing and a third drug to stop the heart. In December the Mississippi Supreme Court allowed a challenge [JURIST report] to the use of the sedative. Also that month an inmate in Alabama coughed and struggled to breathe for 13 minutes [JURIST report] during the administration of midazolam, which death penalty opponents called an "avoidable disaster." In November the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a case involving the 2014 botched execution [JURIST reports] of Clayton Lockett, a death row inmate in Oklahoma.

Sunday
Feb122017

These smart TVs were apparently spying on their owners

WashPost

The Federal Trade Commission said Monday that Vizio used 11 million televisions to spy on its customers. The television maker agreed to pay $2.2 million to settle a case with the FTC and the New Jersey attorney general's office after the agencies accused it of secretly collecting — and selling — data about its customers' locations, demographics and viewing habits.

With the advent of “smart” appliances, customers and consumer advocates have raised concerns about whether the devices could be sending sensitive information back to their manufacturers. The FTC says the Vizio case shows how a television or other appliance might be telling companies more than their owners are willing to share.

“Before a company pulls up a chair next to you and starts taking careful notes on everything you watch (and then shares it with its partners), it should ask if that’s O.K. with you,” Kevin Moriarty, an attorney with the FTC's Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, wrote in a blog post. “Vizio wasn’t doing that, and the FTC stepped in.” [MORE]

Sunday
Feb122017

Congressional Hispanic Caucus requests meeting with ICE officials after raids

The Hill

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus is requesting a meeting with U.S. Immigration and Customs and Enforcement (ICE) officials over recent raids on undocumented immigrants.

Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.), who chairs the caucus, sent a letter to ICE asking for “an open and candid discussion” on the enforcement changes, saying the raids "have struck fear in the hearts of the immigrant community.”

“It is critical that we meet with you in person immediately to discuss the impact these raids have had on our communities as well as obtain clarifying guidance on how ICE policies will differ from the last Administration,” the letter reads.

Democratic Reps. Zoe Lofgren (Calif.), Lucille Roybal-Allard (Calif.), John Conyers (Mich.), Luis Gutierrez (Ill.) and Judy Chu (Calif.) also signed the letter calling for a meeting by Wednesday.

The letter stated that congressional offices had contacted ICE and the Department of Homeland Security about the recent raids in California, but has yet to year back about the enforcement.

A report on Friday said more than 300 undocumented immigrants had been arrested in Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta and Chicago in raids this week.

An ICE official in the Los Angeles office called the raid an “enforcement surge,” but maintained that they were routine.

Trump last month signed an executive order on immigration that ended the “catch and release” policy that allowed people who crossed the border to return to Mexico without being detained.

Sunday
Feb122017

Leaving the Racist U.S. - Non-White Migrants Make Icy Crossing to Canada

Almost three months after Bashir Yussuf watched Donald J. Trump win the presidential election, he made his way to Noyes, Minn., where he set off at night into the snow-filled woods and crawled across the unmarked border into Canada.

“I saw what was coming,” said Mr. Yussef, 28, who fled his home in Somalia in 2013 to make a circuitous, five-month voyage to San Diego, where he applied for asylum but was rejected. “I knew Trump was going to deport me.”

After a three-hour walk, much of it through deep drifts, Mr. Yussuf arrived in Emerson, a small farming town in sight of the snow-swept border with both North Dakota and Minnesota.

Emerson’s 700 inhabitants have long known “border hoppers,” often offering them lifts to the nearby Canadian Border Services Agency office. But they have never seen them coming in these numbers.

The morning before Mr. Yussuf arrived with another Somali last Sunday night, 19 other Africans had emerged on the Canadian side of the border, cold and hungry after walking much of the night across frozen farm fields. There were too many to fit into the small border office for processing, so the people of the town rushed to open the community hall, where the new arrivals could get warm, doze on sleeping mats and refuel on Nutella sandwiches, tea and coffee.

Noting a worrying trend, Emerson officials convened an emergency meeting on Thursday with the police and border agents to figure out a protocol for the next wave of arrivals — which they feared would be soon.

“The farmers are worried about what they’re going to find when the snow melts,” said Greg Janzen, the reeve, or chief elected executive, of the Emerson-Franklin municipality.

On Christmas Eve, two Ghanaians were picked up on the roadside north of town, some 10 hours after they had set off into a field near the border, sinking to their waists in snow. The temperature that morning was reported to be below zero, with windchill making it even worse. The men’s hands were so badly frostbitten that they lost almost all their fingers.

