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Tag: Black Lives Matter

Why Hemp Supporters Must Support Black Lives Matter, Too

Posted in Journalism, and Ministry of Hemp

Over at Ministry of Hemp, I wrote about our feelings about the current Black Lives Matter uprising and how it ties to the hemp and cannabis industries:

In this time of extraordinary global protest, hemp advocates and the hemp industry must live up to our ideals by supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and working towards real change.

Going even further, our involvement can’t stop with just the protests. In order to build an ethical and sustainable industry, we need to be active participants in undoing the damage that the War on Drugs caused. We need to lobby to defund police forces which grew out of control during this “war.”

Starbucks Racism & The Media: There’s Nothing New Except The Attention

Posted in Creative Commons, and Journalism

As a journalist, I want to talk to other white people about recent coverage of “Starbucks Racism” incidents.

People of all races are horrified by the reports filling the news of black people targeted by whites for everyday activities. I’m calling it “Starbucks Racism” in this post not because I particularly hate Starbucks. It’s simply that the incident in which police arrested two black men waiting for a third friend at a Philadelphia Starbucks is now infamous. This story ushered in renewed interest in the media in this kind of “casual” but extremely dangerous racism.

There’s a reaction to these Starbucks Racism stories I’ve mostly noticed among white people. It reflects both a misunderstanding of systemic racism and a misunderstanding of how the media works. I’ll paraphrase something I saw on a friend’s wall: “What’s wrong with people? I’m so disgusted at how people act recently.”

Police Killings Down In 2016, But Activists Fear Trump Could Reverse The Trend

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Available data suggests that fewer people have died from police violence in 2016 than in 2015, but some police reform activists are concerned that this trend won’t survive the administration of President-elect Donald Trump.

At least 1,000 people have been killed by police in 2016, though the lack of available federal data makes it all but impossible to determine a precise count.

Police departments report information on violent encounters with officers to the federal government on a purely voluntary basis. The FBI has announced plans to reform the system next year to add more stringent reporting requirements.

“We are responding to a real human outcry,” Stephen L. Morris, assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division, said.

‘Which Side Are You On?’ Rapper B. Dolan On Corporate Power & Making Racists Afraid Again

Posted in Austin, Journalism, and SXSW

B. Dolan was my favorite discovery of SXSW, an unabashedly political rapper from Rhode Island, and also an anti-corporate activist with Knowmore.org. I caught him during the same show where I saw Wheelchair Sports Camp and I knew we’d have to talk more.

It took until early last month before we finally connected with an interview, and then another month (thanks to the distracting spectacle of the election) before I finally put his words up on my site.

Thanks, B. Dolan, for taking the time to talk, and for your patience in seeing this published!

Kit O’Connell, Approximately 8,000 Words: Talk to me about what it’s like to play a huge commercial event like SXSW, especially the impact it can have good and bad on a community or your career. We had anti-gentrification protests at the event this year, in fact — is this something you take into consideration, as a politically aware musician?

Interview With Sonali Kolhatkar: Green Party Present United Front During Contentious Year

Posted in Archive, Journalism, and MintPress News

The Green Party held its convention in Houston last weekend & officially nominated Dr. Jill Stein and running mate Ajamu Baraka for its presidential ticket.

Sonali Kolhatkar of Rising Up With Sonali interviews Kit O’Connell about the 2016 Green Party Convention, which he covered for MintPress News.

Black Lives Matter Coalition Demands US Divestment From Israel

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Controversy is swelling over a policy platform published by a coalition of Black Lives Matter activists that includes calls for the United States to economically divest from Israel.

“The US justifies and advances the global war on terror via its alliance with Israel and is complicit in the genocide taking place against the Palestinian people,” The Movement for Black Lives noted in its policy platform. Published last week, the document was co-signed by over 50 black civil rights organizations.

Among other demands, the coalition is calling for the U.S. to redirect investments in policing, prisons, and the military-industrial complex — including the over $3.1 billion offered in foreign aid to Israel annually — into services that benefit black people and other oppressed Americans, such as health care, education, and treatment for mental illness.