Over the past couple of years, a small number of people have been sneaking across the border at Manitoba from the United States and then filing for asylum, Canadian Border Service Agency statistics show. But since the fall, refugee workers in Winnipeg say, there has been a noticeable surge.

The Manitoba Interfaith Immigration Council, known locally as Welcome Place, typically serves 50 to 60 asylum seekers per year, said its executive director, Rita Chahal. “Since April, we’ve seen already 300,” she said.

While the government of Canada was unable to provide statistics on the number of people seeking refugee status who illegally enter the country, Sgt. Harold Pfleiderer of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said “there has been an increase in illegal migration in Quebec, Manitoba and British Columbia, with the largest increase being seen in Quebec.”

A loophole in the rules covering asylum seekers has led some to walk for as long as eight hours in the middle of the night, through wintry landscapes and biting prairie cold, before arriving in Emerson. While an agreement between Canada and the United States makes it impossible for them to simply present themselves at the border and claim asylum, those who make it into the country and then present themselves to border guards can do so.

Now, in light of the uncertainty and disruption created by President Trump’s executive order on immigration, refugee advocates and human rights groups in Canada are demanding that the government led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau suspend or cancel the refugee pact, which is known as the Safe Third Country agreement.

“We are essentially encouraging people to come across the border through irregular means,” said Sean Rehaag, a York University law professor who specializes in refugee and immigration law.

On Wednesday, the immigration and refugee clinical program at Harvard Law School issued a report stating that Mr. Trump’s executive orders on immigration made the United States “not a safe country of asylum” for people fleeing persecution and violence.

“When Canada sends someone back to the U.S., we are saying we have confidence the U.S. is going to protect them if they need protection. We don’t see how we can have confidence to say that in the current context,” said Janet Dench, executive director of the Canadian Council For Refugees, a nonprofit umbrella organization of 170 refugee advocacy groups.

Bashir Khan, a Winnipeg lawyer, has represented 125 refugees before the Immigration and Refugee Board over the past five years. That is on top of the 17 he is representing currently. [MORE]

Friday
Feb102017

Judge orders NYPD to disclose surveillance records of Black Lives Matters activists

From [HERE] A New York judge has ordered the New York Police Department to disclose records pertaining to the undercover surveillance of Black Lives Matter activists during protests following the police killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

Protestor James Logue filed a public records request for video and audio footage taken by uniformed and plain-clothed NYPD officers of the crowds during two Grand Central Terminal protests in 2014 and 2015. The NYPD refused to comply with the request, arguing that disclosing any records would obstruct its ability to do police work.

Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Manuel Mendez ruled Wednesday that NYPD assistant intelligence chief John Donahue’s claims that releasing the data would expose details of ongoing terrorism investigations.

“His speculative and conclusive claims of potential related ongoing investigations of incidents against police officers, both in New York and outside of the state and generalized references to use of materials by the ISIS or ISIL terrorists, fail to provide a causal connection to the protesters and are insufficient to state a generic risk,” Mendez wrote in his decision.

Mendez also wrote that the NYPD made “blanket assertions and fail[ed] to particularize or distinguish their surveillance or undercover techniques and records.” The judge also insisted that using redactions would sufficiently protect the department’s intelligence tactics.

News broke of NYPD’s undercover surveillance efforts in September after the department responded to the petition indicating that it had multimedia records, metadata, and recorded conversations between police officers.

The NYPD has a history of controversial surveillance programs. The department increased its surveillance operations as part of their effort to combat terrorism, but they were forced to dismantle a 9/11-era program that monitored New York’s mosques and Muslim community. Their surveillance practices continued following the police choking death of Eric Garner.

Surveillance of communities of color and their allies isn’t new. Law enforcement agencies nationwide have increased their surveillance efforts in recent years as Black Lives Matter protests sprung up across the country to bring attention to incidents of police brutality. Beyond recording, police departments have also used online data to track prominent voices in the Black Lives Matter movement.

Wednesday’s legal victory, however, could pave the way for surveillance activity to be disclosed more readily.

Friday
Feb102017

Federal appeals court rules [Non-White] immigrants have no right to lawyer in expedited cases

From [HERE] The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] 2-1 Tuesday that immigrants who are caught entering the US illegally have no right to legal representation in an expedited hearing.

A law passed in 1996 allows Customs and Border Protection officers to use a process of "expedited removal" to remove immigrants who are caught within 100 miles of the border without valid documentation. Immigrants who are subject to expedited removal are not given a lawyer, nor do they receive a trial. The appeals court upheld the deportation of a Mexican immigrant who was returned to his country the day after being arrested while crossing the US border in 2012, finding that his "expedited removal was not fundamentally unfair." One judge dissented, stating he "would hold that there is a due process right to counsel during expedited removal proceedings."

Right to counsel in immigration proceedings remains a controversial topic. In September the Ninth Circuit ruled that children facing deportation proceedings may not file a class action suit [JURIST report] to determine whether they are entitled to an attorney as a due process right. The opinion reversed in part a ruling that determined the federal courts had jurisdiction to hear the class action lawsuit on constitutional grounds. The three-judge panel ruled instead that the Immigration and Nationality Act [text] exclusive review process applied, necessitating that each individual plaintiff file an appeal in the federal court after all deportation proceedings were exhausted. In 2014 then-US Attorney General Eric Holder argued in a speech at the Thirty-Ninth Annual Convention of the Hispanic National Bar Association hat migrant children who come across the border unaccompanied should have legal representation [JURIST report].

Friday
Feb102017

ACLU files new lawsuit challenging Trump's immigration order

Jurist

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] filed a federal lawsuit [complaint, PDF] on Tuesday challenging President Donald Trump's controversial executive order [executive order] restricting immigration. The ACLU claims [press release] that the ban is unconstitutional under the First Amendment prohibition on government establishment of religion and the Fifth Amendment [text] guarantee of equal treatment under the law. The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the president have argued [JURIST report] that the order does not fall under the First Amendment as it does not specify religion, but country. Furthermore, the Trump administration has stated that the Fifth Amendment does not apply as the government has no obligation to foreigners and non-US residents and citizens. In response, the ACLU and other advocates for argue that the order amounts to a Muslim ban that is reminiscent of when the US turned away Jewish refugees that were fleeing Germany before World War 2.

Trump signed the executive order [JURIST op-ed] in late January. Only a day later, a judge for the Eastern District of New York issued an emergency stay [JURIST report], temporarily preventing execution of the law, until the question of whether it applied to valid visa holders could be resolved. That issue was resolved by a district judge in Michigan, who ordered [JURIST report] that the travel ban could not be applied to legal citizens, including those holding visas. On Friday the US District Court for the Western District of Washington issued a stay [JURIST report] of Trump's order. Following appeal, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied [JURIST report] the Trump Administration's emergency motion [text, PDF] to reinstate the immigration restrictions, thereby suspending the order until arguments have been heard. The Ninth Circuit heard oral arguments [JURIST report] Tuesday on whether the travel ban should be reinstated, and a ruling is expected this week.

Friday
Feb102017

Anti-Sanctuary City Bill Flies Through Texas Senate

From [HERE] Texas is one step closer to banning “sanctuary cities,” after the state senate voted late Tuesday to advance a bill that would require local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration laws.

The measure, Senate Bill 4, would punish local governments and college campus police units that refuse to comply with detainer requests from immigration officers to hand over immigrants for possible deportation.

In a raucous, 16-hour Senate State Affairs Committee hearing last week, several hundred people testified against the bill, arguing it is a discriminatory, anti-immigrant measure designed to increase deportations of people who may be in the country illegally but are otherwise law-abiding.

In addition to predicting that the bill would force terrified undocumented immigrants into the shadows, critics of the bill have questioned its constitutionality and say it will reduce local law enforcement’s effectiveness.

The bill’s author, Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, said during the debate on the measure Tuesday that it ensures that law enforcement agencies across the state follow the same procedures and that “laws are applied without prejudice and equally no matter who’s in elected capacity.”

“At the end of the day SB 4 has everything to do with the rule of law and has very little to do with immigration,” Perry said.

He said there has been much “fear-mongering” and misinformation spread about his bill, arguing it protects victims and witnesses to crime and does not apply to public schools, hospitals or places of worship.

Only those that commit crimes should fear the bill, he added, and other Republican senators said it was “sad” that people were “unnecessarily frightened” by SB 4.

“It may be a shame that people are afraid, but it doesn’t change the fact that they’re afraid,” said Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston. “We need to be really clear who we consider a criminal, because many, maybe some here on the senate floor, think if you’re here undocumented, you are a criminal. So if you carry that definition forward, there are millions of Texans, documented and undocumented, that are scared to death.”

Whitmire and other senate Democrats contended during debate Tuesday that the bill could open the door to racial profiling, as it gives officer’s discretion over whether to question a person’s immigration status.

“Discretion and profiling are synonymous quite often on the streets of Texas,” Whitmire said.

Democratic senators also questioned the constitutionality of the bill, pointing to a Jan. 17 Dallas federal court ruling in Mercado v. Dallas County. U.S. District Judge Sidney Fitzwater found that Dallas County violated the constitutional rights of arrested individuals by refusing to grant them immediate release on bond and by holding them based on immigration detainers after they were otherwise eligible for release.

However, in a letter sent to Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, before the debate Tuesday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton indicated that the Mercado ruling doesn’t square with the U.S. Supreme Court’s holding in Zadvydas v. Davis that civil detentions are constitutionally permissible under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

“Our review of the law concludes [SB 4] is constitutional, there are viable methods for covered entities to avoid liability regarding invalid detainers, and the remainder of the legal concerns are unfounded,” Paxton said in the letter.

Mirroring President Donald Trump’s Jan. 25 executive order that seeks to withhold federal funds from sanctuary cities, the Texas bill would cut grant funding to cities and college campus police units that adopt sanctuary policies.

The bill will also allow government officials to be sued by victims of crimes committed by released undocumented inmates.

An amendment to the bill adopted by the senate Tuesday adds an additional punishment, charging department heads who violate the law with a class A misdemeanor, which means they could face up to a year in prison.

“What’s the next [amendment] going to do, take your firstborn?” Sen. Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston, asked Perry.

The misdemeanor amendment seemed to be aimed particularly at Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez, an elected official who presides over an area that includes the city of Austin. Hernandez has pledged to restrict deputies’ compliance with federal detention requests and end U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, agents’ access to the county jail.

Following through on a threat to “hammer” Travis County as a punishment for Hernandez’ defiance, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott pulled more than $1.5 million in criminal justice grant funding from the county last week. The grants support programs that help children, women, families and veterans.

In response, State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin, launched a fundraising initiative called #StrongerTogether, asking the public to step in to cover the grants removed by Abbott.

“We will help to fill the gap and work with Travis County to ensure that the people who have benefitted from the victim services, criminal diversion and rehabilitation programs at risk do not suffer,” Rodriguez said in a press release. “In the long-term, reasonable people must hold the Governor to account for his vindictive behavior at the ballot box.”

As of Tuesday, the initiative has raised just over $100,000, with 1563 donations.

In an op-ed published in the Austin American-Statesman on Monday, Hernandez said she never imagined the policy she put in place to protect officers and the community would be “entered into political theater” and “pushed into the national media spotlight.”

She said that violent criminals who are found undocumented and arrested for capital murder, first-degree murder, aggravated sexual assault and continuous human trafficking will be turned over to federal authorities.

“As a sheriff and as a sworn officer, it is my job to follow and uphold the law,” Hernandez said. “However it is also my job to recognize that the legal landscape regarding ICE detainers has changed. The Department of Homeland Security proclaimed these holds to be voluntary — and court decisions across our nation called the validity of these holds into question.”

Defiance against anti-sanctuary city policies is cropping up in cities across the state.

Police chiefs in Houston and San Antonio, which both have significant immigrant populations, have spoken against SB 4, saying that it will erode trust between local law enforcement officers and the communities they serve.

On Tuesday, Dallas County commissioners passed the symbolic “Welcoming Communities” resolution that says unauthorized immigrants are integral members of the community and calls for local law enforcement to end nonessential collaborations with immigration officers.

SB 4 must now go through the state House before it is signed into law.

Friday
Feb102017

When the Government Really Did Fear a Bowling Green Massacre — From a White Supremacist

From [HERE] The year was 2012. The place was Bowling Green, Ohio. A federal raid had uncovered what the authorities feared were the makings of a massacre. There were 18 firearms, among them two AR–15 assault rifles, an AR–10 assault rifle and a Remington Model 700 sniper rifle. There was body armor, too, and the authorities counted some 40,000 rounds of ammunition. An extremist had been arrested, and prosecutors suspected that he had been aiming to carry out a wide assortment of killings.

“This defendant, quite simply, was a well-funded, well-armed and focused one-man army of racial and religious hate,” prosecutors said in a court filing.

The man arrested and charged was Richard Schmidt, a middle-aged owner of a sports-memorabilia business at a mall in town. Prosecutors would later call him a white supremacist. His planned targets, federal authorities said, had been African-Americans and Jews. They’d found a list with the names and addresses of those to be assassinated, including the leaders of NAACP chapters in Michigan and Ohio.

But Schmidt wound up being sentenced to less than six years in prison, after a federal judge said prosecutors had failed to adequately establish that he was a political terrorist, and he is scheduled for release in February 2018. The foiling of what the government worried was a credible plan for mass murder gained little national attention.

For some concerned about America’s vulnerability to terrorism, the very real, mostly forgotten case of Richard Schmidt in Bowling Green, Ohio, deserves an important place in any debate about what is real and what is fake, what gets reported on by the news media and what doesn’t. Those deeply worried about domestic far-right terrorism believe United States authorities, across many administrations, have regularly underplayed the threat, and that the media has repeatedly underreported it. Perhaps we have become trapped in one view of what constitutes the terrorist threat, and as the case of Schmidt shows, that’s a problem.

The notion of a “Bowling Green massacre,” of course, has been in the news recently. Kellyanne Conway, a senior adviser to President Donald Trump, referred to it in justifying the president’s travel ban on people from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Conway had Bowling Green, Kentucky, in mind, but she eventually conceded there had been no massacre there. She meant, she said, to refer to the 2011 case of two Iraqi refugees who had moved to Kentucky and been convicted of trying to aid attacks on American military personnel in Iraq. One was sentenced to 40 years, the other to life in prison.

Her gaffe, accidental or intentional, prompted a mock vigil in New York and a flood of internet memes. The imaginary massacre now even has its own Wikipedia page.

On Monday, Trump made the provocative, unsubstantiated claim that the American media intentionally failed to cover acts of terrorism around the globe. “It’s gotten to a point where it’s not even being reported,” he said in a speech to military commanders. “And in many cases the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it. They have their reasons, and you understand that.”

At the Southern Poverty Law Center, Ryan Lenz tracks racist and extreme-right terrorists. So far, he said, he’s seen little from the Trump administration to suggest it will make a priority of combating political violence carried out by American racist groups.

“It doesn’t seem at all like they are interested in pursuing extremists inspired by radical right ideologies,” said Lenz, who edits the organization’s HateWatch publication.

Indeed, Reuters reported last week that the Department of Homeland Security is planning to retool its Countering Violent Extremism program to focus solely on Islamic radicals. Government sources told the news agency the program would be rebranded as “Countering Islamic Extremism” or “Countering Radical Islamic Extremism,” and “would no longer target groups such as white supremacists who have also carried out bombings and shootings in the United States.”

It wouldn’t be the first time the Department of Homeland Security chose to look away. In 2009, Daryl Johnson, then an analyst with the department, drafted a study of right-wing radicals in the United States. Johnson saw a confluence of factors that might energize the movement and its threat: the historic election of an African-American president; rising rates of immigration; proposed gun control legislation; and a wave of military veterans returning to civilian life at a time of painful economic recession.

The report predicted an uptick in extremist activity, particularly within “the white supremacist and militia movements.”

Response to the document was swift and punishing. Conservative news outlets and Republican leaders condemned Johnson’s report as a work of “anti-military bigotry” and an attack on conservative opinion. Janet Napolitano, the head of Homeland Security at the time, retracted the report and closed Johnson’s office, the Extremism and Radicalization Branch.

Three years later, Richard Schmidt came to the attention of the federal government almost by accident. Schmidt had been suspected of trading in counterfeit NFL jerseys. Searching his home and store for fake goods, FBI agents discovered something far more sinister: a vast arsenal. A secret room attached to Schmidt’s shop “contained nothing but his rifles, ammunition, body armor, his writings and a cot,” wrote prosecutors in a court document.

Beefy, thick-necked, standing 6-foot-4 and weighing about 250 pounds, Schmidt had spent years in the Army as an active-duty soldier and a reservist. His military service ended in 1989 when he got into a fight and shot three people, killing one of them, a man named Anthony Torres. As a result, Schmidt spent 13 years in prison on a manslaughter conviction and was legally barred from owning firearms.

After searching his property, the government came to believe he was involved with the National Alliance, a virulent and long-running extremist group, which was once among the nation’s most powerful white supremacist organizations. They also suspected him of an affiliation with the Vinlanders, a neo-Nazi skinhead gang.

Founded by William Pierce, who died in 2002, the National Alliance has long been linked to terrorism. Pierce, who started the group in 1970 and ran it for many years from a compound in West Virginia, wrote “The Turner Diaries,” an apocalyptic novel that basically lays out a blueprint for unleashing a white supremacist insurgency against the government. The novel was described by Timothy J. McVeigh as the inspiration for his bombing in 1995 of a federal office building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people.

FBI agents came to believe Schmidt had been planning his own string of racially motivated attacks on African-American and Jewish community leaders. The agents spread out across Ohio and Michigan to alert his apparent targets. “They had a notebook of information from Schmidt’s home,” recalled Scott Kaufman, the chief executive of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit. “Some of the items related specifically to our organization and staff — people’s names, locations, maps. It was certainly disturbing.”

In court, the defense lawyer Edward G. Bryan disputed the government’s portrayal of Schmidt, who was 47 at the time of his arrest. Bryan painted his client as a slightly eccentric survivalist who didn’t intend to “harm anyone, including those listed in written materials found within his property.”

The government saw it differently. Schmidt, prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memo filed in court, planned to assassinate “members of religious and cultural groups based only on their race, religion and ethnicity.” His cache of weapons, added prosecutors, had only one purpose: to start a “race war.” Other court documents suggest that he planned to videotape his killing spree and email the video clips to his fellow white supremacists.

After pleading guilty to weapons and counterfeiting charges, Schmidt was sentenced to 71 months in federal prison by Judge Jack Zouhary in December 2013.

These days, Kaufman of the Jewish Federation in Detroit doesn’t think much about Schmidt. He’s got plenty of other things to worry about. “In the last two weeks in our community we’ve had two bomb scares,” as well as an incident involving spray-painted swastikas, he said. He’s noted a spike in anti-Semitic incidents over the past year.

“This whole thing is trending in the wrong direction,” he said.

Friday
Feb102017

Mother of 2 U.S. citizen teenagers became one of Trump’s first deportations

ThinkProgress

The U.S. government has deported Guadalupe García de Rayos, 35, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who has lived in Arizona for 21 years, the advocacy group Puente Arizona confirmed Thursday.

Rayos, who had been in the country since she was 14, was caught in an immigration raid in 2008 and arrested on charges of using a fake Social Security number. She was detained for six months by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and released. Since then, she has had to check in every six months under an order of supervision as part of her release.

Wednesday’s check-in meeting was different, however. Her lawyer Ray Ybarra Maldonado recounted on a press call Thursday that they had waited for a long time to speak with a supervisor to see whether she could continue her order of supervision. Instead, Rayos was taken into custody and ordered deported, a decision that the ICE agency explained resulted from a removal order she received in May 2013.

“Relevant databases indicate Ms. Garcia de Rayos has a prior felony conviction dating from March 2009 for criminal impersonation,” according to a statement from ICE.

Late Wednesday night into Thursday morning, Rayos’ family and other advocates took to the ICE agency in Phoenix to protest her detention, including one man who “tied himself to one of the front wheels” of a van that they suspected carried Rayos. Seven people were arrested. Politicians including Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) also supported Rayos before she was deported. [MORE]

Wednesday
Feb082017

NAACP Statement on Alleged 2009 Sessions Award

NAACP

“The NAACP is composed of more than 2,000 local and state units around the country.  Upon learning of the allegation that one of those units bestowed an award on Senator Jefferson Sessions in 2009, the National Office of the NAACP immediately undertook an investigation.  While we already have strong reasons to doubt that any such award was given to Senator Sessions, we will continue our investigation until we are confident that we know all of the facts.  What remains true and unchanged is the NAACP’s strong opposition to the nomination of Senator Sessions to become the next Attorney General of the United States.  The NAACP’s position against Senator Sessions is based on his decades of conduct as a prosecutor and, later, U.S. Senator from the State of Alabama.  In matters of civil and human rights, civil liberties, fair policing, voting rights, sentencing fairness, women’s rights, hate crimes and more, Senator Sessions has repeatedly demonstrated that he is clearly unsuited to perform the duties of an Attorney General in these crucial times.”

 

Wednesday
Feb082017

Audio of The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Ruling on Racist Trump Unlawful Travel Ban

Wednesday
Feb082017

2 Racist Suspect GOP senators propose cutting back on legal [Non-White] immigration to US

The Hill

Two GOP senators are proposing a cut on legal immigration to the United States, an idea backed by President Trump during his campaign for the White House.

Republicans Sens. Tom Cotton (Ark.) and David Perdue (Ga.) introduced legislation Tuesday that they said would effectively halve the number of green cards issued each year from 1 million to roughly 500,000. 

“Over the last 40 years we’ve seen a huge increase in immigration,” Cotton said, arguing that the current amount is out of line with “historical” levels. 

The legislation would nix immigration preferences for nonimmediate family members, adult children or adult parents of current legal permanent U.S. residents. 

Those restrictions, the senators argue, would help base immigration on employment needs. The legislation wouldn’t impact employment-based immigration. 

“Unless we reverse this trend, we’re going to create a near-permanent underclass for whom the American dream is always out of reach,” Cotton said. 

The GOP proposal would end the State Department’s Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, a decades-old lottery system that selects individuals from low-emigration countries to reside in the United States. 

Cotton argued the program is “rampant with fraud” and isn’t aimed at helping increase diversity. 

The bill would also cap the number of refugees allowed into the country annually at 50,000, similar to recent guidance from Trump. 

The legislation was met with quick blowback from Democrats.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) called the decision to nix the State Department lottery as "senseless."

“This legislation sends a terrible message to the rest of the world and is unquestionably a job killer,” she said. “As a nation of immigrants, this bill runs counter to our values."

The proposal comes as Republicans publicly grapple with how to tackle illegal immigration. 

Trump took a hard-line stance during the presidential campaign, pledging to deport roughly 11 million immigrants in the country illegally. 

He’s backed away from that for certain groups, including pledging to make a deal for the illegal immigrants — known as “dreamers” — who were brought into the country as young children. 

Cotton said he's spoken with the president as recently as Tuesday morning about the “concept” of the legislation. 

“He strongly supports the broad concept of ... moving our legal immigration system toward a merit-based system,” he said. 

Pressed on whether this was the White House’s bill, Cotton said, “I wouldn’t characterize President Trump’s view on specific pieces of legislation.” 

The two GOP senators painted their legislation as a break from previous “comprehensive” immigration bills that tried to tackle illegal and legal immigration simultaneously. 

Perdue argued that lawmakers should begin addressing immigration in easier-to-manage “components.” 

“We are simply trying today to bring a rational, compassionate approach to this different issue within the immigration conversation,” he said. “What you see today, we hope, is the beginning of a new approach.” 

The Senate previously passed a wide-ranging immigration reform bill in 2013, but that measure stalled in the House. 

Perdue said Tuesday that he believes Democrats could support the “ethos of the bill.”

“We’re hopeful that we’ll see this bill on the floor of the Senate this year,” he said. 

Wednesday
Feb082017

Federal judge refuses to lift order delaying Ohio exeuctions

[JURIST]

A judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of Ohio [official website] on Tuesday refused to lift [order, PDF] a preliminary injunction that delays executions in Ohio. Last month Judge Michael Merz blocked [JURIST report] Ohio's lethal injection protocol by deeming it unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment [text]. Attorneys for Ohio's prison system argue [WRCB report] that the court abused its power and requested that the injunction be lifted on the basis that it would likely be overturned on appeal. In his opinion, Merz explained that the detriments of overturning the injunction would far outweigh the benefits. He stated that while lifting the injunction would cause irreparable harm to the plaintiffs, it would also undermine the process of appeals, writing, "If the event sought to be enjoined transpires before the appeal is heard, the appeal will be dismissed as moot." The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit will hear the case February 21.

Numerous states have switched to the three-drug protocol, which uses midazolam as a sedative before administering a second drug to paralyze and stop breathing and a third drug to stop the heart. In December the Mississippi Supreme Court allowed a challenge [JURIST report] to the use of the sedative. Also that month an inmate in Alabama coughed and struggled to breathe for 13 minutes [JURIST report] during the administration of midazolam, which death penalty opponents called an "avoidable disaster." The US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in Glossip v. Gross [SCOTUSblog materials] last year that Oklahoma's use of midazolam as part of its lethal injection protocol does not violate [JURIST report] the Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment [LII backgrounder]. In November the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed the dismissal [JURIST report] of a case involving the 2014 botched execution [JURIST report] of Clayton Lockett, a death row inmate in Oklahoma.